How to Train a Cat to Use the Litter Box

Kittens usually learn from their mothers at an early age how to use a litter box. But, if you have just adopted stray cats that do not know how to use a litter box, you need to train them. There are also instances where well-trained cats forget so you need to train them again. You need also to observe if the failure of your cat to use the litter box is due to medical issues. If this is the case, then you need to apply a different approach.

Whether you are training a new cat or retraining your cat on how to use a litter box, the simple steps below will help you get your cat to learn. But there are things that you need to consider first before you start training your cat.

Tips in Choosing a Litter Box

Deciding which litter box to buy is not easy, it can affect the learning process of your cats.

Pick the Right Size of the Litter Box

The common mistake that cat owners usually commit when it comes to buying a litter box is getting the wrong size. Buying a litter box that is too small for your felines is not a good idea.

On the other hand, buying a full-size box for your kittens can intimidate them. Expert suggests that you choose a litter box that measures 13 x 9 inches for kittens.

You need to change the litter box as your kittens grow. It is recommended that the size of the litter box should be around 1.5 times their length. Cat owners should observe the kittens as they get bigger, so they can buy the appropriate size of the litter box.

Covered or Uncovered Litter Box

Most cats prefer uncovered boxes. Cats usually don’t want to get caught in an enclosed area. However, some cat owners believe that their pets prefer the privacy of a cover, but according to experts’ cats do not want to feel trapped when using the litter box.

So, when choosing a litter box, you need to consider your cat’s preference. Some cats prefer an open space to release their waste, while others want to do it in an enclosed space.

Tips on Setting Up Your Cat’s Litter Box

The placement of the litter box is a major factor in training your kitten to use the box.

Position More Than One Litter Box

As a general rule, there should be more litter box in your house than your cats. If you have two cats, you need to position three boxes.

If you have two cats, there should be three boxes. Also, if you have five cats, there should be at least six boxes.

Do not Hide the Litter Boxes

Most of the cat owners hide these boxes in the corners and closets because they do not want them to be visible. This is not a good idea. Keep in mind cats hate the feeling of getting cornered and trapped during pee time.

They need some light to see and look for their boxes. So, if there is no enough light in the area where the litter box is positioned, you can use a nightlight.

Keep Them Away from Distractions

The kitten’s litter box should be placed in an area with less distraction. For cats with difficulty focusing, you may need to eliminate the option of having other attractive places to urinate.

Put Litter Boxes on Every Floor

Litter boxes should be placed on every floor of your house and should be spread out. If you place one box only, you might have trouble as some cats do not want to share their boxes to others.

Make sure that you position it in a place where your cat can get in and out easily. Do not make them go down just to pee make sure that you position one on the area they usually stay. Also, older cats are having a hard time going up and down the stairs.

Find the Right Litter

Study shows that most cats choose fine-grained litters because they have a softer feel. Cats are not the same some prefer clumping litters while others choose non-clumping. Of course, cat owners might choose clumping for easy scooping.

When it comes to clay and other materials used in the litter boxes, some cats would not use a box with corn or wheat-based material as it smells like food. You can try out

How to Train a Cat to Use the Litter Box

Tip #1 Observe Your Cat’s Schedule

Most of the time, a cat will relieve himself after getting up, after playing or running around, or after eating. Observing your cat’s schedule can help you determine when he’s likely to relieve himself so you can guide him to the box rather than the sofa.

Tip #2 Spend Some Time With Your Cat Near the Box

Most cats need to release their waster after playing and running. One way to help train your cat to use the litter box is by playing near the box. Your cat’s activities will most likely leave it the urge to eliminate, then you can guide them to the litter box. Do this every day so your cat will get used to it.

If the litter box was placed in a room with a door, close the door to provide privacy but stay with your cat in the room. You can take some of his toys and let your cat chase it or play with it until it is time for your pet to eliminate.

Tip #3 Teach Your Cat What To Do

If your cat failed to learn to use the litter box from its mother, you can show your feline pet how to do it. It does not mean that you use the box yourself. You can carry your pet to the litter box when you see that it is time for your cat to eliminate. If your cat feels comfortable with the surface, it will start digging the litter and do its thing.

To show your pet how to do it, you can use your finger to scrape some litter. If your kitty failed to bury it, you can use your finger to get some litter and place it on top of the waste. It will take some time, but as you repeatedly do this your cat will understand that it needs to be done.

In showing your cat how to bury his waste, it is a must that you use your finger. If you teach your cat by grabbing its paw and teach it how to dig and bury, it could frighten your cat or feel anxious. This could result in litter box aversion. So be patient, your cat will eventually learn it on its own.

Keep the Litter Box Clean

It is not enough to teach your cat how to litter in the box, you also need to clean the box regularly. If you have the time it is best to scoop out your kitten’s litter every elimination. Cats do not want a smelly box and it might develop an aversion to the box while training. Every time you scoop out a litter, replace some litter to maintain its depth of two to three inches so your kitty will have enough room to dig.

If your cat is big enough and uses the litter box consistently, you can do the scooping daily rather than each time it uses the box. Periodically, you need to empty all the litter and clean the boxes and fill them with a new litter.


It may be not that easy to teach your cat to litter on the boxes, however, if you know what to do and you are patient. You can succeed in teaching your cat. Keeping the litter box clean is important as most cats do not want to litter on the smelly and dirty box.

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