Nobody likes looking at or smelling the cat’s box, which is why so many people wonder where to hide the litter box. But, should you? It would make life better for you, but would it make things better for your cat? We've put together research and experience to provide you with solid answers.
Whether or not you can hide the litter box depends on your cat. If your cat is ok with the litter box being hidden, then you can hide it in places such as -
- Fake Dressers
- End Tables
- Special Cat Furniture
Keep reading to find out more about why you might not want to hide the litter box. We’ll also show you plenty of places you can hide it if your cat is in agreement, and give you some more options if hiding it isn’t possible.
Why Hiding the Litter Box Might Not Be a Good Idea
Let’s first dive into why it might not be a good idea to hide the litter box. The main reason is that your cat may decide to stop using it. There are a few reasons why a cat may not want to use a hidden litter box.
The hidden box may be too enclosed
Many cats find enclosed spaces too confining. They feel trapped and worry that if they’re attacked, they won’t be able to escape. So, if your hidden litter box is too enclosed, it may make your cat opt to go somewhere else.
Your cat may have trouble finding the box
If you throw a brand-new litter box in a hidden place and throw out their old one, your cat simply may not be able to find it. Cats choose their bathroom location partly based on the existing smell of their urine. So, if they can’t sniff out a new litter box, they may go in the old place, even if that means going on the floor.
Your cat may not like changes
Cats are creatures of habit. They love when things stay exactly the same. So, sometimes even a well-meaning change can cause your cat to freak out a little. Her response to the change may be to go where the box used to be, or find an entirely new location as a way to protest.
As you can see, we’ve already come up with three great reasons as to why hiding the litter box may not be the best idea. The other reason is that if you don’t see the litter box regularly, you may forget to clean it as often as you should.
Since cats like a clean litter box, leaving it for even a couple of days may cause your cat to opt for a cleaner location. This is especially true for hidden litter boxes because the smell becomes trapped in a small space, making it too pungent for your kitty’s delicate nose.
Where in the House Can You Hide the Litter Box?
Before we jump into truly hidden litter boxes, let’s look at a few common locations people hide their litter boxes. These areas of the house are less-frequented and easier to clean, making them ideal spots to tuck away a cat litter box.
The best part about having the litter box in the bathroom is that you and your cat can have some special bonding time if they need to go when you do!
In all seriousness, though, this is a great location since you visit often enough to keep it clean. If you use flushable cat litter, this becomes a prime location to keep it since all you have to do is scoop when you’re visiting the bathroom and flush everything at once.
Another out-of-the-way spot to keep your cat’s litter box is the laundry room. The only concern with this is if you don’t visit this part of the house often enough to scoop the box at least once a day. If you’re a mom, you probably find yourself in the laundry room often enough, though.
Not everybody has a mud room, but if you have that little area by the back door where dirty shoes can go, you may also want to put your cat’s litter box there. This is an especially good place if you use that door since you’ll pass by the box a few times a day.
Depending on how often you visit the basement, this may or may not be a good spot to hide your cat’s litter box. If you don’t make it down often, you may want to find another place for the pan so you don’t forget to scoop it.
As you can see, there are several rooms that are ideal for tucking away a litter box so you don’t have to see or smell it often, but so you’ll still clean it enough. Really, any room with a hard floor and water source would be great for putting a litter box.
Read more about the pros and cons of various locations in your home in this detailed guide:
What Furniture Can Be Used to Hide Litter Boxes?
Now, let’s take a look at some of the truly hidden litter boxes. These are perfect for hiding a litter box in a high traffic area if you want to be able to easily clean it often but don’t want it to be seen or smelled. Some of these are DIY projects whereas others you can buy ready-made.
Fake dressers and nightstands are starting to be used more often to hide litter boxes. To create this DIY project, you’ll need to remove the actual drawers and secure just the fronts of the drawers to the front of the dresser.
Then, the whole front of the dresser should be removed. Add hinges and a latch to turn it into a swinging door. Cut a cat-sized hole in one of the sides and all that’s left is to add the litter box! You can also add a hook to the inside of the re-made dresser for the scoop.
If you don’t feel handy enough to redo a dresser or end table into a hidden litter box, you can create an incredibly simple option with an end table that’s completely open underneath. Just tuck the litter box beneath it and hide two sides with a long decorative tablecloth.
This may be the best option for hiding a litter box because the cat still has two openings which allow them to feel secure as they do their business. Plus, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t put a lot of time or money into creating a hidden litter box.
Special Cat Furniture
You can now buy furniture that’s already made for hiding litter boxes. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorites:
Potted Plant Secret Litter Box
The potted plant hideout is cute and decorative. It has a false pot which comes apart so you can easily clean your cat’s litter box, yet it’s easy to turn to hide the opening. You can put it in any corner and guests won’t even know there’s a litter box inside.
Casual Washroom/Nightstand Pet House
This one is cute because you can put it in your bathroom, bedroom, or really anywhere else. It has some extra storage on top and a towel rack on the side. Plus, it has a nice wide opening for easy access to the litter box.
Designer Cat Box Enclosure
If you want something elegant that can be displayed in any room, this hidden litter box is perfect! It has two compartments inside. The one further from the hole is where you can place the litter box, and the other you can add a litter mat to keep things clean.
Refined Feline Enclosure
This is another fancy hidden litter box that you can put anywhere. What’s really nice about this one is it also has a hidden drawer where you can stash some of your cat’s things to keep them out of view, too.
Double-Decker Pet House
Although it only works for medium to small cats, this hidden litter box is great for cramped spaces. This also works as a fun bed for cats, so if your cat doesn’t take to their hidden litter box, you can keep it for him to sleep in.
How to Hide the Litter Box
Once you’ve figured out exactly where you want to hide the litter box, you need to take the following steps to ensure your cat will take to the new place. As we mentioned earlier, suddenly switching locations could end badly.
Step 1: Get a Second Litter Box for Hiding Place
You need to leave your cat’s old litter box in its place when you’re first introducing them to the idea of a hidden litter box. This allows them to still have a place to go if they’re not yet sure about the new spot.
Step 2: Encourage Cat to Use Hidden Litter Box
Add a small amount of dirty litter to the new hidden litter box. This will transfer some of the smell to the new spot to encourage them to use it on their own. You should also show them the hidden box and - if they allow it - use their paw to scrape at the litter.
One way to help them choose the hidden litter box is to leave their old one dirtier than usual. Since most cats don’t like to use dirty litter boxes, they may start using the new one, especially if you keep that one clean. Just don’t let the old one get too dirty!
Step 3: Remove Original Litter Box
If your cat starts regularly going in the hidden litter box, you can safely remove their original box. Thoroughly clean the whole area around where the pan was with a pet-safe cleaner to remove all lingering odors of the box.
What to Do When Hiding the Litter Box Isn’t an Option
When you’ve tried everything in your power to get your cat to use the fancy hidden litter box you made or bought for them and it’s just not working, it may be time to give up. Accept the fact that your cat will never use an enclosed litter box, and try these alternative options.
Get an Aesthetically-Pleasing Litter Box
If it’s the sight of the litter box that bothers you, you may consider getting one that’s aesthetically pleasing. Now, you can find litter boxes in a variety of colors, styles, and shapes to match any room. Check out our reviews of open litter boxes and reviews of covered litter boxes for more ideas.
Keep it Clean
The majority of people are bothered most by the smell of the litter box. Keeping it clean can help cut back on the smell, as can adding baking soda. You may also consider getting a Litter Genie to help keep the scooped litter from causing problems.
Read more: How to Get Rid of Litter Box Smell
Keep it Out of the Way
Keeping your cat’s litter box out of the way is the best way to keep it hidden without actually hiding it. As we already discussed, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mud rooms, and basements are all good options for keeping your cat’s litter box away from popular areas of the home.
The Bottom Line on Hiding Litter Boxes
At the end of the day, where you can hide the litter box depends a lot on your home and your cat.
If your cat is fine with using an enclosed box, you have a number of options to keep her box completely hidden. Even if she refuses to use a hidden litter box, you still have a few possibilities so your litter box is just a dirty little secret.
Hopefully, you can now successfully hide your cat’s litter box in the perfect location so you don’t have to see or smell it, but will still clean it out frequently. Then both you and your cat can enjoy each other more!