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Can You Put Cat Food Near Litter Box?

Curious whether you can put cat food near litter box? This is a simple list of things you can do to make kitty’s meal time way better.

can you put cat food near litterbox

Your cat is a highly sensitive and intelligent animal who has about as much desire to go to the bathroom next to where they eat as humans do!

Can you put cat food near litter box?

A best practice is to place a cat litter box in areas that are easy for the cat to reach as well as easy for the cats to access. Low traffic areas away from food and water dishes are preferable.

If you have a cat, you should definitely not put their food next to their litter box. This can cause a problem for those in small houses or apartments, so we’ll dig a little deeper into how far a litter box should be from your cat’s eating spot, and how to maximize a limited space so it’s cat-friendly.

Related: Check out our buyers guide – Best Wet Cat Food For Indoor Cats.

Will Cats Eat Near their Litter Box?

For new cat owners, the question of ‘can you put cat food near a litter box’ is usually one of the first that they’ll ask. In some ways it makes sense, to have a designated ‘cat area’ in the house that suits all your cat’s needs.

Some cat owners will use cat litter boxes that are located in or on a cat tree, but this can make it difficult to keep the cat tree clean.

But cats will not entertain the thought of eating near their toilet area if they can get away with it. In an emergency, if there’s no other food available, then they’d eat, but it could cause them a great deal of stress.

In the same way we wouldn’t want a toilet anywhere near our dining room, a cat also likes to keep both activities very much separate.

How Far Away Should Cat Food Be from a Litter Box?

There’s no hard and fast rule about the distance between a feeding area and a litter tray, but it’s best to be aware that the two shouldn’t interfere with one another. Your cat does not want to be dealing with the scent of its toilet while it enjoys its food.

Your cat’s sense of smell is even more sensitive than yours, so if you can smell the litter tray, then your cat can, too. Even if you keep the tray clean and regularly remove waste, litter has a distinctive smell that your cat will already associate with the toilet.

You should, ideally, place your cat’s litter tray in another room to their feeding area. This could mean putting the litter tray in the kitchen and the feeding bowl in the lounge, or vice versa. But there should be clear separation between the two activities, same as it is for humans.

If you have an automatic cat feeder, you’ll want to keep the litter box away from that as well.

Sweet Dreams? Litter boxes should not be placed in the owners bedroom if it can be avoided.

What if I Have Limited Space?

Cats make amazing pets for those with limited space and I really do feel your pain, wanting to make it a comfortable place for your cat while still having to juggle a limited amount of space.

But you have to think outside of the litter box, if you pardon the pun. Or maybe think of a place that’s even more obvious than we might expect.

Your own bathroom is a great spot. It’s already a toilet area for humans, and a small litter tray tucked into one corner is perfect for your cat.

Just be sure to keep the bathroom door open at all times, especially when you’ve left the house, so that your cat always has access to the litter tray.

You could also get creative with your litter box location by using closet or storage space. Hallway storage closets are idea, as long as your cat has access, from something like a cat-flap or a partially open door.

Laundry rooms are also great options as they’re usually warm and smell nice, so they’re inviting for your cat to use. However, they can be noisy, especially if the washer’s on a spin cycle, so your cat may be put off by this kind of location.

What is the Ideal Place to Put a Litter Box?

The ideal place is the place that works best for both you and your cat. So, for some, this is the bathroom. For others, it works for them to have the litter box in the kitchen, and the feeding bowl in the dining room.

The important thing to remember is that as long as they’re not close to one another, there are no rules as to the best place for a litter box because everyone’s house or apartment is different.

Cats are like humans in that when they go to the bathroom, they like a little privacy, away from inquisitive eyes or lots of noise. So, a litter tray that’s open in the hallway might deter your cat from going because there’s a lot of foot traffic in this area.

It’s not a good idea to put a litter tray in your bedroom, as this is a place where you don’t want to breed bacteria. An open space with a little bit of cover is perfect, and as long as you keep the tray clean, your cat will be happy to visit the tray to do its business.

If you’re in doubt, this article on the Best and Worst Spots for Your Cat’s Litter Box will help you make the right decision.

This goes doubly if your cat is sick from something it ate (like a lizard) and is having a bad bought with diarrhea.

As The Old Saying Goes…

There’s an old saying you may have heard – “Don’t poop where you eat”.

In the wild, cats don’t typically eat where they poop. This is so predators don’t pick up their scent. If you keep keep food and water dishes near the litter box in can throw you cats natural patterns off and cause confusion.  

What are the Best Locations to Put Food and Water?

By now you’ll know that the best place for food and water is as far away from the litter box as possible!

Cats like to use the toilet in peace, but they also like to dine in peace, too. So, while some cats are more than happy to eat and drink in the kitchen, you might find your cat doesn’t like being in a place that sees a lot of traffic.

Instead, a quiet spot of a quiet room such as the dining room, study, spare bedroom or the garage can be a perfect place to feed your cat. It’s just important to remember that the door to this room should always be open, so that your cat always has access to food and water, and can also get out of the room again once it’s done.

Can you put cat near a litter box?… Summary

Can you put cat food near a litter box? By keeping your cat’s litter tray far away from its food and water, your cat will be much happier in its surroundings, and will happily revisit both location time after time.

Even in places with limited space, it’s possible to find solutions that ensure your cat’s litter tray is kept separate from its feeding area.

Related Article: How Much Does it Cost to Feed a Cat Per Month?

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