Living in a small apartment can be quite stressful for cat parents sometimes. I am sure your cat doesn’t mind sharing a cramped area with you and invading every little personal space you have left, but what about allocating some of that limited space ONLY for their litter box activities?
Good question… Are you ready for some real answers?
It’s a sensory experience!
A tight apartment or studio means you might be forced to see and SMELL your cat whilst using their ‘bathroom’ a few times per day, and only that will probably give you the dreaded feeling of having to clean it straight away so the smell doesn’t linger too much in the air especially if you have an open cat litter box.
Make it work for both of you!
Well, how hard can it be right? You just have to find a place that offers your cat privacy, it gives easy access to the litter box, it’s quiet, dry, and allows proper ventilation (for all your sakes). This ‘magic place’ also needs to be out of the way for you not to stumble upon the cat litter box very often (literally), have easy access to it for cleaning, help in maintaining litter tracking at a minimum, and possibly not gross out your friends that come to visit, or make you not want to finish your dinner. But what about having multiple cats and having to deal with more than one litter box as indicated?
Let me make it simple.
I have 2 furry bundles of joy, Dobby and Dot, and they both share a gray plastic open litter box. I just clean it more frequently. I scoop every morning and every evening, and any time I pass by it and have a little extra time to do it, plus I empty the litter box and wash it properly once per week.
Although, if that seems like a hustle to you or you lack the time, you can just get one of them fancy self-cleaning cat litter boxes that scoop the poop for you right after your cat just landed a fresh one! Great idea, but take into consideration that this kind of litter box is even bigger and requires to be placed close to an electricity socket!
The best thing to do with a bad smell is to get rid of it– Carol Kendall
If the smell is too much for you even if the litter box is on the other side of the space you spend most of your time in, you can get a covered litter box to lessen the odors. Either with a cut-out or a swinging door, with a top-entry or side-entry, a covered box also can reduce litter tracking and hide the mess, just make sure it has some ventilation inside for your kitty-cat.
Having an open cat litter box, a covered one, or a self-cleaning one, the question of where to put it in small apartments still stands! Unless you want to start training your cat how to use a human toilet.
Everything you need is right there
A studio apartment or small apartment might not have extra rooms like spare bedrooms, a guest room laundry room, mudroom, storage room, a balcony, or even a basement so I am not going to bore you with these options when they are not very viable anyway mostly because they can stress out your cat or they are not always easily accessible.
However, you might have an entryway or hallway in your small living space, and there you most definitely have some closets, like an always-accessible utility closet!
You don’t really use and can be repurposed to accommodate a kitty litter box and even cat litter and other kitty supplies. If you are up for some DIY, you can cut a hole in the door of the utility closet, install a cat flap or remove the closet doors completely and replace them with curtains.
I do not recommend a linen closet. Even though this space that you keep your clothes and shoes in has the potential to host a cat litter box on the lowest shelf, the smell of your furry baby’s bathroom will persist in the air and will make any fabric stink.
Also, it was good for me because this area was not carpeted and if I kept scooping every morning and evening and I got an automatic air freshener for the room and left my window open as much as I could before it got really cold. But now I moved out and my cats have their own ‘poop room’ in a spare bedroom.
All the possible places seem to have their pros and cons, but we have to make the best of what we got right? A tight apartment or studio means limited types of rooms and spaces, but it’s all easy if you are up to being a little creative. I’ll explain everything in the next section.
Check out these four solutions for you:
Bathroom – sharing is caring
There is a low traffic, and it’s not noisy, but mainly because if it is a little stinky it’s okay, it’s a bathroom, ain’t supposed to smell like roses right? It’s easy to clean the litter and any extra mess from the floor tiles if your cat has an accident outside the litter pan.
Place the litter box on the bathroom floor next to the toilet. This works best with a traditional litter pan, since covered ones take up a bit more space, and if you have a small bathroom, you can also hide the litter box in the sink cabinet, most bathrooms have one. You can remove the door and add a curtain, prop it open, or just cut an entry hole in it.
This location has its cons too, and I am not talking about the people who come to visit and might not like the sight of the litter box when they use your restroom – they need to deal with it, your cat lives there, they don’t! – I am talking about the humidity. Humidity doesn’t do well with some types of litter, especially organic or biodegradable ones that can grow mold.
If the bathroom is your only choice for placing the litter box, but you don’t like having showers with an open door to avoid humidity, then you can get a dehumidifier, or a very absorbent litter will act as one and trust me you don’t want that.
Also, remember to ask your friends to keep the bathroom door open after they use it.
Cats do not like to mix the smells of food and their feces, and I am sure you won’t like it either when you cook or eat. The litter box is also one of the main markers for territory, and the ammonia smell from cat urine it’s not a nice smell in your kitchen.
❗ ❗ ❗ On the other hand, the kitchen is the best place to feed your cat and keep the food and water bowls.
Some arrangements can work for the kitchen if this is your best option.
Try to consider placing the litter box in a cabinet the furthest away from your cooking space. Or, still keeping away from food ( yours and theirs), in a not very used corner of the kitchen, put the litter box on the floor and conceal it with a privacy screen. With some DIY imagination, you can fit even bigger litter boxes probably anywhere. I recommend the cabinet under your sink that normally is hosting a garbage bin anyway. Consider cutting a hole in one of the doors or incorporating a cat flap door. This will also not offer an unpleasant sight for you or any guests coming into your kitchen.
Bedroom – Don’t mix poop with pleasure
Especially not close to your bed, and definitely not an open litter box! Although your kitty might not care and feel comfortable in your quiet and familiar bedroom, I am sure you will.
The smell coming from the litter box will leave you breathless – not in a good way- and having to leave your door open at all times is also a big inconvenience (unless you are prepared to cut a hole in your bedroom door for your cat to have easy access). Be prepared to listen to scratch noises of your cat covering up its business in the middle of the night, and step barefoot on scattered litter.
A bedroom can become a good place to keep a litter box if it’s your only solution in a small space. Make it a more attractive option and mask the litter box odors and smell by keeping it away from your bed and enclosed in some designed piece of furniture, like an end table, nightstand, cabinet, or bench, plus get a litter catcher to pair with it to minimize the litter tracking especially if your bedroom is carpeted. Also, consider placing it next to a window for proper ventilation if possible and get an automatic air freshener.
The best living zone
They are ventilated, easily accessible, likely to be the room with the most space, and ideal to even ‘hide’ your litter box in plain sight if you have an elegant covered cat litter box and your guest won’t mind looking at it.
Hiding the litter box in furniture designated to conceal one it’s not only pretty but also saves you some space, just make sure it’s placed maybe in a corner or away from the sofa – where your kitty usually, likes to relax.
Manufacturers have come up with pretty good ideas to hide cat litter boxes, and the enclosures are getting better and safer every year. You can choose from end tables, cabinets, benches, tv stands, reading corner units, vertical wardrobes, and so on, all designed to help with odor control, the litter tracking, and blend in with your style and décor and meet all your cat’s needs and yours.
If you ever struggled to find the ideal spot for your cat’s litter box placement in a small home remember the best spot to have one is hidden in a cabinet, fancy in plain sight, or incorporated by a real piece of furniture you already have in your apartment and you can repurpose, or you can easily buy a new one and take advantage of the dual benefit of a hidden litter cat box furniture.
The best location for these places in your home is the bathroom and the living room, although, with a few things put into consideration, the kitchen and the bedroom can also be viable options.
Just remember to always make the litter box accessible ( to your cat and you), keep it clean, out of the way, and respect your cat’s privacy.
Where to put a cat litter box in a small apartment?
The best place to put an open cat litter box in a small apartment is on the bathroom floor next to the toilet.
If you have a pretty covered litter box you can have it in plain sight either in the bathroom (if you have enough space) or in the living room.
Or, you can aesthetically blend in any kind of litter box with any style of home décor by hiding it in a cat litter box enclosure/furniture designed to perfectly mask the mess and odors of a litter box and hide it in plain sight. The cat litter box furniture can be placed in any room of your house (even the bedroom or kitchen) and your guest won’t even know it’s there! Also if you have an entryway in your small apartment you might be able to hide the litter box in a utility closet.
If I missed anything, let me know in the comments below. Stay purry and pawsome!
If your cat has previously been an outdoor cat and prefers dirt, you can keep them out of your houseplants by placing medium-sized rocks on top of the soil in the pots. You can also mix some soil with their regular litter to lure them in. A cat who rejects all types of commercial litters may be quite happy with sand.
Thank you for your good advice, I hope it will be useful to our readers.
Our Dobby was an outdoor cat but he adjusted very quickly to an indoor litter box and accepted any litter we got so far. Dot was too small to know the difference when we found her. 🙂