Keeping cats in a small house or condo can be a challenge. Especially when it comes to their litter boxes. You want to keep your living space fresh and healthy, without cramping your kitty’s style. Read our guide to figure out the best place for litter box in small apartment.

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Can I Have A Cat In A Small Apartment?

Yes, you can have a cat in a small apartment. However, depending on your cat’s breed and personality, your cat may not enjoy it.

Some cat breeds, like Bengals or Norwegian Forest cats, naturally need a lot of exercise to keep their bodies lean and their minds sharp. A small apartment doesn’t give them enough space to run around and practice their innate hunting skills.

If your cat has long been used to roaming around the neighborhood or a big house, a sudden move to a tiny condo can also create a lot of stress for your cat, no matter its breed.

That said, most domestic cats will adapt quite well to life in a small apartment. Just make sure to play with them every day, and find a litter suitable for small spaces.

How Many Litter Boxes Do I Need?

How many litter boxes you need depends on the number of cats you have. Surprised? I didn’t think so.

We have put together a few handy guides to help you determine just how many litter boxes it takes to satisfy your cat family. Hint: it’s about more than just the amount.

Best Place For Litter Box In Small Apartment

Where to put the cat litter box in a small apartment? Let’s look at some key aspects of litter box placement in small apartments.


Just like you and me, our cat enjoys some privacy when doing her business. Especially from other cats or pets running around.

When figuring out the litter box placement in your small apartment, space the litter boxes out over your living area as much as possible. If your cats have clearly separate territories, give them each their own litter box and place an extra box somewhere in between.

A good rule of thumb is to have one litter box in every room that your cats like to hang out in. That way they will always have one close when they need it and you greatly limit the chance of accidents happening.

Good Ventilation

Your prime concern when placing your litter boxes around your apartment or condo is ventilation. Cat urine is highly concentrated, so it smells extra bad. On top of that, it can contain bacteria that make you really sick when you come in contact with them.

Prolonged exposure to your cats’ urine and excrements is a genuine health risk. Wherever you put a litter box, make sure there’s a window that opens nearby or a good airflow to get rid of lingering odors.

In small living spaces it is extra important to keep your litter boxes clean. Pick up any clumps or poops as soon as you see them to limit the risk of them contaminating your limited environment. Empty out the entire pan at least once a week and give it a good scrub.

Pay extra mind to any ridges or cracks. These are places bacteria like to hide. And leave your cat boxes to dry completely before you add the litter back in, or it will stick to the sides and undo all your hard work.

Low Humidity

Your bathroom likely has some ventilation, so you might think that’s a good place for a litter box. You might want to think again.

Cat litter is made to attract and absorb liquid. If you put a litter box in the bathroom of your small apartment you are one steamy shower away from ruining your litter. Feces will also dry out much slower because of the humidity and the warm air will help the stink to linger.

All in all, not a great experience.

Find a place in your apartment that’s not too humid. Protect your floors by placing a mat underneath the litter box to catch any unlucky spills. A cat litter mat can also help a great deal in reducing litter tracking, which is a problem that tends to get worse in small apartments.

Find affordable litter boxes on Amazon.

Easy Access

It should go without saying that your cats should be able to access the litter box easily. If they have to perform a Cirque du Soleil routine just to do a poop, they might opt to go on the floor instead.

If your cats are getting a bit older and start to show signs of joint pain, you have to be extra careful and maybe even adjust your litter box selection to their needs.

It’s difficult and painful for cats with arthritis to lift their legs. A litter box with a high edge becomes too much of an ordeal for your cat to get in, or climb out of. A low entry litter box gives them some relief by allowing them to simply walk in.


Besides privacy from intruding pets, your cat also needs her litter box area to be free from human foot traffic. If you or your kids constantly walk by as she is trying to squeeze one out, she might get anxious and give up before she’s done.

Or worse, she might stop using the litter box altogether.

Choose a quiet corner, not near any doors or busy pathways. If you can’t find a suitable spot in your house, you can use a hood to cover up your litter box and give your cat some more privacy. Turn the opening towards the wall, but leave enough space for your cat to walk through with ease.

Get Creative

Small spaces challenge you to get creative with your litter box placement. Here are some tips to get you started.

Open cabinet

Have a cabinet that you don’t really use or could easily empty out? Take off the door and remove any shelves and sharp hinges. Then just put your litter box inside the cabinet.

It will be tucked away nicely, so you don’t trip over it. It’s also hidden from sight quite a bit, while not being too claustrophobic for your cat or trapping any bad smells.

If you want to add some flair, consider decorating the cabinet with cat toys, Christmas lights or line it with a nice pattern to match your interior.

Hidden Litter Box

A new trend in Kitty Land are hidden litter boxes. These are litter boxes that don’t look like a litter box on the outside and blend in nicely with your decor.

There are different variations of pre-made hidden litter boxes you can buy. You can get one shaped like a houseplant, or a stylish commode. You could also build one yourself!

Just beware that you add enough opportunity for ventilation and that you keep the litter box clean. And I mean spotless. Cats have a sense of smell that’s 14 times stronger than ours. You don’t want to torture them by leaving clumps in the litter box.

Pretty Litter Box

Having cats is nothing to be ashamed of. Unless you’re an actual cat hoarder, maybe. But that would be hard to pull off in a studio apartment.

If you’re really cramped for space and don’t have room for yet another piece of furniture, just put your litter box out in the open. Loud and proud.

Choose one that’s not too hideous to look out and consider adding a cover. Of course, a cover does trap smells, so be sure to keep it clean. But since it’s right in your face, I don’t expect that to be much of a problem.

Final Thoughts

We all gladly make sacrifices for the safety and happiness of our beloved pets. But when you’re living in a small space with cats, there’s often a fine line between their comfort and yours. Use our tips to navigate your way through finding the best location to park your litter boxes and keep both your feline and your human family safe.

Be sure to check out our guide on the Best Cat Litter For Small Apartments for tips on selecting a great litter to match your litter boxes.