Finding 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.
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.