Serving Our Seniors
As cats age, they start to lose their mobility. The days of zooming around and climbing the curtains are over. Once they enter the senior years, cats become a lot more sedentary and experience limitations in the things they could once do with ease.
One daily activity senior cats tend to struggle with is using their litter box. Despite the great benefits of automatic litter boxes, some cat owners may question if they are the best fit for their fur baby. This is an understandable concern as some automatic litter boxes present certain mobility limitations for those who can't jump or climb with ease anymore.
However, here at ChillX, we wanted to create a litter product that cats of all ages and sizes can comfortably use. We took great care to design a litter box that’s accessible for all cats, and we integrated features to match the needs of caring for a senior. Here’s what makes the AutoEgg the best automatic litter box for senior cats.
A Lower Entry Step
Unlike competitors, our self-cleaning litter box has a low entry for easy access. The tracking step is a mere 6 inches off the ground, so your senior kitty can enter and leave with ease, despite their reduced mobility. By keeping the entry at 6 inches we've met the happy medium of controlling litter from getting kicked out but also making a bathroom trip feel easy at all times.
Arthritis in older cats is a common and painful condition that causes swelling of the major joints, stiffness, and decreased flexibility.
Because of the discomfort, cats with arthritis or degenerative joint disease need to have a litter box that is as low as possible so that using the bathroom doesn't become a hassle.
A Spacious Design With A Removable Hood
The AutoEgg measures 30.3 x 18.1 x 17.7 inches, meaning it is roomy enough for older/larger cats to move around without feeling claustrophobic. We've designed our unit with customizable options such as removing the hood without compromising functionality. By keeping the hood off your cat will have more room up top if needed to use the bathroom comfortably.
Feline obesity is a common health concern for older cats as their activity level declines. As cats age, they become much less agile and sleep even more!
Without sufficient exercise, senior cats can rapidly gain weight, and keeping their weight down can be difficult for owners. Luckily the precise weight sensors of the AutoEgg work effectively with cats up to 15.4 lbs (7 kilos).
Just like humans, as cats get older, they become prone to various diseases and health issues. These include an overactive thyroid, intestinal problems, cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, weight management, and more.
A unique feature of the AutoEgg is the health tracking and alert system. The unit logs various data every time your kitty uses the litter box. The metrics logged are the date and time, duration of visit, your cat’s weight, and amount of waste produced. If the system detects an abnormality that may indicate a health concern it will flag the bathroom trip in red to alert the owner.
If your kitty experiences diarrhea or constipation for instance, the unit will pick up on it and alert you immediately. This is a handy feature for senior cat owners as digestive issues are usually symptoms of some age-related feline health conditions.
Keeping up to date on your cat's health as they age will keep you in the know and give you a better insight for potential problems you may want to address with their vet.
Other Elements To Consider
Here are a few more litter box tips for caring for an older cat.
Provide Multiple Litter Boxes Around The House
While one litter box in the home is typically sufficient for younger cats, seniors do better with two or three spread throughout the home. In their later years, cats can’t move around as fast as in their younger days. If your senior wakes from a nap with the urge to use the bathroom and there is no litter box in sight, an accident could occur.
Consider where you put the litter boxes as well. Place them in the rooms where your feline spends the most time if possible. If you have a two-story home, ensure at least one is upstairs. If you have one automatic litter box and a couple of traditional litter trays, place the automatic one in the area that your kitty frequents the most. This will minimize usage in the other boxes and make things much easier for them.
Put Down Litter Mats/Pads To Protect Against Accidents
As cats approach old age, they can experience vision or hearing loss. This can lead to them feeling disoriented and confused, making it difficult to find their litter box. This, along with their reduced mobility and slower pace, means elderly cats are often prone to litter box accidents.
Aside from having extra litter boxes, you can put down litter mats and pads. Place a few close to the litter box to prevent a mess should your kitty not quite make it in time.
Provide A Separate Litter Box Just For Your Senior (Multi-Cat Homes)
Not only can cats be territorial towards each other, but the different behaviors between young and old cats can cause conflict. One territorial behavior seen among cats in the same household is litter box aggression. This is where younger cats guard the litter box against the older ones to mark it as theirs and theirs only.
If you have multiple cats, consider assigning your older cat their own litter box away from the others and teach the younger cats to respect the senior’s space using positive reinforcement.
Your cats might have previously shared a litter box just fine. However, as cats age, they can become much pickier about their bathroom space and may no longer want to share it. Moreover, to prevent any tension between your fur babies, you should have one litter box per cat, plus an extra one if possible.
Some Final Words
As cat parents, we can help our senior kitties age gracefully with a few adjustments to their daily routine. The mental and physical changes that come with getting older can cause your furry companion stress if their new needs aren’t met appropriately.
Not keeping the litter box clean or providing easier access can make a senior cat anxious and cause further distress and decline. Thanks to the AutoEgg, your senior feline can have a safe, accessible, and hygienic place to do their business for years to come!