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Maximum cats per litterbox

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know that some of you say one. But when Alley came to live here, she started using the same BIG litterbox as Persi. Simple solution. Use twice as much litter and scoop twice as often. When we got little Shelby she had her own litterbox but Persi started training her to go in the big litter box and she never uses hers. Right now three cats are using the same litterbox. So, 2 1/2 times the litter and 2 1/2 times the scooping, right? I mean as long as everybody is happy should there be a reason to force them to use separate litterboxes?
post #2 of 19
Well, I have 13 cats using only 4 litterboxes. While that may sound bad, I am home all day and keep them scooped out at all times, and when I had more boxes they weren't getting used. No one seems to have any problems with it.
post #3 of 19
My 3 share 1 box, but it's a large platic storage container.

If you're cats are fine with sharing a box, then go with that
post #4 of 19
If your kitties are happy with the situation, stick with it - but, if accidents start happening, pick up some more litter boxes after calling the vet. The general rule of thumb seems to be one box per cat, plus one - as well as having at least one box on each level of a multi-level home. I have two cats and just have two boxes - big, open Rubbermaid boxes that I clean at least twice a day. If I had more room, I'd probably go with another box, but you can only do what you can.
post #5 of 19
You mean that people actually try to have a cat use a specific box? Mine all share. 12 cats use the 6 oversized boxes that I have.
post #6 of 19
My two boys share one
We used to have two, but they always go in the same one anyways
We have a large rubbermaid container that they use so its quite large & works well
post #7 of 19
Lee i've got 3 of these but my 3 cats only really use two of them?.

post #8 of 19
Well, while I would love it if one cat would only use one box (so much easier to identify samples for the vet!), I think the idea is more that some cats will prefer to poo in one box, and pee in the other (that's my Dante!), if there's an equal number of boxes and cats, theoretically no one would ever have to wait in line, and that if there's a box on every level, no one ever gets caught far from a box (especially as they get older and may have trouble with stairs).

But, there's no accounting for taste - some cats love covered boxes, some hate them, some are picky re litter and some aren't. Geez, if they could just talk!
post #9 of 19
I have 3 cats and 2 boxes, but the one of them they dont use at all, its just there in case!! I dont know why they all use the same one, nothing spectacular about it, but they do. My BooBoo shows them how, and they never think twice about the other one!
post #10 of 19
I have (7) Cats and 8 Boxes ( 3 of them are the Electric Self Cleaning ones--VERY NICE but $89.00 a piece ) of the other 5 -- 3 are open and 2 are covered.
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
Lee i've got 3 of these but my 3 cats only really use two of them?.

I have 2 boxes similar to that for our 2 cats. If we move to a smaller apartment in April we might try going to 1 box, and keeping the second as a spare for if we go out of town. But if we have room I'd like to keep 2 boxes out. They stay cleaner. The apartment we have now is 2 floors, and we need to have a box on each floor.
post #12 of 19
I would not force them to use other litter pans. If everyone is ok with using the same one and you clean/scoop often then don't worry. If you start having problems, then go get another pan.

So far Ling and Charlie have no problems sharing one big litter pan. I have a few others (for shows) if necessary. It depends on the cats involved.

I've had as many as 6-7 adult cats (and a litter of kittens) using 4 litter pans with no problems.
post #13 of 19
Yep, I think if they are happy using the same box, and you are giving them an option of more boxes and they aren't interested..that is fine

The issue with all the boxes I think mostly is so the cats are happy..but yours seem happy this way
post #14 of 19
I have no idea where that the number of litter boxes should be one more than the number of cats.... I know of nobody who does that, and nobody who needs to.

As long as the boxes don't get too full or smelly before you get a chance to clean them, you have enough. I have 3 ats, and 2 large covered litter boxes with deep clumping litter. Even if it's been 24 hours since the last scoop, it doesn't smell, and the kitties don't seem too grossed out.
post #15 of 19
I've heard of the concept of the 'ideal' number of boxes equal to the number of cats, plus one, from my vet, the shelter manager where I got my babies, the manager at my local Petsmart, and, from reading books by cat behaviorists such as Johnson-Bennett and reading the Cornell and Tufts cat newsletters, CatWatch and Catnip. I'm pretty sure Dr. Elsey's (sp? - the Cat Attract vet) booklet says that too, but not sure.

Now, I myself only have two boxes for two cats - and, of course, the key is whatever number of boxes works for your cats is what you need to go with. But, one thing I learned from experience is that when you have litter box issues, the boxes can never be too clean and it never hurts to add another box on, just as an experiment - and whatever litter kitty likes, that's the one you're going to buy! What can I say, my boy is very picky - my girl would use any sort of box and any sort of litter, but that's not true of my boy. Oh, well, he's sweet anyway. Just expensive tastes.
post #16 of 19
If they are happy sharing I wouldnt worry about it.

I have four in the foster area. They all use them all. I think they like a little variety.

My own personal cats must have their own or my lovely girls will start pooping and peeing everywhere!

Skye doesnt like sharing with Calamity and Calamity doesnt want anyone even coming near her litter box.

I actually have four upstairs too. One was Sundances , one spare one and then each girl has their one. The spare one seems to be neutral ground and they both use it with no problem. So I dont get it.
post #17 of 19
I think the 'one more box than kitty' rule came from a standard size litterbox being used...which is the tiniest thing I've ever seen!

I have 6 kitties sharing 2 giatn(over 2x the size of the 18 gal) rubbmaid tubs. I've got one 18 gal in a complete different room just in case, which is used. The 2 giant rubermaid tubs are in the same room, but far opposite corners.

I've got 3 kitties sharing one giant lb upstairs.
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post

I think you may have embarrassed Jack a little with that pic!

We have 2 boxes for 2 cats. They use both boxes equally and neither cat uses one more than the other. They are located in opposite sides of the apartment. We currently have one covered box and one uncovered. We need to get another covered one or something...there is always litter everywhere by that box!
post #19 of 19
If it works and everyone is happy, why try to change it? You will have to clean more often and would still keep a 2nd box around just in case.

I have 2 cats and 2 boxes, 1 covered and 1 uncovered. The covered one is the only one Mattie will use (I've seen her use uncovered ones, but only when the covered wasn't available). It's in "her" spot. Chloe uses it too, but Chloe has her own litterbox that she sometimes uses. I have to scoop and change the litter of the covered box much more frequently because it gets used so much more often.

I think the "one box per cat plus one extra" rule is good for starting out with and especially for people who have cats with litter box use issues, but after a certain # of cats you just don't need that many boxes. Also, if the cats are happy, then you don't need to change it.
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