Feline friendship is not all roses. In fact, loving a cat stinks sometimes, especially when you're scooping and refilling the litter box after they make a midnight visit.
If you love more than one cat, you're probably cleaning several litter boxes — all of the fun, but more of the work.
Actually, cat litter isn't all that odoriferous if you stick to a regular cleaning schedule — daily scooping, refilling as needed, and washing the box with soap and warm water every week. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda or use a natural bamboo charcoal odor removal kit to help prevent odors, and you're golden.
Once you've eliminated the smells, your only other litter box issue is sight.
Clumps of cat litter don't make a good decorative piece for you, your housemates, or your guests. To avoid treating your friends and family to unattractive displays, you have two options — a covered cat litter solution or a hidden cat litter box.
How do you set up a hidden cat litter box, secret space known only to you and your cat?
A few enterprising furniture designers have decided to answer this question with wicker furniture or similar cat box enclosures. Are these devices really innovative cat litter boxes your pets will enjoy? Or will your cat turn up his nose at doing business inside the end table?
We understand the desire to tuck that litter box out of sight, but turning your bookcase into a bathroom often creates more problems than it solves.
Let's say your cat doesn't like the location you've picked for your hidden cat box. You can move the litter box, but you can't always move a bookcase.
Some furniture-as-litter-box solutions even require you to open the door for your cat to use the bathroom. That's not practical.
Just because a box is pretty doesn't make it practical or healthy for your pets.
The best cat litter boxes are those that work well for you and your pets. They control odors, simplify cleaning, and offer your cat enough space to enter, turn, and squat freely. It helps if the box looks good in your house and helps eliminate litter tracking, too.
Here's how to choose a modern cat litter box solution:
Select a box that's the right size.
Position the box for easy access.
Clean and tidy the box on a regular schedule.
How to select the perfect size litter box.
Cat litter solutions, like cats themselves, come in a variety of sizes and shapes. What litter box will work best for your kitty?
The rule of thumb says a cat needs a litter box that's at least 1.5 times as long as she is, stem to stern, and about as wide as she is long.
High pee-ers, litter kickers, and cats with bad aim also need tall walls — usually about a foot tall instead of the usual 12 inches. Our Modkat litter boxes, for example, feature tall, seamless walls for extra protection.
Special cats such as tiny kittens or pets with mobility impairments need doorways that don't require them to make leaps and bounds to get to the bathroom.
As a general principle, big cats need big boxes. But remember that bigger isn't always better. You don't have to buy a sprawling litter box complex for your Munchkin or other small cat breed to do business in. Go for the just-right size box.
Now that you have the box, where should you put it?
Where to park your cat's litter box.
The best place for a litter box is the place your cat likes it.
Great resting places include your living room, guest room, closet, bathroom, or sunroom. Even in these out-of-the-way spots, however, most people want their box to look good.
In fact, the fruitless search for a good-looking, cat-friendly litter box is what got us started here at Modkat. We thought, why hide the litter box when you can make it beautiful? Even with a sleek box like one of ours, however, you may still want to tuck it more out of sight than the family room allows.
No problem, if you don't fall for one of these bad real estate deals...
5 worst spots to hide your cat's litter box.
Don't put your cat's box in these locations:
Beside food or water. Cats won't like it because eating in your bathroom is disgusting.
The basement. Unless your basement is finished and furnished, you wouldn't go down there if you couldn't switch on the lights, right? Your cat won't want to journey into the bowels of darkness every time she needs to do business either.
The laundry room. Washers make loud noises. Dryers shake. And people sometimes make a racket in the laundry room. Even the most emotionally sturdy feline can lose his cool with all that going on while he's on the throne.
Dark spaces. Sometimes, closets can provide great spaces for the litter box, but others are too dark, too dank, or too hidden for anyone to use. Leave the light on for your kitty's most important moments.
Next to each other. If you keep more than one cat, you will want to have more than one litter box. Be sure to space these out around the house. A large cat might prevent a small one from using either box if they're right next to each other.
5 smart spots to hide a cat litter box.
Install a cat flap in a closet or private room. You can fashion a separate entrance for your pet in a private bathroom, guest room, or other less-frequented space in your house. Your cat can enjoy peace and privacy while in the box while you revel in your clean and odor-free home. This idea can work for any type of cat box — open-top or closed, front-opening or top-opening, small or large.
Build a mini cat house litter cover. Is your litter box residing in your bathroom? You could try building a mini-cover for your cat's box under the sink. A flap door or cut out will help eliminate odors. This idea saves space since you and your cat will be sharing a bathroom.
Drape fabric around an end table. Got a spare table with unused space beneath it? Turn that empty floor space into kitty's corner. You can drape the table with a long cloth, add small rods and a curtain, and tie sisal rope around it. To make a modern litter box enclosure, add a scratch post and toy mouse. Your cat might decide to create a permanent home there.
Put the litter box inside a large basket. Convert a large wicker basket or chest into a litter box cover. You'll need to cut out a window on one side of the wicker basket so your cat has easy access to her box. The structure of a wicker piece means kitty can get plenty of ventilation while she's doing her business without showing off the whole event. Win/win
Use the room under the stairs. Unless you're the Dursley family and Harry Potter lives under your staircase, you probably have some free space down there. Why not fix it up for your cat to use for his litter box? Tucked away under the stairs, your cat gets valuable privacy for his most vulnerable moments. And you get to enjoy an odor-free atmosphere elsewhere in your home. Your cat may also enjoy having a scratcher lounge, toys, or other intriguing paraphernalia in the vicinity of the staircase.
Crouching tiger, hidden litter box.
A hidden box can quickly become a forgotten box. To make sure you remember to clean your cat's bathroom, create a check-off sheet and stick it on the front of your refrigerator. Your plan should include daily scooping, regular refilling, weekly washing, and a full litter change every time you wash the box.
Keeping your cat's box clean and tidy doesn't have to be a smelly chore. Even better, a hidden box means you won't have to worry about inviting friends over .
You can all just enjoy your cat together — if he's a party animal — without worrying about unsightly sounds, smells, or sights emanating from a public kitty potty.