Is Your Cat Missing The Litterbox?

Litterbox accuracy can be a problem for cats as they get older, bigger, or both.

Some cats experience difficulty “hitting” the box with stool, while the majority of those with aiming failure have difficulty during urination.

To use a politically-incorrect term, fat cats

Obesity is a common cause cats overshooting the sides of their litterboxes.

Obesity is a common cause of cats overshooting the sides of their litterboxes.

of any age can defecate and/or urinate over the edge of the litterbox simply because of their physical size no longer fitting inside the box provided.

Senior citizen cats, on the other hand, may “miss” because of age-related stiffness or even arthritis that prevents them from lowering themselves sufficiently to “go” inside the container.

Any of the above-described cats may also totally reject the use of a covered box, even one they used previously. Instead, they may simply seek an absorbent surface somewhere else in the house.

What’s the solution? A bigger container!  Some experts consider
24″ x 36″ to be the minimum size.

When our Martha first began to have this difficulty I purchased the biggest dishpan I could find. Upon arriving home I discovered it was barely larger than the litterbox we already had.

Learn from my mistake.

A plastic storage container with the lid removed may be the perfect oversized litterbox for your kitty.

A plastic storage container with the lid removed may be the perfect oversized litterbox for your kitty.

My next purchase was a plastic storage container, sans lid. I gained about 13% in surface area with it, and it worked well for a little over a year. However, as Martha’s aim problems worsened it became obvious she needed an even bigger litterbox.

Enter the busboy’s pan.

You can purchase these at any restaurant supply store. We got ours at Sam’s Wholesale Club, where they came packaged in pairs.

Substantially larger than Martha’s original box and even another 12% bigger than her “storage container,” the busboy’s friend was also our friend for the next three years.

Now, however, Martha “goes” more than ever, due to glomerulo-tubular imbalance, an age-

Despite a small available space the busboy's litterbox works well and absorbent pads allow for easy cleanup.

Despite a small available space the busboy’s litterbox works well and absorbent pads allow for easy cleanup.

related kidney problem. While we try to keep her urine clumps scooped as often as possible, the clumps come quickly and no cat wants to step where she has already urinated. Therefore, even in the generous size of the current box Martha is limited for choices of where to stand.

The healthiest cat urine stinks to high heaven. Having it absorbed into clay litter helps, but when it falls on a bare floor the smell will run you out of the room. To allow it to be promptly removed we have placed absorbent “puppy training pads” under and around her box. Now when her urine overshoots the side of the box it is absorbed, contained and easily disposed of.

Martha in one of her favorite sleeping places...our bed.

Martha in one of her favorite sleeping places…our bed.

We hope this solution aids you in your litterbox problems, too.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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3 comments

  1. Angela says:

    My 15-year old is starting to do this. What is the gallon capacity/dimensions of the busboy pan you found?

    • I don’t know, but I got them at Sam’s Club, and they still had them the last time I was in that department, which wasn’t too long ago. I would estimate the dimensions are 20″ long, 14″ wide and 6″ deep, which is about 1700 cubic inches.

  2. Loretta says:

    This article was very helpful. My 15-year-old female kitty started overshooting the litterbox a few months ago. A larger litter box with puppy training pads under and around it is a great solution to the problem. Thank you!

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