Best and Worst Places for a Litter Box

Photo via Nicholas Brett (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As a cat paw-rent, a question that must have gone or is going through your mind at least once is what are the best (and worst) places to keep a litter box in? The truth is, discovering where the optimal place in your house takes a little brainstorming.

Although it depends entirely on your house, some of the best places are a bedroom, bathroom, mudroom, laundry room, or living room.

Basically, cats prefer doing their business in an area that is quiet, calm, private enough, with low foot traffic, and in their domain. And the worst places are the complete opposites of that!

You want your cat to feel comfortable and at ease wherever they go, but especially in the spot where you place their litter box. You can avoid all types of accidents by carefully choosing your litter box placement. Think about what you or your cat would prefer, and you have a good start.

Best Places for a Litter Box


A bathroom is definitely private, quiet enough, and likely somewhere your cat hangs out anyway. If a bathroom is good enough for us humans, it’s enough for Kitty.

The bathroom also contains a few great potential locations for litter box. First is that that crevice between the toilet and the sink. Secondly, underneath the sink is a perfect spot if you can remove the doors.

For small bathrooms, the above will work. But if you’ve got more space, then the floor is fine. Just keep it far away from the shower. Moisture and litter are not good!

By placing the litter box in the bathroom, you’ll be able to contain the odor, too. If you don’t like leaving the bathroom door open, install a cat door to let the cat into the bathroom.

Living Room

In a small apartment, the living room presents an excellent option to place the litter box since it’s the room your cat spends most of its time in, and it’s spacious and full of light.

An uncarpeted, quiet corner is a fine place for a litter box. Part of a cat’s instinct to feel secure is to be able to have a view of its surroundings while they go. A corner allows for expansive views in almost every direction.

Be sure to consider a covered or top entry litter box, or perhaps litter box furniture to enclose their existing set up.

Laundry Room

The laundry room is another good choice, if it’s somewhere your cat is familiar with. It’s calm, out of the way and low traffic most of the time, all the while being nice and dry.

Only thing to be aware of is possible washing machine and dryer noise, since they may startle your cat.

Spare Rooms

If your house has spare rooms, the extra rooms would be the fine choice since they experience less traffic and are calm. But remember, for your feline friend to use a room, they must be familiar and feel safe in it.

So, ensure that the room is well ventilated and lit to make it attractive to the cat, and nature will take its course since cats are curious by nature.


Like the living room option, if you don’t mind, a bedroom can also work. Your cat probably spends a lot of time there anyway with you. A bedroom is naturally calm and can be private too.

It is important that if you place the litter box in the bedroom, you keep it far from the bed to reduce exposure to litter dust and similar things.

Also, scoop multiple times a day to ensure the litter box is always clean to avoid potential toxicity and parasites.

Get Creative

Suppose you don’t prefer any of the above room suggestions.

The best place to put a cat litter box in your house can be anywhere as long as they meet the following criteria: familiar, accessible to the cat, private enough, and where you it’s easy for you to clean the litter box.

Worst Places To Put a Cat Litter Box

The worst places that you can place a litter box include:


The kitchen is a spot for making and consuming food. Your cat’s bathroom has no place there. Even if you keep the box exceptionally clean, you cannot avoid the risk of some contamination.

Close To Your Cat’s Food or Water

For the same reasons you would not put a litter box in your kitchen, you should not place it beside your cat’s food and water. They need to associate different areas with these aspects of their daily routine.

High Traffic Areas

Loud noises and too much foot traffic can make a spot unattractive to a cat when they need peace and quiet to use the bathroom. If you have kids, a busy and active living room may be a place your cat avoids. So, do not consider putting a litter box there.

Inaccessible Rooms and Places They Never Go

This is a tricky one and not really logical, but out of the way rooms or corners are among the worst places for a litter box.

Putting the litter box in an unfamiliar area to the cat is pointless as it is not in their territory. Many people try to purposely put the litter box in a tucked way location for convenience or sanitary. This is the wrong logic.

If your cat has never been in a room, they won’t go in there to go. Place litter boxes where you see your cat go frequently.

How to Choose the Best Spot for Your Cat’s Litter Box

Quiet and Low Traffic

Your cat should feel totally secure in the spot where its litter box is located. That usually means quiet and calm, without a lot going on.

Spare rooms that do not get a lot of use are great. But you want to make sure that your cat is used to going into any spare rooms.

If she feels stressed about where her box is placed, she might end up going outside the box.

Easily Accessible

The space where the box is located needs to be accessible. Even if your cat loves to climb and burrow, they need to have a litter box out in the open. 

This means that the area should never be closed off. Do not put it somewhere where you close the door frequently.

Where Your Cat Hangs Out

Think about where your cat likes to go around the house. If they avoid certain rooms, such as the laundry room, because of loud noises, pick a different spot.

Bedrooms and other private spaces are ideal for litter boxes. The best rooms to keep a litter box in are locations where your cat regularly hangs out.

Consider placing it near where you spend the day because your cat will feel most comfortable being near to you. In a living room or bedroom, you can find cat litter box furniture that helps conceal the mess and smell of a box.

Away from Food and Water

Never put a cat litter box near the cat’s food and water. You do not want them associating where they go to the bathroom with where they eat.

You will end up with an unhappy kitty. One of your bathrooms might be a good spot, because you can keep their food and water in the kitchen where you eat, too.

A Spot That You Will Clean Regularly

Try to make it easier for you, too, when you place the litter box. You want to pick a spot that you know you will keep clean. Litter boxes should be cleaned once or twice a day.

Sometimes you might have to clean it more, especially in multi-cat households.

Other Considerations for Litter Box Placement

Don’t forget these points when choosing where to place a cat litter box. If you’re not sure if the spot you have in mind is one of the best or worst places for a litter box, run through these quick points!

Layout of house

A cat shouldn’t need to go very far to get to a bathroom. If you have more than one level in your home, consider maintaining a litter box downstairs and upstairs. 

Or if your one-story home is very long from one end to the other, put boxes on opposite ends of the house.

Age and physical condition of the cat

If you have older cats, make sure that their litter pan is not in a far, inaccessible spot. Senior cats, as well as cats with arthritis, need to be able to go to the bathroom quickly.

Also pay attention to the litter box type you are placing. While most able-bodied cats have no preference for closed or open litter boxes, senior cats with mobility issues are better suited for open litter pans with low entries.

Number of litter boxes

The standard rule for litter boxes in multi-cat households is one box per cat plus one extra. The most important part is to give your cat options.

Other pets

Having other pets in a house with cats is very common. But you need to be mindful of the litter box. Dogs love to get into things they shouldn’t, including cat litter.

Pick a spot that your dog cannot get to, but where your cat will feel happy using everyday.

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