As I’m sure you’ve already heard, we still need to have one more litter box than the number of cats we have! That means that if you have a cat, you must have two litters; two cats, three litters... That’s all well and good, but the big question to this rule that few of us actually follow is BUT WHY?
First of all, as in humans, some cats are simply disdainful and will refuse to use a litter box if a congener already uses it. So they need another one available to them. Other cats refuse to stool where they urinate and therefore they will need two litter boxes… yes! Cats can also be difficult!
Now, where do we put these litter boxes? Actually, the location is as important as the number. You must place your litters in different rooms! I know it can be boring and we don’t always have the space to do it, but it seems that your cat has a routine of resting and watching her territory from different places. By having litter boxes accessible in different places, he will be inclined to use them, because he will pass by when he does his daily rounds. This is especially for cats that are not castrated, because for them specifically, it’s as if the litter box turned out to be a sign saying, “This is my house!” Your cat will then mark it in the litter box instead of on your wall or carpet.
The biggest problem occurs mainly when you have more than one cat. Although they can get along wonderfully, this does not mean that they share the same territory, which changes according to the time of day. If only one litter box is available for two cats, or if it is located on the territory of a particular cat at the time when it holds that territory, it is possible that the other cat does not dare to venture there. So he’ll have to go somewhere else— By having a litter of more than the number of cats, since they are placed in different rooms, you will give your companions several options so that they avoid frequenting a claimed territory.
As noted above, you may have a cat that does not want to do its needs in the same place where it urinates or pees in one corner and does its bowel movements in the other. This is why it is important that a large tray is available so that it can manage space well and always have the legs dry. Ideally, your cat needs a tray with litter well high (about 12 inches – which will allow him to drop half of the litter grains stuck to his legs thanks to the impulse he will have to give himself to get out), translucent and without a lid. On the other hand, if your cat is old, sick or suffering from a disability, think about making it easier to access it by cutting a door in the plastic or installing steps next to the bin.
That’s why it’s imperative that you have one more litter box than the total number of cats you own at home. It will cost a little more and will not necessarily always be easy to manage, but it will also prevent incidents of uncleanness that often lead people to euthanize their pets thinking that this is probably a health problem. Several other solutions can address the primary cause of the problem. However, consultation with a cat behaviour specialist may be helpful. Do not give up and, above all, do not have your cat euthanized automatically for a problem of stool or urine out of the litter. Make the suggested changes and inform yourself properly before making a decision. In the vast majority of cases, the problem of cleanliness is easily solved.