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Why Does My Kitten Meow In The Litter Box?

Getting a kitten is one of the most exciting things you can do in life, and when you’ve got your new furry friend, there’s a lot to learn – and the litter box is often a challenging area that your kitten may need some assistance getting to grips with.

Cats are generally clean animals that are fussy about their toilet habits, and this applies to kittens too, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be plain sailing when it comes to the litter box.

Kittens can be picky about the litter, the positioning, the smell, and many other aspects of their toilet.

If your kitten seems to dislike the litter box or appears distressed when using it, you might be concerned about what’s going on.

It isn’t always obvious whether a kitten is meowing because it needs help or because it is trying to tell you that it is using its litter box. Some cats will do this a lot more than others, but it is worth paying attention to.

If your kitten meows in the litter box, you should spend some time trying to work out whether something is wrong.

Kittens will not necessarily let you know in other ways, and you need to be vigilant so that you can quickly intervene and seek medical help if your new friend needs it. Don’t ignore litter box meowing, especially if your kitten sounds like it is in pain.

Why Does My Kitten Meow In The Litter Box?

A kitten can meow in the litter box for a number of reasons, including pain associated with urinating or defecating or to alert you to the fact that the tray needs cleaning, it doesn’t like the litter, or it expects help cleaning up.

When they are young, kittens depend on their mothers for help with toileting and the mothers will wash them to help stimulate this (and to help clean them), so it’s no major surprise if your kitten calls out to you when it uses the litter box, especially if it is still young.

Many kittens will do this up to several months old, or even as adults if the habit doesn’t fade away.

Your kitten will often use meowing to communicate with you, so make sure you are paying attention and watching out for any issues.

If your kitten seems uncomfortable or it gets in and out of the box, digs around but doesn’t do anything, squats awkwardly, or refuses to use the litter box, there is probably something wrong.

Some cats announce they are using a litter tray to deter predators or others from approaching while they are in a vulnerable position.

If your kitten starts meowing as it heads for the litter box and continues while it uses it, this may be a sign that it wants you (and others) to stay away while it is busy.

Is It Normal For Kittens To Meow In The Litter Box?

Many kittens do this and it is fairly normal, but you should not entirely dismiss it, especially if the meowing is high pitched or sounds unhappy.

If your cat always does this when it uses the litter box, it is probably just a personal quirk, but if it only does it occasionally, you should investigate further.

Check whether its stools look normal and whether there is any sign of prolapse around its anus (this is when the innards come out, and it can be pretty painful for the cat).

You should also listen to the kind of meow that the kitten is making. It will use a whole range of meows to communicate with you (and others in the house), and tuning in to the different pitches and lengths of meow will help you to better understand what the kitten is saying.

High pitched, prolonged meows are generally more concerning than short mews, but growling could be a sign of pain too.

You should keep an eye out for problems and contact a vet directly if you think something is wrong; although your kitten may be healthy, a digestive problem or blockage could become serious if not treated, so you should take action.

Keep an eye on your kitten’s stools, too; these should be fairly soft and light in color. If they are very dark brown or black, the kitten may be dehydrated or have some sort of digestive issue.

Can I Stop My Kitten Meowing In The Litter Box?

You probably cannot stop your kitten from doing this, no; it is trying to tell you something, and it’s very unlikely to understand that you don’t want to be told.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t stop it from doing so, as communication is important and you need to understand what’s going on with your cat as much as possible.

If it is pain while using the litter box, you need to be aware so that you can act, and if it’s just announcing that it is about to use the box or that it has finished using it, you can work out when it’s time to clean up.

This sort of communication is therefore helpful and you should not try to stop it from happening. Your kitten will likely grow out of this behavior once it gets older, but if it doesn’t, you can move the tray to a more secluded and private part of the house once your kitten has grown up.

In the meantime, you will likely have to tolerate litter box meowing. Your kitten is keeping you informed, so don’t try to stop it from meowing.


If your kitten meows in the litter box, you might be concerned about its well-being, and it’s certainly worth getting it checked out by a vet if it seems to be in pain or struggling to urinate or defecate. Often, your kitten will just be keeping you up to date as it would its mother, so don’t worry about meowing that occurs on the way to the litter box or after the kitten has finished in there. You only need to be concerned if the meowing occurs while the kitten is using the box, and if it sounds like it is in pain.