Your cat needs a litter box. But the truth is they are unsightly to look at and need to be kept scrupulously clean. You don’t really want it out in plain view, but you still need it be handy enough for cleaning while at the same time in a location that your cat finds favorable. A tall order indeed!
Many people mistakenly believe that cats, like dogs, require “house training” to learn to use a litter box properly. This is not the case. Cats are intuitively very clean animals, and by nature, they prefer to eliminate their waste in an area of the house that is private and in a box that allows for sifting through sand-like material to hide their excrement.
When owners run into problems with cats not using their litter box, it is not a training issue at stake. Most cats are finicky and have their own personal preferences regarding litter type and location of the box. Even lack of proper hygienic standards can get the blame for your cat refusing to use her litter box. Yes, it is possible that when it comes to cleanliness, your cat might be even pickier than your wife!
Factors to Consider
In determining where to place your cat’s litter box, there are a number of things to consider.
Among them are:
- Easy accessibility
If you want your cat to use the litter box, you must select a spot in your home that is easy for her to get to. If your cat has to climb Mount Rushmore to get to her litter box, chances are pretty good that you’re going to be finding cat poop in places you’d rather not.
The best location for a litter box in your home is in an area that receives little traffic. These areas tend to be much quieter and allow your cat to have some privacy.
It is also important that you not place a litter box in an area that is enclosed or that only has one way out. Cats fear being trapped and will be ill at ease trying to get to a litter box that could leave them vulnerable to what they perceive as a potential attack from another animal or predator. Safety, considered from the perspective of your cat, is of the utmost importance.
If you have more than one cat, it might be wise to have several litter boxes scattered throughout your home in areas that are relatively quiet, and that don’t see a lot of activity throughout the day. This will eliminate the potential for competition in using a single box.
Just as with dogs, consistency is key to learning a new routine. Keep your litter boxes in the same locations, so your cat will learn where they are. Moving them around throughout the house will lead to confusion and be the source of accidents.
When the boxes are removed for cleaning, make the job as quick and painless as possible. If you have multiple litter boxes throughout your home, remove them for cleaning one at a time. By taking this approach, you will ensure that Frisky always has an alternate litter box to use if nature calls while you are cleaning one of the others.
When you do clean the boxes, be certain to do it swiftly. If your cat needs to use her box and finds the one she is looking for missing, you might find poop on your favorite rug as she may not have the time to go search for one of the others. Cleaning is important but be quick and thorough for the best results. Your cat will appreciate your efforts.
- Noise and scent free
Cats can be particularly sensitive to loud noises and scents. For this reason, it might be wise to avoid placing your cat’s litter box in a laundry room where she might be disturbed by the sounds emanating from a rambunctious washer and dryer.
Smells are also of concern. Cats are extremely particular about their likes and dislikes, and they don’t like smells to intermingle. For this reason, keep your cat’s food and water dishes far away from the litter box. Frisky won’t be that excited about chowing down on a good meal if it is in close proximity to the place where she leaves her poop!
- Away from stairs
Though cats in the prime of their lives do not mind stairs in the least, you must always bear in mind that your cat will not remain young forever. Kittens and the elderly find stairs difficult to navigate and can even fear falling and injuring themselves. With this in mind, you can make doing the right thing easier for Frisky by ensuring that each floor of your home has an easily accessible litter box in a place that meets all of your girl’s conditions.
- Open doors
While cats do enjoy some privacy during their bathroom breaks, they are not immune to the stench that can come from their litter box contributions. Keep the doors open to the rooms that contain litter boxes. It is also periodically helpful to open the windows to air the room out and keep the smells from building up and stagnating.
Best Rooms for Litter Boxes
Though every home is built differently and contains different rooms, there are some that are standard to every home that make ideal locations for your litter boxes.
Among the best choices are:
- The living room
- The family room
- Spare bedrooms
- The kitchen
If placing a litter box in any of these locations is not amenable to all of the members of the family, it is possible to partition the area off with a screen to shield the litter box (and the activities that take place there) from view while still allowing proper access for your cat.
Choosing the right location for your cat’s litter box can be a challenge. Follow these few simple guidelines to select a spot that Frisky will love to frequent.