Like us, most cats prefer someplace private for their toilet. Anyplace where there’s a lot of noise and people coming and going is not appreciated. So the playroom, the den, and the kitchen are all out.
On the other hand (and also like us), cats want their box someplace convenient that’s not difficult or unpleasant to get to. That’s why the basement or garage are not great choices. They’re cold, dark, damp, scary places far from the family rooms where your cat spends her day. They’re full of junk that can fall and hurt a cat, scare her, and convince her never to go in the basement or near her little box again. Plus, it’s too easy for you to forget to scoop and clean the box when it’s hidden away like that.
A lot of people keep the litter box in the bathroom, and that’s not a bad idea. The box is easy to clean, easy to find, and easy for a cat to get in and out of – as long as it’s not in the bathtub, wedged behind something, or hidden inside the vanity under the sink. After you take a shower, the litter can get pretty damp, though, so it’s important to leave it uncovered. You will also need to make sure the bathroom door is open all the time-even when guests stop by. And they will have to excuse your cats if they push open the bathroom door.
The laundry room can also be a good choice. That’s a warmer, nicer room than the basement, and people go in and out, but not too much. Some cats get scared, though, if they happen to be in the box when the spin cycle kicks in, and may fear their litter box thereafter. If your cat is very sensitive to noise, the laundry room may not be the best choice.
The middle of a hallway, off to the side at the top of the stairs or the corner of a quiet room are excellent choices. If you have several cats, the added advantage (for the cats) is that they can see other cats approaching and will not feel cornered when they’re in the box.
Anywhere near your cat’s food and water dishes is out. That’s because no cat will eliminate near his food and water supply. In the wild, cats eat at home and then walk to the edge of their territory for a pit stop. It’s safer not to leave strong scents near where they and their kittens live-scents that hungry predators are only too happy to follow. If the litter box is near the food dish, your cat will eat the food and choose some other part of the house for a toilet.
Finally, remember that even if you have just one cat, you may need more than one litter box-especially with kittens and older cats, who have less control. People like to have a bathroom on every floor of the house, and so do cats.