How To Get Your Cat To Use The Litter Box – #PreciousCat Tips


Angelica: I Was A Perfect Princess Until My Parents Moved My Litter Box!

I am an unabashed cat lover. During my life I have raised 11 cats. There is nothing more wonderful than befriending a new kitten… watching him grow… cuddling him, playing with him, and cherishing him as he grows into adulthood and beyond.

One reason cats make perfect pets is that they are easy to litter train. But – what happens when something goes awry and – for reasons you cannot fathom – your precious bundle of joy suddenly stops using his litter box?

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out why a cat that has been perfectly house-trained suddenly refuses to use his litter box – except, possibly, trying to get him to start consistently using it again.


Tsunami: I Loved My Litter Box So Much, I Slept In It As A Kitten!

Fortunately, most of my cats have impeccable litter box habits! Some, like Tsunami, loved their litter boxes so much, they’ve played and slept in their freshly cleaned boxes as kittens! But – every now and then – situations occur that remind me not to take good litter box habits for granted.

Take Angelica, for instance. My one and only Maine Coon Diva did not appreciate our attempts to transition her from a starter kitten box to a big girl cat box down the hall, as communicated by conspicuously placed deposits throughout the house. And then there’s Legend. The stress of moving and adjusting to a new environment caused Legend to exhibit hit and miss litter box habits during the transition.

It saddens me to learn that failure to use the litter box is the number one reason good cats end up abandoned or at shelters. Retraining your cat to use his litter box can be challenging – but our feline family members deserve our unconditional love, patience and support!

What can you do to ensure that your precious cat never becomes a casualty of litter box fall-out?


Legend: I Couldn’t Handle The Stress Of A Move…

Dr. Bruce Elsey – a Denver-based, cat-only veterinarian who recently created Cat Attract, the first litter specifically designed for cats who stop using their litter box – shares these important tips!

1. First, identify the cause for your cat’s litter box problems. Does your cat have a medical problem? Is the problem a result of stress and/or environmental factors? Often, there is an overlap in these issues.

2. Determine whether or not your cat is marking his territory – a normal way that cats get their point across when their threatened. One clue? In inappropriate urination, the cat will leave a puddle and turn around and sniff it; in marking, the cat will spray in a line and won’t sniff! The more cats you have in your household, the greater the likelihood you may experience a marking incident.


Magellan: I Am Fascinated By The Scoop! Every Time I Hear It I Come Running…

3. Practice cleanliness! Scoop your cat’s litter box every day!

4. Make sure the box is large enough for the cat to easily turn around in – ideally, it should be at least one and one half times the length of the cat. Most litter boxes are not really that large, so if you have a large cat, you will need to pay close attention to this tip!

(Note: As a Maine Coon Cat owner, I use an elongated plastic under-the-bed storage container in lieu of a traditional cat litter box to ensure that my cats have ample room to move around in!)

5. If you have multiple cats, plan for multiple litter boxes. You should have one box more than the number of cats in your home.

6. Replace your litter boxes every now and then! Dr. Elsey says that using a plastic litter box can eventually pick up an odor that the cats find objectionable and they will have an aversion to it.

Tsunami Stalking

Stalking Your Housemates In The Litter Box? Not Cool!

7. Make sure your litter box is placed in a quiet, safe location and pay attention to your cat’s preferences (remember Angelica?) Placing a litter box next to a washing machine or dryer or furnace that cuts in and out can be an issue as it could scare the cat while it’s in the box. Most cats prefer open litter boxes over closed styles.

8. Add canned food to your cat’s diet to double his total water intake and decrease the incidence of urinary issues.


Have you ever had a cat who stopped using his or her cat litter box? 
How did you resolve the issue?

Next month, I look forward to testing, reviewing, and hosting a giveaway for Cat Attract – a litter designed to help save cats by helping them to use their litter boxes!

Cat Attract Litter

Cat Attract – The 1st Litter Designed To Help You Solve Your Litter Box Problems

Can’t wait? Don’t miss out on Dr. Elsey’s Litter Box Solutions Booklet – a free booklet full of tips, product information, and coupons to help you get your favorite feline back on track!

In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to an upcoming #BlogPawsChat on Tuesday, 2/25/14 from 8 to 10 pm EST where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this topic!

Disclosure: I have written this original post on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network for Precious Cat. Although we are being compensated to help spread the word about Precious Cat’s Cat Attract formula, Create With Joy only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Precious Cat is not responsible for the content of this article.

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10 Responses to “How To Get Your Cat To Use The Litter Box – #PreciousCat Tips”

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  1. I know, I know, I am a chihuahua. But my Momma has cat experience in the litterbox department… as told to me:

    Our old tabby cat Hobie (who passed away a week shy of 22yrs olds) had his quirks. He liked to unplug things from the power outlet with his teeth, at times he ran from room to room as if he were playing invisible cat paintball with an imaginary friend. And so, my dear Momma back in the 90’s (before my daddy) she was working as a receptionist at an actuarial firm, while working through school. At the time, women were required to wear pantyhose to work, skirts /suits (no pants) heels and makeup (yes, these things could be demanded of workers back then!). Appearance was key. My momma did not have a lot of money, so she mixed and matched several suits she purchased. She had a light pink suit with padded shoulders she wore with patching pink cloth shoes and white pantyhose. Those cloth shoes were in at the time and she spent quite a bit of money on them. And the panty hose were at a premium, so she’d wash them in the sink and fix a small run with clear polish. And so it was the day she was going to wear her pink shoes with pink suit to work… looking fabulously coiffed… pantyhose on. Slipped on her heels and – SPLAAAAAATTTT – no better way to describe the feeling of mushy cat waste INSIDE one of the shoes.

    Inside — not visible from the outside — it appeared Hobie had left a nice wet gift and it was not even cat spew – it was the stuff from the other end. Ugh… Nothing like being late for work. Litter box was clean Hobie, how could you!? GRRR. Needless to say, Momma was late to work, struggling to find pantyhose and change her clothes.

    For the next few days, Momma noticed Hobie was not using his litterbox and it happened again with another pair of shoes. So she decided to look in ALL the shoes. It appears Hobie had been leaving ‘gifts’ in several of them. Ignoring his litterbox. So Momma thought something must be wrong because he is not using his litterbox and took him to the Vet. Vet looked at Momma and said, “If he’s eating, his litterbox is clean and he’s taking to leaving you gifts. It’s simple, he’s mad at you.” Well that was that, Momma had a new boyfriend and perhaps was skimping out giving Hobie his deserved attention. So per her Vet’s instructions, Momma gave Hobie extra attention, cuddles and treats and all was back to normal. No more gifts in the lifts. BOL!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Wow, Hobie sure knew how to get his displeasure across – that is quite a story! Cats are quite sensitive and nothing raises their ire more than something or someone stealing their much deserved affection!

      Thanks for sharing Mom’s experience with us! You’re welcome to chat it up with us anytime! 🙂

  2. Reta says:

    When my daughters moved from home for college and marriage, they left their two cats with me. Tinkle and Tiger lived to be twenty plus before dying of old age and bad health but they both had good potty habits in using their litter box.

    Reading Ramona’s blog I saw an article on a new product “Cat Attract” that would make any new cat owner a wonderful house warming gift for their pet to have in reserve should a hit or miss happen in the future.

  3. Rebecca says:

    We have 5 cats, the mother and her four babies. In the last 6 months, our oldest boy has started to stalk his youngest sibling, a sister. She will be in the litter box and he will come up and start wacking away at her until she pops out of the box. We have 2 litter boxes, but he guards them like the tomb of the unknown solider! She has taken to pooping right at the bedroom doorway. It doesn’t stop him from entering. It only affects me, because I have to clean it up. We are at a loss as to what to do. I have tried bonding more with each of them. But the oldest boy, if he gets reprimanded for hurting his sister, he will go beat up his brother, my favorite cat. He knows the brother is my favorite cat. The oldest is just so insecure, no matter how much attention we give him. I’d like to just get rid of him, but he is my husbands favorite cat. What can we do?

  4. Michelle Miller
    Twitter: truebookaddict

    Great post, Ramona! This is a very common issue with cats and it’s a good thing to be addressed. I had a cat once that had a tough transition in a move so I’ve been there. Love all the great shots of the boys. Magellan is quite a beauty. 🙂

    I received the Hill’s prize the other day. My cats are so weird. They love their cat treats, but they wouldn’t eat those. They seem to like the food though. Hill’s also included a cute dish and cat place mat. Love it! Thanks again!

  5. I have had many cats throughout my life as well, and absolutely love them! Fortunately, I have also not had many problems with litter training. The only issue I ran into was when we first adopted a second cat, and had to get a second litter box because they refused to share.

    Another common problem that we only ran into for about 3 days was the type of litter. If your cat is declawed, you have to make sure to get a really fine litter or the pieces can get stuck in their feet, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. (for the record, I hate declawing, but my husband said it was the condition to getting a kitty.)

  6. Adrian says:

    I have used Cat Attract and Kitten Attract (softer on little kitty paws) and I’ve had good results with it and also with his litter box attractant that you sprinkle in the boxes. Sad to say it didn’t totally resolve the chronic litter box problems and we finally had to rehome two of our cats – after we completely replaced the downstairs carpet and put in brand new ceramic tile, only to find they were still marking on the new flooring as well. It is a frustrating problem and we tried all of these tips without success. I think one of our cats was mentally challenged and couldn’t quite get the hang of it and the others were jumping on the bandwagon. It is a tough problem, but I do appreciate that there are some products on the market that do at least help with these tough problems. #SITSSharefest


  1. […] Recently, I shared some tips from Dr. Bruce Elsey – a cat-only veterinarian – on how to get your cat to use the litter box. […]

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