If you have more than one cat, you might be familiar with the ‘I won’t share my litter box’ scenario. While the phrase ‘sharing is caring’ is very common among us humans and is taught from a young age, most kittens are not familiar with this concept and do not make any effort to share things with anyone, be it their blood siblings. So this brings us to the question at hand: can two cats use the same litter box?
In this article, we have cleared all your doubts about this topic and how you can ensure to use the best option for your cat.
Can two cats use the same litter box?
If your cat is not ready to share the same litter as other cats, you are not alone.
Many cats become very defensive when it comes to sharing their things, especially with something as personal as a litter box.
Depending on your cats and their nature, they may get along well and be ready to share the same litter, which is fine too.
It is not wrong or harmful for two cats to share the same litter, but if your cats do not get along and are causing problems, it is time to get a new litter for your friends.
Besides their authoritative behavior, there are several other reasons why cats may not want to share their litter with their friends.
Why cats do not like to use the same litter box
You’re probably thinking about how easy and time-saving it could be to clean the litter box if both cats use the same one.
But unfortunately, many cats require a different litter, and a lot of this behavior stems from their environment during their early days, as well as other behavioral patterns.
Some of these reasons are:
It may sound unreal, but these cute and furry creatures can have major territorial issues.
Meaning, they like having an entire territory to themselves, and if they don’t get what they like, they can get violent and bitter towards their other friends, as well as humans. And when cats get violent, they retaliate by growling, clawing, or even biting if things get out of hand.
When the aggressive cat is losing its patience, the signs will usually be very clear through its body language. It will have narrowed pupils when it sees another cat using its things, and its ears will lift vertically. It will be ready to pounce at any moment.
The other cat will probably be timid during this reaction, it might keep its head low and walk very close to the floor, slowly. The ears will droop as low as possible and enlarged pupils indicating scared eyes when it looks at the attacking cat.
If you see any of these signs in both your cats, then it’s important to immediately jump in and take control of the situation, or your cats could fight and hurt each other.
Behavioral issues in cats are not normal or even that common. Experts suggest that if a cat seems to have weird behavioral patterns, it should be given medical help.
These behavioral issues can be evident in the form of excessive aggression, retaliation, or not being able to train properly to use the same litter box as another cat.
While aggression in sharing a litter box is common, excessively strong reactions to sharing are not that common.
It may also be difficult for you and the other cats to deal with because of constant fights and feuds between cats, as well as failure to listen to basic training instructions.
This can become much more of a problem when your cat grows up, so if you figure out the signs of behavioral issues in your cat early on, they can still be treated properly.
Cats are similar to humans in a way, they like to have privacy to go about their business too.
Always being surrounded by their peers, even when they want to be private at the litter box can get uncomfortable for them because it’s a place where they can be vulnerable.
Even if your cat does not mind sharing, it will still prefer to go to the litter at a different time than the other cat, because of privacy.
If your cat feels like its’ not getting its solitude, it will grow to resent its friends and share the litter with them, causing unnecessary clashes.
Moreover, many cats may share a litter box with another cat of the same gender back in the litter, so they can find it hard to be vulnerable when a cat of another gender is present.
Thus, having two female or two male cats share a litter box is a better option.
Cats are creatures with personalities and preferences of their own. Some are messy and don’t care much about their surroundings, while others are quite particular about their tidiness and environment.
This can, again, depend on how they were brought up in their early days, or how their previous owners’ home environment used to be (if they are adopted).
Hence, differences like these are also a reason why two cats may not be ready to share a litter box.
In such cases, having separate litters for both of them will be less troublesome and more convenient for both you and the cats.
What to do when cats are not ready to use the same litter box
Now that you know the reasons why two cats don’t want to share a litter box, how should you go about the situation?
Have a separate litter box
The most obvious solution is to keep a separate litter box for both cats. You can keep both the boxes side-by-side, or even keep them at separate places in your home.
Ideally, you can place the litter boxes at the corners of any place, and if your cat is not getting used to finding the litter box easily, you can switch the place and experiment again.
The best combination of cats to litter boxes is 2:3, meaning if you have two cats, then you should have a maximum of 3 litter boxes, so the cats can choose their territory without feeling pressured.
Try to use a big litter box that has ample space for the cats.
Train both cats to use the litter box at different times
If your cats are more concerned about having their share of privacy, you can experiment with training the cats to come to the litter at different times or wait for each other.
This will only work if the cats are already okay with sharing a litter, but you notice their vulnerability when the other cat is present.
If your cat has issues with tidiness or territory aggression, then you should consider changing the litter completely.
Maintain the cleanliness of the boxes
Cats are one of the cleanest animals, and they feel best when they are in clean surroundings as well. Let this serve as a reminder to clean out their litter boxes at least a few times a week and also give the tray itself a good scrub every once in a while.
Untidy trays and litter can make cats feel trapped because there is no space in the litter to do their business.
Clean your trays regularly, your cats are already thanking you.
Benefits of cats using different litter boxes
Many cat owners think that every cat should have at least one litter or more to itself. After experimenting, they have found that changing allowing cats to use different litters has caused a massive reduction in conflicts among the cats.
This behavior leads to better relationships of the cats with their siblings or friends, and you won’t have to spend time trying to break up a fight all the time.
Moreover, if a cat’s litter is being cleaned out or refilled, then it can go to the spare litter and do its business in the meantime, which is convenient.
With the presence of many litters, cats are less likely to excrete elsewhere in the house, which will be difficult for you to clean after, as compared to if you have an extra littler on hand. If you are thinking of a way to create a litterbox at home, please check our article homemade litter box.
So to conclude, can two cats use the same litter box?
The answer is yes, but only if it’s their preference and they are not facing any problems.
But it is advisable to have more than 1 litter box for each cat, to solve any territorial and tidiness issues.
Try to clean your litter boxes often and use a big enough litter box to allow your cat enough space.
Lastly, stick to what your cats are comfortable with, you don’t want to force them with litter business because it can cause fights and resentment among their friends.
Having cats that get along well with their family and friends is a blessing for a peaceful home!