Changing your cat’s old litter box location can seem like trial and error: a difficult and stressful task. But it doesn’t have to be! Depending on your feline’s personality, it can be as easy as just moving it from one corner of a room to the other.
While some cats can be chill about old location changes, others can be a bit more particular about their litter box in the new spot. These picky felines can be tricky to please, but moving their litter box from a different area of the home, or even to an entirely new place does not have to be stressful for either of you.
Here are some tricks to help you ease your feline into new transitions with their litter boxes.
Before You Move The Litter Box Location
When rearranging your home, and deciding to change your kitty’s litter box location, you’ll need to stop and think about WHERE you’ll need or want to place the litter box. Moving the litter box several different times may cause distress and frustration for your cat, which could result in defiant behavior and a more stressed-out feline.
Make an Estimated Floor Plan
Look around your home and draw up a floor plan of how you’re going to rearrange things to test the flow of your new arrangement and to help you find a new location for your cat’s litter box.
While putting it on paper won’t give you an exact idea of how well things will work, it will give you insight ahead of time into arrangements that won’t work. Plus it’s much easier to erase some lines and redraw than move big pieces of furniture around multiple times.
Cat Litter Box Rules In The New Location
Moving your cat’s litter box inside your home is not as complex as you might think. Still, it will take time and patience depending on how picky your cat is, or if you have multiple cats and one is particularly territorial of the litter box you’re going to move.
There are also some key rules when it comes to litter boxes to keep everyone happy.
One Box Per Cat Plus One
If you have multiple cats, the ideal number of litter boxes is one per cat plus an additional one. This rule helps ensure that there is always a box available, limiting disagreements about who gets to use it first. This helps prevent accidents elsewhere in your home if everyone decides to go at once.
Litter box per Level
For homes with multiple levels, you should have at least one box per level, but in some cases that might not be possible. Having additional ones on each level can help alleviate any traffic jams, or if one is not accessible at the time.
Keep away from Hotspots
Heat and humidity will not help hide litter box odors, it will only intensify them for both you and your cat. Bacteria and mold also love heat and moisture, so keeping the box in a low-humidity and cool location will help prevent them from thriving.
While we might not want a litter box in plain sight of our living room or eating areas, tucking the litter box away in a space that is easily shut off can result in accidents elsewhere. Rooms such as bathrooms tend to get blocked off when in use, making it hard for your cat to reach it when they need it.
Keeping the litter box in an area that is accessible no matter the time of day will keep your feline happy and feeling secure.
Low Traffic Areas
Cats like to do their business in calm areas that aren’t busy like the interstate. Placing the litter box in a quiet area of your home, where there is little to no traffic will help provide a comfortable area for your cat, and prevent them from having to rush in order to escape the chaos going on around them.
Be Mindful of territories
If you have multiple cats and one is more dominant or one is shyer towards the others, keeping a litter box in each cat’s safe space or territory will aid in avoiding conflicts and allow everyone to have an area to do their business in peace.
Avoid the Food and Water Stations
Cats are very clean creatures, and just like us, they don’t want to eat right next to their toilet. The smell of the box can deter them from food, even if it’s their favorite and the smell is usually irresistible to them. Keeping their food and litter boxes in different locations will keep them happy and eating properly. While they don’t have to be in different rooms, they shouldn’t be close together.
Place in Areas Your Cat Frequents
Keeping a litter box in areas your cat is usually in is a good way to minimize messes, and keep your feline pal feeling comfortable and secure. Putting it in an area your cat doesn’t like, or never goes near is not ideal, and can end up causing your kitty stress and messes in your home.
You can also place the old litter box closer to the new location.
Placing The Box In The New Location
Once you’ve got things planned, you can start the process of moving the litter box to a new location. There are different methods of moving it for different types of cats and scenarios.
Use Two Litter Boxes
One easy way to help your feline transition is to place a new litter box in the desired location while keeping the old one in its current place. This will allow your cat to get used to the new location, without causing too much stress or confusion.
Once your cat has gotten used to the new location and has consistently used the new one for a time, you can remove the old one or put it in the place of the new one.
Stay within the territory boundaries
If one of your cats is possessive over a particular box, then it is best to keep that one within the same room or area as much as possible. Moving the litter box to stay within that cat’s territory will maintain the balance of the home.
Knowing where your cat’s territory is, and its boundaries will help you keep the box within their area. Always move the old litter box as they watch you, then step back and see how they react and if they use it in the new spot. If they reject the location, try again and continue the process until they are satisfied with a new location.
Shy, skittish, or easily distressed felines can be a bit trickier to make adjustments with. If changes send your feline into distress or confusion, then taking small steps is the best course for you to take with them.
Slowly moving your cat’s box a few feet at a time toward the desired location over a period of time will help reduce the stress of the new location and to make the transition easier overall for your cat. You can also buy another litter box and put it at the new location, making sure your cat knows it’s there. Once you see them using the new litter box, you can remove the old one or put it in the new location in place of the new one.
Be Patient About The Change and Follow Your Cat’s Lead
At the end of the day, the one who decides the pace of the litter box relocation is your cat. Knowing your cat and their tolerance for change is the biggest tool in your belt. Some cats are very sensitive to change, and others can be nonchalant about changes or use the litter box without blinking to changes- it depends on your cat’s personality.