Do you have a cat that aims high or stands when urinating? With minimal monetary investment and a few minutes of time, you can have a sanity-saving litter box! This DIY litter box with high sides is perfect for cats who have these types of bathroom habits.
DIY $16 CAT LITTER BOX WITH HIGH SIDES
We have two 13-year-old cats named Rambo and Lucky. A few months ago Rambo started this new thing where he would pee really high and actually make it outside the back of the litter box.
I took him to the vet because of this (and a few other things) and they did an entire senior cat panel on him. He had a minor UTI but also stated that this might be something new he will keep doing even with the UTI treated.
At this point, our entire laundry room was lined with puppy pads until I could figure out what to do. I was on the hunt for litter boxes with higher sides to try and hopefully contain his new way of peeing.
SAD UPDATE: On 09/21/2021 our beloved Rambo left us. He is the one for who we made these high-sided litter boxes. It was totally unexpected, heartbreaking, soul-crushing, and there is a huge Rambo-sized hole in our hearts. To learn more about Rambo, visit our blog post We Lost Rambo.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK…
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First, I purchased two two-piece litter boxes where the top piece clipped in and made the sides higher (we tried this IRIS brand litter box with shield). Rambo still peed over the sides and even when he didn’t it would run down the inside and get stuck in the crevice – GROSS!
Next, we spent over $50 on these Nature’s Miracle High Sided Litter Boxes with 11″ high sides (which have since decreased substantially in price!). He was able to pee over those as well. I guess you could say he’s pretty talented. 😉
WHAT DID WORK…
We were at Home Depot and Scott saw Rubbermaid/Sterilite containers and mentioned we should try and make our own since you can get the Rubbermaid containers with very high sides. We decided to go for it… if it didn’t work we were only out $15 for the containers.
We purchased two Rubbermaid containers with the highest sides possible and it WORKS! He still pees really high sometimes but it has *fingers-crossed* never made it over the edge of the high sides. I did save the lids to the containers in case I do need to cover them but I haven’t had to so far. I also still have the puppy pads out, just in case, but we’ve used these for over three months now with nothing getting over the box.
NOTES/TIPS BEFORE YOU GET STARTED:
- We used the Sterilite 26-gallon latch & carry clear containers (here’s an Amazon link but we bought ours at a local store for less than $15) since they were the largest we could find with sides 20 1/8″ high. If you don’t have a high pee-er (!!) and are just looking to build your own litter boxes you can get the containers with the lower sides.
- The groves around the inside of the box have not been a problem, I just scrape around the edges and plan on cleaning them out as frequently as I did with our store-bought boxes.
- You can leave the lid on the boxes, I haven’t put ours on yet because I don’t think it’s necessary and our cats are not used to enclosed litter boxes.
- Rambo is a rather large cat and Lucky only has 3 legs so we had to take both of these things into consideration when planning our cuts for the front. Our openings are 7″ from the bottom and 7″ wide at the widest part.
HOW TO MAKE A CAT LITTER BOX WITH HIGH SIDES
1. Using a permanent marker, trace a line for you to follow when cutting the hole that you need for your cat to enter the box. We just happened to have a garden pad (shown below) that was the perfect size!
2. Using a box cutter or Dremel tool, carefully cut the outlined area (don’t forget your safety glasses!). Remove the cut area and using either sandpaper or the Dremel tool attachment, clean up the cuts you made on the plastic.
3. Fill with a litter of your choice.
That’s it! Super easy!
Since we’re all cat people here, I’ll share a picture of my cat’s pee in the box! You can see that he still aims high but isn’t able to get over the side. When I go past the laundry room where the litter boxes are located, I will usually just toss some kitty litter (using the litter scoop) up there to soap up the liquid. It works like a charm.
UPDATE: Since this has been published we have switched over to pellet litter. More to come on this subject!
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