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How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need?

A question we're often asked by kitty owners is, "How many litterboxes should they have in their household?" Do they have enough of them? In an ideal world, you could never really have too many litterboxes. But, who wants to have a dozen litterboxes scattered throughout the house. We do have a general rule of thumb to guide you through, especially if there is a concern about your kitty having any urinary behavior problems.

The general rule to follow is one plus the number of cats you have, aka n+1. Basically one more litterbox in the house/space than the total number of cats you have.

# of Cats             # of Litter Boxes

1                                       2

2                                       3

3                                       4

It really comes down to choice and accessibility as the reasoning to follow this rule. In addition to the number of litterboxes in the house, several other factors need to be considered as well. I often compare a litterbox to a porta potty. If you had to use a porta potty, how would you want it? Why should your cat expect anything less? 

Now that you've been armed with the n+1 rule for litterboxes here's how to keep your cats happy and your home smelling great. 

  1. Litterboxes need to be cleaned daily
  2. Litterboxes should be kept in a well-ventilated area and not hidden in a closet or some tiny corner difficult for your kitty to access
  3. Litterboxes should not be placed next to things that make noise such as a furnace, laundry dryer, etc. 

Adhering to the n+1 principle and the location guidelines will ensure the best possible outcome for you and your cat and minimize the chance for a urinary behavior problem developing.

Final things to keep in mind regarding litterboxes:0454927001560970629.jpg

  • Avoid changing litter type if at all possible. Try to use the same kind each time you purchase.
  • Have a variety of litterbox types — covered vs uncovered, tall sides vs low, etc. Provide the largest litter boxes you can find.
  • Ensure that there is at least one litterbox on each level of the house that the cat has access to.
  • Avoid placing litterboxes in high traffic areas.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.  We hope this information helps you and your fur babies live a happier and healthier life.  Please feel free to leave any comments and questions below.

- Dr. Arnett

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