Every cat deserves a place where they can go to the bathroom with the peace and security they need. This can have different meanings for different animals. There are some types of enclosed litter boxes and other contraptions that come with a whole host of promises about their appeal to our canine friends. We naturally assume that the designs and features are perfect for our pets. Yet, we have to remember that they tend to relate more to the “average” cat, the one that is fit and healthy enough to use it. What about elderly and disabled cats? What options do they have and what type of cat litter box should owners avoid?
The first issue comes in finding a litter box that they can get in and out of with ease
The majority of enclosed litter boxes have an opening within the structure for the cat to use to enter and exit the box. The position of this opening is essential when finding the perfect litter box for cats with joint issues. Older cats with hip problems or arthritis will have trouble climbing too high or jumping onto structures. Therefore, an opening at ground level, with plenty of room to move, is much easier for them. This rules out all of those anti-tracking and dog proof litter boxes that have the grates and entrances on the lid. It is better to clear up after a disabled cat than force them to jump in and out of their toilet area.
Some boxes that are more open, like flushable boxes and litter trays, may seem like a better option here. Still, there are drawbacks
If a disabled cat has problems with the entrance, these designs may be a little more appealing and easier to manage. It all depends on the abilities of the animal. The problem with the flushing option is that the animals have to perch on the bowl and go in the right place. Cats that aren’t so good on their legs may not have the balance. We also have to remember here that some of the older disabled cats could be a bit set in their ways when it comes to their toilet habits. They may not appreciate, after 14 years of a dependable litter tray, to be faced with a strange device that makes a lot of strange noises and movements.
Enclosed litter boxes are still the best middle ground option for owners looking for the very best approach
In the end, the best idea is probably to find an enclosed box with a large, manageable entrance, a secure space and some helpful extra features. It shouldn’t be anything too high-tech to scare the cat, but there are some self-cleaning models that can really help with cats with inconsistent toilet habits and medical issues. Sensors alert owners to increased use, which may help those with diabetic cats or cats with other conditions, and the automatic rakes deal with the mess. The most important thing to remember is to stick with the option that best suits the animal. If the first choice doesn’t work, try again.