You can put a litter box outside for your cat(s), absolutely. You may need to cover it from the elements, and they’ll need somewhere quiet where they feel safe. When done right, you can train your cat to use their box outdoors.
Why Put Your Cat’s Litter Box Outside?
I’m sure you’re with me on this; one thing that many cat owners dislike about owning a cat is dealing with the litter box.
Since the litter box is where your cat does its business, it can become smelly at times (usually at the worst times; like when you’re sleeping, have guests over, etc).
Finding a new place for the litter box is often a solution, and some cat owners keep their cat’s litter box in the bathroom, or even in the basement.
However, you might be wondering if you can put your kitty’s litter box outside to resolve the issue.
I can tell you that it is possible to put a litter box outside. But it must be done in a strategic manner, or your cat may become confused and refuse to use it.
You should also keep in mind that if your cat lives indoors and never goes outside, placing its litter box outside could cause your cat to become stressed and afraid.
Cats like to feel secure and comfortable, and forcing your cat to use a litter box outside when it’s not accustomed to spending time outdoors isn’t a good idea.
Your cat will likely remain inside where it feels safe and do its business on your furniture instead.
Related – Do cats need litter box access overnight?
How Do You Move a Cat’s Litter Box Outside?
If your cat spends time indoors and outdoors and you want to move the litter box outdoors, that shouldn’t be a problem.
That said – cats are creatures of habit, so don’t suddenly move the litter box outside and expect it to use it.
You should allow the cat to get used to having the litter box outside. You could place a litter box outside while keeping one inside as well.
However, if you’re adamant about having the litter box strictly outside only, you should start slowly moving the litter box to the outside location. Only move it a few inches to a foot at a time so it’s not a sudden change.
Once the litter box is relocated to an outside location, it’s important to install a “kitty door” so your cat can use the litter box at its leisure if needed.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the litter box is in a quiet and secluded location, as cats like privacy and security.
Can You Put a Litter Box on the Balcony?
In most cases, it wouldn’t be very practical to place your cat’s litter box on the balcony, as it might not be the safest area for your cat to be.
Secondly, most cats refuse to go outside on rainy, snowy, or cold days, so unless your balcony is covered and enclosed, you will need a backup plan.
If you feel your cat’s litter box is best on your balcony, it could possibly work. Before placing the litter box on the balcony, you should take some precautions though.
First of all, you need to cat-proof your balcony, so kitty won’t jump off the balcony and possibly hurt themselves, that’s the most important thing.
You can easily place some weatherproof netting over your balcony, to keep kitty safe. You must also consider the winter months, as your cat will appreciate it if you provide some type of sheltered litter box to protect her from the elements.
If you are unable to kitty-proof the balcony as well as provide some type of shelter from the weather, then placing the litter box on the balcony is not an option.
Related – Here’s why you don’t always need two litter boxes per cat!
Should You Put Litter Box Outside for Lost Cat?
If your cat has wandered away from home and becomes lost, you might believe that placing their used litter box outside could help them find their way home.
However, placing your cat’s used litter box outside could backfire, possibly preventing the kitty from ever returning home.
Other cats could become attracted to the litter box, and if your cat comes within a certain distance of home, she could smell the scent of other cats and be scared away forever.
Just imagine your cat thinks that you’ve welcomed a new addition to the home as soon as you thought they were gone – what a heartbreaker!
There is also the possibility of attracting dangerous animals to your house by placing the used litter box outdoors.
Potential predators like bobcats or coyotes could be attracted to your home and pose a danger to you and your family in some parts of the country.
Even possums can be a nuisance and small rodents like mice sometimes eat litter!
I will say, there have been a few cases where placing a used litter box has aided an indoor cat with finding its way home.
However, this is very rare, and it’s generally recommended to refrain from putting a used litter box outdoors to attract a lost cat.
Many cats find their way back home without the assistance of their litter box being outside.
Best Type of Litter Box for Outside Use
When switching your cat’s litter box outside, you need to keep in mind that traditional litter boxes won’t work unless it’s covered from the elements.
You can’t expect your cat to use a litter box filled with snow or rain!
A little tip, you’ll want to use sand, potting soil or peat moss in Kitty’s outdoor litter box as opposed to regular cat litter, as traditional cat litter doesn’t work well once it’s wet if there is moisture in the air.
The best type of litter box to be used outdoors is one with a hood that is constructed with some type of waterproof material.
There are even some robotic and self-cleaning choices available if it’s in your budget. However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the best outdoor litter box.
You might even opt to build one if you’re feeling creative and have time. You can put something together that works with your yard furniture, and even disguise it.
Oh, and don’t be too surprised if you find your cat sleeping in their box. if they do, however, this is what you need to do to put a stop to them sleeping in their litter box.
If you feel that placing your cat’s litter box outside is the best for your household, then by all means, put it outside following the above advice and see how it goes.
As long as you allow your cat time to get used to having an outdoor litter box, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Keep in mind that there may be times when your cat is too afraid or stressed to go outside, which could be due to inclement weather, illness, loud noises, or some other reason.
This is why it’s recommended that you keep a backup litter box inside so the kitty won’t use your floor or furniture as a litter box!
Image credits – Photo by Oscar Fickel on Unsplash