When it comes to love, nothing comes close to those purr-fect kitty cuddles our pets give us.
But to be fair, loving a cat stinks sometimes, mainly when you're giving the litter box it's morning cleaning. If you love more than one cat, you're probably cleaning more than one litter box. All the fuss, more of the work.
It's actually not that bad if you adhere to a regular schedule — scoop daily, refill with litter as needed, and wash with soap and warm water weekly. Toss in some baking soda or prevent odors with a natural bamboo charcoal odor removal kit, and you're good to go.
Once you tamp down the smell, the only other litter box issue is the sight. Nobody wants to treat their guests to a vision of their cat's latest deposits gloriously displayed on a bed of clumpy litter.
So how do you set up a hidden cat litter box? A special space only you and your cat know about?
A few enterprising furniture designers have decided to answer this question with wicker furniture or similar cat box enclosures. In fact, in some sections of the cat-loving internet, litter box furniture has grown surprisingly popular. These pieces are often attractive enough, but are they functional? Will your cat use the bathroom in a planter?
The desire to hide the box is understandable, but turning a bookcase into a bathroom often creates more problems than it solves. If your cat doesn't like the spot you've chosen, for instance, you can move a litter box, not so a bookcase. Some furniture-as-litter-box solutions even require you to open the door for your cat to use.
Just because a box is pretty doesn't make it practical or healthy for your pets.
Your cats need a litter box that works for them and for you. It's got to be the right size, easy to enter, odor free, and simple to clean. It helps if the box looks good in your house and helps eliminate litter tracking, too.
Here's how to choose (and hide) the right litter box for your cat:
Choose the right-size box for your cat.
Arrange the box for convenient-but-private access.
Keep the box clean and tidy.
How to determine the right size for your cat’s litter box.
Like the cats that use them, litter boxes come in all shapes and sizes. How do you know which size box works best for your kitty?
Conventional wisdom says to get a box that's 1.5 times as long as your cat (minus his or her tail), and as wide as your cat is long.
Also, remember that litter kickers, high-pee-ers, and cats with bad aim will need tall walls — about 12 inches instead of the usual eight inches. (Our Modkat litter boxes have tall, seamless walls for extra protection.)
And of course, if your cat has mobility issues — or is a tiny kitty — you'll want to make sure the doorway isn't too high for them to enter with ease.
In general, the bigger the cat, the bigger the box. You don't have to buy a cat hotel for your Munchkin or other small cat breed to eliminate in, though. Bigger isn't better. Go for the just-right size.
Now, where should you put your cat box?
Best places for a litter box.
The best place for a litter box is the place your cat likes it. Living rooms, guest rooms, closets, some bathrooms, and even sunrooms can make great resting places for your litter box. Even in these out-of-the-way spots, 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 go for one of these bad real estate deals...
Worst spots to put the cat's litter box.
Don't put your cat's box in these locations:
The laundry room. Loud noises from washers, shaking dryers, and tramping feet can frighten even the most emotionally sturdy feline when he's taking care of business.
The basement. Come on. Unless your basement is finished and furnished, even you wouldn't go down there if you couldn't switch the lights on, would you? No. Your cat will not want to make that descent every time he needs to pee.
Next to each other. If you keep multiple cats, you'll want to space out the litter boxes around the house. A large cat might prevent a small one from using either box if they're right next to each other.
Beside food or water. Because cats won't like it and it's just plain gross.
Dark spaces. While some closets can provide great space for a litter box, others are entirely too dark, dank, and hidden for anyone to use. Keep the light on for your kitty's most important moments.
5 clever ways to hide a cat litter box.
Install a cat flap in a closet or private room. If you have a guest room, private bathroom, or other less-frequented space in your house, you can fashion a separate entrance for your kitty. Keep your litter box stashed in that unused space. Your cat can enjoy peace and privacy while on the throne. And you can revel in the cleanliness of your home. This idea can work for any type of cat box — open-top or closed, front-opening or top-opening, small or large.
Drape fabric around an end table. Got a spare table with unused space beneath it? Turn that empty floor space into kitty's corner. Drape the table with a long cloth to hide what lies beneath. Add small rods and a curtain, and tie sisal rope around it. Voila! A scratch post plus litter enclosure for kitty. Put a toy mouse in the mix, and your cat might decide to create a permanent home under there.
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. This idea saves space for sure. A flap door or cut out will help keep odors at bay. And of course, you and your cat will share a bathroom, so… bonding time! Or not.
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. But 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 become a forgotten box pretty darn quickly. 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. And with a box that mostly stays out of sight (but not out of mind), you won't have to worry about inviting friends over for drinks or a meal.
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.