Cat laying down on bed

How to setup a litter box in an apartment

LIVE smarter | 5 MIN READ | 2021-03-24

Cats make for perfect apartment pets – they don’t take up a lot of space, they tend to be quiet and there’s no need to take them for walks. But what they do need is a litter box, and when you’re in a small space like an apartment, it can be tricky to find the perfect spot to keep it out of sight, and where it won’t smell and can easily be cleaned.

We’ve put together a list of the best litter box locations and hacks for apartment dwellers.  

What’s the scoop? 

Girl sitting on floor petting cat

Cleaning the litter box may not be fun, but it’s something that needs to be done at least once every two days, if not daily. A clean litter box is a smell-free litter box, after all. To make sure you stay on top of it, try some of the following tips: 

Set an alarm: Pick a time each day and spend five minutes freshening things up.

Change the litter weekly: In addition to scooping out the waste and the clumped litter, plan to change the litter at least once a week.

Choose the proper litter type: There are so many different types, smells, colours and materials that litter can be comprised of. Your cat may not like all of them, so make sure you’re testing a few different ones to see what works for both you and your fluffy friend. Take a look here to see all the different types of litter that are available. 

Choosing a litter box

Cat coming out of litter box

In addition to the different types of litter available, there are also many different types of litter boxes to choose from. Depending on the space you’re working with and what your cat likes, consider some of these options: 

Hooded pan litter box: This litter box is perfect for containing messes and trapping odours inside.

High-sided litter box:  Very budget friendly and useful for keeping litter inside the box with its extra high walls.

Litter box robot: Connects to Wi-Fi, self-cleans, has a sleek look, and is scooping free. It comes with a high price, but might be perfect for those looking for low to no maintenance options. 

Step litter box: Allows your cat to walk up and down a tiny set of stairs (adorable) to get into the box. The stairs are grooved, which means they “wipe” their paws on the way out, reducing the tracking of litter around your apartment. 

Scoop-free: A reusable, self-cleaning litter box that makes it easy to throw away waste without having to scoop it out. 

Roll’N Clean: The patented grill on the inside of the box allows you scoop out waste and deposit it into a removable tray, making the process easy, quick and clean. 

Litter box systems: These basic systems use litter that allows moisture to flow down to the bottom into an absorbent tray that’s easy to use and is also disposable. 

Top entry: Perfect for apartments, a top entry litter box that prevents litter scatter or spraying. They’re also easily concealed and don’t take up much room.  

Picking the purrrfect location

Girl cuddling her cat

So now that you understand everything that goes into the maintenance of cleaning your cat’s litter box and the type you’d like, it’s time to figure out where to put it. Here are a few things to consider: 

Where can I put it so guests don’t see it? 

How much space is it going to take up? 

Does my cat prefer a little privacy

o Check out this article on how to make your cat feel more at home.

Now take a look around your apartment and think about where the litter box may fit: 

Inside a closet: If you have space at the bottom of a closet that isn’t taken up by shoes, consider this as a potential litter box spot. Just be sure to always leave the closet slightly ajar so your cat can slip in and out, and you’re not trapping odours. 

o Tip: If you’re using a linen closet and you’re worried about the smell of the litter box (which shouldn’t be too bad if you’re cleaning it daily), consider keeping your linens on a higher shelf and placing an air freshener beside them to keep them smelling fresh.

In your bathroom: Try under the bathroom sink, or even better, if you can remove one of the vanity doors (be sure to check that your landlord is ok with this) you may be able to tuck it inside. 

In-suite laundry closet: If you’re lucky enough to have an apartment with in-suite laundry, you may find there’s a bit of space beside or in front of the machines. 

o Pssst - Minto Apartments has lots of suites available across Canada with in-suite laundry! Click here if you're interested. 

Under a side table: If it can fit, placing a litter box underneath a side table may work perfectly for your cat. You can even consider covering the sides of the side table with fabric to hide it out of sight, while allowing your cat to enter and leave freely. 

Incorporated furniture

Cat sitting in cat tree

Finally, if you’re looking to fully conceal your litter box but don’t have any space in closets, bathrooms or other creative areas, take a look at some of the furniture that incorporates a litterbox right into it! This is a great way to hide it while giving you extra space and seating – and even adding to your décor. Check out some of these options: 

Nightstand or end table

Small cabinets

Cat house



There are lots of fun options on Amazon and Wayfair, and of course, Pinterest is always an amazing source of inspiration. 

One last tip! Make sure you’re paying attention to how your cat is reacting to these changes and adjust accordingly. After all, as much as it needs to work for you, it’s really all about your cat. With so many options out there, try a combo of a few of the suggestions above and we’re sure you’ll find the perfect litter box solution for your apartment.