In many respects, cats are the ideal pets for apartment living. They are small, clean, and won’t go stir crazy in smaller surroundings. However, there is bound to be a problem with the placement of the litter tray. Nobody wants to sit too close to their cat’s leavings.
There are many factors to assess when selecting a room for your cat’s litter box. There are the smell and hygiene to consider, and cat urine and feces can be harmful to humans. You’ll also need to ensure that your cat is comfortable and contented.
Where is the Best Place to Put Your Cat’s Litter Tray?
Learning how to hide a cat litter box in a small apartment is an underrated skill. A cat that lives in a high-rise apartment will almost certainly be an indoor cat. This will usually suit the cat just fine – but they will still have to poop and pee.
Cats don’t want us to see or smell their poo and urine any more than we do. They go to great lengths to hide it, after all. Cat litter also has a very distinct smell of its own. This means that choosing the correct room for a cat litter tray is critically important.
You’ll need a room that your cat can always access, in case they need their tray in an emergency. A cat flap may help with this, but this isn’t always possible. It must not be to too humid, as this can send litter moldy. Placing the box by an open window may be good, as this will counter the smell.
However, this is not ideal if you live by a busy road, as the traffic noises may spook your cat. Finally, remember that stray cat litter can get everywhere. Avoid an area where there is constant footfall, as you will end up stepping it all over the house.
With all this in mind, a spare room is the best place for a cat’s litter tray. However, by their very nature, small apartments rarely have such luxury.
Litter Box in Lounge
In a small apartment, the lounge may seem a sensible place to leave a litter tray. These tend to be the brightest, airiest rooms in any home. Your cat will be no doubt spend a lot of time in the room. You’ll be able to keep an eye on when the tray needs cleaning.
There are things to consider if you’re keeping a litter tray in the lounge, though. Leave the smell aside for a moment, as that can be masked. You will need to think about the noise, too.
If your cat digs in its litter, it will be noisy – for you and your neighbors. That can also end with litter all over your living room floor. You will need a high-quality vacuum cleaner.
If a lounge is the best location for a litter tray, aim for a corner window. This should minimize the impact. Also, pick up some air fresheners as you will probably need them.
Litter Box in Bathroom
In theory, a bathroom is an excellent place for a litter tray. After all, it’s where you eliminate as a human. It will also have minimal footfall, and offer your cat some privacy. There are two prominent problems with the bathroom as a location for your litter tray, though.
- Your cat may need access to their tray reasonably urgently. That means you cannot close the door and enjoy a private soak in the bathtub. Likewise, you’ll have to leave the door open for anything else private. Not a problem if you live alone, but not ideal if you have roommates.
- Bathrooms are filled with running water. Running water creates steam, and steam, in turn, leads to moisture in the air and humidity. If your cat’s litter gets too humid, it will turn moldy. That can be hazardous to both your cat, and yourself. Some cats like to drink from the toilet.
- You may find that your cat shreds your toilet roll as part of a fun game.
There are ways to making a litter tray work in the bathroom. If you have a window, keep it open as much as possible. Also, purchase a dehumidifier. These will suck moisture from the walls, and keep the bathroom dry. It’s an initial investment, and they can be expensive to power. However, this will make it possible to keep litters tray out of sight in the bathroom.
Litter Box in Kitchen
Keeping your cat’s litter box is best avoided. For a start, a kitchen is likely to have the same humidity problems as a bathroom. Perhaps more importantly, however, it’s wholly unhygienic.
Cat litter should not be kept near food. And remember that human food can be toxic to cats.
Litter Box in Bedroom
Many people ask, “is it safe to have a litter box in my room?” On paper, it’s a similar situation to a lounge, but it’s not advisable for several reasons:
- Bedrooms tend to be smaller, meaning that the smell will be harder to escape.
- The noise of your cat digging may keep you up at night.
- Perhaps worst of all, your cat may treat your entire bedroom as its bathroom.
- Closing the door at night with your cat inside may lead to you being woken up. Your cat may demand freedom at midnight, then return to use the bathroom at 3 am. Letting them in and out every time will soon grow frustrating.
Your feline houseguest probably already sleeps in your drawers and closest. Confusing them by adding the ability to eliminate in the same room may end badly.
Litter Box in Laundry Room
If your apartment is big enough for a dedicated laundry room, is it a small apartment? Leaving aside semantics, however, laundry rooms are possible locations for cat litter trays.
Some cats are afraid of washing machines, but others love to watch them in action. You will only use your laundry room on specialist occasions. With the aid of a cat flap, you can keep the door closed, minimizing the noise.
The problems that could arise are similar to a bathroom, however. If you are drying damp clothing, this could impact your cat’s litter. If you have a window to open, this will help. Otherwise, you may need to be cautious.
Litter Box on Balcony
The problems with keeping a cat’s litter tray on an outdoor balcony vastly outnumber the benefits. On the plus side, you will have to worry about the smell inside your apartment. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the only good thing to say about such an arrangement.
Problems with having a cat litter tray on a balcony include:
- You’ll need to keep the door open at all times – not ideal for security or draughts. At the very least, you’ll have to be on constant alert to let your cat out.
- Cats love to climb. Even if you consider your balcony secure, your cat will find a way to climb it. They are especially likely to do so if they grow excited at the sight of a bird. From there, they could invade other balconies and homes, or worse, have a horrible accident.
- Think about the weather. If it rains, the litter will be ruined. If it’s humid, mold will grow. If it’s windy, litter will blow all over the balcony and into the street. None of these are ideal.
- The balcony will face a street, and maybe a road. That are potential noises to frighten your cat.
Litter boxes are for indoor use only, and cats and balconies rarely mix. Do whatever you can to prevent your feline from using your balcony, for their safety.
Cat Litter Tray Ideas for Small Rooms
When space is at a premium, a litter tray shouldn’t take up too much of it. Choose as small a tray as your cat’s size will allow.
Senior cats tend to prefer an open tray as they are less nimble. You may find that senior cats stop covering their poop and pee.
However, if you have a young or sprightly cat, choose a closed tray. This will minimize mess, and mask smells. You could also consider an electronic self-cleaning tray.
You could build a litter tray into furniture, such as a dresser. A hole in such a construct will give your cat somewhere private to eliminate. Best of all, it won’t take up a single inch of space in your home. Just ensure that a professional tradesman confirms that the construct is safe.
Many challenges come with living in small accommodation. Thankfully, cat ownership is one of the easier-resolved problems. All it takes is a little creativity, and flexibility on both sides.