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Home > Cats > 3 Easy DIY Senior Cat Litter Boxes (With Instructions)

3 Easy DIY Senior Cat Litter Boxes (With Instructions)

a orange cat wearing green fabric collar using silica sand crystal cat litter inside DIY pet toilet box

Our cats may get a little slower and more relaxed as they age, but that doesn’t mean you get a rest from taking care of them. Health issues and a need for help replace a rapid-paced lifestyle, and it’s up to us to keep their typical routine manageable. Additions like ramps and lowered perches will relieve some stress, while a senior cat litter box will do wonders for you and your pet.

House soiling is a sign of a kitty in need. With a more accessible and easier-to-use setup, you can avoid the time-consuming messes and nausea-inducing odors that come with accidents around the home. Upgrade your pet’s comfort and make life easy for yourself by making one of these easy DIY senior cat litter boxes today.


The 3 DIY Senior Cat Litter Boxes

1. DIY Senior Cat Litter Box for Arthritis

DIY Senior Cat Litter Box for Arthritis
Image Credit: Cat in the Fridge
Tools: Jigsaw, sandpaper
Materials: 50-gallon container
Difficulty: Easy

Knocking out this easy yet effective DIY senior cat litter box takes less than five minutes. Use a jigsaw to cut a hole out of a 50-gallon tub to your cat’s desired height, fill it with litter, and your cat will be all set for success. The high walls give you ample room to leave the lid on and prevent any unfortunate spill-overs as your cat does its business.

2. Walk-In Cat Litter Box

Tools: Utility knife
Materials: Large plastic storage bin
Difficulty: Easy

Cutting a hole in the side of a Rubbermaid storage bin doesn’t take a ton of know-how or prior experience, but doing it the best way for your cat takes a surprising amount of thought.

You’ll learn how and why you should make particular decisions with your setup in this tutorial for a walk-in litter box for older cats. The lengthy walkthrough explains every detail, from picking the proper box size to measuring the entryway, with professional advice from a seasoned veterinarian ensuring the litter box caters to your cat’s health.

3. Handicap Accessible Litter Box

Tools: Hot glue gun, wood burner (hobby tool), sandpaper, pliers
Materials: Rubbermaid storage bin with lid, hot glue, tape
Difficulty: Intermediate

The standard Rubbermaid bin litter box gets a few substantial upgrades with this handicap-friendly senior cat litter box. It takes a little extra time and care to craft, but you could see a significant day-in and day-out difference in your cat’s comfort. The best part is that it can cost less than $5 to make!

If emergent joint pain, osteoarthritis, and other mobility issues slow and hinder its movement, the level platform and built-in ramp in these plans will ensure your cat won’t have to put in any unnecessary effort to do their business. A floating platform allows cat urine to filter to a pee pad below the litter tray, helping you save litter, reduce odors, and protect your cat’s paws.


Does My Cat Need a Senior Cat Litter Box?

A low-walled litter box can make life much easier for your aging pet, but you’ll have to pay attention to signs that it’s time for a change. Consistent soiling outside the litter box is a tell-tale sign of a potential health issue, particularly when there hasn’t been any significant cause that would excuse the behavior, such as new children or pets, changes in scenery, or shifts in your daily routine.

House soiling may be due to problems getting into the litter box or a deeper medical issue. Many cats develop joint pain later in life, and certain breeds are more prone to arthritis than others. With irregular bathroom habits, you may see accompanying lameness, reduced jumping height, and hesitation to go outside or socialize as normal.

Control problems should inspire immediate conversations with your vet. Testing for kidney disease and other conditions early will allow you to get your cat on an effective diet and treatment plan. Beyond arthritis and injuries, numerous health issues can cause muscle and bone pain, thus making your cat evacuate outside their litter box because of the difficulty getting in and out.

Helping Older Cats with Their Litter Box

Cats may take a few days to acclimate to a new litter box. Don’t be discouraged if they seem hesitant to use it at first. You may want to keep the old box on hand while your cat transitions to the next litter box. Make the senior cat litter box more enticing by keeping it cleaner and rewarding your pet when it uses the new one.

As you learn about your cat’s evolving health profile, you may also consider changing to a new cat litter that’s more appropriate for your cat’s particular needs, such as a low-dust or unscented blend. But if you’re already bringing in a new litter box, minimizing the number of changes will help you avoid overwhelming your cat.

You don’t want to change the litter box placement or use foreign cat litter while your cat is still getting used to a new box, as it will often make training even more challenging. Make one change, and give your cat enough time to settle into it.

Add More Boxes

Once you know your cat is struggling with the litter box, you can do more to make potty time easy for them. Although you’ll want to avoid making several changes to your cat’s setup at once, one immediate upgrade you can make while setting up your new senior cat litter box is to add more of them. Give your cat an extra litter box for each floor or multiple boxes on one level to keep it from needing to travel too far.

You can train your cat with the new boxes if it seems reluctant to use them. But as long as it has its familiar box in its usual place, your cat should still have no problem going to the bathroom in an appropriate spot.



Litter boxes for older cats you can find online and in stores are inexpensive and practical, but the ease and super-low cost of making a DIY senior cat litter box make it the better value almost every time. If you’re noticing your cat might be ready for the change, these three easy options are all you need to make your cat comfy for the long term.

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Featured Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

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