Pet Basics

Where Should I Put a Cat-Litter Box?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Cat standing next to a litter boxFormula Z/S
Q. Where is the best place for an indoor cat-litter box? 
Laura Evans
Oakland, Tennessee

A. When it comes to finding the right location for the litter box, any room will do, as long as the box is set up correctly. Follow these steps when setting up: 
  • Comfort is key. Pick a room in which you spend a lot of time. If your pet feels at ease there, he will be more likely to use the box (and not the carpet). The box should not be in a highly trafficked area.
  • Check the lighting. Make sure the room is well lit and away from the pet’s food.
  • Provide an escape route. Cats are in a vulnerable position when using a litter box, says Mieshelle Nagelschneider of the Cat Behavior Clinic, in Seattle. Because cats don’t have the privacy of a bathroom, they need to know they can get away from threats in a hurry, so be sure there is a clear escape route.
  • Put the bin in plain sight. This might mean you’ll have to walk around the box for a couple of weeks, until your cat is used to using it. Once your cat is comfortable visiting the box in that room, slowly move it one inch a day to a position that is more convenient for you but where your cat will still use it, says Nagelschneider. If you need to move the box to another location, repeat the process.
―Kristin Appenbrink


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