How Many Cat Litter Boxes Do I Really Need?

Those of you who have cats know what I’m going to say, right?
cat litter boxes

By Shelly Allen

When it comes to cat litter boxes, you probably need more than you think.

Cat litter boxes is an interesting topic. Once you read about my Cat Pee Bandit, I think you’ll agree! I have four cats. They are the sweetest, most lovable, and most beautiful little things on the planet. I had one, and I could never figure out which one it was, there was one who became a cat pee bandit. He/she pees on every new area rug I bring into my house. It drives me nuts, to the point of sleeping with one eye open, just to catch that little stinker in the process.

Why? For my peace of mind, of course. I figure, if I can catch him in the act, I can at least try to reason with him. You know, just to ask him things like, why are you peeing on mommy’s new rug? Do you not like your cat litter box? Are the other cats teasing you? But most importantly, why do you hate me? They do say there’s a thin line between love and hate, ugh.

Whichever one it is, he is a sly little bandit, because in five years I could never catch him in the act. So I clean up the pee and I wait, then I clean up the pee, again and I wait. All the while, sleeping with one eye open, dreaming of the sound of cats peeing. That was the cycle, until recently.

How Many Cat Litter Boxes Do I Need for Multiple Cats?

Upon meeting Martin, a cat pee expert, my eyes were suddenly opened. I was discussing my cat peeing bandit with him and he gave me a little insight. The first question Martin asked was, “How many cat litter boxes do you have?” “Three,” I said. I thought l would be congratulated for providing more than two places for my four cats to do their business. He said, “Uh, there’s your problem.”

Martin broke it down for me like this. He said cats have a very strong sense of smell, so strong in fact that when they smell something, they can taste it.

He said when cats share litter boxes they smell each other’s urine and excrement. If one of the other cats has eaten a gecko, for instance, their urine is going to smell quite different from the rest of the cats. So different that it may just deter one of those other cats from using the cat litter box. “You must provide one cat litter box per cat!” If you have 16 cats then you must have 16 cat litter boxes, it’s that simple.

I said in a very polite way, “Okay Martin, I’ll try it.” Meanwhile, I’m walking out the door shaking my head, grumbling under my breath, “Yeah right, this has been going on for five years, like one more stupid cat litter box is going to make any difference.”

Adding An Additional Cat Litter Box

I went directly to the pet store and bought another cat litter box. I was at my wit’s end and thinking, “This HAS to work!” I went home and set everything up. I also covered all my bases by having a little chat with each of my cats to let them know this was their new normal.

UPDATE: Well, I wrote this article a long time ago, it’s been 20 years since I got that advice, “one cat litter box per cat”. That group of cats, along with my little cat peeing bandit are long gone now but the advice is still worth its weight in gold. Over the past 20 years, my cats have rarely gone outside their cat litter boxes and I have slept much better with both eyes shut! If you’re having a problem with a cat peeing bandit, try another cat litter box!

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Want to know how to easily get rid of cat pee smell? Go read this article now!

Here’s what I use to clean cat pee.

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