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Litter Box Location Secrets

The litter box plays an important part in the life and happiness of your cat. Your cat is programmed to bury its waste, away from its main living area. Part of their survival strategy as small predators, they do this to prevent odors being traced back to their territory. This trait makes them a perfect pet for indoor living – as long as they do indeed use the litter box.

 

As much as this is instinctive behavior, cat owners need to take the time to properly "configure" the litter box setup. This is the only way to ensure proper use of the litter box. With some cats, a less than perfect configuration may suffice… until stress levels rise for some reason, and litter box avoidance begins. Help your cat stick to regular litter box habits, by providing her with the best setup possible.

 

 

There are many aspects to the right litter box setup. A review of the various aspects, including type of box, number of boxes, type of litter and basic maintenance routine is available here: Litter Box Maintenance.

 

 

This article aims at highlighting some aspects of one of the more important litter box characteristics: location. Real estate agents often state that there are three things that make up the worth of a property: location, location, location. Well, the location of your cat's litter boxes can prove to be just as important!

 

 

So, here are a few pointers about the best location for your cat's litter boxes –

 

 

Keep it Private

 

Cats prefer to eliminate away from their living areas (the equivalent of "the nest" area). Keeping their litter boxes away from traffic-heavy areas of your home provides them with the sense of privacy and security needed.

 

Stay away from food and water dishes

 

Never place litter boxes next to the cat's food and water dishes. In fact, avoid having these at the same room altogether. This goes back to the need to eliminate away from "the nest". If you place them too close, your cat may be forced to make a choice between feeding and using the litter box… and since food is only in the dish, you could be facing litter box avoidance issues.

 

Keep it Quiet

 

Make sure your cat isn't startled by any sudden noises while using the litter box. These could be children running by, a door that suddenly opens on the box or a washing machine starting a new cycle. Some cats are more sensitive to sudden noises than others. For these cats, it may only take one bad scare to drive them away from the litter box for good.

 

Leave an Escape Route

 

While urinating and defecating your cat feels more vulnerable. Many cats feel better if they have a way to view their surroundings, as well as a possible escape route available, in case of trouble. This can be a major issue in a multi-cat household, especially if one cat is intimidated by another. Think about what happens when one cat is using the litter box and her rival shows up… will she have an easy escape route, or will she feel trapped? If the latter, she may choose to avoid the litter box.

 

Keep it where you can see it

 

Litter boxes require constant maintenance. In other words, they need to be cleaned regularly, preferably twice a day. Keep the litter box easily accessible and don't forget to clean it on time. If out of sight means out of mind (or rather out of nose) for you - and possibly neglecting your cleaning routine - then by all means, keep the litter box where you can see it!

 

Litter Box Location Decisions

 

When you bring home a cat for the first time, take some time to think about the location of your litter box or boxes. You won't regret it. If you already have a litter box which your cat is using regularly, check and see if this is indeed the ideal setting. However, remember that changes need to be made gradually and with care. You may consider adding another litter box and placing that one correctly and then wait for your cat to be using the new box regularly before removing the old box.

 


 

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Comments (10)

It's a shame that people who design houses don't think of places for litter boxes. Trying to find a spot for just one litter box is sometimes almost impossible, much less 3 boxes for 2 cats. I guess all houses should have an extra room just for cats!
Just a note about litter boxes. My cats like a larger litter box. If you go to a home improvement store (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) in the cement aisle they have "mixing trays". They are about twice the size of a normal litter box and cost between $5-$10. I've had one approximately 5 years and its still in really good condition.
my cats litter box is next to her cat tree, will this cause me issues later on?
i have 2 boxes for my cats and i have noticed that 100% they prefer the box in the basement. i don't like it there though because like you mentioned above, out of sight out of mind. i forget it's there, i only see the one upstairs which could remain untouched for days because they don't like it as much.
i have 2 adult cats one male and one female both 13 plus yrs old, current locations are two boxs down stairs tucked away in a kitchen closet that is never closed completely, so they have privacy, and one box in a room which i dont use on my 2ed floor, it seems to work well at this time,just need to keep them clean clean clean..
experiment with different litters also
[/B] My cat is truly strange He has 4 boxes as he is indoors One of which is in the living room with fo for a refillod half a metre away He makes sure we clean it before he gets in if dirty Once cleaned he gose the gose for food
I agree with cast4us. My new house doesn't seem to have a suitable place for my cat boxes. I haven't moved in yet, and I'm at a loss on where to put it.
We have a home with no real litterbox hideout, so we made them. We purchased half-width folding tables and put table cloths over the table. Then we put the box under the table. the cats (we have 12 rescues) have privacy and an escape route. My autistic grandson does not mess with them. And it adds much needed flat space for "stuff". We were able to put two large boxes there. We have the same setup in our office (former dining room). We have something similar in the bedrooms, and a covered box near the fireplace (that we do not use). It is the most open, but with the cover, it is not such a big deal.
 
We have only just started having one spraying, but we had pipes burst late last year and have had a year of contractors in and out. THAT IS OVER THANK GOD!!! We pulled out all carpets and put in vinyl flooring which they are getting used to, but we have throw rugs and tons of kitty beds everywhere. They are doing pretty well. Just the one is still stressed, so I am constantly washing clothing, kitty beds, etc and I have a bottle of half white vinegar-half water ready to spray anywhere I find the smell. It neutralized it. Then I clean with Urine Gone and spray with Zero. Needless to say, we have Feliway going all the time.
One more thing, we have 12 which means technically we should have 13 boxes. We found oversized Nature's Miracle boxes to help with that issue. None have a problem with sharing. They have all been introduced (over a decade) as kittens, so sharing got worked out long ago. We have 2-15 year olds, 4-8 year olds, 2-7 year olds, 1-6 year old, and 3-5 year olds. All healthy and happy. Especially now that there are no more contractors in and out.
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