Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I have a domestic shorthair named Yuki who’s about five years old now. I’ve noticed that when she goes to the litter box, she doesn’t squat her butt all the way down when she pees, so she often misses the box. She aims for the edge and she just plain misses. I’ve tried boxes with a higher lid, but then she aims her butt just slightly over it.
I’ve gotten a litter box that is completely covered and it gives her plenty of room to walk in and turn around to her liking, and she doesn’t seem to mind that it’s covered and that it isn’t open above. It even comes with a very lightweight swingable door that could catch the pee since she seems to prefer peeing near the opening rather than any other side. The problem is, she hates the door. Specifically, she hates pushing against the door with her head. When I have the door up she poops outside the box, and when I don’t have the door up she misses.
I’ve seen one of those dome boxes where the cat walks in a circular little path before she gets to the litter, but that’s super expensive right now. I’m just wondering if there’s something I can do with what I already have, or can make at home. I know she isn’t missing on purpose, so it’s not like I’m mad at her, but I’m kind of at a loss and am on a very tight budget.
Siouxsie: Why yes! Yes, we do have a solution for you! It’s cheap, it’s easy, and missing the box isn’t the only problem it will solve.
Thomas: What you need is a top-opening litter box.
Bella: A box without any holes in the sides will ensure that Yuki can pee up the side of the box all she wants, but none of it will go on your walls or floor.
Siouxsie: You can see these fancy top-opening boxes retailing for around $40, but the good news is that you can make one for about $10.
Thomas: All you need is a big storage tote, a utility knife and some sandpaper, and you can make your own DIY box. Check out this video to see how easy it is.
Bella: Most of the DIY videos we see recommend an 18-gallon tote because that’s about the size of an ordinary litter box, but we say that especially since you’re putting a cover on it, you should go up a size, to maybe a 24-gallon tote.
Siouxsie: We recommend that you get a tote with smooth sides and bottom so that wet litter doesn’t get stuck in crannies and create a stink.
Thomas: We also prefer clear or translucent containers (like these 95-quart Sterilite (23.75-gallon) ones or the ones you can get from IKEA) because more light goes in and we can see whats going on around us.
Bella: Mama? Will you make us some of these boxes? Pleeeease? They look like fun!
Mama: Well, maybe I’ll make one to see how you like it. We’ll have to keep one low-entry box for Siouxsie, though.
Bella: Oh, thank you so much! I can’t wait to try it out!
Siouxsie: Just one more thing, Haley, and this is an important one. If Yuki started this vertical peeing behavior recently, you should bring her to the vet to have her checked out. Changes in litter box habits can mean the cat is in pain (as ashamed as I am to say it, my arthritic hips and knees make it hard for me to assume the proper “poop squat” position — but Mama’s so nice about it) or urinary tract issues.
Thomas: But if she’s always been like that, at least you’ll have a litter box that’ll keep you from having to hose down your walls and floor with urine deodorizer!
Bella: What about you other readers? Do you have a vertical pee-er? How have you managed the issue of dripping or litter box problems? Share your thoughts in the comments, please!
you just need a much bigger litter box
many “accidents ” with litter boxes are just that they are too small ..
try a much larger box , maybe with higher sides with a lower entry to get into
please get a Vet Check too , it could be a bladder stone ..you will need an x-ray to see that .
I also cover the floor under , and around with plastic trash bags and paper towels to catch any run off should that happen .
but typical litter boxes are just too small for many cats .
try a different litter , unscented only .. scents can make cats sick , like a strong scent can make you feel sick .
scents are not for the cats , they are for humans ..
We have a couple here that do it here. Fortunately the big Rubbermaid/sterlite containers are tall enough that it fixes the problem. If you check local stores you can find them on sale. We like the top method though too.
I bought the very expensive Flip from Modko.
I first tried one because I worried that he might pee out the door, but he doesn’t, so I now have three. They are very easy to scoop since the lid flips all the way back, and there are no seams that the pee can escape from. I didn’t want the top-opening litter box because I have a couple of elderly cats who I thought couldn’t jump. Oh, I don’t use their very expensive liners – they didn’t work all that well for me anyway since he aims for the back of the box and they got totally soaked (so they don’t come out easily & intact). I just scoop the box and wash it, as with other litter boxes.
Thank you for this! I moved to a new apartment last December and my “firstborn” Twister started peeing vertically since then. He has no medical issues, but he’s been stressed and scared because my other cats started picking on him. :( They even stalk him when he goes to the litter box. So he pees really fast and doesn’t even bother to squat anymore. I’ve been planning to buy a large bin to replace some of my boxes and to use one of those pheromones plug-ins to change the mood around here. Now I’m definitely going to get the bins! Thanks!
My momma made those boxes with the hole in the top… problem solved but Tigger sits on the top and wees through the hole.
It sounds like you MIGHT have a candidate for kitty toilet training! No joke– some cats can actually be trained to use a human toilet. Now, I wouldn’t train a cat to go ONLY in a toilet– but only as a way to offer an alternative. I’d still keep a regular cat box around so that if he should go into boarding or the hospital, he would still be familiar with litter. Also, if someone accidentally closes the lid so the cat can’t get to the potty, the regular box will be there and he won’t be stuck with no place to go. The toilet should NOT be the only potty-place your cat has… just a choice that he can make once he knows how to use it. That said, check out the training methods and tools. Be patient, of course. Go very slowly and let him learn at his own pace. And don’t expect him to flush– that’s a pretty tall order, even for human husbands, LOL!
I live with four fabulous felines and both of the ginger twins, Tiger and Pumpkin are vertical urinaters and have top opening boxes which solved the problem in those boxes really well. But, because our eldest, the Princess Misletoe, needs a low-sided box we still face a problem when the boys use the downstairs boxes. I’m guessing everyone here realizes that just telling them to uses the other 3 , top opening, boxes is extremely ineffective, so we started putting puppy pads on the floor surrounding the low-sided boxes.. This way if they decide to use one of those the clean up is simple and effective. So, if you can’t switch to the top opening box you might try putting puppy pads around the low-sided boxes, along with deodorizing pet wipes to clean the side of the box if anything runs down the side. Then just wipe the side of the box and throw away the puppy pad. Many of the puppy pads have deodorizing agents inside but I’d go with the plain if you kitty is sensitive to smells. Good luck!
The NVR Miss has solved our problems with our vertical peer, and it’s prettier than the homemade versions: http://nvrmiss.com/index.php
well i got those and yup now she doesn’t squat at all and pees over the edge. sigh
Great idea! I have been spending a fortune on puppy pads to put near the box, this is much cheaper.
Zoey does this and the mom bought a new litter box for her with higher sides. But Zoey refused to use it. Seriously. She refused to pee for 24 hours. When Zoey sets her mind to something, there’s no changing it. So the mom gave her back her old litterbox and she peed in it…fortunately not over the edge.
Fortunatley, we have an extra bathroom and we place litter box in there. Makes cleaning a snap, but not very practical and must be checked daily. Well, all litter should be checked/scooped daily. Upstairs, which I don’t get to as often, I use a huge clear tote with loads of clumping kitty litter. Works like a charm. Luckily my vertical pee-er doesn’t go upstairs to use it. I love this idea of cutting a top out. do you think cats prefer a non-transparent box over a clear box?
I love the idea of the storage container and cutting out the top and I am going to try it. I have a few males that like to stand up to pee and they just go to the bathroom sink to go. Then I have a couple of cats that miss the box all the time and it does make a mess for me to clean up. I have a pretty big family so I need all the help I can get to save time and energy. Thank you kitties and Mama for the idea
Make sure to put a clothes washer spill pan underneath the litter box if you have the room. Man that caught all the spills. Just take it outside and hose off. Before that it seaped into my concrete floor without me knowing. What a horrible smell. Luckily i was able to seal it. Anyway i will do the top entry in addition to the spill pan. White spill pan shows EVERYTHING.
I have a vertical pee-er who gets into the box and then sprays about f10 ” out. I also have a 19 year old with arthritis who attempts to get into the box, but pees over the edge. One prefers the back of the box, and the other prefers the front. I have been going through a fortunes worth of wee wee pads and now use painters plastic under the wee wee pads.
The old girl will never be able to use a “top loader”. Any other suggestions? Feline diapers?
see my above response, but maybe a box where the entrance is only 3″ deep for the old girl
Prior to using No Cat Spray (click: http://tinyurl.com/nocatspray ), my cat Oscar had been peeing all over the house for 7 months – on the kitchen floor, outside the front door, at the top of the stairs and on the bed! It was very stressful time and incredibly time-consuming to have to keep cleaning it up day in day out. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever be able to stop him doing it. I found this program through Google and thought I’d give it a try. I’m so glad I did! This program is so simple yet so effective. Oscar hasn’t peed anywhere but the litter tray in 4 weeks now! Feel free to text me if you have any questions: 586 382 2899 – Best of luck to you and your cat!
buy the tallest and comparable size storage box from Target, etc. buy a tin snip scissor from hardware store, and cut a new entrance leaving the bottom wall 6″ deep for litter. Works great and it’s a cheap cure. I just wipe the walls with Lysol wipes or pinesol water on a rag. There’s no middle seam around the box for pee to seep thru either. It worked great!
Any suggestions on how to fly with s cat this pees vertically? I am moving overseas and I am nervous about travelling with my kitty. At home I simply use an18″ tall square storage container and lose the lid. Works perfectly.
Thank you for this idea. I purchased two tall bins and find no need to use the lids at all. I purchased a step stool, which I placed in between the bins. This makes for easier entry for the cats. Pee on the floor has stopped. My one mistake was not buying a bin with a smooth interior which would make scooping a lot easier.
That doesn’t help because Lightning is a 14 yr old 18 and a half lb cat. She already has the problem using her big open air with the end cut down box. She can barely fit in that. That is good for small cats.
I went to Walmart and purchased a small (17″) plastic place mat for a buck and change. I attached it to the inside end of the litter box with Velcro. Perfect solution. It acts like a shield so my cats can’t pee over it. I can take it off to clean it and reapply it as often as I want.
My cat is 14 years old and she uses her box regularly she doesn’t sit when she urinates instead she stands and wiggles her butt it goes on the floor and walls dispite changing boxes, litter exc. any ideas or advice will be be greatly appreciated.
I also have a vertical urinator. She feels the need to be up and away when she goes. I’ve tried every type of litter box with her. My bathroom smells horrible. She’s a sweet cat. Just can’t keep her fanny down. And I’m changing the litter everyday. Some goes in, some not. But it hoes all under the box. She’s one of nine cats in the house. And gets along quite well with all the cats in the house as the cats are 8 yrs of age and up.
I have a verticle pee-er too. I can see that the top-entry boxes would be a perfect solution for this situation. However, for those of us with cats that are older (or in my case has spinal stenosis and not good at jumping up to or down from higher levels) this is not an option. I took a Sterilite container and made a front entry that was very narrow (only wide enough for my cat to pass through) at about 6 inches up from the ground. I took a box and cut it down to make a ramp and taped hard cardboard to the sides of the makeshift ramp. Then I have a piece of indoor-outdoor carpeting that I put on the ramp surface so my cat doesn’t slip on the ramp. This seems to be working. However, if she were to aim her pee in the direction of the hole, I can foresee that she could still arc her pee out of the hole. These cats are especially difficult to manage when they are verticle pee-ers PLUS have orthopedic issues. If anyone has any better ideas, please post.