Overall, owning a cat is an extremely joyful experience, however, the one thing that every cat owner will agree on, is that having to clear out your cat’s litter box is absolutely terrible, and is quite easily the worst part about sharing your house with a feline friend.
Even worse still, is if you happen to own two or more cats, as cleaning out multiple litter trays at once is a chore, and smells disgusting too.
It’s unfortunately one of the things we must do if it means we get to share our company with these adorable creatures, but if you own multiple cats, do you ever wonder if there’s any easier way to organize your litter boxes?
For example, could your cats share a litter box with each other? It would make cleaning up much easier and would take up less space, so is it possible to do?
So, if you want to find out whether or not cats can share a litter box, then keep reading onwards, as we’ll provide you with all of the litter box information you need to know!
Litter Box Golden Rule
Before we begin to explain exactly what the deal is with cats and sharing litter boxes, there’s actually a litter box golden rule when it comes to cats, and that is that there should be one litter box for each cat, plus one extra.
And although it is possible for you to simply have one litter box per cat, this golden rule actually makes your litter boxes much more hygienic, and easier to clean, as well as reducing the chances of your cats fighting. Allow us to explain
Why Should Cats Have Their Own Litterbox
As helpful as it would be for your cats to be able to share a litterbox, there are a couple of reasons why you should ensure that your cats at least have one litterbox to themselves each, although ideally you should follow the golden rule, and have 2 litter boxes per cat.
Arguably the most important reason why multiple cats should never share the same litter box is due to hygiene.
If two cats or more are making use of the same litter box, then the litter box is going to fill up much, much faster than it would if just a single cat was using it, which means that it will need cleaning more, otherwise, it would quickly begin to overfill, and smell!
So, if you happened to be away from home for an extended period of time in the day and were unable to clean the litter box, it might mean that the cats would stop using the litter box, and would instead just poo anywhere they liked.
But this isn’t the only issue, as having that much faeces lying around could also lead to the spread of harmful bacteria, which could be dangerous to your cats.
Another reason why you should never let two cats share a litter box is that it can cause some behavioral problems.
By nature, cats are extremely territorial animals, and by making them have to share their litter box with another cat, you might be causing them stress and anxiety, which will ultimately lead to your cats fighting, which no one wants to happen!
There are numerous ways that this could lead to problematic behavior too, for example, the more dominant cat might prevent the others from using the litter box altogether, which would force your cats to urinate and poo in parts of the home that you wouldn’t want them to.
Or even worse, it might lead your cats to delay their urination, which could cause serious health problems over time, especially with their kidneys.
Can They Share A Self-Cleaning Litter Box?
You might think that if you have a self-cleaning litter box, that your cats might be able to share it without you having to worry about the additional pile-up of faecal matter, and there would therefore be less of a chance of any health issues flaring up too, right?
Well, this unfortunately is not the case as there’s a good chance that these self-cleaning litter boxes actually wouldn’t be able to keep up with the amount of mess that would need clearing up, so the spread of bacteria could still pose a problem to your cats’ health, as well as the territorial behavior that would still ensure as well.
Litter Box Placement
The placement of your cat’s litter boxes is also important too, since your cats should have separate litter boxes anyways, having all of your cats’ litter boxes in the same space ultimately defeats the purpose of them not sharing a litter box in the first place, and it could still lead to territorial behavior and fighting.
For the best results, you should try to keep the litter boxes in entirely separate areas in your house, and a middle litter box between the two of them would be a good idea as well.
It’s understandable that this might be a hard task in a smaller home, but it’s the best way to ensure that your cat is using the litter boxes as much as possible.
You should try to make sure that the spots you pick for your cat’s litter boxes are private and quiet areas, as well as being accessible for them too.
If one litter box is in a better location than the other, you’ll likely find that your cats will fight for the use of the better litter box, so you should make sure that both litter boxes are in decent locations.
So to summarize, you should absolutely not make your cats share litter boxes with each other, as it can lead to both hygienic and behavioral problems in your cats, so make sure they have their own litter boxes!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.