Feline Diabetes

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Remission Demystied

By the time you’ve finished reading this guide, you’ll understand what feline diabetes is, how to treat it, and what to expect from the coming months and years as a diabetic cat guardian and caregiver. You’ll have the foundational knowledge and the vocabulary you need to ask your veterinarian the right questions and make sure your cat gets the care he needs.

What is diabetes?

The word diabetes originates from the Ancient Greek word for “siphon”—a reference to the excessive urination so common among diabetes patients. In 1675, the word “Mellitus” was tacked onto the end of the name. As a derivative of mel, meaning “honey”, it gives the name a sugary-sweet flavor. Diabetes mellitus translates to, roughly, “sweet siphon”.

It’s an appropriate name. Diabetes causes sugar to ll the bloodstream. The body attempts to siphon the excessive glucose out through the urine, resulting in a flood of sticky-sweet urine.

It’s an endocrine condition that involves several dynamics, all of them related to the pancreas and glucose metabolism. The pancreas is an organ responsible for several tasks related to digestion and metabolism. One of its jobs is producing insulin.

Normally, each time your cat eats a meal, beta cells in his pancreas trigger the release of insulin, which streams into your cat’s blood and attaches to and unlocks cells, allowing them to absorb energy-giving sugar.

When a cat has diabetes, something’s gone wrong with either insulin production or insulin receptivity.

Almost all feline diabetes patients exhibit metabolic peculiarities typical of type 2 diabetes, a name we give to chronically high blood sugar that’s not caused by an autoimmune disease (type 1 diabetes). Some doctors argue that calling it type 2 diabetes as if it’s a single pathology limits our understanding of the condition. Some think it’s more accurate to call it “idiopathic hyperglycemia”.

The situation is particularly blurry among cats, who usually have a combination of insulin resistance and poor insulin production.

To make things more interesting, prolonged insulin resistance and consequently high blood glucose damages the pancreas, so even if a type 2 diabetic produces plenty of insulin at the onset of the disease, their pancreas might wear out over time, making them both insulin-resistant and insulin-deficient.

Without insulin, glucose is incapable of converting to fat and energy in the body. If insulin is a key, glucose in a diabetic cat’s body is like a person locked out of their house. Unable to do anything useful, the sugar builds up in the blood. Molecules that should be creating energy instead weigh the body down, depressing the entire system.

A small percentage of feline patients have type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the immune system destroys the pancreatic beta cells that trigger insulin production. This disease is usually genetic and, again, rare among cats. The result is a lethargic, weak cat who drinks too much, pees too much, and doesn’t feel his best.

What are the symptoms of feline diabetes?

The two most distinctive symptoms of diabetes are called polydipsia (excessive urination) and polyuria (excessive drinking). Not sure how you’ll remember those words? Polydipsia involves a “D” like the word “drink”, but it refers to excessive urination. Polyuria sounds like it refers to urination, but this one is about drinking. Try these words out at your next vet visit!

Other symptoms of diabetes include sticky sugar-filled urine, a ravenous appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. Though obese cats are more likely to develop diabetes, they may lose weight as the disease wears them down.

What are the complications of feline diabetes?

Unlike humans, who often suer from diabetes complications including foot infections, diabetic glaucoma, and more, cats seldom develop such serious complications.

It’s not that diabetes is easier on cats—they just don’t live long enough for it to wreck their bodies. While a well-managed diabetic cat has a normal life expectancy, that’s still not a lot of time to have diabetes. A cat who develops diabetes at age eight will usually live with diabetes for no more than ten years. A human might be diagnosed at age 40 and have diabetes for 40 years, giving hyperglycemia multiple decades to slowly chip away at their health.

It affects about 10% of cats diagnosed with diabetes and usually develops after a few months of untreated diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy typically affects the femoral nerve, causing weakness of the legs and something called a plantigrade gait. You and I have a plantigrade gait—we walk on the soles of our feet. Cats usually walk on their toes. When they have diabetic neuropathy, cats often walk on their hocks or heels. Cats with this type of gait look a bit like rabbits—they just don’t hop.

Diabetic neuropathy is usually reversible with glycemic control through insulin therapy, diet, and healthy lifestyle. Ketoacidosis is the second complication you’ll need to think about.

Diabetic cats, particularly skinny ones, are at risk of developing ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body is starved of insulin, can’t metabolize glucose, and starts breaking down fat for fuel. Instead of doing this at a normal rate, the body breaks down fat too quickly, releasing a rush of ketones into the blood. The ketones overwhelm the blood, making it acidic and toxic.

Signs that your cat is in a state of ketoacidosis include fruity or acetone-scented breath, lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Diabetic ketoacidosis may occur when you miss a dose of insulin, let your cat remain hyperglycemic (have high blood sugar) for too long, or when your cat has a serious illness or infection. Ketoacidosis is a serious, life-threatening complication that demands a rush visit to the veterinarian.

What causes feline diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, which is, again, rare in cats, involves an inappropriate immune response to the pancreatic beta cells that initiate insulin release.

Type 2 diabetes or idiopathic hyperglycemia has a range of root causes.

These include obesity, a high-carbohydrate diet, inactivity, and genetic factors. Male cats, indoor cats, and those over the age of eight are also at increased risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is more common among some populations of Burmese cats around the world.

Diabetes is an endocrine condition and deeply connected to diet. Though we don’t know how much of an impact diet has on your cat’s chances of developing diabetes, several things are clear.

Cats are obligate carnivores with a metabolism optimized for meat, meat, and more meat. Every aspect of their physiology, from saliva to pupils to claws to intestines and stomach acid, is characteristic of an animal-eating machine. As an animal optimized for this type of high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, cats are capable of carbohydrate metabolism, but a less efficient form of carbohydrate metabolism than that found in omnivorous species.

Metabolically, cats are similar to diabetic humans. Even healthy cats exhibit some insulin resistance, and the gluconeogenic pathway is always open, allowing glucose to flood the bloodstream unhindered.

It’s speculated that a lifetime of eating high-carbohydrate food continually floods the body with glucose. Considering the feline’s naturally repressed insulin response, glucose isn’t utilized effectively and instead goes coursing around the body, wearing out the pancreas and eventually leading to diabetes.

Then there’s obesity. Excess body fat increases your cat’s chances of developing diabetes and it can make diabetes worse. Fat cells release hormones that inhibit the insulin response, making the condition even harder to control.

If your cat is tired, drinking all the time, and urinating more than he used to, it’s time to visit the veterinarian and find out if he has diabetes.

Your veterinarian will probably want your cat to stay in the animal hospital for a couple of days while they perform blood glucose proles. These tests will tell your veterinarian whether or not there’s too much glucose in your cat’s blood. Blood glucose values between 180 and 288 mg (milligrams) per dl (deciliter) are indicative of diabetes and values over 400 mg/dl are an undeniable sign that your cat is diabetic. There are a few factors that can distort these values, so it’s important to control them. The vet will perform multiple tests to confirm that the elevated blood glucose isn’t caused by vet-associated stress. Because food consumption distorts blood sugar values, the vet will withhold meals to obtain your cat’s fasting blood sugar.

Diagnosing Diabetes – What to Expect at the Vet

If your cat is tired, drinking all the time, and urinating more than he used to, it’s time to visit the veterinarian and find out if he has diabetes.

Your veterinarian will probably want your cat to stay in the animal hospital for a couple of days while they perform blood glucose proles. These tests will tell your veterinarian whether or not there’s too much glucose in your cat’s blood.

Blood glucose values between 180 and 288 mg (milligrams) per dl (deciliter) are indicative of diabetes and values over 400 mg/dl are an undeniable sign that your cat is diabetic. There are a few factors that can distort these values, so it’s important to control them. The vet will perform multiple tests to confirm that the elevated blood glucose isn’t caused by vet-associated stress.

Because food consumption distorts blood sugar values, the vet will withhold meals to obtain your cat’s fasting blood sugar.

There are a few factors that can distort these values, so it’s important to control them. The vet will perform multiple tests to confirm that the elevated blood glucose isn’t caused by vet-associated stress. Because food consumption distorts blood sugar values, the vet will withhold meals to obtain your cat’s fasting blood sugar.

Caring for Your Diabetic Cat

While diet and insulin management are both essential, weight loss isn’t. Although obesity is a major contributor to diabetes, not every diabetic cat is obese and, in some cases, weight loss is not a good idea. Note that weight loss is one of the symptoms of diabetes, so some cats may even become underweight.

Your diabetes control strategy has several primary facets—glycemic control through insulin and diet combined with weight loss. While diet and insulin management are both essential, weight loss isn’t. Although obesity is a major contributor to diabetes, not every diabetic cat is obese and, in some cases, weight loss is not a good idea. Note that weight loss is one of the symptoms of diabetes, so some cats may even become underweight.

Treatment begins with consistent blood glucose monitoring.

Some people opt to have their cat’s blood tested during regular vet visits, but this might not be the wisest approach. Your cat’s blood sugar soars when under stress, so the environment at the veterinarian’s office will cultivate unrealistically high blood sugar test results. You don’t want to give your cat too much insulin based on stress-induced high blood glucose, so control for stress by testing at home.

If you’re serious about reversing your cat’s diabetes rather than just controlling it, you can’t wait three or four months until your next vet appointment. You need to know how much glucose is in your cat’s blood all the time. Without close attention to changing blood glucose levels, you can’t adjust insulin to meet your cat’s changing needs. Administering too much insulin could lead to hypoglycemia.

But wait. What is an aggressive treatment plan?

An aggressive treatment plan involves strict glycemic control. Through insulin therapy and diet, strict glycemic control keeps your cat’s blood glucose within a normal range of around 72 to 180 mg/dl.

Without frequent blood glucose testing, this kind of glycemic control could easily result in hypoglycemia. With a good glucometer and a regular blood testing schedule, it’s the best way to bring your cat’s diabetes into remission.

In one report, cats on a strict glycemic control protocol experienced an 84% remission rate, compared to 35% remission rates among cats who weren’t tightly regulated.As soon as you learn that your cat has diabetes, pick up a good glucometer. Cat and dog guardians have successfully used the MiniMed Gold, Guardian Real-Time, GlucoDay, iPro, and FreeStyle Libre, among others. As soon as you learn that your cat has diabetes, pick up a good glucometer. Cat and dog guardians have successfully used the MiniMed Gold, Guardian Real-Time, GlucoDay, iPro, and FreeStyle Libre, among others.

Here’s how to test your cat’s blood sugar.

After you’ve gotten your hands on a glucometer, learn how to test your cat’s blood sugar. Using the lancet that comes with your glucometer or a sterile hypodermic needle, prick your cat’s ear between the outside edge of the ear and the highly-visible vein that runs more or less parallel to the outer edge of your cat’s ear.

Dip your test strip into the droplet of blood that forms in the place where you pricked your cat’s ear. You may read the test strip according to a color-coded chart or insert it into the glucometer, which will provide a reading and, depending on the capabilities of your glucometer, potentially stream that reading to your smartphone or other device.

If your glucometer doesn’t do it for you, don’t forget to record your results. These results will start to show trends that allow you to evaluate your cat’s progress and changing requirements. You’ll also want to present this information to your veterinarian at your next visit.

Your cat’s blood sugar should be tested at least three times a day:

  1. Early in the morning before he’s received an insulin injection or eaten a meal.
  2. Late in the afternoon before he gets the second injection of the day.
  3. Right before bed.

What do your cat’s blood test results mean?

The normal level of glucose in the blood is 80-120 mg/dl, though it’s normal to dip into the 60-80 range. A normal cat’s blood sugar may rise to 250-300 mg/dl following a large or high-calorie meal, but unless a cat is diabetic, his blood sugar will never reach 400 mg/dl or higher. Some diabetic cats have glucose levels as high as 700-800 mg/dl, though this is relatively uncommon.

Injectable insulin therapy is the heart of managing your cat’s diabetes.

When your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will likely offer you two treatment options— injectable insulin or oral hypoglycemic medications, the most common being Glipizide. If you’re needle averse, you might be initially drawn to oral medications, but I’d like to encourage you to opt for insulin injection instead.

Hypoglycemic medications have a 5-30% success rate, which isn’t particularly impressive, especially considering that insulin injection isn’t just more effective than pills. It’s safer. In addition to potential hypoglycemia, Glipizide is associated with side effects including vomiting, loss of appetite, and jaundice. Insulin’s only side effect is hypoglycemia.

And as most people realize after a couple of weeks of trying to pill their diabetic cat twice a day, the reality of pilling a cat is more frightening than injecting your cat with a thin hypodermic needle.

By injecting insulin on a regular basis, you mimic the normal function of the pancreas. Your veterinarian will help you to select the appropriate dose and may advise you on which insulin is best for your cat. Remember that your cat’s insulin dose will not necessarily remain the same forever. Since the goal is to stabilize your cat’s blood glucose levels within a normal range, you will ideally taper o insulin use until your cat no longer requires any injections at all.

What type of insulin should you use?

Insulin may be derived naturally from the pancreas of pigs (usually called porcine insulin) or cattle (usually called bovine insulin) or genetically engineered as a human insulin analogue.

Bovine, porcine, and human analogue insulin are all acceptable options for cats, but they’re not equal. Insulin preparations using bovine insulin are the closest match to your cat’s own insulin, making them theoretically the most readily-accepted type available.

Ultimately, however, the insulin’s origins aren’t as significant as they might initially seem. While it’s speculated that the wrong insulin could trigger a release of antibodies to fight against the foreign amino acids, clinical data suggests that this type of reaction is rare and harmless.

The more significant difference between different types of insulin is its release time.

Some types of insulin, referred to as fast-acting insulin, spike shortly after injection, necessitating multiple injections throughout the day. They work for about 5-8 hours. Intermediate insulin is a combination of multiple types and also demands twice-daily injections.

Others, called long-acting insulin solutions, have a slow, even release and may require just one injection per day. Because they metabolize insulin twice as fast as people or dogs and should be eating an extremely low carbohydrate diet, long-acting insulin is ideal for cats.

Popular Insulin Products Compared

  • Lantus or glargine is a long-acting human insulin analogue that appears to be safe and effective when given to cats. It lasts for 12 to 18 hours in the body. In one study on the effectiveness of glargine treatment, 84% of 55 cats achieved diabetic remission within 6 months.
  • Detemir is a long-acting synthetic analogue of human insulin. It’s administered one to two times daily and lasts for 18 to 21 hours. In a study on 11 newly-diagnosed cats treated with detemir, 81% went into remission.
  • Prozinc/PZI is a long-acting bovine insulin designed for cats. It lasts for 10-14 hours. In a study of 133 diabetic cats, 85% achieved diabetic control within 45 days. In another study, 38% of cats given PZI achieved remission within 112 days or just under 4 months.
  • Vetsulin or Lente insulin is an intermediate-acting porcine insulin for dogs and cats. In a 12month study of 25 cats given Lente insulin, 84% had a good or excellent response and 28% reached diabetic remission within 4 months of treatment.

Though neither are formulated or marketed for cats, glargine and detemir have the best history of promoting feline diabetes remission.

How often do you have to give your cat insulin?

Your insulin dosage frequency depends on which type of insulin you’re giving your cat. If you’re using short or intermediate-acting insulin, you’ll inject twice a day with each injection 12 hours apart.

If you’re using long-acting insulin, you’ll only need to give your cat one dose per day—maybe two if your cat doesn’t respond well to the once-daily dosing pattern.

If you’re doing twice-daily dosing, look at your schedule and choose two times that you can commit to and follow consistently. This might be 8:00 in the morning and 8:00 at night.

The best time to give your cat his insulin injections is just after a meal when his blood sugar levels are the highest. If you’re concerned that your cat won’t stay still, some recommend administering insulin while your cat is in the middle of a meal.

If you’re busy and frazzled and always forget things like this, put an alarm on your phone, alarm clock, or watch that will remind you that it’s time to give your cat the juice. We’re trying to space injections by 1112 hours, so you have a one hour window in which you can safely give your cat his shot. If you get caught up in a conversation with your dinner guests and don’t get a chance to give your cat his shot until 10 pm, skip the dose. It’s better to miss a shot of insulin than to give your cat one dose at 10 pm and another dose at 8 am the next day.

We’re weighing the negatives of high blood sugar from not getting enough insulin versus low blood sugar from too much insulin. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is a life-threatening condition, while hyperglycemia was everyday life for your cat the day before he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Theoretically, you could push your next dose out to 11-12 hours from the oopsie shot, but then you’re at risk of creating a dosing schedule that’s sliding further and further from your intentions and eventually would have you giving your cat insulin at 2 am. Routine is important for you and it’s even more valuable for your cat. It’s better to skip a shot.

If you’re giving your cat once-daily doses, the rules are the same.

Here’s how to give your cat injectable insulin.

Your vials of insulin should remain in the refrigerator at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius). Insulin kept at room temperature will not last as long as that kept in a fridge. Take the insulin out of the refrigerator shortly before you’re ready to use it. Warming the insulin to your cat’s body temperature is not necessary and may reduce the insulin’s efficacy.

After you take the insulin vial out of the refrigerator, clean the rubber stopper with alcohol. This is where you’ll insert the needle, so it has to be sterile. Stick the needle into the syringe and draw up the liquid, paying close attention to the measurements on the syringe. If you draw up too much, push it out and adjust the amount.

Look at your cat from above and plan your approach. Aim for spots a few inches from the center of his back and near the shoulder blades or hip bones, but don’t sweat this. Ultimately, you’re just looking for a spot on your cat’s back where he has a lot of loose skin. So pet your cat, squeeze around a little bit, and find a baggy-saggy spot where you can easily pinch an inch or two. Cats often have a ring of loose skin right behind their neck wrapping around the shoulder blade area and down the sides of their ribcage.

Remember to vary your injection sites to avoid soreness. You can systematize this by drawing a circle with your injections or map out a little rectangle with four injection points on your cat’s back. It really doesn’t matter how many points you run through before you hit the same area again—just don’t poke the same spot over and over until you create a sore.

Hold the syringe with your thumb and middle finger, keeping your index finger free—that’s your plunger-pusher finger. Don’t touch the plunger just yet, though. Cat wrangling can be a challenging job and there’s a chance you could jerk and accidentally waste the insulin or even give yourself a shot. So repeat after me: “keep your finger o the plunger until you’re ready to inject.”

With your non-dominant hand, gently pinch a couple of inches of your cat’s skin into a tent. Doing this allows you to inject the insulin under the skin. While holding this tented shape with your other hand, swiftly but gently push the needle into the center of the fold. Aim for a thirty-to-forty-ve-degree angle pointing slightly downward towards the muscle under the skin. Now you can put your finger on the plunger. Use your index finger to depress the plunger, administering a full dose of insulin. Withdraw the needle and massage the injection site.

When you’re done, you’ll need to safely dispose of the needle. Instead of dumping them straight into the trash, drop used needles into a sturdy container like the kind used for laundry detergent, shampoo, or shortening, then throw it away. Some landfills have designated areas for hazardous waste and you may be able to drop o your cat’s needles there.

After you’ve given your cat his dose of insulin, mark it o on the calendar or check it o of your to-do list. It’s important that you maintain a record of your insulin doses, especially if you’re living in a home with multiple people. Giving multiple people the chore of insulin dosing increases your risk of overlapping shots, so everyone needs to be extremely vigilant to avoid double-dosing.

If you can’t remember if you gave your cat insulin or don’t know if your spouse did it last night, just don’t do it. Skip a dose and try again next time. Again, high blood sugar is better than low blood sugar.

Diet is the second key to diabetes control. Here’s how to choose the right food for your cat.

Cats who eat a high-carbohydrate diet are more likely to develop diabetes and they’re more likely to stay diabetic for the rest of their lives. If you want your cat to enter diabetic remission and no longer need insulin, don’t feed him the same high-carbohydrate diet that got him into this mess.

Diabetic cats should switch to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Remember that every time your cat eats carbohydrates from potatoes, corn, or tapioca, he’s hit by a blast of glucose rushing into his bloodstream.

What’s the best food for diabetic cats?

Diabetic cats need the same kind of food as every other cat. A diabetic cat should eat food with protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels that reflect his natural prey diet, which is about 52% protein, 46% fat, and 2% carbohydrate.

The easiest way to start feeding your cat the right diet is by switching from dry to wet food.

A species-appropriate nutrient distribution is all but unheard of among dry foods, which demand starchy ingredients like corn and wheat, or in grain-free foods, potatoes or lentils. These foods range from 20% to over 40% carbohydrate content—ten to twenty times higher than your cat’s natural intake. There’s no nutritional precedent for this carbohydrate content. There’s no such thing as a feline starch deficiency. High-carbohydrate ingredients aren’t there to make dry food healthy. They make it more economical and give it structure.

While low-carbohydrate dry foods are almost nonexistent, particularly at a reasonable price, store shelves are stuffed with low-carbohydrate wet food. Switching your cat to wet food is the easiest first step towards a diabetes-appropriate diet.

Any ordinary wet food will do, provided that it’s low in carbohydrates.Here’s a shortlist of brands and foods I recommend for cats with diabetes. All of them are low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and moisture-rich.

  • NomNomNow Flavorful Fish Feast
  • Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau (and most other Tiki Cat wet recipes)
  • Hound & Gatos Turkey & Turkey Liver (plus all other Hound & Gatos foods)
  • Fancy Feast Classic Paté (almost all recipes)
  • Fancy Feast Flaked (select recipes)
  • 4Health Paté
  • Against the Grain

Check out this cat food database that allows you to search products by macronutrient distribution.

Once you’ve found a diet that meets these standards, it’s time to make the switch.

When you reduce carbohydrates from 24% of your cat’s diet to 6% of that diet, you’re signicantly reducing his blood sugar and, therefore, reducing his need for insulin.

The effects of switching to a low-carbohydrate diet kick in immediately, so it’s imperative that you closely monitor your cat’s blood glucose while changing his diet. You can’t wait days, weeks, or a month before reducing the insulin dosage to accommodate a low-glucose diet. You need to watch his blood glucose and change his insulin as soon as you make the switch. Some cats don’t need any insulin at all after switching to a species-appropriate diet.

Weight management is the third primary facet of your diabetes control strategy.

If you’ve established an appropriate diet and an insulin regimen and you haven’t noticed any change, weight loss may be the missing factor that could bring your cat into remission.

Instead of leaning on a weight loss diet, use a combination of calorie restriction and exercise. You’ll want to feed your cat smaller portions of his high-protein, low-carbohydrate wet food until he reaches an ideal weight. Note that as your cat loses weight, his insulin requirements will also change. This is another reason to closely monitor blood glucose.

When Blood Sugar Drops Too Low: Hypoglycemia and How to Treat It

While we begin treatment to reverse the effects of hyperglycemia, its polar opposite is even more dangerous. Though most cases are mild, serious hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can result in seizures, unconsciousness, and death.

Hypoglycemia, also known as insulin shock or an insulin reaction, occurs when there isn’t enough sugar in the blood. In cats, low blood sugar is usually defined as anything under 65 mg/dl, though some put the number closer to 54 mg/dl. Blood glucose levels under 18 mg/dl are life-threatening and often result in permanent brain damage.

A hypoglycemic episode usually occurs minutes to hours after an insulin injection. Hypoglycemia isn’t always obvious. Symptoms range from moderate to severe and they’re not always congruent with the severity of the hypoglycemia. A hypoglycemic cat may have very low numbers—under 40 mg/dl—but appear perfectly comfortable, at least temporarily. Likewise, a hypoglycemic cat might have relatively normal blood glucose close to 50 mg/dl and go into an intense hypoglycemic episode with seizures, poor coordination, and, eventually, unconsciousness.

How do you know your cat is having a hypoglycemic episode?

Mildly hypoglycemic cats will suddenly switch from normal to not-quite-normal. They’ll be ravenously hungry, weak, or start shivering. All of these symptoms will be relatively mild.

A moderate hypoglycemic episode triggers intense behavioral changes, including aggression and urgent meowing. Moderately hypoglycemic cats are disoriented, confused, uncoordinated, and restless. They might hold their head oddly or bump into furniture.

Click here to watch a video of a cat who appears to be moderately hypoglycemic. The cat is confused, disoriented, and stumbles around the house on his hocks. Near the end of the video, you’ll see that he’s panting. The person who uploaded the video also noted that the cat loses bladder function and doesn’t seem able to see his human guardian when in a hypoglycemic episode.

If your cat starts exhibiting severe hypoglycemic symptoms, it’s an emergency situation. Your cat might pass out or go limp. Convulsions or seizures are common among severely hypoglycemic cats. If this happens, you need to immediately get some sugar into your cat’s body before rushing him to the veterinarian.

If your cat shows symptoms of hypoglycemia or if you notice low numbers in your routine blood test, you need to closely monitor your cat’s blood glucose while trying to get some sugar into his bloodstream.

If your cat’s blood sugar is below 40 and he’s not exhibiting any symptoms, verify that it’s not a uke by retesting with a larger blood sample. If you still get a very low number, feed your cat a teaspoon of corn syrup, honey, or liquid glucose along with food or treats. You can administer the sugar with a syringe or mix it into your cat’s food. Monitor your cat’s behavior and blood glucose until it rises to a normal level.

If your cat’s blood glucose is low, but not extremely low—think under 50 but over 40—give your cat a few treats and retest until his blood glucose level rises. If he refuses to eat, you can give him a little corn syrup or food with a syringe.

When you start noticing moderate symptoms like disorientation, confusion, and stumbling around, you’re going to want to give your cat a tablespoon of corn syrup, teaspoon of liquid glucose, tablespoon of honey, or a tablespoon of sugar syrup. It’s always important to follow the sugar with food to ensure a longlasting effect.

If your cat’s exhibiting intense symptoms, you’ll still need to give him sugar, but you do not want to squirt it into his mouth. A limp, seizing cat is likely to choke, so you’ll have to rub a tablespoon of sugar syrup, honey, or corn syrup directly on your cat’s gums. You may also inject it rectally (make sure you know how to do this by consulting your veterinarian first).

Since it’s not safe to feed a severely hypoglycemic cat, you won’t follow with food. Instead, you’ll need to rush to the emergency vet immediately.

Can Diabetes be Cured?

It is possible for most diabetic cats to go into remission, provided that their blood glucose is tightly regulated through the right diet and a good insulin regimen. But most doesn’t mean all and some cats need to be on insulin for the rest of their lives. Cats with blood glucose values of 190-270 mg/dl before treatment are great candidates for diabetic remission, as it’s unlikely that their pancreas has been poisoned out of commission. If the cat has higher blood glucose, remission is perhaps less likely, but possible. Remember that your cat’s initial blood glucose values may be unrealistically high due to vet-induced stress.

While some cats have temporary diabetes and go back to normal after a simple dietary change, some cats might take six months of aggressive dietary changes, weight management, and insulin therapy before they go into remission. Even after your cat has healthy blood glucose levels without any need for insulin supplementation and appears to be cured of diabetes, the first time he eats a carbohydrate-laden dry food, he could go right back to full-on diabetes and you’ll have to start all over again. An estimated 25% to 35% of cats in diabetic remission will relapse. A second remission is possible, but unlikely.

That’s why it’s critical that you continue to control your cat’s insulin through an extremely low carbohydrate diet and periodically test his blood glucose to ensure that he’s still in remission.

Looking Forward: Life with Feline Diabetes Diabetic

Diabetic cats have a unique daily routine. Each day, you’ll need to perform a series of care tasks to keep your cat’s blood sugar under control and ensure that he continues moving towards the goal of remission.

Here’s a checklist of things you need to do every single day:

  • Check your cat’s blood glucose at least three times a day. Those aggressively working towards diabetic remission may test blood glucose up to eight times a day. If your cat’s blood glucose has been stable for a while or if your cat appears to be in remission, you might cut blood testing back to once a week, month, or less.
  • Administer insulin once or twice every day. Insulin should be injected just after or while your cat is eating a meal.
  • Keep a consistent, detailed record of your cat’s activities and treatment each day.

    Enter the following into your daily record:
  • Time(s) you injected insulin
  • How much insulin you injected
  • How many times your cat ate
  • How much he ate at each meal
  • Anything you did dierently (dietary changes, type of insulin, activities)
  • Anything unusual—hypoglycemia, abnormal behavior, or symptoms of any kind

You’ll want to weigh your cat once every week. Enter his weight in a separate weekly log.

The future is bright for cats with diabetes.

Diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean your cat’s body is broken. It appears to be a normal reaction to a carbohydrate-loaded diet and a body weighed down by too much fat.

Indeed, you can look at diabetes as a gift. A wake-up call.

Feline diabetes is almost always the result of a species-inappropriate human-controlled lifestyle and you can turn it around by correcting those abnormalities. Diabetes just may be the punch in the gut you needed to improve your cat’s health. This road could be challenging, but fortunately, you have a world of resources and support at your fingertips. Here’s a selection of resources to keep you sane in the months ahead.


About the author

Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventure cat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

Creating a Healthy Routine

Hello there, friends!

I’m your friendly internet cat lady here to tell you how to create a streamlined, elegant cat care calendar and daily routine.

If you’re one of those organization addicts who’s done everything from bullet journals to calendar blocking to old-fashioned to-do lists, you’re going to love this scheduling guide.

Though I’m no stranger to the addiction to scheduling my life, cat care seldom seems to make it onto my to-do list. As a result, I’m always running behind after an unexpected kitty mealtime or litter box cleaning. Incorporating those basic cat tasks into your routine helps you stay realistic about the amount of time you spend taking care of your cat and it ensures that you’ll never forget to change out the litter or clean your cat’s bowls.

The benefits of a well-plotted cat care calendar aren’t only for you. Consistent routines are just as good for your cat as they are for you. If cats were people, they’d be ultra-uptight people with a tendency to throw at if their routine is altered.

If you think you panic when you get a last-minute dinner invitation but your to-do list said you needed to clean your basement, realize that cats are so sensitive they might ditch their litter box for the carpet if their schedule gets too weird. So de-stress yourself and de-stress your cat by creating a clean, organized, and genuinely species-appropriate cat care calendar.

I’ve broken down your cat care duties from daily routines to annual must-dos that you can plan both for the long term and the next few minutes of your day.

Your Cat’s Daily Routine

Let’s start on a small scale with tasks you need to do every day. Take these times as a general guideline and adapt them to your unique needs.

  • 5:30 AM – Cats naturally are at their most active just before dawn. In nature, this is when they’d head out on the hunt. Instead of getting mad at your cat for waking you up early, embrace the opportunity to try a new early-rising lifestyle. Who knows? You just might find yourself becoming healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
  • 6:00 AM – Indulge your cat’s early-morning hunting instincts by playing with him for fifteen minutes in the morning. Playing doesn’t have to involve a lot of effort on your part. Flick a feather wand while you brush your teeth, kick a rubber ball at your cat while you make your bed, point a laser pointer while you pour your pour-over. A little bit of exercise and predatory behaviors make a big difference for your cat, both mentally and physically. Once you’re bored and busy with other things, let your cat play alone.
  • 6:15 AM – It’s best to brush your cat’s teeth at least 30 minutes before or after a meal. Brush your cat’s teeth using a toothbrush and cat toothpaste. You don’t have to do it for three minutes. Just a little scrub is all you need to significantly reduce your cat’s chances of developing periodontal disease.
  • 6:45 AM – Go ahead and pour yourself some cereal for breakfast, but please don’t pour one for your cat. Instead, give your cat a meat-rich, high-moisture meal. After all that hunting this morning, only a carnivore’s meal will do.
  • 7:00 AM – Before you head out to work, hit the slopes for a day of skiing, or do anything else, clean up that litter box! Cats need a fresh, clean litter box and it’s important to scoop at least once a day.
  • 7:10 AM – Wash your hands after cleaning out the litter box. While you’re at it, wash out your cat’s food bowl.
  • 6:45 PM – If you have time, you can give your cat three small meals a day, but in general, it’s easiest to just give your cat two meals roughly 12 hours apart.
  • 7:30 PM – Wash your cat’s food bowl after dinner. If you have a dishwasher, you’ll probably want to put it in the dishwasher.
  • 7:32 PM – Clean out the water bowl and refill it with fresh water. Wash it by hand unless you have a second water bowl to put out while the dishwasher is working overnight. Make sure to rinse more than you think you have to.
  • 9:00 PM – Before you get tucked into bed, squeeze in a little more playtime with your cat. Again, this doesn’t have to be hard. You can hold a laser pointer while you do some relaxing yoga or ick your favorite teaser toy while reading a book. Or, if your cat is fascinated by the lumps under the sheets, wiggle your feet around while watching your favorite series on the laptop.

Weekly Tasks

Here are things you’ll need to incorporate into your schedule every week.

  • Switch up your cat’s diet as often as possible to avoid intolerances and keep his palate flexible. Go through a rotation of proteins, incorporating venison one week and turkey the next.
  • If you’re using a non-clumping litter, you’ll need to change out your litter box once a week. Dump out all the litter box contents, clean the litter box with a non-toxic wipe or soap and water, then refill it with clean litter.
  • Once a week, maybe on the weekend or during a movie night, brush your cat’s coat. Regularly brushing your cat will help to keep his skin healthy and fur shiny. It also helps to cut back on shedding, so it’s good for your house, too!
  • If your cat is a Sphynx or other hairless breed, bathe him once a week. Hairless cats get dirty and oily if they’re not regularly bathed. Once a week is frequent enough to keep your cat clean but won’t dry out his skin.

Monthly Tasks

Here’s what you need to do once a month.

  • If you’re using a clumping litter, dump out all the litter box contents, thoroughly clean the litter box, and refill it with clean litter.
  • Trim your cat’s claws. You can combine this task with your usual brushing session and think of it as your cat’s once-a-month spa day.
  • While you’re giving your cat his spa treatment, check his body for any changes—inspect teeth, eyes, ears, and abdomen for injuries or abnormalities. If you notice any lumps or injuries, it’s probably a good time to visit the veterinarian.
  • Keep track of your cat’s weight by doing a weigh-in once a month. Be sure to record the results so you can track changes in your cat’s body.

Quarterly Tasks

Here’s what you should do once every three months.

  • Wash your cat’s bedding at least once every quarter. Washing your cat’s bedding helps to control the buildup of bacteria, allergens, and it’s essential in case of a flea infestation. Remove any loose hair with a vacuum, and if possible, remove bedding covers and pads, then wash them separately in the washing machine.
  • While you’re cleaning up his bedding, check your cat’s toys and furniture for signs of wear. If anything’s become loose, repair or replace it to keep your cat safe.

Annual Tasks

Incorporate the following tasks into your yearly calendar.

  • Bring your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup once a year. It’s recommended that you start taking your cat to the veterinarian once every six months after he’s eleven to twelve years old. Senior cats are more prone to develop illnesses and frequent veterinarian visits let you catch them earlier.
  • Have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned. You’re brushing your cat’s teeth every day, but there are some things a toothbrush and toothpaste can’t handle. Unless you’ve been brushing your cat’s teeth every day since he was a kitten, he’ll probably have some plaque and tartar buildup that only a professional can remove. Scheduling a once-yearly dental cleaning will ensure that his teeth stay clean and help to prevent periodontal disease.
  • Remember to update your cat’s microchip information if he’s diagnosed with a highmaintenance condition or if you move to a new house.

A predictable schedule is a safe, reassuring foundation that makes everything else less scary.

Perhaps you’ve learned this while managing your own daily routine. The more you have going on, the more important it is that you stick to a strict schedule. Scheduling a steady, repetitive routine helps to make cat care a no-brainer. When things get stressful and you have a lot going on, you’ll never forget to take care of those little things you need to do for your cat.

A steady routine is particularly valuable for cats who are going through something stressful or challenging. It’s also extra-beneficial for older cats. Younger kitties are accustomed to changes and can deal with a more flexible schedule, but older cats are extremely sensitive to routine. Sick cats, too, greatly benet from a steady schedule.

Of course, the routine won’t always be the same. You might go on vacation or spend a few days sick in bed, but you shouldn’t ever forget the routine completely. When you go on a trip, try to keep things as consistent as possible for your cat.

To maintain the routine when you’re away, avoid boarding facilities and instead leave your cat at home with a sitter, preferably someone who knows your cat well. You probably won’t get away with asking your cat sitter to maintain a strict routine while you’re not home, but you should make sure they understand the basics of your cat’s routine, including meals, play, and litter box maintenance.

Plans only work if you follow through on them! Once you’ve created your cat care calendar, stick to it—a consistent, unchanging schedule is the only kind of schedule that cats love.

How to Choose the Best Litter Box

The Top 15 Best Litter Boxes: Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

The best cat litter box is an intersection of feline and human needs.

Litter boxes allow our cats to live safely, comfortably, and harmoniously within our homes.

Although the record of historical litter box use is blurry at best, we know that for most of their history with people, cats primarily lived outside. They roamed the streets or fields, ate mice, slept in barns, and used nature’s litter box.

Starting in the late 19th century as pets boomed and spent increasing amounts of time indoors, we start to hear about indoor cats using formal litter boxes.

Often referred to as “sanitary pans”, early litter boxes were often repurposed enamel baking pans or galvanized iron roasting pans. Imagine how that must have felt on the claws!

After the creation of the first commercially-sold cat litter in 1947, cats started spending more time indoors and people spent more time creating and selling litter boxes.

While our options have increased, the goal of the litter box remains the same. The litter box creates a healthy, clean environment where your cat is free to engage with their natural instincts.

In this guide, you’ll learn what cats need in a litter box, get an introduction to the different types of litter boxes available on the market today, and discover the best cat litter boxes for your unique situation.

What are the qualities of the best cat litter box?

The best cat litter boxes satisfy your cat’s needs in a variety of ways. Let’s take a closer look at what the best cat litter boxes do that mediocre ones don’t.

The best cat litter box gives your cat space.

Litter boxes are primarily designed with human comfort in mind. That means that they’re usually small and compact enough to t in a small room. As a result, the average litter box leaves your cat’s head and tail over the edge.

Imagine how it feels to use a litter box with barely enough room to move around in and which forces you to step in your own waste.

For a creature as hygiene-conscious as a cat, this is a foul situation.
General cat care wisdom says that cats should use litter boxes that are at least as wide as they are long from nose tip to the base of their tail.

If your cat is 15” long from nose tip to the base of their tail, this formula dictates that your cat needs a litter box that’s at least 15” wide and 22.5” long.

The best cat litter boxes have high sides.

Small litter boxes struggle to keep litter where it belongs. A little tracking and scattering is inevitable, but low-sided litter boxes have more problems than most. Think about choosing a high-sided litter box made specically with litter scattering in mind.
Remember that some cats, especially females, spray urine on the sides and over the edges of the litter box. If your litter box has low sides,it’s likely that the urine will go over the edge and onto the floor. High sides help to keep everything inside of the box.

The litter box must also be easy for your cat to access.

A running start shouldn’t be a part of your cat’s litter box entry approach. Kittens and senior cats are particularly prone to problems accessing a litter box with high sides, so choose boxes with a lowered entrance for easy access.

Choose litter boxes with smooth inner surfaces that make scooping simple. Avoid boxes with hard-to-clean designs including inside curves, ridges, and valleys. All of these features collect waste and make your job more challenging. Avoid litter boxes with square corners, as well – these are also difficult to clean out completely. Some litter boxes have non-stick and antimicrobial coatings, which help to manage odors.

Types of Litter Boxes Available

The litter box is a straightforward product – but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. The litter box selection ranges from nondescript plastic pans to alien-looking automatic sifting machines. Let’s take a closer look.

Uncovered Cat Litter Boxes

Over the course of about 70 years of commercial litter box evolution, the litter box has seen a few technological advances, but the standard plastic litter pan still reigns supreme. Uncovered litter boxes are usually cheap and easy to find in stores.

This is the classic litter box. It’s just a pan that holds your cat’s litter. It’s easy to clean, easy to access, and a popular choice among all types of cat guardians.

Our pick for the best uncovered cat litter box: Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box, Extra Large

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This popular uncovered box has a high back, helping to minimize the amount of litter and waste that goes spraying over the edges of the box.

Thanks to the lowered front, this large litter box is accessible for almost every cat. It’s made with Microban, an antimicrobial coating that helps to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria and minimizes staining.

Covered Cat Litter Boxes

Covered cat litter boxes capture the smell inside of a litter chamber, minimizing the amount of waste odor that spreads through your home. In addition to odor, covered litter boxes help to curb litter scattering.

Because the hood disguises the functional part of the litter box, they’re popular among people who want to minimize the appearance of a litter box in their home.

Although human interests are the primary reason people opt for using a covered litter box, sometimes misconceptions about feline preferences also play a role in their use.

It’s easy to assume that because people appreciate seclusion while using their bathrooms, cats want the same privacy. Being trapped in the litter box doesn’t make cats safe – it makes them vulnerable.

The covered cat litter box has also been criticized for encouraging laziness. Critics say they make cat guardians ignorant of waste accumulation. In addition to hiding the problem, covered litter boxes trap smells inside of a small space.

It’s a situation sometimes compared to a public portable bathroom – an unclean stench chamber. For an animal with an acute sense of smell and a love of good hygiene, this could be intolerable.

All this being said, many cats happily use covered litter boxes throughout their lives. This study showed that cats demonstrated no preference for open or covered litter boxes.

If you clean out the box once a day or more, a covered cat litter box can be an aesthetically superior alternative to the traditional open litter tray
It’s also notably more aordable than litter boxes with more complex features.

Our pick for the best covered cat litter box: Petphabet Litter Box with Lid – Jumbo Hooded Kitty Litter Pan

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This covered litter box has a spacious interior, so most cats won’t feel cramped while using it. It has a transparent hood, allowing you to monitor waste buildup and allowing your cat to observe the outside world. It’s available in a range of bright colors.

Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes

Visually, top entry boxes are one of the most chic styles available. Instead of walking into the litter box from an entrance at the front or sides of the box, your cat drops down into the litter through an entrance hole on the top.

This type of litter box is harder for cats to access, so it’s not a great choice for cats with mobility issues. It’s also speculated that this type of litter box may place undue stress on cats’ joints.

Our pick for the best top entry cat litter box: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box

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This litter box receives praise for its beautiful and minimalist design. It’s popular among people who want a sleek, simple cat toilet that doesn’t look like a litter box.

The cat entry port is built into the lid, which lifts up, allowing you to access the waste and easily clean out the box. Because it’s the first thing your cat touches after using the box, the lid prevents litter tracking in one of two ways. You can choose either a filtering lid, which allows litter to drop back into the box, or a grooved lid, which captures litter for easy disposal.

Automatic or Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Boxes Automatic or self-cleaning litter boxes are a good t for people who hate the process of cleaning out the litter box manually.

Typically, this type of litter box has a sensor that detects the presence of a cat. After your cat uses the litter box, a sifting or raking mechanism automatically separates clean from dirty litter. The waste then enters a storage drawer, where it remains until you’re ready to discard it.

Automatic litter boxes cost more than less advanced products, and they come with an increased risk of malfunctions, but they’re a good investment for someone with a busy schedule or a procrastination streak.

Our pick for the best automatic litter box: PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

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After your cat has used the box, the rake moves across the litter surface, grabbing solid waste and dragging it into an odor neutralizing chamber. It uses silica gel crystal cat litter, which desiccates stool, absorbs liquids, and eliminates odors.

Sifting Cat Litter Boxes

Sifting litter boxes are the less technologically advanced cousin of the automatic litter box. Although they don’t do all of the cleaning for you, sifting litter boxes eliminate the need to scoop out the box – they essentially scoop themselves. These litter boxes work best with clumping litter, since this type separates into dirty clumps and clean granules. They’re also the best choice for people using pine pellet litter, which breaks down to sawdust after it comes into contact with moisture. The sifter separates the used dust from the fresh pellets, extending the life of the litter.

Our pick for the best sifting cat litter box: Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan

Like most sifting litter boxes, this product has a three-level design. A sifting tray is nested between two standard closed-bottom boxes. When you’re ready to clean out the box, you lift out the top pan, pour the litter through the sifter, toss out the waste, and rotate the boxes. The process is simpler and quicker than the standard scoop and toss technique. It’s a functional halfway point between an automatic box and a traditional litter pan.

What’s the best cat litter box for you?

Every household and every cat is different. Let’s figure out which litter boxes are best for you, your cat, and your home.

What’s the best cat litter box for odor control?

If your cat’s litter box has an odor problem, look at yourself first. Ensure that you’ve been cleaning out the box at least once a day.

If a diligent cleaning routine leaves the litter box still smelling foul, choosing a new litter box could help.

Some litter boxes have non-stick and antimicrobial coatings that help to minimize the amount of waste that sticks to its inside surfaces.

These coatings also help to minimize the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Others feature carbon lters that capture odors before they can enter the room.

Best Cat Litter Box for Odor: PetFusion Cat Litter Box Large (the BetterBox)

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This litter box features a proprietary non-stick coating, helping to prevent the buildup that leads to litter box odors. According to the company behind the BetterBox, this coating reduces sticking by up to 70%. The shape of the litter box lends itself to easy and complete scooping, which is the best way to ensure that your cat’s litter box smells fresh. And because a large litter box is always a good choice, it’s encouraging to know that this litter box is over 22” long and 18” wide – a size well above average.

What’s the best litter box for kittens?

Because kittens instinctively cover up their waste and choose soft substrates rather than going on the floor, there’s no need to choose a special litter box for training.

The main concern is accessibility. High sides are out for kittens, who need a box that’s easy to climb into. Remember that you’re not necessarily looking for a shallow box. Kittens can be messy, and high sides contain the litter. Seek out litter boxes with low, easy-to-access entrances

Our pick for the best cat litter box for kittens: Lucky Champ Litter Pan

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This litter box has kitten-ready features that set it apart from the rest. It has a wide, sturdy base that won’t tip over in a room full of rowdy kittens, a high back to capture mess and an exceptionally low front that’s accessible for tiny kittens, disabled cats, and seniors.

Click here to read our guide on the best cat litter for kittens

What’s the best cat litter box for large cats?

If you own a super-sized Maine Coon or massive Chausie, it can be a struggle to find an adequate litter box. Litter boxes are usually undersized for average cats, and the search is even more challenging for a large cat.

Covered litter boxes are out of the question for large cats. While even small uncovered litter boxes allow your cat to extend their head and tail over the edges, a covered litter box has restrictive side walls that make your cat feel cramped. Look for big, sturdy uncovered boxes.

Because huge litter boxes are rare, many large cat guardians choose to make their own litter boxes or use plastic storage containers instead.

Our pick for the best cat litter box for large cats: Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box

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This large litter box measures 23 x 18.5 x 11 inches. It features high sides to keep litter contained and a low entryway that allows every cat to enter with ease. It features a non-stick surface that promotes easy litter cleaning.

What’s the best litter box for multiple cats?

In a multiple cat home, the litter box has to handle increased box activity while also facilitating healthy relationships. The standard recommendation is that you install as many litter boxes as you have cats, plus one. One cat needs two litter boxes and twelve cats need thirteen.

In addition to accommodating your multiple cats with numerous litter boxes, choose sizable boxes that can handle heavy use. A big cat family creates plenty of waste, and it takes large litter boxes to handle that.

Remember that multiple cat households have a uniquely feline social hierarchy. As a central part of daily life, the litter box can get involved in territorial spats and social dominance games. A dominant cat may block a submissive family member inside of the litter box, forcing them to stand in their own waste. This is a frightening and humiliating experience and can send the conflict on a downward spiral. For this reason, avoid placing your litter box in a corner and don’t use covered boxes in a multiple cat home.

Our pick for the best cat litter box for multiple cats: Petmate Giant Litter Pan For Cat

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This giant litter pan is one of the largest on the market today. One reviewer said that this single box was large enough to serve all ve of their cats. In addition to a large litter area that can handle over 30 lbs of litter at once, the litter box features caddies in which you can store your litter scoop and other supplies. It combines high walls with a lowered entry side, allowing large cats to comfortably enter and exit the box.

What’s the best cat litter box to keep dogs out?

Several designs can help to keep your dog out of the litter box. One is a top entry box, which keeps small dogs from accessing the waste area. Other boxes have both an inner and outer entry, preventing larger dogs from probing into the box. If you don’t want to give your cat a covered litter box, there are other options for keeping your dog out. If your cat is agile and comfortable jumping, take advantage of their vertical mobility and put the litter box on a counter or large shelf that your dog can’t access.

Our pick for the best cat litter box to keep dogs out: Modkat Litter Box, TopEntry

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While top entry litter boxes like this one are often the most difficult for your cat to access, they’re a lifesafer for people dealing with coprophagic dogs. This one has a beautiful, highly functional design featuring an easy-to-remove reusable liner, locking swivel lid, and comes with a litter scoop. The dog-proof design and on-trend design comes at a cost – you’ll pay over $80 for this popular litter box.

What’s the best disposable cat litter box?

While permanent litter boxes become stained and can accumulate odors over the years, disposable boxes can go into the trash at the first sign of staining and bacterial buildup. You may use a disposable box independently or as a liner inside of your standard litter box.

Disposable litter boxes run small, so it’s important to look for large, deep disposable boxes that can contain all the litter and provide a comfortable experience for your cat.

Our pick for the best disposable cat litter box: Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box for All Litter Types

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This disposable litter box is made from recycled paper. It’s spacious, with depth to satisfy heavy diggers and large cats. It’s infused with baking soda, which absorbs odors, plus the breathable material encourages healthy airow.

What’s the best cat litter box for small apartments?

Having a small home doesn’t mean you need to cut back on litter box space. Instead of saving space by choosing a small box, choose one that can multitask.

Litter box furniture enclosures double as storage areas and shelving, allowing you to maximize your space. Because these pieces make functional decorative accents, they have more placement options than the average litter box.

What’s the best place for a litter box in a small apartment?

While it’s usually a good idea to place your litter box in the bathroom, laundry room, or other discreet area, multifunctional boxes can go almost anywhere. Regardless of how limited your space is, try to place the litter box in a low-trac area where your cat will have a stress-free elimination experience

Best Cat Litter Box for Small Apartments: Good Pet Stuff Company Hidden Cat Litter Box

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Here’s a clever concept for small homes.

This is a fully functional litter box that looks like a potted plant. Because it doubles as a decorative accent, the hidden cat litter box ts into unconventional spaces – like your living room, mudroom, or foyer.

The concept is fantastic for people living in small apartments and houses, but it does have a few problems. The synthetic plant is cheap and unmistakably artificial. Reviewers note that you can easily replace the original plant with one that’s more realistic and attractive. Check out the customer images on Amazon to see how people improved the look of this litter box.

What’s the best cat litter box furniture enclosure?

Unlike the standard utilitarian plastic box, litter box enclosures contribute positively to your home decor scheme. They can also minimize tracking and scattering.

Cat litter box enclosures are a great way to disguise the appearance of a cat litter box in your home, but choose carefully. Enclosures aren’t right for every cat, every litter box, or every home. Choose an enclosure with good ventilation and carbon lters to minimize odors. Like any covered litter box, these enclosures can trap odors and potentially upset your cat. Remember that insecure cats may become reliant on the enclosure as a hiding place. It’s never a good idea for your cat to enter a vicious cycle of hiding in the litter box – a place where a cat normally wouldn’t stay for more than a minute – feeling increasingly anxious.

Our pick for the best cat litter box enclosure: Rened Feline Rened Litter Box

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This cat litter box enclosure keeps your cat’s toilet discreetly conned within an attractive wood cabinet. It has a spacious interior and features carbon lters to encourage odor control. The litter box is equipped with a functional drawer that’s perfect for holding your cat’s toys and treats.

Common complaints revolve around the cheap construction of the cabinet. Don’t expect nely-crafted furniture – this is a lightweight decoy cabinet, not an heirloom piece.

Still haven’t found a litter box that works for your cat and home?

You might need to make your own or choose a product not specifically designed for cats. Some people prefer the size and price of under-bed storage containers, which are just about the perfect size and cheaper than equally large boxes made for cats. Others prefer to use larger plastic storage containers and create their own unique doorways.



About the author

Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

How to Pick a Toy for Your Cat

Any cat lovers searching the market for toys for their feline friend,  hope to get a toy that their cat will love. No one wants to get a toy that will end up un-played with in the corner of a room. How many cat toys end up in the garbage or get thrown out when someone realizes they are not safe or suitable for their cat? The answer is a lot.

Here are a few tips to help you find the right kind of toy for your cat:

Pick a Safe Toy: Not all cat toys have been tested properly for safety, and you want to ensure you are choosing high quality cat toys that won’t get stuck in their throat or lose parts quickly and become a choking hazard. You also want to choose a toy that is age-appropriate, as smaller cats cannot handle some of the toys you might get for your larger cat. Toys that are too heavy, hard on the teeth or made with substandard parts or toxic paint could be dangerous to your cat.

The Right Type: Not all toys are meant to be played with alone by your cat. Some of them are designed to be interactive, and you need to know the difference and have at least one of each kind of toys. There will be times you want to play with your cat and times you will want your cat to play by himself, and you ought to have the right toys for each case.

How the Toy Moves: Toys move in different ways when they are batted around by aggressive players. Your cat is probably going to treat the toy as though it is prey, but will the toy move like prey? You may want to test it out to see how it holds up to getting tossed around. Your cat may lose interest in it fast if it doesn’t move in an interesting way.

Durability: You should also get a toy that is worth the money you put into it. Cheap toys don’t tend to last long, and high quality ones will feel like a good investment. If you can’t hold the toy in your hand to test its durability because you are buying it online, then you can at least read the item description and see what it is made out of. You can also check reviews to see what others have to say about the toy and its level of durability.

Keeping these considerations in mind, getting a toy your cat likes is super-fulfilling. You’ll have a great time with your four-legged friend, and your cat will love you for it!



A new kitten can be an exciting responsibility to take on, but it is definitely a big responsibility and one that you need to prepare for. Here are the top 10 things you ought to know before you bring a kitten into your life.

1. They need lots of attention.
Kittens require constant interaction and care. That’s not just because they get into trouble and need help, but also because they want someone to play with them and keep them from feeling lonely.

2. If left alone, they will make noise.
That brings us to the second thing you need to know is that even though they are small, kittens can make a lot of noise. They can meow all night long if you leave them unattended and they feel afraid and lonely.

3. They need special food.
You can’t just feed kittens the same food that you give to adult cats. They need a specialized diet to stay strong and healthy. Do your research on the breed of kitten you have or talk to your vet about what to feed the new kitten.

4. They’ll need to be watched when you travel.
If you want to take a vacation somewhere, then you need to take your kitten into consideration. Who will watch him and will they be able to care for the kitten properly? These are things you have to consider when thinking about getting a kitten.

5. They need a place to sleep.
Kittens will need their own space where they can stay warm, feel safe and comfortable during nap and sleep times, whether they are outside or inside cats.

6. Some will have health problems from the start.
While you are probably hoping for a healthy kitten, you have to realize that some of them will not be healthy and may need regular care from a vet. Be prepared for that and consider buying pet insurance to keep your costs down.

7. Indoor kittens need training.
How will you ensure that an indoor kitten uses the litter box you have prepared? You have to train the cat yourself.

8. Kittens need toys.
Kittens have to be entertained if they are going to be mentally healthy, so make sure you have a few toys at hand for your cat to play with.

9. Your kitten will need a tag.
It’s possible that your cat will leave the house or property without you knowing, and a tag can be used to identify the cat and ensure it is returned to you.

10. There might be trouble with other pets.
Even though kittens are cute and harmless, other animals in your home might not feel the same way, and you have to be prepared to deal with the initial friction there.

Considering all of the above, kittens are a real joy and they can make your life much happier. So be sure to adopt one. The rewards of loving a cute little kitten are enormous, and a choice you will be happy with for years to come.

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