Choosing a spot to keep your cat’s litter box can be fairly challenging for new pet owners, or owners with new pets! Though we’d like to keep the litter box out of sight and in the most remote corner of the house (such as a utility closet, laundry room, or in the basement), our cats may not always approve. Placing the litter box in the “wrong” area of the house will inevitably lead to undesirable elimination and unpleasant surprises.
The easy part about ‘litter box training’ your kitty is that their natural instincts drive them to seek out sandy and soft locations to poo in. Therefore, you needn’t explicitly ‘train’ your cat to dig, go, bury, his waste eliminations. Several of our articles cover how to acclimatize cats to new litter box types, kinds of litters, as well as litter box locations. But first, let’s get started with deciding where to place your furry friend’s first litter box.
Privacy and seclusion
No cat likes being cornered. Trapped or cats stuck in small spaces are often known to attack out of fear. These attacks can be ferocious and require you to be rushed to the emergency room at the hospital, in severe cases. When it comes to litter box placement, though there may not be attacks on family members, the litter box will be thoroughly boycotted for lack of ‘escape routes’.
Place your litter box in an area where your cat had ample space to maneuver around the box area, to make her feel comfortable. She needs to feel safe but not cloistered in her environment.
On the other hand, and there is an ‘other hand’, ensure that you give your animal enough privacy to go about his or her business. In the wild, animals feel at their most vulnerable when they are wounded, with young or in the process of delivery, or while eliminating their waste. They seek safe, secluded spots to urinate or defecate, and quickly attempt to bury it to prevent their scent from reaching nearby predators. The common house kitty, feels the same need for privacy. Hence, ensure that although you are providing her much-needed space to move about her box, you are also protecting her modesty and nurturing her natural instincts.
Unless your cat is very familiar and comfortable climbing up and down your stairs, or going into the basement via narrow conduits, or climbing into smallish areas, he might not be very happy if litter arrangements are made in those spots. This is especially true for midget cat varieties like Munchkins and Persians, or for small kittens that are just learning the ways of their new world. Senior and elderly cats with arthritis or muscle related issues will also find hard to reach areas, painful to approach.
Keeping this in mind, place your new litter box in an easy-access zone, where your cat can easily, safely, and quickly reach. It could be a mess-free situation in cases of emergencies too!
If you’ve decided to stash the cat’s litter box away in a dank corner of your basement hoping that the smell won’t assault you, you are in for trouble. A cat has double the number of olfactory sensors in their noses than humans. They have an additional ability to take in more smell input through an organ located in the roof of their mouths. All in all, their sense of smell is more keen than those of humans. Therefore, even the hint of a smelly litter box is off-putting to a cat, especially in a multi pet household.
A good self cleaning litter box should be placed in an area which receives ventilation or the ability to dispel litter and smells. Though there are several kinds of high odor absorbing litter and litter boxes, periodic cleaning as well as good ventilation need to be emphasized.
Placement of the litter box is an important step in building your cat’s confidence in you, as a care giver. A good circulation of air and accessibility also promote good health among your animals, ease of soiled litter removal by you, and prevention of bad smells from being sucked into any internal vent systems that may spread through the house.