If your cat doesn't like where you place his litter box, he's liable to tell you in an unpleasant fashion. Cats generally prefer to do their business in a particular type of place, so put the box there and he'll show you his appreciation by using it.
Near the Action
You probably prefer to do your bathroom business as far from company as possible, but your cat doesn't mind -- in fact, he'd rather be where the action is. You don't have to keep the litter box on your nightstand or anything, but keep it in a room where people congregate. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't hang out there, your cat doesn't want to go to the bathroom there -- basements and closets aren't as commonly appreciated as living rooms.
A Calm Place
If your cat feels stressed out in his litter box, he can get performance anxiety -- or he won't even set foot inside. Keep it away from any distractions that he might find frightening, like a washing machine or a dog's crate. Appliances that generate heat, like your radiator, can make the smell of the litter box repulsive to both you and the cat -- and neither one of you will use it. Place his box in a corner of the room, away from the distractions that can unnerve him.
While your cat's litter box should be convenient, it shouldn't necessarily be front and center. He prefers privacy when he goes potty -- something you can probably identify with -- so place his box out of sight. For example, keep it behind the couch, so he doesn't feel like you're watching him. Place it away from his food dishes as well because, face it, you wouldn't want a latrine right next to your dining room table, either.
Multiple Litter Boxes
Even if you only have one cat, you need more than one litter box. Ideally, your cat should have one on every floor, especially if he's a kitten or an elderly cat. If his box is too far away, he may not be able to easily access it, or he may just not bother. The Humane Society of the United States recommends keeping one litter box for every cat, plus one more. If you have three cats, then, you should have four boxes distributed throughout the house.
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