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Secrets and Tips for Finding the Perfect Litter Box Location

finding the perfect litter box location

Last Updated by Brandon F. on June 4, 2020

A litter box is supposed to be a haven for your cat.  Forcing your cat to do its business in a location that makes it feel uncomfortable can not only lead to issues with your cat properly using its litter box but it can even have long-term effects on your cat’s overall happiness and well-being.

Because of this, finding a suitable location for your cat’s litter box is extremely important.  This not only has to do with the physical location of the litter box but also with the surrounding environment as well.

Below we go over some of our favorite secrets and tips that we have learned over the years to help ensure that your cat’s litter box is in the optimal place.

Is Worrying about Litter Box Location That Important?

Some people have asked us if it is really necessary to put such high priority on finding a good spot for a litter box.  And we constantly reply to them with a resounding YES!

It may be easy to forget, but your cat has tens of thousands of years of instinct buried into its brain from its distant, wild relatives.  Being a small predator, it not only had to worry about hunting but also being hunted.  Simply doing its business out in the open would expose its odors to the animals it was trying to hunt as well as the animals that are trying to hunt it.

To help survive out in the wild, these wild felines learned to bury their waste in safe, remote areas to hide the odors.  While modern house cats may not have to worry about the dangers of predators, they still carry over their instincts of wanting to bury their cat waste.

This is a big reason why cats acclimate to litter boxes so well.  While you may have to spend several weeks teaching a dog where to go, most cats simply “know” that the litter box is where they should do their business.

That being said, the litter box is only the first step.  Finding a suitable location and environment for the litter box is just as important.  Some cats may “put up” with having their litter box in a poor location but other cats may have to deal with higher stress levels and, in some cases, will go outside of the litter box if the conditions are too poor.

How to Find the Perfect Litter Box Location

Now that we have gone over some of the backgrounds of litter boxes, we will list out some helpful tips for finding the perfect spot for your cat.

Put the Litter Box Somewhere Remote

Just like you wouldn’t want to do your business out in the open, most cats prefer a bit of privacy as well.  This goes back to its survival instincts that we discussed above.  A remote location provides a better ability for a cat to “hide” its odors.  And also, most people prefer to keep these cat waste odors hidden as well so it is a win/win for everybody!

High-traffic hallways or other areas of your home are not optimal for cat litter boxes.

Some great places to put the litter box include spare closets that are cracked open, in the corners of unused rooms at the end of the house, and on low-traffic floors for those who have multi-level homes.

That being said, not everybody has the luxury of having a huge home with tons of spare rooms and closets to work with.  Many people live in smaller apartments or have families that occupy all of the additional rooms.  In these cases, we recommend looking for a covered litter box.  These types of litter boxes are designed to give your cat the sense of being secluded and protected.

Keep Things Quiet and Peaceful

This kind of goes along with being remote, but it is also important to put your litter box in a quiet area.  In your cat’s mind, it is fully exposed when going potty, so being able to easily hear and see its nearby surroundings helps to add to its comfort levels.

Try to avoid putting the litter box near where people frequent and talk.  Also, things like loud TVs, speakers, washing machines, etc. should be avoided if possible.  This is another reason why closets make a great place for litter boxes as they typically don’t have any sort of loud noisemakers inside.

Avoid Putting Near Food and Water Dishes

A cat feeding and a cat going to the bathroom are two entirely different events and should be approached as so.  Strive to keep your cat’s litter box far away from its feed dishes.  Remember, a cat wants to do its business in a remote and secluded location.  Having the litter box right next to its food and water can result in there being interference between the secluded area that it wants and its “home” or “nest” that it imagines is its food and water dishes.  This can lead to serious litter box avoidance issues.

Allow For Easy Entry and Exit

Cats are very astute animals and always try to be one step ahead of their surroundings.  While most cats won’t have to deal with the dangers and perils that their wild ancestors faced, they still like to be situated in areas that allow for quick and easy escape routes if a danger poses a threat.

Providing multiple easy entries and exit points can give cats better peace of mind.  While this may not always be possible (such as in the case of putting the litter box in a closet), it is important to at least consider it when trying to find a spot.

Think of Yourself as Well!

Remember, YOU are the one that is going to have to clean and empty the litter box.  Because of this, putting it in a location that you can easily access is also important.  Sticking it 10 feet deep into a secluded hole in the wall might be absolute heaven for your cat but it may end up being a huge nuisance for you.  Try to find a happy compromise between what your cat wants and what is convenient for you.

Also, remember that cat litter is notorious for tracking.  This not only can make for messy clean up but it can also be very painful to step on.  So try to avoid areas that are difficult to clean and also areas where a lot of people walk through to avoid cracked cat litter and sore feet!

Monitor and Make Adjustments as Necessary

A cat litter box’s location is not a static absolute.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with tweaking and/or moving a cat litter box if necessary.  Cats are very astute and will quickly notice that their litter box has been moved and find its new location.  And, in the case that you move it a significant distance, simply showing them is all that is necessary.

Closely monitor how your cat does with the new litter box location.  See if they enjoy doing their business there or if there are clear signs that they are not happy with the change.  Sometimes finding the “perfect spot” can take some time and work but in the end, it is worth it for both you and your cat! tests and analyzes every major cat litter brand and various cat litter accessories to determine what the best product is that meets your needs.  When readers choose to buy our independently reviewed choices, we may earn affiliate commissions that help to support our writers and site maintenenance.