When you have multiple cats, it is likely that you will need multiple litter boxes. Litter boxes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors to suit every cat and home. Some modern litter boxes have sides, are covered, or are made of disposable materials.
Litter box systems have gained popularity as well in recent years and now cat owners everywhere have options much more exciting than a plain rectangular box. When buying a litter box for multiple cats to use, getting a larger size may be the best option.
Modern litter boxes have entry points for your cat on the side, front, or top. Many are covered, or have some kind of lightweight door. Raised sides and color options are also common. If you and your cat prefer the traditional rectangular pan without the frills, that is still available as well.
Whichever litter box you decide on, be sure to have enough of them so that there is one more than the number of cats in your household. Cats are not always good about sharing their litter boxes, and they may at some point require different litter than the other resident cats.
In This Article...
- What is the Best Litter Box for Multiple Cats?
- Your Cats and Their Litter Box
- How Often Do I Need to Replace My Litter Box?
- What Are Litter Boxes Made From?
- What Should I Look for In a Litter Box?
- What Makes One Litter Box Better Than Another?
- Best Multi-Cat Litter Boxes in 2023
What is the Best Litter Box for Multiple Cats?
Your Cats and Their Litter Box
The most common reason adopted cats are returned to the shelter is for failing to use their litter box. Not only is this heartbreaking, but finding the right litter box setup for your cat can be frustrating if they are picky. Having litter boxes for multiple cats can make the issue more complicated.
If you have purchased your cat a litter box and they won’t use it, try moving it to a slightly quieter location. Cat’s typically prefer their litter box to be in a somewhat private space away from foot traffic, other cats, and loud noises.
Your cat may also have a preference for the kind of cat litter that you put in their litter box. When cats don’t like the litter in their litter box they are likely to do their business in other parts of the house. Trying new litter in the litter box should clear up the issue.
How Often Do I Need to Replace My Litter Box?
How often you will need to replace your litter box may vary based on the habits of your cat, however, the general rule is about once a year. Many cat owners try to remember to change it on a day that they can easily remember such as their cat’s birthday.
When cleaning the litter box, make sure to look at the sides, bottom, and any other part of it that your cat may come in contact with. Plastic is a very durable material; however, cat waste can degrade the plastic over time and cause the material to weaken or become rough.
The degrading plastic in the litter box may also irritate the paws and nose of your friendly cat. Eventually, smells soak in that can’t be washed out with regular litter box cleaning. If your cat’s litter box smells dirty even after a fresh cleaning, it may be time to consider getting a new litter box.
What Are Litter Boxes Made From?
Most modern litter boxes intended for long-term use will be made from some kind of plastic. Plastic is an ideal material for this purpose as it is easy to clean, long lasting, and durable. Many plastic litter boxes are also treated with antimicrobial treatments designed to reduce the bacteria that live on the surface.
The top or cover of a litter box will almost certainly be made of plastic as well and may include a latching mechanism to attach it to a base. Other litter box lids simply sit on the base and are easily removed for cleaning.
Some litter boxes are made from recycled materials, making them eco-friendlier. Odor technology has also improved and many boxes are now treated to resist odors for a certain amount of time.
Disposable litter boxes are great for when you travel with your cat, and allow you to dispose of the box at your convenience. Many disposable litter boxes are made from recycled materials and also contain added extras like baking soda for odor protection.
Disposable litter boxes are most often made from paper, and more easily degrade in a landfill. Unless noted on the package, they may not be suitable for composting.
What Should I Look for In a Litter Box?
When looking for a new litter box you may be overwhelmed at first by the number of choices. Many litter boxes on the market offer different features or colors to suit the needs of every household.
If you have multiple cats, getting larger sized litter boxes, and litter boxes that are antimicrobial may help cut down on odors and cleaning. Keep in mind what your cat is used to using, and consider these factors when thinking about a new litter box.
Litter boxes are generally inexpensive, but be sure to choose one that feels sturdy and is made of thicker material. Thin plastic litter boxes may be less expensive at the time or purchase, but they often break sooner than a better-made box.
Your cat will also be putting pressure on the sides of the litter box as they paw through litter and do their business. A litter box that is thin and easily cracked could potentially injure your cat.
A litter box that will stand up to regular scrubbing is a necessity even if you only have one cat. For those that have multiple cats, more frequent cleaning of the litter box may be needed, and something durable enough to handle the extra scrubbing is ideal.
Most, if not all, litter boxes designed for long-term use will be made of some kind of plastic that is easily cleaned. Plastic is typically a slightly porous material, and it is unavoidable that smells will start to stick at some point during the life of the box.
Your litter box should be made from a material that is sturdy feeling. A thicker plastic box with little to no give when you press on the sides is your best option. With several designs available, finding an easy to clean litter box shouldn’t be a problem.
There are also disposable litter boxes designed for travel that are made from materials that degrade. They are typically made from some kind of paper or recycled materials and are generally landfill friendly.
Disposable litter boxes are inexpensive but won’t stand up to cleaning in the same way a traditional plastic litter box will. They are designed for short-term use by one or more cats.
When choosing a litter box, you may be surprised to see that new designs have changed where the cat enters their litter box. Top entry litter boxes resemble a large plastic tub with a rectangular hole in the top which allows the cat privacy, keeps out dogs, and helps keep down the mess.
Conventional litter boxes still have the cat enter from the front, and some are without a cover to allow for entry from any exposed side of the box. Whichever design you choose, transitioning your cat gradually will help them adjust to the new box.
Covered or Uncovered
Cat owners have the choice of covered or uncovered boxes, and many homes with multiple cats will have both. Covered boxes provide your cat more privacy, but also help keep more litter and dust inside the box.
Some cats do not like using a covered box, but owners can rest easy knowing there is another option. Many litter boxes come with sides that extend upwards, which also help to keep litter and dust in without making your cat feel trapped.
What Makes One Litter Box Better Than Another?
Ultimately, the best litter box will be the one that your cat will happily use most consistently. Some cats are pickier than others when it comes to their litter box, and some do not do well with changes to their litter box.
Consider the litter boxes that would be best for your cats and their needs. If you have a senior cat that has mobility issues, a litter box with a drop-in entry on the top may not be ideal. If you have a large cat, consider a larger litter box that is either covered or has higher sides.
The best litter boxes for multiple cats are more sturdy, and stand up better to cleaning. This will allow you to keep your cats’ litter box fresh without the box breaking prematurely. Litter boxes vary in size somewhat, so make sure to choose one large enough for all of the cats that will be using it.
A covered litter box is often preferred by cat owners as it helps cut down on the mess around the litter box and holds in more of the dust and smell. Look for a litter box that has been treated with some kind of microbial treatment to further eliminate odor-producing bacteria between cleanings.
Many cat owners choose litter boxes in a color or style to match their home decor. Having a litter box that blends in may be important to some, while others will opt for the most durable and long-lasting litter box they can find.
Best Multi-Cat Litter Boxes in 2023
|Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box||$$||
|Petmate Hooded Litter Pan Set||$$||
Litter boxes have come a long way in recent years and cat owners everywhere seem to be enjoying the perks of new designs. No matter how much, or how little, space you want to dedicate to your cat’s litter box, there are options that will fit and even enhance your home.
Nature’s Miracle Jumbo Disposable Cat Litter Box
A disposable cat box is not the kind you would want to use consistently with your cat, but when traveling or on the go, it can be a lifesaver. Nature’s Miracle makes these earth-friendly litter boxes with baking soda to help absorb odors wherever you are.
When finished with these disposable litter boxes you can simply throw them in the trash as they are made out of paper and other recycled materials that are landfill friendly. These are suitable for multi-cat households, and even larger sized cats.
- Disposable, and landfill friendly
- Contains baking soda for odor control
- Big enough for large cats
- Suitable for multiple cats
- Only 2 litter boxes per pack
- Ridges on the inside make scooping difficult
Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box
This litter box made by Nature’s Miracle is unique as not many litter boxes are made to fit the corners of rooms. The non-stick interior sheds clumps easily and means less scrubbing when cleaning out the litter box.
The cover on this box includes a charcoal filter that lasts 3 months before needing to be replaced. The litter box can be used with or without the cover.
- 3 Month Charcoal Filter
- Non-stick interior
- Space saving shape
- Difficult to scoop corners
- Slightly oversized
Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan
The Petmate Top Entry Litter pan is designed to keep dogs from getting into the litter box. The entry is placed on the top and cats simply drop in to use their litter box. The attached lid folds away for easy cleaning and includes a hook where you can hang the litter scoop.
The generous size of the interior of this litter box gives cats plenty of room to move around. It has a large entry point on the top that makes it easy for your cat to come and go. The texture on the top of the lid helps to trap litter and limit tracking around the litter box.
- Generous size with wide top opening
- Built-in hook for scoop, and handles for pouring out litter
- Made in the USA
- 95% recycled materials
- May not keep larger dogs out of the litter box
- Cats may need to be taught how to access it
Petmate Hooded Litter Pan Set
This hooded litter box by Petmate is made from plastic treated with Microban to reduce the number of bacteria that can cause odors in the box. It has a spacious entrance and a removable hood that is secured with 4 snappable locks.
The design helps to prevent spills and has a reinforced bottom with molded feet. Its large enough for bigger cats, and the raised back helps to hold in the litter.
- Reinforced design with molded feet for extra stability
- Locking hood to prevent spills
- Spacious enough for large cats
- Plastic is treated with Microban
- Construction feels somewhat cheap
- Snaps do not hold very well