We pretty much all know the general rule of thumb for multi-cat households is to grab one litter box per cat + 1 extra, but surely that can’t be the only trick in the book to make sure your resident felines stay happy in the loo department.
Personally, I’d like to think there are a few more tricks we pet parents can have up our sleeve than merely grabbing the right number of litter boxes. These have to do with:
- Maximizing the size (length and width) of each litter box.
- Maximizing the depth of each litter box.
- Maximizing the likelihood the litter boxes will be clean enough for maximum uses.
- Minimizing litter box smells.
Why you would want larger and/or deeper litter boxes may not be immediately obvious, especially if you don’t have a particularly large or tall cat, but here’s why I’ve listed it: Imagine you’re a cat looking for a spot in a litter box to do your business in. Your brother or sister just finished with the bathroom before you, and you can spot their little heap, but in a big and/or deep litter box, that doesn’t make much difference because there’s still plenty of clean surface area for you left to go in.
Maximizing the likelihood of the litter box being clean over time, even if you happen to be out and all cats decide to try to use the same litter box within the few hours you happen to be away from home, works toward the very same end: it helps make sure the next cat in finds a space that’s free and not “used up” so he or she can use that space up him or herself. Obviously, the best way to ensure this is by having at least one automatic litter box, but it’s not quite a necessity if the space of each litter box is maximized, seeing as how bigger litter boxes will have more uses before they will feel too dirty for a cat to use, so to speak.
These first three tips are the most important, in my opinion, because they ensure cats will continue to use the litter box instead of opting for cleaner areas to “go” around the house – like tile floors, bathtubs, and even (ever so unfortunately!) beds themselves. If you’ve ever seen behavioural issues like these spring up with your cats, you likely didn’t need to be told how important it is to make sure your cats feel their litter boxes are clean. It’s not something you’ll easily forget.
The best litter boxes for depth? Top entry litter boxes. If you want a crash course in what those are and how they actually solve a lot of problems in one go (like stray litter, space conservation, and oh so much more), take a look at my article about why I now prefer top entry litter boxes here.
The next best type of litter box for size and depth? A good old fashioned covered litter box that’s either in “extra large,” “large,” or “jumbo” sizing. There are so many of these around, it’s handy. But not every cat will tolerate being “closed in” when going to the bathroom, so if you just can’t have a covered litter box for your fussy kitty, grabbing at least a couple extra large sized litter pans may be the best solution for you. I’ve done my best to showcase a bunch of excellent options: from automated, to covered, to top entry, to litter pans – so you can find the right litter boxes in the right combination for your clowder.
The last thing that I think is important (though not as important as the rest) is minimizing litter box smell. What cat would prefer to use a smellier box than one that smells fresh and clean? And being honest, I’m sure every humans in the household will be happiest about the least stench possible as well. I can’t go full-depth into ways to minimize litter box related smells here since it’s such an enormous topic to cover, so if you’re curious about my thoughts on the matter, here’s my guide to reducing and preventing litter box smells.
Without further ado – some of the best litter boxes out there for creating the perfect kitty loo solution in multi-cat homes! Mix and match to your hearts content.
Top Automated Litter Boxes for Multi-Cat Homes
This self-cleaning and self-flushing litter box is probably my current favourite I’ve seen on the market. Apparently it uses permanent granules instead of litter that never need changing, it flushes waste away through a bathroom or laundry room drain pipe, and then washes itself clean. I’d think it was too good to be true, but seeing it has one of the highest reviews of self-cleaning litter boxes, maybe it’s just good enough to be true. Definitely want to give this one a shot once I can get my hands on one.
I still think this is one of the best value automatic self-cleaning litter boxes on the market. Not sure how much the recurring price of using this litter box would add up to, especially since you need to buy pee pads for it, but I’m sure that cost can be lessened by buying cheaper alternatives, like Amazon’s own brand ones, to the branded Purina ones. Either way, really low upfront cost, so worth looking into.
Willing to spend a little extra, but don’t want to plug anything into a drain pipe? You may want to give the Petsafe ScoopFree Ultra a try. In case you’re into glaming up your litter boxes, you can always opt for the uncovered version and pair it with a hidden litter box like the Merry Products Washroom Bench. If you’re not considering hiding the litter box at all, I do think this is probably the most visually appealing option when it comes to automated boxes.
Large Covered Litter Boxes Ideal for Multiple Cats
Lots of space, and at a price that’s way affordable, this Catit litter box is actually 22″L x 20″W x 18″H! Very good if you ask me. If you’re interested in this one, you should also check out the Amazon Basics equivalent – their Hooded Cat Litter Box in large. Its measurements are similar at 23.7″L by 17.8″W and 16.7″H.
I’ve never seen a litter box quite like this one before. Incredibly roomy, has a cover, but one that looks like it’d get less in the way than most for cats who favour open-cover litter pans over covered litter boxes, and honestly looks very easy to clean thanks to that retractable hood. Its dimensions are 19.2″Lx 23.7″W x 16.7″H – so a really great extra large size, though not quite as big as the Catit Jumbo.
Looking for a roomy litter box that’s ever so cute and colourful as well? This Petphabet litter box may be just right for you. It comes in all colours of the rainbow: magenta, orange, yellow, teal, light blue, and purple. Hard to imagine a set of litter boxes that’s more fun than a few of these lined up!
Not the biggest covered litter box on the market, but I’m pretty sure it can be filled deeper with litter than most. An excellent option in case you want something pretty that will be out in the open, like in a living room or a bedroom.
Best Top Entry Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats
If you’re into the idea of using a top entry litter box, and want what’s currently the absolute biggest and best for multiple cats, this is absolutely the way to go. If you consider how deep top entry litter boxes can be filled, plus the extra roomy length and width space provided by this litter box, it’s easy to see why the Modkat XL Litter Box is incredibly hard to beat as the ideal for multi-cat households. And if you’re just trying out top entry litter boxes for the first time and are worried your cat may not take to them, it can easily be re-configured into a side entry litter box that’s extremely sleek and pretty as well.
It’s really hard to find a bigger, deeper, and yet more affordable option than this Petmate Top Entry Litter Pan. An excellent introduction into top entry litter boxes that is perfect for multiple cats due to its pretty stinkin’ large size and low entry price, and I love the fact that it’s light weight means it’s also easy to move from room to room, in case you need to separate multiple cats for absolutely any reason. A great option in my opinion.
I have one of these and I live for it. Probably the best investment I’ve ever made in terms of any cat product ever. It’s durable, sleek, gorgeous, and it may not be cheap but I certainly think it’s done wonders for my cat Avery, who loves to dig vigorously, likes to do #1s and #2s straight after each other, and often finds it hard to fit in smaller litter boxes considering his extremely long height. If you’d like to read my full review of the Modkat, you can find it here.
Not the biggest litter box in terms of sheer size, but an excellent price – probably the best bang for buck top entry litter box on the market.
Super cute, and if you consider how deep you can put litter into it since it is a top entry litter box, definitely a good option for multiple cat households regardless of the fact that it’s not jumbo sized.
XL Litter Pans & Trays Ideal for Multi-Cat Households
Just looking for a simple, basic litter pan that’s about as large as it gets? The Petmate Open Litter Pan is an excellent option. There are a slew of these types of litter pans on the market, so if the Petmate option is not right for you, check around as I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for quite easily.
If you feel as though a sifting litter pan might make life easier for you in terms of cleaning, you may want to opt for this Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan instead. After all, a litter box that’s more frequently cleaned is much more likely to make your cats happy.
Speaking of ease of cleaning – this non-stick plated litter pan may be the best option for reducing litter smells and sticky mess in the long run. Plenty of positive reviews and since the coating is Teflon, I’m sure it works!
If you’ve a cat that’s anything like mine – and makes an abysmal mess leaving heaps of litter on the ground due to an obsession with vigorously digging – but also unlike mine prefers litter boxes that are uncovered, these splash-proof rimmed litter trays may be your best bet. Be careful to read reviews, however, as a lot of them are smaller than you might think, which obviously will not work well in a multi-cat household.
Purrfect Pairings: Litter Mats & Scoops to Match
Looking for some litter related accessories to help you out in the cleanliness department?
Gorilla Grip makes one absolutely massive litter mat that can fit two litter boxes with room to spare – perfect if you’d like to create a nice large feline pit stop on one side of a room!
Need regular sized litter mat options – ones that will help keep tracking to a minimum? Check out these litter mats ideal for tracking reduction.
Then there’s the litter scoop department. While many cat litter boxes already come with scoops, some have terrible shapes for getting in corners, break easily, or get litter stuck onto them quite gruesomely. Other boxes and pans come without litter scoops at all. If you’re in the market for a scoop change or a new litter scoop, check out this article that lists some of the most well-loved litter scoops on the market.
Your Thoughts on the Best Multi-Cat Litter Box Solutions?
What do you think are the best types of litter boxes for multiple cat households? Do you have more than one cat in your home? Do you have any tips and tricks for other cat owners trying to plan out the best litter box arrangement?
How many litter boxes do you currently have? What number do you think is the ideal?
Do you have a variety of litter boxes? Which types do you have and which do you think you might like to try? Are there any particular ones you would recommend or advise staying away from because they just do or just don’t work out if you have multiple cats?
Especially since I’m likely to be expanding my single cat household to a two or even three cat household very soon, would love your input on this topic! Looking forward to reading your comments down below.