How Do Cats Know to Pee in a Litter Box?

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If you are wondering how do cats know to pee in a litter box then you have come to the right place. Here, we will be discussing the different aspects of cats knowing where to take their dump.

First of all, it’s pretty obvious that you can train your cat to pee in a litter box. We will leave a guide to that as well. But another aspect of cats knowing where to peelies in their nature. Let’s get through the details of that first then we will head on to the training part.

Cats nature to pee in a litter box

Cats have a nature to hide their waste instinctively. They are born with this nature and it mostly comes from evolution. But you won’t notice this in every cat though. The dominant cats don’t follow this rule. Because they are expected to mark their territories with their pheromones. This helps them to rule over other cats. Apart from the dominant cats, every other cat will try to hide their scent however they can. Their attempt is to hide their poop with something.

Now, why would cats in your house follow this. Well, in most cases humans are thought to be the dominant cat with their scents. This is the basic perception of your cat. So, that’s why they try to hide their waste. But this needs some requirements to be met first.

To be able to identify the place where they can hide their dump, they need a fixed place. The place needs to meet some requirements such as it should have privacy, breathing space and it should be quiet. Along with that, the litter material needs to be suitable for the cat. As different cats have different preferences. And the place must be cleaned every now and then.

If all these things are met then your cat will know where to pee without even training. And that happens mostly because of their instinctive nature. But if they don’t show all these then there might be two cases. Either your cat has a dominant nature or it has some kind of medical issues. Then you will need to go to the vet for a solution.

Another way the cat knows to use a litter box is through their mothers. If they see their mother using a litter box, they will grasp on it and follow along. Well, this just works like every other animal.

So, cats’ instinct is the answer to the question of do cats automatically use the litter box or not. And if they don’t have that instinct you can always train them to do so. Let’s check that out now.


How to train a cat to Pee in a litter box

If your cat won’t poop in litter box you can simply train it to do that. Unless it’s a medical condition or abandonment issues your cat will surely get trained in no time. You can use the following method to litter train your cat. You will need to do these mostly for the stray cats or adopted cats.

Before you start training your cat to use a litter box, you will need to check some points. Firstly, you will need to choose the right litter box for your cat. Then you will need to make sure the litter materials suites your cat or not. You will need to maintain the litter box properly. After that, you can start training your cat to use the litter box. You can find details about these preparations online. Here we will be discussing just the training part.

To teach your cat to use the litter box follow these steps.

  • First of all, learn when your cat usually takes a dump. You will need to keep in check with your cat when it starts to eliminate. Most of the time cats like to take a dump after playing or taking a nap. Also, they like to eliminate after they have eaten. So, start checking them out after they do these activities. That way you can be there to guide them towards the litter box when they will need to poop or pee.
  • As we said earlier cats tend to eliminate after they are done playing you can use this to your advantage. You can play with your cat near the litter box. This way when your cat feels the need to eliminate you can simply guide them or even put them in the litter box. You can also try out a separate room for this method. You can close the doors of the room. Place the litter box in a certain place and keep your cat occupied with its toys. It will start playing with them and when it wants to eliminate it will go to the litter box.
  • If the above-mentioned ones don’t work you will need to take a direct approach then. Whenever you think your cat is about to eliminate you will need to carry it to the litter box. You can teach them to dig the litter using your fingers. You will need to show them by digging up yourself. Then when they are done, teach them to bury their waste as well. You can scoop some litter on top of their waste to show them how to bury their waste. After seeing you doing this several times, they will know you actually expect the same thing from them. You will need to be a bit patient throughout all these.

So, if your kitten won’t use a litter box you just have to train it yourself. Although it’s better if your cat learns all this from its mother. But in cases of stray cats and adopted cats you just have to go through this little bit of trouble of training them.

There are some more things you need to look after. Only teaching them where to pee or poop won’t completely help you. You will need to stop them from dumping their waste in inappropriate locations too.

You must make sure you don’t yell at your cat when they do something wrong. This will make you fearful of them. And you won’t be able to solve its problem. You will need to figure out their problem regarding using the litter.

Whenever your cat dumps outside the litter box you can just carry the waste and put it in the litter box. This way they will learn where to dump next time. Also, make sure you clean the place completely wherever they had taken their dump.

If you see them using a certain spot for taking their dump just place food or water in that area. Cats don’t take their waste near food or water. If nothing works out you will need to go with the confinement method. Where you will keep your cat locked inside a room with their bedding and a litter box.



Cats are one of the cleanliest creatures in the world. Keeping things clean is in their nature. So, when you say how do cats know to pee in a litter box the answer mostly is their instinct. But apart from that following their mothers and their owners training them to use the litter boxes are some other reasons too. That’s it from us. Hope this helps you understand cats a bit better.

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