Why Does My Kitten Meow When In The Litter Box? Secrets Revealed

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 05/05/23 •  6 min read
Cat meowing

I’ve rescued my new kitten a few months ago.

 He’s a wonderful cat who is very involved in everything I do. One thing is particularly interesting, though – as soon as I put him in the litter box for doing his business, he starts meowing!

My little kitten meows when she uses the litter box. I mean, what’s so special about that? It just seems like a perfectly normal thing to do, right?

It has been happening every time since I got him, and I don’t know what to make of this behavior.

Well, for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why she did it. I stared at her for hours (okay, minutes) and tried to figure it out.

This puzzled me a lot until after much research and thought, I finally realized that there is an entire science around why my cat meows when using the cat box.

And now I know how to stop it! The reasons why kittens meow in the litter box might surprise you.

Why Do Kittens Meow?

Cats “talk” for several reasons. If you live with a quiet cat, you have to be very careful as you can hardly hear them.

However, all cats use sounds such as meowing, purring, or chattering to express their needs.

Fun Fact: Did you know that there are at least 19 different types of cat meows?

Each cat uses a different rhythm, volume, speed, and pitch.

One study found that cats can make about 30 different sounds, and interestingly, cats show their desires in ways we never thought possible.

A recent study found that cats make a low-level purr, that is linked to the part of the human brain that raises babies. A subtle reference to “feed me”.

 It can also communicate reassurance, enquire to have close contact, and gratification.

Communication between humans and cats can easily break down due to wrongful interpretation of messages. You need to learn the feline language to overcome this barrier.

What are some reasons why a kitten meows in the litter box?

Don’t get me wrong, meowing is a good thing.  It means the kitten wants attention and to be fed.

However, meowing in the litter box can be rather annoying and so you need to find out what makes them do it.

You’ll quickly discover that it’s not what you think!

Below are reasons why your cats meow in the litter box.

1.         Your cat is in pain:

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a common culprit that causes your cat to cry when using the litter box.

FLUTD is a myriad of problems that affect the lower urinary tract.

The lower urinary tract is comprised of the urethra, bladder sphincters, and urinary bladder. If any of these parts have a medical issue, it’s classified as FLUTD.

Cystitis on the other hand is inflammation of the urinary bladder and contributes to FLUTD.

FLUTD symptoms include:

2.         He’s hungry:

 If your cats meow in the litter box and won’t stop, this could mean that they are hungry.

He’s just wanting you to feed him or feed him in his litter tray.

And if you’re feeding them in their litter tray, you might also find your kitten likes some treats too!

3.         The litter box needs cleaning:

How do you feel about using a dirty restroom? Pathetic is the word. No one enjoys it.

Cats are fastidious creatures and cleanliness is on top of their daily requirements.

 If her hygiene standards aren’t met, she will complain every time she enters that dirty litter box.

What better way to catch your attention than by meowing?

stinking litter box with cat standing on the side

How to stop your kitten from meowing in the litter box

1.    Consult your Vet:

Rule out any urinary tract infection like FLUTD which can be caused by various factors.

Few pet owners understand it well and hence the need to take your kitty to the veterinarian for a complete checkup.

Do this before concluding that meowing while using the litter box is a behavioral problem.

2.    Scoop and clean the litter box:

As a rule of thumb, you should scoop the litter box twice a day.

Scooping alone isn’t adequate to keep the odors away and cleaning the litter box with soap and warm water regularly will come in handy.

If you are using clumping litter, dump the cat litter and clean the cat litter box every few weeks. However, if you are using non-clumping litter, clean the cat litter box weekly.

Rinse the box once clean and air dry it in the sun whenever possible.

3.    Feed thine cat!

In our modern-day age, cat diets can be quite confusing.

The perfect diet for a cat is a mouse.

Mice contain all the necessary nutrients, minerals, and vitamins needed by your cat for healthy living.

However, most of our cats don’t feed on mice and we are forced to look for the next best thing.

We have raw diets, commercial foods, and home-cooked cat food.

Which is the best option among the 3? This has been subject to controversy and debates among “cat experts” but all in all, where does all this leave you?

Well, it leaves you with choices.


Understanding the different reasons why a kitten meows in the litter box can help you better bond with your little one.

Plus, chances are that some of these are not for the benefit of getting your attention. It’s just part of a normal kitten cycle.

It’s in their nature to meow. And that’s okay! We all have to meow, like our animal friends.

If you are having trouble understanding why your kitten meows in the litter box, implement the 3 strategies and see the magic unfold.

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.