Getting a feral cat to use the litter box

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Getting a feral cat to use the litter box

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

Regarding Gloria in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, (who was trying to get a feral cat to adapt to a litter box), tell her to cover the regular litter with outside dirt since that is what the feral cat is used to. It is not that difficult to get a feral cat to adapt to a litter box, but it takes patience. I have several cats that have adapted nicely.

–  Rita, Hauppauge, New York

Dear Rita,

I received several letters from readers offering the same advice. They phased the dirt out over time, so eventually the cat was just using the litter. Using a Cat Litter Attractant might still be quicker, but I can see the benefits of using dirt to transition a feral cat to cat litter.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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