If you own a cat and are equally strapped for space, you are likely wondering how you can hide their litter box to make your apartment more attractive. Of course, you still want your cat to be able to go and have the privacy they desire. And find it of course. But at the same time, a home is a home. So today, I’d like to present to you some practical options that will afford both you and your cat the outcomes you desire.
So, how can you hide a cat litter box in a small apartment? To keep a litter box hidden in a small apartment, you can either use store-bought, concealed furniture or adapt an existing piece of furniture with a cat flap or a hole, with or without a curtain. You can also try an unusual object that’s big enough to contain a litter tray in the base while providing you with another use, such as a bench to sit on or a plant pot.
Recommended Way To Hide Your Cat Litter Box
The Haven cat litter box enclosure is my stand out option and personal recommendation.
It looks fantastic, seamlessly fits into most apartment décor, has great interior space, and provides fresh airflow for your cat to breathe.
It is one of the most effective, long-term solutions.
Best Ways To Hide A Litter Box In A Small Apartment
You can easily hide a litter box in a small apartment by using concealed furniture. Some pieces can be highly attractive and can be customized to suit your existing décor. There are a lot of things you can do with existing furniture to provide a clever hiding place for a litter tray, too. Sometimes an unusual object can provide an attractive addition to a room while hiding its true purpose.
Try Using Concealed Furniture
Concealed furniture is a great trick for hiding a litter box in a small apartment without sacrificing too much needed space.
There are beautiful pieces of furniture you can buy that are specifically designed to hide litter boxes, such as the Haven Litter Box Enclosure, which many cats seem to enjoy using.
The wonderful thing about these types of concealed furniture is how attractive they look – no one would necessarily suspect there’s a litter box inside, unless they have a peek!
The Haven enclosure is simple to use, as it’s designed with cats and cat people in mind.
- Using the top of the unit to display other items or for storage to make the most of a smaller apartment
- Being able to paint or revarnish the unit to fit whatever existing décor you happen to prefer
- Keeping your floor free from kitty litter: the last thing you need in a small apartment is to be stepping on kitty litter every day. The Haven comes with its own brush, scoop, dustpan, and litter tray, and any bits of litter that your kitty kicks off her paws tend to land in the specifically designed landing spot inside the unit
- Being able to use a variety of litter trays that measure up to 17 x 21 inches
- Making the transition process easier (it appears many users report their cats are happy to use the unit and seem to like it, which can save you lots of time!)
Adapt Existing Furniture To Hide The Litter Box
You might have an existing piece of furniture in your home that you can adapt to hide a litter box – saving space in the process.
Here are some ideas of existing furniture that can easily be adapted to contain a litter box in a small apartment:
- A cupboard.
- A bench (like an ottoman or a toy box: by installing a cat flap in the side of the bench or box, you can still use it as a seat).
- A closet (all you have to do is place the litter tray at the bottom of the closet. Make sure there’s a shelf above the litter tray to keep separate clothes or other items – put the shelf high enough for your cat to comfortably be able to stand in the litter tray).
- A side table.
If you aren’t sure how to repurpose an existing piece of furniture, here’s how:
- Select your piece of furniture, making sure the litter tray fits underneath it and that your cat has room to stand and turn around.
- If the furniture has doors along the front, you have two choices: either remove one or both doors, depending on the size, or cut a large hole at the front or in one side of the unit for your cat to use. If you’re using the space underneath a sink, or an end table, there’s obviously no need for a hole.
- Depending on your home décor, you may want to put a curtain across the opening to hide the litter tray. If so, choose a piece of fabric and measure across the hole or opening. Double the measurement if you want to gather your curtains for a ruffle effect.
- Measure the height from the floor up to the top of the hole or shelf. Cut and hem the fabric.
- Using staples, thumbtacks, or small nails, secure the fabric to cover the opening, leaving a slit either in the center or at the side for your cat to go in and out without having to push underneath the curtain.
- Put the piece of furniture in the same spot where you previously had the litter tray (see below for why this is important for your cat).
Note: If you don’t want to use a curtain but you still want to make the opening more attractive, consider putting a wooden frame around it that matches the furniture. You can also add a cat flap to the side or front. If you have space, you can put the litter tray on the bottom and the scoop, litter and other essentials elsewhere in the cabinet, along a top shelf, or on the inside of one of the doors to the unit.
Use An Unusual Object
You can find some unusual objects that can act as space savers for small apartments – the litter tray can go in the bottom and you can use the rest of the object for other things.
Some examples are:
A Beautiful Wicker Basket
If you have a large wicker basket or wicker trunk, you can cut a hole at the front or along one side and keep the lid on so that you can still sit on top of it.
The natural gaps between the weaves of wicker provide excellent filtration to help reduce odors, and you can put the basket beneath an existing shelf unit to gain space.
A Large Plastic Plant Pot
You can buy large plant pots that have a top section that contains an artificial plant and a hole beneath where you can put kitty litter at the bottom of the pot.
Because the pot is plastic and there’s no earth for the artificial plant, the pot is lightweight and easy to clean.
It’s also an attractive addition to a corner of your apartment – you can hide the litter tray without sacrificing on style.
A Homemade Litter Box Cover
If you have a particularly tight space in which to put the litter box, you can make your own wooden litter box cover with the dimensions that best suit the space.
As long as your cat has room to get up and turn around, it should be fine.
You can paint the wood with whatever design takes your fancy, enabling you to easily match the existing style of your space.
Things To Consider When Hiding A Cat Litter Box In A Small Apartment
If your cat has been used to using an open litter box, you’ll need to help them adjust to using a closed one. Sometimes you have to move the litter box, so do this before including furniture or a cover over it. Remember to choose carefully where you place the litter tray so that your cat feels comfortable and secure.
You’ll Need To Help Your Cat Transition To A Closed Litter Box
Because closed litter boxes are the easiest way to hide litter in a small apartment, you’ll have to help your kitty adjust, particularly if they’ve been used to using an open litter tray.
Here’s how to help your cat make the transition easily to a hidden litter tray:
- Make sure you put the litter tray exactly where the covered unit will be, and let your cat get used to using the litter tray in that spot before introducing a cover or a piece of furniture. Cats don’t like changes, and where change is inevitable, one change at a time is the best policy.
- Keep other elements of your cat’s routine the same. Use the same kitty litter, feed your cat at the same times of day, etc.
- Once your cat is used to the new spot for the litter tray, you can then add the cover, piece of furniture, basket, plant pot, or whatever you’ve decided to use. Be sure you’ve finished assembly before introducing it to your cat – cats don’t appreciate loud noises like drills or saws!
- If your cat seems resistant to the covered litter tray, show them it’s the same tray with the same litter. You might have to remove the curtain for a while. You could also offer a favorite toy when your cat goes into the litter tray as a reward (don’t offer a food reward, as cats don’t like eating where they go to the toilet, much like us!) Make sure the area is quiet and peaceful.
- Once your cat is happy using the litter tray with the cover on, you can put back the curtain if you’ve removed it.
Note: Fortunately for cat people everywhere, recent studies show that most cats don’t have a set preference for covered or uncovered litter trays. Like many preferences, personality is the largest determining factor. It may take time to encourage your cat, but they’ll get there in the end.
Choose The Placement Of The Litter Box Carefully
Here are some things to consider when deciding where to put the litter box in a small apartment:
- Make sure children know where the litter box is and that they aren’t to disturb your cat while it uses the litter tray. Cats like privacy when they go to the toilet, as they feel vulnerable when doing so.
- Be sure to pick an area that is out of the way of traffic in your home. You want the litter box to be in a quiet place where your cat won’t be disturbed by foot traffic, other pets, or loud noises.
- If the litter box is going to be in the bathroom, be sure no water can get into the litter. This shouldn’t be a problem if the box is hidden inside a piece of furniture, but if it’s in a basket, for instance, water from a nearby shower can still seep through.
- If you have several cats in your home, make sure each has its own litter box. This might seem like a big ask for a small apartment, but cats are naturally territorial, and they will be more anxious and stressed if they have to compete for resources. Resources, in your cat’s eyes, include not just food and water, but toys and a litter box, too.
- Remember, you’ll still need to keep the litter box clean. Scoop it out at least twice a day, including after each poop. Cats don’t like going to the toilet if it’s dirty, and their sense of smell is much stronger than ours. What smells slightly unpleasant to us is likely an overwhelming stink to your cat! Remove the litter tray to wash it weekly using a water and vinegar solution to keep it odor-free.
- Consider the access needs of your cat. There’s no point installing a funky cabinet with a hole that’s too high up or up several steps if your cat has arthritis, for example. Think of the size of your cat, too: are they happy climbing into a litter box with high sides? Remember what your cat already likes, and stick with the same variables as much as possible.
- Keep other pets away. Curious dogs need to stay away from your cat’s litter tray, so make sure the hole is small enough to keep dogs (and other pets) out.
- If you place the litter box in plain sight, make sure that you, your family, and visitors are aware just to ensure there are no accidents!
Note: If you’re renting your home as furnished, you probably won’t want to cut holes in furniture. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix: you can remove doors from an existing cabinet and keep the doors and fittings in a safe place. Then simply reattach the doors before you move out.
While you may be strapped for space, the good news is that there are a number of options when it comes to hiding a litter box in a small apartment.
Some are quick, simple, and easy. Others require a little investment or some DIY.
That being said, all solutions can be highly practical and effective. It just comes down to preference.
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I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.