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Could Your CH Cat Benefit From Pee Pads?

May 24, 2013

Litter box issues can make or break a pet parent/cat relationship.

In fact, some say inappropriate elimination is the number one reason cats are relinquished to shelters.

That said, litter boxes are not always the best option for every cat. While there are litter box best practices every cat owner should keep in mind, not to mention a variety of reasons why your cat may be eliminating outside of the litter box, if you’re at your wit’s end, you may want to consider providing pee pads.

Photo courtesy Fifth World Art

Pee pads, also known as training pads or puppy pads, are disposable, plastic-backed, absorbent pads that are used as a place for pets to eliminate while in the house. Some folks use them while housebreaking a dog, others keep pee pads out around their home in case of an accident.

Many love how convenient they are, since they can be easy to clean up: simply fold and throw in the trash. Plus, pee pads have a scent that also attracts cats, which makes pee pads a great option for felines, too.

But how do you know if a pee pad is right for your cat? Here are some things to consider:

Pee pads have become a popular option in the cerebellar hypoplasia cat community for young, uncoordinated kittens and cat who have severe CH. Often kittens and cats with severe CH have considerable mobility issues, which can limit their ability to get into a litter box – if they can even get into one – in time.

If you face one of these challenges, there may be other solutions, too. For example, there are many litter box types that may better suit your cat than the one you’re currently using. Other pet parents may want to consider diapering their cat.

If neither of those options work for you and your cat, you may want to give pee pads a try.

In fact, Jillybean’s pet parent Lisa, says that CH cats are highly adoptable especially if they are trained to use the litter box or pee pad. The ones who are not trained are a little harder to place, but still find homes, she says.

Pee pads can also be a great solution for cats who face other challenges like medical or behavioral issues.

Older cats, such as those with arthritis, may prefer to use pee pads since it may be difficult for them to get to – not to mention climb in and out of – a litter box. Pee pads can also come in handy if a cat’s mobility is limited after a surgery.

Photo courtesy Fifth World Art

Plus, if your cat has suddenly decided that her favorite place to go to the bathroom is now behind your favorite plant, consider laying a pee pad down in that spot while you figure out what’s going on. While you’ll certainly want to get to the root of the behavior to help her, providing pee pads may provide a temporary solution.

Along those lines, if your cat starts to spray or mark around your home, you can tape pee pads to your wall (etc.) for easy clean-up until he is neutered.

Lastly, if your cat is prone to litter box “misses,” you may want to consider placing a large pee pad under your cat’s litter box to catch those misses.

And here’s one final tip: If you’ve found your cat had an accident, consider looking into a product like Nature’s Miracle. It can help eliminate the smell of cat urine from hardwood and carpet.

If you think pee pads sound like a great option for your cat, stay tuned! In my next post I’ll provide a few tips on how to train your cat to use a pee pad.

Does your cat use a pee pad or do you think your cat could benefit from using a pee pad? Please share in the comments!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Lacey permalink
    May 25, 2013 1:56 am

    Hi we have a 6 month old Ch Cat…with other possibly neurological problems, Freddy went from being very mild to suddenly being unable to walk at all one day. Without going into great detail the costs for further testing were in the thousands and an answer or solution was not guaranteed. We are still persevering and pee pads have been a good alternative, but only with supervision as he ends up pulling them up and getting his claws caught. Thank you for these on going articles that have been very helpful in stressful times 🙂 All the way from New Zealand.

    • jessica permalink
      February 10, 2015 7:40 am

      I use a pee pad holder (iris sells them on Amazon for 10$) and washable whelping pads/piddle pads. This prevents then from being torn up and they also stay in place. It’s solved the problem for me- hopefully you see this and it helps you 🙂

  2. Gesine permalink
    May 26, 2013 7:26 pm

    http://www.catfaeries.com has several excellent products —

    http://www.catfaeries.com/cleanup.html
    Anti Icky Poo is the only urine cleanup product we’ve used that seems to actually work — not cheap, but you dilute the product to use it. (We do and teach rescue, so have tried everything over decades)

    http://www.catfaeries.com/furniture-protection.html
    $20 washable waterproof pads — these are the BEST!
    I had bought several elsewhere 25 years ago, they are made in Canada — couldn’t find. One was still in use after decades of cat rescue! Then found them at Cat Faeries.

    The cloth pads are much harder for a cat, CH or elderly or whatever, to pull up and get claws stuck in, than the disposables are. Gesine

  3. Marilynn permalink
    June 12, 2013 11:47 pm

    I began using Care Fresh small animal bedding/litter ever since I brought Claudius home. He was about 7 weeks old and lived in a less than ideal cage set up (mom was feral). He adapted quickly to a huge plastic tote with absorbent Care Fresh as flooring, gradually shrinking the litter area until I clamped a box into his cage (he had moved from the tote). I have many boxes available to him with his proffered litter, and regular boxes for the other cats (which he chooses not to use). I also have news paper and pee pads in case of any over shooting! My problem is he lives in a multi pet household and at times his bladder is full and he begins the trek to one of the many boxes only to be startled by the dogs, the mail, another cat/dog/person who approaches too quickly, and he expels his bladder. Any thoughts? I have put remnant vinyl flooring down in most rooms and am thinking of only allowing him in carpeted areas while hanging out with us. Somehow he gets over the baby gate! It is in place to keep the dogs from pestering the cats who want to potty, eat or just any out in peace. Most the cats slip through the side openings, Claudius included. I have made the whole gate smooth with cardboard and yet he still magically gets over!!! Any ideas? The Care Fresh litter is recycled paper, it needs changing often, almost daily, but it really works great. It won’t stick to them if they stumble, doesn’t track too badly, and absorbs great.

    • June 13, 2013 8:35 am

      Hi Marilynn,
      Thanks for sharing about Claudius! You mentioned that sometimes he has accidents on his way to the litter box. Perhaps you could space out the litter boxes a bit more so there’s always one close at hand? It sounds like maybe the trek is a little too full for a full-bladdered cat who’s often surprised.

      As for the baby gate, I’ve had similar issues! I found that one with vertical bars worked best for us – it keeps our kitties from climbing the gate. I’m not sure how small Claudius is, so he may be able to slip through the bars. That said, maybe you could modify a gate so he couldn’t. Here’s a post that may help: https://lifewithchcats.com/2012/12/28/looking-for-a-pet-gate-youll-have-many-options/ If you’re not sure how he’s getting over, try to coax him over one day. Perhaps that will help you come up with a way to stop him 🙂

      Good luck!

  4. Marilynn permalink
    June 21, 2013 4:41 pm

    I love your blog! So much helpful info! And what an excellent suggestion to lure Claudius over the gate! We have many boxes with a variety of litters and some pee pads down too. Unfortunately he tends to get into areas where a box isn’t able to be, such as when the mail came though the slot onto poor Claudius! He was scared and let loose! After much coaxing and him looking at me like ” you really think I am going to show you how I get out!?” I hid, and found he flips the modified gate flaps up and slips through the side! He is too smart! Our little wobbly ones may not move like a regular cat, but they are just as smart if not smarter! So far I have thwarted his plan, and now we enjoy our quality time when I can make sure he potties and is supervised. A win/win for all! But I am sure he is plotting and will out smart me!

    • June 21, 2013 5:14 pm

      How funny! But I agree, they’re pretty darn smart! I just had an idea – could you send a photo of Claudius near the gate? I think this would be an adorable story to share! Feel free to email me at amanda.c.woodhead@gmail.com 🙂

  5. Carolyn meyer permalink
    February 18, 2014 4:07 am

    my problem is a bit different my cat only goes outdoors to go pee! she will hold it till I get up but once in a great while she goes on the same throw rug would the pee pad work there? do you think she would use it or just a regular human pad?suggestions please

  6. March 17, 2015 12:18 am

    Our elderly (20 years) arthritic cat is great about going to the box but his aim is way off.
    Our solution was a shower curtain liner from the dollar store, then the litter box with plenty of puppy pads all around it.
    This weekend we switched his box for to a small wadding pool (9.99 at Kmart) with a side opening cut for him to enter. This works WONDERFUL ! He can enter without struggling to step over the side like the litter box and he has plenty of room to turn around.
    No more expensive puppy pads and no more stumbling cat. We also love the corn type litter. It clumps well but does not adhere to the cats paws like cement like some other brands.

  7. December 23, 2015 9:10 pm

    My cat was given up to the shelter for urination problem before I adopted him. As far as the vets and anyone else can tell, he just hates the litter box. Even with going number 2, he’ll only place one paw in. The puppy pads solved the urination problem and he will now seek a pad out even if it’s been moved from his preferred location.

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