Best Cat Litter Box: A 2019 Guide

Why Use a Cat Litter Box

A cat litter box is an indoor collection box where cats can deposit their litter and/or urine if it’s permitted to roam freely around the home and can’t always relieve itself outdoors.

Most cat owners prefer not to let their pets roam outside fearing they may succumb to dangers while outdoors such as the weather, traffic, or wildlife.

corner cat litter box

A cat litter box shelters your furry pet from such risks.

Some cats, however, love kicking their litter and making a mess of the place, and nothing sucks more than having to clean up the pile of cat litter outside of the box.

The best cat litter box for your unique cat ensures such messes are minimized, as long as your cat makes it to the box in time.

They’re also a good way of keeping your pet happy, especially if you have a shy cat. They also get their personalized spot to do their thing, while you keep your home and surroundings clean.

Depending on the type of litter box pick for your pet, there are so many other benefits both you and your pet can derive from it.

Besides giving your cat a bit more privacy, and keeping your home clean and smelling fresh, litter boxes like the self-cleaning type, come in handy if you travel. This is because the box cleans itself, and it can go for weeks on end while doing the nasty job for you.

It’s also good especially for those with limited mobility, and the elderly, as they won’t have to crouch down and scoop out the litter.

Some receptacles come with covers, which prevent your cat from spraying urine on the floor or surrounding walls. It is also less likely to toss out litter material from the box when digging and contains litter box odors.

Things to Consider On Choosing Best Cat Litter Box

Finding the best cat litter box can be a daunting task, but once you find the perfect one that your cat uses without problems, and you’re happy with how it cleans or scoops, you’re safe.

Good ones aren’t complicated or expensive, so you need not live with a litter box that’s difficult to clean or maintain, or that lets your cat kick litter up all over the place.

automatic cat litter box

However, if the cat is having issues with the current litter box, you’ll need to check with your vet first because cats are sensitive such that the slightest problem can make it skittish about using the box.

If your cat has a common ailment, or problem with its paws or claws, or any kind of gastrointestinal problem, it can avoid the box completely as it tends to associate it with pain.

Aging cats also may not want to use much energy hopping into a litter box, especially a tall one, like they did once before.

Similarly, young cats may want a new type of box, especially those that started in hooded boxes, and now prefer open ones so they can know their environment more.

Once you rule out any medical issues, it doesn’t guarantee that getting a new box will be the magic bullet.

For instance, if the litter box is too far or hard to reach, your cat may not be able to make it, or sometimes may avoid going there altogether.
Follow your cat’s preferences, because ultimately, it’s about the cat, but also you who cleans the box.

A great litter box is one that makes your cat happy and healthy, with the least trouble for you as possible.

In some cases, what’s good for the cat isn’t necessarily great for humans, so let’s explore some of the considerations you should think about as you prepare to go shopping for the best cat litter box.

Size

While you may want a small litter box, your cat may prefer a larger one. Most recommendations on cat litter boxes say it should be 1.5 times as long as your cat and the width of the box should be the length of your cat.

However, most boxes available in major online and physical pet stores may not meet this threshold. At the same time, not all cats are of the same size, neither should their litter boxes. Large cats need larger boxes; otherwise, they may end up messing the floor or area outside the box.

Best Small Cat Litter Box – Petmate Booda Dome Litter Box

covered cat litter box

An overweight cat also needs a box that it can get in and out comfortably, whereas a household with a clowder needs a large box so all of them can use it in peace.

If you want a litter box that takes up minimal space, which is what most boxes are designed to do, ensure it can still accommodate your cat and hold more litter so you can have an extra day in between cleanings.

Best Larage Cat Litter Box – Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Flip Top Litter Box

extra large cat litter box

Height

As you consider the size of the cat litter box, look also for options with 5-7 inch sides, unless yours tends to kick around litter, in which case an option with a cover or taller sides would work.

Just make sure the cat can be able to enter and exit the box easily, without pain.

A litter box with three sides that’s tall enough to prevent litter from hitting your floor, and that has an entry/exit side is perfect for prayers’, and cats with bad aim.

For young kittens or cats with mobility issues and arthritis, a super low box is good. Such cats need an entry/exit side that’s about 2.5-3.5 inches high, with a good balance to enter or exit easily, while keeping in the litter.

Best High Sided Cat Litter Box – Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

sifting cat litter box
best high sided cat litter box

Style

This may not be a top priority when looking for the best cat litter box, but it matters if you plan to place the box in a central spot in your home. Most people go for the modern, sleek styles, but there are hidden options that enclose the litter box inside a piece of furniture.

Shape and Type

Cat litter boxes come in different sizes, shapes, and types.

The two main types are the open or enclosed boxes. The bottom line is the entry/exit way should be low enough for your cat to easily get in or out, especially for aging cats and those with mobility or agility problems.

Open boxes should have high sides to prevent litter scatter and urine over spray, while enclosed ones should have a large entry/exit way that’s easily accessible for the cat to comfortably get through.

Hooded boxes can make tall cats contort as they tend to limit headroom.

Although they value their privacy, cats still want to see their surroundings so enclosed boxes tend to limit their view. However, you should stick with what works for you and your cat.

For more information on different sizes or types of best cat litter box, you may check >> best cat litter box review.

Quality materials

The best cat litter box is built with quality materials that won’t crack or break. Boxes made of cheap plastic tend to crack or lose shape, and often leak.

Hooded boxes may also come with latches that break or fit poorly, plus they may have rough and/or sharp edges.

Your cat doesn’t have to put up with this, so find one that’s both comfortable, easy to manage, and durable.

Best Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box – iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat XL Litter Box

small cat litter box
best stainless steel cat litter box

Cleaning

If you’re unable to clean your cat’s litter box or you’re tired of doing it, try getting a self-cleaning one. They may be expensive, but they give you some peace of mind and rest knowing the cleaning bit is taken care of.

The box needs to be easy to scoop and clean. A bad litter box has ridges, crevices, and divots where cat waste and clumped litter can stick.

The best cat litter box, however, is smooth enough so it won’t collect clumps, and its corners and edges can be cleared with a flat scooper.
Another option is an odor control litter box that minimizes or keeps out the smells. If you cannot find one, try using scented litter, or an odor-destroying spray for the litter box.

Best Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box – PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

automatic cat litter box reviews

Different Usages of Cat Litter Box

Cats use the litter box for survival, to hide from predators, or to find a place to reproduce, or even catch prey.

Litter boxes help cats cover up their tracks, to avoid attack by predators or being eaten. This stems from the history of cats that needed to mask their scent or hide their waste for protective purposes.

In the wild, dominant cats leave their waste uncovered to mark their territory, while subordinate ones cover their waste in submission.

How to Choose Best Travel Cat Litter Box

To pick out the best travel cat litter box, you need to consider the factors below:

Type and purpose of the box

If you’re going on a long road-trip spanning at least two or more days, then a disposable travel litter box is good as it doesn’t need much sifting or scooping, and it’s still portable.

Best Travel Cat Litter Box – Petpeppy.com Portable Cat Litter Carrier

travel cat litter box

If you frequently travel with your kitty, consider a multiple-use fabric travel cat litter box that can be cleaned, re-packed, and used more than once. It is also good for air travel and makes for a temporary bed too.

Size and portability

As a rule of thumb, the litter box needs to be 1.5-1.7 times the size of your kitty.

Depending on your feline’s size, look at the packing size, for instance, fabric travel litter boxes are portable and can be packed away to a small size when not in use. Use a sealable model with a zipper cover cat litter if you don’t want to carry litter separately.

Best Outdoor Cat Litter Box – Pet Fit For Life Collapsible Portable Litter Box

outdoor cat litter box

Quality material

Fabric travel litter boxes are built with oxford cloth or canvas, but the quality varies. The lighter the material, the less durable it is and the higher the likelihood that the pan won’t hold up.

Check also the waterproof liner on the interiors of the box for durability, plus it should be scratch proof to withstand clawing.

Some models come with liner coating that simplifies cleaning and maintenance, as you need only air dry or wipe the walls with a mild detergent for re-use.

Disposable travel cat litter boxes are usually made of 100 percent cardboard (recycled) that is landfill-safe and biodegradable. The best ones have a waterproof or wax-based coating inside.

Best Portable Cat Litter Box – A4Pet Portable Cat Travel Litter Box

travel cat litter box

Extra features

Consider accessories that come with the travel litter box such as disposable scoops and a portable travel bowl. Some even have a travel cat bed as a bonus. Look at color combinations seeing as cats are picky and go with what is appealing to them.

Finally, check for after-sales support, return policy, and warranty is provided.

Features of Best Outdoor Cat Litter Box

Outdoor cat litter boxes are similar to indoor ones, only they have these features:

• A special hood to prevent any moisture or rain from getting in and ruining the litter
• Made of waterproof material
• Sand from a sandbox can be used in the tray. Cat litter readily absorbs moisture from the air, so you may find that you have to change it frequently than you would an indoor box.

Outdoor Cat Litter Box – Petleader Collapsible Portable Cat Litter Box

self contained cat litter box

Features of Best Indoor Cat Litter Box

The best indoor cat litter box not only looks sleek and stylish to blend into any room but also takes up minimal floor space. Some notable features of the best indoor cat litter box include:

• Top-entry design with small holes in the lid to remove any particles of litter from your kitty’s paws, leaving your house clean
• A little scooper so you can dispose of waste fast
• A health counter that tracks the frequency with which the cat uses the box
• Detachable door
• Hood Lifts
• Built-in bag anchor
• Carbon filter traps
• Slight dip for accessibility
• Super sturdy material so it won’t shred or leak but are still pet-safe.

Best Indoor Cat Litter Box – Internet’s Best Decorative Cat House & Side Table

indoor cat litter box

Features of Best 2 Cat Litter Box

The best 2-cat litter boxes have standard features including:

• Ample depth to contain litter and support heavy use for two cats
• A lower front side for accessibility
• Convenient side panels are also added to store litter scoops, plus extra trash can liners
• Microban coating to prevent staining and stop the growth of bacteria that cause odors
• Built-in motion sensors that detect when the cats enter or leave the box, scooping any waste away and depositing that in a sealed disposable receptacle with carbon filters to keep out odors
• Built-in bag anchors to keep litter in place as you scoop
• Detachable clear door
• High sides
• Non-stick plastic construction
• Pull-out tray for disposal
• A grate that separates waste from clean litter

Best 2 Cat Litter Box – Pet Mate 42036 Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan

largest cat litter box available

How to Choose the Best 3 Tray Cat Litter Box

In order to find the right 3-tray cat litter box that’s right for you, here are a few factors to consider:

Size: most tray (or sifting) cat litter boxes come in large/extra-large sizes. Get one that’s large enough to accommodate multiple kitties or your large-sized cat.

Hood: Some cats prefer an open-tray style, and others want more privacy. For privacy, get a litter box with a hood so she feels protected; it also cuts down odor and dust.

Ease of use and maintenance/cleaning: Find a box that needs the least amount of upkeep while avoiding waste sticking to the plastic, or stains, and is built using pet-safe, antimicrobial, non-stick materials.

Litter: the best type of litter for 3-tray boxes is self-clumping, otherwise cat pee can fall through to the bottom tray, defeating the whole purpose of the box.

Odor control: the sifting litter box should cut down on odor (ammonia, urine, and poop).

Best 3 Tray Cat Litter Box – Sifting Cat Pan Litter Box With Frame Kitty Van

3 layer cat litter box

How to Choose Best Automatic Cat Litter Box for Multiple Cats

Look for large automatic cat litter boxes that don’t fill up quickly as they feel sanitary hence cat-friendly, and won’t let waste build up.
Covered ones are good as they avoid the dominance games cats tend to play in the bathroom area, which frightens some cats and demoralizes the experience for them.

The best automatic litter box for multiple cats minimizes odor buildup where there are multiple cats.

Best Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box – PetSafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box System

enclosed cat litter box

Different Design of Cat Litter Box

Features Of Custom Cat Litter Box

A custom cat litter box is one that has unique accessories that allow you and your cat to live at peace together, and comfortably. Most of these can be created from DIY methods.

You can convert a cheap dresser from a furniture store into a modern litter box with a front door, and easy access for cleaning. You can also make your own top-entry cat litter box and customize it to any size container, changing the color, shape, and size of the opening to the cat’s taste.

If you want a custom sifting litter box, get some identical plastic storage containers and drill a few holes in them. When you need to clean, sift the clean litter into an empty bin such that the clumps remain in the first one. The clean litter will be held in your second litter pan.

Best Self-sifting Cat Litter Box – SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Litter Sifter

best sifting cat litter box review

Features Of Unique Cat Litter Box

Need a unique cat litter box?

There are plenty of options in the market with features that the standard boxes don’t have. These include a flipping lid, reusable tarp liner, a gentle roll that sifts dirty litter and leaves clean litter in the crate, and others come with crystal litter that absorbs urine and controls odor. Other features you can find include absorbent litter pads, and filtering litter pellets.

Best Unique Quick Cleaning Cat Litter Box – Litter Spinner Quick Clean Cat Litter Box

unique cat litter box

Advantages Of Deep Cat Litter Box

Deep cat litter boxes are a great option compared to the open, shallow pan types for several reasons including:
• Providing your pet with privacy
• Holding the cat litter well
• Keeping odors at bay
• Ideal for a single cat or multi-cat households
• It is practicable for your pet
• Apposite height satisfies the cat’s instinct of jumping up and down, thus it exercises more
• Capacious interior offers a quiet environment and enough freedom for your cat
• Your cat is able to scratch and paw to its content without splattering litter out of the box

Best Deep High Sided Cat Litter Box – Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

best deep high sided cat litter box

Pros Of Round Cat Litter Box

• Squeezes into corners
• Deep pan and covered design to control orders
• Side latches keep lid secure
• Easy carry handle
• Filtration system that controls dust
• Gentle for older cats to navigate in and out
• Low step for cats with mobility issues to get in

How to Choose Decorative Cat Litter Boxes

Decorative cat litter boxes are an amazing way to make sure they blend in with the interior of your home making it look cooler while concealing the box so it isn’t out in the open.

cat litter box recommendations

Depending on the setup of your home, the challenge with decorative boxes comes in trying to disguise it otherwise guests will have to confront it sooner or later.

Incorporate it into an attractive piece of furniture so your cat can enjoy the experience anytime. However, don’t place it right next to your bed.

When you set up the litter box, save some old litter over the new tray so the cat can recognize it, and if possible, place the box at the same location close to the site of the previous box. This way, the cat finds it as usual; you can also physically show her the new tray.

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>>A Guide To Best Cat Litter Box Liner

>>Best Cat Litter Disposal System

>>Best Cat Litter Deodorizer

Different Materials of Cat Litter Box

Features Of Wooden Cat Litter Box

A wooden litter box, unlike most other boxes on the market, is built with durable and sturdy wood that is scratch resistant, and specially designed to be cat urine resistant. It also doesn’t absorb unpleasant smells and moisture, so it is a blend of different materials that are in the interest of both you and your pet.

Wood isn’t painted when natural, but usually, a touch of varnish brings out a beautiful finish to the furniture. Make sure the paint doesn’t contain lead or other toxic chemicals that can endanger the cat’s health and your own.

A ventilation system should be in place to promote air circulation, plus a front entrance for easier cleaning.

The color need not be changed if you don’t want it to, as long as you find neutral colors that can be incorporated into your décor and blends with the rest of your furniture.

Best Wooden Cat Litter Box – Internet’s Best Decorative Cat House & Side Table

wooden cat litter box

Features Of Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box

Unlike the wooden cat litter box, steel cat litter boxes are made of stainless steel and are probably heavier. Some of the features that make for a steel box include well designed and reinforced corners that keep the box in shape after strong impacts and often odor-free so they carry zero smell residue.

Best Large Size Stainless Steel Litter Box – Yangbaga
xl cat litter box

Different Types Of Cat Litter Box

A wide variety of cat litter boxes exist to suit any type of cat. Among the options you can select from include covered, open top, hidden, self-cleaning, automatic and sifting litter boxes.

• Open top litter boxes are the traditional type in rectangular form, with no frills. They’re also the least expensive options.
• Covered top litter boxes look similar to the open top type, but they add a hood or cover for more privacy and cuts down on odors
• Hidden litter boxes are designed to blend with their surroundings like the furniture in your home. Only you and your kitty know it is a restroom.
• Self-cleaning litter boxes are more expensive as it cuts down on the time you take to scoop up and clean the box. They usually have an electric rake that sifts through litter removing any clumps within.
• Sifting litter boxes usually have trays beneath that let you sift clumps out while retaining the litter in the box
• Automatic litter boxes scoop the litter and come in different models. Some rake away clumps, while others even flush waste down the toilet. These are pricier than traditional pans and need special kinds of litter (some don’t use litter at all, but have crystals or granules).

Features Of High Sided Cat Litter Box

A high-sided litter box is hard to find what with the different options on the market. You also have to choose wisely as each cat is different. A box that will contain the odor and make cleaning easy, while fitting into your budget is ideal. High sided cat litter boxes are also good especially for prayers’ that litter everywhere after using the box.

Best High Sided Cat Litter Box – IRIS Open-Top Cat Litter Box with Clear High-Shield without Scoop

open top cat litter box

Some of the features of the best high sided cat litter boxes include:
• Odor blocking technology
• High walls to prevent litter scattering and leaks
• Non-stick surfaces for easy cleaning
• Fits into corners
• Come with filtering litter pellets for easier scooping
• Have absorbent pads for leak control
• Easy clean spout
• Hood Lift
• Self-cleaning mechanism
• A raking system that cleans for you

How To Choose An Odorless Cat Litter Box

While there’s no odorless cat litter box yet, there are two kinds of cat litter boxes that keep out the odors: automatic cleaning and hooded boxes. Both trap the odors within the structure and usually have odorless technology or extra features that help with this function.

When looking for an odor-free cat litter box, look for options with built-in carbon or charcoal filters that absorb and remove odors from the air.

Best Odorless Cat Litter Box – Nature’s Miracle Oval Hooded Flip Top Litter

odorless cat litter box

Tips On Getting Top Entry Cat Litter Box

A top entry cat litter box reduces tracking without you having to use a litter-tracking mat.

Some cats tend to kick up more messes as they use litter boxes, leaving their owners fed up and frustrated. Top entry cat litter boxes help solve such problems.

Most cats prefer these boxes once they overcome the initial suspicion as they tend to fuss over anything that disturbs their routine. They also prefer privacy, so top entry litter boxes help them feel less vulnerable and covered from all angles so they’re more relaxed.

To get the perfect top entry cat litter box, here are a few things to consider:

• Pick good cat litter from respected brands as some litters on the market are unpleasant for cats owing to coarse texture or excessive dust
• Find something that is suitable also for older cats or those with agility and mobility issues
• Size is important as your cat needs both privacy and adequate space to turn around in the litter box, but pick a size that accommodates your cat and fits well in your space

For Top 5 Best Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes, we would like to introduce the following types:

>> Modkat Litter Box Top-Entry Cat Litter Box
>> IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
>> AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box
>> Favorite 25″ Large Top Entry Enclosed Hooded Cat Litter Box
>> PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

Pros Of Narrow Cat Litter Box

Narrow cat litter boxes are beneficial for you and your feline in many ways. Some of these include:
• Saves a ton of space especially in a cramped home; tucks nicely into a corner
• Privacy for your cat
• Easy to maintain
• Not as large or obtrusive as traditional pans
• Low entry point and high sides keep litter inside

Best Narrow Cat Litter Box – Van Ness Odor Control Large Enclosed Cat Pan with Odor Door

cat litter box with lid

Features Of Disposable Cat Litter Box

Disposable cat litter boxes don’t require frequent scooping like other litter boxes but are the use-and-discard type. They can be used for periods between one to four weeks and disposed of afterward.

Most disposable cat litter boxes are built with landfill friendly and biodegradable recyclable materials – usually cardboard and paper. Some have odor-prevention coating to reduce or eliminate smells and can take any type of litter, or come pre-filled with paper-pellet biodegradable litter.

Best Disposal Cat Litter Box – Kitty’s WonderBox Disposable Litter Box

disposal cat litter box

Some of the features of disposable cat litter boxes include:

• 100 percent recycled cardboard or paper Mache material that are landfill-safe and biodegradable
• Breathable surfaces coated inside with leak-proof materials; some are blended with carbon zeolite or baking soda to absorb odors and ammonia
• Compact and portable with a waterproof or wax-based coating inside
• Disposable scooper
• Perforated cover
• Elevated side walls and backsides

Features Of Enclosed Cat Litter Box

The main features of an enclosed cat litter box include:
• A snap-on hood for privacy
• Large door opening
• Spacious interior
• Carbon filter to eliminate odors

large cat litter box with lid

For the Best Enclosed Cat Litter Boxes, the followings are the best picks:

>> AmazonBasics Hooded Cat Litter Box
>> Arf Pets Designer Enclosed Cat Litter Furniture Box House with Table
>> Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan Kit

Cat Litter Box for Different Cat Size

Most people buy regular, standard size litter boxes and then have to deal with the consequences, so getting the right size is important.

Features of Cat Litter Box for Big Cats

Cats are picky about their litter boxes, so you need some level of precision to ensure it is the right size, offers privacy but isn’t too hidden or covered, and comfortable.

For large breed or overweight cats, it’s more challenging; ensure they have more space to stand up and turn around and an easy entry/exit without touching ceilings or walls.

best cat litter box for big cats

The box should be at least 1.5 times longer than your largest cat, with features like a detachable cover, self-cleaning solution, and extra padding.

Other features include a hood and unclipped top for easier cleaning, flip/detachable door, a carbon filter to remove odors, a sturdy construction, stairway entry, liners or a removable litter shield for easier cleaning and emptying.

Some boxes come with a high back to reduce spillover from prayer’ cats, and advanced plastic technology to block odors, plus antimicrobial protection. A transparent cover that lets you see when it’s time to clean the box is available with some models.

In terms of build, durable plastic is common with cat litter boxes for big cats, not just for its longevity but also its light weight. Additionally, the fabricating material is also easy to clean.

An added feature is bright colors on some boxes, which can fit any home décor so you also benefit as it won’t clash with the interior color scheme of your space.

Features of Best Cat Litter Box for Kittens

cat litter box for small cats

The best cat litter box for kittens is optimized to manage the distinctive challenges they face.

Kittens are also known to show digging and covering behavior from a very tender age and sometimes nibble at the litter.

Some features you’ll find in the best cat litter box for kittens include soft litter that’s pet-safe with smaller size granules, and odor control, non-clumping clay, and herbal attractants to encourage kittens to use the box.

Kittens need a box that’s easily accessible, so something with low sides that it can step into easily will work. The box also has to be big enough so the kitten can turn around and do its business on more than one spot.

Covered boxes don’t augur well with kittens, so use an open box to observe the kitten, and once it learns to use the litter box, you can try a covered one and see what it prefers.