You own a cat as a pet in your home, however, roaches are becoming a nuisance to the litter box. Don’t worry—this guide explains how to keep roaches out of litter box. This way, you also safeguard your feline from diseases since cockroaches are disease carriers. Unkempt cat litter will naturally attract cockroaches but that’s not to say that roaches are allergic to clean places.¹ When you keep cockroaches from your cat’s litter, you consequently ensure a clean home. Let’s get into it.

Do cat litter boxes attract roaches?

How to keep roaches out of litter box

Dirty cat litter can attract cockroaches. While cats are known to eat cockroaches, given the opportunity,² these critters still fearlessly invade their litter. Nevertheless, irrespective of their fondness for unclean and decaying substances, cockroaches don’t particularly enjoy cat litter.

The type of litter box you use also determines if roaches are attracted to it. Biodegradable cat litter, for example, offers a food source for cockroaches, so you want to avoid consider whether you should avoid it to help prevent roaches from accessing your cat’s waste.

How to keep roaches out of litter box

Follow these expert methods to keep roaches out of litter box:

1. Keep your clay cat litter clean

Clay cat litters are the traditional commercial cat litter still widely used. Clay-based cat litter can absorb liquid and help the litter absorb its weight in cat urine since it separates the urine effectively. It also releases some natural odor control that can keep roaches away. Unfortunately, as clay litter gets soiled and can no longer absorb liquid, the odor can become a problem. To help the odor control as well as repel roaches, add ingredients like baking soda and charcoal to the litter.

Make sure to clean and change the litter box often. Clay litters do not form clumps. You can easily remove it with a scoop, so the entire litter box has to be emptied, cleaned, and the cat litter replaced at least once each week.

Meanwhile, a special type of clay, known as bentonite, does allow your litter to clump when it gets wet. Bentonite clay-based litter is now known as clumping litter as opposed to the traditional non-clumping clay litter, which contains other clay forms instead of bentonite.

You can purchase clay-based cat litter at an affordable price from nearby stores or online. This choice does not take away the effectiveness of maintaining regular cleanliness to help deter cockroaches from infesting the litter box.

2. Use silica cat litter but clean it regularly

Silica gel is used to make crystallized cat litters, which is absorbent and also provides odor control. Unlike clay litter, silica gel litter boxes produce less dust, but some cat owners think the litter may be dangerous to their felines if ingested in excessive amounts.

Don’t spend your money on a low-quality litter box as some contain crystalline silica dust, which is not biodegradable and “is said to be a cancer-causing agent,” according to Pet Planet.³ Moreover, crystalline silica can accumulate in the lungs of the cat, causing a condition known as silicosis, which can lead to shortness of breath and reduced lung capacity. Even humans can be susceptible to silicosis.

3. Reconsider using a biodegradable litter box

Biodegradable cat litters are a good alternative for people who prefer a more ecologically friendly green product. However, cockroaches tend to be attracted to biodegradable cat litter due to the items they are made of. “Biodegradable cat litters may be made from recycled paper products or plant-derived materials such as pine, wheat, corn, beet pulp, and soybean,” according to PetMD.⁴ Some are even produced from cassava.⁵ The upside is that biodegradable products do not clutter landfills.

The problem is that cockroaches, such as American cockroaches are opportunistic feeders, which means they can eat any food available to them.⁶ Since they are known to eat papers and plant-based materials, they may be attracted to your cat’s litter box.

But if you believe you can keep the roaches at bay and no way near where you keep the litter box, this might be a good option. Moreover, you can use the end product for mulch if you have a garden.

4. Seal food in airtight containers

You can keep roaches out of litter box by ensuring proper storage of your cat food. Store the food in an airtight plastic or metal container, in glass jars, or resealable plastic bags to discourage roach presence in the first place. Your canned cat food should be stored in the cupboard until you are ready to open it. That’s because leaving it out can attract cockroaches looking for a feast.

5. Get rid of stagnant water

Cockroaches are attracted to standing water and leaking pipes, which they need to survive. These critters can live up to one month without food but can only survive for one week without water. So they appreciate it when you have water sources nearby. Unfortunately, water sources around your cat litter box also expose the litter box to cockroaches.

The objective is to maintain a dry environment. Ensure that there are no leaks in sinks, baths, or laundry rooms. Empty the water bowls for your cats at night to discourage cockroaches from invading your home and cat litter.

6. Make your home roach proof

Prevent cockroaches from coming inside your home so they don’t get to enter your cat litter. This measure involves blocking possible roach entry points, such as holes, gaps, and cracks in your walls, windows, and doors. German roaches, for example, typically stand 12 millimeters tall but they can squeeze through 3-millimeter gaps, the height of two stacked U.S. pennies.⁷ These critters simply squat down and compress their body by half.

So, make sure to inspect every area for the tiniest cracks or openings that cockroaches could potentially use as entry points. Seal any identified holes using caulk.

7. Keep the kitty clean

Irrespective of the cleanliness of the litter box, if the cat is unkempt, then it can be a reason cockroaches go after the litter in the first place. Cats tend to linger around food crumbs after feeding, leading to the accumulation of food particles in their fur. When a cat with a dirty coat sits on the litter, these food particles may end up in the litter box, attracting roaches to it. Once cockroaches detect the scent of food crumbs, they are drawn to the cat litter and attempt to satisfy their hunger.

8. Maintain a clean home

We’ve mentioned earlier that just a clean home is not enough to automatically keep cockroaches out. But it does play a big role. Take up simple responsibilities such as wiping down tables and floors, as well as emptying trash cans and litter boxes to discourage cockroaches from coming after your kitty litter box. Don’t forget to declutter your home, especially the area where you keep the litter box.

Regularly dispose of cat poop. Cockroaches in your home may not be attracted to empty, clean litter boxes. It is the presence of cat poop and urine that entices them to the cat litter. Thus, you can stop roaches from infesting your cat litter by keeping it clean regularly.

9. Dispose of the garbage outside

An inhospitable environment for cockroaches in your home can keep roaches out of litter boxes. Make it a habit to regularly dispose of garbage and avoid accumulating it within your home. Cockroaches are also attracted to piles of wood and dead leaves, so refrain from accumulating these items both inside and outside your property. Keep your outside garbage can clean too.

10. Place pet-safe roach repellent

Use cat-friendly cockroach repellents such as peppermint oil, sticky cockroach glue, and eucalyptus oil to keep roaches away from the litter box. If using essential oils, for instance, dilute the solution in water by mixing 10-15 drops of the oil with a small amount of water. Sprinkle this solution along the areas where you noticed a cockroach infestation to discourage their presence.

Even bay leaves can keep cockroaches at bay. Just make sure to surround the litter box with powdered bay leaves for the scent to deter them.

Ultimately, it takes a bit of hard work to keep roaches out of litter box. While these DIY methods can help control roach presence in your home, it might be necessary to contact your local pest control company in the case of an infestation. Do not underestimate the presence of even one cockroach as a mated female can quickly result in hundreds more, if not thousands of cockroaches in your home.

Read also: put an end to breeding cockroaches


  1. Why do I have cockroaches in my home? NPIC
  2. Do Cats Eat Roaches?
  3. Litter Safety – Making An Educated Choice. Pet Planet
  4. What is Cat Litter Made of? PetMD
  5. Preparation and properties of biodegradable cat litter produced from cassava ( Manihot esculenta L. Crantz) trunk. ResearchGate
  6. Why You Can’t Keep Cockroaches Out of Your Home. The Atlantic
  7. American Cockroach, Periplaneta Americana (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Blattodea: Blattidae). IFAS Extension

Read also: how dog’s food attracts cockroaches

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