Many households are home to multiple cats, and with multiple cats comes different needs when it comes to cat litter. There are many choices when it comes to multi-cat litter but recent improvements and the use of new materials have greatly changed what is widely available to cat owners today.
When looking for the best cat litter for multiple cats, cat owners can now choose between conventional clay and clumping litters, or opt for a more natural alternative and explore biodegradable litters. Biodegradable litters are made with organic materials such as wheat, pine, and grass and generally contain no fragrance.
The texture is another change that has come up more often as litter has improved. If you have several cats in your home, conventional gravel-like litter, pellets, or smaller granules are all options to consider.
Quick Look : Best Multi-Cat Litter in 2019
How is Multi-Cat Litter Different from a Single-Cat Litter?
Cat litter designed for homes with multiple cats will have some key differences from the single-cat varieties of cat litter. Multi-cat homes will most likely have multiple litter boxes, and possibly use different kinds of cat litter for different boxes around the home.
Multi-cat litter is designed to handle more of the odors, and liquid absorption that would be commonly needed in a home with multiple cats. Odor is consistently a key concern for cat owners, and busy litter boxes can mean more cleaning is required if the cat litter does not perform well enough.
Another key difference is that the litter is designed with the expectation that it’s going to be worked over many times throughout the day. Having a dust free cat litter is important for both cats and their humans, but having a litter that also works well and lasts longer is ideal.
Most cat litter brands use the same basic ingredients in both single and multi-cat versions of their cat litter. However, important changes to the composition of the multi-cat litter make it better at odor absorption and overall performance in a household with more than one cat.
What Should I Look for In a Multi-Cat Litter?
If you currently have a cat litter brand that works for your single cat, the same brand likely has a multi-cat variation of their cat litter available. If both cats will use the same litter than this simple switch may save a bit of time.
If you would like to try a different kind of litter, or you’ll be welcoming multiple cats into your home soon, you’ll want to consider a few things before deciding on what litter to try. Having multiple cats can be a challenge if they have different tastes, but the performance of the cat litter can also make your life easier.
Odor absorption is a common concern for individuals with multiple cats. When you have multiple cats, the litter box can be a much busier spot than when you just have a single cat. With all this increased traffic will definitely come more smells, which can be unpleasant. Look for a multi-cat litter that mentions how it absorbs or locks in odors, and if it has a fragrance.
Added Chemicals and Fragrances
With many clay and clumping litters, you will find that odor absorption also can mean chemicals and fragrances to cover up or trap odors. These cat litters can cause respiratory issues in cats and humans, and both parties can find the fragrances offensive.
Some cats and owners do not mind and actually enjoy the fragrance of a freshly filled litter box. You and your cat will have to decide what works best for you.
Natural litters made from organic materials are made from sustainable plant sources such as wheat, grass, and walnut shells, and are free of chemicals and fragrance. Biodegradable cat litter is widely available in the US and is very popular with modern cat owners.
Multi-cat litter is also geared towards absorbing more, without wasting more of the cat litter in the process. Clay and clumping litters contain silica and clay that helps absorb up to 15 times its weight in liquid. Biodegradable cat litter has recently been able to match that absorbency and clumping ability giving owners a natural option.
Many kinds of cat litter will claim to be 100% dust free, but there will still be a small amount of dust depending on your cat’s litter box habits. What really matters here is what the dust is made out of that you and your cat are being exposed to.
Clay and clumping cat litter almost always contains silica dust and can sometimes include baking soda as well. Both of these substances will cause considerably more dust than their all-natural competitors, however, silica dust is also a known carcinogen when inhaled.
Biodegradable cat litter can also have small amounts of dust, but it is largely considered to be benign when inhaled since it is made with plant-based ingredients. When choosing a multi-cat litter consider your cats, and their litter box habits, along with your own exposure to decide what works best in your situation.
When looking at different kinds of litter for your feline companions consider the different textures available with different kinds of litter. Different brands will have different textures that are gravel-like, pelleted, or granular.
Cats may develop preferences on the texture of their litter but some are able to adapt and use another kind if slowly transitioned over to it. If your cats are new to your home you may need to experiment with a few kinds of litter before you settle on the one that works the best for you both.
Tracking is what it’s called when cat litter gets caught in your cat’s paws and is then “tracked” outside of the litter box. Depending on your cat’s fur, different kinds of cat litter may or may not stick as much as others. The only way to find out for sure is by trial and error.
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My Cats All Prefer Different Cat Litter. What Can I Do?
The best cat litter for multiple cats is ultimately going to be the one that all of the cats reliably use. However, if your cats have different preferences, and refuse to all use the same kind of litter, you may need to get more creative with your litter box setups.
Transition to New Litter Slowly
Cats may not do as well if their litter box is filled with a completely new kind of litter all at once. The rule of thumb with introducing new litter is to do it gradually and give the cats time to adjust. At first, they may not notice any real changes, but as the new litter content grows, they may let you know if they’re not a fan.
Try Mixing Litters in The Litter Box
Many owners with multiple cats mix different kinds of litter in a litter box to make their own mix that their cats happily use. This may seem like far too much trouble for some cat owners, but others swear it’s how they get their cats to use different litter to help cut down on things like dust or wasted litter.
Different Litter for Different Litter Boxes
The simple solution here is to have different kinds of litter in different boxes around your home. It is recommended to have at least one litter box per cat which allows owners the ability to try out different kinds of litter to see what their cats prefer.
If a cat in a multi-cat household isn’t crazy about one kind of litter they are free to use another litter box and you’ll soon be able to tell which is the favorite in the house.
What is the Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats?
When looking for the best cat litter for multiple cats, we considered several characteristics that are important to cat owners everywhere. Both traditional clay-based litter and biodegradable litter offer comparable performance with a variety of helpful features.
Here’s our list of the best cat litters for multiple cats:
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter Check Price
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal is a great example of a clay-based litter that’s great for multiple cats. It offers all of the features that make cats and owners happy with advanced clumping, odor control, and a gentle scent.
It contains granules that are moisture activated to trap in odors, guaranteeing an odor-free home for 7 days. The softer feel of the smaller granules is more pleasing to discerning cat paws, and its ultra-low dust.
The low tracking and low dust formula mean less clean up around the litter box and your home as well. Clump & Seal litter is also very good at clumping, hence its name, so that cleaning the litter box is easy and quick.
- Advanced odor protection for a “7-day odor-free home”
- Litter is softer on cat paws due to microparticles
- No crumbly clumps mean litter box is easier to clean
- Low dust and low tracking
- Made in the US
- Some cats and humans may be offended by the scent
- Can be sticky once moistened
- Litter may need to be changed more often than once every 7 days
Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Litter Check Price
The Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh litter is made from biodegradable walnut shells. It is dust free and proven to handle odors better than other clay, pine, and wheat based cat litter. In fact, this litter can absorb 3 times more than clay litter, which helps each bag of litter last longer.
The dust-free walnut based litter makes it good for humans and cats with respiratory problems and helps to keep the whole home cleaner. It does not contain any fragrance, chemicals, or toxins and creates hard clumps to eliminate needing to scrape the litter box.
- No harmful silica, fragrance, chemicals, or toxins
- Creates hard clumps, no scraping the litter box
- Absorbs 3x more than leading clay litter
- Each bag lasts longer than traditional clay litter
- Environmentally friendly
- Some tracking, but greatly reduced compared to clay
- Dark granules are more visible on lighter colored floors
- Waste can be more difficult to see amongst the dark granules
Arm & Hammer Litter Multi-Cat Slide Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter Check Price
Arm & Hammer is a popular brand for clay-based cat litter, and their Multi-Cat Slide Easy Clumping litter is no exception. Using a new formula, this kind of litter eliminates the need to scrub the litter box at all, instead litter just “slides right out.”
The Slide Easy litter still has the same high-performance clumping and odor absorbing technology that Arm & Hammer is known for, and pairs it with a scent to further lock away odors. This litter is 100% dust free, which means less cleaning around the litter box, and cleaner air in your home.
Much like the other Arm & Hammer varieties of cat litter, this too comes with their “7-day odor-free home” promise. The hard clumps this litter forms make scooping easy, without the need to scrap the litter box.
- New formula makes solids able to slide out of the litter box for disposal
- Easy to scoop clumps are hard and do not crumble
- 100% dust free for a cleaner home and reduced tracking
- 7-day odor protection
- Entire litter box needs to be dumped every 7 days or so
- Perfumes and fragrances in this litter are not ideal for those with allergies
- Litter is heavy and may be too much for automated litter boxes
sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter Check Price
sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat litter is a great natural option for those looking for a biodegradable or eco-friendly litter. It’s made from wheat and wheat starches and absorbs moisture faster than traditional clumping litter.
It contains no silica dust, chemicals, or clay, and is even flushable. The enhanced wheat starches double the clumping power and leave the rest of the litter clean, making this litter a great option for a multi-cat home.
sWheat Scoop also uses their proprietary Noble Ion® technology which helps this litter eliminate more odor and last longer. This litter contains no perfumes, added dyes, dust, or any other harmful ingredients for you and your cat.
sWheat Scoop is a company that is farmer-owned, and their product is made from 100% renewable resources that are farmer-grown in the USA.
- Made from 100% renewable and biodegradable wheat and wheat starches
- Long lasting odor control with Noble Ion® technology
- Fast clumping, easy scooping
- No added perfumes, dyes, or chemicals
- Blends well with other kinds of cat litter if needed
- Clumps may get sticky and stick to bottom of litter box
- Moths and weevils will nest in it if given the chance
- Moisture can sometimes reach the bottom of the litter box before clumping