If you’re a pet parent to one or more cats, you know a litter box is essential. Cats learn to use litter boxes incredibly fast, and even kittens can be trained to use a litter box in no time flat. As a cat ages, using the litter box gets more difficult the older they get. The difficulty is often due to illnesses common for older cats, like cancer, kidney disease, and several others. It can also be because a senior cat has older joints that are stiff and achy, making the once easy hop in and out of their litter box a painful experience.
Whatever the cause that’s making it difficult for your cat, a cat litter box made specifically for a senior cat is one of the best solutions. Lucky for you and your feline, we’ve collected five amazing DIY senior cat litter box plans below!
The 5 Amazing DIY Senior Cat Litter Box Plans
1. Easy DIY Senior Cat Litter Box by Cat in the Fridge
|Large, 50-gallon clear plastic bin
|Razor knife, sandpaper, sanding block
Making a DIY cat litter box for your senior cat doesn’t get much easier than this! You only need a large plastic bin you can purchase at any big box retailer. Then, cut a big hole in the front with a razor knife. Depending on your cat, you can leave the lid on their new litter box or take it off.
Plus, the high sides ensure less litter mess from cats who like to toss and turn. The designer of this DIY litter box used a jig saw to cut the hole. Frankly, a metal-sheathed razor knife would probably be a better choice. If you use a jig saw, sand the edges of the hole so your cat doesn’t hurt itself.
2. DIY Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats by Addicted to Decorating
|Large clear plastic bin
|Jigsaw, sandpaper, sanding block
This next DIY cat litter box for senior cats is similar to the last one in that you use a large plastic bin. These plans, however, use an opaque plastic bin, and the entrance is cut in the side, not the front. Also, since most opaque containers are made from a more durable material, your litter box should be stronger and less prone to breakage.
While this DIY senior cat litter box isn’t specifically made for senior cats, it can be easily modified so that the entrance is lower to the ground. That way, getting in and out will be much easier if your cat has achy joints. Like the first, you can go with the lid on or off.
3. Handicap Accessible Litter Box for Cats by Cat Toy Lady
|Large clear plastic bin
Razor knife, sandpaper, sanding block, glue gun, ruler, magic marker
|Easy to moderate
What we like about this DIY cat litter box for senior cats is the YouTube video explaining how to make it step-by-step! Even better, it has a ramp to make getting in and out easy for your older cat! It’s easy to make but will take a little longer than #1 and #2 because of the ramp.
There are also holes in the bottom so that urine drains out onto a pee pad. That makes cleaning up much easier and less of a mess.
4. Modified Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats by The More You Bear
|Regular cat litter pan (no lid or top)
|Razor knife, sandpaper, sanding block, scissors
This DIY cat litter box for senior cats is made from a regular, flat litter pan and can be done in mere minutes! Like the last, it’s easy to make, and the maker has a video on YouTube that shows you exactly how to do it. If you already have a cat litter pan, you don’t need to buy anything else! You could modify your existing pan for your senior cat in under an hour and give them an easier way to relieve themselves without all the pain and misery.
5. DIY Senior Cat Litter Box from Plant Tray by The Conscious Cat
|Plant growing tray (no holes)
This DIY cat litter box for your senior cat is a plant-growing tray in disguise! All you need is a plant growing tray, which you can find at any garden center or big box home improvement store.
There’s no modification necessary, but make sure to purchase a tray that doesn’t have drainage holes in the bottom! The best thing about using a plant growing tray is that the sides are already shallow to make getting in and out no problem for your older cat’s creaky joints. Of all the DIY cat litter boxes for older cats we’ve examined, this is by far the easiest!
What Else Can Be Used as a Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats?
Most of the cat litter box plans we’ve shown today are made with plastic bins you can find in most stores. There are several other similar items to do the same thing (like the plant tray above). Most are inexpensive and can be turned into a litter box for your older feline in minutes. They include;
You can cut a cardboard box as low as possible for your cat to get inside easily. One thing you’ll need, however, is a plastic lining or a pee pad so the cardboard doesn’t get soaked and fall apart
Disposable Paint Trays
Disposable paint trays are an excellent alternative cat litter box for an older cat, although they can be a little flimsy. They’re very cheap, so you can buy one and try it without losing much cash. If it works, great! If not, recycle it and try something else!
While not a litter box per se, a pee pad with kitty litter on top is by far the easiest for a senior cat to use. All your older cat needs to do is walk onto the pad, do their business, and walk off.
How to Get an Older Cat to Use Their Litter Box
As we discussed, older cats will often stop using their litter box because of health problems. Old, achy joints are one of the most prevalent issues, as well as several other conditions and diseases that make getting in and out of a litter box unpleasant. To help, below are a few methods you can use to help your senior cat use their litter box with less pain and aggravation.
1. Keep Litter Boxes as Clean as Possible
In general, cats hate using a litter box that’s dirty, and senior cats even more so. To prevent them from doing their business anywhere but their litter box, it’s essential you keep it as clean as possible. That might mean cleaning it more often and using a different brand or type of litter.
2. Make Your Older Cat’s Litter Box Easy to Enter and Exit
If you noticed, all of the DIY cat litter boxes we shared today have a very low entranceway. That makes it easy for your older cat to get in and back out after doing their business. Ease of entering is essential, especially if your kitty has arthritis that makes hopping over the entrance wall problematic or painful. The easier it is for your cat to get in and out of their litter box, the more likely they will use it.
3. Give Each Senior Cat their Own Litter Box Away From the Others
If you have multiple cats in your home, give each senior cat its own litter box. Even better, put it in a spot away from the rest (if possible). Separating the litter boxes will reduce any bullying or other problems your older cat might face when they need to go. It will also ease any fears your feline may have, which can become more pronounced as cats age.
4. Help Your Senior Cat to Find Their Litter Box
Senior cats sometimes suffer hearing, vision, and even smell loss as they get on in years. This can make it difficult (or impossible) to find their litter box. In some cases, you might need to help your cat find their litter box. Escorting them will work, or leaving something around their litter box with a strong scent they know and like. Usually, a cat’s keen sense of smell is the last sense to go and rarely goes away completely.
5. Place Your Senior Cat’s Litter Box on the 1st Floor
If you’ve always placed your cat’s litter box on the 2nd floor of your home, moving it to the 1st floor is a must. You can imagine that if climbing into a litter box is painful, climbing a flight of stairs will be torturous.
How to Tell How Old Your Cat Is in Human Years
Cats age faster than humans, mostly because they have a much faster metabolism, and smaller mammals tend to live shorter lives. If you’d like to know how old your cat is in human years, the simple chart below will help!
|Human Age Equivalent
What did you think about the DIY senior cat litter box plans we presented today? Will you use one of them to make a litter box for your aging cat? We hope you do and that it helps them immensely. It is difficult to watch a beloved member of your family get older, but hopefully, the litter boxes on today’s list will make at least one aspect of their life a little easier. If you use one of the plans on our list, best of luck and success convincing your cantankerous senior cat to use it.
Featured Image Credit: Guajillo studio, Shutterstock
- The 5 Amazing DIY Senior Cat Litter Box Plans
- 1. Easy DIY Senior Cat Litter Box by Cat in the Fridge
- 2. DIY Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats by Addicted to Decorating
- 3. Handicap Accessible Litter Box for Cats by Cat Toy Lady
- 4. Modified Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats by The More You Bear
- 5. DIY Senior Cat Litter Box from Plant Tray by The Conscious Cat
- What Else Can Be Used as a Cat Litter Box for Senior Cats?
- How to Get an Older Cat to Use Their Litter Box
- 1. Keep Litter Boxes as Clean as Possible
- 2. Make Your Older Cat’s Litter Box Easy to Enter and Exit
- 3. Give Each Senior Cat their Own Litter Box Away From the Others
- 4. Help Your Senior Cat to Find Their Litter Box
- 5. Place Your Senior Cat’s Litter Box on the 1st Floor
- How to Tell How Old Your Cat Is in Human Years
- Final Thoughts