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Litter Box Placement 101
December 1, 2015

Did you know that one out of every 10 cats will develop an aversion to their litter box at one point in their lives? One of the biggest reasons cats shun their box is because of simple placement. Below, your Portland, OR vet tells you where to put your cat’s bathroom.

Quiet, Low-Traffic Area

The first rule of litter box placement is this: put it in a quiet area without a lot of human or animal traffic. Just as you wouldn’t prefer to do your business in a crowded, noisy area, your cat likes to use the bathroom in peace. In fact, if a cat is startled while first using the litter box, they may shun that area indefinitely. In most typical homes, a back bedroom, bathroom, basement, or laundry room works just fine.

Far from Food and Water Dishes

You’ve heard the expression about not using the bathroom where you eat—this applies to our feline friends as well. Cats don’t like to use the bathroom too close to their food and water dishes. Cats have even been known to shun the box entirely or stop eating and drinking if the box and dishes are too close! Keep these two areas separated to avoid any trouble.

Far from Other Boxes

Is your home occupied by more than one cat? Make sure that each cat has its own box, at least at first. Plenty of cats can end up sharing a litter box, but its best to start cats off with their own if they’re not already acclimated to each other. This is the best way to avoid any territorial or behavioral issues until a time when your cats are comfortable enough to share a box.

Easily Accessible Location

It seems to go without saying that your cat’s litter box should always be accessible, but it’s all too easy to put it in an area that accidentally gets blocked off by a screen door or other physical obstacle. Pay close attention to the box placement and make sure no doors or other objects will prevent your cat from reaching their bathroom. If they can’t get to it, they’ll be forced to do their business elsewhere—like on your rug!

Do you think your cat needs special behavioral help or training? Call the professionals at your Portland, OR pet clinic to have any questions answered regarding your cat’s behavior and healthcare.

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