Litter boxes are essential pieces of equipment that all responsible cat owners should have. However, with all the litter boxes available in the market, cat owners have to consider several different factors to make sure that they get the best litter box for their cat.
The decision to choose a litter box is made significantly more difficult when it’s for a cat with special needs. Cats that are relatively older, or cats that have sustained injuries over the years, have physical limitations that will make using litter boxes more difficult than others. A wrong litter box for these cats will just be a problem down the road for both the cat and the person who has to clean up after them – you.
If you are living with a cat with certain medical conditions, keep on reading to learn about the different litter boxes for them.
Factors to Consider
Choosing a litter box for a healthy cat already has its own set of considerations to make which means choosing a litter box for a handicapped cat needs additional factors to consider.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a litter box for a handicapped cat is accessibility. As much as possible, you wouldn’t want your cat to have a difficult time to get inside the litter box. This means that most probably, a litter box at ground level should be considered. There are different litter boxes that are raised for certain reasons and they should be avoided for cats that might have a difficult time getting up there. Climbing is especially difficult for older cats with hip problems.
Another feature that some litter boxes come with is a gate. These litter boxes are designed to prevent dogs or children from getting into a litter box. Unfortunately, these litter boxes rely on the agility and dexterity that a younger and healthier cat would have.
Even the most domesticated cat in the world will still show signs of behavior that links it to its wild ancestry. In nature, cats have to be careful from other predators. This is one reason why cats bury their waste because they don’t want other predators to be able to track them easily.
To accommodate their natural instincts, companies have developed litter boxes that provide sufficient privacy. And this is especially important for senior and handicapped cats because they know they aren’t in their prime. They need to have enough privacy to do their business in comfort without being too worried.
However, privacy has to be balanced well with accessibility. You’d want a litter box to be accessible enough but still have sufficient privacy. This could be as simple as just placing the litter box in a corner or some part of the house that does not receive too much foot traffic.
The advancements in technology has allowed the development of sensors specific to litter boxes. There are different kinds of sensors that will allow you to monitor your cat and perhaps this is a feature that you should consider.
Having a sensor in a litter box for a cat with special medical needs will give you an idea how much your cat is going to the bathroom. Especially for older cats that may have urinary problems, a sensor will tell you if your cat is going too frequently or infrequently. Diabetic cats will also benefit from having their bathroom trips monitored. Having such information can give you ample time to assess your cat’s situation and give you ample time to bring your cat to a veterinarian.
Self Cleaning Features
Many modern litter boxes offer top-of-the-line self cleaning features. These features can include flushing options or automatic rakes that deal with the mess. These are all features that can make life easier for a cat owner and these are perfectly fine to use for handicapped cats.
However, all the other factors have to be considered before looking into litter boxes with self cleaning features. These features are perfectly fine to have as long as these are litter boxes that are highly accessible and provide sufficient privacy.
Furthermore, it should be considered that these types of litter boxes are quite expensive and older cats may be more difficult to convince to use new litter boxes as they can be set in their ways.
Litter boxes with self cleaning features are highly recommended for younger cats because the features of these litter boxes often come with moving parts and sounds that some cats are not comfortable with – and comfort is an important factor for them to be able to go do their business.
While self cleaning litter boxes are nice to have, cat owners should proceed with caution when investing in these types of litter boxes as they are quite expensive. It would be a shame if you’d go ahead and buy one just for your cat to dislike it.
Best Litter Boxes for Handicapped Cats
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the factors to consider when choosing the best litter box for your special cat, here are some of the best litter boxes available for you to choose from. These are some of the litter boxes that offer the necessary features and design elements for cats with special needs.
KittyGoHere Litter Box Senior Cat Litter Box
When it comes to simple litter boxes for cats with special needs, the KittyGoHere Litter Box Senior Cat Litter Box is a tough one to beat. It’s a simple litter box with 24 in x 20 in x 5 in dimensions. Five-inch walls are pretty low enough, but the entrance goes even lower as it dips to a mere 3 inches. Low walls mean that cats don’t have to jump or climb too high to access this type of litter box. However, the walls aren’t so low that the litter can easily be thrown off the box.
The dimensions of this litter box is especially good because it’s a relatively large litter box which means that it would comfortably fit cats of different sizes. Furthermore, the plastic used to make this litter box is aesthetically pleasing (since you have different colors to choose from) and is easy to clean and maintain.
The KittyGoHere Litter Box Senior Cat Litter Box is a great option to have, especially because it doesn’t hurt the wallet. However, don’t expect too much from this litter box. If you’re looking for one with sensors and self cleaning functions, it’s best to look elsewhere. Due to its open design, this litter box also doesn’t come with any form of odor control.
Nature’s Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner Litter Box
A great competitor to the KittyGoHere Litter Box Senior Cat Litter Box is the Nature’s Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner Litter Box. This type of litter box veers on the side of simpler designed litter boxes, but it comes with an interesting design element. Compared to the rectangular litter box designs, the Nature’s Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner Litter Box is specifically designed to be placed in a corner.
Before discussing further about the relevance of a corner design, this litter box is 26 in x 23 in x 10 in which means that it’s more than enough for most sizes of cats out there. Although the walls may seem tall as they are 10 inches, the entrance is halved at 5 inches – a relatively easy entryway for most cats (even ones with special needs). High walls are necessary to keep all the litter and debris inside the box.
While this litter box may not have any self cleaning features, this litter box is made of an antimicrobial plastic which should offer some degree of odor control.
To discuss the importance of corner litter boxes, these litter boxes offer great alternatives for people deciding where to place their litter box. Corner litter boxes are great options to consider for handicapped cats because these litter boxes can be easily placed in far corners of quiet rooms for privacy. People often also put some pieces of furniture or houseplants to further provide any additional forms of privacy.
LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box
If the first two litter boxes seem too simple for you, then perhaps you would prefer the LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Compared to the previous two, this litter box looks like it was made in the future.
The most prominent feature of this litter box is that it comes with a self-cleaning function. For the convenience of the cat owner, this litter box comes with an automatic scoop and rake that will deal with the mess and waste immediately. Following the directions of the product, this litter box will save the cat owner tons of work because it claims to be good and fresh for a whole week. This offers a significantly different experience to simple litter boxes that require attention every single day.
If you’re wondering how the litter box can control the odor for seven whole days, the LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box comes with carbon filters and waste receptacles that the cat owner can purchase and restock. The product comes with four initially which should be good for the first month.
Your handicapped cat shouldn’t find it too difficult to access this litter box because it comes with a low ramp that won’t exert too much pressure on arthritic joints.
One thing to consider is that this type of litter box has moving parts which will make sounds when operating. This means that there’s a chance your cat will be scared to use it. Hopefully, the cat will learn that the litter box doesn’t mean any harm, but for the hefty price you’ll be paying for this, it’s best to be sure.
Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter
Dialing back from the hi-tech litter boxes, the Petmate Booda Dome CLean Step Cat Litter is both simple and ingenious. While this litter box can be considered as simple as the first two litter boxes, this litter box has a distinct difference – it is domed and enclosed.
A closed cat litter box offers a few advantages over the open ones. Firstly, closed litter boxes offer the most privacy. Compared with an open litter box, you literally cannot see your cat doing their business when they’re inside the closed litter box.
Another excellent advantage of a closed litter box is that litter and waste will be contained inside the litter box more effectively than in an open litter box. Cats can kick litter and waste from the litter box as they attempt to bury their waste. Open litter boxes try to contain this with higher walls, but they will never do as good a job as a closed litter box when it comes to containing litter inside.
Lastly, closed litter boxes are actually better with odor control just because of its closed design. Open litter boxes are free to contribute waste odor into the air inside a home while closed litter boxes do a better job keeping the smell over there.
The Petmate Booda Dome CLean Step Cat Litter in particular comes with steps that allow the cat to get inside and climb up to where they can proceed to do their business. One thing to consider though is that closed litter boxes should come with entrances that are big enough for your cat. Base on the size of your cat, the entrance of this litter box might be a little tight.
Beyond the ones listed in this article, there are loads of different kinds of litter boxes that might just be the perfect one for your special cat. If none of the options listed are to your liking, then you are free to browse other litter boxes with the factors to consider in mind. Essentially, the best litter box for your handicapped cat is the one it can easily use – self cleaning features are useless if the cat doesn’t like using it. Aside from accessibility, it should always be remembered that privacy is also a big factor for your cat to be comfortable with using a litter box.