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4 cats - how many litter boxes should I have?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

I currently have two which I clean daily. I know that you should probably have at least two boxes for one cat - so does that mean I should have more for my four?

 

Advice would be great!! Thanks. heart.gif

post #2 of 52

The consensus seems to be one litterbox per cat +1.   2 cats, 3 boxes.  4 cats, 5 boxes.

 

IMO, the boxes don't have to be in five separate places though.  I have two litterstations for my four boxes, and they've been good kitties and save for one accident right in front of the door (think he turned around mid #2 to dig more), have had no issues to date.  *knocks on wood*  smile.gif

post #3 of 52
IMO, it depends on the size of the boxes & location. I currently have 7 cats with 4 litterboxes. They are 20 gal Rubbermaid tubs. One on the main floor, the other three in their 'kitty litter bedroom'. For my cats the set-up works.....but you have to watch if you have a 'littlerbox attacker'. You don't want one cat cornering another, preventing them from using the cat box.

Once I get more settled into the house, I'll be adding in at least 3 more cat boxes. But for now there are areas the cats aren't allowed for their safety.
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post

The consensus seems to be one litterbox per cat +1.   2 cats, 3 boxes.  4 cats, 5 boxes.

 

IMO, the boxes don't have to be in five separate places though.  I have two litterstations for my four boxes, and they've been good kitties and save for one accident right in front of the door (think he turned around mid #2 to dig more), have had no issues to date.  *knocks on wood*  smile.gif



Thank you so much for your fast reply! That helps me a lot. Guess I gotta invest in a few more boxes eh. laughing02.gif

My cats used to poop in my mom's plants before they were completely litter trained. She wasn't too happy with me, let me tell ya! crackup.gif They haven't had any accidents since then either and I'm pretty sure it'll stay that way!

post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post

IMO, it depends on the size of the boxes & location. I currently have 7 cats with 4 litterboxes. They are 20 gal Rubbermaid tubs. One on the main floor, the other three in their 'kitty litter bedroom'. For my cats the set-up works.....but you have to watch if you have a 'littlerbox attacker'. You don't want one cat cornering another, preventing them from using the cat box.
Once I get more settled into the house, I'll be adding in at least 3 more cat boxes. But for now there are areas the cats aren't allowed for their safety.


Okay, thank you! I have my litterboxes side by side and the boys don't seem to have a problem with it, but should I put the other boxes in different places, like spread them out amongst the house? Or would it be okay to put them with the ones I already have?

post #6 of 52
I have six boxes spread throughout the house for eight cats, and I clean all of them morning and evening. I think few people in normal houses would really manage more! There are two in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, and three in the hall and landings. I don't like having one in the living room - I have tried it but my guests always remark on it however often I clean it. All the boxes are covered, which the cats are fine with and I think does reduce smell and spill.
post #7 of 52
I do have one litterbox per cat + 1 (in 3 different locations). . .and I have 20 cats! laughing02.gif. But I think that most people with a lot of cats can get by with fewer than that, as long as they scoop frequently (at least once a day without fail). For 4 cats I would recommend at least 3 boxes in at least 2 different locations, if at all possible. More is always better, though, don't ever worry about having too many litterboxes.

If buying new litterboxes is breaking the bank (I can't believe what they charge for them at pet stores), you can modify a Sterilite/Rubbermaid tote to make a good litterbox. I like the 18-gallon high totes, but they have all sizes and shapes so you have your pick.
post #8 of 52
For my 6 cats, I have 5 boxes. They are big Sterilite storage boxes with the covers removed. Three are in the basement, next to each other. These have sides about 5" high. The other two are on the main floor, next to each other, and their sides are about 10"high. I scoop once a day.

This works for us with no problems and no bad smells. Litter is about 2" deep. I use a corn litter, very much like WBCL.


Robin
Edited by bastetservant - 11/21/11 at 5:35pm
post #9 of 52
I have six cats and five extra large open litter boxes. I scoop three to four times daily. I know I scoop more than the average person, but I like the boxes clean for them and I think they like it that way too. I even think I could get away with four boxes since I scoop so much but I like to have one on the main floor in my foster room. It does get some use but not as much as the four downstairs. wavey.gif
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 

Awesome!!!! Thank you so much everyone!

 

I plan on getting them another litterbox today (payday! 26.giflol) and the litterboxes are quite large also.

post #11 of 52

We have seven cats and five litterboxes. They're all fairly big boxes. Four of them have regular clay litter; the fifth contains scoopable.

 

I know that the standard is one per cat, plus one, which means we should have eight litterboxes. But I don't know where I'd put eight boxes! Our house is small and we simply don't have the room. I scoop twice a day, every day, and we clean the boxes out once a week without fail. So far, and I'm knocking on wood here, we've had no problems. The kids are wonderful about using their boxes.

post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4zyc4tl4dy View Post

Awesome!!!! Thank you so much everyone!

 

I plan on getting them another litterbox today (payday! 26.giflol) and the litterboxes are quite large also.



If you don't mind the price and use a good clumping litter, I highly recommend a sifting litter box.   Its just SO much easier not having to scoop.

 

This is a new one I haven't tried but looks cool ($60):

http://www.littersystem.com/

 

The most popular one on ebay that I have four of are these, and I like mine ($30):

http://www.amazon.com/Omega-Paw-Self-Cleaning-Litter-Pewter/dp/B005E2S77C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322059127&sr=8-1   (also available in green; definitely get the large for normal size cats)

 

So much less work:

 

Another helpful trick since all plastics are slightly porous is to just use some PAM antistick spray and lightly spray your new box.    As we all know, moisture and oil won't mix, and so it prevents pee clumps and such from sticking to the plastic, and since its just food its perfectly safe.  smile.gif

post #13 of 52

It definitely depends on what kind of boxes you have.  This board knows my litter woes far too well, haha!  I had three boxes for three cats, just normal large-sized uncovered boxes that sat right next to each other in a row in the bathroom.  The litter was a nightmare - I would come close to tears because of the mess, smell, and frustration.  That was even though I had a box for each cat.  After combining some tips I got from several people on the board, I went with a large Sterilite tub with the cover on and a hole cut in the top.  (This. Works. Fabulously.) 

 

So now I just have one box for three kittens (though two of those kittens - 8 months old - are probably bigger than some people's grown cats, at more than 11 pounds!), which violates all the cat rules in the book but it works for us. I've since moved the litter out of the bathroom but even when it was still in there, the smell decreased dramatically, the amount of litter on the floor decreased dramatically, the work required to clean it up decreased dramatically.  I think the biggest difference is the level of the litter - I chuck it full, almost halfway up, maybe four inches.  It's difficult for them to dig down to the bottom so the urine just clumps into a neat little ball. I clean it once a day and everyone's happy (especially me).

 

Your choice of litter will probably make a huge difference, too.  I was using Dr. Elsey's in the uncovered boxes, when I switched to the tub I started off with Tidy Cats which was okay but I hated, hated, hated the scent and it never seems to dissipate or fade.  I gave it up and tried Swheat Scoop, and I absolutely love it!  Other than when there's a fresh poo, there is never a smell - even one time when my dad was in the hospital and I didn't clean it until the 2nd day.  I also love that it's flushable and that it's natural, no chemicals like clay litter.

 

Anyway, all of that to say this: You can have the "right" number of boxes, like I did, and still have a litter nightmare, or you can have fewer boxes than you're supposed to, and have a well-functioning, hygienic system that makes everyone happy.  For what it's worth, I'm moving soon and plan to put in a 2nd tub - but that still puts me at 2 fewer than the "correct" number.  Play around with your system until you find something that works for you and the cats.  As long as the litter is clean, scooped daily, and the cats are using it happily without any signs of avoidance, I think you'll be okay.

post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsleysage View Post

I gave it up and tried Swheat Scoop, and I absolutely love it!  Other than when there's a fresh poo, there is never a smell - even one time when my dad was in the hospital and I didn't clean it until the 2nd day.  I also love that it's flushable and that it's natural, no chemicals like clay litter.

Yup, and you can give yourself an extra pat on the back since its made from renewable resources, is biodegradable, and doesn't contribute to landfills or strip-mining operations (clay unfortunately is typically close to the surface layer so a small deep mine doesn't work and large plots of land have to be stripped which also naturally removes the topsoil for plants to grow on later).  

http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/50/1/Cat-litter-and-strip-mining.html

http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/files/2009/06/mtntop12.jpg

post #15 of 52

I have 3 boxes for my 4 kitties, but I used to have 2 and that worked great too, I kept them clean and it was justo fine.

 

post #16 of 52

I think it depends on your cats and your lifestyle.

 

If you use clumping cat litter and scoop 2 or more times per day, you can get away with less boxes.

 

When I had 2 cats, I had 1 litter box. I now have 3 cats and have 2 boxes, but the box in the bedroom is hardly ever used and there are days where it's not used at all. It seems that all 3 of mine don't mind sharing the 1 litter box in the bathroom because I keep it clean enough for them to share.

 

 

post #17 of 52

We have 5 cats and 5 boxes, though one of the boxes pretty much never gets used.  It works for us.  Everything gets scooped once a day and sometimes twice if someone is stinky.

post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post

The consensus seems to be one litterbox per cat +1.   2 cats, 3 boxes.  4 cats, 5 boxes.

 

IMO, the boxes don't have to be in five separate places though.  I have two litterstations for my four boxes, and they've been good kitties and save for one accident right in front of the door (think he turned around mid #2 to dig more), have had no issues to date.  *knocks on wood*  smile.gif

 

When I had 2 cats I had 2 boxes for awhile.  They both seemed to like to share 1 box, so I got rid of the second.


When I got 3 cats I decided to try the second box again.  But while one cat would sometimes go in the second box, they mostly all used one box.  So I got rid of the second box again and just have the one box for 3 cats.  It's more scooping. I scoop 2 times per day most days, but sometimes I scoop 3 times.

post #19 of 52

I don't understand the argument that one cat needs two boxes. I had three cats using two boxes. It is not like they all label them "my box" and "your box." When I had three cats, I was still using two boxes.

 

There is one exception, however: when you are traveling and don't have a cat sitter. I will put out extra litterboxes for Patricia next week.

post #20 of 52

Something else to consider: your cat's potty habits. I used to have a cat who sometimes peed in one box and pooped in the other. If you have a cat who does this, it is important to put two boxes side by side no matter how many boxes you have.

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post

 

When I had 2 cats I had 2 boxes for awhile.  They both seemed to like to share 1 box, so I got rid of the second.


When I got 3 cats I decided to try the second box again.  But while one cat would sometimes go in the second box, they mostly all used one box.  So I got rid of the second box again and just have the one box for 3 cats.  It's more scooping. I scoop 2 times per day most days, but sometimes I scoop 3 times.

Me too. I'm down to two litter boxes for two cats and one rarely gets used.

I think adding extra litter boxes is good for trouble-shooting problems, but if things are fine I don't see why you would go and shake things up.

post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4zyc4tl4dy View Post

I currently have two which I clean daily. I know that you should probably have at least two boxes for one cat - so does that mean I should have more for my four?

 

Advice would be great!! Thanks. heart.gif

 

Rule of thumb is 1 box for every cat +1.  I also have 4 cats and I have 5 litter boxes.  But then I have the space and areas for them as well.  I scoop daily and replace litter as needed.  Once weekly or every 10 days I completely dump the litter, clean the box and put in new litter.  I'm pretty neurotic about litter box cleanliness though so I'm just telling you what I do.  I'll read the rest of the thread to check out what other folks are doing.

post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post

The consensus seems to be one litterbox per cat +1.   2 cats, 3 boxes.  4 cats, 5 boxes.

 

IMO, the boxes don't have to be in five separate places though.  I have two litterstations for my four boxes, and they've been good kitties and save for one accident right in front of the door (think he turned around mid #2 to dig more), have had no issues to date.  *knocks on wood*  smile.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4zyc4tl4dy View Post



Thank you so much for your fast reply! That helps me a lot. Guess I gotta invest in a few more boxes eh. laughing02.gif

My cats used to poop in my mom's plants before they were completely litter trained. She wasn't too happy with me, let me tell ya! crackup.gif They haven't had any accidents since then either and I'm pretty sure it'll stay that way!

 

I have 2 of the boxes side by side in the laundry room.  Then I have 2 in either corner of the basement.  The fifth is upstairs on the main floor of the house tucked away in an unused closet with a kitty door to keep my dogs out of it.   I don't know if the boxes have to be separated or not.  There is no problem here but I've heard that 2 cats using 1 box can create issues because sometimes one cat will dominate the box and not let the other cat use it.  I dunno.

post #24 of 52

you should have a litter box for each floor also

 

plus, when my cat got sick with diarrhea, i was glad i had more than 1 litterbox

post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by detmut View Post

you should have a litter box for each floor also

 

plus, when my cat got sick with diarrhea, i was glad i had more than 1 litterbox

Having more than one litterbox does nothing if a cat has diarrhea. Both cats used both boxes when I had two cats, so I would not know who is sick that way.

 

I disagree with the "each floor" idea. My old house has a finished basement, but that does not mean cats were going to poop down there. The only times I needed a litterbox on the second floor were when I adopted Patricia and Wilbur to keep them away from Emily for a few days.

post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

Having more than one litterbox does nothing if a cat has diarrhea. Both cats used both boxes when I had two cats, so I would not know who is sick that way.

 

I disagree with the "each floor" idea. My old house has a finished basement, but that does not mean cats were going to poop down there. The only times I needed a litterbox on the second floor were when I adopted Patricia and Wilbur to keep them away from Emily for a few days.

 

I have heard and read different logics on the "different floor" thing.  I keep one on each floor because it's easier for my geriatric to use the box on the main floor than it is for her to go clear downstairs.  If I took it away I don't know if it would make any difference or not. 

post #27 of 52

I have 4 cats (not counting my 2 fosters in their own room with their own box). I live in a 2 story house and I have one large steralite tub (that is cut out for kitties to step in) on the main floor and one on the second floor. I also have a litter box in the basement. I clean the tubs once daily. 

 

I have to use the tubs because two of my four kitties pee straight back and are very messy LOL. If I added a box or two they would use them as well. But what they have now is equivalent to a large sandbox for people, size-wise, and they are fine with it. 

 

Thanks for posting this question, it has been interesting to see what everyone is using and what new products are out there.

post #28 of 52

The biggest surprise here is that some cats use boxes made for humans. I can't imagine doing that with so many types of litterboxes available now.

 

Does anybody have a LitterMaid box?

post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

The biggest surprise here is that some cats use boxes made for humans. I can't imagine doing that with so many types of litterboxes available now.
Why is that a surprise? A plastic box is a plastic box dontknow.gif. A cat doesn't know or care whether the box was labeled "litterbox" or "storage tote" at the store laughing02.gif. Those sold in pet stores are expensive, and I can find something I don't like about every single one (low sides, hard to clean, too small, etc.). I won't ever use anything other than a Sterilite tote now.
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
...
I won't ever use anything other than a Sterilite tote now.

 

Sorry found myself wondering what your cats use...  bigwink.gif

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