Litter Box Tips For Multiple Cats
You do have some things to think about when using a new litter box for more than one cat. The additional litter youll need to buy, factoring in cleaning and maintenance time, where you place it in the house, and the kind your cats prefer to use.
But its not hard to find the perfect one, and its not that much additional expense in the long run.
Now Lets Take A Look At How The Litter
Both the LitterMaid and the Litter-Robot are fully automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes. They serve the primary purpose of removing the hassle of scooping, though they utilize two very different forms of technology to do it. They also have very disparate features and technological capabilities.
To compare and contrast these two litter boxes, well take a closer look at the following categories:
Lets dive into the details in each of these categories.
Littermaid Multi Cat Self
When looking at the features, it does look a great deal for you and your cat. The unit has many great key points that you will generally find in most of the top automated cat litter boxes.
Weve tried it out for ourselves with of our cats to see if it will get the job done and after a few weeks of using it, here are a few things that you should take note of:
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How Often Should I Scoop A Litter Box
Pet experts recommend scooping a litter box at least daily. You may need to scoop more often depending on the individual cat . But the joy of having an automatic litter box means itll scoop out the dirty litter so you dont have to worry about just make sure you adjust the settings to scoop as frequently as your cat needs it to.
Important Features To Consider
Cost: The price tag for an automatic litter box can range from a minimum of $100 to $450. This doesnt include the cost of litter and the accessories the box may require. Also, a good rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes in your house is one per cat, plus an additional one.
Effectiveness in cleaning:We spend enough time cleaning up pet fur, so the whole purpose of buying a self-cleaning/automatic litter box is in its name. You want a product that fulfills its claims. Its important to consider what type of mechanism the litter box uses to clean the waste. Does it rake? Does it scoop? Does it sift? We found that sifting did much better than raking, with scoops performing somewhere in between.
Impact on cats usage: Transitioning any cat to change can be a difficult undertaking. You have to be careful in not disrupting your cats habitat too much, regardless of how convenient it is to your lifestyle. If the design is very different than what your cat is used to, consider keeping their regular litter box around to ease the transition
Setup and programmable features: Nobody likes reading through long pages of manuals to set up a new product. Its also important to note what features are available with your litter box. Can it be programmed to clean at certain times? Is there an indicator for how many times your cat has used it?
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Choosing The Best Litter Boxes: What To Look For
When choosing litter boxes to accommodate multiple cats, below are some factors you should keep in mind.
Theres no shortage of options when selecting a litter box these days. There are familiar covered or uncovered designs, but nowadays, its more about features. There are many models that make life easier for the owner.
Things like odor control all the way up to a fully self-cleaning litter box that cuts out the daily scooping and litter replacement.
Size is one of the most important factors when youre selecting the right litter box for multiple cats. You want them to feel comfortable using it, even if they happen to be using it at the same time.
You might find that one of your cats prefers the privacy of a best covered litter box, while another likes the open feeling of an uncovered design. If youre only looking to be using a single box, it might take some trial and error.
But cats are very resilient animals, so even if youre using a type that one or both cats might not be used to, it shouldnt take them very long to get accustomed to that particular model.
Making sure everything stays where it should is a concern of every cat owner. Its enough of a chore to maintain it daily, but its even more of a headache when you have to clean up messes in the surrounding area.
Wall height is also important if you keep the litter box in a more public area of the home where you dont want odors escaping.
Does It Actually Save You Litter
For this LitterMaid Automatic Multi Cat Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box, you wont be adding too much litter from the start.
It might not seem like a good idea, but since the litter is basically recycled, the unit will use the same litter over and over again.
You can use the litter until the smell comes from the urine left inside the box and only then will you know that its time for it to be changed.
We should mention that even though the solid waste is easy to dispose of for the unit, the rake will go through the clumps that have urine and dislodge them.
Unfortunately, some of the litter might still have a little bit of urine left on it and this can eventually build up and you need to remove all of the litter to replace it.
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Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
If you have multiple cats, that means twice as much mess, which means twice as many odors and things to clean up. A hooded litter box can be the perfect answer to concealing odors if you have multiple cats using the same litter box.
To further fight odors, there is a carbon filter that traps and removes them. An additional utility from Catit called the Ammonia Buster can be fitted to it. This device absorbs and retains up to 80 percent of hazardous ammonia gases.
The large hood is easy to lift and gives you access to clean it out to refresh it. A built-in bag anchor keeps it open for hands-free scooping without the headache of having to reopen the bag if it folds in on itself. And a slider makes it easy to lock, so putting the hood back on is effortless.
Covered litter boxes provide a great amount of privacy and are a terrific choice if there are multiple cats in your house.
- The covered design is great if multiple cats are using it
- Anchor keeps bag open when cleaning
- Carbon filter captures and keeps odors from escaping
- Additional Ammonia Buster accessory absorbs ammonia gases
- The locking slider makes putting the top back on after cleaning simple
Pros And Cons Of The Littermaid Multi
|This large self-cleaning litter box is affordably priced and perfect for homes with large or multiple cats.||The unit is noisy.|
|You can set the unit to run automatically or manually, plus you can use any hard clumping litter.||Some buyers reported that their unit stopped working after six months of use.|
|It features high walls to keep litter from scattering and its waste receptacles have odor-control carbon filters.|
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Littermaid Multi
The following advantages and disadvantages of the Littermaid multi-cat will help you to decide with more information:
- A larger capacity litter pan makes it suitable for two small to medium cats or one large cat .
- Ramp to reduce litter tracking
- Automatically cleans the litter box 10 minutes after the cat uses it.
- Reset mechanism in case a cat re-enters the litter box while in a 10-minute countdown.
- More powerful motor and is a little quieter than previous versions
- The carbon filter helps to control odors
- The unit can be disassembled for easy cleaning and disposal of dirty litter.
- The rake does not scrape the bottom of the unit to collect waste stuck on the bottom.
- The power switch could be deactivated if cats steps on it.
- Litter spillage when rake deposits the clumps into the waste compartment.
- The litter level is low so you have to change or pour litter more often
- Rake sometimes gets stuck and does not move .
- This version does not come with a sleep timer
- Not very strong construction around waste compartment
- Waste stuck on the rake, but much less than previous versions
Will My Cat Be Scared To Use A Self
Most cats acclimate to Litter-Robot just fine. The trick is to ease your cat into the transition. We recommend placing Litter-Robot near the old litter box without removing the old litter box yet. Take a cup of litter from the old litter box and add it to the clean litter in Litter-Robot to provide a familiar scent. If you have an increasingly skittish or skeptical kitty, leave Litter-Robot turned off until you know its been used. Read more about how to acclimate your cat.
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Why Trust The Spruce Pets
This roundup was written by Andrew Whalen, an editor for The Spruce Pets with hours of experience testing pet products in our labs. Andrew lives with two rescue cats, Church and Wally, who have wildly different litter box habits. Their input and emotional support was crucial to the automatic litter box testing process.
A previous version of this article was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer who has been contributing to The Spruce Pets since 2020. Her work has also appeared on MyDomaine. For this list, Theresa considered each litter box’s size, price, and features. In addition, product testers tried out several styles with their pets at home and provided real-world insight.
Best Fully Automatic: Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
The Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box features a sensor that triggers it to clean up the mess 30 minutes after your cat uses the box. It includes a spot for plastic bags that allows you to collect the waste without touching dirty litter. This fully automatic box comes with a months supply of the bags, and you can order more online. This litter box, which features a carbon filter to trap odors, works best with a lightweight clumping litter.
Some buyers have reported that the machine malfunctions and others say that it stops working entirely after a few months of use.
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Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
At first glance, Pet Zones self-cleaning litter box is similar in appearance to any normal litter box but its self-cleaning mechanism makes it much better. Incorporating a traditional litter box design means it has high walls that ensure the litter stays inside the box and is unlikely to get kicked out.
The self-cleaning litter box uses smart sensors to determine when your cat is gone and triggers the cleaning cycle that starts fifteen minutes afterward.
The motor works quietly, meaning less disturbance for you and your cat, so you can relax while the box rakes the waste away. When the bin is full, its easy just to remove the tray, throw away the trash bags, and then replace it.
It comes included with a carbon zeolite filter to absorb any odors and help eliminate any unpleasant smells your cat might leave behind.
And theres no need to get any specific cat litter either you can choose any type you want, keeping your wallet happy. Just pour litter in up to the fill line, and thats it.
Theres no problem in cleaning the automatic litter box either. Since its made of modular components, its simple to dismantle, wipe down, and put back together again, ready for your cat to carry on using it whenever needed.
Once Id Set Up The Littermaid It Was Time To Start Evaluating Its Performance
My cats used their new box almost immediately. The sensor detected the presence of a cat and initiated a raking cycle. The raking process was a little bit on the louder side, making a higher-pitched whirr and clunking as the rake moved along its track.
Compared to the ScoopFree litter box, for example, its one of the noisier automatic litter boxes you can buy.
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Petphabet Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box
There are many reasons to look into an enclosed or hooded litter box if you intend to use it with multiple cats.
A removable, clear top gives you an easy view of whats happening inside, and the high back and front lip help reduce spill. And even though its enclosed, your cat wont necessarily feel boxed in when using it.
Petphabet Jumbo is an easy-to-clean litter box made of long-lasting non-stick plastic that doesnt let stains and odors latch onto it. It comes in a variety of colors, so you shouldnt have any issues finding the right one for your space.
If you need one litter box and you have more than one cat, this is a solid choice. As far as covered litter boxes go, the transparent top makes it easy to tell when things need to be changed out.
- Roomy enough and easy to use with multiple cats
- A clear top makes the cleaning process a breeze
- Non-stick plastic keeps stains and smells from building up
Maintenance And Cost Of Ownership
We noted how frequently we had to monitor the litter box for any clogs or clumps that were stuck. It was imperative the cleaning mechanism worked effectively as this influenced the maintenance of the litter box. We also observed the size of the waste receptacle and how often we had to replace or clean it out.
Some of the litter boxes required additional accessories or specialized brand litter, adding extra costs for the usage of the litter box. It also was relevant how much the litter box itself costs, as they vary greatly in price. So when you take into consideration wanting multiple automatic litter boxes, it can add up even more quickly.
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Why You Might Want A Self
Pet experts recommend scooping a litter box at least daily, possibly more often depending on the individual cat . Self-cleaning litter boxes scoop themselves so you dont have to, and some allow you to program them to scoop waste multiple times per day. All you have to do is toss out the collected waste once or twice a week. Our experts said that a good automatic litter box should scoop frequently without backing up or spilling, operate quietly, and offer a large enough space for most cats. However, none of the litter boxes we tested met any of those criteria.
Not a single automatic litter box we tested, not even those designed for multiple-cat households, had a large enough litter bed.
The main reason you might want an automatic litter box is the promise that it will scoop itself for you, but these devices often fail at that task. The scoop can get gunky or clogged, leaving the machine backed up. The Litter-Robot III Open Air, for example, jammed when we loaded too much litter or the wrong type of litter, and in one case it malfunctioned because cat waste was blocking its sensor, so it mistakenly perceived the bin as being full. And with the PetSafe Simply Clean, several times clumped urine got caught on the conveyor belt, bottlenecking the travel route and spilling dirty litter onto the floor.
The Litter-Robot III Open Air offers an 18-month warranty with an optional 18-month extension for $50. Both PetSafe models we tested have one-year warranties.
The Littermaids Rake Didnt Do The Best Job Of Collecting Or Depositing Waste
I found that the LitterMaids rake cleaned the litter unevenly, passing over some areas and scraping through others. Several hotspots started to accumulate waste, forming large clumps that the rake missed again and again. Besides raking unevenly, the LitterMaid failed to clean thoroughly. Some particles slipped between the tines of the rake and sometimes clumps stuck to the tines, not dropping into the waste receptacle at all.
Of course, the LitterMaid comes with a scoop designed to scrape clumped litter off of the tines of the rake. While this accessory is helpful, the amount of time youd spend scraping the rake is similar to the amount youd spend scooping the litter box.
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How We Selected Finalists To Test
The promise of having to scoop even one less clump of litter is enticing to any cat owner. However, these products can feel like an expensive gamble as they can be ten times more expensive than a manual litter box and have less-than-stellar reviews.
Our research brought us to many articles that only ranked the automatic litter boxes by their advertised features and consumer reviews. Unfortunately, we didnt come across articles with any real in-home testing, so we took this opportunity to do our own discovery.
We also combed through the /r/Pets subreddit, where it seemed like many cat owners resorted to their own hacks for manual litter box clean-up since automatic litter boxes can be tricky. Finally, we read through hundreds of Amazon reviews on various automatic litter boxes to help us identify what users look for in the perfect automatic litter box.
With our hours of research and personal experience in caring for two cats, we honed in on the most important features for a good automatic litter box:
- Frequency of maintenance