Can You Have a Cat Without a Litter Box? 7 Guaranteed Ways to Make it Work

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 03/12/23 •  7 min read
Four cats outside in the snow

If you have a cat, then you’ve probably wondered about the importance of having a litter box.

It’s one of the first things that people typically think about when they’re looking to own a cat.

And with good reason: A litter box is an essential part of every cat’s life!

I was curious to know, whether you can have a cat without a litter box.

Well, if you’re reading this article, then the answer is yes!

Not only can you have a cat without a litter box, but some people think it’s best for your kitty.

Cat owners in reality are more concerned with finding a way to make their cats go to the bathroom outside.

This, however, will take some effort on your part to get this done properly.

So, can you have a cat without a litter box?

Can I keep a cat without a litter box?

Yes, you can keep a cat without a litter box.

To succeed in this, you need to use litter box alternatives or toilet train your cat.

However, some cats are more prone to accidents than others and may require professional help with their toilet training.

In addition, you can train your cat to go outside, depending on how safe it is out there.

What can I use for my cat if I don’t have a litter box?

A lot of people don’t know what to use for their cats if they don’t have a litter box.

If you want to keep your cat from having to use a litter box, there are plenty of options for them to choose from.

The best thing is to give your cat litter box alternatives.

The following are some of my favorite cat box alternatives you can opt for:

1.      Storage Containers:

The function of a litter box is perfectly served by storage containers. This would be an excellent choice to choose if your litter box starts to malfunction. There isn’t much room needed in your house for this box. Consider the size of your cat before opting to convert one of your storage containers into a litter box by measuring the container.

2.      Carton Box:

 Carton boxes provide excellent substitutes for litter trays if you can’t find a storage container. Cats love boxes, especially empty ones.

For kittens who are uncooperative and stubborn, this choice might be perfect.

Unquestionably, making these boxes is quite simple. Sand is all that is needed to create a litter box.

It is also appropriate for toilet training.

3.      Disposable Litter Box:

A disposable litter box may be the answer to your problems if cleaning the cat litter box is your biggest nightmare.

It’s perfect for cat owners who wish to provide their kitties a use-and-throw choice for a box.

There, your cat would relieve itself, and your job would be to discard the box.

The cardboard cartons are both environmentally and financially friendly.

They come in a variety of sizes and forms and make excellent litter box substitutes.

They are available for purchase at any pet store.

4.      Old Cabinet to Litter Box Furniture:

To keep litter boxes out of sight, a hidden DIY cabinet works beautifully.

You’ll need an old cabinet that is no longer in use, primers, and paints to give the box a new look to make this alternative litter box.

5.      DIY Homemade Kitty Litter Box:

Do you want to learn how to save a ton of cash on litter boxes?

This is absolutely for you if you have a creative flair and want to make your DIY litter box.

6.      Cat Litter Box Mat Pads:

Five-layer mats called “kitty litter box mat pads” are a fantastic travel solution.

They may simply fit in your automobile and are convenient.

Due to the presence of a certain kind of filter in each of its layers, the mats may control odor and eradicate offensive odors.

Last but not least, these litter box mat pads are disposable and simple to clean.

7.      The toilet:

By toilet training your cat, you will enable her to use the toilet just like a human being.

This involves your cat sitting on the toilet bowl, conducting her business, and flashing her waste. Sounds like fiction.

Curious about how this works? CLICK HERE

Will a cat use a litter box outside?

Yes, you can put a cat litter tray outside and your cat will use it.

However, this may not be the best idea for your cat or your yard. If you want to train your cat to use an outdoor litter box, there are some things you need to consider first.

Read this article I wrote recently on the secrets you should first learn before putting a cat litter box outside.

How to train your cat to go to the toilet outside

If you have a cat that is not toilet trained and you want to train them to go outside, there are some simple steps that you can take:

  1. Bring your cat outside on a leash. This will allow her to explore the area around your home without running off into the distance. The leash will also keep her safe in case she gets scared and tries to run away from you.
  2. Bring your cat outside during the day, when she’s most active. This will help her learn that going outside is fun and rewarding.
  3. Get your cat used to going outside. This can be done by leaving open doors or windows so that your cat has the opportunity to wander outside on their own. You may also want to provide your pet with a litter box in the outdoor area so they have somewhere private to use the bathroom when they need it. If your cat is outside a lot, she’ll probably come to you when she needs to go. But if she’s indoors most of the time, it can be hard for her to get used to going outside.
  4. Offer your cat plenty of opportunities to go outside, but don’t force him if he doesn’t want to go.
  5. Make sure your cat has plenty of hiding places outdoors so she feels safe while exploring.
  6. Your cat’s natural instincts will kick in and begin finding suitable spots to poop and pee then burying her waste.

How long can a cat go without a litterbox?

This depends on how old your cat is.

A kitten can go about two days without using the litter box but an adult cat may need to go every day.

If you do not see your cat going to the bathroom for more than a day, he may have an illness or health problem that needs to be treated by your veterinarian.

If your cat has been using a box but suddenly stops using it, contact your vet immediately.


To wrap up, there are times when it’s okay for a cat to go without a litter box.

To many people this may sound like sacrilege; understandably, many people would have trouble letting their minds wander in a space where the cat can just do its business anywhere it feels like.

But the truth is that there are plenty of ways to let your cat go potty indoors or outdoors while avoiding the cost and mess of litter boxes.

My cat and I live this way.

To be honest, it was not an easy transition; we had to try several things before it worked just right for both of us.

But it’s been three years now, and I couldn’t imagine going back to clumping litter and scooping poop.

The main thing I would say is don’t give up!

We were finally rewarded for our persistence with a system that works well for our family.

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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