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How to transition cat to covered litter box?

How to transition cat to covered litter box?

September 19, 2023

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Making the switch from a traditional litter box to a covered one may seem like a daunting task, but with patience, understanding, and the right approach, it can be a smooth transition for both you and your feline companion. Covered litter boxes offer several advantages, including reducing odor, providing privacy for your cat, and preventing litter from scattering. However, cats are creatures of habit and any change in their environment can be met with resistance. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of transitioning your cat to a covered litter box.

Understanding Your Cat’s Perspective

How to transition cat to covered litter box?

Cats are naturally cautious and sensitive to changes in their environment. A sudden shift from an open litter box to a covered one can be disconcerting for them. Cats have a strong sense of smell and a covered litter box may trap odors, making it an unpleasant place for your pet.

However, by gradually introducing the new box and making it as comfortable as possible, you can help ease your cat’s fears. It’s also crucial to understand that each cat is unique; what works for one may not work for another.

Recognizing Signs of Resistance

If your cat is resistant to using the covered litter box, they might display behaviors such as eliminating outside the box, showing signs of stress like excessive grooming or changes in eating habits, or outright avoidance of the new box. If these signs persist even after trying different strategies, it may be best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Steps to Transition Your Cat

1. Slow Introduction

Start by placing the new covered litter box next to the existing open one. This allows your cat to become accustomed to its presence without feeling forced to use it.

2. Familiar Scent

Cats are guided by their sense of smell. Adding a small amount of used litter from the old box to the new one can make the new box smell familiar and inviting.

3. Gradual Transition

Once your cat seems comfortable with the new box’s presence, gradually start decreasing the amount of litter in the old box while increasing it in the covered one. This subtly encourages your cat to start using the new box.

4. Positive Reinforcement

Reward your cat with treats, praise, or extra playtime whenever they use the new box. This creates positive associations with the covered litter box.

Maintaining The Covered Litter Box

Maintenance is key to keeping your cat comfortable with their new bathroom setup. Ensure that the box is cleaned regularly to prevent unpleasant odors from accumulating. Some cats may also prefer certain types of litter over others, so pay attention to your cat’s preferences.


Transitioning a cat to a covered litter box requires patience and understanding of your feline friend’s needs and behaviors. By slowly introducing the new box, using familiar scents, gradually transitioning, and providing positive reinforcement, you can help guide your cat towards accepting their new bathroom setup. However, remember that every cat is unique and what works for one might not work for another. Always observe your cat’s behavior and consult with a professional if needed.

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