When it comes to choosing the perfect litter box for your cats, you have to consider two main factors:
- the size of the litter box broken down by height, length, and width of the box
- whether or not it's covered or uncovered
If you get these wrong then you might just find yourself in the unfavorable position having to get cat pee smell out.
Let's dive right in.
It's no secret that cats dig when they use the bathroom and their ability to dig will help determine how comfortable they are using the litter box correctly.
A correctly used litter box means less mess for you to clean.
As previously mentioned, size can be broken down so you know exactly what size litter box will best benefit your kitty.
The recommended length of a box should be 1.5 times longer than your cat, which can seem extreme, particularly when you consider larger breeds. Most standard boxes are 20" long, but 24" (which is often considered the "largest" size) provides a suitable box size. Anywhere from 16"-24" is recommended.
Generally, it's recommended that the width of the box be the full length of your cat (which gives them ample space to dig around) but, if you're like me, I like to work concrete numbers. You're going to want to look for litter boxes that are anywhere from 12"-16" wide.
Cats come in many shapes and sizes, but size of a thumb is 5-10" high. If your cat is older, shorter, or has mobility issues, shorter walls are acceptable but the entrance will always be shorter.
Covered vs. uncovered
Some litter boxes have vented covers while others are open, meaning their contents are exposed. When it comes to deciding whether or not your cat would benefit from a covered vs. uncovered box, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Is your cat a messy fool?
Some cats are "sprayers" or "kickers" when they use the box. This means that they either spray their urine upward or they kick their litter around. It's gross. A covered box can help to contain the potential mess.
Can you often clean your litter box?
I have two cats and I make sure to clean their litter boxes daily because it can get gnarly. If you can clean the box often, you can get away with an uncovered box because the smells won't need to be contained.
Do you want to put more effort into concealing your litter?
Covered boxes, of course, cover the litter which can be good if you live in a place where you can't easily hide a box.
Do you have a canine who occasionally seeks kitty treats?
My dog growing up loved the little cat poos and would regularly sneak them from the litter box.
There are other factors such as style, shape, and how it fits into your house or apartment in general, but the size and covered vs. uncovered are two of the most important things to consider.
But now you're ready to determine what type of litter box you need!
So, starting simply, we'll begin with an uncovered, no-frills litter box. If you want something very simple for your cat and they don't have specific needs, I like this Van Ness CP2HS Litter Pan.
Let's take a look at the specific details!
- Polished plastic material means your cat can dig (if they like) without ruining the box.
- The high sides are good for cats who might or do make a mess when they go.
- The polished finish means it's easy to clean!
This box is uncovered but the high walls are good for any potential mess your cat might make!
Our second uncovered litter pan on this list, this Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan is very easy to clean and omits the need for the dreaded pooper scooper.
- There are two layers to this box. The top layer has a series of tiny holes in the bottom so when you're ready to clean the box, you can carefully lift the top layer and shift to let the still-clean little fall to the bottom.
- Light-weight and easy to maneuver.
- Antimicrobial protection helps prevent odors caused by bacteria and stains.
- Durable and reinforced for cats of all sizes and habits.
This box is uncovered so you can easily grab and manipulate the top layer!
Let's take a look at the first atypical litter box on our list, the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop. This minimally-designed litter box is a crowd favorite for many reasons. Let's take a look!
This has 12k plus reviews on Amazon, 78% of which are 5 stars!
- Perfect for owners whose cats make an absolute mess coming out of the litter box. Because the fact leaps through the top of the little box, the litter is often shaken from their paws.
- BPA free while being durable enough to handle any digging your cat wants to do.
- Rubber feet help keep the box in place as your cat enters and exits.
- Simple and aesthetically pleasing design.
- A grooved lid helps remove litter from the cat's paws as they pause on the lid itself before jumping off.
- It comes with a pooper scooper!
While there is a hole for your cat to enter, this box is covered meaning the majority of the litter itself is mostly concealed.
Litter boxes can be absolute eyesores in the house and many try to tuck their boxes into hidden corners around the house. This led to the relatively new category of litter boxes being created: hidden litter boxes or litter boxes that look like pieces of furniture.
I'm going to give you two options for some variety: a hidden shelf litter box and a hidden plant litter box.
Plants not your thing? No problem! Litter boxes come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs, like this New Age Pet ecoFLEX Habitat N' Home Litter Loo.
My cats like this litter box!
- This is a litter box and side table in one!
- Moisture resistant finish won't warp or absorb any missed spills by your cat.
- It comes in four different colors.
- Easy to clean—just wipe away any mess!
- It serves as an end table, too.
- The door opens easily outward for easy cleaning.
This litter box is covered but well vented so the scents won't build up inside the box.
Plant lovers rejoice because you can combine your love for your cat with plants by incorporating this Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box, which looks more like a planter than it does a litter box.
- This litter box is designed to resemble a clay planter pot and comes with the pot, the fake plant, and moss.
- Made of durable polypropylene that will withstand the normal wear-and-tear of cats.
- The fake plant sits in a little bed of moss and conceals the vent, which helps to aerate the orders of the litter box.
This box is covered, keeping the odors of the litter hidden and concealed with a plant!
Hooded litter boxes, similar to hidden boxes, come in different shapes and sizes, but this Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box features a sleek, rounded design with a distinct entrance.
- This litter box is covered by a domed lid that is accessed by a grooved ramp that gently wipes your cat's paws as they exit the box.
- A charcoal filter in the top of the box helps to absorb the order.
- Non-stick plastic walls are easy to clean with a polished finish.
- The dome is light and easy to lift to make cleaning the box a breeze.
This box is covered to offer your cat privacy and keep the litter out of sight!
While many disagree with automatic litter boxes, there are a collection of cat owners who love their automatic litter boxes, which work by being self-cleaning, meaning no more scooping for you. For this PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, "scoop free" is in the name!.
- This box automatically removes the soiled litter from the box so you don't have to!
- The litter tray is premeasured and clearly marked so you know exactly how much to add
- The box cleans 20 minutes after it detects your cat enters and leaves the box so they won't be scared by the sensation of the litter being cleaned.
- The litter box in the bottom is easy to pull out and easy to dispose of.
- It only takes crystal litter which has shown 5x better odor control than standard clay litter.
- The disposal trays come with plastic lining to protect against leaking and bad scent.
This box is uncovered to provide easy access for your cat.
If there's anything cat owners can agree upon, it's this: cats scratch.