Maybe your family is growing, or one day you woke up to discover you and your spouse are empty nesters.  Either way, you’ve decided the time is right to put the house on the market.  There’s just one problem, the distress caused by all the hubbub and showings to potential buyers at all hours of the day hasn’t gone unnoticed by the family cat who is suddenly doing his business everywhere but in the box.  To make sure your feline cooperates with keeping the house clean you’ll need an out of the box solution.  You don’t have to look much further than an old real estate maxim: Location, location, location.

Be sure to move the cat box to a nice private area of the home.  Cats like to be alone when nature calls, that’s why it’s important to keep the litter box out of high traffic areas.  You will want to continue prohibiting the family dog from having free access hovering about the box as well.  The key is putting the litter box in a location where it’s neither the very first thing buyers see when entering your home, nor the very last thing they see before they leave.  Negative first and last impressions are difficult to overcome when accompanied by unpleasant odors.  If you keep this in mind you’re likely to place the box where the kitty will be happier as well.

Place an old area rug or carpet remnant under the box.  Cats love to dig and scratch around the litter box; tile, hardwood, or basement cement floors aren’t the best choice.  The texture of a rug under paw makes the litter box that much more attractive to the cat, likely helping you to reaffirm that as the place to go when it comes to doing his duty.  Likewise, you can place a few sheets of aluminum foil in areas where kitty may have had recent accidents.  As much as cats love the feel of a rug under their paws, they hate the feel of aluminum foil.  Hide the foil before showings, and return it to problem spots afterwards until kitty becomes retrained to the new box location.

Click here for more dos and don’ts on retraining your cat to his litter box, and check out our blog page for more tips for home buyers and sellers.