Best Cat Litter Waste Receptacles

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Are you looking for a convenient, and less stinky, way to get rid of your cat’s dirty litter? Then it’s worth considering a litter waste receptacle. This product is designed to make your life easier, and it can help keep both you and your pet happy.

Below, we share some helpful tips on how to get rid of litter, and we also take a look at some of the best cat litter waste receptacles available to help you if you decide that you want to add one of these to your litter box cleaning routine.

How to Dispose of Cat Litter

It’s important to properly dispose of cat litter, regardless of what type of litter you choose to use. That’s right, even if you are using an eco-friendly cat litter, it’s important to take the right steps to get rid of it properly. Doing so can help protect the environment, as well as help protect human health.

  • Some pet parents will simply toss their used cat litter in the trash when they do a complete litter change. But, rather than just throwing it all into your regular garbage, consider putting it into a heavy-duty bag of its own first. Close the bag by tying it tightly so odors are less likely to escape. If the litter is heavy and the bag is prone to tearing, a heavy-duty bag may help prevent messes, but if you only have regular trash bags, using two bags might help you avoid tears and spills that you definitely don’t want.
  • Even when you are scooping the box daily to keep it clean, it’s a good idea to put the dirty litter and waste into its own separate bag, and tie it well, if you are going to be throwing it into your kitchen trash can. This can help keep odors contained so you don’t smell the litter every time you go to throw something out. Using two bags might be necessary here as well, especially if you don’t want to risk the bag breaking.
  • What about flushing the litter down the toilet? Should you do it? Well, no, it isn’t the best idea. Basically, if you are using a clumping litter, even if it is an eco-friendly litter made from natural materials, it might end up doing damage to your plumbing or the sewer/septic system. Also, flushing the kitty waste might spread bacteria and parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii, in the water supply, and that can put people’s health at risk. And, finally, flushing cat litter might lead to environmental contamination as well. So it’s definitely worth doing your research before deciding to flush any litter to get rid of it.

Note: Keeping bags of used litter in a closed garbage bin with a sturdy lid is best, especially when it’s kept outside.

Some Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Dirty Cat Litter

When you want to take a more environmentally friendly approach to getting rid of dirty litter, there are some things that you can do. Here are a few examples:

  • If you’re using a natural litter that is biodegradable, such as one that is made from wheat, wood, grass, walnuts, corn, or paper, you might be able to use it in your flower garden as compost for the plants (don’t use it on fruit or vegetable plants, though!) after you have removed the waste. Remember, if you’re using clay litter, it can’t be composted and it isn’t biodegradable.
  • Use a biodegradable bag when scooping your cat’s litter daily or when doing a complete litter change. Then, just toss it out with the rest of your garbage. If you use a biodegradable litter and a biodegradable bag, it might help prevent those materials from remaining in landfills without breaking down.
  • If you want to avoid plastic bags altogether, you might consider getting rid of your cat’s waste in a brown paper bag that will break down over time.

How to Keep the Area Around Your Litter Box Odor-Free

Even if you scoop your cat’s litter often, odors can occur around the litter box. So, in addition to figuring out how to keep odors at bay when you dispose of litter, it’s also important to find ways of keeping your home smelling fresh in between scoopings and cleanings.

Here are some tips that can help you tackle litter box odors:

  • If you can, avoid setting up your litter box in an area of your home that is small or enclosed. It can quickly cause the space to smell terrible because of a lack of proper ventilation.
  • Because the litter box itself, as well as the scoop, can start to smell, wash them on a consistent schedule, such as weekly, using an unscented and mild soap, such as a dish detergent. Rather than just emptying and refilling the box with litter during a total change, you can instead wash the litter box to freshen it up and remove odors that would linger even with fresh litter.
  • If you start to notice that, despite washing the litter box regularly, you aren’t able to completely get rid of odors, it’s probably time to replace it with a new one.
  • If you are using a covered litter box, but you have problems with odor, consider switching to one without a cover that won’t trap the smell (note: if the box is stinky, it could potentially deter your cat from using it).
  • Also, even though a plastic liner might be convenient, if your cat’s claws are causing tears, and urine and litter are falling through, odors can get trapped inside until you do a complete litter change and wash the box.
  • Consider trying litter deodorizers that you can buy in stores, but keep in mind that a lot of cats don’t like heavy fragrances, so it’s a good idea to try unscented products. Or, you might want to try adding some baking soda to your cat’s litter to help keep it smelling fresher.
  • Rather than using artificial fragrances or air fresheners that can be irritating to cats and merely mask odors, something as simple as a charcoal filter might help. Or, consider setting up an air purifier to help clean the air around the litter box.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Litter Waste Receptacle?

Want to avoid having to throw dirty cat litter into your regular kitchen trash bin, or tired of the hassle of needing to go to your large trash can all the time to throw out litter every day after scooping it? Can’t stand the smell of the litter every time you go to throw something out after you’ve tossed litter in the garbage, even when you’ve put it into a separate plastic bag? We don’t blame you! And that’s why we recommend litter waste receptacles. They can help keep your home smelling clean and fresh by keeping the dirty litter contained in its own little trash can.

You can set one of these up so that it’s conveniently located near your cat’s litter box. When you scoop the litter, just toss the waste into a bag that’s in the waste receptacle. Close it to keep the smell from escaping, and then empty the receptacle regularly. You can also wash it down, if necessary, and then just add a new bag to start over.

What Are Some of the Best Cat Litter Waste Receptacles?

Now that we’ve covered quite a bit of information on how to get rid of cat litter, and how to prevent your home from smelling like dirty litter, let’s take a look at some of the cat litter waste receptacles that can help make your job easier. We’ve compiled a list of options, and you can read about them below.

1. Editor’s Choice: Litter Genie Pail

Litter Genie is Jackson Galaxy approved, and it is probably the most well-known brand in the world of cat litter waste receptacles. These products are affordable, and there are actually three models to choose from. The first one is the standard Litter Genie Pail. It’s perfect for small spaces, thanks to its compact design, and it is convenient and easy to use.

This pail can hold up to two weeks’ worth of litter for one kitty, which means that a single pail can last up to 8 weeks if you have one cat in the house. And it can lock away odor with the help of its innovative design and 7-layer refill bags with odor barrier technology. All you have to do is scoop your cat’s litter like you normally would, open the lid of the Litter Genie Pail to toss the waste in, close the lid, and then pull the handle to lock it into place and prevent odors from escaping.

This product also comes with a scoop and a holder for it, along with a refill, which can last up to two months with one cat. And when you need more bags, you can simply order additional refills.

2. Runner Up: Litter Genie Plus

The Litter Genie Plus offers all the benefits of the original Litter Genie with a few extra features. The biggest change is the addition of an antimicrobial that works to prevent odor caused by bacteria that exists on the pail itself from use. This further ensures that your home will be left smelling fresh and clean, free from odors and unnecessary germs. The bag refills are larger than the original model and can last 30% longer than the standard refill for a total of 10 weeks for a single cat.

The pail is available in your choice of black or silver. It is approximately the same size as the original Litter Genie, making it an ideal choice for apartments, condos, or smaller homes where space may be limited. But don’t let its size fool you. This easy-to-use litter disposal unit can hold up to 14 days of cat litter for a single cat.

3. Best for Multi-Cats: Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal System, XL

The third option from Litter Genie is their XL Pail, which provides 50% more capacity than the Standard and Plus models. Because it is larger, it can hold more waste, which means you won’t need to empty it out as often. This can definitely be a great choice if you have more than one cat.

This model can hold up to 21 days’ (three weeks!) worth of litter for one cat, and it uses the same 7-layer bags that this brand is known for. And it works just like the other two Litter Genie models, so all you have to do is scoop the waste, place it in the pail, close the lid, and pull the handle to lock all of the offensive odors in. Plus, it also comes with a scoop and a holder for it, and a refill.

4. Best Locks: Litter Champ Premium Odor-Free Cat Litter Waste Disposal System

The hassle-free Litter Champ Premium Odor-Free Cat Litter Waste Disposal System makes it easy to keep the area around your litter box free of odors. This is a durable canister that has childproof locks, and it also boasts zero-waste continuous bag technology that can last up to 10 weeks. The nice thing about this receptacle is that you can empty it out whenever you want, even if it isn’t full, without needing to waste any bags.

This simple-to-use product features a triple-sealing door, it comes with a scoop and bag liner, and it features a step pedal, which is super convenient because it means you don’t even have to touch it with your hands. It boasts a 4-gallon capacity, its size is compact, and it also comes with a 5-year limited warranty. But one of the best features is definitely its odor control. The sturdy non-porous ABS resin canister and a triple-seal system will lock in all the odors inside so your home can keep on smelling fresh and clean at all times.

When you need them, you can order bag refills here.

5. Best Portable: PetFusion Portable Cat Litter Disposal

Yet another option in the world of cat waste receptacles is the recyclable PetFusion Portable Cat Litter Disposal pail. It measures 16.7” x 9.5” x 9.5”, and it comes with a 12-month warranty for manufacturing defects.

This product is easy to use, it comes with 10 biodegradable and compostable bags, and every bag can hold up to two weeks’ worth of litter. Also, even though this pail comes with bags and a charcoal deodorizer, you can use it with other bags, as well as other deodorizers, if you prefer. And the pail is designed to help minimize dust from the litter, too, which is certainly a plus.

This product has a locking handle that makes it a snap to move it whenever you need to—if you have more than one litter box and you only have room for one pail, this feature can be really convenient. Plus, the handle also makes it easier to carry the whole pail to your trash can when you need to empty it out. Simply use the handle to lock the lid down, sealing the pail with a silicone gasket to keep odors contained. The charcoal deodorizer, which can last up to six months, is in the lid and will help to absorb odors. And, whenever necessary, you can remove the inner basket to clean it as well.

What About a Self-Cleaning Litter Box?

Self-cleaning litter boxes can be really convenient because they can do a lot of the scooping for you. Basically, after your kitty uses the box, it will get to work cleaning out the waste and storing it in a receptacle. This saves you time and effort, and it might also be just what you are looking for if you want to tackle odors.

  • There are several different self-cleaning litter boxes that you can choose from, and a great example is LitterMaid. This type of box will use waste receptacles to help keep offensive odors contained. The LitterMaid Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box Waste Receptacles, 3rd Edition are made specifically for this litter box system, and they work by locking away waste and odors so the box can smell fresher for longer. Plus, you can also take advantage of the brand’s carbon filters for even more odor control. And when the receptacle is full, you just throw it away, so you don’t even need to worry about any plastic bags either.
  • Another option that is worth checking out is the Nature’s Miracle Self-Cleaning Litter Box. This is yet another product that uses waste receptacles to keep things super simple. The Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Waste Receptacles are designed to trap and seal odors. And when they get full, you just throw them away—so, again, no plastic bags to deal with. Basically, the box does most of the work, and the receptacles tackle the odors for you.

Keeping Your Litter Box Area Odor-Free Is Easier with a Waste Receptacle

Whether you use a regular litter box or a self-cleaning one, a waste receptacle may help keep your home free of odors. With so many high-quality options available, you can select the receptacle that will make taking care of your frisky feline, and keeping her litter box area smelling fresh, even easier.

How often should you completely switch out cat litter?

It all depends on the type of litter you use and how many cats you have in your home, but a good rule of thumb is to switch out cat litter completely every week to two weeks. That is, of course, presuming that you clean out the litter box daily, removing feces and urine for optimal hygiene and no odors. Gradually, the unused litter will crumble or become too dusty to be functional, and might even absorb some odors (again, depending on the type and quality) so you’ll have to toss it all out, wash and dry the litter box, and then pour new litter inside.

Should cat litter boxes be separated?

If you have more than one cat, you’ll need more than one litter box. Cats need privacy when doing their business, and another cat trying to come inside the litter box while they’re already using it could really stress them out and motivate them to avoid using it in the future. Generally speaking, you should have at least one litter box per cat, plus one extra just in case (e.g. 3 litter boxes in a household with 2 cats) and they should have some space between them if possible.

Where should I put my cat’s litter box?

Most people prefer putting a cat’s litter box inside the bathroom to contain the potential odor and keep it out of sight, and while that might work for some people, it’s not the general rule you should stick to. Criteria for cat’s litter box location is as follows – it should be in a low traffic area of the house where your pet won’t be disturbed, somewhere that is easy for your cat to reach, and away from their food and water bowls. Choose the perfect spot with these factors in mind, and if the only suitable place happens to be somewhere where a litter box would stick out like a sore thumb (e.g. your living room), consider getting a cat litter box enclosure for privacy and style.

Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?

Cats can adjust to using enclosed or an open litter box all the same (in most cases) but the truth is that felines really do prefer open litter boxes. Cats feel vulnerable when they are using the litter box, and having a clear view of their surroundings so they could spot a potential threat really eases them. With an enclosed litter box, cats that are prone to anxiety or are skittish will only get more stressed out. Not to mention that closed litter boxes can sometimes lock in odors, and having in mind cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, it’s easy to see why some cats dislike using them.

Can cats find their litter box if you move it?

If you have to, for any reason, to move your cat’s litter box to another place in the home, it’s important to take necessary steps to ensure your pet will find it easily. The best way to make sure your cat finds the litter box in its new spot is not to clean it before moving – the cat will follow the scent to their new potty location. You can also gently carry the cat to the new litter box location and let them sniff everything out if you’re worried that they won’t find it on their own. It’s important to note that you should only switch litter box locations if absolutely necessary, as it is stressful for the cat to do so and it shouldn’t become a practice.

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Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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