How to encourage your cat to use the litter tray

Cats are fussy creatures and can be quite private, especially when it comes to toilet-related matters. If you’re struggling to get your cat to do their ‘business’ in the right spot then we’ve got some tips to help you encourage your cat to use the litter tray.

Tray Size

It’s important that your litter tray is big enough that your cat can move around comfortably in it. Cats like to get their positioning just right before committing. A tray that’s too small won’t allow them to do this.


There are lots of different types of cat litter on the market. With several materials to choose from, like wood, clay or paper, they all have different levels of clumping ability. There are also a variety of scents available. If your cat seems to dislike their litter, try switching to an unscented variety, or changing the texture of it. You should do this gradually over a few weeks by using different ratios of the new and old litters mixed together to give them time to adjust. The litter also needs to be deep enough to allow your cat to ‘dig’ and cover up their business when they’ve finished. Trays should be spot cleaned after usage and litter changed weekly.


Cats are private creatures when it comes to toilet time. They’ll be less inclined to use their litter tray if it’s placed in a busy location. Make sure it’s a reasonable distance from the areas that they eat or relax in too. Find a nice, quiet area for the litter tray or maybe consider using a hooded version. Try not to interrupt your cat when nature calls.

get your cat to use the litter tray


When cleaning out the litter tray, make sure that the products you are using are safe for cats. Avoid using harsh chemicals or anything too heavily scented as this may deter your cat from using their tray.


Some cats will pick up using a litter tray more quickly than others. As when learning anything new, it’s important that you are patient with your cat. When you first get your litter tray, show your cat where it’s located and place them inside so that they know they are meant to go in it. If your cat continues to toilet elsewhere in your house, place them in the litter tray so they can associate that behaviour with it. Try not to lose your temper as this will only build negative reinforcement. Once they start to get the hang of it, be sure to use plenty of praise and attention to reward their behaviour.

Fri Jan 29 2021