Do Litter Boxes Attract Roaches? Debunking The Myths

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 02/22/23 •  9 min read
a cockroach

Have you ever been awakened by a frantic meow and the sight of our favorite feline in an all-out sprint for the door, with a roach trailing close behind?

If not, do you ever wonder if roaches will come to your house just because of the kitty box? Even though there is no concrete scientific evidence that roaches are attracted to cat litter, cardboard boxes can attract them.

According to WHO, there are over 3500 identified species of cockroaches and only a few are of importance to people because they have adapted to living in buildings.1

I will help you better understand what attracts these little bugs to your beloved pet’s poop box and how to deal with the problem.

Do litter boxes attract roaches?

Cat litter boxes in themselves do not attract cockroaches. It’s the filthy, dirty litter that attracts them since roaches are drawn to the dirty and unhygienic matter.

The type of cat litter that you use can be a drawing factor too for roaches and bugs. Roaches are drawn to biodegradable cat litter. These are litters made from wood shavings, corn, pine, recycled paper, wheat, and other plant-based substances.

They make excellent breeding grounds for roaches and hence they will be attracted to cat litter and the box in general. These types of litters act as a source of food for the roaches.

When picking cat litter and you want to avoid attracting roaches and other bugs, avoid biodegradable cat litters. The best alternatives include:

A kitty box that’s smelly and dirty is a great breeding ground for cockroaches. Litter box hygiene is key in ensuring that the box remains clean and free of dirty litter and filth.

Establish a regular cleaning routine for your cat’s litter box to eliminate roaches.

  I am a survivor. I am like a cockroach, you just can’t get rid of me.

Madonna Ciccone

How to Lure a Cockroach Out of Hiding?

Cockroaches love to hide in dirty and dark places that are hard to reach. To eliminate them, you have to attract them to come out of their safe havens by using the following means:

1.      Using a sticky roach trap

Put a sticky trap in a small container and add some food, moisture, and other roaches. Why add other roaches? It’s a fact that roaches are attracted to each other by their scent. These are bound to attract other cockroaches.

The roaches will get trapped by the sticky bait when they come to feed in the container

2.      Drown the Cockroaches

3.      Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth Trap

What Repels Cockroaches?

Several techniques can be used to repel cockroaches if you do not want to use dangerous pesticides and chemicals.

Cockroaches live in dirty and hidden crevices, but there are some things they hate.

Essential oils are a great, natural way to repel cockroaches. Here’s how:

Essential oils

Essential oils are natural repellants; they emit strong and potent fragrances that keep the roaches away. Spray the following oils in all areas with roach infestation: Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, Cypress and Peppermint oil


How to Get Rid of Roaches Forever

You can eliminate roaches forever from your home by making their habitat less conducive. Here is how to conduct pest control and avoid roach infestation:

1.     Keep Your Home Clean

By just observing general hygiene, you will keep cockroaches away. Always:

Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything.

Herb Caen

2.     Clear Out All the Clutter

If your home is clutter-free, the cockroaches have nowhere to hide during the day.

3.     Seal All Cracks and Crevices

Seal all openings around doors, windows, vents, plumbing line, roof, and the hole around gas and electric cookers. One can use caulk, foam, steel wool, and fine wire mesh according to the opening’s size to be sealed. This will easily keep cockroaches away.

4.     Trash Away Cardboard Boxes and Newspapers

Any cockroach loves an old cardboard box and newspapers. Once they lie around for a prolonged period, they are bound to create a conducive environment for cockroaches’ breeding. Roach infestation is real!

Do shoe boxes attract roaches? Yes and any box that’s not in use should be discarded.

5.     Carry Out Routine Inspection and Routine

Sweep your house regularly to ensure that it isn’t cockroach-infested.

6. Maintenance of Leaks

A cockroach is attracted to moisture; they need water to survive. Fix all types of leaks on the sinks, faucets, refrigerator, and other home appliances to keep cockroaches away.

7.     Let The Cockroaches Starve

Please don’t leave any uneaten kitty food in the open; else you will attract cockroaches in large numbers. Remove any uneaten food from the floor or use a food dispenser. By denying them food and water, they will eventually starve to death.

8. Change Cat Litter

Silica-based cat litter and clay-based litter are the best choice of litters to keep bugs out of cat litter.

Silica litter is absorbent and provides excellent odor control.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in a Bathroom

Most people believe that roaches are most prevalent in the bathroom. The following tips can rid your bathroom of roaches:

Watch this 60 seconds visual explanation of how to keep roaches out of your home!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do litter boxes attract bugs?

Yes, litter boxes do attract bugs.

Cat litter boxes entice and attract bugs, germs, pests, and insects if the clay litter stays over an extended period without cleaning.

To avoid this, regularly clean out your cat litter box by changing your clay litters more often. You can also adopt more hygienic measures like using a cat box liner to keep your cat litters clean.

Does cat food attract roaches?

Yes, cat food attracts roaches.

This is common when dry or canned food is left out during the day.

Roaches may then bring with them a disease that you don’t want your pet to contract.

To avoid attracting the roaches to your cat’s favorite dish, always use:

Are Cockroaches Afraid of Cats?

Cockroaches are afraid of cats, but they will still venture out in the dark. Cats will always hunt out for cockroaches and make a good meal out of them.

However, not all cats will go after a roach. If your cat is feeding on cockroaches, don’t worry since most roach poaching does not pose any threat.

By observing the above tips, you will eradicate all cockroaches in your household and enjoy the convenience of using a cat’s litter box without attracting cockroaches and other bugs.

Do Boxes Attract Roaches?

Yes, boxes attract roaches.

Boxes made of cardboard will always entice roaches in huge numbers, more so when they get wet. Cardboard boxes offer adequate shelter and are sources of food since the roaches can digest the board’s fibers.

 When cardboard boxes and items are stacked together, they offer adequate shelter to the roaches.

Does Cat Litter Attract Mice?

Yes, cat litter is bound to attract mice in the absence of a cat.

Cats will keep away mice by nature. If there is no cat scent in the litter, mice will use the cat litter as a safe house for sure.

An unused clay cat litter lying around will attract mice in the absence of a cat. So don’t buy one if you have no cat.

Remember to dispose of that litter box too if it is no longer in use.

Are roaches attracted to cat litter?

Yes, roaches are attracted to cat litter. However, this depends on the type of cat litter that is in use.

Cockroaches are drawn to biodegradable kitty litter as they make excellent breeding grounds for them.

Biodegradable litters act as a source of food for German roaches.

These are cat litters made from wheat, corn, wood shavings, recycled paper, pine, and other plant-based material.

The question, “are roaches attracted to cat litter?” is therefore dependent on the type of cat litter that you use.

Does cardboard attract bugs?

Yes, cardboard attracts bugs. Cardboard boxes attract roaches, termites, silverfish, and a whole myriad of insects. Cardboard is made of a cellulose substance and some bugs like termites will even feed on it.

Cardboard boxes attract roaches especially due to their ability to absorb and retain moisture, creating a conducive environment for them.


Cockroaches can be quite a menace. The best way to ensure that you eliminate them completely is by:

Do you think that your house is cockroach-free? Carry out an inspection checking the cracks, crevices, and cardboard boxes, and lemme know what you’ll find 🙂

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.

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