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    How Many Litter Boxes Does A Cat Need?

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    Updated: November 10, 2017

    Does your cat have enough litter boxes? Litter boxes are like good friends… you can never have too many of them. Well… maybe you could have too many litter boxes for your taste, but not for your cat's.

    There's a litter box rule of thumb: n+1In the veterinary profession we have a litter box "rule of thumb," it’s called the “n+1 rule.” And basically what it means is that you should have one more litter box than the number of cats you have.

    # of Cats # of Litter Boxes
    1 2
    2 3
    3 4

    Why does your cat want more than one litter box?

    The important thing for them is choice and accessibility. What it all boils down to is that you would (I’d imagine) prefer to have your cats peeing and pooping in their litter boxes, rather than on your floor, your laundry, or your bed. Right?

    Well, although there are several things that could drive a cat away from its litter box — including arthritis, poor litter box upkeep, undesireable litter, bullying amongst cats, and many others — many of them can be prevented or improved with the presence of an appropriate number of litter boxes for your cats to choose from.


    Help ensure that your cat's litter box is set up the best it can be


    Incorporate these steps and you’ll decrease the risks of urinary pain and other problems for your cats, as well as frustration for you. For more information on the importance of litter boxes, please read our Inappropriate Elimination in Cats: Why It Happens And How To Prevent It article. And check out 7 ways to reduce litter box smells (and messes).

    Please help us gain more insight into the litter box and feeding habits of cats everywhere by completing and sharing our short feline care survey. Thank you!


    Nobody knows your cat like you do – but we’d like to try.
    Please take a moment to complete these two very quick surveys
    we created to get a much better sense of your cat's experiences.

    Each survey is totally anonymous (no personal data is collected),
    and takes only a minute or two. This data can really help get potentially
    life-saving information to our extended cat families.

    If you have a cat please complete this survey:

     Cat Care Survey

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    Please note: Unless otherwise stated, products, services, and/or companies mentioned, or links to same, are for illustration purposes only and their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from Preventive Vet. Additionally, we are NOT compensated if you choose to buy what we feature.

    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Litter Box, Blog, Urinary obstruction, Cat Litter, Cat

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.