When you bring home a cat for the first time, you probably get excited about all of the fun toys and treats you’re going to spoil him with. Before you spend all your money on accessories, however, don’t forget to think about the basics. A cat litter box is one of the most basic (and most important) supplies you’ll need as a cat owner.
You may not realize it, but cat litter boxes come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and forms. So, how do you choose the best litter box for your cat?
Unfortunately, you can’t predict what your cat’s litter box preferences will be, but you can do some research to find out which type of litter box is generally the best. If you need help finding a good cat litter box, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our top 10 picks below:
Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Cat Litter Box
#10 Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box
If you want to avoid scooping the litter box at all costs, choosing a disposable litter box might be a better option. That way, you can simply throw the entire thing in the trash – litter and all. The best disposable litter box on the market is the Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box. This litter box is made from recycled paper, so it is all-natural and landfill-safe. Plus, you can by them in a 3-pack for under $10.
The Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box is a simple solution to smelly litter boxes because you can just throw it away when it gets dirty. This litter box is 6-inches deep, so there is plenty of room for litter, and the pan itself is thick enough that it can last for up to 4 weeks. Made from fully compostable materials, this disposable litter box is made with built-in baking soda for protection against tough ammonia odors but it is also breathable to keep your litter fresh and dry.
Pros: Easy to dispose of, one tray lasts up to 4 weeks, built-in baking soda for odor control, breathable to keep litter fresh and dry, highly affordable, made from compostable recycled materials
Cons: Paper materials will eventually absorb liquid, sides may not be high enough to contain mess, may not withstand scratching or chewing
#9 Petmate Top Entry Liter Pan
If you’re tired of finding cat litter tracked all over your house, a top-entry litter box might be the way to go. The Petmate Top Entry Liter Pan is a great option because it features a wide top opening with a flat surface to catch excess litter. Plus, it is affordably priced around $20. This litter box is made from durable plastic materials and it is extra-deep so there is plenty of room for litter. Plus, it is very wide which makes it spacious enough inside to keep your cat comfortable.
In addition to reducing litter tracking, the Petmate Top Entry Liter Pan also gives your cat an added degree of privacy while also keeping unsightly litter hidden away. The lid is textured to collect litter and the box has built-in handles and rounded edges which makes it easy to lift and carry. Plus, the box is liner-compatible if you want to make cleanup easy with a disposable litter box or litter box liner.
Pros: Top-entry design contains and conceals litter, textured top catches excess litter, deep and wide for comfort, built-in handles and rounded edges for easy carry, compatible with litter box liners
Cons: Some cats don’t like the top-entry design, takes up a significant amount of space, odors may become concentrated if you don’t scoop often
#8 Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan
Nobody likes to scoop their cat’s litter box. You have to bend down awkwardly and wield a flimsy plastic scoop, running the risk that you’ll drop a clump and scatter dirty litter all over the place. To avoid this hassle, consider the Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan. This litter pan actually consists of two pans – one with a solid bottom and other with a sifter bottom. To clean the litter box, simply lift the sifter to collect clumps and throw them away.
In addition to making cleaning your litter box quick and easy, the Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan features an antimicrobial lining which prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing in the pan. The pan itself is durable, made with a reinforced design, and it is strong enough to ensure worry-free lifting when it is filled with heavy litter. It even comes with a third pan so, after cleaning, you can place the empty sifter in the extra pan and pour in the clean litter from the other pan.
Pros: Makes scooping the box quick and easy, antimicrobial layer to kill bacteria, comes with 2 litter pans and a sifter pan, durable reinforced construction, affordably priced under $20
Cons: Sides may not be high enough for messy cats, doesn’t work with non-clumping litter, not compatible with standard hoods
#7 Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
Scooping the litter box is never a pleasant task but the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System makes it just about as easy as possible. This all-in-one litter system comes with a durable plastic base, a sifter tray, and a high-sided top to contain the mess. The base features a slide-out tray that you can line with absorbent pads to collect liquid waste and contain odors. It also comes with a sturdy plastic scoop that hangs on the back of the box.
The Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System may cost a little more than a traditional litter box, but it more than makes up for it in odor-control and convenience. The absorbent litter pads make for mess-free cleanup and the filtering litter pellets dehydrate solid waste, making it easy to separate and scoop. Plus, the litter pellets are low-tracking.
Pros: All-in-one litter system, minimizes mess and cleanup, absorbent litter pad collects liquid, litter pellets dehydrate solid waste, comes with a plastic scoop, high sides to contain mess
Cons: Litter pads sold separately, must be used with litter pellets, some cats don’t like the pellets
#6 Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
If your cat likes to have his privacy when doing his business, the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan is a great option to consider. This hooded litter box features a large hood with a clear plastic door to contain odors. There is also a filter on top of the hood that helps remove odors to keep the inside of the box fresh and clean. With all of these odor-control measures, this litter box is a good choice for multi-cat households.
The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan is affordably priced for the size and extra features it has to offer. It has a deep base with plenty of room for litter and a sturdy handle on top for easy carry. The hood comes off to make cleaning a breeze and the whole thing is generously sized for larger cats.
Pros: Hooded for privacy, swinging door helps contain odor, carbon filter eliminates odors, hood removes easily for cleaning, sturdy top carry handle, deep base, generously sized
Cons: Some cats don’t like enclosed litter boxes, deep enough to need extra litter, filter is exposed on the top of the hood
#5 IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
Who ever said that litter boxes have to be ugly? The IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box is proof that not all litter boxes are eyesores. This litter box features a top-entry feature and a sleek, modern design. This litter box comes in several different colors and it has rounded corners to give it a bit of style and to make clean-up easy (no corners for wet litter to get stuck in). Plus, it has non-skid rubber feet so it won’t slide or damage your floors.
The IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box is surprisingly affordable for the quality it offers. You can choose from two lid options – a grooved lid to reduce tracking or a filtered lid to eliminate odor. This litter box keeps the mess contained while also giving your cat some privacy to do his business. It also comes with a matching litter scoop and it’s space-saving design can be used almost anywhere.
Pros: Sleek and modern design, top-entry feature, comes in several colors, rounded corners for easy cleaning, nonskid rubber feet, two different lid options, comes with a matching scoop, affordable
Cons: May not be big enough for very large cats, some cats don’t like the top-entry design
#4 Modkat Flip Litter Box with Scoop
If you want your cat to have the best of everything, shouldn’t you include his litter box? The Modkat Flip Litter Box with Scoop is a top-of-the-line litter box that features an enclosed design with a flip-top lid for customizable privacy. Choose from three lid positions – open, half-open, or closed – according to your cat’s preferences or remove it entirely for easy cleaning. This litter box is generously sized and you can purchase it singly or in a two-pack.
The Modkat Flip Litter Box with Scoop comes with a reusable liner that features a patented hook-and-liner system to keep the liner in place. This litter box features a full height base that contains the litter with a deep opening that accommodates cats of all sizes. Simply put, this litter box is an excellent choice for the modern cat owner looking for convenience and customizability.
Pros: Full height base with large opening, lid offers three positions, comes with reusable liner, simple but modern design, buy singly or in two-pack, generously sized, patented hook-and-liner system
Cons: Some cats don’t like the covered design, entry may be too high for smaller cats
#3 Omega Paw Elite Self-Cleaning Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box
Automatic litter boxes can be expensive which is why the Omega Paw Elite Self-Cleaning Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box is a great compromise. While it may not automatically scoop after your cat uses the litter box, it has a scoop-free system that makes cleanup a breeze. Simply rock the litter box all the way over onto the top, causing the litter to filter though the sifter into the collection box, then rock it back. Then all you have to do is remove the collection box and empty it!
The Omega Paw Elite Self-Cleaning Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box comes in two colors with chrome accents, so it fits well with most modern décor schemes. It may be a little more expensive than a standard litter box, but it makes up for it in convenience. This litter box features a hooded design for privacy and it has a textured step to help reduce tracking.
Pros: Rocking design automatically sifts litter, hooded design for privacy, two color options, textured step to reduce tracking, durable construction, removable collection tray for easy disposal
Cons: Not completely automatic, requires a hard-clumping litter to work well
#2 PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box
To minimize your effort in cleaning the litter box, consider upgrading to the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box. This litter box is automatic in that it senses your cat’s activity and automatically rakes the tray after he leaves. Solid waste is collected in a hidden compartment at the back that you can empty as needed and the litter tray itself is disposable.
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is somewhat expensive, but it takes the work out of cleaning your litter box. It uses unique crystal cat litter that absorbs urine and dehydrates solid waste instead of forming clumps. Not only does this mean less odor, but it also minimizes tracking and it is 99% dust-free as well!
Pros: Automatic sifting design, crystal litter absorbs urine and dehydrates solid waste, efficiently eliminates odor, waste is collected in a hidden tray, minimizes work
Cons: Somewhat expensive, can only be used with crystal cat litter, doesn’t form clumps
#1 Litter-Robot III Open Air Automatic Litter Box
If you never want to have to handle your cat’s mess, the Litter-Robot III Open Air Automatic Litter Box might be the all-in-one solution for you. This high-end, automatic cat litter does everything for you, including scooping the waste into a collection drawer. All you have to do is empty the drawer and refill the litter as needed. You can even operate the litter box from a smartphone.
The Litter-Robot III Open Air Automatic Litter Box is completely automatic. You can set the timer to self-clean the box 3, 7, or 15 minutes after your cat leaves according to your preference. The interior of the box is spacious and it has a textured step to reduce tracking. It does take up a significant amount of space and is very expensive, but it may just be worth it.
Pros: Completely automatic, adjustable timer to self-clean, waste collection drawer is easy to empty, enclosed for privacy, textured step to reduce tracking
Cons: Takes up a lot of space, very expensive, some cats are alarmed by the self-clean function
If you have never owned a cat before, you might assume that a simple tray-style litter box is the best way to go. While traditional litter boxes have their advantages, there are many other options out there that are worth considering.
In addition to tray-style litter boxes, there are hooded litter boxes, automatic litter boxes, high-sided litter boxes, extra-wide litter boxes, and more. The options are endless!
To help you choose the best litter box for your cat, keep reading to learn what you should look for.
What Should You Look for in a Cat Litter Box?
You may think of a litter box as nothing more than a container full of cat litter. For your cat, however, it is a place to discretely eliminate waste and there are certain factors that matter a great deal.
So, what should you look for when shopping for a cat litter box? Here are some things to consider:
Size – When it comes to the size of your litter box you need to think about giving your cat adequate space for comfort without taking up too much room in your house. Generally speaking, the larger the litter box the better, so buy the largest one you can accommodate.
Height – In addition to thinking about the size of your litter box, think about the depth and the height of the walls. The deeper the litter box, the more litter it can hold but if the walls are too high, your cat could have trouble getting in and out.
Hood – Many cats like having a hood covering the litter box to give them added privacy – it also helps contain the litter better. The problem with covered litter boxes is that they can sometimes keep the odor concentrated in the box, so you’ll need to scoop them more often.
Odor – Not only do you want your litter box to be odor-free for your sake, but it will make it more pleasant for your cat to use as well. Some litter boxes are treated to kill bacteria and control odor, or you can use odor-control litter or deodorizing products.
Cleaning – Scooping the litter box is a necessity and you want it to be as easy as possible. Covered litter boxes can be a little more difficult to clean, so keep that in mind. There are also automatic litter boxes out there that scoop the box for you.
Litter – In addition to choosing the best litter box, you also need to buy the best cat litter. There are many types to choose from but look for one that offers decent odor control and hard-clumping action for easy cleanup.
When shopping for a cat litter box, you’ll need to consider all of these factors. You won’t know what your cat’s preferences are until you bring him home and try out the litter box but, if you follow the guidelines above, you should be fine.
How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need?
Now that you know a little more about the different types of cat litter boxes and what makes each one a good option, you need to think about how many litter boxes you need.
Many cat owners make the mistake of assuming that if they have one cat, they only need one litter box. Cats are just like you in that they like to have options. Plus, some cats like to use one litter box for urine and another for feces, so it is a good rule of thumb to have a litter box for each cat plus one. So, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes.
In addition to choosing the right litter box, you also need to know where to put it. It may seem like a good idea to place it in a spare room out of the way, but you’re likely to forget that it’s there and you may not scoop it often enough. The best place for a litter box is in a room where your cat can have some privacy but not somewhere completely out of mind.
Tips for Litter Training a Kitten
Cats have a natural instinct to bury their waste in order to hide their scent from predators. So, litter training a kitten generally doesn’t take a lot of work. In fact, if your kitten was raised by his mother for the first few months, he’ll already likely be litter trained.
Even if your kitten is already mostly litter trained, however, you may still need to do some work to get him to use the litter box in your house consistently.
Here are some tips for litter training a kitten:
Limit your kitten’s range when you first bring him home – use a playpen or baby gate to keep him in a confined area with the litter box.
Choose the right litter for a kitten – you want something soft that won’t hurt his paws and you shouldn’t use anything scented (something with a fine sand-like consistency is good).
Once your kitten is ready to leave the enclosure, make sure you have plenty of litter boxes around so there is always one nearby.
Place your kitten in the litter box after meals and when he wakes up from a nap – this is when he is most likely to have to do his business.
Try using a litter attractant spray – it helps draw your cat to the litter box so he can start building a habit of using it.
How to Litter Train a Kitten: Litter Training a Cat Video
Every kitten is different, so some kittens won’t need much additional training when you bring them home. Even so, you should follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition and to reinforce strong litter box habits from the start.
Now that you’ve learned the basics about cat litter boxes and how to use them, all that is left is to start shopping! So, take what you’ve learned here and hit the pet store. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of the top 10 best cat litter boxes from the list above!