Cats are beautiful and intelligent creatures, though they certainly have their downsides. Between knocking trinkets off the shelves and tearing around the house in the middle of the night, it’s sometimes difficult to pick the worst of your cat’s undesirable behaviors.
In a multiple cat household, you’ll find yourself dealing with numerous personalities and there will definitely be times when those personalities clash. Try as you might to keep the peace, you’ll experience your fair share of cat fights. On top of the social issues, there’s also the issue of cat litter – more cats mean more litter, more mess, and more odor.
If you’re an experienced cat owner, you already know a good cat litter is worth its weight in gold. In a multiple cat household, odor control is a concern and even the best clumping litter will be tested.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the challenges that come with owning multiple cats and provide some simple tips for keeping the peace. You’ll also learn what to look for in the best cat litter for odor control in a multi-cat house and see some of our top picks.
What Is The Best Cat Litter For Multiple Cats?
- Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay
- Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide Multi-Cat Litter
- World’s Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat
- Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Clumping Clay
- Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Litter
- Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Walnut
- sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Wheat
- Scoop Away Multi-Cat Meadow Fresh Scented Clumping
Challenges to Expect in Multi-Cat Homes
Cats are part of the animal kingdom, so you should expect some competition to evolve when you put several of them together. Though some cats get along perfectly well with other cats, it really depends on personality. Cats with dominant personalities may bully or intimidate other cats, especially if you live in a smaller home and your cats don’t receive enough mental or physical stimulation on a daily basis.
The key to keeping everyone happy in your multiple cat home is to ensure there are enough resources (including space) for everyone. Every cat needs to feel like he has safe places to eat, sleep, and play.
Here are some tips for keeping the peace in a multi-cat household:
- Take your time when introducing new cats – be sure to include treats in the introduction to give the old cats a reason to like the new one.
- Make sure each cat has its own assigned food bowl and feeding area – keeping a community food bowl may turn one of your cats into a bully.
- Provide plenty of litter boxes in multiple locations throughout the house, not all in one room – if your cats have their preferred areas of the house, place one litter box in each area.
- Place scratching posts around the house so your cats can naturally satisfy their marking behaviors – remember, some cats like horizontal scratching while others may prefer vertical.
- Give each cat several options for napping and hiding – keep in mind your cats’ preferences for sleeping in the open and sleeping somewhere hidden.
- Create vertical space in your home with cat trees and window perches to increase the amount of territory your cats feel like they have.
- Engage with each of your cats on a daily basis with interactive playtime – if necessary, separate the cats for playtime if one tends to intimidate the others.
- Keep a close eye on the relationships between your cats – watch body language and step in to diffuse the tension when things start to escalate.
What to Look for in Multi-Cat Cat Litter
When you walk into a pet store and see an entire aisle lined with cat litter boxes, you may think one is just as good as any other. What you may not realize, however, is that there are many different types of litter to choose from and some are better for multi-cat households than others.
Here are some features to look for in cat litter for multiple cats:
- Clumping Action – Many cat owners prefer clumping litter because it’s easy to scoop, controls odor well, and doesn’t need to be replaced as often as non-clumping litter.
- Odor Control – Hard-clumping litter is often the best cat litter for odor control, though you should also look for additives that help neutralize odor.
- Fragrance – Some cat owners prefer scented cat litter for multiple cat households because it helps mask odor, but think twice before choosing something heavily fragranced – it might irritate your cat’s nose and the wrong scent might mix with litter box odor in an unpleasant way.
- Dust and Tracking – The more cats you have, the more litter boxes you’ll need which increases the capacity for mess – choosing a dust-free and low-tracking litter will help.
- Highly Absorbent – When you have multiple cats using the litter box, you need a litter that absorbs liquid quickly to avoid creating a sticky wet mess on the bottom of the box.
Now that you have an idea what you’re looking for in a good cat litter, you’re probably wondering what’s out there. There are way too many options to choose from, but not all cat litters are created equal. Read on to see our top picks for the best cat litter for multi-cat houses.
The Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats
Cheap cat litter isn’t good and good cat litter isn’t cheap, but you don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune buying litter every month. Once you know what to look for, you can quickly narrow down your options – at that point, it largely becomes a matter of preference.
To help you choose the right cat litter for your multiple cat household, we’ve assembled a list of different options for you to consider. We’ve scoured the best cat litter reviews online and tested the top brands ourselves to bring you the information you need to make your choice.
Here are our top picks for the best multi-cat litter:
|Our 2020 Picks: Best Multi-Cat Litter|
|Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented
|Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide Multi-Cat
|World’s Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter
|Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping
|Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented
|Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay
|Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping
|sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented
|Scoop Away Multi-Cat Meadow Fresh Scented
When shopping for cat litter as the owner of multiple cats, you want to minimize odor and mess as much as possible. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Litter is a great option because not only is it 99.9% dust-free, but it delivers superior odor control through hard-clumping action. This formula is unscented, and it comes in large 18-, 20-, and 40-pound bags and boxes. It is a powerful formula specifically designed for multi-cat houses and comes in a medium grain that reduces tracking. This litter even works well in sifting and mechanical litter boxes.
Pros: Low dust and low tracking, superior odor control, hard-clumping action, unscented formula
Cons: Can be fairly heavy (especially larger packages)
If you’ve had trouble cleaning your litter box in the past, Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide Multi-Cat Litter might be the litter for you. This formula is not only designed for multi-cat households, but it’s formulated to slide right out of the pan – no scrubbing needed! This cat litter delivers 7-day odor control in a dust-free formula. It has a fresh scent as well and uses Clump & Seal technology to lock in odors right at the source before they can leave the litter box.
Pros: Clump & Seal technology traps odors, slides easily out of the box, dust-free formula, fresh scent
Cons: May track more than some litters, some cats disliked the texture
With a name like World’s Best Cat Litter, you might expect big things from this formula, and you would be right to do so. This World’s Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter offers excellent odor control and quick-clumping action. What you may be surprised to learn is that it’s not a clay litter – it’s actually made of corn. This cat litter may cost a little more than your average litter, but it is lightweight, dust-free, and flushable for easy cleanup. You may find it well worth the price!
Pros: Lightweight and 99% dust-free, made from corn materials, quick-clumping, great odor control
Cons: Somewhat pricy compared to other options, urine odor may combine unpleasantly with corn
If price is a factor, consider Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. Frisco is Chewy’s in-house pet product brand and they offer a variety of cat litter formulas including this multi-cat unscented clay litter. This formula only comes in 20- and 40-pound bags, so it can be a little difficult to manage but the price is worth it. This litter neutralizes odor on contact and is low tracking, both important features for a multiple cat household. It also forms hard clumps for quick and easy scooping.
Pros: Very affordable price, neutralizes odors on contact, forms hard clumps, easy to scoop
Cons: Can be fairly heavy, only comes in larger bags
Long-lasting odor control is all any cat owner really wants and this Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Clumping Clay Litter delivers. This formula offers around-the-clock odor control, making it a great choice for multi-cat households. It absorbs moisture to keep your cat comfortable and forms hard clumps that are easy to scoop. This litter keeps your home smelling fresh and clean, plus it comes in a handy lidded pail or smaller jugs with easy-pour handles.
Pros: Long-lasting odor control, manageable jugs or lidded pail, ideal for multi-cat households
Cons: May not absorb large volumes of liquid as well as some brands
The best litter box is the one you never smell and this Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Litter makes that dream a reality. Powered by the fresh scent of Febreze, this scented clumping clay litter delivers a full 10 days of continuous odor protection. This cat litter is 99% dust-free and has paw-activated fragrance to keep the litter box smelling fresh. It forms hard, tight clumps to control odors with the benefit of ClumpLock technology to lock them away.
Pros: Fresh scent of Febreze, paw-activated fragrance, ClumpLock technology seals away odors
Cons: Some found the fragrance too strong, may track more than some litters
Clay cat litter comes with some environmental concerns, so you may be looking for an alternative. For multiple cat households, consider Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Walnut Cat Litter. This cat litter is made from 100% natural walnut shells in a highly absorbent formula that neutralizes odors better than clay and even other natural materials like pine, corn, and wheat. This low-dust formula reduces tracking and is completely free from chemicals, toxins, and artificial fragrance.
Pros: Made from 100% natural materials, highly absorbent formula, neutralizes odors
Cons: May track more than clay litter, clumping action could be stronger
Another natural option for alternatives to clay litter is this sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter. This wheat-based cat litter comes in 12-, 25-, and 36-pound bags which makes it great for multi-cat households. It contains fast-clumping wheat starch and promises powerful, long-lasting odor control. This eco-friendly formula is 100% biodegradable and it can even be flushed down the toilet for easy disposal. Because it is gentle, this litter is also recommended for kittens and post-surgical cats.
Pros: Made from 100% natural and biodegradable materials, fast-clumping wheat starch, flushable
Cons: May not absorb liquid as quickly as clay litter, some dislike the scent when combined with urine
You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot on cat litter, especially if you’re cleaning out the litter box twice a week. Scoop Away Multi-Cat Meadow Fresh Scented Clumping Clay Litter is an affordable option for multiple cat households that offers excellent odor control. Available in 14- and 25-pound boxes, Scoop Away litter offers 7-days of guaranteed odor control thanks to Ammonia Shield technology and odor-fighting antimicrobial agents. This litter also features a paw-activated Meadow Fresh fragrance.
Pros: Affordable price, guaranteed 7-day odor protection, paw-activated fragrance
Cons: Some cats dislike scented litter, some users found it fairly dusty
Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the difference between multi-cat litter and regular litter? It really depends on the brand and the formula – in cheap cat litters, there may not be much of a difference at all. Ideally, multi-cat litters offer improved clumping and odor control. If more than one cat is using the litter box, it’s going to fill up faster and a single cat litter may not do the job.
- How many litter boxes do I need with multiple cats? The general rule is to have one litter box per cat plus one extra. If you have two cats, you’ll need at least three litter boxes with an additional box for each extra cat. When it comes to placing your litter boxes, it’s a good idea to have one on each level to make sure they’re easily accessible from anywhere in the house. If you have multiple cats, you may have issues with cats claiming certain territories – this is especially true if you live in a multi-floor home. Having a litter box or two on each level may help.
- Is clumping cat litter better for multiple cats? Whether you choose clumping or non-clumping litter is largely a matter of preference, but the number of cats using the litter box certainly makes a difference. Non-clumping litter is usually cheaper but because it doesn’t clump, you typically need to empty the entire litter box. Frequently cleaning the box will help a lot with odor in multi-cat households, but it might not be a job you want to do every day. If you want to cut down on maintenance, spend a little more for clumping cat litter. You’ll still need to scoop the clumps once or twice a day, but you’ll be able to reuse the clean litter.
- How often should I scoop the litter box in a multi-cat home? You should scoop your litter box as often as you can to avoid odor buildup and to keep your cat comfortable. The same way you feel about a dirty bathroom in your home, your cat doesn’t want to use the litter box if it isn’t tidy. When you have more than one cat, the litter box will fill up more quickly and odor is going to become an issue. Scoop at least once a day then clean and refill the box once a week. If you have a large cat litter box or several extra boxes, you may be able to skip a day in between.
- Can I use multi-cat litter for a single cat? Yes, multi-cat litter is perfectly safe for a single cat. Multi-cat litter is typically designed with stronger odor control, so it may even be a benefit. Just keep in mind that some brands charge more for multi-cat formulas, so check the prices before you decide.
If you’re going to own a cat, cat litter is going to become a big part of your life. Avoid the temptation to skimp with a cheap litter because you’ll only end up paying for it later with poor odor control and messy cleanup. In a multi-cat household, choosing the right litter becomes even more important.
Take what you’ve learned here and use our advice to choose the best cat litter for your household. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of the options we’ve reviewed above!