Ideal Distance Between Litter Box and Food Explained

Distance Between Litter Box and Food

Cats are finicky creatures, and as an owner of one or more cats, you have probably had experience with this firsthand.

Some cats won’t eat certain foods at all, while others won’t eat in certain areas.

There are countless other examples of how picky cats can be. Some cats will refuse to eat any type of fish, when many people automatically assume that all cats love fish.

Of course, every cat is different and has its own individual personality, which, as its owner, you must adapt to.

At times, you might wonder if you are keeping your cat’s food and litter box in the proper areas.

This might be especially true if your cat has been refusing to eat lately or his appetite seems to have lessened.

Here is an overview of litter boxes and cat food, so you can be sure you’re caring for your cat properly.

Is It Bad To Have Cat Food Next To Litter Box?

A lot of cat owners keep their cat’s food dish in the area that seems most convenient for them – so don’t feel bad if that’s you.

Sometimes it might seem like a good idea to keep your cat’s food near his litter box so things are easier for him, but most cats are just like people when it comes to having their food where they eliminate.

It isn’t desirable – and I think we can all appreciate why.

You wouldn’t like eating in the bathroom, and cats wouldn’t like it either if they had a choice. Cats who live in the wild eliminate in separate areas, so we should replicate that in the home.

If you must put your cat’s litter box in the same room as his food, you should try to ensure they’re as far away from each other as possible.

However, if you have the room, your cat would certainly appreciate having his litter box and food bowl in different rooms.

Related Putting a little box outside is an option, here’s how to do it.

Where Should I Put the Litter Box in My House?

If a cat’s litter box is not placed in an area that he feels is ideal, he may refuse to use it some or all the time.

This may just depend on his mood or what’s going on in the house at the time, of course.

The ideal place to put your cat’s litter box is somewhere quiet. Like people, cats like privacy when they go to the bathroom; they also like feeling comfortable and safe before they go.

Some common places to keep litter boxes are:

Bathrooms – this is a good place only if your bathroom is large enough and has windows that can be opened. Cat urine has a strong smell, so ventilation is important, or the smell can overwhelm you.

Laundry room – this is another great choice, as it’s usually a quiet and private area (when the washing machine and dryer aren’t in use) that your cat will appreciate.

If your cat dislikes the sound of the washing machine and dryer, you might want to rethink putting the litter box there.

Your cat might need to use it while the washing machine and dryer are in use and as a result, decide to use a rug or similar item as an alternate litter box.

It’s also imperative that kitty has unlimited access to the laundry room if you opt to put the litter box there.

Closet – if you have a closet large enough to accommodate a litter box, this might be the perfect place.

Just ensure that you place it in a closet in which the door can always be left ajar so kitty can access it whenever he needs to.

Hallway – If you have a large hallway, this could be a great place for your cat’s litter box. It’s open and there’s not usually much going on in the hallway, so kitty can have his privacy to do his business in peace.

Where Should I Put My Cat’s Food Bowl in My House?

It can be difficult to determine where you should put your cat’s food bowl. While you might think a particular spot is ideal, your cat may not.

Just like when cats eliminate, they like to eat in a place where it’s quiet and safe. As long as you put your cat’s food bowl in a spot where he feels comfortable and safe, then you shouldn’t have any issues.

Some good places to put your cat’s food could be in the corner of the kitchen or dining room, since this is where you most likely eat.

As long as the food is kept in a place where your cat feels comfortable and safe, and it isn’t near his water, it should be fine.

Just be sure that once you find a place that works, that you don’t move it unless absolutely necessary.

Cats like routine, so keeping everything as close as possible to what Kitty is used to will ensure his ultimate happiness and comfort.

Should a Cat’s Water Be Away From Food?

It might be your first instinct to place your cat’s water next to his food for convenience, especially since people drink water and other beverages with meals.

However, when it comes to cats, it’s best to keep their water separate from their food.

Cats have a very strong sense of smell, and due to their tendency to be picky, they don’t like to smell their food while they’re drinking water.

Furthermore, cats that live in the wild have often succumbed to bacterial overgrowth and become ill after drinking and eating food simultaneously.

Your cat’s bowl can be in the same room as his food, but placing his water at least 3-5 feet away from his food is ideal.

In Summary

Caring for cats doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or overwhelming. Cats are more like us than people believe (although I’m sure all the cat owners reading this are nodding their heads).

As long as you take your particular cat’s specific needs into consideration, you will likely be able to meet his needs 100% of the time.

If you’re ever unsure of how to provide care for your cat, performing a bit of research or asking your vet can provide you with the answers you need.

Image credits – Header photo by Fernando Jorge and cat leaving litter box photo by Litter Robot on Unsplash

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