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Where Should I Put My Cat’s Litterbox?

ginger-cat.jpgFinding the best location for your cat’s litterbox may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be problematical. You may think a dark corner in the basement is a good place since it’s quiet and out-of-the-way, but if your cat doesn’t agree, she may find another place more to her liking. And that’s when the problems start. How can you find a place that works for both of you?

Privacy Is Important

Cats are like people in that they like a quiet and safe place to go to the bathroom. If her litterbox is in a high traffic area where kids, a dog, or another cat can bother her, she’s liable to find a place where she can feel more secure. But you probably won’t be happy with her choice.

A basement may be a good location. But think about the fact that if a litter box is in an out-of-the-way location, you may not remember to scoop it out once or twice a day. Cats are very sensitive to odors. If the box smells bad to you, it smells worse to your cat, and she may not use it. Also, many cats don’t like to step on wet litter. So be sure to put the box in an area where you’ll remember to keep it clean.

If you have a new kitten, the box should be in a location that’s easy for her to get to. Kittens are like small children — when they have to go, they have to go NOW! If the box is off in the basement someplace, she may not make it down there. And a new kitten may be too frightened to go in a dark scary basement by herself. Keep her world small for a while, until she adjusts to her new home, with a litterbox in an easy-to-get-to place.

How About The Laundry Room?

Many people put the litterbox in the laundry room, near the washer or dryer. This may be a good place, but some cats are scared of the noise from the washer or dryer and won’t use the box if it’s in there. Think about how your cat feels; this big thing usually sits there quietly, but at unexpected times, it makes a lot of noise and vibrations. She doesn’t understand what’s going on. All she knows is that this thing could come to life and eat her at any time. If your cat is avoiding the litter box in the laundry room, you may need to relocate it.

The same thing is true of things like furnaces and noisy water pumps. Anything that makes loud noises unexpectedly can scare your cat and lead to a litter box aversion.

The Kitchen?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat in the bathroom. And your cat won’t either. The litter box should not be anywhere near her eating area.

There’s a commercial on TV for an odor control product that shows the litter box in the kitchen. Yuk! Why would anyone even consider putting a litter box in or near a food prep area? Not to mention that if you can smell the box, it needs to be cleaned. Spraying something around won’t solve the problem!

Think Like A Cat

The best place for your cat’s litterbox is a safe, quiet area. I used to keep my cat’s box in closet in an unused bedroom, but it was way too easy to forget about it and not keep it clean. Plus helpful people would close the closet door, blocking her access to her box. If the cat can’t get in there, it defeats the purpose of a litter box.

A closet in the bathroom works really well for me right now. I have a piece of wood stuck in the bottom of the door to keep it open for my kitten. It’s hard to miss it when it needs to be scooped. And since she always comes to the bathroom with me to keep me company, she usually uses the box when she’s there (if she’s not attacking the toilet paper :) ).

Finding the best place for your cat’s box can be a process of trial and error. What have you found to be the best place for YOUR cat’s litter box?

Stay tuned for the next article in my litter box series: how to train a kitten to use the box.

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  1. 4 Comment(s)

  2. By Clara on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    I’ve thought of getting a cat before, but this is where I usually stop :P

    Clara’s last blog post..Herbal Help for Erectile Dysfunction

  3. By admin on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Aw Clara, it’s not so bad. No worse than changing diapers, and usually a lot let messy! :)

    Cats are so much fun to have around. My kitten is a constant source of amusement, and she’s so sweet when she snuggles up in my lap and gazes adoringly at me. Cleaning her litterbox is a small price to pay for her companionship. Plus I use scoopable litter, so it’s pretty easy to keep up with it.

    In the words of an old commercial, “Try it, you’ll like it!”


  4. By sylvia on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply


    My problem is that the people who live downstairs have a two year old male cat who has adopted me. He pushes shoves, cajoles me until I let him in where he proceeds to stare at me. I can’t get rid of him and so I now feed him twice a day and I want to get him a litter box. At the moment he uses the people’s downstairs and they NEVER change it. My issue
    is that I am in ONE room only that is my bedroom and I have no garden. What to do??

  5. By Rachel on Oct 13, 2011 | Reply

    My cat is driving me insane. He keeps pooping every bed in the house and on the couch, and I can’t seem to do anything about it. I’ve broken down in tears many times. I love him so much and don’t want to get rid of him for such a silly thing, but it’s nearly come to that point…

    He only started having this problem about a year and a half ago. I scoop the litter box twice a day, morning and evening, keep it in a private area (it’s covered in my closet) and try to do all I can to ensure that he’s completely satisfied. The thing is that he poops and pee in the box regularly, but then usually every other day or at some point within a two-week period, I’ll see a neat little pile of poop on my bed or on the couch.

    Recently, though, I’ve changed the litter to a finer kind and he’s used it a few times, but then I came home today and found a pile of poop on my bed again. I’m already having a bad day, and this just fuels the fire. So I pick him up and yell, shoving his nose in it (I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I reacted on impulse and rage– it’s driving everyone INSANE!).

    I live in a small apartment, so there’s hardly anywhere to put his litter box, and I also have a dog who eats in our tiny kitchen. I can’t put both of their bowls in there, or else the dog will eat the cat’s food. So I put the cat’s bowls a few feet in front of the litter box, in the small, hardly private closet. But I will try one last time to accommodate him by finding a new location for these bowls as has been suggested, continuing to clean his box regularly, and giving him all of the affection I can. If this doesn’t stop, I don’t know what I’m going to do. He needs to be taken to the vet soon, though, to see if anything might be causing this irradic behavior.

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