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How to Train a Stray Cat to Use a Litter Box?

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Let’s run to learn the steps on how to train a stray cat to use a litter box right now!

How to Train a Stray Cat to Use a Litter Box

On a rainy day, while I was enjoying a movie at home, I saw a stray cat coming inside my yard.

When I followed her, I saw that an adult mother stray cat had given birth to 2 small kittens.

I was feeling sad and hurt, so I thought to adopt them.

I know it will be difficult for me to train stray cats as they are dominating, and choosy. It would be hard to give them training and to groom them.

A stray cat won’t use the litter box, and it could be the hardest part!

Well, if you find it difficult, want to know how to train a stray cat to use a litter box, then go read this article.

How to Train a Stray Cat to Use a Litter Box?

To train a stray cat to use a litter box, we can teach her to dig the litter by placing her into the litter box. Make sure that you play, groom, talk and/or feed during the sessions. It takes them between three and eight weeks to get comfortable. Keep patience and maintain trust.

Before we continue, let me tell you that it would be difficult to litter train a stray cat. You need a handful of patience and a positive attitude towards this.

If you pay attention and persist, you can definitely teach how to train a stray cat to use a litter box easily.

1. Choose a Right Location

A stray cat won’t use the litter box if the location is not according to her. You have to understand that training a stray cat would be a completely different task. They don’t shy, and they are not socialized. Whereas training a household-trained cat will be much easier. So, to litter train, wild stray cats place the litter box appropriately.

Choose a Right Location

Stray cats have always been defecating in an open space but with privacy. They like to eliminate in a private place that they are aware of their predators and don’t feel vulnerable.

Thus, get an open cat litter box for your stray cat, so she can feel comfortable while defecating. An uncovered litter box would be a bad option in the starting. Once they are used to the concept of using a litter box, then you experiment with it.

So, choose a box that is big in size with a high side for a stray kitty!

2. Purchase Litter That Is Appealing to Her

Once you’re done choosing the right litter box for your stray cat, the next step of how to litter train a stray cat is to choose the right litter. Making things easy for you, put the right kind of litter in the box that makes her feel comfy, and she enjoys using it!

As you know already cats are very choosy animals, don’t like things easy. So, when you pick litter for a stray cat especially make sure that she likes it. Try to get the right type of litter for her.

 Purchase Litter That Is Appealing to Her.

A stray cat won’t use the litter box if it is a scented cat litter. They might not go to do the bathroom. Thus, prevent using scented cat litter for stray cats; it won’t please them. As they are used to eliminating in nature, they might not like fragrance.

Other than this, you can get natural cat litter for training a feral cat. Stray cats prefer natural litter. Although some natural litters are not 100% pure, even the best cat litter brands use chemicals. So, here comes the big question which is the best litter for a stray cat?

The best natural cat litter for stay cat is World’s Best Natural Unscented Litter for Multiple Cats. It is naturally safe and has no scent and harsh chemicals. Plus, it is 100% dust-free which means your cat can have easy breath.

Their paws will be safe and soft. As it is clumping litter, so it will make your cleaning hassle-free and time-saving. You can use this with multiple cats; it has strong odor control power!

It is a good idea to choose this litter because stray like natural smell. So, fill this herbal litter into your cat’s litter box for about 2-3 inches. If she likes to dig more, you can also increase the litter quantity.

3. Put Some Leaves Or Use Cat Pheromones

Your stray is an outdoor cat she so to give her a feel of defecating in nature. You can put some leaves that are not poisonous. You can also spread some soil to the litter. It will help her to pee and motivate her to use the litter box too!

Put Some Leaves Or Use Cat Pheromones

Teach a cat to use the litter box, put soil and leaves in the initial stage, and once they are used to it slowly, you can remove that too!

If you like this idea, then we have one more idea on how to litter train a stray kitten. You can get artificial cat pheromones. It will aid stray cats to get used to the surrounding. And it helps to build his comfort zone.

The smell of feline pheromones near the litter box will motivate her to do her business in the litter box. In this way, she can stop inappropriate elimination.

4. Thoroughly Clean Litter Boxes

Thoroughly Clean Litter Boxes

Litter box training a stray cat is not that simple!

A stray cat won’t use the litter box if you don’t keep her tray clean.

Cats are clean animals; they bury their poop once they are done. If their waste becomes smelly, they might refuse to use it. So, remember to clean her box at least one time a day; otherwise, clean every next day. Simply keep scooping out the used litter so that the smell doesn’t linger.

And, make sure to thoroughly completely clean the whole litter box with warm water and soap once a month. Well, cleaning a litter box also depends on other factors like how many cats you have in your house. What type of cat litter do you use, etc.

Give a glance look at

So, try to keep her litter tray hygienic!

5. Motivate Her and Give Her Treats

Praise her, treat her, motivate her, and appreciate her for her good actions!

Motivate Her and Give Her Treats

So, after all of this hard work, when you see a stray cat using her litter box, you need to praise her. You must use positive reinforcement tricks to motivate her to reuse the litter box.

An expert says positive reinforcement can make cats learn things quickly. You can give her a treat to allure her so that she repeats it and come again to use the litter box.

Another great positive reinforcement way is to give her clicker training. For that, you have to buy a clicker. When the cat obeys your order, simply click the device. This will give her a message that it’s time for a treat. So, use a clicker to change stray cat behavior.

Now, you completely know how to litter box train a stray cat properly!

Before We Go!

Training a stray cat to use a litter box can be complicated! Therefore, if you want to teach stray cats to use litter, you can read our article on how to train a stray cat to use a litter box.

A stray cat won’t use the litter box if the litter box is not bigger and open or if she doesn’t like the litter. Also, make sure to keep her food and litter box at a distance.

There are many steps on how to train an outdoor cat to use a litter box. Curious to know more?

Then read this post. We have written a step-by-step process that will make you easily understand how to train a stray cat to use a litter box appropriately.

Other than this, if you want to share other tricks and tips, do let us know in the comment section below!


  1. How to Litterbox Train an Outdoor Cat – Vet Street
  2. Litter Box Training – Longmont Humane Society
  3. Public Opinions on Strategies for Managing Stray Cats and Predictors of Opposition to Trap-Neuter and Return in Brisbane, Australia – NCBI

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