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We all know the cute saying about the cat mentality of “If I fits, I sits,” when it comes to boxes and small spaces. They don’t care, if they can find a way to squish themselves into the tiniest spot available, they’ll do it.
“If I fits, I sits,” – Cat, probably
This unfortunately does not apply to the use of their litter boxes, and large breed cats such as the Egyptian Mau and the American Bobtail need more space to do their business. A box that’s too small feels somewhat like a cramped Port-O-Potty to a big cat; there’s not much room to move around, and you just might end up stepping in something unpleasant.
An interesting study conducted in 1996 came to the conclusion that at least 23% of cats brought into shelters were there due to their refusal to use their litter box.
Instead, they are urinating or pooping in other areas of the home at least once a week or more. Because of this, some owners are beginning to see that simple changes in the size of their cat’s waste pan make a big difference in whether they’ll use it or not.
Importance of a Good Litter Box for a Large Cat
No matter what kind of cat you’ve got, they need to be able to stand, squat, and turn around comfortably in their box. The standard rule of thumb is to leave about 9 inches of extra room when compared to the entire length of your cat’s body, tail not included.
You’ll also find that quite a few litter boxes come with covers or “hoods” to reduce the chances of waste falling out. This is not an ideal situation for most cats, and larger breeds probably won’t use it at all if they’re unable to do their business without crouching down to fit inside.
A study showed that out of 8, half of the cats in the experiment prefer not to use hooded litter boxes; so if your large breed cat is using the carpet as a toilet, that could be the reason behind it.
It’s best to avoid hooded boxes if you have a large cat
This one is a no-brainer. Large cats don’t do well in hooded litter boxes because they have very limited room to extend their heads and tails over the edges. This can make it uncomfortable for any cat, but particularly a large one. Give your cat space!
High sided litter boxes are great for large cats
There are some cats who will sometimes urinate against the walls of a litter box, or even over the edge. If you have a cat who does this then a high sided litter box can help keep the waste contained inside.
Top 5 Litter Boxes for Large Cats
1. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced High Sided Litter Box
Dimensions: 22.8 x 17.8 x 11 inches
- Very Spacious
- Antimicrobial coating helps fight against odor
- Its high sides help to prevent scattering & spraying
- Has handles
With 11-inch-high walls, and almost 18 inches of room in the width, even the British Short Hair shouldn’t have a problem getting in and out of this one. Since cats have a tendency to urinate outside the edges of smaller boxes, Nature’s Miracle prevents the spray of litter and pee from making their way onto the carpet.
Boxes made for the average cat are usually level on all edges, but the entrance to this one is lowered in a groove shape to make it easier for cats with osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia.
About 20% of purebred cats such as the Maine Coon and Persian, which also happen to be large, are more likely to develop hip problems. Since this litter box has easy access, you won’t have to stress quite as much about whether or not they’ll be comfortable enough to actually use it.
2. Petmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban
Dimensions: 27 x 19.5 x 9.8 inches
- Spacious and deep box that is great for larger cats
- Designed so your cat doesn’t feel cramped
- Comes with a caddy to use for litter scoop, extra trash bags and other cat supplies
- Microban coating to fight odor and stains
Highly recommended by consumers, the Petmate Giant Litter Pan holds up to 30 pounds of waste! As we all know, bigger animals mean bigger poops, so this is definitely an ideal box for large breed cats.
While it does contain high walls with two slots for scooping and cleaning, just keep in mind that it isn’t exactly “easy access” and may need replacing as your cat ages. Since it’s quite large, this box is perfect for anyone who has multiple kitties.
One major complaint that people had about this litter box is that the scoop holders aren’t actually all that helpful. There’s a good chance that your cat might decide to pee or poop in them, just because they can. They also tend to collect litter and waste even if it’s not intentional; so, if your large breed kitty is notorious for making a mess, this might not be the right box for your home.
Additionally, the corners are rounded which can make it harder to clean up and remove waste. Some owners have complained that the size also results in quite a bit of litter waste.
3. Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box
Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 10 inches
- Very large and high sided
- Colors include warm grey or navy blue
- BPA-free plastic
Large breed cats can step right into the Frisco box thanks to the open front end, while the elevated edges keep litter from escaping. If you’re an extremely health conscious person, you’ll be happy to know this 24 inch box is BPA-free, reducing the chances of both you and your cat getting cancer.
The non-stick feature ensures that you won’t have to scrape dried litter from the bottom of the pan, and it contains an anti-microbial coating to prevent the smell of urine from building up. This is an excellent aspect of the Frisco litter box, considering larger cats make larger amounts of waste.
Consumers have mentioned that this box cuts their cleaning time in half, making life easier for you and your furry companion.
4. Petmate Hi-Back Litter Pan with Microban
Dimensions: 21.2 x 17.3 x 10.3 inches
- Antimicrobial coating helps maintain freshness
- Designed with deep walls to help keep waste & litter inside the box
- Not too expensive
The Petmate is listed as jumbo, however it may not be big enough for extra-large breeds such as the Siberian, or the 25 pound Chausie. Similar to the Frisco High Side litter box, this one is made with antimicrobial features as well. It has been mentioned that the Petmate Hi-Back pan has worked well for cats with painful knee deterioration.
While a few customers have complained that it’s a bit smaller than it appears to be, most have been satisfied with both the size and the quality of this litter box. The measurements are a length of 21 inches, a width of 17 inches, and a depth of 10 inches.
The only other notable issue that people have addressed is that the box never seems to come in the correct color. As far as functionality of the product goes though, people are happy with the quality of the Petmade Hi-Back Litter Pan.
5. Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan
Dimensions: 21.25 x 17.75 x 9 inches
While the Van Ness litter box is advertised as giant, there has been feedback that suggests it may not actually be suitable for cats that are over 15 pounds. The entry way appears to be too low, causing litter and waste to accumulate on flooring.
Aside from that, most owners said that the Van Ness worked well for diggers, as long as their back end is facing a wall. As an added bonus, this litter box is also made from 20% recycled materials.
Large Cat Litter Box Tips
Clean Your Cat’s Litter Box Frequently
Even with a larger litter box, it’s still important to scoop frequently. The recommendation for changing out new litter is at least twice week, and you’ll need to clean out the bottom as well.
An antimicrobial soap and warm water work just fine, and you should wear gloves if possible. Cat urine contains ammonia, and it’s harmful to breathe in.
You Can Make Your Own Litter Box
Some cats just like to kick their litter up, and there’s not much you can do about that except try to accommodate them while still keeping your floor clean. There are several DIY options for cat litter boxes if you can’t find one that suits your specific needs.
You can find large plastic storage totes that usually come in blue or transparent options in just about any local Wal-Mart or similar mass supply grocery stores. Use a sharpie to draw as even a circle as possible, then cut through it with a sharp knife.
Take it slow and be extremely careful not to hurt yourself. When making the whole, consider the size of your large breed cat and plan accordingly. They should be able to slip in and out without a struggle, provide some wiggle room so they don’t get stuck.
Don’t Waste Your Kitty Litter
When filling your litter tote, you should only use up to about one third of the available space. This way your cat isn’t cramped inside the box, but it’s not so full that you’re wasting litter or finding it all over your floor.
Litter totes are usually pretty easy to make, and larger cats love them! Like any other box though, they do have their cons. You probably won’t find a liner that fits this box, but you can always substitute it with extra-large trash bags.
How to Make Your Own Reusable Litter Sifter
DIY sifters can be made for just about any litter box, whether it’s one of the 5 options above or one you’ve made yourself. For totes, just get another one that’s a size smaller and drill several holes into the sides and bottom.
Place the new litter inside, and when it’s time to scoop and clean you can sift out the nasty stuff, while saving what’s left of the untouched litter.
Here’s an instructables guide for you to get a better idea of how to do it.
Just like food, toys, and beds, your cat might need a little time to adjust to their new bathroom. If they don’t take to it right away, try placing a very small amount of used litter in a corner of the new box to encourage them.
Also Read: 5 Best Cat Litter Mats