The Best Litter Boxes for Older Cats: The Breakdown Revealed

fat cat lying on the floor

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 you’ve 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 isn’t possible…

How do you cater to a senior cat’s needs, making life easier for you and her as well?

That’s 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 pet’s safety.

Because if you have an older cat, she may have certain special needs and requirements.

This means you need something other than the standard litter box options.

Finding the best litter boxes for senior cats can be challenging. But do not fear, I am here to help you!

From the huge variety available, this article has narrowed down to the top 6 litter boxes for senior cats, giving you an easy way out.

The Best Cat Litter Boxes for Senior Cats

We all want a comfortable life in our old age, so do our senior cats.

The following litter trays will make the life of your elderly cat more comfortable and bearable:

1.    KittyGoHere Senior Cat Litter Box

• KittyGoHere Senior Cat litter box comes with low entry/exit points that allow easy access in and out of the litter box.

• It’s one of the best litter boxes for older cats

• It’s a good low sided litter box

Pros of the KittyGoHere senior litter box:

  • Suitable for kitties and old cats alike since it’s a low entry litter box
  • Very easy to clean and dispose of dirty litter
  • It is very spacious, and senior cats can maneuver easily inside.
  • It’s highly affordable.

Cons of the senior litter box:

  • No covers on the top, resulting in poor odor control
  • Litter tracking can easily occur
  • Hard to control urine splashes from your senior cats due to the low entry-exit points

2.    Nature’s Miracle Advanced High-Sided Corner Litter Box

Key Features:

  • Suitable for a small apartment with limited space.
  • It works well as a corner litter box and has a low entry point for old cats.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean due to the non-sticky walls
  • Has high sides to prevent urine splashes
  • It comes with odor-blocking technology; hence your house will be free from unpleasant odors.
  • Has an easy to pour litter tray
  • It’s a good litter box for old cats

Cons:

  • Urine will leak if there is not enough litter in the box
  • Low sided litter boxes are prone to tracking

3.    Lucky Champ Litter Pan

Key Features:

  • This low litter box has a removable handle
  • It comes with a low entry point for easy access and high walls at the back to prevent urine splashes.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and dispose of litter
  • Has fair weight distribution hence cannot be toppled over
  • The lucky champ litter box offers enough space for your elderly feline.
  • It’s a good low entry litter box for old cats

Cons of this low cat litter box:

  • Since it’s a low cat litter box, your cat may kick litter out from the front entry

Cons:

  • Quite bulky in small spaces

4.    Nature’s Miracle Multi-Cat Self Cleaning Litter Box

Key Features of this self-cleaning litter box:

  • LED night lights
  • If you own multiple elderly cats and are not always in the house, this is the ultimate litter box.
  • Automatic cleaning: It is fully equipped with sensors to initiate a cleaning process once your cat has that its thing.

Pros:

• Adequate space

• Controls litter tracking by cleaning your cat’s paws as they exit the litter box.

• Great odor control due to the carbon filters creating a fresh environment

• Easy-lift handles for facilitating cleanup

Cons:

• Expensive to buy

• The litter tray is attached to the box

• May be harder to clean

5.    Petmate Clean Step Litter Dome

Key Features:

  • Clean-step entrance
  • It is the ultimate gadget for an elderly feline.
  • It’s a dog proof litter box
  • It is among the best cat litter for senior citizens.

Pros:

  • East to clean due to its round shape and non-stick plastic walls
  • The non-sticky walls ensure that no urine splashes occur outside the litter box.
  • Well disguised- can be placed anywhere in the house
  • Controls litter tracking due to the inbuilt litter tracking mechanism
  • Odor control via odor-eliminating charcoal filters
  • Comes with an aesthetic design
  • A top handle for opening the dome cover

Cons:

  • Scooping litter can be quite a task
  • Expensive
  • Can easily get knocked over

6.    PetFusion Easy Clean Cat Litter Box

Key features:

  • Non-stick coating
  • This low litter box is recommended for use on elderly cats by vets.
  • Easy access by all cats

Pros:

  • Cleaning the box is very simple and takes less time.
  • The anti-microbial and non-stick surfaces ensure that your cat’s litter pan is free from foul odors.
  • Comes with a low entry and high-sided wall to contain any urine splashes and litter in the box.

Cons:

  • The low sided litter boxes are prone to litter tracking

DIY Senior Cat Litter Box

Man drilling into wood

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.

Why Do Older Cats Stop Using Their Litter Box?

Oder cats stop using the litter box for a variety of reasons like:

1.    Underlying Medical Conditions:

Urinary tract infections, kidney stones, cancer, and diabetes are some of the most prevalent medical conditions that will drive away your cat from the litter box.

When the passing of urine becomes a painful process, they tend to associate the pain with the litter box; hence they will avoid it by all means.

2.    Physical disabilities:

An old feline who suffers from arthritis will find it difficult to access a very high entry point of a litter box. Arthritic cats should not be subjected to a high-sided litter box.

Painful joints bring this about because the cat will not be able to maneuver into the litter box.

3.    Dirty Litter Box

A dirty and clumpy litter box will drive out the elderly kitty. If the litter box is full of unpleasant odor and waste, the elderly kitty will make a protest move.

4.    Supremacy Battles

If you have multiple cats in your home, a senior cat may be driven out of the litter box by the younger cats who want dominance.

5.    Location of the Litter Box

Cats dislike sudden changes in the litter box position. Also, your cat’s sight may be falling, and it cannot locate the new litterbox position.

Litter Box Solutions for Senior Cats

Here are some tips on what you can do to make your elderly feline use the litter box.

1.    Medical treatment:

Take the senior cat to the vet for treatment if he manifests signs of any chronic disease. Male cats have a higher risk of urethra blockage than their counterparts.

2.    Cleanliness:

Maintain good hygiene in the litter box for senior cats. Clean out the litter box once a week and put some fresh litter. Always clean the litter box with mild soap and rinse it with clean water.

3.    Multiple Litter boxes:

If you own multiple cats, provide more litter boxes in different house locations to prevent supremacy battles. The best litter box for senior cats should be easily accessible to the cat. Buy one with a low entry point and low sides. A good low-sided litter box should be 1.5 to 2 times the length of the cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What litter is best for older cats?

The best kind of litter for your older cats is clumping litter.

It’s designed to stick together and form a relatively solid clump that’s easy for you to scoop and remove from the box.

However, first things first, you want to figure out what type of litter your cat prefers.

Many cats will prefer clay over non-clay, but if that doesn’t work for your cat, look for a litter with whatever natural material seems to fit him best.

Can you train an older cat to use a litter box?

An elderly cat can be trained to use a litter box. If you have a new old cat in your house, you can train on how to use a litter by doing this:

  • Introduce your cat to the low-sided litter tray by putting in some poop; the scent will attract the senior cat to the litter box.
  • Put the low-sided cat litter box on the spot where it does its thing most.
  • If your cat poops on the carpet, cut a small piece of the rug and put it in the litter box.

Can older cats use a top entry litter box?

Yes, older cats can use a top entry litter box. However, it is not recommended.

Older cats are typically less flexible in the hips and back than younger cats, and it is more difficult to navigate a top entry litter box.

Older cats may not be as agile as their kitty counterparts and making the transition to a top entry litter box may be difficult.

To solve this, purchase a low-sided litter box.

Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?

Contrary to popular opinion, cats prefer an open litter box to a closed one.

Animal behaviorists and many pet owners have found that cats prefer a clean, private, quiet, large litter box that they can easily get into and out of.

Cats are not fond of enclosed spaces and thus, prefer open litter boxes as compared to closed ones. Closed litter boxes do not give the cat enough opportunities to move around.

Cats due to their natural survival instinct do not want to be in an enclosed space while eliminating to avoid being attacked by a predator. They want to have a clear view of the surrounding during this vulnerable moment.

Why does my old cat not use the litter box anymore?

Older cats have stiff joints that make it difficult to jump in and out of the litter box. This can make them less likely to use their litter box.

You’ll want to make sure that your cat litter box is kept in a quiet, out-of-the-way place (not in a busy or high-traffic area).

If your cat is not using his litter box regularly, this could mean there is a problem with your cat’s health, or with the litter box itself.

Contact your veterinarian to ensure that your cat doesn’t have any medical condition.

Senior cat litter box problems

  • Changes in cats’ mobility
  • Physical problems may be due to a disease that causes pain, such as cystitis, or multiple allergies.
  • Behavioral problems are more likely to be why a cat is urinating outside of the box

If the owner notices a change in the cat’s litter pan use, he should speak to a veterinarian.

A vet may recommend several options such as medication, dietary change, or the addition of a litter box.

Conclusion

As cats grow older, some owners worry about how to keep their cats comfortable and safe.

The best litter box for older cats is one that is going to be easy for them to get in and out of.

If a senior cat has problems with its joints, then a step-up litter box is going to be a great option for them.

This is because a step-up litter box has a small ramp for the cat to get into the litter box. It is going to be easier for them to walk in and out of the litter box.

If a cat has problems with its vision, you want to get a litter box that has high walls so they can’t kick the litter out of the box.

If a cat has problems with its sense of smell, you want to get an unscented litter.

This is because the scent of the litter can irritate their nose and make it harder for them to find the litter box.

We hope this article helps you and your cat get the rest and sleep you both need.