Litter Pans for Older Cats With Arthritis

by Melodie Anne Coffman, Demand Media Google
    Your aching kitty needs a shallow litter box.

    Your aching kitty needs a shallow litter box.

    Your purring pal stuck by your side all these years and is always there to comfort you when you have the blues. Now it's time to return the favor. As Fluffy enters her senior years, she'll need extra attention, particularly when it comes to her restroom.

    Covered Boxes

    Covered litter boxes help keep kitty waste in one area, which is helpful with aging felines that might miss the target area. Your lovable companion won't be able to squat over the edge, nor will she be able to kick cat litter across the room. If your furball struggles to get in and out of her covered toilet area, get her a box with a very low wall on one side. Her arthritic joints might make it painful and difficult to climb over a high wall. Cutting the opening in the litter pan you already have to make the entrance lower can also help, but you'll need to carefully smooth any rough edges.

    Problems With Covered Boxes

    As cats get older their bodies aren't quite as limber. Your formerly agile pet suddenly has a difficult time maneuvering around inside her covered litter box. Finding accidents around her potty may be a sign she is uncomfortable scrunching up inside her covered box. Remove the lid from her covered box or purchase an uncovered pan.

    Uncovered Pans

    As with the covered box, she'll need an entrance wall that is low to the ground and easy to climb over. Ensure the pan is large enough for her to comfortably walk around in, so she doesn't scrunch her bones every time she relieves herself. Sometimes finding a shallow litter box in the pet section can be difficult. Look around the other isles at the shopping center. Under-the-bed sweater boxes or plastic garment tubs often have short sides and are large enough to keep your feline content.

    Number of Boxes

    Once you find the right type of litter pan, you need to make sure you have enough of them. Older arthritic felines don't move as quickly, and when she has to go, she might not be able to scramble down the stairs to get to her potty in the basement. She'll probably wind up having accidents all over the house. Put out at least one litter box per kitty and ensure you have one on each floor, suggests the Humane Society of the United States. Even if Fluffy is the only queen in your castle, if you have a two-story home with a finished basement, you'll have to provide a box on each floor.

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images