Can You Put Cat Food Near Litter Box?

Have you ever been in a situation where your cat food and litter box are too close for comfort? You worry that your furry friend’s food will end up covered in litter or worse, your cat will get sick from eating litter.

We know it’s a common dilemma for cat owners, and we’ve got the answer.

The answer is a firm and emphatic “No!” according to PetMd, which dictates that these two items should not be near one another.

Placing the cat food near its litter box can be a health hazard, as it can put the cat’s health at risk. The pooping pot can become contaminated with bacteria and parasites from the cat’s feces and urine, which can be spread to the food and then ingested by the cat. This can cause various illnesses and infections.

Can You Put Cat Food Near Litter Box

In addition, the smell of the litter box can contaminate the food, making it unappetizing and deterring your cat from eating it. Plus, food stored near the pooping area can attract pests such as roaches, ants, and mice which can spread diseases and parasites.

So it’s advised to keep your pet’s feeding and pottying territories far apart to keep your kitty healthy and your home clean.

What is the ideal distance between the cat’s food and its litter box?

Ideal distance between the cat’s food and its litter box

The litter tray ought to be placed at least 15 feet away from the area where the feline’s food is situated. This is to guarantee that the cat doesn’t relate its food with the waste box, as felines may become hesitant to eat if the smell of poop or urine is nearby. 

Furthermore, it is imperative to guarantee that the food and litter box is not in a similar room. This helps make a clear separation for the cat, as it will more effectively recall where its food is situated if it isn’t in nearness to the litter tray.

The risk associated with Putting Cat Food Near the Litter Box:

Risk associated with Putting Cat Food Near the Litter Box

Cats may be finicky, but they require certain essentials to stay healthy, including a secure and comfy spot for eating and using the litter box. Yet, when a cat meal is placed too close to the litter box, it can cause a host of issues, from contamination to bad smell. Below are a few of the hazards connected to placing cat food near its toilet area.

1. Contamination Risk

Putting cat meals near its feces increases the risk of contamination due to bacteria and other pathogens that can be present in the cat feces such as  Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis, etc. If the food is not kept far away from the litter box, it can easily become contaminated and potentially make your cat sick.

2. Bad Odor

The nearness of cat food to the pooping pot can be a malodorous menace. Even if the food is in a hermetically sealed container, the aroma of the food can still pervade the area in the vicinity of the litter box, making it fragrantly foul.

3. Attracts Insects

If you’re not careful, putting cat food near its feces can be an open invitation to some unwelcome visitors. Rodents, pests, and other critters may come sniffing around, which can pose a threat to your cat’s health and well-being. 

4. Stress

The odors of cat food and the litter box can be a recipe for disaster for your feline friends, as their noses are much more sensitive than ours. Placing the food too close to the pooping pot could be a stressful experience for your pet and drive them away from using it, leaving potential messes in their wake. Make sure to keep these two far apart, or else your cat’s stress levels may soar.

5. Difficult to clean the box

Having the cat’s meal near its litter box can be a big issue as it can make it difficult to clean the area. Cat food can easily become mixed with litter and create a messy and unsanitary area. This can also cause the toilet area to become clogged and require more frequent cleaning. 

The benefits of keeping both cat food and litter box far apart

Benefits of keeping both cat food and litter box far apart

Maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle for you and your feline companion is as easy as keeping their food and litter box far apart. By separating the two, you ensure that your cat is getting the right nutrition and hygiene balance. Here’s why it’s important:

1. Decrease in Unwanted Odors

Distancing cat food and the litter box can help to diminish odors. By having the food and toilet container in two distinct spaces, the unpleasant smells in the house can be decreased, and the food can remain free from the pungent aromas that come from the litter box.

2. Avoid Contamination

Ensuring that cat food and litter boxes are at a far distance from each other is essential to keeping the two from being contaminated with one another. Food particles can easily become contaminated with litter if the two are close together, and the same goes for the litterbox. By keeping them apart, you can keep your cat’s meal and litter safe from contamination.

3. Better Hygiene

If you’re hoping to ensure the highest level of hygiene for your feline friend, it’s important to keep their kibble and litter box far apart. Doing so leaves more room to effectively clean and disinfect each area, leading to a cleaner, healthier living environment for your cat.

4. Improved appetite

Having a pristine, uncontaminated food bowl for your beloved cat can lead to improved nutrition and overall well-being. Not only does a clean bowl encourage your feline friend to consume more, but it also helps them stay better nourished and healthier. Taking the time to make sure their kibble bowl is free of debris, that is distanced from its pooping area, will pay off in a healthier and happier cat.

5. Reduced stress

A well-designed space with separate areas for dining and toileting can help make kitties feel more secure and calm in their environment. Peaceful surroundings will ensure your feline friend is relaxed while they eat and use the litter box. Providing these two distinct areas can help reduce overall stress levels and make your pet’s home life more enjoyable.

Putting Cat Food Near The Litter Box Is Not The Only Option:

Felines are creatures of custom who depend on an everyday routine, so when changes to their surroundings occur it can be somewhat confounding. If you find that you can’t keep your cat’s food and litter box far apart, then you’ll need to consider different choices to make the best decision for the health of both you and your cat.

1. Elevated Feed Station

An elevated feed station is an elevated platform or bowl for your cat’s food and water that is far away from the litter box. This is a great solution for cats who tend to scatter their kibble or get it mixed with their litter.

2. Separate Rooms

If you can, separate the litter box from the feeding area. This can be done by setting up a barrier such as a baby gate or a closed door. This will prevent your cat from having a direct path from their food to their toilet container.

3. Cat Feeding Mats

Cat feeding mats are designed to help keep your cat’s food and water off the floor. These mats have a raised edge that will stop food and water from spilling onto the floor, and they can be easily cleaned and rinsed off.

4. Automatic Feeders

Automatic feeders are a great option for cats that are prone to overeating or who need to have their food portioned out. This will help keep your cat’s food away from the litter box and will ensure that your cat is getting the right amount of kibble every day.

5. Wall-Mounted Feeders

Wall-mounted feeders are a great way to keep your cat’s food away from their litter box. These feeders are designed to be securely attached to the wall and are great for cats who tend to scatter their food or who are prone to knocking over their bowls.

What to Consider When Setting Up Your Cat’s Eating and Litter Box Areas?

When setting up your cat’s eating and litter box areas, it is important to take into account several factors to ensure their safety and comfort. Considerations include the size of the boxes, their accessories, and the location and safety you maintain. Following these simple guidelines will help keep your cat healthy and happy. 

1. Location

When selecting the area for your cat’s eating and litter box, consider a quiet and private space. This can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed when eating and using the bathroom. Avoid placing the waste pot near any high-traffic areas where people and other pets may cross paths.

2. Size

Your cat should have access to a large enough eating and toilet container area. A litter box should be at least one and a half times the length of your cat. The eating area should also be spacious enough for your cat to move around comfortably and have plenty of space between them and other pets or people.

3. Cleanliness

Make sure to keep the areas where your feline friend dines and uses the bathroom spick and span as it can reduce stress in it as stated by the PetMd. Cat waste can easily spread germs and illnesses, so scoop the litter box each day and replace it every few weeks. The eating area and dishes that are used to serve their meals should also be thoroughly cleaned.

4. Accessories

Consider adding a few accessories to the eating and litter box areas. A scratching post can help keep your cat’s nails clean and reduce the amount of shedding. You can also use a few toys or treat dispensers to keep your cat engaged.

5. Safety

To provide a safe environment for your beloved feline, it is important to avoid any potentially hazardous toxins or chemicals near their eating and litter box areas. Additionally, be sure to keep any sharp objects or electrical cords away from these areas, to help prevent any potential injuries.

Over To You!

Ultimately, it is clear that cat food should not be placed near a litter box. Not only can this be unappealing and unsanitary, but it can also cause some health and behavioral issues for your pet. The smell of cat food can be overwhelming for cats and can cause them to avoid the pooping pot. Additionally, cats may become picky eaters or overeat when food is too close to their litter box.

According to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM. “Cats are fastidious creatures, and one of the most critical things to keep in mind when it comes to litter box placement is to make sure you keep it as far away from the food dish as possible. Placing the food and litter box too close together can lead to cats avoiding the pooping pot altogether, so it’s crucial to be mindful of this when setting up your cat’s environment.”


Should the litter box be in the same room as the food?

No, it is generally not recommended to have a litter box in the same room as a meal. This is because the litter box can become contaminated with bacteria, which can spread to food, dishes, and other items in the room. Plus, litter boxes can be quite smelly, which can affect the smell of food and make it unappetizing. 

How far Does a Cat’s Water Bowl Away From The Food Bowl?

The exact distance between a cat’s water bowl and food bowl can vary depending on the size of the bowls and the size of the space available. Generally, it is best to keep the water bowl at least 3-5 feet away from the meal bowl. This helps prevent contamination of the food and water, as cats have sensitive digestive systems and may be more prone to illness if their meal and water bowls are too close and mixed together.

Where is the best place for a litter tray?

The best place for a litter tray is in a quiet, private area that your cat can access easily. This could be a corner of a room or an alcove in a hallway. The litter tray should be away from any high-traffic areas and away from any food and water dishes. Plus, it’s crucial to check that the litter box is placed in a well-ventilated area. This will help to prevent any unpleasant odors from lingering in the air.

What can I put near a cat food and litter box?

You can put a mat or rug near the cat food and litter box to catch any runaway pieces that may have missed their mark. To further tempt your feline friend, place a few toys near the area, giving them an irresistible opportunity to play or use the litter box. And, you can also add a few scratching posts or pads for good measure, aiding in developing healthy scratching habits.