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Can our cat make do with just one litter box?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Make that do-do.

We own a rambler style home (finished up stairs and finished downstairs). We've had our cat for about 2 months. He's a 9 month old male that we picked up from a shelter. To accommodate our new cat we've had two litter boxes, one for up stairs and another for down stairs. He spends most of his time up stairs -- it's really more like a 60/40 percent split. To reduce costs, we're thinking of eliminating one of the litter boxes. Both litter boxes get used but the up stairs box doesn't get used all that much compared to the downstairs box. Will our kitty get use to doing his job in one place or are we setting ourselves up for accidents?
post #2 of 27
IMO, only using one box is asking for trouble. You don't know how your kitty will do - you may well end up with a cat who has accidents - and once accidents start it's harder to get a kitty back to using the box. I'd keep both - even if it is a bit more pricey - it's not worth bad LB habits.
post #3 of 27
I'm having a hard time seeing how an extra litter box costs any more than having one, once you own the box. If you scoop it, no more litter will be used in two boxes than in one. The cat has a finite output, after all!
post #4 of 27
I am in a 2 story home and have one receptacle--a Litter Robot---downstairs. Three cats happily use it.

When I added each of my two youngest cats, I would keep a conventional box upstairs as well during their adjustment period. Once I observed they were using the Robot, I'd remove the conventional box.

I've had ZERO accidents. I'd say it's worth a try!

Cally
post #5 of 27
What type of litter are you using and how often are you doing a complete change?

I can see how one box is less costly than two--a second box requires filling and litter costs money.

Jack only had two boxes in our apartment one on each floor--he had two until age 11 months. We have two boxes now for two cats and they are side by side in the basement.

Leslie
post #6 of 27
Both Nora and Milo like to poop in one box and pee in the other. Nora uses one box for poop and the other for pee, and Milo does the opposite. lol They are side by side in our laundry room. We definitely use a lot more litter with two boxes than we ever did with just one for Gus.
post #7 of 27
When I just had Riley, I only had one box and he was fine. However, since your cat is used to having 2 boxes now, going to just one might upset him. Riley only ever had one box.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
It will be interesting to see what happens -- but maybe not so pleasant.

I am hoping he'll use just the one box down stairs since that's where he does most of his pooping.

As for litter costs, it is expensive to have both. Not only that, but it's a hassle to maintain two of them at the same time (one up and one down). If we can get him to used to using just one of the boxes, it would make me happy. If we start to see accidents we'll go back to the two. I think it's worth the try but I wanted to get your valuable input.
post #9 of 27
I've always been pretty lucky in that my cats aren't terribly picky about litter boxes or who they share them with but then I keep my boxes very clean. Personally, I'd try for one but be prepared if he doesn't comply and don't punish him if he goes where his old box was. Some battles aren't worth fighting.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
It will be interesting to see what happens -- but maybe not so pleasant.

I am hoping he'll use just the one box down stairs since that's where he does most of his pooping.

As for litter costs, it is expensive to have both. Not only that, but it's a hassle to maintain two of them at the same time (one up and one down). If we can get him to used to using just one of the boxes, it would make me happy. If we start to see accidents we'll go back to the two. I think it's worth the try but I wanted to get your valuable input.
I don't really see how it's more expensive to use 2? Are you using scoopable litter? If so, the only cost I can see is for the box itself, and the original fill of the litter....but beyond that, you're either scooping the one (lone) box twice as much and therefore replacing with more litter......or scooping each one less, thereby using less litter, thereby having to add less litter to each box. Seems it would all work out even in the end.

Not sure where you buy your litter, if you buy expensive stuff....but places like Walmart sell very very reasonably priced scooping litter (their brand is "Special Kitty") - comes in big 40 lb boxes, here in Canada it's about $8 a box, that would last a long time for one cat (I have 5, so I'm comparing). It comes in a variety of types: scented, non-scented, multi-cat, one with baking soda, etc..all scoopable.

Plus, I've found that if you start off putting ENOUGH scoopable litter in a box, it helps with usage. I really fill my boxes to start out with.......3-4 inches high.......as high as possible......that way when kitty pees, there is less chance the urine will make it's way to bottom of the box/greater chance it will form a nice round clump.....and then you end up using less.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
I don't really see how it's more expensive to use 2? Are you using scoopable litter? If so, the only cost I can see is for the box itself, and the original fill of the litter....but beyond that, you're either scooping the one (lone) box twice as much and therefore replacing with more litter......or scooping each one less, thereby using less litter, thereby having to add less litter to each box. Seems it would all work out even in the end.

Not sure where you buy your litter, if you buy expensive stuff....but places like Walmart sell very very reasonably priced scooping litter (their brand is "Special Kitty") - comes in big 40 lb boxes, here in Canada it's about $8 a box, that would last a long time for one cat (I have 5, so I'm comparing). It comes in a variety of types: scented, non-scented, multi-cat, one with baking soda, etc..all scoopable.

Plus, I've found that if you start off putting ENOUGH scoopable litter in a box, it helps with usage. I really fill my boxes to start out with.......3-4 inches high.......as high as possible......that way when kitty pees, there is less chance the urine will make it's way to bottom of the box/greater chance it will form a nice round clump.....and then you end up using less.

Your thinking is correct on this to a degree, but I'm still certain that with two boxes we'd still be using more litter than what's necessary. The down stairs box is fairly large, the upstairs box a little smaller. The thing is, he's just not using the up stairs box enough each day to justify keeping it there. Most of his poop is down stairs in that box, adding the up stairs poop to the down stair's box still wouldn't fill the down stair's box. Right now, when we change out the litter boxes each week or so, we're throwing out two boxes of litter and refilling them. I want to decrease that to just the one larger box. I feel it will accommodate him just fine -- I hope.

The second issue that I have is the inconvenience of maintaining two different boxes. If I can consolidate it to one box that would be wonderful.
post #12 of 27
If he is used to two, keep it. Some cats need two litterboxes, I wouldn't chance litterbox issues by taking it away if he is going like he should in both. If accidents occur they may become habit and you may not be able to find them all, so he will keep going there since he can smell it If it ain't broke.....
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
But, like I say, if it becomes a problem (the one litter box is getting too full each day or he starts pooping on the floor) we'll switch back quickly to the two boxes.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
If accidents occur they may become habit and you may not be able to find them all, so he will keep going there since he can smell it If it ain't broke.....

That is a concern I have. We'll have to speak to him about not doing that.
post #15 of 27
You are completely dumping every week? That seems like a lot. I only completely dump once a month. I fill with about 4 inches at the beginning of the month and scoop once or twice a day, refilling usually once a week. I use about 40lbs a month 20lbs in each box.

Leslie
post #16 of 27
I dump weekly. I can't imagine my litter lasting a month! I did just switch to crystals and have found they're lasting longer. Yeah!!!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
Make that do-do.

We own a rambler style home (finished up stairs and finished downstairs). We've had our cat for about 2 months. He's a 9 month old male that we picked up from a shelter. To accommodate our new cat we've had two litter boxes, one for up stairs and another for down stairs. He spends most of his time up stairs -- it's really more like a 60/40 percent split. To reduce costs, we're thinking of eliminating one of the litter boxes. Both litter boxes get used but the up stairs box doesn't get used all that much compared to the downstairs box. Will our kitty get use to doing his job in one place or are we setting ourselves up for accidents?
There used to be only Persi. One cat, one floor, one litterbox. Then came Alley. Two cats, one box, zero problems. Then baby Shelby comes to live with us for a couple months. Shelby had her own box but would not use it. She wanted to follow the big cats into their box. Three cats. One box. No misses. Shelby moves away. Back to two cats and one box. Some time later the cats are uprooted and start living in a hotel. One cat then gets quarantined. Then both end up living in a strange home for a month. Back to one box. And then the ultimate, we move to a three story home. We decide to press our luck. Two cats, three floors, one box and zero misses in six months. One hundred percent true.
post #18 of 27
Lucky needs two boxes.... one is in the bathroom, and the other is in the hallway close to my room. They are somewhat close to each other, but she does use both of them. She usually poops in one, and pees in the other.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
You are completely dumping every week? That seems like a lot. I only completely dump once a month. I fill with about 4 inches at the beginning of the month and scoop once or twice a day, refilling usually once a week. I use about 40lbs a month 20lbs in each box.

Leslie
No. We completely dump the litter about every 3 weeks. That would get expensive. We clean out the litter boxes once a day. I mislead on the weekly statement. That is incorrect.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Lucky needs two boxes.... one is in the bathroom, and the other is in the hallway close to my room. They are somewhat close to each other, but she does use both of them. She usually poops in one, and pees in the other.

You may want to try and consolidate into one box.

Knock on wood, no accidents today.
post #21 of 27
I've only got one cat, & one litter box. But only have a small one story house. Never been a problem. I think if I had a 2 story house I'd have one on each level.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
You may want to try and consolidate into one box.

Knock on wood, no accidents today.
Well, That is how she started... until the day I lit a cigarette in the house, she rebelled and started peeing on my area rug. What helped the most was to add another litter box... I don't mind... I rather give her the two boxes than having her peeing on my area rug. That's what works for her, so it is what works for me too!
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Well, That is how she started... until the day I lit a cigarette in the house, she rebelled and started peeing on my area rug. What helped the most was to add another litter box... I don't mind... I rather give her the two boxes than having her peeing on my area rug. That's what works for her, so it is what works for me too!
Oh those darn anti-smoking cats, I tell you LOL

One of my cats used to detest my ashtray. He would jump up onto the coffee table and make that "burying motion" with his paw, right in front of the ashtray....as if he were burying something in his litterbox. What a goofball.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
Oh those darn anti-smoking cats, I tell you LOL

One of my cats used to detest my ashtray. He would jump up onto the coffee table and make that "burying motion" with his paw, right in front of the ashtray....as if he were burying something in his litterbox. What a goofball.
I know!!!! She peed right under the coffee table, exactly underneath the ashtray.... very casually, looking at me as though she was saying "Is this war? oh yeah? here is something for you to smell!" Little brat! no smoking for me after this lesson!
post #25 of 27
I have one kitty and he has two boxes, one in the bathroom and one in the utility room. My kitty uses both his boxes and although we never had problems when he had one box, I felt that it was good to have options!!! We use a good litter, I can't remember the name but we use that one bag in a month and it costs about £8. It is clumping which I think goes a bit further and lasts ages. I haven't used anymore litter in terms of having to buy more so I am not worried about the cost. I also clean out both litter boxes every week. I don't fill the litterbox up with litter as he just kicks it all over the side But there is a good 3 inch layer of litter. Two boxes for one cat is just an option, whatever works for you and your kitty i guess!!! Good luck
post #26 of 27
at our house we dump our litter every 2 weeks and replace with new stuff :|
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
Right now, when we change out the litter boxes each week or so, we're throwing out two boxes of litter and refilling them. I want to decrease that to just the one larger box. I feel it will accommodate him just fine -- I hope.
Odds are that one box for one kitty will be fine.

However, two boxes really shouldn't cost any more. If you change one box every three weeks, you should be able to go six weeks between changes with two boxes -- although you might be changing one every 4 weeks and one every 8 weeks depending on usage.

If you scoop every day, you are going to be changing the litter constantly. I use the large size Omega Paws boxes starting with about 25 pounds of clumping litter in each. The box that gets the heavy usage can go a month. The box that gets the light usage can go two months. If I swap the two halfway thru, I can change them both every six weeks.
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