There are so many nagging little issues that crop up solely by merit of living in a small space like a one or two bedroom apartment. Living in a studio flat myself, with my lovely cat and my husband and I working full time from home, I’ve had my fair share of having to deal with space constraint issues head on. One of the problems that cropped up early on in our time here: where exactly to place a cat litter box in such a tiny apartment (comparatively speaking – because I know many people live in even smaller spaces than the one we do!).
My own personal fix: to grab a gorgeous top entry litter box – the Modko Modkat – that matches my furniture perfectly and stick it smack dab next to the short dressers in our working/sleeping/relaxing room. I had the litter box in the bathroom initially, but it didn’t work out for me there for a number of reasons. I’ll explain why in the next section, as it’s about places to avoid putting a litter box.
Where to Avoid Putting Litter Boxes
First thing you should be doing to help you determine where you want the litter box to live is figuring out where exactly it’s not a good idea to have it. There are a few different spots you may want to avoid. Let’s get into them!
1. Spots Kitty Can’t Always Have Access To
This is obvious, but it can be something you didn’t think of until it’s too late, especially if you like having your cat’s litter box in one room (like a bedroom) but happen to like closing that room off when you leave the house, or in less drastic situations, when sleeping or (in the case of bathrooms) having a shower or some other activity.
If you’re going to close off the part of the house that’s got the litter box to your cat, make sure you either move the litter box to an accessible place for kitty each time you do, or have a second litter box in an accessible place at all times. I know you’ve probably already thought about this, but I figured I’d mention it in case!
2. Rooms Neighbours Can Easily Hear Scratching From
This is the top reason I moved Avery’s litter box out of the bathroom. Avery’s an aggressive litter digger, and once, a few minutes after he’d used the litter box at the crack of dawn, I heard a cough from the neighbouring apartment. Whether or not the neighbour woke up because of his digging, I have no clue. All I know is that our bathroom isn’t necessarily the best sound insulated, and even if he hadn’t woken the neighbour up, I wasn’t about to test fate. Out the litter box came, into the main room, and I’m glad now, because I realized there was another reason it probably wasn’t a good idea to have the litter box in there, and that’s…
3. Humid Spots
Our bathroom is a particularly humid place, as most bathrooms are since – well obviously, they’re where you take showers and baths. Why would this be an issue? Some litter, especially organic material based litters like our corn-kernel type – World’s Best Cat Litter – has issues with mold growing if it gets to be too humid.
I’ve seen a number of negative reviews complaining of mold starting up in their litter box, and while I’ve never had this issue myself, sometimes I wonder if that’s primarily because I have my litter box outside the bathroom. I would be curious to find out if other pet owners with mold issues had their boxes in the washroom when the mold sprang up. Either way, humidity and litters do not always play nice, so out of humid areas is definitely best, in my opinion.
Of course, if you need or simply prefer to keep your litter box in an area that can get pretty humid, there’s a really easy fix to this problem: Grab a dehumidifier, and get that humidity down whenever it’s gone high. It’s not likely something you’d have to do if you had a very well-ventilated bathroom with a high-quality fan, but it’s a quick and easy way to keep down moisture levels if that’s not something you have in your washroom.
*Edit: In the comments down below, Caren mentioned she always has the door to her bathroom open while showering. I think this is a great tip that should really help keep the humidity down your bathroom if you happen to have your litter box there. Also helps reduce the chance of mold in general growing in your washroom over time. Thanks, Caren!
4. High Traffic Areas
You’ll want to keep a cat litter box out of high traffic areas for a couple of reasons.
First: You don’t want to disturb your cat if he or she is using the kitty loo, and if your litter box is in a low traffic area, the chances of this happening are reduced dramatically.
Second: Stray litter is annoying, but it’s even more annoying when it’s constantly stuck to your socks or being thrown further across the room when you walk over it with your slippers. The less likely stray litter is to be trampled on after it’s come out of the box, the easier the pains of having to sweep or vacuum this litter are likely to be.
5. Poorly Ventilated Areas
Having a cat litter box in a poorly ventilated area could lead to one heck of a lingering odour for you.
If you struggle a lot with cat litter smells, the best placement option for a litter box could very well be one nearest to an almost-always open window. No need to explain why ventilation can really help mitigate lingering litter smells.
Ideal Spots You Can Keep a Litter Boxes in Small Apartments
Now onto the ideal spot recommendations. Here are a few of my favourite ideas for where to place litter boxes in small apartments:
1. Hidden in Plain Sight
Doesn’t matter which room you end up choosing to house the cat’s litter box: the bathroom, the kitchen, a sun room, the living room, the dining room, or even a bedroom – hiding your cat litter box in plain sight is probably the coolest, most fun option you can take advantage of. How can you do this? DIY furniture, like a cabinet, that you’ve already got at home by cutting a hole big enough for your cat to get through on one end, then simply place a litter tray and litter mat within it. Or simply buy a ready-made hidden cat litter box, like the Merry Products Cat Washroom Bench.
Want to take the cuteness factor up a knotch? How about hiding a litter box in a fake plant’s fake plant pot with the Good Pet Stuff Company Hidden Litter Box. Not enough space in your apartment for a litter box with a litter mat? There’s also the Petsfit Double-Decker, which you can also use to hide your cat’s food and water bowls as well.
Lots of options in the ready-made department, so if you’re into this kind of thing, check out a list of my favourite hidden cat litter box furniture here.
2. Pretty in Plain Sight
You could always do what I did and grab what you think is a pretty cat litter box and place it right smack dab next to the rest of your furniture. If a huge part of the reason you don’t know where to keep your litter box has to do with the fact that you hate the idea of looking at a hideous litter box all the time – this is definitely an option.
If a big part of the reason you don’t know where to keep your litter box has to do with the fact that there’s a lot of stray litter and/or you hate having a litter mat out, try a top entry litter box like I have. There are ever-so-many benefits to them, including the fact that they can be very cheap and pretty (this IRIS litter box is a very good example of that). Switching to one means you don’t need a litter mat, they take up very little space because of that, can be good at reducing litter smells, on top of a slew of other benefits. It’s also really not as hard as it looks to train your cat to use a top entry litter box either. I’ve got some training tips up in case you feel you might need them.
Curious about options available? Check out my article on the top entry litter boxes I considered before finally settling on my Modkat litter box (which, if you’re interested, you can find a review of here).
3. In the Bathroom
There’s really no problem with keeping a cat’s litter box in the bathroom so long as you can keep the door to that bathroom open all or almost all the time. The issue with humidity, as I’ve already stated, can be remedied quite easily by having a dehumidifier in your bathroom.
Benefits to keeping a cat litter box in your washroom include: 1. Cat litter smells won’t bother you as much there (we’re used to bathrooms being smelly places), 2. Stray litter should be contained to this one room only, 3. It won’t matter quite so much if the floors are covered in litter, 4. The litter itself will likely be easier to clean as bathrooms don’t often have carpet, and tile is exceptionally easy to mop up if there are accidents, 5. Bathrooms aren’t high trafficked or loud areas, so kitty will probably be grateful for the peace that the bathroom affords.
Love to have a litter box in your bathroom, but feel you don’t have the space? Try looking through these narrow litter boxes to see if there’s one that’ll suit the snug spot you’ve been picturing a litter box. The thinnest option I’ve come across? The Litter Genie Cat Litter Box – it even flexes in case its specs are just a little bit too big for the space you’re thinking of.
Have room in the bathroom, but can’t stand stray litter all over your feet when you get out of the shower? Again, try checking out top entry litter boxes. While they’re not physically smaller than other litter boxes (you don’t want them to be, or your cat may have an issue with the size of your litter box), since having one means you don’t need a litter mat at all, switching to one should still help you conserve space when all’s said and done.
4. In an Always-Accessible Utility Closet
If you like the litter box you currently have and just don’t want to see it, you might want to try making room for the box at the bottom of a utility closet. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure the utility closet stays ajar, or grab an interior cat door, like the Purrfect Portal to put into the bottom of the door, but this could be a really excellent option in case you like the idea of a hidden cat litter box, but need a lot more space, say for more than one litter box or for a fairly big automatic self-cleaning litter robot. Another upside to this system: stray litter should really be contained, which for someone who hates stray litter as much as I do, could be an enormous benefit.
You could definitely also keep the litter box in a clothes closet if you like, but my worry in that case would be over the smells from the cat litter getting into your clothing. Not a fun thing to have to deal with! But if you have a whole closet dedicated to paperwork, miscellaneous storage, or shoes, the combination could work out. No fabrics means nothing for the smells to cling onto.
Reducing Cat Litter Smells
Reducing terrible odours that come out of cat litter boxes is even more important in a small apartment than it is in a big house – where the smells aren’t remotely near as noticeable due to easier-to-come-by air circulation.
If you need help remedying issues you might be having in this department, check out my article on reducing and preventing cat litter box smells here.
Best Litter Box for Small Apartments?
Considering changing litter boxes? While I’ve already mentioned a few litter box recommendations in this article, if you’re curious to see my thoughts on which fit best depending on your personal wants and needs, as well as a few more recommendations, check out my article on the best litter boxes for small apartments.
Have an idea of where you want your litter box already? Does it happen to be a pretty tight, narrow spot? Start your search with this list of slim and long litter boxes which includes litter box measurements for each product listed to make browsing and cross-comparison as easy as possible. You have more options for snug spaces than you might think!
Where Do You Keep Your Cat’s Litter Box?
Where are the cat litter boxes in your apartment or house?
Have you ever struggled to find the perfect spot for these boxes? Ever moved a litter box from one place to another? Why did some places not work out?
Any advice for those living in small apartments like me looking for ideal places to plop down a litter box?
Looking forward to reading the tips & experiences you share in the comments!