Cat litter boxes are made to please your cat, yet cats often refuse to use them. I assure you, this is not inevitable and there are many solutions to find out how to attract a cat to its litter box.

Of course, it’s not about using force because that will only damage the relationship you have with your cat, so stay tuned with me, I explain everything in this article on how to lure a cat into its litter box.

How to attract a cat to its litter box: Things to consider

The more you use the methods that I personally apply, the more you will manage to attract a cat to do its business there. Know that a cat loves cleanliness and will never snub the litter box for no reason. Here’s all you need to do:

  • His litter box is just right for him  : Cats are territorial and very clean, so if you use one litter box for multiple cats, your cat or your different cats are sure to refuse it. His litter box must be on his own and well isolated from other litter boxes in the house.

  • Its litter box must be well placed  : Cats retain their animal instincts and even in the domestic state, they will have to do their business away from any risk of danger, being in a position of vulnerability when they do their business. You must therefore put the litter in its personal corner, in peace and away from the hustle and bustle.

  • His litter box must be familiar to him  : Put him in his litter box when he arrives in the home to get him used to it, he will start by scratching the substrate and his instinct will make him understand that it is a very good place to relieve himself, possibly hide his excrement. You can even return his paw and scratch the litter to help him understand as much as possible.

  • Take an open litter box  : Open litter boxes will allow him not to feel confined, moreover with age, your cat may have osteoarthritis and have difficulty riding his litter box and he will no longer be able to relieve himself there.

  • Do not wash the litter with detergent  : Washing the litter with detergent will attack the cat’s very keen sense of smell, which can disgust it and encourage it not to do its business there. Ditto for scented litter, to be avoided. Also beware of bleach, the smell of which reminds the cat of cat urine and can drive it crazy.

  • Take good pellets  : Choose quality to avoid poor quality that repels your cat because it seems unfit to cover anything. Know that in their natural state, cats relieve themselves in scraped earth or sand.

  • Put the right amount of pellets  : 7 to 8 cm for an adult cat. If there is not enough, then he will not be able to cover anything and the reverse will cause him to sink into the litter. Adapt the height to the size of the cat so that it is most comfortable when doing its business.

  • Change it regularly  : So that your cat is not disgusted by bad smells when he does his business there, otherwise he will do it elsewhere. Don’t forget that his sense of smell is 70 times more developed than ours and that he loves cleanliness, spending several hours a day washing himself.

  • Associate going to the litter box with a reward  : If your cat associates using the litter box with a reward, then you can be sure that it will naturally over time. Something to eat or a game are good examples of healthy rewards.

  • Take a large litter  : Especially if it is a Maine Coon for example, who may find his litter too small. Cats may find the litter box too small and feel confined in it, they will be afraid when doing their business, because of their natural instinct.

  • Make the places where he relieves himself disgusting  : Plants or bedding for example, by placing smells he hates such as citrus fruits or even aluminum whose texture he hates. Very effective solution when the feline has its favorite places to do its business.

  • Make its litter attractive  : Here, it’s the opposite of the previous point, make its litter attractive with, for example, soothing sprays for cats that will immediately attract it to its litter.

  • Make him understand that he is at home: If your cat urinates in the plants or in height, he marks his territory to show that he is at home, show him that he is at home and that he has no no need for all this comedy. If a new cat has arrived in the household, this cause is very likely.

What you should not do 

Seeing your cat take the house for these toilets and avoid its litter box to drive you crazy, but avoid certain reflexes that will only degrade your relationship and that it will no longer be able to understand:

  • Angry  him: He won’t know why you are doing it and will lose confidence in you. Angry him is never the solution, especially if he is young because it will affect his development.

  • Put him out  : There too, he will not see why you are doing this.

  • Putting his nose in it: There too, as harmful as it is ineffective.

Watch out for diseases

Diseases are sometimes the cause of the problem, especially in older cats with cystitis or diabetes, for example. So if your cat has trouble urinating or is urinating involuntarily, it’s likely a health problem that needs to be treated by the vet.

A feline disease is often recognizable by symptoms, here it can be the appearance of the stool, the difficulty of the cat to urinate or even the lack of control over its sphincter or its bladder.

How to attract a cat to its litter box? The final word

If your cat refuses its litter box, put in place the solutions available to you, starting with the most obvious, no need to test everything at once because you will not know what is really effective for him.