When it comes to litter box placement, your cat really wants you to remember the three “L”s: location, location, location!
The Best Places for Litter Boxes
- Easy access and exits: Ideally, your cat should have at least two ways to get to and from each box. This is to keep their box from becoming completely blocked (e.g., by the family dog, a bully cat, a closed closet door, etc.). If they can’t get to or away from their box reliably, they’re not likely to use it reliably.
- Plenty of space between: Even if you have the right number of boxes, it’s just as important to spread out your cat’s litter boxes to prevent problems. I shudder each time I see a home with the right number of boxes, but they’re all lined up in a row in the same room (close, but no cigar). It’s best to spread the litter boxes across different rooms, and definitely have at least one litter box on each floor of your home. But if the boxes absolutely have to be in the same room or area, be sure to provide plenty of space between them.
- Good air circulation: Your cat’s nose is quite sensitive, and cramming their litter box in a small cupboard or a dingy basement is likely to force them to deal with scents and odors that could stress them out and dissuade them from using their box. (Learn about other ways to reduce litter box odors.)
What to Avoid When Placing Litter Boxes
- Drafty vents: Heating and air conditioning vents can create unpredictable (as far as your cat's concerned) drafts of air that can startle and stress out your cat. Try to avoid locating their litter boxes near such vents.
- Foot traffic: If your cat has to cope with the possibility of a bunch of people walking (or running, especially if you’ve got small children in your home) by their loo every time they’ve got to go, it definitely won’t be comfortable or fun for them. Try to find a place that doesn’t get too much foot traffic.
- Noise: Going to the bathroom is a fairly vulnerable scenario for cats, and they can often be on “high alert” when in their box. If they’re doing their business in an area where there’s a lot of noise — especially if the noise is loud or sudden — then your cat isn’t going to be able to go in peace. Though laundry rooms are common places for people to put their cat’s litter boxes, the noise from a clunking clothes dryer or the end-of-cycle alarms from either machine can be enough to stress out your cat when they’re feeling exposed. Try to avoid the laundry room if you can.
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