If you are a cat owner or planning to get one in near future, then it is obvious that you have to make arrangements for a place for your cat to do its business. After all, you would not want your beloved feline to scatter stool and urine all around the house. Needless to say, cat litter boxes are an essential item to get to ensure a safe, comfortable and mess-free upkeep of your furry friend.
But which are the best cat litter boxes? Should you opt for an open tray litter box or a closed one? Which are some of the latest designs which your feline friend would love?
In this article, we look at answering these specific questions and share some of the best cat litter boxes available on the market. Our focus will be only on standard, uncovered and covered, non-automatic cat litter boxes which are cheap, durable and easy to set up. We will also look at some of the factors to consider while picking up the best cat litter box and share our top picks. So, settle down and read on!
And if manually cleaning the litter box sounds difficult to you, then do check out our article on the best self-cleaning litter boxes for some automated options.
Best uncovered cat litter box listSome of the best uncovered cat litter boxes and cat litter trays available on the market are listed below:
|IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box Kit
|19.0" x 15.0" x 11.75"
|- Smartly designed, made in the US, cat litter box made with high-quality plastic.
- Features a three-sided removable top-open shield to create extra height and prevent spill-overs by the cat.
- Has polished, non-stick interior with recessed bottoms and all-around molded-in rims for better stability
- Comes with a matching color litter scoop.
- Backed by a 6-month part replacement warranty and customer service support after that.
|Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box Kit
|21.0”x 16.5” x 10.5”
|- A full-fledged uncovered cat litter kit that comes with a cat litter tray, litter pellets, a scoop and absorbing pads for urine.
- The cat litter tray is made of high-quality plastic and has a protective drawer with pads for liquid waste. The liquid waste is absorbed by the pads and solid waste is held up by the pellets.
- Uses its own set of dust free zeolite and silica-gel pellets that can last a whole month, while each pad would last up to a week.
- Pellets are designed to minimize the odors. They can also be washed for reuse, though it is not recommended by the manufacturer.
|Nature's Miracle High-Sided Litter Box
|23.0” x 18.5” x 11.0”
|- Popular cat litter tray with a low-profile entrance (5") and a higher back to prevent spilling of litter and urine.
- Made in China with high-quality plastic having a non-stick surface.
- Has molded sides with handle for easy movement.
- Available in black and white color.
- Can be shipped to selected countries outside the US.
|Catit Cat Litter Pan with Rim
|22.2” x 16.3” x 11.3”
|- Smart, rimmed-border cat litter pan with a tapered design - lower profile in the front (8") and higher profile (11") in the back.
- Made with high-quality plastic with a molded rim to create an edge-free surface. Snap-on rim prevents the litter from spilling.
- Also, features a built-in bag anchor for easy scooping.
- Available in Taupe color.
- Can be shipped to selected countries outside the US.
|Petmate Hi-Back Open Litter Cat Pan
|L: 19.25" x 15.0" x 9.0"
XL: 23.08" x 18.77" x 12.1"
|- Unique open cat litter pan with a high-profile back side to prevent litter spills and accidents, and a lower front side for easy access to the cats.
- Made with high-quality plastic with a Microban coating to prevent the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria. Made in the US.
- Reinforced bottom is built to withstand the weight of heavy litter and prevents tipping.
- Available in two colors - pearl blue and steel blue. Can be shipped to selected countries outside the US.
Best covered/hooded cat litter box listSome of the best hooded/covered cat litter boxes available on the market are listed below:
|Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
|22.4" x 18.3" x 17"
Door: 10.4" x 9.6"
|- Jumbo-sized hooded cat litter pan made with high-quality, BPA-free plastic. Suitable for multi-cat homes as well as large cats – 2 cats can fit in at one time.
- Features a flap-door that can be removed or rolled up as per preference.
- The large hood is easy to lift for scooping using the handle. Also, features a built-in bag anchor for hands-free cleaning.
- The locking lid features a carbon-impregnated filter that traps and removes odors.
|Petphabet Jumbo Hooded Kitty Litter Pan
|24.8” x 20” x 16.5”
Door: 8.2" x 7.8"
|- Stylish hooded litter box that features a litter pan and a removable, clear hood. Made with durable, high-quality antimicrobial, non-stick plastic.
- Features a low-profile front and high-profile back litter tray to ensure convenience and spill-free excretion and urination
- Equipped with a removable privacy door for comfortable access to the cat.
- Large size makes it suitable for two cats to fit in at one time.
- Comes in 7 bright and fashionable color combinations.
- Does not come with an odor filter.
|Van Ness CP6 Enclosed Cat Pan/Litter Box
|19.5” x 15.2” x 17.5”
Door: 8.0" x 7.5"
|- Competitively priced covered cat litter box made with antimicrobial, polished plastic. Has a removable odor controlling door.
- Features a convenient, locking lid with a replaceable Zeolite air filter and carrying handle. The lid is secured to the pan by four latches.
- A larger CP7 version is also available for large cats or multi-cat homes.
- Can be shipped to selected countries outside the US.
|Booda Petmate Clean Step Litter Dome
|20" x 24" x 19"
Door: 13" x 7"- 8" tapered
|- Unique, dome-shaped covered cat litter box with an access ramp that catches litter from cat‘s feet and prevents tracking.
- Features an easy-to-clean plastic construction, with a built-in handle.
- Comes with a replaceable charcoal filter to minimize odors. A liner is also included with the pack.
|Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox
|20" x 24" x 19"
Entry: 9” diameter
|- The original, award-winning top-entry cat litter box for medium to large adult cats.
- Features a dog-proof, top entry design with a 9-inch hole to enter the box. Designed for multi-pet homes.
- High-quality plastic construction. The entrance/exit lid is grooved to prevent spilling and tracking of cat litter.
|Good Pet Stuff Company Hidden Cat Litter Box
|19” x 19” x 14”
42” high with plastic plant
|- A "hidden" cat litter box that looks like a real clay pot. Designed for large and multi-cat homes.
- The litter box is made of high-quality Polypropylene plastic. The plant is also made of plastic and is nested between the top and bottom of the litter box.
- Features a filtered vent system that controls odor and dust.
- Backed by a one-year limited warranty.
Different types of cat litter solutions
A cat litter box, sometimes also called a catbox or a cat litter tray/pan is a cat excretion collection box for the indoors. It can collect feces and urine disposed-off by the cats and typically consists of a tray that can be filled with litter to simulate the soft and sandy soil of the outdoors.
Multiple litter solutions exist nowadays to make it comfortable for cats and kittens to discharge their urine and feces. This includes standard cat litter boxes or trays, portable cat litter boxes, disposable cat litter boxes and automatic self-cleaning litter solutions. Standard cat litter boxes can further be classified into covered (or hooded) or open/uncovered cat litter trays. Covered litter boxes can be further classified as top-entry and side-entry boxes. There are even self-cleaning litter boxes which automate the litter cleaning process.
As mentioned above, in this article we would focus primarily on standard uncovered and covered cat litter boxes. Both of these types are relatively inexpensive and would fulfill the cat litter needs for most households.
Uncovered litter boxes or litter pans consist of a rectangular tray with sloped sides 4-6 inches tall. Covered or hooded litter boxes typically have a hood or dome that covers the tray and the litter. Both open-air and hooded litter boxes have their own advantages and disadvantages as listed below.
Pros and Cons of Open/Uncovered cat litter boxes
Pros and Cons of Covered/Hooded cat litter boxes
In the next sections, we will look at some of the major factors to consider before picking the best cat litter box for your cat (or cats) and share our top picks.
How to pick the best cat litter box for your feline?
With so many options available in the market with many variations in designs, picking the best cat litter box for your kitty can be a challenging task. What makes this task even more difficult is the finicky nature of felines towards their litter solutions.Nothing to worry! You can consider the following factors while picking the best litter boxes for your cat (or cats):
- Construction material and design
- Size of the litter pan
- Ease of cleaning
- Additional features and considerations
Construction Material and design
The construction material used in most litter boxes is plastic. Some litter boxes use cheaper, toxic plastic for the litter boxes. Thankfully, all the options that we listed are made with high-quality, non-toxic, BPA, BPS and Phthalate free plastic. These cat litter trays and boxes are designed to last. However, you should consider replacing the litter box every year or so to prevent leeching of bacteria in the scratched surfaces.
The design of the cat litter box is probably the most important consideration before picking the best cat litter box (or boxes) for your household. You would first have to decide between an open-tray, uncovered litter box and a hooded/covered litter box. Hooded litter boxes are pretty useful for apartments, flats, studios or small homes. Uncovered litter boxes are best options for larger, independent houses. Once you have picked your choice, there are few other design considerations.
For uncovered litter boxes, the two things you would need to check is how easy it would be for your cat to enter the litter box. Smaller cats would prefer a litter box with a low-profile entrance. Additionally, depending on the urination habits of your feline, you may have to opt for a litter pan with a high-profile back. Our favorite, IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box Kit even has a top-open shield to prevent spill-overs.
For covered litter boxes, the height of the enclosure would probably the most important thing to look for. In addition, the presence of a flap on the door may be comfortable for some cats and a hindrance for others. Moreover, if you have a hooded litter box with a filter, you have to ensure that it is placed securely at a location so that your cat does not tear it apart. Finally, you have specially designed litter boxes such as Good Pet Stuff Company Hidden Cat Litter Box, Booda Petmate Clean Step Litter Dome and Clevercat Top Entry Litterbox, which may need some getting used to for your feline friend. These designs are also especially useful for multi-pet homes as the dogs cannot easily access and spill the litter in these pans.
Check out all these design features to pick the design that would be most comfortable for your cat.
Size of the litter pan
In addition to its design, the size of a cat litter box is also an important consideration to keep in mind before picking the best cat litter box for your feline.
For uncovered litter box, the size of the litter box can be defined by the dimensions of the litter surface and its height. Cats, like humans, love a big bathroom! So the bigger the litter box is, the more your feline would love to use it. If a cat needs to cramp in the litter box, chances are that it would eventually lead to box aversion and your cat may simply refuse to use the litter pan. The general rule is to have a litter box 1.5-2 times the size of your feline. And if you have multiple cats, pick a litter box that can fit in 2 cats at a time.
Closely related to the dimensions of the litter box are the height of the entrance and the back. You would have to consider the entrance height of the litter box based on the size of your cat. Kittens and small cats may have problems getting into a litter box with high entrance walls, while you may have to pick a litter box with high back walls for a full-sized adult cat to prevent spraying of urine outside the pan.
For covered litter pans, the height of the enclosure also plays a role as you would not want your cat to have to crouch in the litter box while relieving itself. This is also the main reason why many people do not prefer covered or hooded litter boxes.
In our list of litter boxes, we have picked options with sizes big enough for most cats. In addition, for some models that we have listed, you can get a smaller or a larger sized litter pan as well. So pick one which suits the size of your cat (or cats).
Ease of cleaning
As a cat owner, the chore of periodically cleaning your litter box is an important task. So you would obviously prefer a litter box that is easier to scoop and clean. Uncovered litter boxes, with their visible design, are especially easy to scoop through. For hooded or covered litter boxes, you would need some extra effort at you would have to remove the cover of the pan to scoop the litter and remove waste. Moreover, you would have to remember to replace the air filters periodically.
When it comes to washing, uncovered litter boxes are especially easy to clean and maintain because of their simple designs. However, if you have a sifting litter box like the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box Kit, you may have to spend extra time to carefully remove each tray and also replace the urine pad. For covered litter boxes, you would have to clean up the pan as well as the hood. You would have to pay special attention to the joints, edges, and rims to ensure that dust and waste have not settled in the crevices.
You can look at the videos and reviews of the litter box to determine how easy or difficult it would be for you to clean and maintain the litter box. Pick an option that is easy to clean and maintain.
Additional features and considerations
In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are a couple of other considerations that can make a purchase more attractive than others.
One such factor is the accessories that come with the litter box. Options such as IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box Kit come with a matching color scoop, which means that you would not have to order one separately. The Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box Kit even include a bag of litter pallets with the scoop.
Another important factor to check out is the warranty and service support provided by the manufacturer. Almost all the options that we listed support the 30-day satisfaction guarantee service. Some manufacturers provide a warranty ranging from 6 months to one year, making such options an attractive choice to consider.
Finally, the looks of your litter box may make you prefer one option over the other. Some litter boxes come in standard colors such as gray, cream, black and blue, while other litter boxes have more options for colors. Similarly, among covered litter boxes, you may find unique shapes such as top-entry boxes with entry ramp and hidden litter boxes more interesting. Just remember that your cat may need more time to adjust to these designs, so plan accordingly.
Keep these other small considerations in mind while picking the best cat litter box for your needs.
Which are the best cat litter boxes and what our picks are?
If your cat is comfortable only with open or uncovered litter boxes and is classified as a messy fellow that likes to dig deep through the litter, then the IRIS Open-Top Litter box is the perfect inexpensive litter option for your feline friend. IRIS is an established name within the plastic industry for its high-quality, BPA-free plastic products proudly made in the USA and its line of litter pans is no exception. The IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box has been one of the best cat litter boxes in the market for quite a few years and there is a good reason for it.
The IRIS Top-Open Litter box is made of high-quality plastic that is resistant to small scratches and easy damages. The litter box has a polished, non-stick interior with a recessed bottom surface of low-to-high slope from front-to-back. With a dimension of 19.0 inches (L) x 15.0 inches (W) x 11.75 inches (H) and an aggregate weight of around 2 pounds, it is a perfect fit for medium and large cats.
The best part of the litter box is the removable three-sided litter shield that prevents litter spray by your cat. It is also helpful for cats who like to urinate standing up. The litter shield fits smartly into the pan and does not create a joint which can be a hassle while cleaning up.
The IRIS Top-Open Litter box is available in five standard colors – black, blue, white, gray and red. It comes with a translucent screen and a matching scoop, which though a tad small, is still fully functional and useful. And like other IRIS products, the litter box is backed by a six-month part replacement warranty and a customer support after that.
Hagen is a renowned name in the world of pet gear and their Catit series is especially popular among cat owners. So it was but natural for us to look at the Catit Jumbo Hooded Litter Pan as one of the top choices! And we were not disappointed. The Jumbo Hooded Litter Pan is really an excellent hooded litter box.
Unlike other litter boxes, wherein the word Jumbo is more of a misnomer, the Catit Jumbo Litter pan is really big with a dimension of 22.4 inches long by 15.37 inches wide by 18.3 inches high and weighs around 2 pounds. This big litter box can easily accommodate two full-sized cats or a bunch of kittens at one time. It has a door opening of 10.4 inches by 9.6 inches wide, covered by a flap which can be removed or folded up if your cat finds it uncomfortable. The entry/exit edges are designed smartly to prevent tracking of litter outside the box.
The pan and the lid are made of high-quality, durable plastic. The hood lifts up easily making it easier for owners to clean the pan or add more litter. It also features an integrated bag anchor that makes scooping comfortable.
The Catit Litter Pan comes with a carbon-impregnated filter (the Magic Blue Litter Box Filter) that helps in removing unpleasant odors. A filter can last around 1-1.5 weeks and replacement filters can be easily found online or in the market.
The Catit Jumbo Hooded litter pan is a perfect cat litter box for multi-pet and multiple cat homes. And it can be shipped to selected countries outside the US if desired.
Cat Litter Box Accessories
The most common item you need to get frequently for your litter box is obviously the litter. Most of the litter box options that we listed have their own preferred litter brands. However, if you are still looking for some high-quality budget litter bags, you can check out the following options:
- Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter
- Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat Litter
- Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
Another common item you may need with your litter box is a litter scoop to sift and clean the litter. While most models that we listed above come with their own scoops, you can check out the following popular options in case you need a replacement. Plastic scoops are easy to handle, but they can retain the odor for long times. Stainless steel scoops do not retain the odors and can be easily cleaned.
- DuraScoop Jumbo Cat Litter Scoop
- Nature’s Miracle Antimicrobial Scoop
- Petmate Ultimate Litter Plastic Scoop
In order to prevent tracking and spilling of litter all around the house, you can consider getting a litter mat. Litter mats are excellent at trapping the litter from your cat’s feet as it exits the litter box. Some of the best litter mats available in the market are listed below. For some more options and buying advice, check out our article on the best cat litter mats.
Finally, if you decide to opt for uncovered cat litter trays, you may look at litter liners that make the task of cleaning up easier. You would just need to pick the liners of correct size and opt for high-quality scratch-resistant options as you would not want your cat to claw through the liner and spill the litter around. These liners can also help in making make-shift/backup litter boxes out of discarded containers.
- Cat’s Pride Drawstring Litter Box Liners
- Jonny Cat Heavy Duty Litter Box Liners
- Pureness Large Cat Pan Liners
Things to remember when using a cat litter box
Training your cat to use the litter box and making sure it does that every time it has to urinate or defecate may be a challenging task. But by picking the right litter box and following the right training system, you can make it reasonably convenient for yourself. For training needs, check out our article on cat training guides for some excellent resources to help you with the process.
Some other considerations to keep in mind are listed below:
- Pick a litter box big enough for your cat. Just like humans, cats are finicky about the place where they can go about their business. If your cat prefers a covered/hooded litter box, check the height of the litter box to ascertain that your cat is not being forced to crouch excessively. When in doubt “size-up” (that is, pick a bigger size).
- Place the litter box at a quiet place where there are minimal disturbance and interference from other pets.
- If you have multiple cats, have enough litter boxes. Cats tend to be possessive about their litter boxes. The best-case scenario is that the number of litter boxes should be equal to the number of cats plus one, though you can always have fewer litter boxes if you have cooperating cats.
- Use a clumping litter for all adult cats as it is more comfortable for cats to walk on. Moreover, considering that your cat’s sense of smell is many times yours, try to pick an unscented litter.
- Always fill in the litter deep enough to absorb the droppings and the urine – anywhere between 2 inches to 4 inches deep. Scoop the litter and clean it up at least twice a day.
- Clean your litter box periodically. If the litter box has a strong odor, you can use vinegar with hot water. You can also use soap or a very mild detergent to clean-up the pan. Just remember to let it dry completely or wipe it dry with a cloth before pouring fresh litter in it.
- In case your cat stops using the litter box it uses daily, consult your vet immediately as it may be a sign of discomfort or any other medical condition.
Following these basic guidelines would help in making it comfortable for your feline friend to go about its natural business conveniently and with as little hassle to you as possible. For some more suggestions and advice, check out the CatInfo.com’s article on the subject.
Final thoughts on the best litter boxes for your cat
Your cat’s litter box is one of the most important items for its comfortable upkeep. After all, your cat would use it three to four times a day to do its business. And like all its possessions, a cat is extremely finicky about the litter box.
In this article, we looked at some of the best cat litter boxes available in the market. We primarily focused on the standard open tray, hooded and other unique mechanical designs. These litter boxes would be sufficient in most cases. We also looked at some of the most important considerations to factor in while picking the best litter box for your cat or cats.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best cat litter box as per your requirements and preferences. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have “purr-fect” time with your kitty!