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Felines are meticulous about their hygiene. Not only do they spend hours grooming and cleaning themselves, but they almost always prefer to use a freshly cleaned litter box. So it makes sense when cat parents have questions like: can two cats share the same litter box?
Here’s the thing, it’s a bad idea to have two cats share the same litter box because it can stress your feline. Generally, a good rule of thumb for litter boxes is one box per kitten and extra to spare.
If you’re wondering how having your kittens share a litter box can negatively affect them or why they’re not great at sharing their bathroom, we’ve got you covered. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up litter boxes for multiple cats, including some helpful cleaning tips!
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Do cats like to use the same litter box
According to Merck Veterinary Manual, cats are social creatures, and in nature they live in groups consisting of queens and their litters. However, domestic felines often exhibit solitary traits and prefer not to share their territory with another if they can help it.
This is why cat parents who try to introduce another feline pet into their household may run into problems if one or both kittens are already adults. It is much easier for kittens to get used to each other, because they get used to each other’s presence and smell much faster.
Speaking of smells, one of the main reasons cats don’t like to share their litter box is their remarkable sense of smell. Felines tend to mark their territory through the sebaceous glands in their cheeks and body. They also distinguish their area when urinating or defecating.
It’s your cat’s way of claiming you as family and your home as its territory, and it’s also a warning to ward off other feline suitors. However, when you bring home another kitten to add to your feline family, suddenly your original fur baby has to deal with an intruder he can’t get rid of.
Cats find it difficult to adapt to changes in their daily routine. So dealing with the presence of another cat is bad enough, but being forced to share a litter box is like adding fuel to the fire.
How can you tell your cat is stressed about sharing a litter box
Stress in felines can manifest in different ways, but physical or behavioral symptoms can show up. If you want to know if your kitty is concerned about sharing his litter box, here are some signs to watch out for:
- Poor coat condition
- Lack of appetite or overeating
- Bald patches on the fur due to excessive grooming
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Disposal outside the litter box
- Excessive scratching of furniture
- Spraying urine in different parts of the house
- Constant attention seeking
- Constant meowing
- Reluctance to play
If your cat is showing one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, chances are she is stressed by the recent addition of a pet. You can help your pet adapt to the change by ensuring that each cat has their own litter box to use. This way, your cat won’t feel like the newcomer is completely taking over their territory.
The pros and cons of having multiple litter boxes in the house
Pet parents always want the best for their fur babies. But, the truth is, the care and maintenance of a pet is a big responsibility and often requires sitters to perform balance exercise. Likewise, choosing to keep multiple litter boxes around your home has specific pros and cons that pet owners should be aware of. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision without missing a thing. Here’s what you need to know:
- Having more than one litter means your cats will stay stress free and happy.
- Multiple litters can also help put an end to your pets’ elimination outside of the litter box.
- Having two cats share the same litter box is unhygienic and can contribute to the spread of disease. for example, cats can give each other worms. Having two litter boxes can help avoid such problems.
- Two litter boxes for two cats equals less odor around the house.
- Keeping multiple litter boxes can be more work for pet parents. Along with daily cleaning (removing gunk), cat owners will also need to spend time and energy cleaning the litter box weekly.
- If you live in a space that doesn’t have too much legroom, accommodating multiple litters can become a cumbersome and tedious space.
- Cats like to dig before and after defecating. They do this to cover their droppings. However, sometimes excessive digging can cause the tray to fall out, especially if the bedding is bentonite clay. In the case of multiple litters, this means cat parents will have the added responsibility of cleaning up any mess around the litter box.
There’s no doubt that keeping multiple litters can help your kittens adapt better to their surroundings. The practice is also more hygienic and can help prevent disease in felines. Still, pet owners are looking to spend more time and effort to keep litter boxes and surrounding areas clean and odor-free.
Why do cats like to share a litter box?
Curiously, cats are known to share a litter box despite the presence of several boxes around the hearth. It’s not entirely clear why some felines are ok with sharing their bathroom while others are not. Nevertheless, here are some logical reasons why your kittens like to use the same litter box:
If your cat has been using the same litter box since day one, adding another box might not influence their preference. As we like to remind our readers, felines are creatures of habit, and once they like a particular litter box, that’s what they’ll prefer to use, even if another cat uses the same box. .
Sometimes a feline’s preference for litter boxes revolves around convenience. For example, the litter box is close to her sleeping place.
If one of your litter boxes is larger than the other, chances are your cats are sharing the larger one because it takes longer to get dirty. Also, if the box isn’t the right size and your felines have trouble moving around, they’ll naturally use the larger, more comfortable litter box.
Things to consider
If you’ve decided to add another box to your home litter box setup, here are some handy tips that will help you get the placement and size right.
- Although you can’t place a litter box right in the middle of a hallway, it’s best not to place a box within touching distance of the wall. This could lead to litter debris sticking to the walls or encouraging your cat to spray on the flat surface. Instead, leave a space of two to three inches between the wall and the litter box.
- Be sure to keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area so that there is no buildup of odors from your felines in their bathroom.
- It is best to avoid placing the litter box too close to your sleeping or eating areas.