Many cat owners follow the “one plus” rule of litterboxes. You should always have one litterbox per cat in your home, along with one extra litter box just in case.
The extra box rule is helpful. If something happens to your cat’s normal litter box, then the secondary litter box should be clean. Your cat will see it as a better alternative than the floor (hopefully).
Some cats also like to urinate in one box and defecate in the other. And other cats are just mysteriously picky one day and will decide not to use their regular litter box due to some weird scent, sound, sight, or whatever.
In any case, follow the one litter box per cat rule, plus one, and you’ll be a happy cat owner.
Got it? Now let’s figure out the best placement.
Follow the Five Most Important Rules of Litter Box Placement
1) Don’t place them too close to your cat’s food or water bowls
2) Don’t place them anywhere near high traffic areas of your home
3) Avoid placing them near noisy areas or places with changing brightness and sudden movements (like near a TV)
4) Don’t place them in areas that are out of the way or difficult to reach
5) Don’t place them on the wrong type of surface (hard versus soft)
These are basic rules, but they’re not always followed by cat owners. The first rule is one we see cat owners break all the time: cats don’t like to get rid of waste where they eat and drink! If their litter box is placed too close to their food and water bowls, they might choose to avoid both, leaving you with a mess of problems.
There are also some general areas of your home where cats don’t like to go: like your own bathroom, a laundry room, or kitchen. Bathrooms can be busy and cats may not like finding the door closed, for example. Laundry detergents have the chemical scent of bleach and noisy machinery. Kitchens are noisy, high-traffic areas.
The “wrong type of surface”, meanwhile refers to the fact that many cats prefer a hard surface – like hardwood or tile – instead of a soft surface – like carpeting.
Where’s the Best Spot?
The best place is an area of your home where your cat frequently goes, that isn’t too busy, and is far away from noise and their food and water bowls. It should also offer multiple entry and exit points for your cat.
In some homes, there’s room under the staircase or in a crawlspace-type area or storage room. In other cases, outdoor cats may prefer a nice secluded corner of your barn. Many people use their home’s secondary bathroom.
Ultimately, we can’t all be choosy about where we place our litter box. Maybe you live in an apartment that only has a bathroom as a realistic option. Nevertheless, keep the above rules in mind and try picking spots that have low traffic and low noise over everything else.