What’s the best litter box for multiple cats?

Cats are versatile: they can happily live with no feline companions, hunting, sleeping, and playing on their own. Under the right circumstances, however, they can form harmonious cliques and communities with other cats. Cats are capable of creating deep bonds with one another and tend to be especially close with members of their own family.

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In part because of the complex relationships that form in a group of cats sharing a common space, multiple cat households have their own set of interesting characteristics.

Besides inter-cat dynamics, multi-cat homes have specific practical issues to consider. There’s more fur to clean up, multiple food and water dishes to keep track of, multiple beds, and potentially, a variety of dietary needs to care for.

Quick Look : Top Recommended Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats

Litter Box Price Quality Rating
Petmate Giant Litter Pan with MicrobanPetmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban
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$ A+ 5 stars
LitterMaid Mega Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter BoxLitterMaid Mega Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
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$$$$$ A+ 5 stars
Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat PanCatit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan
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$$ A 5 stars
Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter BoxNature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box
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$ A- 4.5 stars
Omega Paw Roll'N Clean Cat Litter BoxOmega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box
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$$ A- 4.5 stars

The litter box situation is also different for multiple cat households.

It’s recommended that you provide one litter box for each cat in the house, plus one extra. For example, if you have four cats, you’d need five litter boxes. This allows each cat to claim their own territory, choose a preferred variety of litter, and get some much-needed space from their feline housemates.

The average litter box won’t stay clean for long in a multi-cat home. Whether you’re using numerous boxes throughout the house or are limited to just one or two, it’s important to choose one that can support heavy use.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common litter box issues affecting multi-cat homes and how the right litter boxes can help.

Litter Box Management in a Multiple Cat Household

There’s more odor.

Taking care of litter boxes for multiple cats isn’t that different from managing a single cat’s litter box. The most important thing is to keep the box clean and smelling neutral so that your cat will happily use it. Avoiding dirty litter boxes is a real problem and comes with a price. If your cat avoids elimination for too long, they may become constipated or develop urinary tract issues. If they take a different route and choose an alternative litter box, you’ll have a cleanup job that’s far more stressful than scooping the litter box has ever been.

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And yes, multiple cat households do have more waste involved and they can get smellier faster. You may have to clean out the litter box more often than someone with just one cat.

Although recommendations vary, it’s a good idea to dump out the litter and deep clean the litter box somewhere between twice a month and once a year.

Here’s how the right litter box can help manage odor:

You can minimize the burden in a few different ways.

The first is by using multiple litter boxes to encourage slower waste buildup.

Secondly, you can take your hands out of the picture by using an automatic self-cleaning litter box. This is particularly helpful if you have a large cat family and might otherwise spend fifteen minutes or more cleaning out litter boxes every day.

Choosing a larger litter box can also help. If you’re limited to just one litter box, it should be a high-capacity one that won’t fill up too quickly. Cats feel more comfortable when they don’t have to step on each other’s waste. A larger litter box will feel clean for a longer amount of time.

Some litter boxes control odor with the inclusion of carbon filters or anti-microbial surfaces, which can help to keep your and your cat’s noses happy.

Manage litter box aggression.

Multiple cat households may deal with aggression, territorial spats, stress, and behavioral issues that coincide with these conflicts. The litter box can play a significant role in the dynamics between your cats.

If one of your cats has taken up a dominant position in the household’s feline social hierarchy, they may intimidate another cat by blocking off the litter box.

Choose areas where your cat can’t be trapped in by other cats. Avoid placing litter boxes in small closets or corners. Aggressive or playful cats may ambush other more timid cats while they’re using the litter box.

Here’s how the right litter box can help:

Remember – your cat is vulnerable when they’re using the litter box.

They have to remain in one place for ten or more seconds – essentially frozen and trapped by their own biological needs. The more aggressive cats in the household are well aware of this fact and may take advantage of it.

While we’re inclined to think about bathroom privacy, cats do things a bit differently.

Think about how cats turn their back to people and cats they trust, but won’t take their eyes off of a threat. Cats don’t necessarily want to hide in a little cave – they like to be able to see what’s coming and have the opportunity to get away when a threat arrives.

An open litter box can help timid cats feel more confident, while enclosed litter boxes can make nervous cats even more uncomfortable in multiple ways. They take away their ability to survey the room and, potentially, enable bully cats to trap them inside of their own toilet.

While covered litter boxes can be a good choice for those seeking superior odor control and a cleaner look, they’re not always the best fit for more discordant multiple cat homes. Choose carefully.

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Keep the boxes in quiet, cat-friendly locations.

Don’t put your cats’ litter boxes in the middle of the noisy kitchen or in an entryway that has a lot of traffic. Instead, opt for soothing areas where your cat can relax. Just like people, cats appreciate space when using the toilet. Because they’re typically quiet and private, human bathrooms make great cat bathrooms, too.

Stagger the boxes throughout the house.

Remember, multiple cats shouldn’t be restricted to a single litter box.

As territorial animals, it’s psychologically beneficial for your cats to have litter boxes reserved for their use. If possible, it’s a good idea to place some space between each box, situating them on different floors and in multiple rooms. At the very least, try to put litter boxes on opposite ends of the room.

Choose cool places.

Did you know that hot locations can make your cat’s litter box develop bacteria and smell worse? If possible, place the litter box in a cool part of the home rather than next to a heat source. Multiple cat households can have even more odor problems than single-cat homes, so smell management is always paramount.

Top 5 Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats

Now that we’ve learned a little bit more about the litter box needs of multi-cat homes, let’s look at our picks for the top 5 best litter boxes for multiple cats.

Petmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban, Bleached Linen Review

Ideal for those seeking a massive litter box

Petmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban

You probably can’t tell by looking at the photo, but this litter box is massive.

It measures 34.8 x 19.5 x 9.8 inches and, according to the company, has a 30+ pound litter capacity. One reviewer – who shares their home with four cats – fills it up with a whopping 65 lbs of litter.

The size of the litter box is good for multiple cats who share the same box. It’s deep, but not has a lower front side for improved accessibility. The depth of the box helps to contain litter, promoting a cleaner home.

To make cleaning extra-simple, the box comes equipped with a convenient side panel that can store your litter scoop, extra trash can liners, and any other accessories. It features a Microban coating to prevent staining and stop the growth of odor-causing bacteria. – Buy It

Pros

  • Large box size is perfect for cats sharing a single box
  • Depth helps to contain litter and prevent scattering
  • Features handy caddies
  • Open box design appeals to some cats and makes scooping easier
  • Uses Microban to prevent staining and proliferation of odor-causing bacteria

Cons

  • Curved corners and front edge may make thorough scooping a challenge

LitterMaid Mega Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box Review

Cleans itself so you don’t have to

LitterMaid Mega Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

This automatic litter box was designed especially with multi-cat households in mind. It has an extra-large basin to support heavy use from more than one cat. The litter pan measures 17 x 14 x 9.8 inches.

The built-in motion sensor automatically detects when your cat enters and leaves the box. Ten minutes after your cat leaves the box, the machine scoops away any waste. It’s then deposited and sealed in a disposable receptacle that’s equipped with carbon filters for odor control.

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The LitterMaid is ideal for people who are tired of cleaning out the litter box and are interested in a hands-free solution. – Buy It

Pros

  • Large pan designed for multi-cat homes
  • Self-cleaning box rakes and stores waste until you’re ready to throw it out
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Makes some noise while running
  • Litter may get stuck on the rake

Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan Review

A large covered litter box that minimizes odor

Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan

This is a sturdy, large litter box with a number of great features designed to keep litter and odors under control.

You can easily lift up the hood for easy litter access and cleaning, but if you’d prefer, you can also remove the entire top of the box.

It comes with a removable clear door and also features a built-in bag anchor designed to keep litter in place while scooping. The litter box even uses a carbon filter to help remove odors.

The litter box measures 22.4 x 18.3 x 17 inches and comes in two colors: grey and white tiger. – Buy It

Pros

  • Large size can handle heavy use by multiple cats
  • Features a carbon filter to remove odors
  • Easy access hood and bag anchor make scooping simple

Cons

  • Some reviewers say that the side latches are unreliable

Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box Review

An extra-deep litter box

Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box

This deep, spacious litter box has a simple open design and is a lower-priced choice than the other ones on this list.

Although the litter box is an exceptional 11” deep, it has a lowered entryway so that every cat can easily get in. These high sides help to keep litter inside of the box rather than on the floor around it.

This box is made from non-stick plastic that helps to discourage sticky litter buildup, making cleaning time simpler and quicker. It also features an antimicrobial coating to stop bacteria growth.

The litter box measures  22.8 L x 17.8 W x 11 inches. – Buy It

Pros

  • A spacious litter box
  • Anti-microbial and non-stick surfaces help keep the box clean and smelling fresh
  • High sides help to keep litter in the appropriate area

Cons

  • The lowered entryway allows cats to kick litter out of the box and limits the litter capacity

Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box Review

Patented roll-sift design makes cleaning a breeze

Omega Paw Roll'N Clean Cat Litter Box

If you need additional convenience, but aren’t interested in an automatic litter box, the Omega Paw Roll’N Clean presents an innovative alternative to both scoops and sensors. When you roll over the enclosed box, the litter passes through a grate, separating waste from clean litter. The waste is then collected in a contained pull-out tray for easy disposal.

Thanks to the efficiency of the box’s sifting mechanism, you can cut back on litter usage – an important consideration for multiple cat households.

The box is available in both a regular and large size, so you can use multiple boxes or a large one that can accommodate all of your cats. – Buy It

Pros

  • Makes litter box cleaning almost effortless
  • The large size box has a spacious interior
  • Efficient cleaning allows you to use less cat litter

Cons

  • Litter may leak out through the seams
  • Doesn’t have a very large opening

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Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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