One of the most common questions we’re asked by our cat-owning clients is where exactly their cat’s litter box should be placed. This is an important question to know the answer to, as no one wants to spend their time cleaning up accidents around the house.
Unfortunately, there is no one answer as to where you should put your cat’s litter box. There are a few factors, however, that should be taken into consideration when choosing a location.
MULTIPLE CATS, MULTIPLE BOXES
If you have multiple cats, it is best practice to have one litter box per cat. This way there is a bit more selection for the cat and they don’t have to worry about not having a litter box available if they need to go. Furthermore, each of the litter boxes should be placed in a different location in the house. If you have two litter boxes but they’re located directly beside each other, to cats, this is the same as only one.
QUIET, BUT NOT ISOLATED
While cats do not require the same privacy for their bathroom that we do, they do not appreciate having their litter box placed in a high traffic area. The best location for their litter box is somewhere that is quiet, but not so remote they can’t get to it in time.
BE CONSCIOUS OF SMELL
Even if you can’t smell your cat’s litter box, they certainly can. Unsurprisingly, cats do not like to use the litter box if it has a strong smell. Even if you clean it daily, if the box is in a small room or closet, these smells can become trapped making your cat less likely to use it. For this reason, cats prefer their litter box to be placed in a large, well-ventilated area. It also goes without saying that they do not like to have their food and litter box housed in the same room.
TAKE YOUR CAT’S AGE AND ABILITIES INTO ACCOUNT
If you have a young kitten, senior cat, or cat with a disability, it’s extra important that you have litter boxes in easy to reach locations. If you have a multi-level house, it’s a good idea to have at least one litter box on each floor, even if you only have one cat. That way if your cat has trouble navigating stairs they are not forced to do their business outside of their box.
If you have taken these guidelines into consideration and your cat is still going to the bathroom outside of their litter box, talk to your veterinarian. This could be a sign of illness or underlying behavioral issues that they can help you work through.