You Put the Litter Box Where?!?

Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

You Put the Litter Box Where?!?

I went to my new listing today to take some preliminary photos of the rooms that were ready and to get an update on the progress of the many projects.  This is an expensive custom home and there are contractors working on paint and trim and railings in the main level of the house to the upstairs.

The seller told me that I could take photos of the lower level, the yard, the kitchen and dining room, and the master bedroom, which is on the main level.

When I stepped into the master bedroom, the bed was neatly made and the lights were on.  And there was a kitty on the chair in the corner.  I noticed that the master walk in closet was slightly ajar and as I went to close it to take a picture of the room, another cat came streaking... out of the closet.  Uh oh.

kitty coming out of litter box

Yep, you guessed it.  The litter box was in the master closet.  Along with their food and water.  

Now, some might guess that with all the workers in the house, this was a temporary situation.  You know, to keep the cats confined to the master bedroom suite so that they didn't get outside or in the way.  

Nope.  That is where this homeowner has kept the litter box during the time that he has owned the house.  The smell in that closet.....yikes.  I could not imagine my clothes smelling like my kitty litter pan.

Needless to say, I advised that the carpet be cleaned and the closet be painted prior to listing the house.....and to relocate the kitty box to another location in the house too.  

Keep smiling!


Posted by


Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403


Mobile  319-521-0701

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 


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Sharon Sanchez
Ace Home Realty - Carson, CA
Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate.

I agree, that the litter box should be moved to another location and I'm glad your client understands.  That makes your job easier.

Jan 13, 2014 04:02 AM #146
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Wow, this post has attracted a lot of attention and comments!   As much as I love cats, no kitty box in the closet. 

That said, I'm glad that I've always lived and worked in communities that were very pet friendly.   With one unusual exception, I've never had a problem selling a home that had been occupied by pets. 

It sounds like a lot of people work with buyers that hate indoor animals.   

Jan 13, 2014 04:51 AM #147
Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

That is sooo gross. Cats have a strong odor, especially the liter box. Someone needs to help that owner out and let them know how good their clothes can smell 

Jan 13, 2014 05:20 AM #148
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Liane!  That is a great way to make a fresh start with a new listing and with the litter box moving forward.  One can only hope that it can create a new habit of keeping it clean all the time.

Hi Jan!  It is a good thing that the kitties will be leaving with the seller in a couple of weeks.  We are not listing until they are gone.  I agree, it can be a problem for some cats to get used to the change.

Hi Sharon!  I haven't always been so lucky in talking to sellers about their pets.  I am very fortunate in this case.

Hi Sondra!  I was noticing that there are a lot of comments about buyers hating pets.  I have not come across many of those.  

Hi Liz!  Cats do have the ability to be very smelly if not properly cared for, but luckily this was not the case in this house.

Jan 13, 2014 06:24 AM #149
David Demangos
Keller Williams Realty Carmel Valley / Del Mar - San Diego, CA

I would have a conversation with the seller about their cat and the negative affects it will have on the sale of their house.

Jan 13, 2014 11:12 AM #150
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi David!  Done and done.  Thank you for reading!

Jan 13, 2014 11:28 AM #151
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Litter boxes are gross anywhere they can be seen or sniffed.  I love pets, but they are rarely a selling point for any home.  

Jan 13, 2014 11:59 AM #152
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

I'm not a cat person and we don't have one at home. I have friends who have cats though, and they definitely do not keep the litter box in the bedroom, or worse, in their closet. The stench it leaves is just awful!

Jan 13, 2014 12:55 PM #153
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Athina!  I think it depends on who you ask.  A large yard and a happy dog may be a great selling feature for a home, especially if there is a fenced yard or dog run.  It can make that particular house, the one.  I have had buyers that specifically wanted a screen porch for their cats to be able to enjoy the outdoors without going outside.  This can be a selling feature for pet owners as well.  Seeing a happy pet in the current home connects buyers on a personal level.  Not all pet experiences are bad ones.  Thank you for reading.

Hi John!  I know what you mean.  Someone that does not change the litter often enough and just scoops results in a very smelly situation.  This was not the case.  Just a surprising choice of location in this home.  I did not know he had cats and would have not known had I not seen them.

Jan 13, 2014 01:43 PM #154
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Apparently it worked to keep the kitty litter odor contained.

Jan 13, 2014 03:05 PM #155
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Michelle!  Yes, it certainly did.  A closet on the main level completely hid the fact that there were any pets in the house.  And the closet did not have an odor either.  It was the visual of the cats and then wondering where I missed the litter box.  :)

Jan 13, 2014 11:35 PM #156
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

There is no good place for a Litter box.  I am surprised home builders do not put in a special place for this item, say in the laundry room.

Jan 14, 2014 03:20 AM #157
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Gene!  I agree.  I think that homeowners should think about their pets when they are building and a find a dedicated space for them.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Jan 14, 2014 06:35 AM #158
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

About 30 years ago an acquaintance invited me to her home. She had 2 cats and a litter box that was unfortunately (for me) placed directly next to me where I sat on her living room sofa. What amazed me was the extremely strong and awful odor in the house. Just terrible. I found it difficult to breathe. I have often wondered if some pet owners sense of smell is different than the norm? Why would anyone and especially a seller not realize how this can definitely be a deal breaker. On top of this is the fact that pet lovers must realize that there are people/buyers who absolutely are not pet lovers.

Jan 15, 2014 09:51 PM #159
Samantha Smith
214.422.0729 - Rowlett, TX
Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate

Oh my! That is Nasssstay! I have 3 cats & we clean their box twice a day and still there's a tiny odor ... so I can only imagine! I hope they heeded your advice!

Jan 17, 2014 04:58 AM #160
ReadySetLoan Condo Approval Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
The FHA/VA Condo Project Approval Specialists

Good gravy Karen!  It is amazing to me how cat owners become immune to the stank of the litter boxes.  When I first met my Joyce, she had hers in the corner of the kitchen/dining room.  It was the first thing that I smelled when I entered her apartment.  ICK!  (I found you through Kerrie's Rain Bucket post and I am glad that I did :)

Jan 18, 2014 12:00 AM #161
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Too funny. Or not so funny at all, depending. But still, a fun and funny post!

Jan 18, 2014 02:29 AM #162
Christine Faye Goolsby, PA
Keller Williams Realty of Port St Lucie - Saint Lucie West, FL
As a fourth generation Floridian, I know Florida

I hope the home owners listened. Cat urine is the worst smell. And when cats use litter box and then pet owners let them walk around the kitchen counters and table. That grosses me out. Have you ever had a tom cat pee in the vent where your car hood is? Its a smell coming out of your ac vent that you'll never forget.

Jan 19, 2014 10:58 PM #163
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I know of several people who keep the litter box in the MBR, but usually the bath and not the closet. The kitchen is another popular spot but that kinda dampens the joy of cooking.


Jan 21, 2014 05:33 AM #164
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I'm guessing some noses get so use to the smell that it becomes a normal and not that bad of a smell to them.

May 17, 2014 02:00 PM #165
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