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Multi-Cat Litter vs Regular: Which One is Better? Our 2022 Comparison

Lucky as you are to run a multi-cat household, keeping the litter box clean and odor-free can be a bit more of a challenge. As well as managing several litter boxes (multi-cat households should have one box per cat), you also have to think about which type of litter would best keep unpleasant smells at bay.

There’s a huge variety of cat litter types and brands out there to suit all preferences and needs, but there’s also a type of litter designed specifically for multi-cat households.

Before you jump on your go-to cat supplies website or head to the supermarket, check out our multi-cat litter vs regular cat litter guide to get a better idea of which type would work best for you.


Overview of Regular Cat Litter:

Cleaning cat litter box
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock

Regular cat litter simply refers to types of cat litter that is not tailored specifically to multi-cat households (i.e. having stronger odor control properties) and can be used in both single and multi-cat households.

It comes in a variety of forms and ranges in price from a couple of dollars all the way up to tens of dollars for the most premium brand. Most cat households use or have used a type or several types of regular cat litter.

What Types of Regular Cat Litter Are There?

You can find regular cat litter in a multitude of forms, including:

  • Scented
  • Unscented
  • Clumping
  • Non-clumping
  • Silica gel
  • Paper
  • Clay
  • Fine particle
  • Pine
  • Corn
  • Grass
  • Wheat
  • Walnut shell

When Should I Use Regular Litter?

You can use regular litter whether you have only one cat or multiple cats if it works well for you. However, if you do have multiple cats and are having issues with odor control despite trying out different types of regular litter, you might want to consider trying multi-cat litter as it’s designed to be stronger and better at keeping odors under wraps.

pouring cat litter in the litter box
Image Credit: Seika Chujo, Shutterstock

Which Types of Regular Litter Are Best at Controlling Odors?

In our experience, pine-based litter tends to work pretty well. It has a pleasant, natural scent and is more adept at trapping odors and absorbing urine than clay-based litter—very cheap mineral/clay litters seem to be the least effective at odor control.

That said, another type of litter may work better for you. Corn-based litter, crystal litter, and some clay-based litters have also been said to be great at controlling odors.

  • Options for all budgets
  • Plenty of different types available
  • Easy to get hold of
  • Often contain odor neutralizers
  • Can be used in both single and multi-cat households
  • Some types don’t effectively control odors
  • Some very cheap brands can get smelly quickly


Overview of Multi-Cat Litter:

two kittens cats litter box
Image Credit: galsand, Shutterstock

Multi-cat litter is tailored for households with more than one cat. They’re typically made with extra odor neutralizers—baking soda, for example—with the aim of keeping litter boxes smelling fresh for longer.

Like regular litter, there are different kinds of multi-cat litter including clay, corn, walnut shell, and wheat and it’s very easy to acquire online. You might have more difficulty finding it in your local supermarket, though this depends on where you are, of course.

How Does Multi-Cat Litter Work?

The main difference between regular cat litter and muti-cat litter is that multi-cat litter adds more odor neutralizers to have a stronger effect on litter box smells.

Is Multi-Cat Litter More Expensive?

This depends on the brand you go for. In our research, we found some regular brands that were just as expensive as multi-cat litter brands. Multi-cat litter may also work out cheaper in the long run as it’s designed to last longer, which may mean having to change it less often. With some types of regular cat litter, you need to change it daily.

Does Multi-Cat Litter Mean Less Scooping?

Cat litter box scooping
Image Credit: Ninotee, Shutterstock

Unfortunately, no. Even if you don’t need to replace the entire contents of the litter box every day, you should still scoop out clumps and poop daily. Whether you’re using regular litter or multi-cat litter, it will still start to smell if you don’t scoop and clean the box regularly.

  • Made with more odor neutralizers
  • Long-lasting
  • Designed specifically for multi-cat households
  • Easy to purchase online
  • Often formulated for easy clean-up
  • May be harder to find in some locations
  • Mixed user experiences

divider-catIs Multi-Cat Litter Better Than Regular Cat Litter?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy yes or no answer to this question. We checked out user reviews for some of the bestselling multi-cat litter brands and some were bowled over by how well it controlled litter box odors and appreciated how easy cleanup had become.

On the other hand, some didn’t find the multi-cat litter they purchased as effective as it promised to be. Some didn’t notice any difference between regular cat litter and multi-cat litter at all.

Should I Give Multi-Cat Litter a Shot?

If you’ve got multiple cats (or even one single smelly cat) and are having trouble with odors, it might be worth giving multi-cat litter a go as it could work perfectly for you. On the other hand, some multi-cat households use regular cat litter and find it works well for them, so if this is also the case for you, there’s no need to change what you’re already using just because you have multiple cats.

How Can I Prevent Litter Box Odors?

Smelly cat poop in litter box
Image Credit: catinsyrup, Shutterstock

The best way to prevent litter box odors from getting out of control is to have a cleaning routine and stick to it. Scoop out the litter box daily and do regular spot checks throughout the day to make sure your cat hasn’t “been”. Give litter boxes a thorough cleaning with pet-safe cleaning products at least once a week, making sure to thoroughly dry them before putting new litter in.

It’s also important to have as many litter boxes as you do cats. If you let multiple cats use the same box, it doesn’t matter what type of litter you’re using, it’s going to start to stink at a much quicker rate than if each cat has their own box.

In addition, cats aren’t usually comfortable using the same litter box as other cats, even those within the same family. Cats are territorial animals and shared litter boxes can cause them a lot of stress.

Finally, it may be a good idea to resist the temptation to buy very cheap clay/mineral type litter, which typically costs just over a dollar or slightly more. In our experience, these have been the least effective at controlling odors, the dustiest, and need to be changed pretty regularly. Make no mistake, this doesn’t apply to all clay/mineral brands—some have received excellent reviews.divider-cat


To recap, regular cat litter is pretty much what you’d expect—standard cat litter that varies in price and comes in several different forms. Many contain added odor neutralizers. Multi-cat litter is designed specifically for people owned by more than one cat with the aim of minimizing litter box odors and lasting longer. It typically contains more odor neutralizers than regular cat litter.

Both regular and multi-cat litter have their pros and cons, so you may need to experiment a little before you figure out which one works best for you.

Featured Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock (L), New Africa, Shutterstock (R)

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