A litter box is a must-have item for any cat owner! Managing a litter box can be tricky if you have a finicky feline or multiple cats. Cats can be picky regarding where they go to the bathroom, so it’s vital to find a litter box they’ll use! Otherwise, they may pick a less than ideal spot to relieve themselves.
We’ve researched the best litter boxes for different situations and types of cat. We’ve found that accessible design and hygienic materials are important when choosing a litter box. Whether you need a litter box to control odor or need a multi-cat household solution, we’ve got you covered! Read on to see our 9 best picks, and be sure to check out our buying guide reviewed by a professional pet care provider.
Sheri Rydyznski is a professional pet care service provider who operates Fetch.Sit.Stay. Cincinnati. LLC. When she’s not busy providing care for clients, she is an avid audiophile, curious traveler, entertaining raconteur and content creator for @fetch_sit_stay. She lives in the Greater Cincinnati, OH area with her husband and spirited tortie, Mischief.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
The best litter boxes suit your cat's needs and your own needs. Think about what kind of box your cat is physically able to use first, then consider what additional details are most important to you. Keep these four points in mind to help you choose!
Some litter boxes still can be too small or cramped for cats to use comfortably. If they don’t feel like they can move around freely, they may avoid using the litter box. Many cats like to cover up their waste or kick litter, which requires a little extra room to paw around.
Bigger cats obviously may need a larger box, but even smaller cats won’t turn up their nose at extra space, too! Your little box should be at least as long and wide as your cat, but it’s recommended to add several inches to be safe.
However, make sure your litter box fits your ideal space. Some cat owners like to hide litter boxes out of sight in cabinets or bathrooms. If you do have one specific spot in mind, it’s a good idea to measure the space just to be safe!
Your litter box will need to be cleaned! Litter boxes are usually scooped at least once per day, but you’ll also need to deep clean your litter box regularly. Make sure the litter box is easy to both scoop and clean.
Open pan litter boxes will be easiest to scoop, while lidded boxes may require a little maneuvering. Check the design details as well. For example, grooved edges, electrical components, or sifting trays may require detailed cleaning. Simple litter boxes with gentle curves and plain design will be the easiest to deep clean.
You may also consider seeking materials that don’t absorb odors like plastic or metal. Other materials like wood may look attractive but are impractical. Any kind of soft fiber or natural material may be difficult to clean, prone to molding, or get easily scratched.
Thinking about your cat’s habits and your own priorities will help you choose an ideal litter box. Litter boxes come in a variety of designs that all offer their own functional benefits.
Litter boxes that consist of a pan only without a top or enclosure. They are the most basic and common type of box, as they suit a wide variety of cats. The open-top design helps cats to not feel boxed in, and it’s super easy to clean.
For most cats, a wall height of five to seven inches is enough. If you have a cat that sprays or kicks litter, consider higher walls or a covered box. These are also ideal for multiple cats. Your cats can easily see when the box is occupied, which helps them to feel safe and in control!
Older cats or those with mobility issues often do the best with shallow open-pan boxes. They are the easiest to get in and out of and don’t require any jumping.
However, open boxes won’t trap odors or keep curious dogs or kids at bay. Cats that spray may also end up peeing on your wall instead of the box depending on the wall height! If you need something more protected, consider a different style.
Covered boxes are also a popular style, as they help trap odor and keep litter out of sight. Some cats prefer a little privacy, too! Covered boxes may also be ideal for cats that kick litter everywhere or have issues with spraying. The enclosed top means any flying objects or liquids will stay in the box.
Some covered boxes even have doors for added mess and odor protection, but some cats dislike using a door. Cats may end up avoiding using a litter box with a door entirely, as many cats value ease of access above all else when it comes to a litter box. Thankfully, you can usually remove the door if your cat dislikes it.
However, some cats find covered boxes to be too cramped, and it’s not the ideal choice for cats with asthma. Trapped odors or fumes can be harsh for cats to inhale, especially for those with respiratory conditions.
Some boxes have electronic components that sift and collect cat waste for you. These are extremely helpful if you’re busy or if it’s physically difficult for you to scoop a litter box.
These can also be helpful if your cat is sensitive to odors. Some cats won’t use a litter box that seems unclean, so a self-cleaning model that continually keeps the box waste-free may put them at ease!
The functions vary widely depending on the model, and you may want to keep in mind that electronics are usually more difficult to clean. Some of them may kick up dust as well from the sifting motion.
Some cats may dislike the sound or motion of automatic boxes, so if you have a skittish cat you may want to reconsider a self-cleaning model. Some electronic models only work with specific types of litters as well, so keep that in mind if you have a preferred brand.
Some also recommend avoiding self-cleaning litter boxes because they can erase evidence that could indicate health issues. Keeping an eye out for any changes in your cat’s waste is a good way to monitor their health.
Some litter boxes have added details that make them more useful. Some boxes may come with a scoop included, non-slip feet, or a carrying handle.
Other boxes may have a lipped edge to help keep litter in or may disassemble for easy cleaning.Think about any unique needs you may have as well. For example, if you travel a handle may be useful!
If you have a cat with mobility issues or concerns, you’re going to want to look for a box with a low entrance. Whether it’s a pan or covered litter box, the entrance should be wide, without doors, and require minimal maneuvering to get inside. The entrance wall should be less than four inches tall.
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High-Sided Litter Box
A Simple Pan That's Easy to Maintain and Access
Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop
A Unique Top-Entry Box for Less Mess
Arm & Hammer
Unique Sifting Action Instead of Scooping
Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat XL Litter Box
High-Walled Box with Durable Stainless Steel
Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
A Huge Mess-Proof Box with Odor Control
Advanced Hooded Corner Litter Box
A Corner Covered Box with an Easy-Access Opening
Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box
A Domed Design Prevents Litter Mess
Senior Cat Litter Box
A Low-Entry Litter Box for Cats with Accessibility Concerns
Good Pet Stuff
Plant Hidden Litter Box
Hidden Litter Box Blends in with Decor
This high-walled litter pan is simple, but sometimes simple is best! The walls prevent litter or urine from getting out of the pan, while the open top makes it easy for cats to use and for you to clean.
Reviewers like that this is the highest-sided box on the market without being completely covered. Compared to shallower litter pans, this box cuts down on mess while still being easy for kitties to use! Plus, the molded handles make it easy for reviewers to dump out litter.
However, reviewers note that the five-inch entrance may be too high for older cats, and particularly lively cats still manage to get litter out of the box.
This box has a unique top entrance that keeps mess inside the box. Unlike other covered boxes, the top entrance balances odor control while still allowing irritating fumes to dissipate.
Reviewers love the stylish and unobtrusive design, saying that their cats had no issues realizing this was a litter box! Plus, reviewers found the included scoop and scoop hook convenient. Plus, most importantly, reviewers love that this box cuts down on litter being tracked around the house!
However, this box isn't suited for cats with mobility issues since it requires jumping or climbing to enter. Plus, some reviewers found that cats ended up stepping in their own waste when entering or exiting.
This litter box has a unique three-tiered design that allows you to sift litter instead of scooping it! You lift up the top pan to allow litter to pass through the holes in the bottom. Then you can simply slide the remaining waste into the garbage!
Reviewers love how easy it is to use and clean. They found it much faster to sift rather than scoop litter, especially for multi-cat households! Many like using this box with wood pellet litter. However, some reviewers think the box is too small for their cats.
Most litter boxes are made of plastic, but this box uses a strong stainless steel base that will last you for years! Plus, it includes a plastic topper that increases the wall height to twelve inches to help prevent mess.
Reviewers love that the metal pan doesn't absorb odor, saying that this box is much less smelly than previous plastic models they've owned. Plus, they like that they don't have to worry about the pan cracking or warping. However, some received pans with rust spots or small dents.
This jumbo litter box is big enough for the heaviest of cats! Plus, the top of the box has a built-in carbon odor filter that you can replace as needed. The enclosed style offers cats privacy, too.
Reviewers love that this box is truly huge! Plus, they found that this box drastically reduces or even eliminates odor and mess. And unlike other covered boxes, reviewers can lift up the top panel of the box for easy cleaning.
However, some reviewers found that their cats were confused by the door. They recommend removing the door if your cats have trouble accessing the box.
This litter box is designed to fit snugly in corners, saving you space! The wide entrance makes it easier for cats to get in and out of the box. The lid also includes a charcoal odor filter to help reduce unpleasant smells.
Reviewers love that this box is large and strong enough for cats over eighteen pounds! They say that is much easier for big cats to get in and out of this box compared to other covered models. Plus, they say that the charcoal filter really works to cut down on the smell.
This litter box is designed so your cats walk up stairs to reach the hidden bathroom area. The stairs clean your cat's paws as they walk, preventing them from tracking litter all over the house. Plus, the domed design helps keep curious kiddos or pups out!
Reviewers love this for cats that need privacy to go to the bathroom. They also like that it's stylish enough to be placed anywhere in their home. It's big enough that a thirty-pound cat can use it without trouble, too! However, some had issues with urine leaking down the stairs if cats urinate too close to the edge of the box.
This litter box is designed for cats that have accessibility or health concerns. Elderly cats or cats with joint issues have trouble climbing in and out of normal litter boxes, so this shallow pan allows for maximum accessibility.
Reviewers are thankful for an accessible box that's large enough for big cats to use, too! They say this box is perfect for cats with arthritis. Plus, the walls are so low that cats won't have to touch the box at all. This is helpful if they have sensory issues or have painful spots.
Of course, this box isn't going to help prevent litter or spraying mess. Reviewers recommend putting down pee pads under the box just in case.
This litter box is designed to sneakily blend into your decor! The pot-style exterior and fake plant disguise the litter box. Plus, the box itself is large enough for heavy cats and includes a filter to keep odors at bay!
Reviewers love that this turns a litter box into a piece of decor! Some reviewers even customize the box by painting it a color that matches their home or changing the fake plant.
However, be wary of your cat chewing the fake plant. Some reviewers had issues with their cats eating the fake leaves and straw, which can be very dangerous!
If you want to prevent a smelly house and an unhappy kitty, there are some tips you can follow for maximum hygiene and comfort.
In addition to your litter box, you’ll also need a scoop, litter, and a litter mat. A large litter mat is recommended, as it will help keep litter from being tracked around your home! If you have multiple cats, it’s recommended to take the number of cats and add one. So if you have three cats, you should have four boxes.
Cats have different preferences, but generally don’t need their litter to be very deep. A few inches is enough! Some people like to use box liners to absorb liquids, but many cats dislike how these feel and they may slip around during use.
It’s recommended to scoop your litter box at least once per day, both for comfort and hygiene. Ammonia smells aren’t only unpleasant, they may be irritating for your kitty. Plus, cats are hesitant to use a box that already contains waste.
Scooping more than once per day may be necessary to prevent accidents. Some cats even hold in their urine to avoid using a dirty litter box, which can lead to health problems. Deep cleaning is also recommended whenever you replace the litter.
Your litter will have instructions regarding how often you should replace it! This can range from twice weekly to once a month depending on the type. Be sure to use non-toxic cleaners that are safe for pets. After cleaning, make sure the box is completely dry before adding in the new litter! Otherwise, litter will start to clump or may mold.
Consider where you will place your litter box. You’ll want to choose a location that’s quiet and out of the way so your cats can do their business in peace! Also make sure to place the litter box far away from your cat’s food and water. Just like humans wouldn’t want to eat next to a toilet, neither does your cat!
Finally, if your cat doesn’t take to their new litter box don’t worry! There are many factors in play, so try a little adjustment to see how your cat responds. You can change the location, type of litter, or even try improving the ventilation of the space to help with odor.
Need a little helping finding the best pet products for your cat? Check out these other cat products!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Nature's Miracle ｜High-Sided Litter Box
No. 2: Iris｜Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop
No. 3: Arm & Hammer ｜Sifting Pan
No. 4: iPrimio ｜Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat XL Litter Box
No. 5: Catit ｜Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
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