Kicked litter, spraying, onerous clean-up of not only the box but also the surrounding area…no wonder litter boxes are often a source of vexation for cat owners. But what if you could find a model that best suits your cat’s proclivities, making her elimination time easier and more pleasant — which in turn could make your life more pleasant as well?
Some cats may need relief from middle age stiffness or other mobility problems. Others desire more privacy while toileting. And still others want a consistently cleaner space to do their business. All these needs can be accommodated. Keep in mind that many features found in one type of litter box might also be found in another. For instance, a self-cleaning box may provide privacy, too. Check out some of the options available.
Imagine going to the bathroom but not being able to close the door. Some cats simply do not want to be seen when they “go.” The solution, as long as they can jump, is a completely enclosed, opaque litter box that your pet can get into via a hole in the top. Better still, there’s a grate with little holes next to the entry/exit hole so that just before she jumps off, any litter remnants on her paws will drop down to the bottom before she starts walking around the house again. There’s no leakage from spraying to contend with, either, since the enclosed box is completely seamless.
Some of these models come with a hook attached to hang the litter scoop so that you don’t have to place it on the floor. And if your cat might prefer to be able to see out, a number of models come see-through rather than opaque.
Note that while cats who aren’t limber may not be able to manage the jump in and out of the hole-on-top model, other completely enclosed options provide a ramp-like step-in. Some of the entry ramps have grates of their own so that any leftover litter stays where it belongs.
Some options to check out: Petmate Clean Step Litter Dome with a floor-level ramp entry to hooded box ($32.99); IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box ($18.99 to $24.99); Modkat Litter Box ($79.99).
Because cats prefer a clean litter box, and because you don’t enjoy punctuating your day with managing litter to keep it picked up and odor-free, you might want to consider a self-cleaning model. Some have a sifter in the form of a washable grate that separates the dry litter from the clumps and the waste, using either a tray with special holes in it or a lever that you crank to do the sifting. Others are more highly mechanized and have a gizmo that rolls from one side to the next, taking with it all clumps and waste and depositing them into a removable tray that is easily emptied and cleaned.
Some options to check out: Frisco Sifting Cat Litter Box, which has a liftable grate to easily separate used litter from clean ($16.99); and Catit Design SmartSift Sifting Cat Pan (64.14). Higher end sifting designs come with more bells and whistles, including electrically powered sifters.
A litter pan with a very low access point, as opposed to a box that you have to step into, works not only for older cats with compromised joints but also tiny kittens, who are just getting the hang of proper toileting. Metal pans are less likely than plastic ones to hold odors, but both can easily be cleaned with soap and water. Cats who have difficulty squatting and end up spraying over the side may do better with a pan that has a raised portion to protect walls. It fits neatly into a corner so that protective coverage is provided for the wall on either side. You can also find a model with a detachable grate that can be lifted up for easy removal of soiled litter.
Some options to check out: Kaytee Hi-Corner Small Animal Litter — it has a raised backing that protects two walls on either side of a corner ($5.99 to $13.33); and the Puppy Pan Dog, Cat & Small Animal Litter Pan, which has a wide and low entry ($19.99 to $39.99).