If you own three cats, your work is already cut out feeding them, grooming them, cuddling them and ensuring that you maintain a happy home. So wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just get one (or at most two) litter boxes for them all to share? Or would it? Today, I’d like to break down to you exactly how many litter boxes you should actually get, and why.
So, how many litter boxes should you have for 3 cats? It is best and recommended to provide a litter box per cat, with an additional extra litter box spare (so four in total).
Need To Buy More Litter Boxes?
If you are in the market, I would strongly recommend getting 3/4 ChouBoxes.
Designed on cats biogenetic behavior, this award winning, self-cleaning litter box prevents odors and leakage entirely.
Plus, you can buy these as a bundle (2×2) or (1×3), with savings to be made on the more you buy!
Can I Use One Litter Box For 3 Cats?
In short, it is best not to use one litter box for 3 cats.
While it may seem convenient , it can lead to several problems, as we shall explore in the next section.
Of course, if you really did want to try and get this to work, you would need to ensure the following:
- Your cats generally get along well,
- Your have a sufficiently large litter box,
- You ensure that you have an automatic litter box, or at least keep up with very regular cleaning and maintenance.
Still one litter box for two cats, let alone three cats, is not recommended.
Why You Should Have A Litter Box Per Cat
For Hygiene Purposes
Firstly, sharing a litter box can create hygiene issues.
Because it will be getting three x the use!
The result is that more bacteria can build up and fester, resulting in a higher chance of your cats coming into contact, and even developing sickness, in consequence.
To Prevent Litter Box Aversion
Cats have been known to refuse to a dirty litter box.
This can result in your cat(s) going elsewhere in and around your home.
Cats may also avoid using a litter box if they are the less dominant of the pack. See below for more.
To Prevent Aggression/Fighting
Cats hate to share resources.
It comes as no surprise then that if they needed to do so, it can result in territorial issues and behavioral problems.
To avoid the issues mentioned above, I highly recommend having at least one litter box per cat.
Where To Place Litter Boxes If You Have 3 Cats
When it comes to placing 3 litter boxes, it’s essential to consider the layout of your home and to place them strategically throughout.
Ideally, litter boxes should be placed quiet and low-traffic areas where your cats feel comfortable and safe.
It’s also a good idea to have a litter box on different floors (if possible) and in different rooms to provide your cats with multiple options.
If space is limited, at the minimum you will want to place litter boxes on alternate sides of the same room.
How To Encourage Cats To Use Their Own Litter Box
Knowing that you now need to have 3/4 litter boxes in your home, you are likely wondering how you are going to introduce them and encourage each cat to use their own designated box.
Here are some suggestions:
Firstly, ensure that each litter box is in a location that is easily accessible to each cat.
Consider each cats preferences and areas of the home that they all enjoy, or feel comfortable in.
Consider The Litter
Secondly, use a litter in each box that your cats prefer.
One of your cats may have a preference for a particular type of litter, compared to another.
So this may require some experimentation.
If you have only ever used the same litter, then feel free to continue using your current litter.
Finally, make sure that the litter box is cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene and to avoid litter box aversion.
Alternatively, be sure to invest self-cleaning litter boxes, like the ChouBoxes referenced above.
If you own three cats, it’s essential to have at least three litter boxes to promote good litter box habits and prevent litter box aversion.
By placing the litter boxes in quiet and accessible areas and using the right litter, you can help your cats feel comfortable and happy while avoiding litter box-related problems.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.