If your cat is peeing while standing, it’s first important to rule out any health issues or any potential causes of the behavior. You can read over those potential causes here.
When you’ve had a veterinarian clear your cat of any health issues, and you’ve determined their standing while peeing has nothing to do with stress, their litter box, their litter, or their spraying, it’s time to find an appropriate litter box.
The ones listed in this article are the best ones on the market for high-peeing cats, and you’ll also find some additional solutions to make life easier for you.
If you have a cat that stands on the edge of the litter box, that’s a different issue and may be related to the litter you use. Check out the section “MY CAT STANDS ON EDGE OF LITTER BOX” in this article for recommendations.
BEST LITTER BOX FOR HIGH PEEING CAT: IRIS TOP ENTRY LITTER BOX
This litter box is 20″ long x 14.75″ wide x 14.38″ tall and has a lid cats can jump onto, then hop down into the litter box. The lid also has holes in it to help litter fall off your cat’s paws and back into the container.
Although enclosed litter boxes aren’t always the top-recommended choice when it comes to style of litter boxes, they’re a good option for cats that pee while standing because your cat will be unable to pee over an edge or out a door. They also don’t have seams at cat-butt-level, like hooded litter boxes do, where urine can leak through.
When switching to a top-entry litter box, be sure to introduce it to your cat while keeping their existing litter box around. If your cat is unhappy with their new litter box and you’ve taken their old one away, they may start finding someplace else in the house to urinate. Here’s a guide to introduce a new litter box to your cat and help ensure they’ll use it.
Enclosed litter boxes can trap litter dust inside and contain more smell inside; good for you but not something your cat will appreciate.
Although you don’t want to introduce too many changes at once, as that can stress your cat and cause litter box aversion, see if the type of litter you use comes in a low-dust option. For example, if you use a clumping clay litter, look for a low-dust clumping clay litter. Your cat may not notice the change in litter, but it will keep the inside of the litter box a low-dust atmosphere. Here’s a guide to properly switching litter without upsetting your cat.
You should also increase how frequently you scoop when you change to a top-entry litter box. The general rule is to scoop at least once per day, but if you can keep the litter box free of waste each time your cat goes to use it, they’ll be happier. Because a top-entry litter box is enclosed, odors will be more contained. If your cat uses the litter box several times before you scoop it, the smell will become more potent for them.
When it comes to top-entry litter boxes, some cat owners also note that their cats step in their waste when jumping up out of the litter box. But again, this is remedied by scooping more frequently.
IRIS does have another design, which is sleeker-looking, but some customers mention that the lid collapses in with this style. The lid is held in place with plastic tabs, as opposed to the entire lid sitting on top of the container. So if you have a heavier cat, it may be better to stick to the first style.
BEST COVERED LITTER BOX FOR HIGH PEEING CAT: VAN NESS GIANT ENCLOSED LITTER BOX
This is the top pick for hooded litter boxes because of its size. It’s 21.5” long, 17.5” wide, and 18” tall. It’s important for a covered litter box to be roomy for your cat, since the hood can make them feel confined.
It does also have a deeper litter pan. If the litter pan is shallow and your high-peeing cat pees on the lid, that urine will drip down over the seam, where the litter box meets the lid. These grooves can be harder to clean, are a breeding ground for bacteria, and may not be waterproof so the urine can still leak outside the box.
Again, keep their existing litter box around when you introduce a hooded one to be sure your cat always has a place to go. Once they’ve proven they’re willing to use the new litter box, then it’s safe to remove their old one.
You may want to slowly transition to a covered litter box by first introducing the litter box to them with the lid completely off. Once they’re regularly using it, add the cover, still keeping their old litter box around. If they decide they don’t like the cover and there isn’t a second litter box, they may just find a corner of the house or a laundry basket full of clothes to use instead.
You may even try removing the door flap when you first add the cover, to reduce how confined your cat feels when inside. If you find your cat doesn’t pee out the door, consider keeping the flap off permanently.
BEST UNCOVERED LITTER BOX FOR A HIGH PEEING CAT: NATURE’S MIRACLE HIGH SIDED LITTER BOX
Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box is a really popular litter box with people who have cats that either pee over the side, or kick litter over the side. It’s a reasonable price, is an extra-large litter box (23″ long x 18″ wide x 11″ high) and is easy to clean with the smooth profile and smooth, non-stick surface that allows litter to slide right off.
People with older cats that have mobility issues do love the lower entrance (which is 5″ high), but it may be problematic if a cat points their back end towards the entrance when peeing. The only downside is that if your cat pees really high, even these sides may not be high enough.
BEST ODOR REPELLING LITTER BOX FOR HIGH PEEING CATS: IPRIMIO STAINLESS STEEL LITTER BOX WITH ENCLOSURE
The benefit of a stainless-steel litter box is that it won’t absorb urine odors. This litter box has the option to purchase with an enclosure, which creates higher sides. The enclosure does leave the front of the litter box open/low, so if you have a bigger cat, you may find they pee out the front.
This litter box with the enclosure is one of the highest-sided litter boxes on the market. The litter pan is 6″ tall and the enclosure adds another 6″, making this litter box 12″ tall, 23.5″ long, and 15.5″ wide.
The enclosure is made of plastic so it will be important to clean that frequently if urine gets on it. However, it’s easy to remove, bring to the bathtub, and clean off (be sure to clean the bathtub after).
The main pan is stainless steel and won’t absorb odors, but it’s still important to clean it regularly (each time you change the litter, which should be done every 1 – 4 weeks, but that depends on the type of litter you use).
LITTER BOX ALTERNATIVES FOR CATS THAT PEE STANDING UP
If you don’t want to switch to a covered or top-entry litter box and even the best high-sided litter boxes aren’t high enough, consider the following suggestions.
DIY LITTER BOX FOR HIGH PEEING CAT
You can make a litter box using a big plastic storage bin. This gives you the option to add the lid to make it covered, or leave it off.
This is a good option with a smooth design and higher sides than any open litter box on the market. It’s 17″ high, 21.5″ long, and 15.25″ wide.
If you don’t want to fill a large plastic storage bin with that much litter, get a storage bin that’s big enough to put a regular litter box inside. Then, when your cat pees over the side of the litter box, the storage bin is catching that urine. It’s best to go to your local hardware store to find an oversized bin.
To turn a plastic storage bin into a litter box, or litter box containment, you’ll simply need to choose an appropriate bin and then cut an entrance.
The plastic bin should be big enough for your cat (1.5x the length of your cat or more) and it should be as smooth as possible. Tight corners, ridges, and grooves make it harder to scoop the litter, harder to clean, and gives urine and bacteria more places to get trapped.
To cut an entrance, determine how high you’ll fill the litter if using it as a litter box (litter should typically be 2 – 4” deep). Then mark a couple of inches above that height for the bottom of the entrance. If the plastic storage bin is really tall, or the top edge has harder-to-cut-through plastic, consider simply cutting a hole, as opposed to a big U-shaped entrance.
To prevent the plastic from cracking, drill a hole in the corners of the entrance and then cut towards those holes with a jigsaw or handheld saw.
Once you have the entrance cut, be sure to smooth those cut edges with sandpaper.
Another cheap and easy solution is to place the litter box inside a bathtub or shower. This solution isn’t ideal but may work if you have a spare bathroom in the house that rarely gets used.
You never want your cat to be locked out from using their litter box when they have to go and you don’t want to keep a litter box in a warm, moist environment. However, the bathtub in a spare bathroom may be the perfect spot for your cat’s litter box so the bathtub catches any urine that sprays over the edge. If household members or guests do occasionally use that bathroom, make sure you have a second litter box outside of the bathroom, and someplace your cat knows to go.
The nice thing about this solution is that porcelain bathtubs won’t absorb urine odors and you can very easily rinse urine that landed outside the litter box, down the drain.
Do be sure to sweep up litter before rinsing the tub as clumping litter and larger pellets that expand when wet can clog a drain. And if the bathtub/shower does occasionally get used, make sure you clean it with a bathroom disinfectant cleaner first.
When your cat stands to pee, it leaves you with a little more cleanup. The following tips can help you keep the litter box area clean and fresh.
FREQUENTLY WASH THE LITTER BOX
Obviously, the purpose of litter is to absorb urine. When your cat is peeing on the side of a litter box, that urine is sticking to the sides of the litter box, as are the odors. If the smell gets too strong, your cat is more likely to find a clean-smelling spot to go, which is a worse issue than cleaning urine off the litter box.
You may find it helpful to use wipes, such as NATURE’S MIRACLE LITTER BOX WIPES, to clean spills that go over the edge without having to empty the entire litter box and wash it.
Never use strong-smelling wipes meant for household cleaning (e.g. Lysol wipes) as cats have a sensitive sense of smell and products that contain bleach can create dangerous cases when mixed with the ammonia in cat urine.
DOGGY PEE MAT
Placing doggy pee mats under the litter box can catch the urine and absorb it so it doesn’t sit on the litter box or your floors. These ones work out to about $0.60/pad and are big enough to fit under a large litter box and have several inches of pad to catch urine that spills over.
One of the bigger litter boxes (Nature’s Miracle) is 23″ x 18″. These pee pads are 34″ x 28″, so you would have 5″ – 5.5″ of pad around all sides of the litter box.
ADDITIONAL LITTER BOXES
When a cat pees while standing, it may be that they’re actually spraying. Spraying is done to mark their territory (and to signal to other cats that they’re ready to mate). If your cat is spraying in the litter box, they may be telling other cats in the house that the box is their territory.
A household should have one litter box per cat, plus one extra (if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes). This ensures each cat has a litter box to use, when they want to use it, and is better able to claim one litter box as theirs. Although they may not be able to keep the other cat(s) from using “their” litter box, when there are multiple litter boxes, scents don’t accumulate as much since use is spread among several boxes.
Also consider having multiple litter boxes when switching to an enclosed litter box. Since covered litter boxes should be cleaned more frequently to keep odors down for your cat, an additional litter box will ensure, if you fall behind on your cleaning, there’s always another litter box for them to use.
If you let a litter box get too dirty, your cat will find someplace more appealing to go, and it’s a guarantee you won’t like their new location.
WHY IS MY MALE CAT PEEING STANDING UP?
When a male cat is peeing standing up, it’s most likely they’re actually spraying, not urinating. You can tell the difference by their stance and the way urine comes out. As the name suggests, a male cat will spray urine (as opposed to it coming out in a steady stream), and they’ll do so on vertical objects. They’ll lift their tail and you’ll see their tail shake as they spray.
Although spraying is not exclusive to male cats, it is more common in male cats than female cats.
Spraying is a behavior common in cats who aren’t spayed or neutered. They spray to mark their territory, to signal to other cats they’re ready to mate, and will sometimes do it when they’re stressed.
However, don’t rule out that it could also be a health issue or something they don’t like about their litter box.
I hope this article has helped you find a litter box solution to your high peeing cat 🙂
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