The best litter box for the large cat in your life.

May 16, 2021 7 min read

Pic: @odinherofficial

Finding the right litter box for your kitty isn't always an easy assignment. If you're looking for the best litter box for large cats, the search may prove challenging.

Like all the rest of us, cats need to feel comfortable when doing their business. For large cats such as the Maine Coon or the Norwegian Forest Cat, comfortable settings equal spacious litter boxes.

Of course, more goes into buying the right litter box than just locating one that's the perfect-fit size. Let's take a look at how to choose a litter box, reasons your cat may turn her nose up at your choice, and how to keep your kitty going potty in the right space — and not the wrong one.

 

What to Consider When Buying a Litter Box.

The style of litter box you choose makes a difference. So it's important to make a smart selection right away. Factors in choosing the right litter solution include simplicity, number, and size. Let's take a look at each in turn:

 

Is this cat litter box easy to clean?

Cats are famous for their fastidious behavior. According to Dr. Pamela Perry, animal behavior resident of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, cats spend between 30% and 50% of their day grooming themselves. After all that work, no kitty wants to put his pristine paws in a mucky litter box. So cat lovers have to roll up their sleeves and do a little dirty work.

But as a cat's human parent, you don't want to spend 30-50% of your day cleaning a litter box, either. So pick a box that's simple to keep spotless. Some cat owners go for a robotic, self-cleaning litter box. That's often a bad choice. These loud boxes can terrify cats. And who can blame them? Would you like to have a scraper appear out of the toilet as you were getting up? Besides, a robotic box just hides fecal matter for the moment. You still have to clean it out sometime. 

Other cat lovers pick a flowery scented litter to overpower the smell of a traditional box. Another bad choice. With a sense of smell that's 40 times that of a human's, cats generally hate this litter. In the end, you will too because your house will feature the distinctive aroma of potpourri mixed with unwashed cat butt. 

When we decided to make the best cat litter box for ourselves and our cats, we added a durable scoop with an ergonomic handle and an edge matches the corners of Modkat, Modkat XL and Modkat Tray. At Modkat, we think scoops make cleaning easier. 

So does a check-off calendar on your refrigerator or in another public place. In general, you should scoop daily, refill with litter every 2-3 days, and wash the box with soap and warm water once a week.

 

How many cat litter boxes should I have?

The rule of thumb for cat litter boxes can be expressed algebraically — n+1= perfect. It states that you should have one litter box for every cat plus one extra. One cat? Two boxes. Two cats? Three boxes. Three cats? Bet you can guess by now… four boxes.

Your home's layout may determine if the rule of thumb is right for you. For example, if your home has two floors, you need to make sure you have a box on each floor. If you put one litter box in a bathroom where the door might close or you might lock out your cat, then make sure you have another box that's accessible 24 / 7 / 365. 

 

What size litter box does my cat need?

Your cat needs a box that extends 1.5 times the length of the animal and is as wide as he is long. Better to have too-big litter boxes for cats than to have boxes that run small and tight. 

Yes, most cats enjoy the security they get from enclosed spaces — and there are sound evolutionary reasons for this — but they don't want to feel trapped or claustrophobic while using the restroom. And really… can you blame them?

When we first built the original Modkat, people (and cats) loved it! But large cats had some trouble turning around, so we constructed the Modkat XL, the largest top-entry box on the market with 17"-high walls and 21"-long layout.  

 

What about lidded litter boxes?

Lidded litter boxes spark controversy. Some cat lovers say their pets prefer the privacy of an enclosed facility. Others say the animals want to go out in the open. Thankfully, a group of researchers at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine settled the question for us once and for all.

They discovered that…

Most cats don't care.

Among the animals studied, 70% showed no preference between a covered box and an uncovered one. Another 15% liked going out in the open, and 15% ducked into the more private stall whenever they could.

That means that a large cat litter box with a lid has an 85% probability of going over well with your cat. And it's 100% certain you'll like the odor-control benefits and sleek, elegant look of a lidded box.

 

Why Won't My Cat Use the Litter Box?

"But," you say, "I bought a great box using all those decision factors, and my cat still won't use the litter box. Why not?"

Several reasons could explain your cat's reluctance to do business in the right place. The fact is most cats prefer to use a litter box over the floor, bedding, or laundry. But sadly, every year, 6.5 million pet cats and dogs end up in animal shelters. And the number-one reason pet owners give for placing their animals in shelters? Inappropriate elimination.

Rarely is this a behavioral problem, though. Most cats with litter-box issues actually have a reason for eliminating out of the box. For example…

  • Injury or illness. Before you do anything else, take your cat to the vet. Eliminating outside the litter box may be a sign of a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or feline interstitial cystitis. Small amounts of urine, blood in the urine, or straining to go to the bathroom can indicate one of these diseases. Call your cat-friendly vet ASAP.
  • Cleanliness of the litter box. Cats generally hate dirty litter boxes. Even one clump of urine or one piece of old (mumble, mumble) can leave cats unwilling to step into the box. So scoop out the deposits as soon as your cat makes bank or at least once a day.
  • Size of the litter box. The ASPCA recommends buying the largest litter box you can. Now, you obviously don't want a box that's so large your kitten or older cat can't get into it. But it's better to offer a cat a box that's "too big" than to expect him to do business in a facility that's too cramped.
  • Location of the litter box. Some cats freak out at the thought of using the litter box because they've been frightened in the past. Cats generally don't like it when you put their bathroom in a noisy laundry room, dank basement, dark corner, or high-traffic area. Large closets, guest rooms, or quiet corners of living rooms or bedrooms often work well.
  • Inability to use the litter box. If your cat is a baby, has a mobility impairment, or is an older animal, then she may find some litter boxes difficult to use. We built the Modkat Litter Tray, an open-air bathroom that's 20.3" long, especially for cats that can't use our top-entry style boxes.
  • Conflict with other pets in the home. Sometimes, larger or more aggressive cats will guard the litter box. If you love two or more cats, keep an eye out for feline bullying. Dogs can be a problem, too. A lidded box can help keep the canine family members from turning the cat's bathroom into a buffet.
  • Stress. Cats are susceptible to stress in the home. Boredom, noise, and competition are the three most common feline stressors. You can help eliminate stress for your cat by making sure your pets have enough toys, get adequate play time, and enjoy a quiet space for relaxing.

 

What should I do if my cat is eliminating outside the box?

What if your cat has already gotten into the habit of doing his business outside the office, so to speak? 

First, rule out a medical condition with help from your vet. Then, make sure your cat's box is clean, filled with fresh litter (not too deep), and placed in an out-of-the-way but still-accessible location. Don't use noisy, robotic boxes, and get rid of scented litter. Invest in enough boxes to keep all the cats in the house happy. 

If your cat uses a spot outside the litter box, scrub it clean so your pets won't smell the odor of urine and think that the carpet is the right place to go. 

 

Do Cats Like Large Litter Boxes?

The best cat litter box for large cats is the one they'll use, and that's probably the largest box they can find. Now, a "large box" means one that's long enough and wide enough to feel comfortable as well as high enough to be safe for your floors. Some cats are high-pee-ers. They'll send a stream over the wall and onto the surrounding areas if you aren't careful.

Then, we have those cats that like to dig enthusiastically into the litter. If you love one of these guys, you'll want to make sure that their box stays full (not too full) of fresh pellets. But you also need walls high enough to keep the litter inside the box. 

If your wall is between 5" and 12" high, you're probably good. Our Modkat boxes run a little higher because we want to add margin for your cat. But remember that a kitten or mobility impaired cat will need a ramp or other easy entrance for the box.

 

Do Cats Like it When You Clean Their Litter Box?

Even the best litter box for big cats needs regular cleaning. Without fresh litter and occasional scrub downs with warm water, your cat's bathroom will start to smell like… well, like a cat's bathroom. Check out these 7 tips to make a stinky litter box smell fresh & clean if your kitty's space is starting to get a little ripe. 

But yes, cats like a clean box. In fact, many of them also seem to take a particular interest in watching us clean out their bathrooms. Who knows why? Perhaps they're making sure we wash our hands between cleaning their toilets and preparing their meals.

In some ways, large cats just want what all cats want — a clean litter box with space large enough to turn around and easy access to the entrance/exit. As our cats' caregivers, we need to do our part by making sure our plus-size friends have the boxes they need to stay happy and healthy. 

 

Shop the Modkat litter boxes and accessories to freshen up your cat litter area today!



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