what to do with a litter box in a small apartment
Questions About Cats

Where To Put A Cat’s Litter Box in Small Apartment [Space + Odor Control]

If you live in a small apartment, be it a studio apartment or a one-bedroom apartment, finding space for a cat can be difficult. Litter boxes smell bad, and you can’t put the box near the cat’s food or water. However, you can place the litter tray in a place that doesn’t take up much space or expose you to the smell of cat poop and urine.

It’s best to put your cat’s litter box in a non-carpeted, isolated room. Good litter tray locations include the bathroom, linen closet, or utility room. Otherwise, place the box near a window, far away from the kitchen, and in a corner. To limit any odor, change the litter daily or consider an enclosed box to keep in bad odors.

You need to consider how your cat will reach its litter tray. If your cat cannot find or easily access its litter box, you’ll need to relocate it. Having a secluded, easy to clean spot won’t work if your cat dislikes the location. In very small apartments, specialty-built litter box furniture can provide a workable solution.

Litter Box Smell in a Studio Apartment

If your studio apartment has a tiny bathroom with no space for a litter box, you’ll have to get creative. You won’t have the benefit of an extra room or added closets, unlike a house or larger apartment.

The best approach is to get specialized furniture or modify your existing furniture to house your cat’s litter box. For example, you can install a cat flap into a bedside cabinet. Consider fitting curtains around a tiered side table. This can create a multifunctional piece of furniture that can discreetly hold your cat’s litter box.

When you place a litter box in specialized areas like this, you should keep the limited space in mind. Avoid certain shortcuts. For example, having it next to your bed or near your food preparation area is a bad idea.

Instead, place the box somewhere in your main living area. It should be away from the main traffic routes in your apartment and far from the door entrance. Placing litter box furniture near a window can minimize odor.

What To Do With A Litter Box In A Small Apartment

If you have a small apartment with 1-2 bedrooms, you have more places to choose from.

Consider any spare rooms or closets. For example, a linen closet that’s not often used will be ideal. It’s out of the way, doesn’t get much use or foot traffic, and is easy to clean.

Where is a Good Place to Put a Litter Box in an Apartment?

The best rooms for your cat’s litter box are the bathroom or kitchen. Ensure that the litter box is away from food preparation areas. Alternatively, consider rooms that see low traffic, like spare bedrooms.

Don’t leave your cat’s litter box out in the open, no matter where it sits. Place the litter box in a:

  • Corner
  • Modified piece of furniture
  • Enclosed space, such as under the kitchen sink

The key is to ensure that your cat can access their litter box when it needs to go. In that case, any contained space with enough room for it and the litter box will be sufficient.

Worst Place for A Litter Box

Keep your cat’s litter box far away from surfaces that are used for food preparation.

According to Zoonoses and Public Health, litter boxes are crucial to public health, as well as the health of your home. This is because of the bacteria in cat feces, known as T. gondii.

T. gondii is harmful and can lead to a condition known as toxoplasmosis. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, toxoplasmosis can occur due to exposure to cat feces.

It may cause issues like blindness, seizures, and brain infections like encephalitis. Those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.

As such, the worst place for a cat’s litter box in a small apartment would be:

  • Directly next to food preparation areas
  • In high traffic areas where it is likely to be kicked or spilled
  • Near your bed, where you may breathe in the odors throughout the night
how to hide a cat litter box in small apartment

How Much Distance Between Litter Box and Food?

Felines are creatures of habit that like to stay clean and tidy. For this reason, it’s best to avoid keeping your cat’s litter box in the same room as their food.

Putting their litter box in a cupboard or enclosed space may help, of course. However, if your cat’s litter box is in the kitchen, you should put its food elsewhere.

Likewise, don’t keep an open or unenclosed litter box near your food or food preparation area. In a studio apartment, you may not have much space to be choosy.

In that event, place the box far away from the kitchen. Alternatively, get a litter box that is, itself, enclosed in a way that contains the dirt, germs, and smell.

Choosing a Good Litter Box for Apartment

Choosing the best litter box for your cat and your apartment can be tricky. However, getting it right can make living with your cat in a small apartment more comfortable and healthy for you both.

Enclosed Or Open

Consider if you want an open or enclosed litter box for your cat. If you have a timid or nervous feline, an enclosed litter box may be more comfortable for it.

If an enclosed box is not suitable, look for one that has high side walls. Some litter boxes have tall sides and an in-built entrance port. This will prevent spillage as your cat tries to bury its poop.

Type of Material

Consider how the material of the litter box will affect the cleaning process. Does the litter box have handles for carrying and dumping out the used material? Is it slick plastic that’s easy to wash down?


Consider whether the litter box has an antimicrobial coating. This can control odor and limit bacteria.

cat litter box ideas for small rooms

Best Cat Litter for Apartments

There is no single ‘right’ cat litter. Instead, there are several factors to consider when making your choice.

All homes can benefit from cat litter with no tracking (keeping your floors clean and hygienic). However, the other factors that come with cat litter are a little more subjective. You should consider:

  • Whether your cat has any allergies
  • The size of the pellets
  • If the material clumps easily
  • How often it needs to be changed for hygiene purposes
  • If you want perfumed or non-perfumed cat litter

If you get the right non-perfumed cat litter, odor control shouldn’t be an issue. That is as long as you are emptying the litter box and cleaning it regularly. Likewise, some cats can be allergic to scented cat litter.

How to Clean a Litter Box When You Live in an Apartment

While most cat litters can be changed once a week, others may need to be changed daily.

Get rid of the soiled litter and feces in a trash bag. Seal this bag and deposit it in an outdoor dumpster.

After that, clean the box. If you have the right cat litter, you shouldn’t find any soiled material stuck to the inside of the litter box. If you do, start by removing this soiled material and sanitizing the inside of the litter box.

Once that’s done, you can refill the box with new litter. Don’t fill it to the brim, or else the cat might scatter litter everywhere when it’s digging to cover its poop.

Getting Rid of the Litter Box Smell

If your litter box smells, change it more often. Otherwise, you may need to take extra steps when cleaning it. Dispose of the soiled litter, removing it from your home entirely if you want to get rid of the smell altogether.

Once you have done this, mix a solution of detergent and hot water to clean the litter box shell. Of course, before you put new litter in, you should dry the box.

Once the litter box is dry, refill it with fresh litter. Afterward, you should have no issue at all with the litter box smell in your home. You can also minimize odor by spot cleaning and removing soiled clumps of litter and droppings during the week. If you do this, you will find that your cat’s litter box is far easier to live with.