Although some cats will use the litter box regardless of where you place it, just so that they can somehow reach it, other cats will balk at using an inappropriately positioned box.
Choosing a good place for the litter box means that there will be less chance that you will find wet spots on the rug or 'worse' behind the sofa. Cats are clean animals and will use their box if it is convenient and accessible.
Think Like a Cat
Cats not only need a litter box filled with dry, clean, loose litter to dig in, they also need a place where they feel comfortable. The placement of the litter box should be for your cat's convenience, not necessarily yours. And, ultimately, a litter box that is used consistently by your cat will be the most convenient for you, regardless of where it's located.
- Do not position your cat's litter box next to his or her food and water dishes. Nobody enjoys eating in a toilet.
- Cats, like people, enjoy a bit of privacy when going to the bathroom. Don't place the litter box so far from the center of activities that it will be difficult to use, but do put it a bit off the beaten path.
- The litter box should be in a lighted area so that the cat feels safer using it. Don't put the box in a dark basement filled with clutter; the cat will be afraid that it might be attacked when using the box.
- Make sure that use of the litter box doesn't require you to open a door for the cat - there should be free access to the box at all times.
- Once you and your cat have found the right place for the litter box, leave it there. If you find that it must be moved, do this gradually by shifting the position of the box a little each day.
- Multi-cat households should also provide multiple litter boxes. It's also a good idea to keep the boxes separated from one another. There should also be an extra box in case one of the regular ones is soiled or otherwise inaccessible.
- If you have a house with several stories, it's a good idea to have a litter box available on each floor. There will be less chance of an accident if your cat doesn't have to travel a long distance to use the box.