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A good quality litter box is a must for any cat owner, but particularly those who have exclusively indoor cats. Purchasing a poor-quality litter tray can lead to litter being traipsed through your house, smells emanating from the box every time it is used, and difficult and messy clean up times. To help with your decision, our panel of pet experts and cat lovers have put together a list of the best litter boxes for cats, including those suitable for homes with multiple cats, and those with limited space.
The Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan from Catit allows your cat privacy while ensuring that their litter stays within the box. The large hood lifts for easy cleaning access, while the carbon filter removes odors. The size of the litter box makes it idea for households with more than one cat and the neutral colors means it can blend in easily in any room in the house.
If your cat’s litter box is in the main room of your house, then this is the perfect way to make it less conspicuous. The Hidden Cat Litter Box by Good Pet Stuff is designed to look like a large terracotta plant pot, it even comes with its own fake plant for the full effect. The litter box pot is made from durable polypropylene and has a filtered vent system to control odor and dust. The litter box is big enough for households with multiple cats and the doorway is designed for even the largest of domestic cats.
“Hidden” cat litter box, comes with decorative moss and plant
If you are looking for the best litter box that provides privacy for your cat and stops other animals from sniffing, pawing at, and spreading the litter around the home, then the Top Entry Cat Litter Box by IRIS is perfect. The grooved lid provides the perfect platform for entry and exit into the litter box, while the grooves also act to trap pieces of litter that may have become trapped on your cat’s paws. The litter box comes complete with scoop and has an inbuilt hook for easy scoop storage when it is not in use. The rounded oblong shape makes for easy cleaning, ensuring that there are no corners for litter or other mess to get trapped in.
Simple but effective, the high-sided litter box by Nature’s Miracle is a budget-friendly solution to litter scatter. Made of durable plastic, with a non-stick surface and antimicrobial protection, this litter box is easy to clean and maintain. Since it’s quite large (L23” x W18.5” x H11”), with a low entrance, it’s perfect for larger cats and older felines with joint issues. Of course, the box is also suitable for younger kitties, as it’s basic and super easy to use. Another plus is that there are no grooves inside the box and the corners are rounded, which makes the scooping task much simpler and easier.
The Large Sifting Litter Pan from Arm & Hammer is a basic, yet effective, litter tray system. Consisting of two trays and a sifting pan, it allows you to clean your cat’s litter without the need for a scoop. You simply pour the used litter through the sifting pan into the empty tray and throw away the cat mess that is left behind in the sifting tray. It is designed for use with clumping litter and includes antimicrobial protection to inhibit odor formation.
Basic design, easy to use cat litter box
3 Pan system (two trays + a sifting pan) for easy cleaning
Antimicrobial protection extends the life of litter
With a spacious interior, high walls and high entrance, as well as an adjustable lid for privacy, this product is one of the best cat litter boxes on the market. Specifically designed to prevent litter scatter and spraying, this box is perfect for messy cats and neat owners. The flipping lid has 3 different positions – closed, half-closed and open – to accommodate any cat’s preference, which is a big plus for fussy felines. The liner is reusable (lasts up to 3 months) and always safely secured to its place thanks to the Modkat’s patent pending hook design. It’s also rip-resistant, so it should last a long while, plus pretty easy to clean. As a bonus, the box comes with a handy little scoop.
Spacious, suitable even for extra-big cats
Enclosed with elevated entrance to prevent litter scatter
Flipping lid with 3 positions to suit any cat’s preference
Reusable liner is easy to clean and lasts a long time
Looking for a simple but highly effective cat litter box? The iPrimio Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box is a fantastic choice. Made of quality, durable stainless steel that never rusts, this box is bound to last a very long time. Another huge plus of stainless steel material is that it doesn’t absorb any odors – or at least it absorbs as little as possible, certainly the least of any litter box we tested – which is great news for both your cat and your apartment. Since it’s practically non-stick, the box is also super-easy to clean with a sponge and little mild soap. The construction is sturdy too – large, with rounded corners and no-slip sides, the box is intuitive to use and guaranteed to stay in its place without scratching your floors.
If you prefer top entry litter boxes, check out this convenient and spacious box by Petmate. With high walls and a wide and textured lid that gentle wipes litter from cats’ paws as they exit, this litter box prevents litter scatter and spraying, helping keep your apartment clean and tidy. The design also helps with privacy as it’s enclosed, as well as with odor control as practically any and all traces of odor remain inside. The interior is quite spacious to accommodate even the larger cats, although the entry may not be wide enough for super-large felines.
Top-entry litter box
High walls and textured lid prevent litter-clinging to paws
Specifically built to reduce litter box odor and litter scatter and spraying, the Oval Hooded Flip Top Box by Nature’s Miracle is perfect for picky cats. The box contains a charcoal filter, which not only greatly helps in the absorption of odors, but keeps the litter area smelling fresh and clean for a long time. Because it’s enclosed, the box prevents litter scatter and leaks from spraying, and promotes privacy for fussy felines. The box is easy to clean as well, as the top can be quickly opened, plus the material has a non-stick surface.
Enclosed oval hooded litter box
The charcoal filter absorbs odors and keeps litter fresh
Prevents litter scatter
Non-stick surface makes for easy cleaning
Low entrance, suitable for both seniors and kittens
Apart from the fact that you will not need to deal with waste in close quarters, there’s a whole lot this product has to offer. If not for anything, this is a well put together cat litter box, that lessens the stress that comes with being a pet parent. Nature’s Miracle Jumbo Disposable Cat Litter Box is made from some heavy-duty materials. So, there’s no need to be wary of shredding or leakage as a whole. And despite being as sturdy as it is, the material used here is equally breathable. This is great because it does not inhibit airflow and in turn, there’s less moisture in the mix. The end result is drier litter which will remain fresh for a lot longer and in addition to this, all types of litter can be used with Nature’s Miracle disposable litter box.
Different homes have different needs when it comes to cat litter boxes. If you are in a small apartment with a single cat, your needs will be vastly different to a larger home with multiple cats. The type of litter box you opt for may also depend on your cleaning routine, the type of litter you prefer or that your cat will use, and your cat’s own toileting routine. In this part of the guide we explore these and other elements that may affect your choice of litter box for your cat.
Importance of a Litter Box
Just like you, your cat needs somewhere safe, reliable and relatively comfortable to go to the toilet. If they don’t have anywhere provided for them, then they are likely to find or create their own toilet area within your home, and this may not be in an area that you would choose for them to go. A litter box is the ideal toileting solution because it provides a space that is specifically for your cat, and more specifically for your cat to use as a toilet. Even if your cat goes outside, you should still provide them with a litter tray in the house. This means that they still have somewhere to go if they do not want to go outside, do not feel safe enough to toilet outside, if the weather is inclement, or they are recovering from illness or injury.
Just seeing the words ‘self-cleaning’ makes life sound a lot easier. Seeing as traditional litter boxes are synonymous with big messes, this is a great route to take. This option is controlled by an electrical mechanism that does most of the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, the process is not exactly seamless, if not used precisely, it results in an even bigger mess. Then there is the issue of your cat disliking the mechanical sounds this type of litter box makes. Besides these few setbacks, this is a viable choice for pet parents who do not have time or simply do not want to deal with it.
Disposable litter box
There’s really nothing out there that does not have a disposable version. This is especially true when it comes to waste-related materials. So, it is no surprise that disposable litter boxes are a thing. In most cases, these are made using decomposable and recycled papers. In general, they do not require any cleaning, simply chucking it outdoes the trick. These obviously have a very limited life span once they’ve been used, so pet parents will need to keep a close eye on that. If not, the end result could be drastic.
Open Top litter box
This particular option is a more traditional one. All in all, it does not take much to get it cleaned and it is easy and straightforward for cats to use. There are two types here in terms of design, there’s the high and low sided design available. The great thing about the high sided design is that none of the fecal matter is at the risk of falling out. On the other hand, huge and small cats won’t find this option accessible. The opposite is the case for the low sided design, access is superb here. Nevertheless, you may have some runners when using this one.
Hidden litter box
For pet parents who are not too keen on having a litter box visibly in sight, this is a viable choice. On the outside, it appears to be a normal piece of furniture. The thing is that there’s actually a secret litter box located within. So, if you are going for more of an out of sight out of mind look, then this is the best option for you. Hopefully, your feline friend is on board with it as well.
How to Choose the Best Litter Box
Whether you are purchasing a replacement litter box, or a new one for a new cat, there are numerous things you need to consider before you make your final purchase. If you are replacing your existing one, then take some time to consider what you, and your cat, liked about the litter box, and what if anything you would like to change. This helps you get a better picture of the type of box that is more suited to your home and your cat’s needs.
If you are a first-time cat owner, then it is essential that you have your litter box in place before you bring your cat home. This ensures that your cat knows where they are expected to go to the toilet and saves you from trying to retain them out of bad habits. Here are some additional considerations to keep in mind when purchasing your litter box.
Litter boxes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is important to consider where you are going to place the litter box and how much space you have to accommodate it. Most experts suggest that even if you only have one cat, you have more than one litter box to ensure that your cat always has somewhere clean to go, regardless of where they are in the home. Given this its essential to consider where the second box will go, and the amount of space you have for that as well.
Number of cats
There are several schools of thought when it comes to the number of litter boxes you need when you have multiple cats. While some suggest that you should have no more than two cats per litter box, others believe that you need one box per cat. Others suggest that you should have one per cat, plus an additional litter box to ensure there is always one clean space for your cats to go. Regardless of the number of litter trays you decide on, it is always advisable to go for larger litter trays if you have multiple cats. Small litter boxes will get dirty too quickly and increase the chances of litter being spread across the house.
Size of cat
It is important that your cat can easily get in and out of their litter box. If you have a small kitten, then a very deep box may be tricky for them to reach, increasing the risk of accidents. If you have a large cat however, and the box is too small, they may feel crowded and uncomfortable and look for alternative places to complete their toilet activities.
Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is essential if you are going to encourage your cat to use it and nowhere else in your house as a toilet. Some litter boxes include a sifting tray that the litter is poured through, leaving behind the cat mess. To use this type of cleaning system, you need clumping litter that sticks together when used. Alternative systems include a scoop for removing solid waste. Some litter trays include a spout or bag hook to make pouring out used litter easier and tidier when it comes to changing the litter in the box.
While traditional litter boxes are little more than high sided plastic trays, newer designs include lids or covers. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of litter trays and the type you choose will depend as much on your cat’s preference as the space you have, and where you intend to place the litter box.
An uncovered box provides the easiest access for your cat, and often the easiest cleaning access as well. Its open design means that you can monitor your cat’s toileting habits without needing to be right on top of them. The main drawback of uncovered boxes is that everyone can see what your cat is doing, and if the litter box is in the main room of the house, this might put your cat off using it. Smells are another potential issue with uncovered boxes. However, most trays are now made with antimicrobial plastic to help reduce odors.
Covered boxes are great for providing privacy for your cat, meaning you have a wider choice of where you can place the litter tray. Many have inbuilt filters to reduce smells even further. Covered boxes help keep the litter in the tray and stop other animals from exploring the tray and spreading mess. However, covered trays can feel cramped and your cat may feel uneasy not being able to scan their surroundings while they are at a vulnerable time. It is important that if you purchase a covered litter box you get one that provides your cat with plenty of space, easy access, and that they feel comfortable sitting in. One answer is to choose one with either a large open entrance or a see-through cover, so your cat can see their surroundings.
How to Clean a Litter Box
Cats have an amazing sense of smell, it is many times more sensitive than that of human’s. Cats are also extremely clean animals, so coupled with their sense of smell, you can begin to understand why they refuse to use a litter box that is less than clean.
Removal of Solid Waste
The first step in cleaning your cat’s litter box is removing solid waste. This should be done at least once a day. This can be done with a special scoop or using a sifting tray. It is important that you minimize contact with cat feces by wearing gloves and not touching it directly. Particular care should be taken when pregnant.
Place the bin or rubbish bag close to the litter tray to reduce the risk of litter falling through the scoop or sifting pan onto the floor. It also reduces the risk of falling waste, which would be less than pleasant to pick up a second time. If you are using a clumping litter, then remove the clumps with the fecal matter each day.
Lastly top up the litter to ensure a healthy covering across the base of the pan. If you allow the level of litter to fall to far, you will notice an increase in odor as the urine is not fully soaked up by the litter.
While waste should be removed on a daily basis, this is not enough on its own to keep your cat’s litter box smelling fresh and free from bacteria. To achieve this, you need to give it a full clean roughly once a week. If you have multiple cats using the same box, then you may find you need to do a full clean twice a week. To fully clean your cat’s litter tray you should:
Empty out the old litter completely.
Wash out the litter box using warm water and a mild detergent that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals
Rinse the litter tray fully to ensure no residue is left behind.
Dry the tray fully to stop new litter sticking to it.
Add a thin layer of baking soda – this is optional, but it can help to reduce odors, particularly in older style cat litter boxes that do not contain filters.
Add clean litter to the tray, ensuring you get the balance right between too much and not enough.
Place the litter box back in its usual place and wait for your cat to make their mark in it once again.
By following our buying guide and the tips from our experts, you can be assured that you will make the right purchase for your cat.