Best Practices for the Best Litter Box Setup

small cat in litterbox

First off, if you've recently adopted a new cat, you've earned lots of kudos for adding more quality to a cat's life. Congratulations on adopting! The litter box can be easy to adapt to for some cats but, in many ways, a hard-to-tackle solution for other cats.

The placement, size, scent and the cat will all factor into how easy the management of your cat's litter box will be.

Everything You Need To Know About the Litter Box and Setup for Multiple Cats

Size and Style of the Litter Box

When purchasing a litter box, consider the size and number of cats you have. The litter box should be at least double the size of your cat so the cat has space to move around. When you have two cats, you have to factor in the space for two separate litter boxes. When you buy a litter box, there are many options—some have covers and others are open. Opt for the open-style litter box. Your cat will appreciate this more. A cat's instinct is to smell scents and look out for possible danger. If you provide a cat with a small, covered and confining litter box, they'll fear entrapment and be reluctant to use it.

Litter Box Accessories

The cat box mat is such a nifty and useful addition to your litter box. When your cats exit the litter box, they will usually leave a small trail of litter behind them. The cat box mat helps curtail the mess cats leave behind. It also helps with easy cleanup. There are different products available for your needs. Some mats conceal the litter by trapping it once it filters through the first layer of the mat.

The Litter

Litter is composed of all sorts of materials, ranging from clay, paper, pine, wheat, corn or synthetic material, like litter containing silica. Beware of clay particles that can create a lot of dust. Dust can have adverse health effects on your cat. Dust from your litter box will affect pet owners if they are sensitive to it.

Cats are sensitive to scents, so it is best to choose an unscented litter if you clean your cat's litter box every day.

Some pellet litter comes with a pea pad you will have to change. Pellet litter is less messy since it is bigger and easier to clean up. Pellet litter is also better for the environment and your cat's overall health.

Silica-Based Litter

PrettyLitter, a silica-based color-changing litter, will warn you of any urinary symptoms if you want to keep tabs on your cat's urinary health. If your cat has a high PH (alkaline) reading, it may turn the litter blue to alert you that your cat may have urinary health issues. Other warning colors include orange and red for more serious health issues. If the alkalinity is within the average range, the litter will turn yellow or olive green, meaning your cat is not exhibiting symptoms of urinary tract problems. In addition to the health alerting properties, the litter is odor-absorbing.1

The Cleanup

The cleanup largely depends on how many cats you have and how often your cats use the litter box. If your cat suffers from renal failure, it may need to use the litter box more frequently due to intravenous fluid therapy.

Cats have a keen sense of smell, and they will find a smelly litter box off-putting, so it is in everyone's interest to scoop out the litter as often as possible. The litter box only needs two to three inches of litter.


Always keep the litter box away from loud noises. This includes the washer or dryer or any place that experiences noise pollution. An ideal location is a bathroom, bedroom or office. When you have more than one cat, use two litter boxes, ideally positioned away from each other. If you prefer to put two litter boxes side by side without causing issues with one or more of your cats, that should be fine. A cat may be curious and venture into its feline companion's area, but they usually like to have their own space to relieve themselves. If you have a multi-level house, try to put kitty litter boxes on each level. Kitty litter boxes come in different shapes, sizes and heights, so make sure you select one that will accommodate each of your cats' needs.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, book an online virtual care appointment and also check out Vetster's lifestyle blog to find more helpful information.