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The 8 Best Litter Boxes for Senior Cats

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Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Though you may start feeling the effects of age on your body as soon as you hit your thirties, the mobility-limiting effects of arthritis don’t typically kick in until after the age of 50. That’s when humans are considered middle-aged – the term “senior” is reserved for individuals over the age of 65.

Cats start to show the physical signs of aging as early as 7 years, though some don’t start looking or acting like seniors until 10 or 11. It may sound young, but 11 is roughly equivalent to 60 in human years.

As your cat gets older, both of you may find yourselves needed to make adjustments to your lifestyle. Your cat may be less eager to jump from heights or climb stairs and you might want to look into products that make a senior cat’s life easier. The litter box is a great place to start.

Our top pick for the best litter box for senior cats is the Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan because it’s durably constructed with high walls to contain mess but has a dropped entry for easy access by older cats and cats with limited mobility. We’ll take a closer look at this litter box and our other top picks below.

At a Glance: 8 Best Cat Litter Boxes for Senior Cats

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
Picked by 31 people today!

Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan

  • Entry 3.5 inches high makes access easy for older cats
  • High back wall helps contain urine spray and litter scatter
  • Rigid plastic construction offers excellent durability
$29.35 At Chewy
Best Automatic
Picked by 31 people today!

Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

  • Reliable performance - doesn’t tend to jam
  • Automatically sifts litter after each use
  • Optional 3-step ramp improves accessibility
Best For Large Cats
Picked by 31 people today!

Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box

  • Wide litter bed measures 24-by-20 inches
  • Low 3-inch entry point for easy access by older cats
  • Available in small and large sizes, three colors
Budget Pick
Picked by 25 people today!

Van Ness Large High-Sided Litter box with Frame

  • Affordably priced under $10
  • Included frame raises the walls to 8 inches
  • Dropped entry sits about 4 inches off the ground
Premium Pick
Picked by 21 people today!

Petmate Booda Clean Step Cat Litter Box Dome

  • Low, step-up entry makes access very easy
  • Helps control litter scatter and litter box odor
  • Prevents dogs from eating out of the litter box
Most Durable
Picked by 18 people today!

PetFusion BetterBox Cat Litter Pan

  • Durably constructed from non-porous ABS plastic
  • High 8-inch sides help contain litter and urine
  • Generously sized for the average cat
Best High-Sided
Picked by 18 people today!

Frisco High-Sided Litter Box

  • Very high sides, 11 inches off the ground
  • Well-constructed, made with fairly thick plastic
  • Dropped 5-inch entry for improved access
Best Disposable
Picked by 18 people today!

Kitty Sift Large Disposable Sifting Litter Box

  • Made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials
  • Sifting trays make cleaning the litter box quick and easy
  • Low 4-inch entry for easy access by older cats

Why Should You Trust Us?

Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box. Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Over the last three years, we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what it takes to make a great litter box.

We’ve researched the types of litter boxes available, read hundreds of customer reviews, and performed real-world tests on over a dozen top boxes. We spent over 40 hours testing these litter boxes’ sturdiness, cat-friendliness, and ability to prevent sticking and litter scatter.

In addition to research and testing, we consulted with several veterinarians to get their take on which litter boxes work best and are the most effective for cats.

Based on this extensive research and hands-on testing, we’ve selected the 8 products described below as the best litter boxes you can buy for senior cats.

Our Veterinary Advisors

How We Picked

Petmate Booda Clean Step Cat Litter Box Dome. Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Over the past month, I’ve been testing more than a dozen different litter boxes with my three cats Bagel, Biscuit, and Munchkin. All three of my cats are seniors, aged 10 through 12 years. While I’m fortunate that none of my cats has developed arthritis or other mobility issues, I was somewhat limited in my ability to test these litter boxes in that particular area.

To assemble this list, I looked for litter boxes that were generously sized with dropped entry points 5 inches in height or lower. I also considered factors such as material quality, ability to contain scatter, and added features.

The Best Litter Boxes for Large Cats: Our Top 8 Picks

#1 Overall Best: Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan

  • Brand: Lucky Champ
  • Made In: Vietnam
  • Dimensions: 25”x16.75”x9”
  • Features: Low entry, very sturdy design, rubberized grips
  • Price: $29.35

Designed specifically for senior cats, the Lucky Champ cat litter pan features a generously sized litter bed, raised sides, and a dropped entry. Your cat only has to step over the 3.5-inch-high threshold to get into the litter box and the lip of the base acts as a backup step if one is needed.

This litter box is incredibly solid. The thick, non-porous plastic materials are rigid, so the litter box doesn’t bend or bow under the weight of heavy litter. It has rubberized grips on either side which make it easy to lift and move as well.

While it may not be big enough for very large cats, the Lucky Champ litter pan is appropriate for the average cat. It has a high back wall and sides that slope down to the front which help contain litter scatter to some degree. There will always be some risk for scatter with a dropped entry but I had no other significant concerns when testing this litter box.

What We Liked:

  • Entry 3.5 inches high makes access easy for older cats
  • High back wall helps contain urine spray and litter scatter
  • Rigid plastic construction offers excellent durability

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Dropped entry allows for some scatter
  • May not be big enough for very large cats

#2 Best Automatic: Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

  • Brand: Whisker
  • Made In: United States
  • Dimensions: 27”x24.25”x29.5”
  • Features: Fully automatic, adjustable timer, health monitoring
  • Price: $549

With an optional 3-step ramp that bridges the 7.1-inch height difference from floor to entry, the Litter-Robot 3 is accessible for cats of all ages. Plus, the top step features a built-in litter mat, so you don’t have to sacrifice the litter-catching benefits of the original step by covering it with the ramp.

Aside from accessibility for your cat, the Litter-Robot 3 offers automatic, self-cleaning convenience for you. It consists of a large rotating globe that sifts your cat’s litter after every use. Clumps and solid waste are separated into a discreet waste drawer while clean litter is filtered back into the litter bed for reuse.

The Litter-Robot 3 is available with or without smartphone app functionality for a price difference of about $50. The WiFi-enabled Litter-Robot 3 Connect allows you to monitor litter box usage and initiate cleaning cycles remotely via the Connect app which also sends alerts to your phone to let you know when the waste drawer is full.

Though the Litter Robot 3 will cost you over $500, its reliable performance and relatively low maintenance costs make it a superior choice compared with other automatic litter boxes. If you seek the convenience of a self-cleaning litter box for your senior cat, the Litter-Robot 3 is our recommendation.

What We Liked:

  • Reliable performance – doesn’t tend to jam
  • Automatically sifts litter after each use
  • Optional 3-step ramp improves accessibility
  • Waste collects in an odor-tight drawer
  • Relatively easy to assemble and use

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Costs over $500
  • Might not accommodate larger cats

#3 Best For Large Cats: Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box

  • Brand: KittyGoHere
  • Made In: United States
  • Dimensions: 24”x20”x5”
  • Features: Low 3-inch entry, very spacious
  • Price: $40.95

If the Lucky Champ isn’t quite big enough for your cat, the Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box might offer a little more space. It’s 24 inches long and 20 inches wide with 5-inch walls all the way around. The entry in the front is dropped to 3 inches, making it easily accessible by older cats.

Chewy customers are largely pleased with this litter box with over 75% giving it a 5-star review. Some customers though the box was still a little small for big cats and many of the negative comments have to do with litter scatter and urine spray. My smallest cat, Munchkin, tends to spray urine, so this is an issue I encountered as well when testing this litter box.

While generally a solid product, the downsides of this litter box are the high price tag and low walls. This litter box costs around $40 for the large size and the small size still costs over $30.

It’s also important to note that while the dropped entry improves access for older cats, the entrance is very wide which allows for litter scatter out the front. The walls all the way around the box only sit 5 inches high, so they may not contain scatter or urine spray as well as boxes with higher walls.

What We Liked:

  • Wide litter bed measures 24-by-20 inches
  • Low 3-inch entry point for easy access by older cats
  • Available in small and large sizes, three colors

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly expensive, around $40
  • Low sides may not contain scatter well

#4 Budget Pick: Van Ness Large High-Sided Litter Box With Frame

  • Brand: Van Ness
  • Made In: United States
  • Dimensions: 19”x15.38”x8”
  • Features: Frame adds height, made from 20% recycled material
  • Price: $8.19

Any litter box with a dropped entry is going to struggle to contain litter scatter but having a high back and sides will help. The Van Ness Framed Cat Litter Pan takes a standard litter pan and tops it with a frame to raise the height of the walls from 4 inches to closer to 8 inches. The addition of the frame makes the actual step about 4.25 inches off the ground, but it’s still lower than the average litter pan.

The main thing this litter box has going for it is the low price tag. Priced under $10, this option is much cheaper than many of the litter boxes on this list. If you’re not sure whether a low-entry litter box will make any difference for your senior cat, it doesn’t hurt to try something inexpensive like this and, if it works, upgrade to one of the higher quality options we’ve reviewed.

The primary downside of this Van Ness framed litter box is that it isn’t particularly sturdy. The plastic is fairly thin, and the box tends to bend and bow under the weight of heavy litter. The high sides help contain some litter scatter and urine spray, but the dropped entry will always be a concern.

What We Liked:

  • Affordably priced under $10
  • Included frame raises the walls to 8 inches
  • Dropped entry sits about 4 inches off the ground

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Materials are pretty thin
  • Allows from some litter scatter from the front

#5 Premium Pick: Petmate Booda Clean Step Cat Litter Box Dome

  • Brand: Petmate
  • Made In: United States
  • Dimensions: 22.5”x22.5”x19”
  • Features: Enclosed design, easy-access ramp, contains mess
  • Price: $36.95

The Petmate Booda Dome litter box offers two benefits that make it our premium pick. First and foremost, it has a step-up entry that improves access for cats at all levels of mobility. Your cat simply has to walk up the steps into the box to do his business. Second, it helps contain litter box odor and litter scatter while keeping the contents of the litter box out of sight.

With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, the Petmate Booda Dome is well-liked. It has an overall customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and about 68% of global ratings are 5 stars. My experience was consistent with customers who praised the box’s ability to contain litter scatter – it also helped prevent my dog, Archie, from accessing the litter box to sneak a snack.

Negative reviews of this litter box mention the limited interior space, problems with leaking at the seams, and difficulty cleaning. After testing the Booda Dome, I somewhat agree with one customer who said, “The concept is great but the design is terrible.” I might not go so far as to say the litter box is terrible, but the design certainly leaves something to be desired.

The biggest problem is that the two halves of the Booda Dome don’t snap together. It’s a little difficult to get the pieces to fit properly and even then, the top falls off pretty easily if you don’t find some way to secure it. This also makes it difficult to move the litter box while assembled – it may be easier to remove the lid before moving the litter pan.

What We Liked:

  • Low, step-up entry makes access very easy
  • Helps control litter scatter and litter box odor
  • Prevents dogs from eating out of the litter box

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Materials are a little flimsy
  • Top and bottom pieces don’t snap together

#6 Most Durable: Petfusion Betterbox Cat Litter Pan

  • Brand: PetFusion
  • Made In: China
  • Dimensions: 22”x18”x8”
  • Features: Very sturdy, antimicrobial coating, low entry
  • Price: $43.95

The previous pick is lacking in the durability department, but the PetFusion BetterBox is not. Constructed from non-porous ABS plastic, this litter box is very rigid and doesn’t bend or bow in the slightest even when filled with heavy litter.

The BetterBox is an open-top litter box that measures about 22.6 inches long by 18.1 inches wide. It has a dropped 5-inch entry for easier access by older cats, but the sides of the box are 8 inches high. The high sides help contain litter scatter and urine spray, but a dropped entry will always allow for some litter scatter out the front of the box.

This litter box is priced a little over $40, so it’s more expensive than many of the options on this list. It is, however, built to last and generously sized. The rounded interior corners may make scraping the sides a little tricky, but the plastic materials are sprayed with a non-stick coating to help reduce sticking.

I’ve been using the PetFusion BetterBox for several years. I used it as a rabbit litter box for a while but then reverted back to using it as a cat litter box. All three of may cats seem to like it and I really appreciate how durable it is – I can lift the box easily without worrying that it will bend, spilling dirty litter all over the floor.

What We Liked:

  • Durably constructed from non-porous ABS plastic
  • High 8-inch sides help contain litter and urine
  • Generously sized for the average cat

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Dropped entry allows for some litter scatter
  • Fairly expensive, over $40

#7 Best High-Sided: Frisco High-Sided Litter Box

  • Brand: Frisco
  • Made In: United States
  • Dimensions: 24”x18”x10”
  • Features: High sides, sturdy base, reinforced rim
  • Price: $24.99

While the 8-inch sides on the PetFusion BetterBox help contain litter scatter, the Frisco high-sided litter box’s sides are a full two inches higher. The front still has a dropped 5.6-inch entry for improved access by senior cats.

This litter box isn’t quite as rigid as the BetterBox, but the materials are still fairly thick and quite durable. It’s modestly priced around $20 and the 24-by-18-inch size is big enough for the average cat. Large cats may not find this litter box as comfortable as the 10-inch sides make it feel a little more enclosed – they might not be able to hang their head or tail over the sides when needed.

Customers on Chewy are largely pleased with this litter box, aside from the usual complaints about litter scatter through the front entry.

What We Liked:

  • High 10-inch sides to contain litter scatter and urine spray
  • Well-constructed from thick plastic with a sturdy base
  • Lowered 5.6-inch entry for comfortable access

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Dropped entry may allow for some litter scatter
  • Some cats may feel enclosed by the high walls

#8 Best Disposable: Kitty Sift Large Disposable Sifting Litter Box

  • Brand: Kitty Sift
  • Made In: Mexico
  • Dimensions: 17.8”x20.25”x5.5”
  • Features: Eco-friendly recycled materials, sift to remove waste, disposable
  • Price: $30.23

Whether you’re traveling or fostering a senior cat for a while, there may be times when it’s more convenient to have a disposable litter box than a traditional litter pan. The Kitty Sift system is a great choice because it’s made from recycled materials, it’s disposable, and it can be used as a liner with many enclosed litter boxes.

The Kitty Sift system consists of 6 pieces: one solid litter pan and five sifting liners. You simply stack the liners in the solid pan and fill with litter. When it comes time to clean the litter box, just lift the top liner to sift the litter, separating out the clumps for easy disposal. From there, you simply rotate the liner and place it on the bottom of the stack.

Though constructed from cardboard, the Kitty Sift is fairly durable. It may be affected by high humidity more than other litter boxes but doesn’t immediately become saturated with liquid.

This litter box system comes in several sizes. The large measures 17 inches long by about 14 inches wide with 4-inch walls. The 4-inch walls make it easy for senior cats to get in and out of the litter box, though it does allow for a significant amount of litter scatter. You can remedy this by purchasing a frame that adds another couple inches to the height of the walls.

What We Liked:

  • Made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials
  • Sifting trays make cleaning the litter box quick and easy
  • Low 4-inch entry for easy access by older cats

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Allows for a lot of litter scatter without the frame
  • May not be appropriate for large cats

5 Tips for Making Your Senior Cat More Comfortable

Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan. Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Now more than ever pet owners treat their cats less like pets and more like family. Since your cat is a member of the family, he deserves to be just as happy in your home as everyone else. As your cat’s guardian, that makes it your responsibility to anticipate and accommodate your cat’s changing needs throughout his life.

When your cat gets older, once-simple things like jumping onto the bed or climbing the cat tree may become more difficult. Your cat is still your faithful companion now as much as ever – he just might need a little help enjoying life to the fullest.

Here are five simple things you can do to help keep your cat comfortable as he ages:

Switch to a Litter Box With a Dropped Entry.

Your cat can choose how active he wants to be on a day-to-day basis, but he’ll always need to use the litter box. If your cat is getting up in years and isn’t quite as mobile as he once was, he may appreciate the switch to a litter box that requires less effort to access.

Senior cat litter boxes typically feature dropped entries that stand no more than 5 inches off the ground. You can find models that still incorporate features like high sides or non-stick coatings, but these add-ons should be considered secondary to features that improve your cat’s comfort.

Make Other Essentials Easier to Access.

Not only should your senior cat be able to easily enter and exit the litter box, but other essentials like food, water, and bedding should be accessible as well. An elevated cat bowl may spare your cat some pain if he finds it uncomfortable bending down to eat or drink.

Bedding should be moved to the floor or to a location easily accessible with the addition of steps or a ramp. When moving bedding, make sure your cat still gets to utilize the spaces he most enjoys. This might mean setting up stairs to his favorite windowsill or installing ramps between the different levels of his cat tree.

Ensure Your Cat Is Getting Enough Nutrients and Calories.

Many cat owners assume that a decrease in activity level necessitates a decrease in calorie intake but that may not be the case with all case. It’s essential for your aging cat’s health and longevity that he maintain a healthy body weight. If your cat tends to fall on the heavier side of the spectrum, you may need to make additional efforts to keep your cat active and watch how many treats you give them. For many cats, however, keeping weight on is a bigger concern.

Your veterinarian can help you determine your cat’s ideal weight and may recommend a prescription diet for specific health problems that are impacting your cat’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Healthy senior cats will benefit from the highest quality nutrition you can consistently afford, whether that means an upgrade to wet food from dry food or adding fresh or raw cat food into the feeding rotation.

Increase the Frequency of Vet Check-Ups to Twice a Year.

Young and healthy cats typically don’t need more than an annual check-up to catch up on vaccinations, but older cats may need more veterinary attention. Your vet can help you keep an eye on your cat’s weight and any existing health problems he’s being treated for. In between visits, it’s important to pay close attention to your cat’s behavior as any sudden or significant change could be an indication that something is wrong.

Learn How To Identify Signs of Pain and Illness in Cats.

Cats have a natural instinct to hide pain and discomfort because it makes them vulnerable. Unfortunately, this habit can delay treatment when cat owners don’t recognize the subtle hints that their cat might be giving them. Any change to your cat’s eating or sleeping habits, litter box usage, or energy level could be a sign of a developing health problem.

When in doubt, it never hurts to check in with your vet. If your cat isn’t showing immediate signs of distress or disease, you might just leave a message with your vet or send an email. Should an emergency situation arise in between vet visits, you’ll want to have the number and address of a 24-hour clinic or emergency vet where you can go for immediate treatment.

Wrapping Up

Every cat has his own unique preferences, and you may not know what they are until you bring home a new product that he flat out refuses to use. When it comes to litter boxes, fortunately, all cats want the same thing: a clean, easily accessible space where they can comfortably do their business.

For the most part, this translates to a generously sized litter box that is scooped daily and cleaned at least once a month. For senior cats, you have to make the additional consideration of whether a dropped entry is necessary for more comfortable access.

If your senior cat is just as mobile as he ever was, you might be able to get away with a traditional litter box for a few more years. Check out some of our favorites here: The 11 Best Cat Litter Boxes in 2023 – We Tried Them All

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly do cats age?

It’s no secret that kittens grow rapidly but things typically taper off around 12 months. When it comes to functional age, however, your cat will still progress quickly for another year or so. If you were to compare a cat’s aging rate to that of a human’s, your cat will be similar to a 15-year-old human when he reaches his first birthday. He’ll be in his mid-20s by the time he reaches 2 years old but, after that, each cat year is equivalent to about 4 human years.

Do older cats always have mobility issues?

As is true with humans, your cat’s joints are likely to stiffen over time which limits his ability to climb stairs, jump, and run. Though some cats escape physical symptoms for longer than others, veterinary researchers estimate that 90% of cats over the age of 10 are affected by arthritis to some degree. Feline arthritis is a degenerative disease, so it will only get worse over time. There is no cure, unfortunately, but symptoms can be managed with medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a writer with over twelve years of experience in the pet industry. She is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach and has completed coursework in therapeutic nutrition, raw feeding, and the formulation of homemade diets for pets at an accredited university. Kate enjoys cooking, reading, and doing DIY projects around the house. She has three cats, Bagel, Munchkin, and Biscuit.

3 thoughts on “The 8 Best Litter Boxes for Senior Cats”

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  1. Ron Biggers

    Questions for Kate:

    Do your three cats all use the same litters box?

    What cleaning product do you use to clean their litter box and the floor of the room it is in?

    We have two old cats 20–25 years of age. Both have kidney disease, ones disease is more progressed then the other. The one that is more advanced goes all the way in the litter box to pee but only half way in the poop and poops out side the box. Do you have any thoughts on what might be behind this changed behavior? We have modified the litter box so the step in is only 3 inches high.

    Both our cats use the same box and have done so for 10 years or more.

    1. Kate Barrington Post author

      Hi Ron!

      My cats do use the same litter boxes. I have 6 or 7 of them, however, so they all seem to have their favorites. To clean the litter box I usually just use hot water and, when needed, some natural cleaning spray. For the floors, when there are accidents, I recently started using Zep pet stain remover and really like it!

      As for your cat’s litter box behavior, it’s hard to say. It could have something to do with the progression of the kidney disease, but your vet would be the best person to ask about that. Wishing you and your cats well!