What’s the Best Technique for Creating a Discreet Litter Box Area for Cats in a Small Apartment?

April 16, 2024

Having a cat (or several) in a small apartment can sometimes present unique challenges. One of the most common issues cat owners face is where to place the litter box. It’s an essential item, but not exactly an attractive piece of decor. It often feels like there’s no place out of sight or smell. However, there are creative solutions available. In this article, we will guide you through the best techniques for creating a discreet litter box area for your cats in a small apartment. We’ll explore different ways to use existing furniture, unique designs, and DIY solutions to keep it out of sight and mind.

Using Existing Furniture

First, take a look around your apartment. You’re bound to find furniture that could double as a litter box enclosure. This technique is popular because it allows you to utilize existing space, without the need for additional purchases.

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Cabinets, for instance, are ideal for this purpose. They typically have doors that can be left ajar for easy access by your cat, but closed when guests come over. The cabinet’s interior can house the litter box, and the top can serve as a storage area for essential cat supplies like litter, scoops, and liners.

Another option is using a side table or nightstand. These pieces of furniture are usually the right height for a litter box and allow for easy access by the cat. By placing a curtain or fabric around the lower part of the table, you can effectively hide the litter box from sight, while still giving your cat privacy. Remember, the key here is to ensure the litter box is easily accessible for the cat and easy to clean for you.

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Custom-Built Litter Box Enclosures

For those who want a more refined solution, you can consider having a custom-built litter box enclosure. This is a piece of furniture specifically designed to house a litter box. These custom enclosures come in a variety of designs and sizes that can complement your home’s interior and fit the available space.

While it might be more costly than repurposing existing furniture, this option offers the best in terms of aesthetics. It also provides the most privacy for your cat, which will appreciate having its own space. To make the most out of this solution, consider enclosures with added storage for cat supplies. Some designs also offer additional features like built-in scratching posts or lounging areas.

DIY Litter Box Enclosures

If you’re handy and enjoy DIY projects, creating your own litter box enclosure can be a fun and cost-effective solution. With a bit of creativity and some basic tools, you can create a unique piece of furniture that meets your needs and reflects your personal style.

An easy project is to convert a basic storage cube into a litter box enclosure. First, find a cube that’s large enough to house the litter box. Then, cut a small door on one side for your kitty to enter and exit. You can then decorate the exterior to match your decor. For an added touch, consider lining the inside wall with easy-to-clean materials.

Another DIY idea is to use an old trunk or chest. These items are typically spacious enough to accommodate a litter box and have a lid that can be easily lifted for cleaning. Simply cut a hole on one side for the cat to get in and out, and you have a stylish and practical litter box enclosure.

Placement Strategies for Litter Boxes

The placement of the litter box is just as important as the type of enclosure you choose. Cats prefer a quiet, low-traffic area for their bathroom needs. However, in a small apartment, finding such a place can be challenging.

One approach is to place the litter box in a bathroom, if space allows. This has the added advantage of being close to running water for easy clean-up. If that’s not possible, consider underutilized spaces like corners, under desks, or behind doors. Remember to keep it accessible to your cat at all times and away from their food and water.

Odor Control for Litter Boxes

Regardless of where you place the litter box or what type of enclosure you use, controlling odor will always be a concern. Regular cleaning of the litter box is a must. Additionally, consider using litter that’s specially formulated to control odor. Air purifiers or odor absorbers can also be beneficial.

In summary, creating a discreet litter box area in a small apartment requires a bit of creativity and thought. Whether you choose to repurpose existing furniture, invest in a custom-built enclosure, or tackle a DIY project, the key is to balance your needs with those of your cat. With the right solution, you can maintain a clean and stylish living space while ensuring your furry friend’s comfort.

Creative Use of Room Dividers

Room dividers can be an excellent tool for creating a discrete litter box area in a small apartment. They’re mobile and easy to set up, making them a flexible solution for cat owners on the go.

Room dividers come in a variety of styles from folding screen panels to bookcases, and they can be utilized to form a secluded area for the litter box. For example, you could use a room divider to corner off a part of your living room or bedroom. Place the litter box inside this divided space, making sure it’s away from your cat’s feeding area to avoid any cross-contamination.

One popular option is a bookcase-style room divider. These can often be found with different compartments that can serve multiple purposes. You might choose to place the litter box in the lower compartment, leaving the top shelves for cat toys, treats, and grooming tools. Just remember to provide a cat door for easy accessibility.

Alternatively, curtain-style room dividers offer a cost-effective and easily customizable option. They serve to hide the litter box from sight while still allowing your cat to move in and out freely. Plus, they can be easily washed, helping to maintain cleanliness and control odor.

Aesthetically Pleasing Litter Box Covers

Another effective way to create a discreet litter box area is by investing in a litter box cover. These are designed to conceal the box while adding an aesthetically pleasing feature to your decor. Litter box covers come in various designs that can blend seamlessly with your furniture, effectively turning the litter box into a hidden litter area.

You can find litter box covers that look like plant pots, cabinets, or even pieces of modern art. However, it’s crucial to consider not only the appearance but also the practicality. The cover should have an opening that’s large enough for your cat to comfortably enter and exit.

When considering a litter box cover, it’s also important to think about cleaning accessibility. Some litter box covers have a removable top or side panels, which makes cleaning a breeze. Again, maintaining cleanliness is the best way to control odor.


Creating a discreet litter box area in a small apartment doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s all about finding the right balance between your needs for a neat and tidy living space and your cat’s need for a private and comfortable area to do its business.

Whether you repurpose existing furniture, use room dividers, invest in a custom-built box enclosure, or even create a DIY solution, remember the key points: the litter box should be easily accessible to your cat and easy for you to clean. Most importantly, it should be placed in a quiet, low-traffic area where your furry friend feels safe and comfortable. And with the right approach to odor control, you can ensure that your apartment remains a pleasant environment for both you and your cat.

With these tips in mind, creating a hidden litter box area that complements your living space will be a breeze. So, get ready to explore the options and create the best cat haven in your small apartment!