Limited Space – Where Should the Litter Box Go?


Question from Sarah:

I am planning on adopting a cat from a local shelter in the next few months. I am now living in a one bedroom apartment that has a very small bathroom. I was wondering what a good place would be for a litter box, for kitty and my comfort? Or if there is any type of litter box that would suit my small space situation? Thank you so much for reading this.

Answer from Amy:

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for considering adopting a cat from the shelter. I am very excited for you.

Cats have several litter box pet-peeves:

  1. Placing their food too close to the litter
  2. Keeping the litter box too close to their hang out spots
  3. Using the litter box in a noisy area
  4. Having no privacy while eliminating
  5. Dirty litter box

Keep Food & Water Away from the Litter Box

The reason to keep food and water as far away as possible from the litter box is because cats have a very strong sense of smell. It is their most reliable apparatus to identify objects. Cats have a blind spot where they cannot see things right underneath their chin very well, so when they are eating, they depend heavily upon their nose to tell them where the food is and how tasty it is. That explains why when cats are having a cold or a runny nose, they often lose appetite because they simply cannot smell the food. The odor from the litter can throw off their appetite if the food is placed too close to the litter.

Keep the Litter Box away from Their Hang out Spots

Cats are very clean animals that habitually groom themselves everyday. They spend approximately 1/3 of their life time grooming themselves or/and other cats. They like to rest on a soft, clean area. That explains why some cats like to hop on people’s clean laundry. Keeping the litter box in a room that is different from where they usually hang out is a great idea.

Place the Litter Box in a Quiet and Private Place

Too much noise will make cats feel unsettling, unable to complete using the litter box. It is mainly because of cats’ primal instinct to avoid being ambushed. When cats are eliminating, they are in a vulnerable position and can be a target for predators. In order to ensure their safety, cats are vigilant about their surroundings.

Clean the Litter Box Regularly

Many elimination mishaps are caused by dirty litter box hygiene. However, if you find your cat urinating outside the litter box, you should always check with your veterinarian because often it can be a medical condition called Urinary Tract Infections which require medical treatment from a vet.

As I mentioned before, cats love to keep things clean. If the litter box is too smelly to their liking, they will find somewhere else to soil or urinate. Disinfect your litter box several times a month can remove most of the bacteria reside in the box.

Since you have a small apartment, it is important to maintain your litter box hygiene as often as you can. The best way to do it is remove solid waste daily by scooping it out of the litter box and into a bag that you can throw out.

The Right Litter and Box

There are so many different varieties of litter box and litter products at the store. You should look for something that is natural, with odor control and easy to clean [See the Best Cat Litter]. So far I have found Breeze litter system most impressive in terms of odor control and ease of cleaning. However, since the product comes with a section where you need to insert a cat pad to absorb urine, there is extra cost on pad replacement that needs to be considered. The most outstanding feature of this litter system is actually the pads. They can effectively reduce odor and make the litter last longer.

You do not have to purchase their litter pellets. I am using a cheaper brand that has similar shaped pellets made of paper. However, their litter is specially designed where the pellets in fact repel water, so urine will go straight into the pad for optimal odor control.

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