Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My cat is female almost 15 years old. Recently when she uses the litter box, pee goes over the side. More comes out of the box than stays in. I bought a new box with 8-inch-high sides and still have the same problem. The litter is clean and she gets in it.
Thomas: First of all, Reda, thank you for caring so much about your elder kitty’s health and well-being! I’m going to be 15 this year, too.
Bella: One of the things that happens a lot in older cats is that they develop arthritis in their hips and knees. This makes it less comfortable to assume the proper positions for peeing and pooping.
Tara: And when a cat is uncomfortable, it often results in litter box accidents.
Thomas: So the first thing we’d recommend is a trip to the vet to see if your beloved kitty does have arthritis. If she does, there are ways to manage the pain so she can enjoy a good quality of life.
Bella: And there actually litter boxes with even higher sides!
Tara: That’s right. My litter box has 11-inch-high sides, on three sides and the back.
Thomas: We’ve got another one of those 11-inch-sided litter boxes plus an even bigger one with 10-inch-high sides.
Bella: Another thing you can do is create a litter box from a storage tote, which would have really high sides.
Thomas: Here are some instructions for how to make that storage-tote litter box.
Bella: We’d recommend a clear storage container instead of a solid-colored one, because we like to be able to see around us a little bit.
Thomas: We probably also wouldn’t put a lid on it, because we don’t think covered litter boxes are a very good idea.
Bella: Covered litter boxes tend to trap odors (yuck!) and hide the evidence of our biological functions …
Tara: … which can cause people not to clean the litter box as often as they should.
Thomas: And that’s just nasty for everyone.
Bella: So, Reda, like we said, the first thing we’d recommend is that you take your kitty to the vet to see if she’s in pain.
Tara: And then get or make a litter box with even higher sides so it’s impossible for her to pee over the edges!
Thomas: We hope this helps!
Bella: What about you other readers? Do you have tips for Reda on how to manage her kitty’s over-the-side-of-the-box urination? What’s worked for you? Equally important, what hasn’t worked for you?
Tara: Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.