Where to put a litter box in a small apartment

Advice from the OG cat mom 🐱

A pink and peach swirled background with a picture of two cats in a living room with a litter box cabinet in.
(Image credit: Future / Amazon / Beth Mahoney)

As any renter knows (yours truly included), cats truly make for great apartment pets. They’re quiet (no barking here), they don’t need access to outdoor space, and they don’t take up all that much room. While cats are perfect feline friends for more compact homes, adding one to your home means trying to fit a litter box into your apartment decor

JSYK, I know first-hand about the whole litter box dilemma. I once lived in a top-floor apartment with four — yes, four — house cats. So, when it comes to the whole keeping a litter box in a small apartment issue, I know the struggle. 

The problem is that when you live in a small(ish) apartment, it can be tricky to find places to keep a litter box that offers your cat easy access but hides it from you and your visitors. This begs the question: Where should you put a litter box in a small apartment so that it's out of sight and smell?

Where should you keep a litter box in a small apartment?

In the linen closet

Got an underused linen closet with a door you can prop open? If so, this could make for an ideal space to store your kitty’s litter box. You can use the room at the bottom of the closet to pop your cat’s litter box in so you won't see or smell it. Just make sure to hold the door open with a wedge or stopper so there's easy access.

By the toilet 

This is my usual go-to. I always tend to keep my cat’s litter box in the bathroom by the toilet, simply because it just makes sense to have the litter box tucked out of sight by the toilet. Plus, keeping it in the bathroom means that any nasty smells should dissipate more easily due to the fan that exists in almost every bathroom. If this space has a window you can crack open — even better!

In the corner of the laundry room 

The chances are that if you live in a small apartment, you probably won’t have a dedicated laundry room, but if you do this is a great place to keep your cat’s litter box. Alternatively, if you have a closet full of laundry room essentials, then you could keep your cat’s litter tray in a corner of this spot. Just make sure to keep the space clean and odor free. 

In a cabinet 

If your bathroom is just too teeny tiny or you don’t have access to a laundry room, keeping your cat’s litter tray in a cabinet (like this one that's available at Amazon) could be a great option. And, get this, you can actually buy cabinets that are designed to house cat litter boxes. Yep, and some of them are srsly cute. 

Zero room for a litter box cabinet? How about a litter box plant pot instead, like this super smart Amazon pick? Aside from this pet necessity, there are plenty more cute interior pet buys out there that will blend in with the rest of your decor. 

Helpful hacks for litter box care

  • Don't place your litter box on carpet. Wherever possible keep it on hard floor so that any messes can be easily cleaned up. Alternatively, opt to place a litter box mat — like this one from Amazon — that catches spare litter underneath the tray. 
  • To keep the odor at bay, clean the litter box regularly (using a pet-safe cleaning spray) and always use litter box liners before adding litter. 
Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.


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