It’s better to wisely choose the location where to put the cat litter box because if the feline doesn’t like the location or if it’s not easy to access, the elimination problems could start and once something like that happens it’s really hard to manage and change. The last problem you want is your cat not using the litter box so let’s see the basic aspects for the best location, but first, we will check how you must set up the litter box to make it more attractive for your cat.
How To Set Up The Litter Box
Make sure to get a litter box that is large enough to accommodate your cat nicely, this way you will avoid litter box accidents and your cat will be more comfortable when using the litter box and digging. Make sure to choose a litter box that leaves at least 3-1/2” to 4” of space between the walls and your cat’s body.
Use a litter that will clump fast this way when it’s time to scoop the clumps won’t break down. One of the best ways to keep the litter box from smelling is making sure the litter has excellent capabilities of clumping and sealing the urine and feces for an easy scoop.
Place a large litter mat under the litter box with a surface that can remove the excess litter from the cat’s paws. This way the litter tracking will be reduced so you have better chance of placing the unit closer to a common living area.
If you don’t have time to clean the cat’s litter box twice a day, make sure to setup an extra litter box for your feline friend to enjoy a fresh and clean box every time. Another alternative is getting an automatic litter box reliable enough for you not to worry about scooping the cat box anymore. Options like the Litter Robot Open III which I personally own, makes the typical litter box issues a thing of the past.
Where To Put The Cat’s Litter Box
The following 7 tips will help you to properly place your cat’s litter box in an area that your feline will actually use it. Do your best to put the cat’s litter box:
1. Away from the cat’s food and water. This responds to the cat’s basic instincts. Cats don’t like to eat close to where they do their business.
2. Close to where your cat hangs out daily, which is most likely where you hang out daily. Don’t put the litter box too far away from the cat’s favorite places (e.g upstairs), unless you put a second box there.
3. Where your cat has a good view. These hidden spots are usually located in open areas such as the living room, a large kitchen or the bedroom. Cats, as all animals need to be in control of their environment according to its instincts. Having a wide front view from the litter box gives them a sense of control during a vulnerable moment when they are relieving themselves. They can see what comes to them of if they hear a noise, what’s the source of it and also a possible “escape” if needed.
4. With an easy access for the cat. If left in a separated room, leave that door open all day or setup a cat door so your feline can access that room at all times.
5. In a quiet place. Away from high traffic and too much noise. This doesn’t mean the place needs to be totally silent, it basically means a place free of intrusive noises, sudden loud noises. A TV or radio with a reasonable volume it’s OK for cats. Also, many people confuse quietness with privacy. A quiet place doesn’t mean you need to fully enclose your cat trying to give it “privacy”, (e.g. put the litter box in a wooden box with a tiny entry). Though this would be a good solution for people that live in small apartments, cats don’t really need enclosed privacy as we human do, but instead they appreciate quietness and feel of safety which is accomplished when they can see what’s is in front of them and when they have their backs and sides somehow covered by a wall or a furniture.
6. Ideally in a place where the cat’s back is covered: A wall behind the cat’s back provides security making the feline feel more protected and relaxed to do its business. This location must offer the cat the chances of a quick “escape” if he needs to. For this same reason, if there is a furniture next to the litter box it needs to have certain distance from it, allowing your cat to have enough room. If you want to maximize space there are corner shaped litter boxes that fit perfectly well for cats.
7. In well ventilated spaces and ideally free of direct humidity. This will help to keep the cat litter dry and will prevent bad odors from forming too fast.
Examples Of Best Locations For The Litter Box
The following pictures are examples how to locate the litter box in a way that is accessible for the cat and in a low-traffic area:
Locations That Could Be A Problem For Your Cat And For You
You may have possible issues when placing the litter box in the following locations:
- You need to shut the door sometimes, leaving the cat without access to the litter box.
- The noise of shower or flushing the toilet may deter your cat from using the litter box
- The cat most likely will have some contact with water sometimes and cats don’t like that.
- Every time you step on the floor after a shower you will step on litter tracking. You may be OK with this for some time but after a while it’ll get you.
Choose the bathroom only if:
- It’s large so that the litter box will be away from the toilet and shower
- If your cat is not skittish to noises.
- If you live alone so you don’t need to shut the door or,
- If you setup a kitty door in the bathroom door.
- You don’t mind to step on litter
The Garage or Basement
- Cats like to hang out close to their humans. Putting the litter box too far away from the common areas will make cats not to use the litter box.
- The kitty may not make it to the litter box to relieve itself, especially kittens and elderly cats.
- If you don’t arrange lights at all times, cat will have a hard time seeing where they go. Cats like to see when they are doing their business, just like people.
- Someone could shut the door, blocking the access for your cat to the litter box.
- These places are usually cold in winter, so it’s not nice for your kitty to have to freeze itself to do its business. He may do it somewhere else where it’s warmer.
Choose the Garage or Basement Only If:
- It has an easy access, close to the living areas
- You setup a cat door or electric cat door so even if somebody shuts the door accidentally, that won’t affect the cat access to the litter box.
- It has acceptable temperature for the cat in winter
- The room has some light for your cat to see where to go.
Unless you are willing to keep the door open at all times exposing your clothing and shoes, or if you are willing to install a cat door, that will work as well. See a cute idea how to do it:
Where To Put The Cat Box In A Small House/Apartment
It’s not easy to suggest specific places if you leave in a small house or apartment since the layouts are all different and some solutions for one place, may not fit others. In general, when you don’t have much room where to put the litter box you have no option but to conceal the litter box. There are various solutions for this, litter box furniture, such as sideboards, side-tables or any other type litter box concealers, or simply DIY by adapting your furniture to put the litter box inside.
Another solution is getting a top entry litter box, such as the Modkat. These are not my favorites for cats, but they are nicely designed so you can place it in your view without the exposure of the litter and waste. Also, they stop litter scattering which is a big problem when you don’t have much room.
Whatever the solution you choose, you need to make sure your cat will feel safe accessing and using the litter box and that it will be convenient for you to clean it.
Examples How To Conceal The Litter Box In Small Apartments
The following are only some a few examples of the many litter box concealers in the market. They allow you to put your cat litter box in your living areas and at the same time you can use it as a piece of furniture:
Where To Place The Litter Boxes If You Have Multi-cats
In general cats don’t like to share their litter boxes. It’s about cat’s territorial independence that humans must acknowledge when having multiple cats or behavioral problems may start. Just as cats need to have their own food and water bowls each, ideally they need to have their own litter box, plus a third one for emergencies, for example, if you have a second floor place a third litter box there, so either cat can go if needed.
When one cat is submissive to the other, they could share things with no apparent problem, but know that this is not the ideal life for the submissive cat. If you want your multiple cats be happy, you must divide their territory and their litter boxes is part of it.
When setting up two litter boxes, one for each cat, make sure to place them separately or they won’t distinguish the territorial division, hence, one of them will use the other’s. Try to put the litter boxes close to where each cat hangs out the most.
How To Properly Change The Location Of Your Cat’s Litter Box
If your cat didn’t like the place where you put the litter box and you want to change it, make sure to do a transition so your cat is not like: “did I get lost?”. Cats have their routines which is the way they dominate their territory, knowing exactly where each object is located in the house and how it’s smells. They “register” objects and odors as a part of functioning in their life as cats. If you suddenly move its litter box to a whole new location your cat will lose the sense of domination of its territory and will get lost.
You need to slowly move its litter box to the new location. For example, if you have the litter box in the bathroom you must move it to the hall the first day, the second day to the entry of the new room, third day a litter further and so on. Make sure your cat sees the final location and put your pet inside to make it feel comfortable if needed.