Skip to Content

How To Get A Cat To Use New Litter Box


Cats are known for their independence and sometimes stubborn nature, which can make it challenging to get them to use a new litter box. Whether you are introducing a new litter box to your cat for the first time or trying to transition them to a different type of litter box, there are several strategies you can try to encourage them to use it.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to get your cat to use a new litter box is to be patient and consistent. Cats are creatures of habit, and they may resist change at first. However, with some time and effort, you can help your feline friend adjust to their new bathroom setup.

Here are some tips on how to get a cat to use a new litter box:

1. Gradually introduce the new litter box: Cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, so it’s important to introduce the new litter box slowly. Start by placing the new litter box next to the old one so your cat can get used to its presence. Once they are comfortable with the new box being in the same location, you can start to move it to its permanent location.

Professional Veterinarian: “It’s important to give your cat time to adjust to the new litter box. Rushing the process can cause stress and lead to avoidance of the box altogether.”

2. Use the same type of litter: Cats are creatures of habit, so using the same type of litter that your cat is used to can help them adjust to the new box more easily. If you are switching to a different type of litter, try mixing a small amount of the new litter with the old litter to gradually transition your cat.

Professional Animal Behaviorist: “Cats are very particular about their litter, so it’s important to make the transition as smooth as possible. Mixing the old and new litter can help your cat get used to the change.”

3. Keep the litter box clean: Cats are clean animals and may avoid using a litter box that is dirty or smelly. Make sure to scoop the litter box regularly and change the litter at least once a week to keep it fresh and inviting for your cat.

Professional Cat Groomer: “A clean litter box is essential for getting your cat to use it. Cats are very particular about cleanliness, so keeping the box clean is key to encouraging them to use it.”

4. Place the litter box in a quiet, private location: Cats prefer to use their litter box in a quiet and private area where they feel safe and secure. Avoid placing the litter box in a high-traffic area or near loud noises that could startle your cat.

Professional Cat Trainer: “Cats like to have some privacy when using the litter box, so it’s important to place it in a quiet location where they feel comfortable. This will help reduce stress and encourage them to use the box.”

5. Provide positive reinforcement: When your cat uses the new litter box, be sure to praise them and offer a treat as a reward. Positive reinforcement can help your cat associate using the litter box with a positive experience, making them more likely to use it in the future.

Professional Pet Psychologist: “Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for changing your cat’s behavior. By rewarding them for using the new litter box, you can help them form a positive association with it and increase the likelihood that they will continue to use it.”

6. Consider trying different types of litter boxes: Cats have different preferences when it comes to litter boxes, so it may take some trial and error to find the right one for your cat. Some cats prefer covered litter boxes for privacy, while others may prefer open boxes. Experiment with different types of litter boxes to see which one your cat prefers.

Professional Feline Nutritionist: “Cats can be picky about their litter boxes, so it’s important to find one that your cat is comfortable using. Trying out different types of litter boxes can help you determine which one is the best fit for your cat’s preferences.”

7. Seek veterinary advice if your cat continues to avoid the litter box: If your cat is consistently avoiding the new litter box despite your best efforts, it may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. In this case, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any potential health problems that could be causing your cat to avoid the litter box.

Professional Veterinarian: “If your cat is refusing to use the litter box despite your efforts, it’s important to seek veterinary advice. There could be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed in order to help your cat use the litter box successfully.”

Common concerns and answers related to getting a cat to use a new litter box:

1. My cat is not using the new litter box. What should I do?

If your cat is not using the new litter box, try to determine the reason why they are avoiding it. It could be due to the location, type of litter, cleanliness, or other factors. Addressing the underlying issue can help encourage your cat to use the new litter box.

2. How long does it take for a cat to adjust to a new litter box?

Every cat is different, so the time it takes for a cat to adjust to a new litter box can vary. Some cats may adapt quickly, while others may take longer. It’s important to be patient and give your cat time to adjust to the new litter box.

3. My cat is kicking litter out of the box. What can I do to prevent this?

If your cat is kicking litter out of the box, consider using a litter box with higher sides or placing a mat underneath the box to catch any stray litter. You can also try using a litter with larger particles that are less likely to be kicked out of the box.

4. How can I prevent my cat from going outside the litter box?

If your cat is going outside the litter box, it could be a sign of a medical issue, stress, or discomfort with the litter box. Make sure the litter box is clean and in a quiet location, and consult with your veterinarian if the problem persists.

5. My cat is scratching the sides of the litter box. What does this mean?

Scratching the sides of the litter box is a natural behavior for cats, as they use their claws to cover their waste. If your cat is scratching excessively, it could be a sign of stress or discomfort with the litter box. Make sure the box is clean and provide a suitable scratching post for your cat.

6. Can I train my cat to use a litter box?

Yes, you can train your cat to use a litter box by following the tips mentioned above and being patient and consistent with the training process. Positive reinforcement and rewarding your cat for using the litter box can help encourage them to continue using it.

7. My cat is not covering their waste in the litter box. What should I do?

If your cat is not covering their waste in the litter box, it could be a sign of stress or discomfort with the box. Make sure the litter box is clean and in a quiet location, and consider trying a different type of litter or litter box to see if that helps.

8. How many litter boxes should I have for my cat?

It’s recommended to have one litter box per cat in your household, plus one extra. This ensures that each cat has their own designated bathroom area and reduces the chances of territorial issues or litter box aversion.

9. Should I use scented litter for my cat?

Some cats may be sensitive to scented litter, so it’s best to use unscented litter to avoid potential aversion. Cats have a keen sense of smell, and scented litter may be off-putting to some cats.

10. My cat is urinating outside the litter box. What could be causing this?

Urinating outside the litter box could be a sign of a medical issue, stress, or territorial behavior. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems and address any potential stressors in your cat’s environment.

11. Can I use a litter box liner for my cat?

Litter box liners can be convenient for cleaning, but some cats may not like the feel of the liner under their paws. If your cat is avoiding the litter box with a liner, try removing it to see if that helps.

12. My cat is eating the litter. Is this normal?

Eating litter can be dangerous for cats, as it can lead to intestinal blockages or other health issues. If your cat is eating litter, consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and address the behavior.

13. How often should I clean the litter box?

It’s recommended to scoop the litter box at least once a day and change the litter at least once a week to keep it clean and fresh for your cat. Regular cleaning helps prevent odors and encourages your cat to use the litter box.

14. My cat is hesitant to use the new litter box. What can I do to encourage them?

If your cat is hesitant to use the new litter box, try placing some of their favorite toys or bedding near the box to make it more inviting. You can also try playing with your cat near the box to help them feel more comfortable with it.

15. How can I prevent my cat from tracking litter around the house?

To prevent your cat from tracking litter around the house, consider using a litter mat outside the box to catch any stray litter. You can also place the litter box in a contained area or use a covered litter box to help contain any mess.

In conclusion, getting a cat to use a new litter box can be a challenging process, but with patience and consistency, you can help your feline friend adjust to their new bathroom setup. By following the tips mentioned above and addressing any concerns or issues that arise, you can encourage your cat to use the new litter box successfully. Remember to be patient with your cat and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about their litter box habits. With time and effort, you can help your cat feel comfortable and confident using their new litter box.