Where should I put the cat litter box?

You might also ask “where should I not put the cat litter box?” And then go from there.

Would you like to eat and sleep next to your toilet? When you take a train you don’t head for the toilet area and find a seat there. Yet, it seems that quite a lot of cat owners line up the food bowl, the water bowl and the cat litter tray in a neat row. This is not a good idea. The litter tray should be accessible but away from food and water.

Katio cat litter box
Katio cat litter box. An example.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

With that out of the way, where is the ideal spot for a cat litter tray? In the wild, the North African wild cat (the domestic cat’s ancestor) would probably defecate and urinate in prominent positions on the boundaries of his territory and at major junctions within his usual trails. This is because he is also marking his territory.

For humans, it is not suitable to put the cat litter tray in a prominent position within the household which is, in effect, the territory of a domestic cat; certainly if he is a full-time indoor cat.

Quite obviously, the cat litter tray should the out of the way but as a compromise, somewhere where it might be able to also double up as a scent marker. This might be, for example, somewhere near the back door which is a prominent boundary point where other cats have access to his/her world if there is a cat flap. As it happens, I don’t do that myself nowadays although I did at one time. My general philosophy is that the litter tray should be in a place which suits me but if I do that I’m not making any real concessions to my cat.

In addition the tray should be in a quiet area where the cat feels about to leave unhindered. There should be easy access and exit.

I would have thought that 90% of cat owners want to ensure that there are no smells from the litter box in their home. It is easy to generate a cat smell in the home which is not picked up by the owner because she has become acclimatised to it. There are inventive ways to remove cat litter smell from the home and there are commercial products made with this objective. One is the Katio which is placed against a window and has a vent to the outside and a cat flap for the cat to access it.

The bottom line is that it should be away from your cat’s food and water. Also, in my opinion, it would be wise not to move it once sited because once a cat gets used to the spot he gets used to the scent from that area and returns to it to go to the toilet.

These are, in general, my thoughts without reference to other sources. If you have a certain place in your home or even outside your home where you place your cat’s litter box, please tell me in a comment.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

3 thoughts on “Where should I put the cat litter box?”

  1. My litter boxes are placed wherever I think my cats would use them. They are scattered everywhere, and none are in a bathroom.
    All 11 boxes are huge, at least 6-8 inches high and dimensions are around 12″ by 24″.
    It doesn’t matter where they are. It matters how diligent a caretaker is about cleaning.
    I can say that people who visit say that they would never know that I had any cats at all.

  2. I have 6cats and 6 boxes. I make my own litter boxes and they are large. There is enough room for the biggest cat to turn around comfortably. The lip of the box is low-about 1 1/2 inches, so as the cat ages he or she doesn’t have to step up far. That was especially helpful for my furkids if the developed arthritis. They are also extra tall, so I don’t have to worry about the furkids not being able to squat normally and have to stand up. I’ve been doing this for around seven or eight years and find the kids use this type of box without a problem or hesitation. Even the kitties I’ve rescued have no problem from the beginning. The only problem is finding places to put these boxes. Oh, yes, they are also covered. One box is in the master closet, one in each of the two bathrooms. One is a tight fit due to the smallness of the room. One is in the computer room, one in my room and the last is in the spare bedroom that I call the cat room. I clean the boxes at least twice daily and sometimes 3 times. There is very little to no odor. I use non scented, clumpable litter that has very little dust. I also don’t put a lot of litter in the box. Finding such a litter takes time and sometimes I have to use 2-3 brands that I mix. Since I live only with animals and very few humans are invited to visit, I can cater to my cats’ needs and desires. Most people who visit can’t tell I have 1 cat let alone 6. Any service people who come to fix anything have no idea there are cats in the house, as they all scatter to their “safe places”.

  3. We have a small unused room attached to our kitchen that is called the litter box room. We have one litter box tucked away in an inconspicuous place in our bedroom and right now since we have 10 month old Mercy there is still a litter box in the extra large crate that she still uses on occasion.
    We handle litter box smell by scooping on a regular basis. The hard smell test. Hold your breath before going in your home and then take a deep breath. If I can smell it , it’s time to scrub.
    All that said I realized when I brought housecats into my home there would be concessions on my part to keep them happy and healthy. Well fed cats in good health being fed an appropriate diet produce a great deal less stink that ones given marginal management.

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