Five Clever Ways to Hide Your Cat's Litter Box
Repurposed furniture can do double duty at home.
Any owner knows that the litter box is a necessary part of living with cats. Indoor cats, especially, rely on litter boxes for their bathroom needs. But the box itself can be unsightly when it's out in the open in your living room, which begs the question: How can you hide the litter box from general view or incorporate it into your décor, all while keeping Kitty happy? Before you try to keep your cat's litter box out of view, it's important to remember that hiding it too well could cause a problem. "If the litter box is hidden such that it's not readily accessible, cats will often look for somewhere else to eliminate," explains Christie Long, DVM, Head of Veterinary Medicine, Modern Animal. "If the space it's hidden in is too cramped, especially for larger cats or older cats that are arthritic, this can also create a substandard space for elimination." Wherever you place the litter box should be comfortable and accessible for your cat.
You might also have to show your cat where the litter box is located. Cats can usually find their box on their own, Long says, but it's still a good idea to give them a heads up on where you moved it. And, no matter how or where you hide the litter box, make sure that there is enough room for your cat to move around and that the area is clean and ventilated. (Cats don't like an unclean bathroom anymore than we do.) You may also need several litter boxes, especially if you have a large house or more than one cat. The general rule of thumb regarding number of litter boxes is the number of cats you have, plus one. With all of that in mind, try one of these seamless ideas for hiding your cat's litter box at home.
Inside Pet Furniture
Your cat needs the litter box, and you need furniture. Why not combine the two? You can find litter box enclosures that look like tables or cabinets and that fit in well with your home décor. The Ginny Litter Box Enclosure (pictured here) doubles as a cat hiding place in addition to a stylish side table for the bathroom. And the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter looks like a potted plant, but has an opening for your Kitty to crawl into for privacy.
Under Furniture You Already Own
That said, you don't need to buy special furniture to hide your cat's litter box. Repurpose what you have: Do you have an end table or bookcase with a large enough space for your cat and a box? Place the end table over the box and install a curtain around the edges of the table. For a bookcase, you can add a peek-a-boo curtain on the shelf above the litter box. You can also convert a wardrobe cabinet into a cat room by creating a small door on the side of it for an entrance.
Behind the Laundry Room Door
If you have a well-vented laundry room, it can double as the space for your cat's bathroom needs by placing the litter box behind the door. "I've had great luck with keeping my own cats' litter boxes behind the closed laundry room door. I've installed a 'doggy door' that looks nice, so that I can keep the door itself closed," Long says. "Cats quickly learn how to use these doors—you can just use a piece of clear packing tape to keep the flap open for a couple of weeks until they get the hang of things."
Under the Stairs
That wall under the stairs leading from the foyer to your home's top floor has enough interior space for a hidden litter box. Make an opening for your cat that's big enough to house the box with extra room to move around. Keep in mind that you'll need to be able to get inside of the space on a regular basis to scoop the litter and replace it.
In the Catio
Your cat spends a lot of time outside in the catio—this enclosed space is a great place to hide the litter box. But how do you keep the cat from tracking litter all over the catio and into the house? "A rubber mat placed under the box so that it sticks out around the edges by four to five inches helps to catch the litter that collects on your cats’ feet and keeps it from being tracked around the house," Long advises. The Gorilla Grip Durable Cat Litter Mat is both soft enough for your Kitty's paws and textured enough to catch litter as she exits the litter box.