Tips for getting my cat to use his new litter box?

  • Got a new cat box and now he won't use it 

  • Hi there Mary and thanks for this question. My name is Linda and I'm a small animal vet with 10 years of clinical experience.


    It is unusual for a cat to not use a tray but perhaps he has not had one in the past or there is something about this new tray that is unsettling him.


    We should have two trays (assuming he is the only cat) and we want them in quiet areas of the home with low foot traffic.

    Consider having one open one and one with a roof, to see which he prefers.

    He may have a litter preference, so we should trial a few to see which he likes.


    When se does try to use somewhere else to toilet, quickly lift him to his tray if caught in time. This should only be done if he does not get worried or stressed by this.

    Reward his toileting in the tray with high value treats like little bits of chicken or fish.


    If he does go to the toilet outside of the litter tray, remain calm and quickly clean the mess with an enzymatic cleaner to prevent re-soiling.

    It can be tempting to tell the your cat off, but this would just increase anxiety and worsen the issue.

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