What Attracts Cats To Litter Box?

Cats are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that often leave us wondering what they are thinking. One puzzling behavior that cat owners must contend with is their attraction to litter boxes. Have you ever wondered why your cat seems to be drawn to their litter box even when they don’t have to go? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and shed some light on the feline mind.

Litter boxes are an essential part of a cat’s life, and understanding why they are attracted to them can help you ensure that your cat is happy and healthy. From the type of litter you use to the location of the litter box, there are several factors that can influence your cat’s interest in their box. So, let’s dive in and uncover what makes a litter box so appealing to our feline friends.

Cats are attracted to litter boxes for several reasons. Firstly, they have a natural instinct to dig and bury their waste. Secondly, the litter box provides a private and safe space for them to do their business. Thirdly, cats are attracted to the smell and texture of the litter. Finally, the location and accessibility of the litter box can also play a role in attracting cats to use it.

What Attracts Cats to Litter Box?

Cats are known for their cleanliness and are one of the easiest pets to care for. They are naturally attracted to litter boxes as a place to relieve themselves. But what exactly attracts them to it? Here are some reasons why cats are drawn to litter boxes.


Cats are attracted to the smell of their own urine and feces. When they use the litter box, they leave their scent behind. This marks their territory and makes them feel safe and secure. This is why it is important to keep the litter box clean and well-maintained. If the litter box is dirty or has a strong odor, your cat may avoid using it.

To keep the litter box clean, scoop out the waste daily and change the litter once a week. Use unscented litter as cats are sensitive to strong smells. You can also add baking soda to the litter to absorb odors.


Cats prefer litter that feels like sand or soil. This is because they instinctively associate it with digging and burying their waste. Clumping litter is a popular choice as it is easy to scoop out and helps control odor. However, it is important to choose a litter that your cat is comfortable with. Some cats prefer non-clumping litter or even shredded newspaper.

If your cat is not using the litter box, try changing the type of litter. Gradually mix in the new litter with the old one to make the transition easier.


The location of the litter box is also important. Cats prefer a quiet and private area where they can do their business without being disturbed. Avoid placing the litter box near their food or water bowls as cats do not like to eat or drink near their waste.

If you have multiple cats, provide each one with their own litter box. This helps prevent territorial issues and ensures that each cat has a clean and accessible place to go.


Cats like litter boxes that are big enough for them to move around in. They also prefer boxes with low sides that are easy to climb in and out of. If your cat is having trouble using the litter box, try getting a larger one or one with lower sides.

Covered or Uncovered

Some cats prefer covered litter boxes as they provide more privacy and help contain odor. However, other cats may find them too confining or claustrophobic. If your cat is not using a covered litter box, try switching to an uncovered one.

Benefits of Using a Litter Box

Using a litter box has many benefits for both cats and their owners. It helps keep the house clean and odor-free by containing waste in one place. It also prevents cats from going outside and potentially getting lost or injured.

Benefits for Cats:

  • Provides a safe and secure place to go
  • Allows them to mark their territory
  • Helps prevent litter box aversion

Benefits for Owners:

  • Keeps the house clean and odor-free
  • Prevents cats from going outside and getting lost or injured
  • Easier to care for than other pets

Litter Box Aversion

Litter box aversion is when a cat stops using the litter box and starts going elsewhere. This can be caused by a number of factors such as a dirty litter box, a change in litter type, or a medical issue. If your cat is not using the litter box, it is important to rule out any underlying health problems by taking them to the vet.

Once medical issues have been ruled out, try to identify the cause of the litter box aversion. Is the litter box clean and well-maintained? Is the litter type comfortable for your cat? Is the location quiet and private? By addressing these issues, you can help your cat start using the litter box again.

Litter Box vs. Going Outside

Some cat owners may wonder if it is better to let their cats go outside instead of using a litter box. While it is true that cats enjoy being outdoors, there are many risks involved such as getting lost, injured, or exposed to diseases.

Using a litter box provides a safe and secure place for your cat to go without the risks associated with going outside. It also helps keep your house clean and odor-free.

In conclusion, cats are attracted to litter boxes because of the smell, texture, location, size, and whether it is covered or uncovered. By providing a clean and comfortable litter box, you can ensure that your cat continues to use it. Using a litter box has many benefits for both cats and their owners, including preventing litter box aversion and keeping the house clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about what attracts cats to litter boxes.

1. Why do cats prefer using litter boxes?

Cats are naturally clean animals and prefer to have a designated area for their waste. Litter boxes provide a convenient and accessible location for cats to use and cover their waste. Additionally, the texture and scent of litter can be attractive to cats, as it mimics the feeling and smell of natural soil.

2. What type of litter do cats prefer?

Every cat has their own individual preferences, but most cats prefer unscented, clumping litter made from fine particles. This type of litter is easy for cats to dig in and covers their waste effectively. Some cats may also prefer a specific texture, such as sandy or grainy, so it’s important to experiment with different types of litter to find what your cat likes best.

3. How often should litter boxes be cleaned?

Litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day to remove waste and clumps. The entire litter box should be emptied and cleaned with soap and water every 1-2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary. Cats are less likely to use a dirty litter box, so it’s important to keep it clean to encourage regular use.

4. What can attract cats to stop using their litter box?

Cats may stop using their litter box if it is too dirty, too small, or located in an area that is too busy or noisy. Some cats may also develop preferences for certain types of litter or litter box designs. In some cases, medical issues such as urinary tract infections or gastrointestinal problems may also cause a cat to stop using their litter box.

5. How can I encourage my cat to use their litter box?

To encourage your cat to use their litter box, make sure it is clean, easily accessible, and located in a quiet and private area. Provide multiple litter boxes if you have multiple cats, and experiment with different types of litter to find what your cat prefers. Positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, can also be effective in encouraging litter box use.

In conclusion, the answer to what attracts cats to litter boxes lies in their natural instincts and preferences. Cats are drawn to litter boxes that are clean, easily accessible, and filled with the right type of litter. Their keen sense of smell also plays a crucial role in guiding them to their designated bathroom area.

As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to provide our feline friends with a litter box that meets their needs. Regular cleaning, adequate space, and the right type of litter are essential to ensure that our cats continue to use their litter boxes effectively.

By understanding what attracts cats to litter boxes, we can create a comfortable and stress-free environment for our furry companions. So, next time you’re setting up your cat’s litter box, keep in mind their natural instincts and preferences, and make sure to create a space that they will love and use regularly.