Using the right type of litter box for your feline can end up making life easier for both of you. But the type of litter box you use can depend on their litter habits, the type of cat you have, their age, how much space you have to work with, and your budget. The best cat litter box will be low maintenance, easy to clean, durable, and tough enough to not flip over the moment your cat sets a paw inside it. Finding a litter box that checks all the boxes can be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly picky cat.
I’ve reviewed many of the best-selling litter boxes, rated by cat people and based on criteria that includes price, durability, maintenance needs and more, so you’re sure to find a model that checks all of the boxes, in my top six lineup. Below, the comparison chart will point out all of the important features each model has to offer, including information regarding size, extra features, style, and more.
Cat Litter Box Comparison Chart
Pet Safe Scoop Free Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
This automatic litter box may be a little pricey, but once you consider how much time and effort it will save you, not to mention how you will no longer have to deal with the smell of a dirty litter box, you’ll find it’s worth every penny. With this model, you won’t have to refill it for several weeks or deal with constantly sweeping up scattered litter. This model uses crystal litter, which is ninety-nine percent dust-free and does an excellent job of absorbing odors. The included disposable trays feature plastic lining which is designed to protect against leaks.
- Low maintenance
- Disposable trays
- Litter is ninety-nine percent dust-free
- Should only be used with crystal litter
- Ongoing cost of pricey litter and disposable trays
If you’re looking for a low maintenance litter box, one that can go for several weeks without a refill, and a model that’s designed to significantly cut down on unpleasant smells, then hit that buy now button. Of course, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll need to consider the ongoing cost of disposable trays and expensive crystal litter, not to mention the high initial cost of the box itself. But if you’re tired of your home smelling like one big litter box and you don’t have time for daily scooping, then this model can be a total gamechanger.
Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded System
This is a hooded litter box that does an excellent job of containing the litter while cutting down on unwanted odors. The top of the box features a hinged design that makes cleaning fast and easy. The included ammonia blocking pads work by absorbing urine and are designed to prevent ammonia-related odors for one week. This package comes with pellet litter that works by separating solids and urine, in order to help control odors. This starter system will work for cats of all sizes and ages and is available at a reasonable price.
- Pellet system
- Urine and odor absorbing pads
- Easy to clean design
- Low maintenance
- Ongoing cost of pricey litter and urine pads
The included non-clumping, odor-absorbing pellets, combined with the urine pads work together to significantly cut down on unwanted odors, while the hood design prevents litter from spraying out of the box and provides your cat with the type of privacy they need, allowing them to feel safe and secure as they use their new litter box.
Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
This hooded litter box will provide your cat with the privacy he or she needs while helping to cut down on mess by retaining the litter inside the pan. The hood can easily be removed for fast cleanup. The included carbon filter will help to minimize odors and is made out of materials that are BPA-free. This large model is perfect for bigger cats or multi-cat households. This model is designed to provide larger breeds with all the space they need to do their business while making them feel safe and secure during those more vulnerable moments.
- Includes a free carbon filter
- Perfect for large breeds
- Not designed for kittens or older cats
- Ongoing costs of filters
This popular model will provide your cat or cats with plenty of space, is easy to clean, thanks to the hooded hinge design, and comes with a powerful carbon filter that does an excellent job of reducing any unwanted odors. This model can be used with any type of litter and offers the type of durable design needed in multi-cat households.
Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
This automatic self-scooping model comes complete with a smart sensor, which puts the scooping mechanism into action once it detects that your cat has left the box. The innovative design complete with fins and an angled deflector ensures that the litter remains inside the pan. Unlike competing models, with this automatic litter box, you can use any type of litter that works for your pet. The included carbon filter works to further reduce odors and keeps your home smelling fresh.
- Carbon filter
- Compatible with any type of litter
- Durable design
- Smart sensor detects when a cat has left the box
- Ongoing costs of carbon filter
- High initial cost
This model scored big with pet owners, especially those in search of an automatic model that’s virtually silent running. Compatible with all types of litter, built tough, and low maintenance, this is a model that uses the latest in litter box technology and allows you to choose what type of litter to use based on your budget and your pet’s preference.
PetFusion Large Litter Box
This is a large traditional litter box, with a low entryway that makes it easier for older cats and kittens to enter and exit. This model is compatible with all types of litter and features a nonstick coating that is also antimicrobial. The box itself is made out of tough ABS plastic, so you know it’s designed to last. The high walls on the sides of the box will prevent cats from kicking out litter and creating a serious mess.
- Low price
- Compatible with any type of litter
- Nonstick and anti-microbial coating
- Low entryway makes it perfect for older cats and kittens
- High maintenance cleaning needs
This budget-friendly model can be a great choice for cats of all sizes and ages, however, in order to prevent serious odors, the box should be scooped out daily. This isn’t the right choice for the pet owner in search of a low-maintenance litter box, or one that comes with extra-odor fighting power. But if you don’t mind daily scooping and you need a durable, budget-friendly model, then this box is a perfect option.
Cat Litter Box Buyer’s Guide
Finding a litter box may sound easy initially, but once you realize just how picky your new cat is, you’ll find that choosing the right model is often based on several factors. Even the biggest cat person doesn’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining a litter box and scooping poop. While most cats have the natural instinct to cover their urine and poop with litter, others could care less and will leave their feces in plain view. That’s where purchasing a hooded litter box or an automatic model will come in handy. You also have to consider the size of the box, how durable it is, and what type of litter it will work the best with. This guide will cover all the features you need to look for, how to determine if a box is right for your cat and why it’s so important to use a litter box as opposed to allowing your cat to have access to the outdoors.
Cat Litter Box Benefits
- Many new cat owners may cringe at the idea of using a litter box in the home, but the fact is, there are many benefits that come along with training your cat to use a litter box as opposed to going in the front or backyard.
- There are many pros and cons that come with allowing your cat to do their business outdoors. The biggest by far is safety. A cat that is kept indoors at all times will have a significantly longer lifespan, will not wander off, and is not exposed to dangers that include theft, getting hit by a car, or being attacked by a larger animal.
- When you use an automated litter box, you won’t have to worry about your cat kicking out litter or leaving their poop exposed for all of the house to smell. Since it’s cleaned automatically, right after your cat has used the box, it’s also more hygienic, since your cat will not step in their own urine or feces and track it all over the home.
- An aging cat will be less prone to want to head outside to do their business and may begin to inappropriately eliminate indoors. This is because older cats are more sensitive to hotter or colder outdoor temperatures, so they may be unwilling to make that freezing journey out to the backyard. They are also more vulnerable to wild animals, younger cats, and dogs. If a cat senses any threats in the yard, they will refuse to leave the house and may have an accident indoors. Cats are also notorious for going indoors in the event of inclement weather including high wind conditions, snow, sleet, and rain. Basically, teaching your cat to use the litter box can significantly cut down on messes in the home and will make your cat feel safe and more secure.
Other Features to Look for
When you’re shopping for a new litter box for your cat, there are many factors to consider, before you buy. First, you need to choose a model that’s the right size for your cat. You don’t want to pick a box that’s too large for your kitten or one that has walls that are too high, which can make it difficult for aging cats to get in and out of. You also want to consider how much privacy a model offers. Some cats will prefer to go in total privacy since it will make them feel more secure and less likely to be surprised by one of the kids or the family dog when they’re trying to do their business. If your cat likes to go in total privacy, then you’ll want to consider purchasing a model that comes with a hood.
Types of Cat Litter Boxes
These days, there are many types and styles of boxes to choose from, including self-cleaning automatic litter boxes, traditional, and hooded. Each type will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it will be a matter of your cat’s preferences and how much you’re willing to spend on a litter box.
These models are popular for a number of reasons. An automatic model will scoop the litter, removing clumps and feces as soon as your cat leaves. Not only will buying one of these mean that you don’t have to constantly scoop the box several times a day, but it also helps to significantly cut down on the bad smells that litter boxes are known for. But there are a couple of drawbacks that come with this type of box. First, they’re by far the most expensive. But if you’re looking for a low maintenance box, then an automatic model is your best bet. Next, some cats absolutely hate them. Some will find the noise the machine makes when scooping the litter very unsettling and because of this, they may avoid using it. This means you’ve spent two or three hundred dollars on a litter box your pet won’t even use.
These are basically deep square boxes made out of a durable plastic material. These models are high maintenance and require you to scoop them out several times a day to cut down on odors and encourage your cat to continue to use the box. Some cats will refuse to use a dirty litter box, so it’s important that you stay on top of regular cleaning. One of the biggest drawbacks aside from high maintenance needs is the fact that cats tend to kick litter out of these boxes, so you’ll have to sweep up scattered litter often, to cut down on mess. Some types of material can also be prone to holding onto odors, so the boxes will also need to be bleached regularly to get rid of that urine smell.
Boxes that come with a hood are basically like traditional litter boxes, they just come equipped with a top that snaps over the litter box. These hoods will not only prevent litter from getting everywhere, but they can provide much-needed privacy for cats who crave it. However, some cats will be fearful of hooded boxes and will not enter one, so you’ll have to remove the hood and lose all of the benefits that come with this great feature.
If you have more than one cat in the home, then you should have a litter box for each cat, plus one extra one. This usually works for those picky cats that refuse to use a box another cat has used, or they refuse to use a dirty box in general. Once you determine how many boxes you need to buy, then you can check out other important features such as sizing, material, and more.
You’ll find that these boxes are available in a variety of sizes. If you have a kitten, keep in mind that they tend to grow rapidly, but using an expensive, larger litter box can be very challenging for them since they may have a hard time climbing over the walls to get inside or out of the box.
If you purchase a box that’s too small for your larger cat, they may accidentally defecate over the side of the box, or, in some cases, the cat is so heavy they end up flipping the box over. This can make them fearful of using the box in the future.
To avoid any accidents or possible safety issues, make sure you choose a model that’s approximately one and a half times longer than your cat, with a design that’s as wide as the length. This will provide them with more than enough space.
Some models will have an entryway on the top of the box, which helps to cut down on litter spilling out of the box or being tracked through the house. The drawback here is that it can be challenging for kittens and elderly cats to use.
The height of the walls can also be important since cats that are older have trouble getting around and may have difficulty stepping over the walls. It can also be an issue for kittens. These higher walls are designed to cut down on the amount of litter being kicked out during use, but they can be a bad choice if you have a cat with limited mobility or a younger kitten.
A box should be located in a quiet area of the home, one that will give your cat the privacy they need while also preventing your home from smelling like cat urine or feces. Measure the amount of space you have available for a litter box, whether it’s a space in your bathroom or a small space in your laundry room, then pay attention to the dimensions of the box to ensure the model you choose will be the right fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Litter Box Should I Get?
New cat owners often have trouble choosing the right type of litter box since there are so many types and styles available. First, consider the size of litter box you need. Larger models will usually be a better option, but they may not work for smaller cats or kittens. If you have a younger cat or kitten, you can purchase a traditional box and upgrade to a covered or automatic litter box once your cat has grown. Most cats tend to do well with hooded boxes, but if you notice that they refuse to use it, you can simply take the hood off, instantly turning it into a traditional box.
Where Should I Place a Litter Box?
Some cats aren’t very picky where their box is located, while others will need a box set up in a totally quiet room in the home, one that offers more privacy. If you’re not sure where to place a new litter box, try experimenting. If you notice that your cat is refusing to go into the laundry room to use their litter box, due to the sound of the washing machine, then search for a quieter spot in the home.
Why Won’t My Cat Use Their Litter Box?
A cat that won’t use their litter box may avoid it because it’s dirty, they don’t like the type of litter you’re using, or the box is located in a place that’s too out in the open and loud. If you’ve changed the location of the box, the type of litter you use, and you stay on top of scooping it, then it may be time to visit the vet since inappropriate elimination can also be a sign of an underlying illness such as kidney stones or a bladder infection.
The best cat litter box will help to cut down on odors and regular cleanup. It should be affordable, so you can purchase more than one, if you have multiple cats in the home, and it should also work with your lifestyle, meaning if you’re too busy to scoop out a litter box or sweep up litter, then go for an automatic model or one with a cover. I’m confident that you’ll find the right model for you and your cat in my top six lineup. Now that you know more about the benefits of litter box training your pet and the features to look for, you should have no trouble finding the perfect box, one that will meet your cat’s specific needs, and a model that won’t break the bank.