Are you looking for the best place to tuck a litter box among your furnishings? It’s not easy to find that just-right spot where your cat’s happiness and your decorative style meet.
Using our nine secrets, however, you can find a successful litter box location even if you live in a small house or apartment.
1. Safety first!
Cats like to do their business in private because it feels safe. Their instincts tell them to seek security when they’re in a vulnerable position. Put the box in a sheltered, easy, and accessible place. That means you’ll want to avoid high-traffic areas and the space around your cat’s food and water bowls. Remember, it can’t just be a safe place; it has to feel safe to your cat, too.
2. Engage the power of quiet.
Cats appreciate silence while contemplating the meaning of their existence. If you’re thinking about putting your litter box in the laundry room, be sure your washer and dryer are nearly soundless. Avoid putting the litter box near a cranky furnace or a hot water heater where a sudden clang might terrify your kitty.
3. Remember cat math: 1 + 1 = enough.
The cardinal rule of the litter box says you need one box for each cat plus one extra for the household. Have a multi-level home? Each floor needs a dedicated cat box. You’ll want to make sure two litter boxes aren’t right next to each other, which can be confusing for the cat. If you have multiple cats, keep an eye out for litter box hogging. You can usually solve this behavior problem by moving the boxes farther apart.
4. Avoid sending your cat to a haunted outhouse.
To a human, the basement, attic, or storage room may seem like a logical, out-of-the-way place to put the litter box. Your cat, however, doesn’t want to trek to a mildewy, hot, or scary room to do business. It’s better to choose a seldom-used closet, a guest bathroom, or a screened-off corner of your bedroom as your cat’s prime piece of litter box real estate.
5. Eliminate mess by controlling litter tracking and flinging.
Are you thinking of putting the litter box inside your bathroom? It could be the best place, but stepping on litter with freshly showered feet is pretty yucky. A simple solution is a box that nearly eliminates litter tracking and curbs litter flinging.
6. Consider a cat door.
If you put the litter box in a quiet closet or unused room, consider installing a cat door. It limits access for kids and dogs, and it prevents cats from being accidentally trapped should the regular door swing shut. Cat doors are an easy DIY project.
7. Relocation is expensive.
Can you move your cat’s litter box? Try not to. It’s stressful for the cat. If you must move the box, however, do so gradually. Also, make make sure the new location will catch your eye so you remember to scoop the litter daily and refresh it weekly.
8. Be creative.
If litter boxes are hard to access, elderly cats, those with disabilities, and baby kittens may not be able to get to them in time. Think of creative places to put your litter box. Enclosed balconies, for example, can be a good idea. A nightlight can make a dark space more appealing. The possibilities are (almost) endless.
9. Don’t hide it.
Have you known someone who tried to conceal their litter box for aesthetic reasons? This is not a good idea because the objects used for camouflage can trap a cat. Instead, choose a stylish litter box that complements your decor. Since some cats prefer large boxes, an attractive litter solution is especially important for small home dwellers.
Whatever litter box location you find, remember the best spot for a box is the place your cat will use it.