Sometimes a â€œlitter box problemâ€ is just a litter BOX problem. Create a box, and you might solve it.
Our lovely orange DLH, Vernie, likes to spray. She usually stands to pee for no known medical reason and did this even when she was the only cat in our household. Due to the height of her hindquarters or perhaps pure skill, she can crest the sides of most litter boxes on the market.
Vernie needed a customized box, and luckily I remembered advice from Pam Johnson-Bennett in her book, Cat vs. Cat. Use a storage container, she suggests, and just cut a â€œu-shapeâ€ on one side as an entrance. Although Johnson-Bennett mentioned Sterilite containers, I could not find one in my town that met my height requirements. I bought Yaffa storage containers similar to this one instead, along with a pair of â€œtin cutters,â€ scary over-sized scissors recommended by a hardware store associate for cutting plastic. (I found a jagged knife designed for cutting plastic left an equally jagged edge. The tin cutters really were my best choice.)
Like Sterilite, Yaffa makes fairly sheer boxes, great in a multi-cat household according to Johnson-Bennett because transparency may reduce ambushes by other household members while one cat is using the box.
Sometimes hard plastic will randomly split during cutting, so I returned a few poorly-cut boxes to their storage identities by using strong tape. I noticed cutting about an inch on one side, then the other, seemed to minimize â€“- though not entirely eliminate â€“- the risk of these unwanted cracks.
I cut an inch from the top, then moved over about eight inches to begin cutting the other side of the opening. I then cut down one side completely, stopping about five inches from the bottom. Next, I cut all the way down the other side, moving to my horizontal, final cut at the end.
For a covered-box effect, I could have used the lids, but with the high sides I didnâ€™t mind leaving the boxes open. An uncovered box seems to be a less-smelly experience for me and the kitties.
Not ready to hit the hardware store yet? Several ready-made boxes might suit shorter felines with Vernieâ€™s â€œsprayingâ€ tendencies.
Another option is the Clevercat which offers top entry and high sides.
Certain infections may cause litter box problems. Before creating or selecting a solution for your catâ€™s situation, visit your vet to rule out any medical issues.
Photo: Candace Schilling