Having multiple cats in your household can mean a lot of things—more fun and more mischief, of course. But extra cats tend to make a mess of the litter box. And cleaning up that mess is the opposite of fun.
Choosing the right litter box for your family of cats can help you minimize the mess, reduce stress on your kitties, and create a happier home environment for everyone. But with so many personalities and preferences to contend with, finding the right litterbox to fit the needs of all your furry feline family members can be pretty tricky.
To help you out, we scoured the market for the best litter box options and spoke with an expert to highlight the best-of-the-best litter boxes for multi-cat households in 2022. Here’s what we found out.
Benefits of Choosing a Litter Box for Multiple Cats
The more cats you have, the more litter box waste and smell you have to contend with, and the more work it takes to clean up after them. But this isn’t just a cleanliness issue. Your cats’ happiness depends on it, too.
“Cats can become stressed when they feel they don’t have enough resources,” explains Animal Behavior Consultant and cat expert, Samantha Bell. Such resources could include anything from their food bowl to their favorite scratcher.
“This stress can lead to behavior issues like bullying the other cats so they can’t access resources, like the litter box,” Bell warns. “This, in turn, could cause cats not to use the litter box because they’re too afraid. Stress in cats can also manifest as a urinary tract infection, which would also cause the cat not to use the box,” she says.
Choosing a litter box that your cats feel comfortable using can go a long way toward keeping them happy and healthy. While every cat has different needs and preferences, Bell suggests a few good guidelines to follow when considering litter boxes for your multi-cat home.
Don’t crowd your cat. “With multiple cats, open litter boxes provide them with the most security and confidence,” says Bell. “With a closed-top box, they can’t see if another cat is waiting outside the box to ambush them upon exiting. Cats want to be able to see all around them when they’re in this vulnerable position.”
Automate and delegate. To help you manage the extra mess, Bell suggests looking for features like automated cleaning and odor control. Technology may be your best friend when it comes to keeping litter boxes (and your home environment) clean and fresh.
Think big. More mess also means your cats need more space. That not only applies to the actual size of the litter box—which should be should be large enough so that no part of your cat hangs over the edge when they use it, says Bell—but to the number of litter boxes available to your cats.
“I recommend following the ‘number-of-cats-plus-one’ rule,” suggests Bell. “If you have two cats, I advise having three litter boxes…and not all clumped together, because that only counts as one box in a cat’s mind. If a cat isn’t allowing access to one box, the other cats should be able to go to another area to use one,” Bell says.
Top Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats: Our Picks
In addition to Bell’s guidelines, we chose our top-recommended litter boxes for multiple cats based on our own experience as multi-cat parents, the opinions of other multi-cat families, online reviews and ratings, cost, value, and quality. Here are the litter boxes that rose to the top.
- Best Overall Litter Box for Multiple Cats: Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Cat Litter Box
- Best Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Multiple Cats: Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker
- Best Large Litter Box for Multiple Cats: So Phresh Scatter Shield High-Back Litter Box
- Best Covered Litter Box for Multiple Cats: ExquisiCat Jumbo Flip Top Litter Pan with Door
- Best Budget Litter Box for Multiple Cats: Pureness Giant High Sides Cat Litter Pan
- Most Innovative Litter Box for Multiple Cats: Modkat XL Litter Box
What is the Best Litter Box for Multiple Cats?
After scouring the market for litter boxes for multiple cats, we narrowed it down to six of the best.
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Overall Litter Box for Multiple Cats
This litter box earns the top spot for the best overall option for multiple cats due to its ideal design and affordable price. High sides contain litter and keep cats from making a mess over the edge, but the low entry point allows easy step-in, even for senior cats. The open top may not contain odor well, but it does allow cats to keep an eye on their surroundings—and watch for any ambushes from their cat siblings—while in a vulnerable position. At nearly two feet long, this super-sized box is also big enough to handle multiple cats…and their messes.
- Combination of high sides and low opening makes it easy for cats to enter while preventing litter scatter.
- Open top allows cats in multi-pet homes to survey surroundings.
- Large size is big enough for most cats.
Things to Consider:
- Controlling odor will be more difficult with an open box.
Best Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Multiple Cats
Our Pick: Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker
Shop now using this link and save $25 off your Litter-Robot 4 purchase!
Cleaning a litter box is one of those must-do tasks that no one wants to do. But with an automated litter box, scooping is a thing of the past. Although it has a steep price tag, the benefits of the innovative Litter-Robot 4 more than justify the investment. The automated design not only automatically scoops litter after your pet has used it, but it’s Wi-Fi enabled and connects to app to deliver insights on your pets’ health and bathroom habits. For multiple cat households, the Litter-Robot 4 uses your pet’s weight to distinguish between each pet. The design works with any litter and any garbage bag, so there’s no need to buy specialized products. When you’re ready to empty your pets’ waste, it does the dirty work for you – all you need to do is remove the bag of waste and add more litter.
- Suitable for up to four cats.
- Automated cleaning means cats always have a clean litter box.
- Sealed waste drawer and optional OdorTrap system handle the extra stink of multi-cat use.
- Doesn’t require special litter like some of the other automated options.
- Small footprint makes it easier to fit into smaller spaces.
- Eclosed for privacy, but wide open at the front to allow cats clear view of their surroundings.
- App shares specs on litter level and insights into your pets’ health.
Things to Consider:
- Pricier than other litter boxes.
Best Large Litter Box for Multiple Cats
A large litter box is ideal for multi-cat households, and this king-sized option is one of the largest available. It measures 24 inches long and 18 inches wide, with high sides all around to keep litter scatter contained. The high-quality, durable plastic will stand up to multiple cats, and the price is affordable enough to purchase multiple boxes, if needed. While it’s not covered and therefore may not provide any odor control, cats who like to see their surroundings while using the box will feel more comfortable with the open top.
- Extra large size is big enough for even the biggest cats.
- High sides contain litter scatter and prevent cats from missing the litter box.
- Durable material at an affordable price.
Things to Consider:
- Open top won’t provide odor control.
Best Covered Litter Box for Multiple Cats
If your cats will use a covered litter box, it can be a good choice to contain smells and keep waste out of sight. To give them lots of room, a large size is a must. This covered design has a hinged door which gives pets additional privacy, and it also has a built-in, replaceable filter for additional odor control. Some covered litter boxes can be complicated to clean depending on how difficult it is to remove the lid, but this one makes it easy — you only need to pop up the front portion of the top to access the inside.
- Fully covered design contains odors, litter, and multi-cat messes.
- Easy-to-open top for quick cleaning.
- Includes a place for filters to further reduce odor.
- Large size is ideal for households with multiple cats.
Things to Consider:
- Filters need to be replaced monthly.
Best Budget Litter Box for Multiple Cats
Our Pick: Pureness Giant High Sides Cat Litter Pan
When you have multiple cats and need more than one litter box, the cost can quickly add up. Finding quality litter boxes that are also affordable is key. This option resembles our top pick but comes at a fraction of the price. Even though it only costs around $10, the litter pan has all the features of an ideal design for multiple cats: it has high sides to contain waste and litter scatter, it’s large enough to give cats the space they need, and the open top allows cats to see what’s happening around them while they use it. Plus, the plastic is odor and stain-resistant.
- Low price makes it easier to afford multiple litter boxes.
- High sides keep litter from scattering.
- Made with durable plastic that lasts.
- Large size accommodates all cat sizes.
Things to Consider:
- Open design won’t contain odors or hide waste.
Most Innovative Litter Box for Multiple Cats
Out Pick: Modkat XL Litter Box
In households with multiple cats, you probably also deal with lots of different personalities and preferences. This covered design from Modkat helps handle that. It’s extra large and allows for both top or front entry — the front entry can be closed off as needed, while the top entry allows for tracked litter to drop back into the box instead of on your floor. It also reduces odor by using replaceable liners that keep the litter box itself clean and usable for years. This is a good thing given the price of this innovative design, which will cost you a pretty penny. That price comes with extra benefits, though, like a place to hang the scooper, a super large size, and an easy-to-remove lid that makes cleaning a breeze.
- Can be configured as a top-entry or front-entry box.
- The design prevents cats from accidentally peeing outside the litter box.
- Replacement liners keep the pan from absorbing odor.
- Large size gives cats lots of room.
- Sleek design that you won’t need to hide.
Things to Consider:
- Higher priced than other litter boxes.
- Liners need to be purchased separately and replaced every three months.
- Doesn’t give cats clear view of their surroundings.
Litter Box for Multiple Cats Buying Guide
There’s no shortage of litter box options to choose from. So finding the perfect fit for your household can be a little overwhelming. Here are some things to consider before you finalize your decision.
Types of Litter Boxes for Multiple Cats
The best type of litter box to use for multiple cats is the one they will happily use. In other words, you know your cats best, so take their natural preferences into account.
If your kitties are a bit particular, consider upgrading the size of your box — the more space your cats have to move around, the better.
If your cats tend to fight with each other or are easily startled, lean toward uncovered litter boxes to give them a clear view of what’s going on around them. Or, if litter odor is an issue, a covered option with a wide opening could offer the best of all worlds — security, visibility, and better odor control.
If you’re interested in an automated or self-cleaning design, keep in mind that it can take some time for cats to adjust to these high-tech options. Introduce your cats to them slowly, and look for options with a generous return window, like the Litter-Robot 4, which offers a 90-day in-home trial period. “If your cat doesn’t want to use a self-cleaning box, it could be because they’re afraid of the noises it makes,” says Bell.
If none of your cats will use an automated box, it may be a good idea to switch back to a traditional design. But if it’s just one skittish kitty, as long as you provide other litter box options, you should be in good shape.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
It’s a good idea to have at least one litter box for each pet, and whether you choose the same type or vary is up to you and your pets. “If they’re all currently using the same type of box, don’t change it up. Stick with what’s working! But if you have one cat that is having bathroom issues, it’s smart to only change up one box/litter so the other cats can still access the type they like,” says Bell.
While cats may naturally choose a box they prefer, it’s fine to let cats share with one exception: “If a cat has a contagious disease that is transmitted through feces, then you’d want to ensure that the cat uses their own box,” recommends Bell.
Ultimately, your pet’s different personalities will determine the better litter box for them, but keeping their litter boxes clean is one of the most important factors outside of the type of litter box itself. “Cats are fastidiously clean creatures and don’t like to step into a dirty box,” Bell says. So the more you can do to make their litter box an inviting place, the better it is for everyone in your home.