How To Choose A Litter Box For Your Senior Cat
One of the most daunting tasks for a cat owner is finding the perfect litter box for their elderly cats needs. There are so many options, big and small, expensive and inexpensive. But which one will work best for your senior cat?
Here are some important things to consider when buying a litter box for your elderly cat in order to help minimise litter box problems
How often do they use the box and are there multiple cats using the litter box?
Do they need a large space to move around in or something smaller like an entry-level model?
-What type of material do you want the litter box to be made out of? Do you want to make sure its easy to clean or is it more important that it stays odor-free?
-Do you want a low, shallow pan or something high with higher sides?
-How much money can you spend on a new litter box? Is it worth spending more to get quality and durability or is less expensive also ok if it will work just as well?
Why Do Big Cats Need Extra
Cats only use the box that fits them.
So, no matter what kind of cats youve got or how old they are, it is important for them to sit, squat, and turn in their own litter box comfortably. The common rule for the litter boxs size is about 1.5x the length of the cats body without the tail.
I know that many cat owners are not aware of this rule of thumb. But if you are facing the problem of your cat urinating outside his box, try to buy them a larger box and see the change in their habits.
The Best Litter Boxes For Older Cats: The Breakdown Revealed
I am always surprised by the lack of understanding about the needs of our feline friends as they age and become less able to take care of themselves.
If you have an aging cat such as a 14-year-old kitty, it can be difficult to decide which great litter box is best for them.
They tend to develop arthritis and physical disabilities as they get older.
Arthritic cats will cause litter messes if they continue using a traditional litter tray.
This makes using the regular litter boxes more challenging for them, than when they were younger.
We all know how important it is for cats to have a clean litter box. So you want to make sure you get the right one for your older cat to have a comfortable place to go and eliminate.
Cats can be funny and stubborn creatures. They provide us with endless entertainment and unconditional love. But how do you ensure the best life for your aging cat?
If youve got a senior cat, you may have to switch the brand of regular litter boxes she uses.
While it would be awesome if the litter box were self-aware and able to sense how big your cat had gotten, sadly that isnt possible
How do you cater to a senior cats needs, making life easier for you and her as well?
Thats the focus of this post: how to choose the best litter box for older cats.
Whether your pet has specific medical conditions or not, we will share tips on how to avoid common mistakes that may compromise your pets safety.
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Signs Of Arthritis In Cats
Cats tend to hide signs of pain quite effectively, which makes sense if you consider their ancestry. A sick animal in the wild is vulnerable to predators, so any sign of weakness must be hidden. This instinct makes it difficult for owners to know their cats is affected and whether treatment is necessary.
Observe your cat for any change in behavior or activity. If an older cat is more hesitant to climb stairs or jump onto a bed or table, it may be suffering from feline arthritis.
A cat with arthritis also may stop using the litter box, as climbing in and out causes pain. If you notice your cat reduces or limits its grooming this may also be a sign of arthritic joints movements that were once routine are more difficult and painful.
Watch for changes in your cat’s gait. If it looks like it’s doing a “bunny hop” or otherwise moving differently than usual, chances are it’s trying to find a comfortable way to move around without causing more stress on the arthritic body part.
If you are in doubt about whether your cat is in pain, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian, who will assess the cat and provide suggestions on how to help manage the pain.
What Box Is Best For Keeping Litter Inside
Some of you may have cats that like privacy or have a habit of kicking litter all over the place. You may prefer something completely covered. Now, I’ll warn you that covered boxes can cause issues for cats with asthma or arthritis, especially if the door is small or the entry is too high. However, if you have many litter boxes to choose from, your cat may do well with it and you may appreciate it too. Just keep an eye on your cat if they’re not using it, then you know how they feel about it. And you can be fairly confident that they will find an alternative place to do their business.
I love the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan because it’s still really roomy, keeps the litter inside, and has a great swinging door that the cat can walk through easily.
Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter PanBuy on Chewy |
There are a number of other options, including the Booda Domes or ones that are accessible from the top. However, Ive tried both and found that Booda Domes are cramped and youll spend more time cleaning up the mess all over the inside of the container, rather than just scooping up the poop. And the top accessible versions seem to be equally messy with our cats jumping out and the litter following them.
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Frisco Flip Top Hooded Cat Litter Box
The Frisco Flip Top Hooded litter box comes in a white and beige color and measures 22.7 x 17.3 x 16.1. It comes with a lid and a translucent flap for a door that keeps the odor and litter inside the litter box where it belongs. For easy cleanup, it features a top section that can flip up for easy access for quick scooping, or you can remove the entire lid for deeper cleaning. It also includes a charcoal filter for added odor control.
We did have issues with the cat door, however. Some seem to be literally bent out of shape, and others just wouldnt stay attached and sometimes became stuck. The last thing youll want to happen is for your cat to become trapped inside the litter box. The base of the litter box was also not made with very sturdy plastic.
- The flap doesnt always retain its shape
- The flap falls off and sometimes becomes stuck
- The base has less than sturdy plastic
Avoid Too Much Change
Any alteration of the litter box area can be upsetting to cats at any age, so be careful how you implement changes. The litter box is a place where cats are vulnerable, so they are sensitive about changes in location, litter, use by other cats, addition of ramps/stairs, invasion by dogs or guests, etc. It’s preferable to leave the old litter box intact and introduce changes by adding to the area. If you can, have your cat present whenever you change something, so you can assure her that everything’s OK.
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A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites Of 2022
One of the best overall litter boxes for older cats that we have found is the Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box. What makes this box so appealing for senior cats is that the entryway starts from ground level and has a gradual ramp that makes it easy for older cats to move in and out of. The dome is perfect for owners because it stops them from having to pick up litter that their cats arent doing as well of a job keeping inside the litter box anymore. Its also nice because it keeps other pets in the house from snooping around in there. However, some smaller dog breeds still might break-in.
This box is excellent at absorbing odors because of the built-in charcoal filter. The plastic material makes it easy to clean, and the large size is suitable for all cat breeds. Better yet, there are three different colors to choose from so that it looks sleek in every home.
Its tough to find a litter box for senior cats that doesnt take up much space, is affordable, and still lets them do their business with ease. The best litter box for older cats for the money is the Natures Miracle high-sided corner litter box. This boxs main attraction might be the low price, but there is more to it than that. The angles design helps this box tuck perfectly into a small corner if youre tight on space.
- Lots of messes outside of box
Diy Senior Cat Litter Box
A time you may want to improvise and build a custom-made litter box for your elderly cat.
Here is how you go about it using a large plastic box:
- Cut a hole in the box. It should be 5 inches from the bottom to hold the litter. Ensure that the edges are smooth.
- Make sure that the entry point is large enough for your cat to maneuver in and out.
- Fill in your box with litter.
- Cover the top with the plastic lid if you prefer a closed litter
- Introduce your feline into the litter box.
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Litter May Escape The Box
This does happen anyway, elderly kitty or not. If the box is shallow and the front opening is lower than usual, it is going to stand to reason that there may be litter escaping the litter box.The normal precautions can be taken for this, such as using a litter mat underneath the litter box so that most of the litter is trapped on the mat.
Puppy trainer pads underneath the box are a good solution to make cleaning easier if kitty is peeing outside the box.
What To Look For In A Litter Box
Shopping for new pet gear can be fun, but it can also be a little bit overwhelming. There are so many featureswhich box is best? Should you go high-tech, low-tech, or somewhere in between? Whether youre welcoming a new kitty into your home for the first time or its time for a refresh, here are a few things to keep in mind before you start shopping:
To find a litter box thats the right width, you need to consider not only the size of your cat, but the size and layout of the room where the box will be stored. Litter boxes should be stored in a quiet, open location in your home.
Once youve found the perfect spot, think about the size of your cat and whether or not theyre still growing before you make a purchase. If the box is too cramped, your cat might end up making a mess right outside the boxor somewhere else in your home.
Generally, litter boxes with 5- to 7-inch sides work well for most cats. But if your cat is unruly and has a tendency to kick litter around or has bad aim, you might want to consider boxes with high walls, and maybe even a covered box.
Now that you have a good idea about the width and height of the box, you can start looking at style. With the wide variety of litter boxes available today, you can definitely find a little box thats functional and matches your home decor. Which style will work best for your homesomething sleek and modern? Or maybe something that blends in with your furnishings?
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Best Top Entry Litter Box For Cats
When searching for the best cat litter boxes for apartments, you should consider a litter box furniture enclosure to save space. And the Sweet Barks Wooden Bench Cat Litter Box Enclosure provides a stylish option for small spaces. Inside the cabinet, youll find two spacious compartments that offer you some options. You can either store litter supplies in one side of the cabinet with the pan in the other or put two litter boxes inside. The top provides a place for storage no matter where you decide to put it. To make this enclosure even better, the openings on either end are in the shape of a cats head. Too cute!
What To Look For When Choosing A Litter Box
Before I get to why my litter boxes are the best, I should probably explain why my sudden obsession with litter trays! My initial plan was to adopt one kitten, but it was just too tough to not adopt his brother and sister too. And by tough, I mean my wife came home with three kittens. At the time, I figured there couldnt be much difference between three kittens and one kitten other than more food, bigger bags of litter, and a lot more cuteness.
Think about your own bathroom. Chances are you would love to expand your loo, giving you much more room to roam and relax. Its really no different for your cat. They dont want to be cramped either, and chances are they will take their business elsewhere if they dont like what youve provided. These four factors should come into play when you are decided on litter boxes:
- The height of the sides
- Covered or uncovered
This is a good time to emphasize that you need multiple litter boxes, even if you have only one cat. They love choices for where to go. And if you have more than one cat, think of it this way: humans dont like sharing a bathroom, so imagine multiple cats having to share one litter box! If your cat isn’t liking their litter box, there could be many reasons for it.
If you want to learn more about why cats might have an aversion to their litter box, read “Inappropriate Elimination and How to Prevent It” by Dr. Chris Pachel, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.
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How Big Should A Litter Box Be For An Adult Cat
The general rule when buying a cat litter box should be that it should be at least 1.5x the length of your adult cat.
Hence the size of your cat litter box depends purely on the size of your adult cat.
Adult cat sizes will differ greatly due to the type of breed and the diet you feed her.
Litter boxes for large breed cats will automatically be bigger.
Covered Vs Uncovered Boxes
I dont recommend hooded or covered litter boxes, and most cats dont like them, either. While some cats seem to like the privacy they provide, these boxes are often too small for the cat to comfortably turn around in and do their business. Whats worse is that they can trap odors inside, making them very unpleasant for the cat to use Dust can also be a bigger problem in a covered box, as it becomes more concentrated when cats dig.
A covered box prevents guardians from seeing how the cat acts while in the box. Knowing whats normal for your cat and being able to detect any changes in litter box behaviors can help detect health problems early. A cat who is straining in the litter box may be on the verge of being blocked, which is a life-threatening emergency.
The bottom line: in most cases, covered boxes are for humans, not cats. If you absolutely must use a covered box, at the very least, remove the filters provided by some manufacturers. Theyre designed to trap dust and odors inside the box, which may be nice for the humans, but not for the cat
I do not recommend automatic or self-cleaning litter boxes. If the mechanism malfunctions while your cat is using the box, or even if the box goes into its cleaning action while your cat is anywhere near it, she may never use the box again.
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What Should You Look For In A Litter Box
The most important thing is to find one that your cats will use meaning its one that they know how to use, arent afraid of, and can enter and exit with ease. If you have a cat with mobility issues, youll want to make sure that its easy for them to get in and out of it without causing pain.
Youll also want to be sure its easy to clean. That means that you can get to it easily when its time to scoop it out, that nothing clumps in hard-to-reach places, and that any accidents are easy to wipe off.
Since this list is geared toward boxes that can handle multiple cats, youll want to make sure its roomy enough to handle all the waste that your cats produce. That usually means a large pan and deposit box, but you can get by going smaller on both if you clean it out every day.
Boxes come in all shapes and sizes, so youll want to find one that fits nicely in your home as well. Some can easily be stashed away in a corner or behind your own toilet, but some are so massive that they dominate a room. This may be a tradeoff that you need to make to accommodate multiple cats, though.
Finally, consider any special circumstances that you may have. For example, if you have a dog that likes to dig through the box for snacks, youll want one with a secure lid. If you hate litter being tracked through your house, you should get one that cuts down on the amount that escapes. This is something that youll have to consider on your own before you start shopping.