5 Ways To Make Your Cat Comfortable Using The Litter Box

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on March 27, 2017

Do you dream about buying a robotic litter box so you don’t have to clean it yourself, but you wonder if it’s worth the money? Or, does your cat choose to go anywhere but the litter box? What’s the best kind of box? Is the type of litter important? If you’re not sure what’s best for you and your cat, check out these 5 tips for finding litter box bliss.

Related: 11 Best Cat Litter Boxes For the Purrfect Potty Experience

#1 – Bigger is better.


Your cat doesn’t want to step in his own waste, but that can be difficult to avoid if the box isn’t much bigger than he is. One way to get a huge litter box is to make one out of a large plastic storage bin. All you have to do is use a utility knife to cut a hole in the storage bin that is about 9” square about 4 inches from the ground (to allow for deep litter).

#2 – Go topless.


If you’re using a hood to reduce odors, consider that the hood traps much of that odor inside the box with your cat, who has a much better sense of smell than you. Sure, the filter at the top might absorb some of the odor, but plenty will cling to the plastic inside the hood and potentially make your cat reluctant to use that box.

Also, owners who can’t see how dirty the litter box is tend to clean it less frequently. The cleaner the litter box, the more likely a cat is to keep using it. If you’re using a hood to reduce escaped waste, consider making a tall litter box using the above method. The high sides will keep the waste contained without a roof locking in the smell.

#3 – Use unscented clumping litter.


The unscented part is important for your cat. He doesn’t need to be choked by perfumes while doing his business. The best way to keep a litter box clean is to use 3.5 – 4” of clumping litter. At that depth, urine balls should never reach the bottom of the box, making it easier to keep clean.

#4 – Keep one box per cat + 1.


The general rule of thumb is to have enough litter boxes for each cat to have their own plus one extra. If you only have one cat, that could mean keeping one box upstairs and one box downstairs. Always keep litter boxes away from food and water.

#5 – Scoop twice a day.



At a minimum. Your cat will thank you.

About those robotic litter boxes…


If you can find a large enough robotic litter box that doesn’t have a hood to trap odors, then go for it, just watch your cat to make sure he isn’t so spooked that he refuses to use it. Most experts recommend getting a plain litter pan in the largest size, but if you just can’t bring yourself to scoop twice a day, it may be worth it to invest in a robotic box to keep your cat clean and happy.

If your cat’s litter box habits change or these tips don’t help, take them to the vet immediately. Many health issues can cause litter box avoidance, and some of them are potentially fatal.

(Sources: The Sacramento Bee, Boxie Cat, and Cat Info.)