If I Put a Cat Box by a Hot Water,will It Damage the Hot Water Tank?

Updated on December 12, 2017
J.G. asks from Billings, MT
17 answers

I have 6 cats and 2 litter boxes that aren't regularly cleaned too good. :( Can the smell make my hot water tank quit working? ?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Appleton on

I scoop my litter boxes several times a day. I have 3 cats so 3 litter boxes, 6 cats should have 6 or 7 litter boxes. I wash mine out every week when I change the litter.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

When I had a cat, I would use the clumping litter and scoop every time she went. House never smelled, nobody knew I even had a cat when they came in the house. I takes 2 seconds to scoop and I would keep the scoops out in the garage in a bag until trash day.
That's just part of having a pet.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

Why are you not taking care of your pets?

Clean the litter boxes regularly and you won't have stinky litter boxes. Easy peasy. Are you really THAT lazy?

Geesh. Be responsible for your pets. They deserve to be cared for and nurtured in order to stay healthy.

I can't fathom why you would justify moving a litter box just so you don't clean it. Get off your rear and take responsibility or give up your pets do they can have a chance at a quality life.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Girl - you need to re-home your cats!! You need to CARE for your pets and REGULARLY and THOROUGHLY cleaning out their litter boxes is one of the necessary things we do when we care for our pets.

If your hot water tank will get damaged by the smell? You've got your thinking ALL WRONG.


if you can't afford that? You need to re-home your cats.
If you can't clean them regularly and thoroughly? You need to re-home your cats.
I'm sorry - I'm NOT trying to be mean - but really? You shouldn't have cats

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Never mind your water heater - quit neglecting your animals.
Litter boxes get cleaned every day (don't you flush your toilet every time you use it?)- and you need three for that number of cats - or you find better homes for your cats.

It's the not cleaning the litter boxes that will damage your home because cats won't use a dirty litter box - they'll start doing their business in other corners - cat urine can seep into wood flooring, concrete, etc so the smell never comes out.
In extreme cases - THAT can get so bad it can get your house condemned.

It sounds like you are overwhelmed so please consider down sizing the number of pets you are keeping.
It's the kindest thing you can do for everyone involved.

In high enough concentrations - the ammonia from cat urine can corrode electrical wiring.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Your focus needs to be on finding a better home(s) for your cats. If you can't clean up after them, you shouldn't have them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Putting filthy litter boxes near a heat source will make them even smellier. Not a good plan. I'm sure that anyone who thinks a litter box will damage a hot water heater isn't thinking clearly, so please consider rehoming your cats. They need to be with someone who is willing to take care of them and clean their litter boxes since you aren't interested. At some point, you're going to be reported to the humane society or your town's animal control officer for negligence anyway, so start things in motion now. Having pets is work, not just a way to have a soft kitty on your lap now and then. And those cats are probably filthy if 6 of them share 2 filthy litter boxes. I agree with other poster that they are pooping and peeing elsewhere in your basement besides the litter boxes, so you've got a real health hazard on your hands.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

This is a joke, right? If it's not, then you remind me of the woman who called a radio station to complain that they should remove the deer crossing signs from the highways. She was convinced that the deer crossed the highways because of the signs.

Other than it being a ridiculous notion that you have, it's a shame you care more about an appliance than your pets...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


Why would it? Not following your logic.

I know you're not asking about the litter boxes, but if you're concerned about the smell, you might want to change them more frequently (I've had cats, I get it, but if it's that big a problem ..)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds like you need to do a better job caring for your cats.

For 6 cats you should have THREE litter boxes.

NO. the smell will not make a hot water tank quit working. I don't know who told you that BS. But really? You believe it?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

plumbers wife here. get rid of the cats. certain flammable vapors can shut down a power vent water heater, not sure if ammonia falls into that category. the dust from the litter can clog up the heating element and cause the water heater to fail sooner than one in a clean house
move the litter box, get rid of the cats keep a cleaner house

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Putting a litter box by an appliance that creates heat will cause problems. It will make the smell worse even in a relatively clean box.

The main concern is that you don't have enough littler boxes for six cats and you're not doing the required maintenance for their health.

I have one cat and one box. I scoop it daily and change out the litter on weekends, and scrub them out with cleaner and hot water every once in awhile. This maintenance prevents it from smelling and reduces exposure to bacteria and such.

There comes a point when a cat will toilet outside of the box when it is too dirty. This may have already happened due to the current living conditions, which would mean old urine has soaked into carpets or under flooring. That problem can take a lot more work and money to fix. Enzymatic deep cleaning at best, new carpets and sub flooring at worst.

You need to get a few more litter boxes and keep up with a cleaning routine. The best-practice rule is 1 box per cat, plus an extra when you have multiples. Seven boxes is not possible for many homes, but you need at least 4 for the cats you have and you need to scoop them all *every single day*. Make it part of a routine. I scoop mine when I'm getting ready for bed, just like I brush my teeth and check to make sure the door is locked.

If you can't or won't do what needs to be done, then you need to find homes for your cats so they can get proper care. It isn't enough to like cats, they need more from you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Just clean the litter boxes, for crying out loud!
I have 14 cats who share 6 litter boxes. The litter boxes are cleaned several times a day so that my house doesn't smell like a public urinal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

That seems like a bad choice. I would think it would increase the smell.

Here's my suggestion, accept that this is your job. That the cats are your captives and have no choice in their living arrangements. So you should treat them humanely. Meaning they need food, water, clean living conditions.

I decided this one day, I was tired of walking in the house and smelling poop and pee from the litter box. I was tired of yelling at the kids or hubby to do it. My allergies to the cats are high, I have to take Benadryl before cleaning the litter box.

I clean our litter box every Mon, Wed, and Fri. That's it. I scoop the litter and take the bag to the trash can. I buy the litter when it's getting low, I buy the cat food when it's low, etc...I don't like cats, I don't want cats, but the cats love us and we rescued them from certain death. So I accept that responsibility.

"I" am the only one responsible for MY LIVING CONDITIONS> I am. Not my husband. Not my little people. I live how I live because I decided that's the minimum standard I will accept.

SO I do the litter box because it's my choice to have the cats here. I choose to allow them to live in the only home they've likely ever had.

One was under a car, tiny kitten, in a microburst where it destroyed a large chunk of town. The car moved when the rain stopped but the kitten was sitting in the only dry spot around. We took it home, checked her out at the vet's office the next day, this is her home now.

The other kitty was a bit older but obviously dumped by someone that didn't want a litter of kittens anymore. Don't know where the mother got off to but this kitty was all alone and the temp that night was going to be around 7 degrees and the ground was covered with snow. We took him in, locked him in the laundry room just in case he was sick, took him to the vet the next day, he was fine, now this is his home too.

I took on the responsibility because it's MY clothes that smell like the litter box, it's MY hair that stinks like the litter box, and it's MY house that I can't invite people over to.

I'm so much happier now, I actually enjoy having the cats sometimes. I don't love them or play with them or talk them...much, because I just really don't want or need cats.

But my house is better because I decided that it's my job to set my minimum standard living situations and having litter boxes that smell up my house isn't a standard I was willing to accept.

Go clean your litter boxes out, wash them at the carwash if you need to, put clean litter in them, then start sifting them out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You will be so much happier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


be a responsible cat owner or find better homes for your cats.

:X khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I clean my litter boxes twice a day. Sometimes three times. It's easy. There's no smell. I only have one cat though, so it is a lot easier. Just so you know heat will increase a smell so if you are not cleaning your litter boxes enough and you put them by something warm you are just making everything more stinky. To answer your question - a smell cannot make a hot water tank break. Remember the rule for litter boxes...always have one more than you have cats. So if you have 6 cats you need 7 litter boxes. And it's a good idea to keep them in a well ventilated area.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm just going to repeat what everyone else is saying. Get more litter boxes. Scoop them daily. Do not put a litter box near any heat source as it will make the cat box odor waft through the house. If your water heater makes noise, it is not a good spot as it may spook the cats when they try to use the box.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions