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Best Litters for Multiple Cats: Managing Bathroom Traffic Control

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When you have more than one cat in a household, everything's a careful balancing act. Do you have enough toys for everyone? Have you spaced out the food and water bowls? Are there litter boxes set out? And then there's the litter. You want a litter that can handle the burden of multiple feline visits every day. We'll go through a list of the best litters for multiple cats to make life easier on everyone.

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Every cat has a unique personality. They tackle the world in different ways, and they develop individual preferences. If you share your home with multiple cats, you start to pick up on each quirk. And that’s great. Who wants a household of feline clones? But you also have to balance managing every kitty’s needs. One of the biggest? Keeping up with all of the litter boxes. If their bathrooms don’t remain pristine, your cats may decide to look elsewhere. That makes choosing litters for multiple cats especially critical. But we have the best options on the market to help you out.

Feline Bathroom Hygiene

Cats are one of the most fastidious creatures out there. They have high standards when it comes to cleanliness. And that extends to their bathroom facilities. Forget to clean a litter box? Your cats let you know. This is why some people turn to automatic litter boxes, which do the cleaning for them.

But when you have multiple cats in a household, most automatic litter boxes don’t hold up. Not to mention the expense involved. Because – automatic or not – you need to follow the Plus One rule:

For every cat in the house, you need one litter box plus one.

This ensures there’s ALWAYS a litter box open. So even if you have a bully in the house, no one misses out on bathroom breaks.

Litter

Chore that it is, litter boxes need cleaning every day – particularly in multiple cat households. It cuts down on odors and leaves the box fresh for your fussy felines. Not to mention reducing how much litter you have to haul to the trash at a time.

When you consider litters for multiple cats, clumping types come out on top. Everything binds together, allowing you to easily scoop the kitty waste – WITHOUT having to dump the entire box. (Thus, saving you from paying for extra litter) And cats tend to prefer clumping litters.

And while YOU may prefer the scents of flowers or laundry soap, felines DON’T. Cats have better senses of smell than we do. So when you bring scented litters in to try to hide the smell of kitty waste, it irritates their noses. And the result? Cats that find alternate locations for bathrooms.

Choosing a Litter for Multiple Cats

Cats are PICKY. If they decide they don’t like a certain litter, they won’t go near the litter box. And sometimes, that fussiness drives you crazy. (Our cats want a specific TYPE within the brand we use, and if we dare try another, they protest) You can’t forget your felines when shopping for litters for multiple cats. But you also need to consider the following important characteristics:

  • Material: Most clumping litters are made of bentonite clay. However, you can also find corn, wheat, pine pellets, and walnut shells. Some clump better than others. And some may cause allergy problems. You need a material that works for everyone.
  • Dust: No matter what litter for multiple cats you use, there’s going to be dust (nothing is dust-free – no matter what the label says). However, some litters create less dust than others, which is important for people with allergies.
  • Odor Control: Fragrance isn’t the same thing as odor control. But when you’re searching for litters for multiple cats, you want to neutralize the smell of ammonia and poop.
  • Tracking: No one wants to crawl on the floor with the vacuum, trying to pick up every piece of litter tracked through the house. Non-tracking formulas help you avoid the necessity of a litter mat.
  • Disposable: Clumping litters for multiple cats SHOULD bind tight together. But some only hold solid waste, allowing urine to collect on a pad in the bottom of the litter box. And some claim they’re flushable (you MUST check with your sewage company before you do this to avoid a potentially embarrassing – and costly – problem).

Best Litters for Multiple Cats

Nothing gets trickier than managing the bathroom stations in a multi-cat household. You want everyone to stay stress-free, and you don’t want to create a cleaning nightmare for yourself. Finding the best litters for multiple cats – and making sure you follow that Plus One rule – will go a long way to solving both problems. You’ll have the best litter to handle the extra bathroom trips, and your house will smell fresh and clean. (Of course, you still need to do your part)

And with those extra boxes to choose from, all of the felines in the house will feel safe. So you won’t have to worry about accidents happening!

When you see the Arm & Hammer label, you know you’re getting baking soda power to control odors. The clay granules are a fine texture that bind tight, with the baking soda and odor eliminators working for a full seven days (though, really, you need to clean the box every day). The formula’s also designed to trap allergens from cat urine, helping reduce flares. Plus, the box has a nifty easy-pour spout on the side, so you won’t end up with litter spilling all over the floor.

Downsides? The sandy texture tends to stick to your cats’ paws, leading to litter tracking through the house. You’ll want a litter mat in place to help prevent some of the mess. Also, the “light scent” is false advertising. The smell ended up overwhelming people (and possibly cats). If you’re sensitive to smells, look for a different litter for multiple cats.

The Good

The Bad

One of the most troubling parts of searching for litter for multiple cats is the WEIGHT of the litter bags/boxes/tubs. Boxiecat comes in as one of the lighter options out there. The clay formula clumps at the surface of a litter box, making it easy for you to scoop everything away. And there’s NO scent to bother you or your cats. But it WILL hold in odors from the waste.

The downsides? Your cat can’t dig for this litter to work. If they do (which – let’s face it – most cats DO), you get a swampy mess. The litter doesn’t clump well when not exposed to the air. So it also won’t absorb any odors. And that means you get a disgusting, stinky litter box. And while it has a lovely claim of “99.9% dust-free,” people found it otherwise. It produced plenty of dust AND tracked through the house. Mind your allergies (and keep the vacuum close).

The Good

The Bad

When you have to buy litter for multiple cats, cost can become an issue. Cat’s Pride is one of the most affordable options on the market. The lightweight jug’s a cinch to pour from (and closes back up without a problem). The clumping formula’s tolerated in most automatic litter boxes. And there’s no odor to irritate you or your cats’ noses. Plus, for every jug Cat’s Pride sells, they donate one pound of litter to an animal shelter (you have to love doing good in the world).

So what are the downsides? There’s A LOT of dust created by this litter (which takes down the hypoallergenic label). And since it only comes in a 10-pound size, you’ll need to buy it more frequently than larger options. However, you WILL end up donating plenty of litter in the process. It’s your call.

The Good

The Bad

No one likes litter tracked through the house. And if you have MULTIPLE cats tracking litter? That’s a nightmare. Dr. Elsey’s solves that problem by using a heavier clay that keeps the granules IN the box. The extra weight also cuts down on the amount of dust kicked into the air when your cats start their excavations. And they avoid any scents (though there IS a scented version, if you feel it’s needed), leaving you and your cats breathing easy. Everything clumps together tightly, making it easy to scoop.

Downsides? The bags are heavy and awkward to maneuver. Plus, they don’t reseal. The clumping CAN lead to stickiness on your cats’ paws or the sides of the litter box, so keep an eye on things (it’s not tracking, but your cat may not appreciate a bath). And the odor control isn’t as good when compared against other litters for multiple cats.

The Good

The Bad

Some owners WANT scents in their litters for multiple cats. And no one does that better than Fresh Step. With scents by Febreze and Gain, your cats’ litter boxes remain fresh. But they don’t overwhelm the house. The bursts of smell ONLY release when your cats scratch at the clumping litter. It’s a nice compromise. There’s also activated charcoal in the mixture to help with natural odor control. The box is also easy to pour from, and it closes again (it’s not a perfect seal, but it’s also not bad).

The downsides? This is one of the dustier litters out there. And while there IS a scent, it disperses as quickly as your cats scratch. So does that odor control. And don’t forget – many cats DON’T tolerate scents. You may enjoy it (brief as it is), but if your cats think the smell’s repellent? They won’t go near the box.

The Good

The Bad

Do you hate clay dust? Naturally Fresh is the perfect alternative litter for multiple cats. They use all-natural crushed walnut shells! The shells provide the same clumping ability and odor control as clay but with less dust. And the only scent? The natural smell of the shells – something that shouldn’t bother your felines. It’s a biodegradable option that makes this litter a better option for the landfills.

So what are the downsides? If you have a nut allergy, this litter’s a no-go. Also, it DOES clump, but it takes longer for the clumps to form than traditional clay. This may cause frustration among the felines in the household. And it leads to litter sticking to their paws and tracking through the house. You’ll also want to avoid light fabrics as the light brown dust WILL cause staining.

The Good

The Bad

Ökocat is another alternative to clay litters for multiple cats. They use biodegradable wood fibers – making it a flushable litter (assuming your sewer company gives you the green light). And while wood may sound rough, they break down the fibers into the same soft texture as clay. You won’t see any chemicals, and there’s only the natural scent of the wood. The fibers absorb all of the odors and lock the waste into a solid clump. And dust? Nope, not a problem.

Downsides?  It’s a little on the pricey side of things. And your cats WILL need to adjust to the difference if you’ve used clay litters in the past. Plus, you need to consider your allergy list. If you have problems with the wood (and I couldn’t track down WHAT trees they use), that may lead to problems. But if you want to cut down on dust and help lower problems in landfills? It’s a nice option.

The Good

The Bad

When you clean out a litter box, you monitor the health of your cats. And Pretty Litter helps you do just that. The silica crystals have pH indicators that alert you when changes take place in your cats’ urine. It’s an early alert system. And with the subscription, you don’t have to worry about lugging heavy bags of litter in and out of the car. You place your order, and the bags show up on your doorstep. The silica’s lightweight and completely dust-free. The crystals pull odors and moisture from your cats’ waste, allowing you to scoop everything clean.

The downsides? This is NOT a clumping litter. You’re going to need to clean out the entire litter box on a routine basis to keep things fresh. And they estimate that one bag will last 30 days – for one cat. So you’re going to pay a lot for litter when you have multiple cats. If that health indicator matters, prepare to invest.

The Good

The Bad

When you need litter for multiple cats, you can’t go wrong with Tidy Cats. And their Instant Action clumping litter goes to work right away, locking odors into the clay as soon as your cats visit the litter box. The “Tidy Lock” system works for days, with the clay forming tight clumps. And there’s no scent to worry about. They even keep the dust levels low.

This is the ONLY litter our trio will accept in the house. (Seriously, we can’t use any other Tidy Cat) And it works beautifully. Our oldest cat is diabetic, which means he often urinates large amounts. And the clumps HOLD. Having attempted other litters in the past, they often fall apart when put to the same test. And as someone who struggles with allergies (and sits only a few feet from one of the litter boxes), the dust is tolerable. I wouldn’t call it “99.9% dust-free,” but it’s manageable.

So what are the downsides? This litter does track. We use litter mats to keep it under control. And unless you get the smaller jugs with the handles, trying to pour boxes and tubs is difficult (though the cost savings are significant).

The Good

The Bad

Tidy Cats also offers an alternative litter for multiple cats with their Pure Nature line. Rather than clay, they use cedar shavings, corn cobs, and pine shavings. You still get the same clumping power – and odor control – but with natural, biodegradable materials. And the only scent you have to cope with are the soft smells of cedar and pine. It’s lightweight and soft on your cats’ paws and WON’T create dust throughout the house.

Downsides? The soft shavings tend to stick to kitty paws and track through the house. And that stickiness continues to the clumps. Also, if you have allergies to cedar, corn, or pine? Yeah, big problems.

The Good

The Bad

World’s Best uses all-natural compressed corn in their litter for multiple cats. It’s biodegradable – and if your sewer company allows – you can flush it down the toilet. The corn quickly absorbs waste and locks away odors. And the scent? Natural corn, which shouldn’t trouble your cats too much. Best of all, corn weighs almost nothing, so toting the bags around and pouring them isn’t much of a hassle.

The downsides? This is one of the more expensive litters out there. And if you’ve ever worked with chickens, you know corn produces dust AND tracks EVERYWHERE. Have a litter mat handy. Also, make sure no one in the house has a corn allergy.

The Good

The Bad

Litter Patrol

Keeping your cats’ litter boxes clean is always a priority. But finding the best litters for multiple cats goes a long way to helping. You don’t want to spend every waking moment scooping. You need a litter that can handle the burden of frequent visits from every feline in the household. It’ll make your life MUCH easier.

After all, you don’t want your cats thinking you really ARE at their every beck and call.

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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