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Whether you have one kitty or five, every cat lover faces a dilemma. Where do you put the litter box? It needs to be accessible to your kitties, but tucked away where you don’t have to see or smell it.
Should you put it in the basement? What about the laundry room? What if you’re in a small apartment and don’t have an easily accessible (yet out-of-the-way) space?
You might also have questions about the best kitty litter for keeping your home smelling fresh, and whether or not multiple kitties can share a litter box?
We aim to answer these questions and more below, but let’s start with the famed finicky feline.
They can be fickle about the location of their litter box and the type of cat litter you use, the type of litter box it is, and whether or not they have to share. Cats also like having a routine, so if you need to change the cat litter box location, there’s a good chance you’ll be stressing them out.
So, what’s a cat lover to do?
Find a Private Space for the Litter Box
Janet Cutler, Ph.D., Certified Cat & Dog Behavior Consultant at SeniorTailWaggers.com, says, “You want to place a litter box in a quiet area that is easily accessible for your cat. Most cats like to have some privacy when using the litter box.”
Yet, it also needs to be easy for your cat to reach whenever they need it. They want it private, but not in a strange place where no one goes.
Dr. Cutler says, “The litter box shouldn’t be in an area where your cat will be uneasy or concerned about using it (for example, a room they aren’t sure about entering, or somewhere where they’ll be bothered by other household pets/children).”
Occasionally, pet parents put the litter box in a creepy and dank basement, a hard-to-reach attic, or a storage area. This might sound great for keeping odors out of living spaces, but it’s not ideal for your kitty’s sense of security.
Your cat will be happier if their litter box is tucked in a corner of the bathroom or other space where they feel comfortable rather than exiled.
Of course, your cat litter box needs plenty of air circulation to keep the area smelling fresh.
About that smell… What’s the best kitty litter for ridding the house of that stinky smell? How often do you need to clean out and scrub your litter box? And why are cats so inclined to kick their litter all over the place?
Do You Need Multiple Litter Boxes?
Per Dr. Cutler, “As cats get older and moving around becomes a bit more difficult, then having boxes available on each floor of the home is also useful, so they don’t have to use stairs or travel far to get to one.”
If you have multiple cats, you also need more than one litter box. Dr. Cutler says, “The general rule for litter box numbers is n + 1, so the number of cats in your home + 1. Many cats are particular about the cleanliness of their litter boxes. Some cats like to urinate and defecate in different areas, so having another option for them can help prevent any accidents from happening outside of the box. In most households, litter boxes are likely not cleaned multiple times a day; more than one box helps keep the litter cleaner for your cat.”
She also says, “If there is more than one cat in the home, then having litter boxes in multiple areas of the house is recommended in case both cats want to use a box at the same time, or one cat keeps another from getting to the litter box.”
Some cats like the kitty box covered for more privacy, while others don’t like a dome or cover, because it’s easier for another cat to sneak up on them and pounce. You know your household kitty dynamics best.
How Can You Get Rid of the Kitty Litter Box Smell?
There are three primary considerations for your litter box odor control.
- Choose a quality odor-controlling cat litter
- Scoop or stir the kitty litter daily as directed by your litter brand
- Change the litter entirely and clean the physical litter box every month
Some cat lovers have chosen a litter box subscription that comes with the best cat litter of their choice and a disposable litter box every month. A cat litter box subscription keeps your litter box fresher for a cleaner home.
What’s the Best Kitty Litter?
With all the kitty litter choices available, you might wonder what the difference is between them. In general, cat litter comes down to texture, odor-control, and clumping power.
Clay and organic soy are both clumping cat litters that offer low or no dust and maximum odor control. They’re also low tracking, so your kitty is less likely to track the litter all over your house.
There are other kitty litters, too, like Silica, Fine-Grade Silica, and Diatomite. These also offer low dust and odor control, but they’re non-clumping (you’ll need to scoop solids.)
If you use self-cleaning litter boxes, you’ll need to make sure your cat litter is compatible, or it may damage the equipment. Most clumping litters work with self-cleaning litter boxes, but it’s a good idea to double-check.
For the ultimate clean litter box, you can have a disposable cat litter box and litter subscription, so you never have to think about it.
How Do You Get a Cat Comfortable with a New Kitty Litter?
Finicky feline behavior can extend to cat litter. The most particular will refuse to use a new litter or be confused. Like all animals, cats are accustomed to certain textures and scents, and sudden changes put them on the defensive.
To reduce your cat’s concern, you can mix some of the new cat litter with the old over a period of several days. Some cats won’t even notice the gradual change. You can encourage your cat to use the new kitty litter by watching your cat and offering praise and treats when they go near the litter box.
In summary, where to put your cat litter box and how to maintain it, so it stays fresh, is worth serious consideration. In general, if you consider one litter box per cat with privacy (but not too much privacy), and a litter subscription to ensure you never run out, you’ll have happy cats and a cleaner household. Combine your kitty litter subscription with a disposable litter box and your cat(s) will always have a clean “bathroom,” so you spend less time cleaning and more time snuggling.