Do Cats Need A Litter Box At Night?

In short, your cat should have access to the litter box at all times, so your cat needs access to their litter box during the night. Unlike a dog, it’s not like you can make the cat use the box before bed to prevent accidents during the night. For example, if your cat was to use their litter box at around 5 pm, and not use the litter box again before going to bed at, say, 10 pm. That would mean that the cat would then be holding it in for over 12 hours. That just isn’t healthy for them. It can lead to urinary infections and other kidney/urinary issues.

How To Sleep With A Litter Box In Your Bedroom

It’s less than ideal to have to keep your cat’s litter box in your bedroom. Not only would your bedroom smell and can be off-putting with the box itself being a mess. If you have no other options, take a few precautionary measures to lessen the impact the litter box has on your sense of smell and your sleeping ability.

Dealing With The Cat’s Litter Box In Your Bedroom

If you think your cat needs a litter box in the bedroom, then try to keep the litter box as far away from your bed as possible. Place the litter box itself on a protective surface that’s easy to clean and remove. For example, a tarp, piece of linoleum, or plastic or rubber mat can help contain spills and accidents and to prevent litter tracking.

You may want to position the litter box behind a decorative screen, plants, or a piece of bedroom furniture, both to disguise its presence as much as possible and to also give your precious cat their much-needed privacy when using the litter box. Cats like having their litter boxes out of the way, in a quiet area where they have multiple escape routes, so make that your cat can get in and out of their litter box easily. They also don’t like to use their litter box next to where they eat, so keep their food and water bowls in another in a different room.

Pick The Right Litter Box Furniture

You can buy commercially produced pieces of furniture that would help to disguise litter boxes, like small tables, that have a compartment for storing a litter box. Not only does this help disguise the box, but litter box furniture will also help contain clumps of litter and reduce the sight and smell of litter box activity. 

A similar and less expensive alternative would be to use a covered litter box. Many varieties come with charcoal-activated odor-absorbing filters to help reduce litter box odors. You can even use your own homemade remedies to deodorize cat litter, like baking soda. Just make sure the litter box is big enough for your cat, as there are some cats that like bigger boxes where they have more room to move around.

Keep Litter Boxes Clean

Use a self-scooping litter box that automatically scoops the waste into a disposable receptacle after each use. While the sound may initially interrupt your sleep, it’s probably 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 the horrible smells. A deodorizing cat box liner, scented litter, or commercial deodorant sprays or powders are good at helping to reduce odors as well. Make sure to rinse the litter box out with unscented soap or baking soda once a week to fully clean the container.

Some cats don’t like the smell of heavily perfumed litter, so if you’re using litter that’s scented, keep an eye on your cat to ensure they don’t become averse to using their litter box. If your cat starts eliminating outside of their box, try switching the kind of litter you use or even switch from a self-scooping litter box to a regular one.

Dangers Of A Litter Box In The Bedroom

Of course, one danger of having a litter box in your bedroom is that it could be a tripping hazard. Make sure that it’s not in a location where you’ll trip over it, like at the side of your bed or in the way of doorways or exits. 

Limit Night-Time Litter Box Use

Play with your cat during the day to help them release the pent-up energy that may otherwise keep them active at night. Likewise, give your cat their food and water shortly before bedtime and place the bowls out of reach afterwards. Doing this will help reduce night-time trips to the litter box that could interrupt your sleep.

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