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I didn’t always keep my cat’s litter box on the balcony. It was a struggle until I have finally settled with this spot which I believe is best possible place for a litter box in a small apartment – and possibly for any apartment.
Let me share with you my experience and my reasons for such a decision.
Cat Litter Box in Bathroom
With my very first kitten, later given for adoption, I placed my sandbox in the bathroom.
My bathroom is extremely small with free space only to open the door and although I have a small inbuilt ventilator it did not help at all. The place smelled horribly of cat pee.
This is even worse: as I was working long hours away from home, and my apartment was brand new, I kept my kitten in the bathroom with no windows and with lights on. I was too afraid of kitten accidents while I was at work, which to be honest would have happened probably.
In 3-4 days the kitten would get sick and unfortunately, I did not understand why.
This happened in a few cycles before I realized that the air was probably poisoning the small cat (urine vaporizing in the small space). It would get disorientated and wabbly. Poor little thing! I cringe every time I think of this.
So obviously a small, closed space with no windows is no place to keep a litter box – let alone a living kitten 🙁
I believe that even the moisture in the bathroom makes the whole cat pee smell even worse.
Unless your bathroom has really, really good ventilation or is a bigger space with windows, I strongly suggest you avoid this part of the house for a litter box. And if you absolutely must keep it there then make sure that the space is often ventilated. Yes, you may even need to put a freshener there and also be very careful about your litter, you’ll need to choose a good quality no-odor litter.
Cat Litter Box in The Hall
So I moved to the next level: my tiny hall.
This was certainly a better solution and I have a door that separates the hall from my main room. The ventilation was better but still I hated going through my hall because of the smell.
So in my experience if you choose a really good litter that holds the smell, if you clean the litter box every day and have a good way to ventilate the air then keeping a litter box in the hall of your home will work for you. If your apartment has no balcony this may be the best place to put a litter box as it is still separated from your living room. Also if you are not that sensitive to smells then this is a good idea.
Cat Litter Box On Balcony
And then summer came and of course, every smell gets worse on hot weather. So one day I decided to try the balcony as a place for my cat’s litter box. And it was the best solution ever!
First of all, you don’t have to worry about air ventilation, nature does it all for you! Even when there is no wind it is simply outdoors and the smell gets dispersed in the air.
Regarding the smell, in summer I use silicone sand as this kind of litter is truly a miracle in how good it keeps odor away. My type of silicone sand is white so it is good for tracking the health of my cat – any unexpected changes are easily visible. In winter it is not that important to use this expensive silicone litter as I keep the balcony doors closed.
From a hygienic point of view, keeping your litter box on your balcony is also better as it is easier to clean outside, the sand can be simply swiped with a broom. No invisible dust stays inside your home too, all is taken care of outside.
If a spill-over happens it is so easy to clean on the balcony tiles, I use wet wipes for example and it is a breeze. You can also use water as you probably have no wooden floor on your balcony so nothing to be damaged by cleaning with water.
Changing the litter is also easier because of the easy cleaning of unwanted mess.
I do vacuum my balcony from time to time to clean the stubborn sand leftovers but this is also very easy to do. I don’t know what my neighbors are thinking though when they see me vacuuming my tiny balcony :))
Another thing I do more often is wiping the balcony with wet wipes – the entire surface. But my balcony is small and it feels so good knowing that my cat’s paws will not bring in dirt from outside. And I am always surprised as to how dirty our city air is, as nobody is even walking on the balcony and my cat is strictly an indoor cat but my wipes always go from white to grey.
Even though it is the best solution for keeping a litter box on the balcony for a small apartment it does have a few drawbacks:
- My cat is a scaredy cat so sometimes she is afraid to go to the litter box especially when I close the balcony door in winter. She is a very delicate soul 🙂
- When it rains or snows some of it does go inside the box as my Puffy is not used to having the plastic flap for protecting the entrance, so the litter lasts shorter than it should – but this is really no big deal for me. You can solve this by keeping that protective plastic flap although the air is better ventilated without it
- The balcony must be protected so your cat won’t jump out of it, here is how I have done my DIY cat proof balcony
- She can be very annoying with her constant need to go out then go in the go out and so on … here is my research on why do cats go in and out all the time
I’ve been keeping my litter box on the balcony for a few years now and I would not place it anywhere else. It’s the most practical solution in terms of hygiene, easy maintenance and clean air in your home.