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Litter Box Location

Remember... Location, Location, Location...

Don't assume that when kitty's gotta' go, kitty's gonna' go wherever you put his or her litter box. You might be in for a rude awakening. Cats are actually very particular about their bathroom habits. Once you or they find a suitable location, all will likely be well for a very long time.

Give more than a few minutes of your attention to determining where to place the litter box. For starters, think quiet, think private, and think easily accessible - especially for an older cat. In other words, poor litter box locations would include, but not be limited to, a busy room like the kitchen (the potential for odor should immediately rule out that idea), a child's noisy playroom, a cold entryway, or upstairs where it's not easily accessible to a kitten, elderly cat, or cat with limited range of motion.

Think kitty comfort too. If we don't want to venture out into the cold garage or down into the dark and scary basement, chances are old puss doesn't want to either. You'll also have to venture into such unfriendly territory to clean the box.

Think about an escape route for the cat. The last thing a cat wants to do is feel cornered every time they have to take care of business. Give your cat a chance to focus on what he or she needs to do and put the litter box in a location where the cat has a good view of its surroundings.

Whatever you do, don't place the litter box in close proximity to the cat's eating area. We wouldn't like it and neither do they.

You might even have to consider having multiple litter boxes scattered throughout your home or apartment. Not just because you have a kitten, elderly cat, and/or multiple cats, but perhaps because the cat has too much territory to cover to make it in time to the only box available.

Sometimes the bathroom is the best choice; at least it is if you have sufficient room for the cat to access properly the litter box. Just make sure that you keep the bathroom door open at all times or at least don't keep it closed for lengthy periods. While we're talking about the bathroom, believe it or not, you can actually train your cat to use your toilet. There are several different "devices" available on the market to assist you with such training.

Obviously, your choice will also be influenced by your own personal needs. While you need to be able to access easily the box for consistent cleaning, you certainly don't want any litter odors, dust, or loose particles constantly making their way into your often-used areas.

If your cat avoids using the litter box, but consistently urinates and defecates in the same spot, listen to the message he or she is trying to send you. They're potentially saying, "I'm going to keep going here until you finally move the litter box here." If the problem continues once you move the box and the cat simply finds a new place to do his or her business, perhaps you should consider changing the style of box or type or depth of litter that you're using. You should also increase the amount of litter box cleaning that you do to identify if the cat is just being a "neat-freak." An underlying medical condition could also be a contributing factor to the problem; you can actually purchase "blood detecting" litter to determine if your cat is suffering from a urinary tract infection that might be contributing to his or her increased "accident rate."

To increase your chances of successfully finding a suitable litter box location for your new cat, prior to their arrival in your home, investigate what he or she was using before (if anything) and where it was located. For additional insights and assistance, consult the Humane Society of the United States at www.hsus.org and search for their articles entitled "Preventing Litter Box Problems" and "Solving Litter Box Problems."

See also...
Cat Habitat, Cat Beds, Cat Houses, Litterbox Furniture & Concealment, Litter Box Location, Environmentally Safe Litter, Controlling Pet Odors, Getting Ready for Kitty, Cat Trees, Pet-Proofing your Home

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