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Multi-Cat vs Regular Litter (2024 Update): How Are They Different?

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

MultivsRegular_Cat Litter

One of the battles every cat parent has had to face at some point is the battle against a smelly litter box. For some, it takes a lot of shopping around before they find a litter that stays fresh smelling for longer because there is a multitude of cat litter brands and types on the market to sift through.

Regular cat litter and multi-cat litter are two commonly purchased types of cat litter.

Though regular cat litter is for all types of cat households, multi-cat litter is specifically formulated for homes with multiple cats. In this post, we’ll examine the differences between regular and multi-cat litter to help you decide which one would be a better fit for your home and cats.

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Overview of Regular Cat Litter:

Regular cat litter is simply the standard kind of cat litter you typically buy at the supermarket or online. You can use it for one cat or multiple cats (in separate litter boxes, mind you) and it comes in a variety of forms.

Some contain extra odor-eliminating agents like baking soda to help keep the box smelling fresh, but the truth is, most cat parents have to try out quite a few brands of litter before they find one they’re happy to stick with. Regular cat litter tends to vary in odor-eliminating power and quality.

cat in a litter box
Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, shutterstock

What Kinds of Regular Cat Litter Are There?

Too many to count! You can get cat litter in several forms, including:

  • Scented
  • Unscented
  • Clay
  • Paper
  • Silica gel
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Pine
  • Grass
  • Walnut shell
  • Tofu

When Should I Use Regular Cat Litter?

Though regular cat litter is not specifically designed for multiple cats, there’s no reason you can’t use it whether you have just one cat or several. The key is finding something that works for you. The important thing to remember is that if you have multiple cats, it’s best to have one litter box per cat in your household and one more extra.

Cats are sticklers for cleanliness and having to share a litter box can cause them stress and result in them going to the bathroom outside the litter box.

One more thing to bear in mind is that regular cat litter is typically formulated with less odor neutralizers than multi-cat litter, so if you’re having serious litter box odor problems, you might be better off with multi-cat litter.

Pros
  • Multiple types available
  • Easily acquired
  • Types to suit all budgets
  • Can be used in single or multi-cat households
  • Quality litter can effectively reduce odors
Cons
  • Low-quality litter can be dusty and messy
  • Typically contains fewer odor neutralizers than multi-cat litter
  • Top brands can be pricey
cat on a walnut litter
Image Credit: MelodicinD, Shutterstock

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Overview of Multi-Cat Litter:

Multi-cat litter is a kind of litter designed for multi-cat households, so it contains more odor neutralizers than regular cat litter. Different types may use various odor-neutralizing bases, including baking soda, walnut shells, and charcoal. Like regular cat litter, you can get it in various forms, including scented and unscented.

When Should I Use Multi-Cat Litter?

Even if you only have one cat, you can still use multi-cat litter if you need a bit of extra odor control. It may also benefit you if you have more than one cat, but you’ll still need to provide each cat with their own litter box whether you’re using regular or multi-cat litter.

Multi-cat litter is also often designed to be long-lasting, so it might be worth giving it a shot if you want to get the most out of the litter you buy.

two cats on sniffing litter
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock

How Popular Is Multi-Cat Litter?

Very, by the looks of things. During our research, we noticed that the bestselling cat litters on top pet supply sites are the multi-cat variety, so it seems to be working well for a lot of people.

Pros
  • Contains more odor-eliminating agents
  • A good choice for smelly cats or multiple cats
  • Long-lasting
  • Various kinds available
  • Easy to find online
  • Popular with cat parents
Cons
  • Scented varieties may be too strong for sensitive cats
  • Might be a little harder to find in stores
  • Top brands can be pricey

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Regular vs Multi-Cat Litter: Which One Is Easier to Clean?

The truth is that no matter what kind of cat litter you’re using, you still need to conduct spot checks throughout the day and give the litter box a thorough clean regularly.

You can get both regular litter and multi-cat litter that clumps, making it easier to lift the dirty spots out of the box and dispose of them. Also, litter with baking soda and other odor neutralizers tend to do a better job of keeping odors under control, so the good news is that any smells floating around the litter box are more likely to be reduced if you’re using these types.

Unfortunately, litter designed to last longer doesn’t necessarily mean less cleaning or scooping. Regular scooping and thorough cleans are the key to keeping unpleasant smells at bay, no matter how strong your litter is.

White and ginger cat and black and white cat sitting on a litter tray
Image Credit: Leoniek-van-der-Vliet_Shutterstock

Which Type of Cat Litter Is Best?

Cat parents have different opinions on this. According to Dr. Jason Nicholas at Preventative Vet, cats tend to prefer unscented litter with fine particles. He notes that litter types most popular with cat parents are clumping litters that aren’t dusty and absorb odors well.

It’s best to avoid low-quality litter—especially low-quality clay litter as this tends to be dusty, messy, and less effective at absorbing odors. As to which type is best, there’s really no straight answer as we all have our preferences.

There’s plenty of great cat litter out there effective at absorbing smells and not ending up all over your house, so as long as it’s doing its job, all that matters is that it works for you.

Wondering whether an enzymatic spray or deodorizing powder is better at fighting pet odors? Compare our Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray to our Deodorizer Powder to see which product is best for your deodorizing needs.

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Hepper Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
hepper bioenzymatic litter additive
Hepper Advanced Bio-enzyme Deodorizer & Litter Additive
Eliminates smells
Eliminates smells:
Eliminates smells:
Works inside your cat's litter
Works inside your cat's litter:
Works inside your cat's litter:
Removes stains
Removes stains:
Removes stains:
Works on contact
Works on contact:
Works on contact:
Works on a variety of surfaces
Works on a variety of surfaces:
Works on a variety of surfaces:
Unscented
Unscented:
Unscented:

Verdict: Is Multi-Cat Litter Better Than Regular Cat Litter?

It depends on your situation. If you have several cats or one particularly smelly cat, multi-cat litter may be more powerful at eliminating odors than regular litter. That said, some brands of regular litter are long-lasting and control odors well, so you may not feel the need to buy multi-cat litter if your regular cat litter is already working well for you.

cleaning-cat-litter-box
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

If litter box odors are something that continues to plague you, a quality cat litter brand—whether regular or multi-cat—can make the world of difference. That said, regular cleaning is still crucial when it comes to keeping your cat’s box hygienic and odor-free.

Without that, you can use the best litter in the world and its effects won’t last long. If one or several of your cats are leaving particularly smelly “emissions”, it might be worth checking in with your vet. An underlying health issue might be at play, or your cat may need a change of diet. We hope you’ve found this comparison useful, and good luck tackling those odors.


Featured Image Credit: (L) Albina Tiplyashina, Shutterstock | (R) Natasha Zakharova, Shutterstock

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