Last updated on November 26th, 2022 at 11:34 pm
Most people owning a cat find it challenging to clean its litter box and maintain its hygiene. This makes some cat owners consider using one litter box for more than one cat to make the maintenance task easier. However, can two cats share one litter box? It is always recommended to use the simple box golden rule. This rule states that one litter box is to be used for each cat and an extra one is to be available.
Why is this rule recommended for cat owners? It is believed that using the rule reduces the chances of the cats confronting each other. It also increases the hygiene of the litter box, which is always considered less work than in the case of using a single box. In this article, we will explain why sharing one litter box for more than one cat is not a good idea.
Also read: Best Litter Boxes For Cats
Why should you not let two cats share one litter box?
In this case, we will show you why you should follow the box golden rule. As stated earlier, this rule requires you to use one litter box for every cat plus an extra box. This rule is based on two reasons: behavior of the cats and hygiene. Let’s see why these two reasoning are solved when you follow the rule.
Hygiene is the biggest concern as to why cats should not share a litter box for sanitary purposes. When two cats share the same box, hygiene will be reduced as the box will be filled faster. These will make the cats feel uncomfortable using the box. Let’s see why;
Cats like a clean environment
It is the nature of the cats to like a clean environment. They will feel uncomfortable when the litter box is filled up. For this reason, it is always recommended to scoop all the litter box’s contents daily to keep it clean. When using one litter box for two or more cats, you must scoop the box content more frequently. This may not be easy for some cat owners, making the box less hygienic. When the cats use the box in such a condition, they will be scared away as most of them dislike the smelly nature of the dirty box.
The cats will become stressed using the box and start looking for another clean place to use as a toilet. How will you know that your cat is uncomfortable with the box? The first sign, the cat will develop a negative reaction toward the box. You will notice this reaction when the cat wants to use the box; the pet will stare at the litter box for quite some time before using it. Even so, sometimes you may find cleaning many litter boxes a heavy task. Using a single litter box for many cats might also look frustrating. This will make some cats, if not all, start urinating in the wrong places. This happens especially when the box looks messy, which makes them uncomfortable and happy with much anxiety.
The unhygienic litter box can lead to different health challenges.
Apart from stress and unhappiness, the cats also avoid sharing litter boxes due to health problems resulting from the action. Most cats will avoid using the litter box when it is messy until the pet cannot wait anymore. When the cats use the litter box in a dirty condition, they will be vulnerable to different health challenges. One of the health problems that is commonly noticed is bladder problems. The bladder disorders, also called the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, mainly occur in many cats.
It is believed that cats that mainly contract this disorder also suffer from different kinds of stress, especially when uncomfortable in a specific environment. The condition makes peeing difficult and uncomfortable for the cat. For this reason, the cat will experience problems during urination times and when peeing. However, using a single litter box for every cat with an extra box will reduce the chances of the cat contracting the disease. In addition, you will prevent many other disorders caused by messy litter boxes.
The Behavior of Cats
This is another reason cats don’t like sharing the same litter box. Cats always value their privacy a lot; they will always prefer doing their business in a private place. However, when you force the cats to share the same litter box, they will feel unhappy.
- Cats are examples of Territorial Animals.
Even though some cat owners don’t believe so, cats are like other territorial animals who value their territory more. They also believe in owning resources privately and have their own territory protected from others. This could make sharing the resource a big question, especially when interacting with enemies. They will always see their enemies as potential intruders when they interact with them. Therefore, when they share a litter box, the cats may not feel safe with the box. They will know another cat also uses the litter box and may make the place its territory.
- Cats don’t like Sharing
Like other creatures, cats don’t like sharing resources with others, including the litter box. Therefore, forcing the two cats to share a litter box can involve them in a kitty conflict. This always occurs if one cat must wait for another cat to pee before using the box. The cats will start experiencing anxiety, especially if they feel they are competing for a shared resource. This is a common challenge even for human beings sharing the same bathroom. You will find it difficult and uncomfortable when you have to wait for your turn. The same experience you feel also happens in the case of cats.
How many litter boxes are enough for one cat and multiple cats?
You will have to use the box golden rule to know the number of litter boxes enough for one cat or multiple cats. According to the rule, it’s recommended to use one litter box for every cat, with an extra box also available. Therefore, if you own more than one box, you must use the number of litter boxes corresponding to the cats’ population. You will also need to provide extra boxes for the cats, which will help them if any cat feels uncomfortable with its box. For instance, when you have three cats, you can decide to use at least three litter boxes for the pets plus one extra one.
Note that the number of litter boxes you use is too high will also be a great challenge for you during maintenance. Most people find it difficult to scoop the litter box daily. This becomes too much work when you decide to use more than enough litter boxes. However, using the required number of the litter box by following the box golden rule is the best option. It makes work easier than when you make the cats share the same box.
Can kittens share a litter box?
When it comes to kittens, the situation looks different than the case of adult cats. The little cats can easily share resources such as cat trees, water, food bowls, litter boxes, toys, and even beds. This will make the cat owner have easier work managing them. It is also a significant discount to buy the resources when you purchase them. When you keep two kittens, vaccinating them and performing deworming on the pets will be cheaper. This makes most people prefer keeping more than one kitten at home.
However, this is not the case when the kitten grows old. The kittens will start experiencing behavioral challenges when they become adults. For this reason, they will begin to feel uncomfortable sharing resources. In most cases, the cats will be unhappy using the same litter box, water, food bowls, toys, and beds. The kittens will tend to start owning territories and choose the resources they share as individual resources. As stated earlier, cats value their privacy a lot; hence, they will like doing their business privately. For this reason, sharing resources is only possible for kittens and not suitable for adult cats.
Can mother and kitten share a litter box?
Mothers and kittens can comfortably share the same litter box, especially when the cats are in the learning process. The little kitten will enjoy sharing as they mimic their mother’s actions and behavior. They will find it comfortable sharing any resource with their mama kitty. On the other hand, the other kitten will also feel safe and happy using the same litter box with the kittens out of love. However, it is recommended that you put an extra litter box for the cats. The best way is to apply the box golden rule to manage the potty needs of the kittens and the mother kitty.
In most cases, the kittens experience more potty needs than the mother kitty. Therefore, using the same litter box for all the kittens and mothers, kitty may subject them to different health problems due to poor hygiene. This happens especially when the box becomes messy. In addition, when the kittens attain four weeks, they will start growing old. In this case, you will have to start putting the litter box far from them. At this age, the kittens will have learned how to pee on the litter box and will tend to begin valuing their privacy. The kittens will love playing, sniffing, and digging around more o in the litter box due to their curious nature. In this case, the litter box will easily get messy when you put it closer. To avoid this, you must put the box away from them.
Can sibling cats share a litter box?
Sibling cats do find it challenging to share the same litter box. The cat also feels the same as in the case of human beings. For instance, in most cases, you will find it uncomfortable to share your bathroom with your sibling. This is always due to many reasons that sometimes you find challenging to explain. For this reason, you will prefer having your own privacy to solve the challenges you will experience when sharing the bathroom. The same thing happens to cats; whether they are siblings or unrelated, they will not like sharing. Most of them will develop emotions and stress when sharing the box.
Therefore, when you own cat siblings, the best way to make them feel comfortable is to have their privacy. For instance, when it comes to peeing, use the box golden rule to provide them with the litter box. In this case, you will also reduce the chances of the cats confronting each other at the box. You may see them feeling comfortable using the same box at their early stages, but things change when they become adults. During their young ages, they will be in the process of learning and, therefore, will not value their nature that much. However, when the cats grow old, they prefer not to share despite being siblings.
Like in the case of humans, cats, too, value their nature. They always prefer using the toilet as a private business. For this reason, they will not feel comfortable when you force them to share a litter box. So, whether they are siblings, or you have just brought another cat home. You will have to get another litter box plus an extra one. This way, you will make the cats enjoy their privacy and reduce their chances of confronting each other. On the other hand, you will also improve the hygienic condition of the box. This will, in turn, prevent some of the diseases that are caused by poor hygiene from attacking the cats. Finally, you will also find it easy to clean and maintain the litter box when you follow the box golden rule than in the case of sharing the box.
Also read: 7 Best Cat Litter Box Enclosures