Life in small apartments can be challenging or cozy, it’s really up to you how you want it to be. But if you are going to live with cats, there’s a few additional considerations at play.
Cats need a litter box, unless you will have them indoor/outdoor with an outdoor place to go. For most of us, that’s not going to happen, especially if you are in a major city. So space is an issue, where can you put that litter box if you’re in a small apartment?
This is probably the most obvious decision for a litter box. The bathroom is a great storage place that helps keep the rest of the apartment clean. It already is home to bowel movements, so you’re not adding much in terms of disgustingness to a room.
The main issue you will find in these setups is that you maybe have the same schedule as your cat, and you could have some closed door issues. It’s also a little uncomfortable to be sitting on the toilet looking at your cat in their litter box.
The other issue here is that cats track litter outside the box. If it’s in a small bathroom, chances are your clean feet are going to hit that first right after a shower. It might get a little annoying.
A great way to get past this is to sacrifice some cabinet space. The area under your sink is great for a litter box, you just need to remove one of the doors so there’s easy access. This gives your cat the space they need to get clean after using it without litter going all over the ground.
Overall, this is the best place to put a litter box. I wish we could put our litter box in the bathroom, but unfortunately with four cats, we need two and there is no way two litter boxes will fit in our little bathroom. We don’t even have a sink cabinet to use.
This one is probably the hardest for most people because closets are supposed to stay shut, and your cat really needs access to a litter box at all times. You don’t want to spend your days cleaning their pee, I promise.
So closets are tricky, but they can be done if you’re determined. First off, the best closet to use is one that’s a bit out of the way, and it would be great if there was no door. If you remove the door, you’re forced to ensure the closet stays clean and is used for items that look good on display, rather than a messy closet with no door.
If you really don’t have that kind of space and need to keep the closet closed, there are special door blockers for cats that you can use in these situations. Basically, you wrap one end around the outside door handle and attach the other to the inside wall somewhere. It allows the door to remain a few inches open, just enough for a cat to slip on by. Here’s one version of the door latch.
Still not enough space to spare?
Litter Box Furniture
Here’s your final solution. It’s the most expensive on the list, but let’s be honest, your cats will be with you for years, better to spend a bit now and have a good living environment for the both of you.
Litter box furniture is exactly what it sounds like. Take your box and make it beautiful and practical in your home. This allows an amazing amount of flexibility because you can custom design an area just for them that actually looks good with the rest of your apartment.
The most common application of this is a nightstand, like this one on Amazon. These are amazing because you aren’t sacrificing appearance at all, and you still have some function to it. In this example, there’s even a little cleaning area for their paws outside before they drag it all over your floor.
Furniture is great because if you are having an issue with keeping your cat off furniture, this can be a piece that they really own (and they will feel like they own it since it’s their bathroom). The right furniture piece will also hold little items for cats that help them exercise and keep entertained. It’s a much easier piece of furniture to add than a cat wheel.
For us, we’re a bit more hands on than purchasing one. We built our own litter box container because we had special needs. We needed to fit two litter boxes in one container. And we did that by simply building a box around it and faced the two litter boxes to each other. This means that when our cats get out, the center area gets a rubber mat to collect the litter from their paws and it keeps our apartment clean.
We placed this contraption front and center of our living room because it’s kind of big, but it also is strong enough to hold our weight so we can use it like a chair to put our shoes on or various items. The cats love it too because it provides them with a step to the window, and they love sleeping on the hardwood.
Considerations To Take When Planning Your Litter Box Placement
Now, before you dump your litter box just anywhere, there’s a few considerations to keep in mind.
It has to be said, but our biggest consideration when putting a litter box somewhere is accessibility. And not just for the cats, for yourself. You should be cleaning the litter box every day. Is it placed somewhere that is hard to reach or access? You will probably get sick of moving items off it to clean litter so plan accordingly.
Yes, litter smells. And yes, there are ways to help alleviate the smell of cat poop, but it’s hard to get rid of completely. Have a plan in mind as to what room you are willing to sacrifice. And keep in mind the more protection you add, the easier it is.
Our living room has two litter boxes and they really don’t smell bad. We use standard litter, but clean every day. And more importantly, our cats are on a good diet. We don’t even use air fresheners to help, it’s just naturally protected enough and clean enough.
Good For Your Cat
Yes, the final consideration is actually for the one using it. Is the box in an easy to reach place? Do they need to wait for you to open doors? Is it quiet and safe? These are all considerations you need to take in mind for your cat. After all, they are the ones using it all the time.
If you’re living in a small apartment and faced with the dilemma of dropping a litter box center stage of your living room, think twice. There’s lots of great options for you to choose to help keep your small apartment looking good, and hiding that ugly reality of cat ownership.
We hope you had some bright ideas for hiding your litter box in plain sight, and we hope this article helps you think outside the box and get creative on your litter box placement.