Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | November 22, 2011

Proper Poop Placement: The Litter Box Dilemma

I am a cat person, however, I do not own a cat.

This does not please me.

Grace is also a cat person.

Our lease says that cats are a-okay.

So we’ve got a situation where we both like cats. We both want a cat. Our landlord is down with us getting cat. We can likely afford a cat, assuming that he/she isn’t a total fatty and/or doesn’t have some sort of drug problem.

So why don’t we have a cat?

In one word, poop.

Our biggest sticking point in getting a cat has been where to put the litter box.

If you ever been to our apartment, you know that it’s pretty small and doesn’t offer any real “out of the way” location for a big box of feces.

In fact, the bulk of our apartment is covered in carpet and let’s be real here, folks…no one in their right mind puts a litter box on carpet. Sure, sure you can put mats under it or something, but you’re just begging your cat to grind poop into your carpet if you don’t put the box on a hard floor.

We’ve got three rooms with tile floors, but they all have their own drawbacks as well.

There is the bathroom which is super tiny and has zero free floor space for a litter box. If only you could request a cat that has learned how to use the toilet, we’d have ourselves a solution.

"Rest assured, I'm going to drop a deuce in your shoes."

The hallway is pretty narrow and there’s no good place to put the litter box without running the very real risk of someone stepping in it or—worse yet—accidentally stumbling over it and spilling the fecal-matter-laden contents all over the floor during a half-conscious middle of the night pee break of your own.

The third and final room with tile floors is the kitchen. Much like the other rooms, it’s pretty tiny so the space is limited. There’s also something quite comforting about NOT having poop in the room where you prepare all of your meals and it’d be hard to get over the loss of that comforting feeling.

The inherent un-catness of our apartment has kept us in the wanting stage for quite some time.

We are, however, getting the opportunity to do some cat-sitting for the next five days or so and we’re going to use it as a test run to see how we fair with a cat in the house and whether or not having a litter box in the kitchen is doable or gross as all get out.

While we’ve had numerous discussions about cats over the years, there’s one thing we’ve never really hit up, what kind of cat we want.

Do we want a kitten? Do we want an older cat? Do we want a rescue cat? Do we want to steal the neighbor’s cat and avoid all the paperwork? Do we want a purebred that speaks three languages and does yoga?

It’s a tough call, but I think I’d be inclined to snag a cat from a shelter. I’d already thought about this before, mostly because all of those commercials filled with weepy Sarah Mclaclan songs and sad kittens really break a dude down over time.

Last week, however, I stumbled upon the latest video ads for the Shelter Pet Project and basically, they nailed the point home. If we get a cat, it’s totally coming from a shelter.

All of the videos are worth watching, but I’m reposting the one I put up on Facebook last week just because it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. I’ve seen this video probably two dozen times now, but at the 20 second mark, I bust a gut every time.

I know, right?

If that doesn’t make you want to rush out and get a cat right now, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re dead inside and should be beaten unmercifully with a burlap sack full of John Grisham novels…and I’m talkin’ hardcovers, bitches!

…you know, or it means you’re allergic to cats and that’s cool. No harm, no foul.

Anyway, I’ve once again completely lost my train of thought here…ah, yes, poop.

If any of My Faithful Readers have any super smart litter box ideas shoot ‘em my way and maybe you can help expedite the cat acquiring process for me and Grace.

…you know, unless cat-sitting goes awful and we determine the only things we should ever be responsible for keeping alive are cacti.



  1. I have never been a cat person. I never intended on getting a cat. And then he showed up one day, with those big green eyes and the body of a holocaust kitty, and I had to feed him and love him forever. At first, I tried putting the litter box in the bathroom because I thought that would contain the odor the best and I could easily close the door and not look at it. However, there is limited floor space, and I HATED stepping on kitty litter after a fresh shower. So, now the litter box resides in the kitchen but far enough away from the food preparation, and near the back door so kicked out kitty litter can easily be swept outside. Not an ideal solution, but it works.


    • I think you’re one of my favorite cat people because I watched you become one via the interwebs.


  2. Get a BIG cardboard box, Cut an entrance to it, and put the litterbox in it. Can’t describe it–but willing to show it in operation–it works.


    • Interesting. It would keep the litterbox contained, but floorspace is still an issue.

      Color me intrigued.


  3. Forgot to say–rescue a cat. Kittens are more appealing–older cats are a much harder sell–but they deserve a great life with you and Grace.


  4. um…you could train the cat to poop in the toilet. they even have how tos on the interwebs if you want a lesson on how to do it. Note:remember to keep the lid up if you don’t want a mess.


    • Did you even read the post, I totally reference that.

      I question whether or not you ever actually read anything I write.


      • kind of read them…i usually skip over the boring parts. since you asked for suggestions I offered them.


  5. Do a google image search for ” litter box furniture ” – there are so many great solutions out there. I have faith that you two can figure something out. 🙂


  6. i strongly advocate getting a shelter kitty! i got a sweet litter box that was only 30 bucks and you like roll it upside down and back and the poops are in a litter drawer…no scooping required! i used fresh step at first zero smell! switched to refillable petco litter to save monies still pretty minimal smell. it is covered so no stepping into it probs etc. i was putting off getting a pet forever since i wanted a dog, never thought i would be a cat person but i saved 2 kitties and i love them and they are so easy and i am 100000 billlion times happier for it!

    xoxo. Meg!


  7. There is a litter any out there somewhere that cleans itself. I don’t remember what it’s called, but one of my friends absolutely raved about it when she got her cat. Look it up!


  8. Ummmm…haven’t you been on an airplane, scrolling through Sky magazine and all it’s doing is pimping out kitty litter night stands, or kitty litter side tables, or kitty litter totem poles. I’d go with one of those options 🙂


    • I’ve seen, ’em…but floor space and the smell are still very key things to focus on here. Just “getting a litter box” is not a deterrent to getting a cat. Finding a place to put it where it won’t constantly be in the way or wafting poop scent up onto our food is a problem.


  9. “Do we want a purebred that speaks three languages and does yoga?”

    Laughed out loud.

    And the answer is no. Rachel has a purebred and it has super crazy allergy problems and requires A LOT of medical attention. Clearly, I’m ready for children.


    • You’re right, we are TOTALLY ready for children. Let’s bypass cats altogether.

      Plus kids would require a smaller litter box, because they don’t kick it around as much, so it should totally fit somewhere in the apartment.


  10. i have two complaints about cats (after living with two right after college). they shed. a lot. on everything. i convinced myself to get over that because the cats were cute and one of them was friendly — the other was spawn of satan.

    however, the complaint i couldn’t get over was that they can jump up on everything. so even if your kitty litter box is a safe distance from the kitchen area, when your cat jumps up on the kitchen counter after recently using the litter box, those litter pebbles still end up on your counter. as does your cat’s feet that were just scooping poops or pees. one of my cats — the satanic one — would open my closet door and jump up to the top shelf in order to cuddle up in my fancy sweaters. kitty litter got there too. it was everywhere! i couldn’t escape it!


    • that. sounds. awful.

      that’s why i’ve always implemented the spray bottle technique.

      if you spray a cat with a stream’o’icy cold water every time they try to pounce on a table or counter, they get the what’s-what pretty quick and knock that right the hell off.


  11. Where you ever able to get your cat? I am getting one pretty soon and have the same problem: Where the heck should the litter box go?

    I’m looking into those self cleaning ones but that doesn’t make a difference in terms of placement. I’m thinking, maybe the dining room area since we don’t actually eat there? Hmmm…

    What was the final outcome for you?


    • We did! We keep it in our kitchen, under a standing shelf thingity-thing. The key is to clean it daily and buy the litter specifically engineered for smaller spaces. If you stay on top of it, you can avoid the place stinking to the high heavens.


      • I found the space between the toilet and the sink to be sufficient! Didn’t get the self-cleaning litterbox but if you ever try that let me know how it goes! What kind of litter do you use? I’ve got fresh step but am thinking about those crystals instead of the clay based litter. Let me know what works for you!!



      • We use Tidy Cat Small Spaces and it works pretty well. As long as you clean it regularly, you can avoid the dreaded “cat pee smell” that no one wants in their home.


  12. […] about how Grace and I both want a cat, but we’ve yet to take the plunge for various reasons…feces being the biggest reason of the […]


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