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Cat Not Using the Litter Box? Here’s How to Retrain

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Are you finding cat poop on the floor? Is your cat not using the litter box all of a sudden?

What to do if your cat is not using the litter box?

Many cat owners face such problems and don’t know how to retrain a cat to use a litter box.

Well, don’t panic!!

We have provided a step-by-step process on how to retrain a cat to use a litter box.

You can follow our steps and retrain your kitty easily!

retrain a cat to use a litter box

How to Retrain a Cat to Use a Litter Box?

Before thinking about retraining a cat who has stopped using the litter box, we need to ensure that it is not a medical problem. Take her to a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions. If you know the cause of her changed behavior, you can start with retraining especially if it is related to a Move, Litter Change, New Litter Box, or Negative Event like stress.

Retaining your cat can help her to use the litter tray again. Given below is the list which you can follow!

1. Keep the Litter Box Hygienic

The first step of how to retrain a cat to use a litter box is to keep her place clean. Because your cat’s litter box isn’t clean, she might be defecating somewhere else.

keep litter box clean

It may smell, and as you know, cats are the cleanest animals. They don’t prefer dirty pace for defecation, so clean the area and spray the area with cleansing soap and remove the dirt.

Two times a day, clean the litter boxes and remove the used litter. And completely rinse the box once a week.

Wash the box with warm water with baking soda or a block of unscented chemical-free soap. Replace the litter tray with new fresh litter once it has dried.

If you are having multiple cats then you should check out the best cat litter box for multiple cats.

2. Slowly Switch to New Litter Box

Getting a cat to use the litter box is not that simple!

Your cat won’t use the litter box if it gives her discomfort. So change the litter box because maybe the size is not appropriate for her. As a result, purchase a litter box that is at least half the length of your cat.

To provide her privacy, you should purchase a covered litter box. Use a box with lower sides if your cat is older.

Have you recently purchased a different kind of litter? Then this can be reasons why a cat won’t use the litter box anymore! Because cats dislike changes. So, if you want her to get used to the new kind of litter, then slowly change her litter by adding more old litter in the new litter. And, gradually, when she gets used to it increases the new litter quantity.

You should check out the self cleaning kitty litter box if you are finding the best automatic cat litter system on the market.

3. Placement of the Litter Box

Litter box positioning plays an important role in how to train a cat to use the litter box again!

right litter box placement

You must choose the right area of the house. Place a litter box where there is no foot traffic and zero loud noise. They don’t like to do business where the cat’s food and water are kept, so avoid that too!

This is because they may associate it with negativity and can get afraid! Also, cats want their water and food away from the defecation area as the germs can pass to their food bowl, and it can make them sick. Therefore, move the litter box to the right place.

Want to know what makes cat pee over the edge of litter box?

4. Get At Least One Spare Box per Cat

Struggling, why won’t my cat use the litter box? Well, that’s because cats prefer to poop and pee in a different box. So, try to keep the spare box in the same room but at some distance from the first one!

If you have numerous cats, keep a separate box for each one because aggression between cats is stressful. Stress is another factor to consider. So keep your new cat in a different room from your old one, so they don’t see each other. Collect each cat’s facial pheromones on a small sock and place them in each cat’s space to create a collective smell.

Also, if you have a multi-floor home, then keep the litter box on each floor, so they can use the bathroom wherever they are.

Also, you can get a litter box cabinet in spare, if your cat does not use the litter box.

6. Play With Toys Nearby Box Area

Is your cat refusing to use a litter box?

Then try to play with her in the same room where the litter box is stored. You can put a cat bed in that room and keep her toys there, so she spends more hours and days there and associates it with happiness.

Work On Other Issues!

Cat won’t use the litter box if she is facing given below problems!

retrain your cat

1. Look for Medical Problems

Give treatments on underlying medical conditions to retrain a cat to use a litter box.

Look whether she needs a vet visit or not because medical problems can lead to litter box problems!

Few cats find it difficult to pass urine when they are affected by urinary tract infections. It is a hard time for your cat. You will notice they will constantly lick genitals or keep on crying. So if you wonder why do cats stop using the litter box, it may be because of this.

You can also check whether she is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease because it can also be one of the reasons to cat suddenly not using the litter box.

Speak to the veterinarian to rule out other health issues. Your cat may get affected by diabetes mellitus, bladder stones, and inflammation with urinary crystals or without it, chronic renal disease, chronic renal disease, constipation, and intestinal issues.

Before taking her to the vet, observe the cat’s behavior, her routine, and pattern to answer vet questions.

2. Keep Her Away From Soiled Areas

The cat won’t use the litter box if she is attracted to a specific room. So, try to keep her away from that area. Or you can look for ways to discourage her use that area. Like you can put light if the area is dark if she pees on the curtain, then ties them up to retrain a cat to use a litter box.

3. Spaying and Neutering 

It is not compulsory, but it greatly reduces the likelihood of urination outside the litter box. When upset, a cat may stop getting along with another male or want to show its availability to a female feline. Unneutered males are more prone to spray urine.


Cat won’t use the litter box if the location is not right. Cat prefers a clean place, so make sure to keep her defecating area clean, and change the type of litter that she likes. One more solution is to give a baby gate if another pet or dog troubles her while doing business.

If you want to retain a cat to use a litter box, then read above and give her proper training to avoid inappropriate elimination.

I hope you have understood how to retrain a cat to use a litter box. If you have any doubt, you can leave a comment.


  1. Cat Not Using Litter Box: Causes and Solutions – Best Friends
  2. Preventing and solving litter box problems – Animal Humane Society
  3. How do I litter-train my cat? – RSPCA

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