Where to Put a Litter Box: 6 Essential Considerations for All Cat Owners
Litter box placement is key for our feline friends, and there’s a lot to consider when deciding where to put a litter box in your home.
Q: I have two male cats who frequently take care of their business outside of their litter box. I am tired of trying to get rid of the cat pee smell in my house and wonder if I should try moving their litter box. Where do I put a litter box to make sure my kitties will actually use it?
A: It certainly can be frustrating when your cats are not using their litter boxes. Believe it or not, the placement of a cat litter box can actually play a large role in determining whether the cat will use it or not. As you probably already know, cats can be very finicky. If they don’t like something, be it their litter box placement, their food, or something else, they may just boycott it entirely. Here’s everything you should consider when selecting the location for your cats’ litter box.
What Is an Ideal Cat Litter Box Location?
When deciding where to put a cat litter box, there are a number of criteria to consider. These include looking for a space that’s easily accessible, peaceful, away from your cat’s food and water, ventilated and well lit, separate from other litter boxes in your home, and convenient for cleaning.
Easy to Access
The best place for a litter box will be easy for your cat to access. Avoid placing the litter box in an area of the house that is difficult for your cat to get to. Ideally, you’ll also want to avoid requiring your cats to climb up or down stairs to access their litter box. In many homes, this will mean placing a litter box on each level of the house.
Placing the litter box in a bathroom, a guest bedroom, or the corner of a living room are a few possible locations to consider.
Cats like quiet when they are taking care of their business. Placing their litter box in an area of the house that is too loud or close to noisy machines (such as the washing machine or dryer) may spook them and dissuade them from eliminating in the proper location.
When selecting a location for your cat’s litter box, keep sound in mind. Look for a location that is not near any loud appliances and far enough away from areas of the home where there could be loud conversation.
Separate From Food and Water
Your cat’s litter box should not be placed in the same area where it is fed. Cats do not like to eat near the place where they take care of their business.
Litter box odors can also overpower the aroma of your cat’s food, making the food seem less appealing. This could potentially lead to a loss of appetite and the health problems associated with it.
If you have no choice but to put your cat’s litter box and food in the same room, separate them as much as possible.
Well-Lit and Ventilated
When you’re considering where to keep a litter box, you should also choose a location that offers sufficient lighting and ventilation. Even though cats have very good night vision, they still may not feel comfortable using their litter box if it is in a dark area of the house. Poor lighting can also increase the chances that your cat will make more of a mess while entering and exiting the litter box, so consider introducing a night light near litter boxes in dark spaces.
Ventilation is also key when determining litter box placement. Proper ventilation will help minimize litter box odors and keep them from spreading to other areas of the home. Beyond the obvious human incentive for keeping the indoor air fresh, these odors can potentially make a litter box smell less appealing to kitties.
When a cat litter box isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, ammonia can build up. If this happens, toxic fumes may be released into the air, making proper ventilation that much more important. The potential of toxic fumes being released from a litter box is also one of the dangers of a litter box in a bedroom.
Away From Other Litter Boxes
If you have more than one cat in your home, you may need to put a little extra thought into where to place each litter box. Ideally, you should have at least as many litter boxes as you have cats, plus one additional box. So, for example, if you have three cats, you will need at least four litter boxes.
Place each litter box in a separate space to give your cats options about where they would prefer to take care of their business. Also, keep in mind that some cats get nervous and feel more vulnerable when they are using their litter box. Cats like these may be more likely to do their thing in a litter box if it is in a more open area, such as a hallway, where they’ll be able to monitor their surroundings.
Even if you only have one cat, it is still advisable to have at least two litter boxes in different areas in your home. This will give your cat more options about where to go when nature calls. Additionally, some cats do not like using the same litter box that they use for urination when defecating, and vice versa—two litter boxes addresses this potential issue as well.
Easy to Clean
The ideal location for a litter box must also be easy to clean. Cats are more likely to use their litter box when it is clean, so aim to clean their box daily. If your schedule doesn’t allow this, you may want to look into an automatic litter box that will clean itself after your cat takes care of its business.
Placing a cat litter mat under the litter box and/or at the entrance to the litter box space can also help reduce litter tracked around the house and make cleaning outside of the box easier.
3 Brilliant Hidden Litter Box Ideas
Keeping a litter box out of sight while also ensuring it is easy for your cat to access can be difficult. To address this problem, many manufacturers have come up with some creative solutions to hide a litter box in a piece of décor that can blend in with your home’s design.
Hidden Litter Box Plant
If you’re wondering where to put a litter box in a small apartment or how to keep one hidden in the living room, this litter box plant may be the perfect solution. The litter box is designed to look like a real clay pot from the front, but it features a hidden entrance in the back for a cat to access its kitty litter.
Constructed from polypropylene, this litter box is designed to be a durable and long-lasting product. It is generously sized to accommodate larger cats or homes with more than one cat. This model also offers a filtered ventilation system to minimize odor and dust. The litter box’s innovative design, quality, and performance earned it a spot in our researched guide to the best cat litter boxes.
Kitty Litter Box Cabinet
This kitty litter box cabinet is one of the best ways to hide a litter box. Designed to look like an end table, this litter box cabinet is available in an espresso or white finish to match the other furniture and décor in your space.
The front panel of the cabinet features an access door for your kitty to get at its litter box, but the other sides are completely closed off for feline privacy and keeping messes contained. When it is time to scoop or empty the litter box, the front panel swings open to make cleaning up a breeze.
Cat House Litter Box Enclosure
Upgrade your kitty’s litter box experience with this modern-looking cat house litter box enclosure. The front of the house is partially covered by a panel that keeps the litter box out of sight. With the other half of the front being open, cats who don’t like feeling closed in may feel more comfortable taking care of their business.
When you’re ready to clean the litter box, you can simply slide it over the open side of the front for easier access.