Where does the litter box go?
December 19, 2004 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Cat owners - where in the house do you keep the litter box? We're getting ready to move into a new home, and are having a heck of a time figuring out where to put it so that its (a) easily accessible by our furry friends, and (b) out of sight, out of mind for any humanoid visitors.
posted by mrbill to Pets & Animals (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We've recently moved ( to another apt...which explains why it's not in the garage) and we've decided to keep all the piss and shit in the same room. unfortunately the cat's (esp with that clay litter) won't go down the tube. maybe she'll start using the toilet spontaneously though! Our main problem (being a less than obs. comp. couple) is what to do about all that hair!
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 9:54 PM on December 19, 2004

If you have an extra shower that you don't use, that would be great. Easy to contain the mess.
posted by Go, now. Go! at 9:58 PM on December 19, 2004

I live in a three-room-and-one-bathroom apartment, and I keep mine in the far corner of the kitchen. The bathroom isn't big enough for it, and the cat isn't allowed in my bedroom. Plus, having it there sort of in the open makes me much more likely to clean it out. It really depends on the place.
posted by interrobang at 10:07 PM on December 19, 2004

I usually keep it in the laundry room. My current laundry room has a cat sized hole cut in it. This is because we have a dog with a taste for that special almond roca only found in litter boxes. Well, actually, the cat is gone now but the cat shaped hole remains.

In my last apartment I kept it in a shallow closet, the kind with folding doors. The cabinet was not deep but it was wide, so I could have one door closed and the other 3/4 of the way closed. Enough for the cat to get in and out, but out of sight and sound. She was picky too, did NOT like to be watched. I basically built a shallow (6" deep?) box out of plywood that covered about 3/4 of the closet, enough room for the box and a mat, easy to clean out. Finished it with marine varnish which is highly resistent to water.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:22 PM on December 19, 2004

Spare shower or spare bathroom is seconded.

You may also want to consider if you sometimes need to sequester the cats (say when company or a repairman visits). Having all the cats' needs in a portion of the house that can easily be blocked off makes this easier, rather than having to occasionally relocate everything and make the cats adjust.

Also consider accessibility and comfort - our basement tends to get quite cold in winter (no matter what we do) and made the cat more reluctant to venture down into the cold (therefore I brought the litter upstairs where it was warmer).
posted by kreinsch at 10:28 PM on December 19, 2004

I keep it in the laundry room, way back under the clothes-folding table. It's almost out of sight, and with the clumping litter it really doesn't smell at all.
posted by nicwolff at 11:03 PM on December 19, 2004

Put it as far away as possible from your living areas. I keep the litter tray for our twenty year old cat in the laundry and this works well as it's located downstairs well away from the living areas. But the second litter tray for our eight week old kitten is in the upstairs bathroom and despite using clumping litter there are times when the smell can knock you off your feet. You wouldn't think it was possible for an animal that small to smell so bad. He is very cute though. Smelly but cute.
posted by Tarrama at 11:14 PM on December 19, 2004

The toilet. It's a good concept, but of course you always have to leave the door slightly ajar, which might not be ... convenient at times. Also you always have to tell visitors NOT TO CLOSE THE TOILET DOOR.
posted by Skyanth at 12:01 AM on December 20, 2004

We happen to have a small closet where we can put the catbox, along with various things that won't be affected by the catbox smell, like cleaning supplies (well out of the cats' reach, of course). If you too have a tiny closet I highly recommend it. Just be sure to leave the door cracked open.
posted by lackutrol at 12:03 AM on December 20, 2004

I was just looking at these:

Flower Pot / Hidden Litter Box.
posted by Aquaman at 12:29 AM on December 20, 2004

My wife and I have a small 1 BR apartment, and keep our 2-cat catbox in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, next to the trash can (the cabinet door is rigged to never close).
It doesn't get too smelly or bother any guests because:
a) the catbox is a model with a large hood/cover
b) we change the litter often.
posted by sluggo at 4:50 AM on December 20, 2004

if your cats are indoor/outdoor, you might try this... my cats use a catdoor to access the rather large maintenance free litterbox called 'outside.' they spend most of their time indoors and just skitter out when they need to do their thing. it's perfect for me because i hate litterboxes. good luck!
posted by moonbird at 5:40 AM on December 20, 2004

Be careful about keeping the box in a noisy/high traffic area. Our cats have one box in the spare bathroom, and another one downstairs, which can't be helped to be in the mostly-open. If you have a cat that is less than 25lbs and a problem with vigorous digging and the resulting litter "spray," this cat box is a godsend. We got ours at PetSmart.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:05 AM on December 20, 2004

We're very lucky and have a random toilet in the laundry area in the basement. Seriously. It's a fully operational toilet hanging out next to the stationary tub (though someone did hang a shower curtain to give a bit of privacy). Strange, but it's ideal for cleaning out the cat box--we set the box up a few feet away from it.

Previously we lived in a two-bedroom apartment and had to put the cat box in the bathroom. I found that it helped a lot to clean out the box twice a day (adding new litter as needed) and also keep a broom handy to sweep up stray litter (which can get really nasty if the bathroom floor gets wet after someone takes a shower). Also, about once every two weeks I completely empty the box and scrub it out with hot water and soap.
posted by handful of rain at 6:24 AM on December 20, 2004

That box is brilliant MM. Looks like it would be easy to make too...

*heads to the local seller of large rubbermaid totes*
posted by kamylyon at 6:30 AM on December 20, 2004

Sadly, I don't have a cat at the moment - but when I did, the golden age was when we were in a ground floor apartment, and we took the plunge and modified the back door to install a kitty door there (realizing that we would have to probably replace the door when we left). It was three years of no-litter/happy-cat bliss. And, oddly enough, the non-pet-owning landlord didn't even ask us to buy a new door when we left.

*One word of warning, though: early one morning we woke up to find a grizzly, war-scarred, huge tomcat in our house who had evidently managed to squeeze himself in through the kitty door. Well. The obvious result occurred... He adopted us, and finally ended up as cat #2. (It was really weird, but cat #1 never minded him being there at all, and we theorized that they met on the "outside", and she finally invited him home.)
posted by taz at 6:46 AM on December 20, 2004

right now, it's in the crawl space, behind a door with a cat flap.

previously it's been: 1) in the garage, behind a door with a cat flap; 2) in a storage closet, behind a screen; 3) in the mudroom, behind a door with a cat flap; 4) under the staircase, behind a makeshift wall with a cat flap which dismantled for cleaning. cat boxes are unremittingly disgusting and i will go to great lengths to put them well out of the human living space. i had friends who had a cat box space built into the wall of their new house between the laudry room and garage. it had a cat flap at the front, a vent to the garage and a hinged panel in the garage so they could get to the box for cleaning. i remain in awe of their ingenuity.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:01 AM on December 20, 2004

Re: making your own Clever Cat -- Just make sure it's a very, very sturdy Rubbermaid, and that the top is not flimsy. The one that you buy (for $26.00, not too bad) has a top which does not flex *at all* when it's off the box (or on for that matter) and it's got treads on it. Our cats figured it out in about 2.4 seconds, but the manufacturer says to put it out sans top at first. Another plus - heavy duty 30 gallon trash bags for liners, and these aren't quite so easily shredded.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:08 AM on December 20, 2004

We have two, one in the spare bathroom and one hidden in a corner of the living room. Oddly, the kittens (2 of 'em, 6 months old) used to use both, but now seem to exclusively use the one in the bathroom. We plan to move it into our study/computer room if the boy ever stops chewing on everything...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:14 AM on December 20, 2004

must try clever cat. Thanks.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 7:27 AM on December 20, 2004

Project I have been meaning to try: How to Toilet-Train Your Cat.
posted by LarryC at 7:42 AM on December 20, 2004

i live in a small ass studio apartment. the kitty litter box with a cover and filter sits in the closet with my nice closes dangling above. luckily, they don't smell and the cat likes the privacy.
posted by Stynxno at 8:37 AM on December 20, 2004

we've always kept ours in the laundry room, in the basement. last place we had was a half-finished basement, so we made a cat door by removing a large useless vent cover (just a hole in the wall with a screen over it, really) and adding a cloth flap.

in our current place, we just have the basement door held ajar for the cats. they like the basement anyway, lots of hiding places, and it gives them some privacy. the litterboxes (i recommend one per cat!) are near the furnace, so the area isn't too cold.

my wife's old cat was a different story. we kept the box on the ground floor for easy access, as she was an old kitty, and as my friend put it, no need to make grandma climb the stairs just to go pee... our boys are young (almost 4) and have no issues with stairs.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:00 AM on December 20, 2004

oh: both cats are big (15 lbs or so) and couldn't fit in the box with a lid on it, so both of their boxes are just open on top. i sit them inside of a large tray (think school lunch-room style tray) to help contain the inevitable litter bits they fling about.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:01 AM on December 20, 2004

The Dilbert House has a special room for cats. Thoughtfully, there's a platform for the litter box so you don't have to bend over to clean it out, and stairs along the wall for the kitties to get up to the box.
posted by kindall at 1:34 PM on December 20, 2004

I'll pass along this tip litter to any/all who want less stinky and non-toxic litter: use wood pellets, the kind sold for pellet stoves. They cost about $3.25/50lb, and disintegrate into dust as it gets wetted by the kitties. There is NO SMELL at all - in fact it sorta smells like pine trees. These pellets are made from compressed sawdust, so there's no filler, glues or any other weirdness. Every vet I've ever had says it's what they use in the office, and they NEVER recommend clumping litter for kittens - it's too easy for them to ingest.
A word about allowing your cat to use the "outside." We have several cats in the neighborhood who decided our vegetable garden was a great litter box. We asked the owners of the cats we recognized to please control them, and informed them that we would be trapping cats in the garden to eliminate the problem. We did trap and take two cats to the Humane Society, and had no further problems with our garden. Cats and human food do not mix, and if your cat isn't using your yard, they are using someone else's - and you are leaving it up to that other person to find (step in) and clean up your cat's mess. thank you.
posted by dbmcd at 1:35 PM on December 20, 2004

As a non-cat lover (I don't mind them, but I'm not a huge fan) I'd recommend quite highly that you avoid putting the box in the bathroom that your guests might use, if at all possible. It's quite disconcerting, as a non-cat person, to go in to use the toilet and have a cat follow you in to do likewise, or to have a cat yowling at you because it wanted to get in while you were there with the door closed. Also, it never seems to fail that if your guests are of the overnight variety, the moment that they step out of the shower will be the moment that the cat decided to track something out of the box, and the guest will step on it with their bare (and formerly clean) foot.
posted by Dreama at 3:39 PM on December 20, 2004

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