Mar 10, 2013 - Complete with litter box in the basement
The general rule of thumb is about one box per cat and one box per story. Example: in a two-story house with two cats, it’s best to have one litterbox upstairs and one downstairs. In a one-story house with three cats, you could place two or three litterboxes next to each other so there’s always an open “stall,” or have one or two boxes at each end of the house so your cats won’t disturb each other.
Situate litter boxes in various parts of the house. If you know a particular cat tends to stay in a certain area, a litter box should go there. Try to create an environment where it’ll be convenient for all cats to gain access to the litter box without added anxiety.
Because the litter box is dirty - from the cat's viewpoint, not yours. Cats often react to any type of stress by suddenly urinating or defecating outside the litter box. The stress may be caused by a new cat in the neighborhood; children home on vacation; too many cats in the house; your going away on vacation or a new piece of furniture. Urinary tract problems also cause cats to urinate in places other than the litter box. Any sudden change in elimination habits should be discussed with your veterinarian.Your cat does not simply need a litter box - she needs a clean litter box with fresh litter. Your cat will be inhibited from using her litter box if it smells of urine. Think about it from the cat's viewpoint. When she soils your dining room carpet, the area is immediately and thoroughly cleaned. Given the choice between a regularly cleaned place and a litter box that gets changed only once or twice a week, your cat will naturally prefer the carpet. The litter box must be cleaned daily. The old litter must be discarded and replaced with about 1 1/2 inches of fresh litter. Rinse the litter box thoroughly with water. Adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to the water will help neutralize the odor of the cat's urine. Do not use ammonia; this will make the litter box smell worse.
Make sure that the litter box is in an appropriate place. Cats do not like to soil the areas close to their sleeping or eating areas, so place the litter box some distance away. However, do not place the litter box in an area that is too inaccessible. For example, if the litter box is placed in the bathroom, make sure the door cannot swing shut preventing the cat from getting to it. If the cat is new to your home, she may go into hiding for a few days so place a litter box close to her hiding place.
Some additional factor may be inhibiting your cat from using her litter box, so put down an extra one in a different location. If there is more than one cat in the house, have several litter boxes available.Until your cat is reliably house trained, she should not have free run of your home. If your cat continually makes mistakes, the behavior can simply become a habit. Punishing a cat after the fact teaches her to be afraid of you. Scolding and then taking the cat to her litter box after she has already eliminated teaches her to associate the litter box with punishment. Basically, punishment doesn't work with cats: prevention and praise for getting it right are the keys to training.
When you leave the house for any length of time, your cat should be confined to a single room, preferably one with non-porous floors, such as a kitchen, bathroom, utility room, basement or garage. Provide your cat with a bowl of water and a warm place to sleep at one end of the room and a freshly cleaned litter box at the other end. Until the house soiling has been cured, your cat should have a regular feeding schedule so she will develop a corresponding elimination schedule. Every house should have one litterbox per cat, plus one. Get two boxes for your new cat and place both boxes in locations that your cat likely is going to want to go: one by the door leading to outside where she would normally eliminate and one in a more private area. Some cats prefer litterboxes that are more hidden, so placing one behind a cat-safe plant or other barrier can help her feel more secure. In order to be sure your cat uses the box and not the plant as her bathroom, temporarily cover the plant's soil with pieces of tin foil.