Best Cat Litter Boxes
Our comprehensive list features the best cat litter boxes in different styles, materials, and sizes–there is a match for every kitty.
Cats are notorious about being particular, especially when it comes to their toilet habits. As tidy animals, they are not prone to peeing or pooping outside the designated area–unless there’s a problem with the litter box itself or an underlying medical issue. In many ways, cats can be the ideal pet when hygiene is considered. Still, to avoid any “trouble” caused by an inadequate kitty toilet, you’ll have to choose the right location for the litter box, the right type of litter, and finally, the right litter box itself. Otherwise, you can expect pee and poo everywhere but the place it’s supposed to be – and a lot of unwanted chores. Unfortunately, choosing the best cat litter box can be a trial and error process – unless you do your research beforehand. And we’re here to make that research easier!
1. Editor’s Choice: Frisco Flip Top Hooded Cat Litter Box
Simple, efficient, and durable, this classic hooded litter box for cats is an all-around great choice. It is made from quality BPA-free, durable, recyclable plastic that’s easy to clean and will last a long time. The hooded design offers your shy kitty some privacy while they do their business inside, but at the same time, they won’t feel cramped in it. The enclosed design also prevents spills, which makes it perfect for cats that dig out their litter in the process or are prone to spraying inside the litter box.
The dimensions are a good fit for most cats, and the translucent door provides easy access. To boot, the flip top opens easily for you to scoop out the clumped waste without having to remove the whole top every time you clean the litter. Not to mention that, as an added bonus, this hooded cat litter box comes with disposable charcoal filters to help neutralize litter box odors. Thanks to these features, Frisco’s design is super simple to use and very efficient as well.
2. Runner Up: Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
If you want one product that takes care of everything, Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System is the answer. To make sure that there are no odors or mess in the litter box, this innovative system relies on the separation of solids and liquids. This means that the urine drops below the litter onto a disposable moisture-absorbing pad, whereas the poop remains in the litter for you to scoop it. Easy peasy and it smells almost breezy!
The litter of choice in these system litter boxes are dust free and low tracking feline-friendly litter pellets. The downside for some might be that there is no protective hood, so vigorous diggers could end up making a mess around the litter box but raised sides prevent this in most cases. Either way, it is a design that brings some nifty innovations into the market of litter boxes. In addition to the Breeze litter box, you’ll also be getting a litter scoop, a 3.5 lb bag of Breeze litter pellets and a pack of Breeze pads.
3. Best for Odor Control: Modkat Flip Litter Box with Scoop and Reusable Liner
The innovative Modkat Flip Litter Box is great if you want a versatile litter box. You might have more than one cat in your home, and you want to make sure that one litter box fits everyone’s needs (although you need to up the number of litter boxes either way in this case). The extra high and fully enclosed design of this litter box offers varying levels of privacy as its top-mounted lid gives you the option to keep it fully open, half-open or completely closed. This allows for plenty of adjustability for both your and your cat’s convenience.
The inside of this litter box is unique as it is lined with easily removable tarp cover, that will keep the walls and the whole interior of the litter box protected and easier to clean. One tarp cover lasts about three months, at least! An ideal choice when cleanliness is a priority! This set includes the Modkat Flip Litter Box, one liner, and one scoop but the Katch Litter Mat is sold separately.
4. Best Basic: Nature’s Miracle Advanced Hooded Corner Litter Box
You can never go wrong with a tried and tested design. This plain-looking classic hooded litter box is extremely popular with cat parents and it’s mainly for one reason: it fits into corners. And let me tell you something – that reason alone is more than enough to tempt many of us into buying it. Anyone who has limited space in their apartment or simply has a perfect corner in the bathroom for the litter knows how hard it is to efficiently place a regular litter box there. Naturally, in addition to its nifty shape, this budget-friendly litter box is also in demand for its sturdy built and hooded design, but what really sells it is the special material it is made of: antimicrobial coating prevents bacteria from forming inside your cat’s litter box, and the non-stick surfaces works great with any type of litter as it prevents caking and build-up and makes the cleaning process a breeze. Easy to use and quite reliable, it is one of the ideal choices. Great for every owner, and perfect for every tiny house!
This hooded corner litter box also includes a replaceable charcoal filter that boasts an odor-block technology to help neutralize the smellines of used litter – and one of these filters is efficient for up to 3 months.
5. Best Stainless Steel: Yangbaga Stainless Steel Litter Box
If you’re looking into ways of being a more eco-friendly cat parent, or just want to buy one litter tray and be done with it for good, go for stainless steel. Not only that is extremely durable, but it is also less likely to start retaining odors with age (as it won’t scratch or deteriorate). Another advantage of stainless steel is that it doesn’t harbor bacteria as plastic can, making it a healthier and more practical choice.
The litter tray has tall sides that will keep the litter in even if your cat is messy when covering their waste, and it comes in two sizes to fit every feline’s needs for a spacious toilet. Also, as the litter box is integrally rounded and has no sharp edges, you can easily pick it up without hurting your hands, and you don’t have to worry about your pet getting hurt on a sharp edge, either. And if your kitten is prone to scratching everything to bits – the stainless steel will prove a tricky obstacle!
6. Best Non Conventional: Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter
If you can’t or won’t keep your cat’s litter box out of sight, why not get funky with it? This stylish concealed litter box proves that you can make even cat litter boxes a part of the decor if you choose right. When screwed together, the top and the bottom of this litter box make it look like an elegant planter, complete with faux greenery on top. It’s so pretty one will suspect that your kitty is pooping in it.
Of course, it’s not just about the aesthetics. Made from durable polypropylene construction that doesn’t only look just like a real clay pot, but is also easy to clean and quite long-lasting, this litter box boasts a filtered vent system to control dust and odor. The large capacity makes it a good choice for bigger kitties and multi-cat households – the cut-out gives cats easy access in any scenario.
7. Best for Big Cats: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
I like big cats and I cannot lie – it can be hard to find a litter box that fits properly. Luckily, even if you have a chubby kitty or one of the large breeds such as Norwegian Forest Cat, this jumbo litter box will be a good match. Additionally, if you have a cat that demands a lot of space to go potty but you’re keen on getting a hooded litter box to minimize the mess, this is an excellent compromise. This large size is great for when you are out too. The size makes it good for more than one use – ideal for your cat while you are away at work!
8. Best Top Entry: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
Let us talk about dogs for a minute. If you have both a cat and a dog in your home, you know that pooches can sometimes develop a taste for… Well, you already know if you’ve been there. Having a top entry litter box can solve that little nasty issue in no time! Additionally, even if you’re only a feline pawrent, this enclosed type of litter boxes could minimize the mess and give your cat the privacy she or he craves. To boot, the lid has grooves on it, that will retain litter trapped in the paws when the kitty goes out of it–no tracking issues! It just might be a bit challenging for your cat to get a grasp of how to use it. But once they get a hang of it, they’ll have an easy time entering and exiting the litter box thanks to the large top entryway. And you’ll be glad to hear that cleaning this litter box is a breeze as it has an included litter scoop to match its rounded shape and makes it effortless to pick up waste throughout the week.
9. Best Privacy: Petmate Top Entry Hooded Cat Box
Kitties like to have privacy when they poop. Seriously, though, don’t we all? That’s why this Petmate Top Entry Hooded Cat Box is a winner. It has high walls that surround the pan on all sides and that means less litter gets scattered all over the place. The grated lid on the top will act as a little kitty wipe-off station as they exit, and help take litter off their paws (and off your floor). Petmate has a commitment to the environment, with eco-friendly pre-consumer recycled plastic. It’s compatible with their litter pan liners to make cleaning up after your feline friend even easier and there is a built-in hook for hanging the litter scoop when you’re not using it. Oh, and it keeps the doggos in your house (or kids too—tootsie rolls are tootsie rolls if you get our drift) from getting into the cat’s box and pulling out poopy surprises.
10. Best Easy To Use: ARM & HAMMER Rimmed Wave Cat Litter Pan
Sifting litter boxes are convenient, easy to use, and minimize your involvement with the actual waste–no scooping required. Just pick up the top layer where the litter is, pour it into the sifting tray, sift the clean litter and toss out the clumped urine and poop that remain on top. Voila! It’s simple as that. Plus, you’ll also minimize litter waste as this cleaning method only discards dirty litter. This helps you keep your expenses down and be economic about cat litter- and if you’re on a budget or have multiple cats in your home, it can really add up.
And don’t worry – the reinforced bottom holds up to lifting heavier amounts, so this is not one of those flimsy cheap litter boxes. It also boasts antimicrobial protection that helps prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria and stains setting – pretty cool, especially if you consider its price!
Avoiding Litter Box: Difference Between Health Issues and Preferences
Like it or not, as a pet parent, you’ll be intimately acquainted with your pet’s poop and pee. And while it can be disgusting (at first), it is important to monitor their toilet habits, as they can give you insight into your pet’s health. Cats, in particular, are prone to urinary tract issues that can range from frustrating to fatal in severe cases, so keeping an eye on the cat’s litter box behavior can end up being a lifesaver. If a cat is acting weird in the litter box, like lying in it or acting like they’ll pee but doing nothing, it can be a sign that they have trouble urinating and you should schedule a visit to the vet to eliminate a medical cause to your cat’s unusual behavior.
While potty “accidents” are far rarer with cats than with dogs. In fact, cats can live out their whole lives without ever peeing or pooping outside of their designated toilet area. But there are exceptions even if they are not common, and cat can pee or poop outside of the litter box. The trick is to discern what prompted them to do it. Sometimes, it can be a medical issue that’s forcing your pet to eliminate outside their litter, and if this type of behavior is paired with any other unusual symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or anything out of the ordinary, be sure to contact the vet.
The most common reason why cats poop outside of the litter box, though, is that it’s not clean. If you are not vigilant about cleaning the litter box, your cat won’t use it. Cats tend to avoid dirty litters and will stop using them until they can hold it in no more. And that’s when accidents happen. Make sure your cat’s litter is regularly cleaned and fresh. The frequency of cleaning will vary depending on the number of cats in the household and the type of litter used, but overall a good rule of thumb is twice a week. If you have been slacking and letting the litter turn too stinky to step into, your kitty will let you know with a puddle or a little “present” right next to the litter box.
In other cases, cats can do their business outside the litter box as a form of protest, and mostly over the litter box itself. They might not like the new spot for the litterbox, dislike the design, size, or even the type of litter you used. There’s plenty to bitch about when you’re a cat, at least that’s what my feline roomies would have me think. So if you can connect the dots between your cat’s behavior and litter or litter box-related changes, it’s highly likely that something’s amiss in the toilet department. That’s easily solved, though- just put it back as it was or improve it to meet your kitty’s high standards.
Another reason for your kitty avoiding the litter box can stem from previous experiences. If you adopted a cat that has previous trauma or has created different habits in her previous household, it might take some time to get used to using the new litter box. Always be patient with your pet – cats are fast learners but pushing them to do anything can often be counterproductive.
Does the Location of the Litter Box Matter?
Most pet owners choose the litter box location with their own comfort or means in mind. And it’s completely normal! If you have a tiny apartment with an even tinier bathroom, you might have to put the litter box anywhere it will fit. Similarly, if you have the room to spare, you probably wouldn’t want the litter box in your living room–nothing ruins movie nights like your cat pooping during a romantic scene. Needless to say, most pet parents thing that the bathroom is the ideal location for their cat’s litter box.
But, as it usually happens for people owned by felines, it doesn’t always matter what you want. If your cat detests that dark corner of your basement, they won’t go near it, even if you think the spot is ideal for their toilet. Similarly, if space is limited and you have to place the litter box near their food and water–you can give up right away. So what is the ideal compromise?
The best location for a litter box is a low-traffic spot in the home where the cat can go potty without distractions, as well as somewhere far enough from your nostrils. If the place happens not to be to your cat’s liking, they’ll find a way to tell you- so a good rule to follow is to see how your pet reacts and go from there. Of course, this all works out great if you have one cat in the family, but what if you have a couple of feline companions? Well, it’s not like you’re not aware of how that complicates your life, litter box or not.
Important Considerations for Multi-Cat Households
Living in a multi-cat household can be a pain. It’s lovely, don’t get me wrong, but it’s like constant juggling with everyone’s needs. Cats are finicky and particular about their likes and dislikes, and if their preferences aren’t compatible, you’ve got a problem. One of the most problematic things about litter boxes in multi-cat families is the number of litter boxes needed. How many litter boxes does a cat really need? Isn’t one enough?
Well, according to experts, 1.5 litter box per cat is the golden number. Cats usually dislike going potty in the litter that’s previously been used, so you have to make sure that they have their own space and privacy for elimination. Also, making sure that all litter boxes are clean, spacious enough, and properly spaced apart is important if you want your cats to be on their best behavior: as long as every kitty has a litter for herself in a location that’s not frequented by other kitties, you’ll be good. Of course, this doubles your efforts with cleaning and also your expenses with litter, but those are the things you simply can’t avoid when you live in a home full of happy cats!
How to Choose the Right Cat Litter Box
There are a few main things you’ll have to pay attention to if you want to make sure you’re choosing the best cat litter box for your precious pet. Materials, shape, size, style- these are all important considerations. For instance, flimsy plastics won’t do- look for sturdy materials that won’t scratch easily and retain odors. Usually, litter boxes are made out of high-quality plastics, but there are disposable paper trays or stainless steel options, too. Litter boxes can be open or covered, and come in many shapes- from corner litter boxes to hooded trays and domes. It all boils down to the location of the litter box and your cat’s individual preference. Similarly, the size of the litter box is extremely important. You want your cat to be able to comfortably fit in the litter box and be able to cover their poop and pee without feeling cramped–because then they won’t do it. Other pets come into play too! Choose your litter box accordingly: if you have several cats or a pupper to boot, you might need some extra additions (such as a hood) or separate litter boxes. So pay attention to the dimensions, and if you have a kitten, don’t be afraid to go for a full size as it will last you throughout the years. No need to start small and work your way up!
So, you see, there are plenty of things to think about when buying a cat litter box. Not to mention there are just so many available options out there that choosing the right one can seem like an impossible feat. Luckily, we’ve made that job so much easier for you. Our list features the best cat litter boxes in different styles, materials, and sizes–there is a match for every kitty. To boot, each of the listed litter boxes is backed by hundreds of cat pawrents who sing it praise, so you won’t have to worry about getting a wonky low-quality box for your pampered feline. Not only that getting it right the first time will save you money, but it will also save time and nerves- so read on to figure out which of these litter boxes is up to your cat’s high standards.And, most importantly, you will be ensuring the best possible experience for your feline friend. That’s what matters the most in the end. And, most importantly, you will be ensuring the best possible experience for your feline friend. That’s what matters the most in the end.
PS: Oh, and in case you want a litter box that does the job for you, we’ve got you covered there, too. Hop on over to our self-cleaning litter box guide for some great options–you’re welcome!
How big of a litter box does a cat need?
A general rule of thumb is that the litter box should be at least as long as your cat, but ideally, 1.5 times that – the length is considered to be the dimensions from the tip of the cat’s nose to the point of their tail. When it comes to width, most pet parents use the same number for approximation, excluding the tail. If you’re unsure about the right size, it’s best to go a size up – the more spacious your cat’s litter box is, the better.
How often should I clean the litter box?
Ideally, you should clean the litter box daily – if by clean you mean removing your cat’s poop and clumped pee from it. It will make sure no odors linger in the litter box, that it is always clean and ready to use by your finicky feline, and that you have less work to do when it’s time for thorough cleaning. That in-depth cleaning of the litter box, when you switch out all the remaining old litter and wash and dry the litter box itself should be done once a week if you have more than one cat in the house, or every two to three weeks if your kitty is an only fur-child.
Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?
Cats prefer open litter boxes, which can’t be said for their owners. The reason for this is is that cats feel vulnerable when going potty, and have an instinct to keep an eye out for potential threats and predators, which is why they’ll instinctively feel uneasy when the litter box is enclosed and they can’t have a clear view of their surroundings. That’s not to say, however, that cats can’t get used to using a closed litter box: it just might take a bit more patience with some cats, especially if they are making the switch from open to closed.
Do cats like it when you clean their litter box?
You might have noticed your kitty staring at you when you’re cleaning up after them and wondered – are they displeased with you or do they appreciate it in their own way? Well, the truth is that cats love their litter box to be clean and can be quite particular about it, so it stands to reason that they like the fact you are cleaning up after them. But, in a more real sense, they’re probably just curious and want to observe what they probably consider some weird human behavior.
Here’s Why Your Cat Runs Out of the Litter Box
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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