Can Cats Share Litter Boxes? Everything You Need to Know

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Litter boxes are essential for every cat owner. They keep the house free of defecate and foul odor. Additionally, litter boxes present a chill spot for your feline friend.

Indeed, cats take litter boxes for more than just a bathroom. It’s a place that belongs to them, and they can lounge at any time they wish.

In that case, can cats share litter boxes? Cats typically don’t like to share a litter box. Most multi-cat households can testify that cats can be cordial with each other on the same cat tree or when playing with toys. However, it is common for cats to draw the line when sharing a litter box.

Based on comprehensive research and first-hand experience, we’ll try to explain why cats don’t prefer sharing litter boxes.

Why Don’t Cats Like Sharing Litter Boxes?

Here are the main reasons cats don’t like sharing a litter box. Read on!

Cats are Territorial

Cats are not secretive about their territoriality. In a multi-cat home, an alpha always dominates the beta cats and gets aggressive when they use their litter box.

Therefore, the most effective way to deal with this situation is to have enough and even extra litter boxes to maintain peace and harmony.

Ideally, you should get the same number of litter boxes as the number of cats you have. Again, get an extra box for security; for example, you should have four litter boxes for three cats.

It is cats’ nature to demand privacy when doing something like defecating. When there is an invasion of privacy, stress negatively affects the cat.

Some cats can altogether forget about that litter box and find somewhere to call a bathroom. This is the con: they can defecate anywhere, including the floor or on your favorite carpet.

Cats are Solitary

An Orange Tabby Cat Lying on a Cardboard Box

Unlike dogs, cats are solitary animals. Dogs are packed animals, preferring to live and search for food in groups.

Don’t be surprised that the once inseparable kittens now want personal space. Cats love their privacy, and if you notice that yours is clearly showing signs of unhappiness when their privacy isn’t met, it is prudent to take action.

Place the cats’ litter boxes in quiet and solitary areas. You can also offer your cats various options by placing litter boxes in multiple locations within the house.

Cleanliness Issues

Cats are famous for their hygiene and overall cleanliness. Why don’t cats like sharing litter boxes? Another reason is that they fill up faster and increase the chance of stepping on the excrement. The feeling that there is nowhere to go in tandem with the foul smell will drive the cats away.

With plenty of boxes comes plenty of cleaning. But it’s better to clean several litter boxes once every few days than to look out for one litter box constantly. Regardless, cats’ litter boxes must always be clean, odorless, and ready for use by the next cat in need.

That doesn’t mean cats cannot or don’t share a litter box. Some cat litter companies manufacture multi-cat litter boxes suggesting that there are some cases where cats will cordially share a bathroom.

Is It Okay for Cats to Share Litter Boxes?

Cartoons Constipation Pets Dirty Restroom Fun

As stated earlier, most cats will not share litter boxes. Nevertheless, some cats will, bringing forth the question, is it okay to share litter boxes?

Our verdict is that it is not advisable to use one litter box for many cats, even though it may be possible. 

We advocate for the golden box rule, which is one litter box for each cat and an extra one. This reduces the chances of fighting and defecating in other areas of the house, for example, on the couch.

Also, be aware that preference changes in cats tend to occur. What was once acceptable during kittenhood might be rejected later. Possibly, your cats refuse to share a litter box even though they used to in the past.

Are There Problems That Arise from Cats Sharing a Litter Box?

Yes, if cats don’t want to share the same litter tray, there will be problems if nobody addresses the issue.

Fighting and aggression among cats is the most prevalent indication that the privacy standard or lack of it annoys them.

Litter box aversion may not annoy the cat, but it will most likely annoy the owner. You see, it’s not like cats immediately resort to fighting when annoyed. Some cats will leave and feel justified to excrete anywhere, which may not sit well with you.

Lastly, exposing your cats to excrement from other cats could lead to the spread of illness. Check for a loose stool if your cats share a litter box.

Final Word

Cats can share a litter box, that is if they want to. Otherwise, it is better to provide them with separate litter boxes, as this article explains.

Sisi Reynolds

Sisi Reynolds

Hi, my name is Sisi Reynolds, and I’m 62 years old. I’m the widow of Charles Reynolds, a man who was always passionate about cats.
After he passed away 3 years ago, it fell on me to take care of his indoor cats as well as all the stray cats in our neighborhood. Through trial and error (and a lot of research), I’ve become something of an expert on cat treats!

About Me

Cats are like little children. They are part of the family and we love to give them love. So one of the best love sharing with felines is by giving them tasty treats – I even make my own at home (and I’ll share with you how).

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