Deciding where to place your litter box is important. You want it to match the feng shui of your home while also being safe and convenient for your cat to use.
Today, we're answering the top five questions about where to put your litter box.
Where can I put the litter box in my small apartment?
If you and your cat are living large in a small space, it's especially critical to get your litter box placement right. Finding the balance between out-of-the-way and easy-to-access is hard enough in a roomy house. When space is at a premium, it gets especially complicated.
Keep in mind the basics of litter box placement:
A quiet, low-traffic area that is not hidden. The box needs to be secluded enough that tromping feet, nosy dogs, and excitable children don't interrupt a cat answering nature's call. At the same time, make sure the box is not in a dark, mildewy corner of your home that will terrify the cat into using your bedspread instead.
Not near anything that is loud or emits heat. Sudden, loud noises can startle a cat, making him avoid the box. Washing machines, clanging water pipes, popping heaters, and teenagers' sound systems do not make good litter box neighbors. Neither does anything hot, which will only enhance that litter box smell.
One on each story of your home. Be certain there's a box on each floor of a multi-story home so your cat doesn't have to turn a nighttime bathroom run into an expedition. Plus, kittens, senior cats, and those suffering from an illness may not have the bladder control to make it to an inconvenient bathroom.
Not near food or water. You likely aren't planning to park your kitchen table next to your bidet, and your cat feels much the same about his living arrangements. Keep food and litter away from each other.
One litter box per cat plus one extra. The old adage is true. Have one litter box per cat plus one extra.
Create a space in your apartment that fits these criteria. If you can find more than one spot, try them both and figure out which one your cat prefers.
Can I move the litter box?
What if your spouse, partner, or roommate doesn't like the first spot you pick for the litter box? Can you move your pet's box without upsetting her?
The short answer is - it's best to leave the litter box alone once you've established its location. Imagine yourself trotting to the toilet only to discover someone had moved it while you were out. No fun.
Sometimes, however, you need to change the litter box location for some good reason. In that case, move it gradually. About an inch per day is a good rate…seriously.
Can I put two litter boxes next to each other?
It's tempting to line up those litter boxes like port-a-johns at the county fair. Don't do it though. To a cat, it can seem like the whole area is just one big litter box. Plus, a dominant cat may take the opportunity to prevent a mellow kitty from using either litter box.
What about individual rooms?
Cats generally prefer not to eliminate in dark, foul, or frightening places. With that in mind, consider if the following rooms will work in your home:
The bedroom. Your cat may not mind, but you probably will. Litter box odor will put the kibbosh on romance as well as restful sleep. If you have a guest bedroom, though, it can be the perfect location for the cat's litter box.
The kitchen. Typically, it's gross to have your cat's toilet in the same place you prepare your food. For some kitchen arrangements, however, it can work.
In the closet with clothes. Unless you are fastidious about litter box cleanliness, your clothes will start to smell like dirty cat litter. An unused closet can work provided you plug in a nightlight, prop the closet door open, or both so the cat doesn't feel like he's visiting the household dungeon to take a leak.
Laundry room. This popular location can be fine provided your washer and dryer are the strong, silent types. One loud clang at an inopportune moment might frighten a cat away from using a litter box located in a laundry room.
Living room. An elegant, covered box like the Modkat or Modkat XL can look great and minimize odor in a living room.
Basement. Unless your basement is part of your home and you use it often, avoid putting the cat's litter box here. No one - human or animal - wants to go trekking into a dark, dank, and eerie place every time they need to pee.
How can I minimize the smell of a central litter box?
If your litter box is in a social area, you'll need to be extra vigilant about odor control. Scoop the box at least once daily. Wash it with warm water and soap weekly. Change the litter once a week. And mix in plenty of baking soda. You should find this manages most odors. If not, try heating up a mixture of herbs and spices on the stove to add a fresh scent to your home, but avoid plug-in air fresheners or scented litters, which can irritate your cat.
With a well-designed, attractive, and cat-friendly box, you just need to put it in a place you and your cat can both live with for a long time together.