How to Sleep With a Litter Box in Your Bedroom

By Lisa McQuerrey

Keeping your cat’s litter box in your bedroom is a less-than-ideal situation. The smell can be off-putting and the box itself messy. If you have no other options, take a few precautionary measures to lessen the impact the litter box has on your olfactory senses and your sleeping ability.

Box Placement

Keep the litter box as far away from your bed as possible. Place the box itself on a protective surface that’s easy to remove and clean. For example, a tarp, piece of linoleum or a plastic or rubber mat can help contain accidents and spills and prevent litter tracking. You may want to position the box behind a decorative screen, plants or piece of bedroom furniture, both to disguise its presence and to give your cat much-needed privacy when using the box.

Pick the Right Box

You can buy commercially produced pieces of furniture, like small tables, that have a compartment for storing a litter box. Not only does this help disguise the box, it also helps contain clumps of litter and reduces the sight and smell of litter box activity. A similar and less expensive alternative is to use a covered litter box. Many varieties come with charcoal-activated odor-absorbing filters to help reduce box odors.

A [covered box](http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/preventing_litter_box_problems.html) should be roomy enough for your cat to get into and turn around in. Quarters that are too tight or hard to enter may discourage litter box use.

Keep it Clean

Use a self-scooping litter box that automatically scoops waste into a disposable receptacle after each use. While the sound may initially interrupt your sleep, it’s likely better than going the whole night with a ripe box deposit. Otherwise, clean the litter box before you go to bed so you’re less likely to be disturbed by smells. A deodorizing cat box liner, scented litter or commercial deodorant sprays or powders can help reduce odors as well.

Some cats don’t like the smell of heavily perfumed litter, so keep an eye on your kitty to ensure she doesn’t become averse to using her litter box.

Limit Nighttime Use

Play with your cat during the day to help her release pent-up energy that might otherwise keep her active at night. Likewise, give your cat a final serving of food and water shortly before bedtime and take up the bowls afterward. This will help reduce nighttime trips to the litter box that could interrupt your sleep.

Keep your bedroom door open or make sure the cat is inside with you before closing it for the night. Cats stranded away from their litter boxes will eliminate in other spots.