It's never fun to watch your pet get old, but recognizing that they'll develop special needs as they age is part of being a devoted pet parent. While raising a cat through its elder years can be one of life's more rewarding experiences, elimination problems, like peeing outside the litter box, are common for cats as they get older. If this has become an issue for your favorite furry companion, consider investing in one of the best litter boxes for older cats, which were designed to make them feel more comfortable as they go about their business.
There are a few reasons why elderly cats might be having trouble using an ordinary litter box, so you should always consult with a veterinarian before making any changes in your home. Arthritis, which can make getting in and out of the box painful for pets with aching joints, is one of the major causes that impacts as many as three in 10 cats, but only an estimated seven percent ever receive treatment. Another cause of litter box issues in aging cats is dementia, which can make them confused about where the litter box is located in your home.
Regardless of what's causing your older cat's litter box problems, the four options ahead, which range from open to domed, are sure to help. Check them out, below.
1. Best Overall: This Box That's Low To The Ground & Won't Strain Joints
When it comes to caring for older cats, this litter box is a total lifesaver. Designed to be low to the ground so it's easier for cats to step in without putting extra stress on their little bones, the KittyGoHere senior cat litter box is also surprisingly roomy, meaning you could actually use this for multiple pets, if need be. Its open design allows you to monitor your pet and keep an eye on their daily elimination habits, which becomes more important as they age.
2. Best For Cats That Spray: This High-Sided Box That Keeps Litter Contained
In addition to having accidents outside a litter box due to mobility issues or dementia, cats may sometimes pee outside the box because they just happen to spray high. It can be frustrating, but one of the big advantages to using this high-sided litter box from PetFusion is that urine and litter will stay inside where they belong. Made with a non-stick antimicrobial coating that helps keep bacteria and odors from forming, this box has a semi-low entry way, which means older cats can enter and exit without too much added discomfort. It has a near-perfect rating, too, with even a veterinarian (and parent of nine cats) giving it five stars.
3. Best Covered Box: This Domed Litter Box That Comes With Its Own Stairs
Using a covered litter box for a senior or geriatric cat gives them a bit more privacy as they go about their business, and it may help to contain mess, too, especially if your cat loves to kick. However, the downside with most covered boxes is that they often aren't as low to the ground as other designs are. This domed model from Booda is the exception, though. It comes with literal steps, which are grooved and help gently wipe cats' paws as they exit, so floors stay litter-free. For older cats, these steps also serve to solve mobility-related issues, since they won't have to jump up or in to use it. It also comes with a charcoal filter that helps absorb unwanted odors. The one thing to note is that it's on the bigger side (it measures in at 21-by-21 inches), so it probably isn't the best option for tight spaces. If that's what you're after, keep scrolling...
4. Best For Tight Spaces: This Corner Litter Box That Saves So Much Room
Need to find a box for your cat that's low enough to the ground so that they can slip in comfortably, but compact enough so it can fit into a corner or similarly cramped space? If so, the SmartCat corner litter box is an must-have, as it comes with high sides to prevent litter kick-out, plus a low-entry bottom so arthritic and elderly cats can still navigate it with ease. Made with plastic resin, this box is built for long-term use and features a fill line so you know how much litter to use so it won't be too packed. It also fits into virtually any corner, so it's ideal for apartments or shared living situations.
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