How many litter boxes does your cat need?

By Valdette Muller| April 4, 2019 | Blog

The truth is you and your cat can never have too many of them.

Well, maybe you can have too many litter boxes for your own taste, but not for your cat’s.

The veterinary profession has a litter box rule of thumb when it comes to cats and their litter boxes. One litter box per cat plus one extra.

Litter Box Overcrowding

The one aspect of living in a multi cat home that is not too much fun is the fact that there is more poop and pee in the litter box to clean up. This can be where many cat parents tend to drop the ball – not because they are neglecting the litter box, but simply because there is not enough litter box space to go around.

Reasons for having one more litter box in your home

Keeping it clean: The rule of thumb for cats and litter boxes is to keep them clean and to improve waste management. Unless you are in the vicinity every single time one of your cats goes potty, it is impossible to remove waste as soon as it is deposited. Having one more litter box insures waste is managed more easily and distributed evenly between litter boxes. This also insures less of a mess to clean up. Now just because you have more cat litter boxes does not mean you can skip on cleaning them. People always ask, “How many litter boxes per cat should I have?” However cats are not only concerned about the quantity but also the quality (state of cleanliness) of the litter boxes. Keep all these things in mind, and your litter box problems should be lessened.

Choice, accessibility and territory: Since cats tend to be very territorial, they will often claim their preferred litter box and other cats will seldom use that space. Having multiple boxes prevents overcrowding in one litter box, preventing a larger build up of waste. Cats can be fussy about hygiene and may feel like there is not a spot clean enough to “go” if it has to step on another cat’s waste. Not finding a clean spot in the litter box, your cat may then choose another spot where no stepping over waste is required.

Encourages good behavior amongst your cats: Having one more litter box than the number of cats you have can also resolve territory disputes between felines. If for example the alpha cat is aggressive toward the another cat, they can block the litter box entry. Denied access to a litter box can lead to them relieving themselves elsewhere, such as your favourite couch or in your cupboard. But if two litter boxes were placed at opposite ends of the house, stalking is cut off and this makes it impossible for a cat to guard both boxes at the same time. A third box, meanwhile, can be placed somewhere between the two boxes or in another room. This allows your cats to feel more secure about where they go about their business.

Scooping daily is good for your cat’s health: You want to make sure your cat has a clean box of litter as often as possible to help minimise two medical problems: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) or the more life-threatening urinary blockage called Feline Urethral Obstruction (FUO). Yes it is a dirty job, but scooping your cat’s waste daily from their litter boxes can help prevent serious health risks and contamination to your cat’s kidneys and urinary tract. It also helps prevent the spread of disease to you and the rest of your family.



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