When it comes to our furred friends, the lists of accessories can seem endless. But when it comes to litter duty… no one likes to do it, but it’s part and parcel of keeping a feline in the home and that can make things stressful for the both of you if your cat doesn’t like the box you’re using or spreads too much mess around while they do their business.
We’re pretty sure the Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box is going to be the best for the average homeowner and their feline. The high sides prevent overspray and litter from getting shuttled around the house, it’s large enough for almost any cat, and it’s also got a lowered entryway for cats who are getting older or just those who are clumsy in the first place.
It may not be the right solution for every home, however, so we’ve made sure to look over all of the available options in order to bring you the best. Let’s look them over together and then we’ll help you figure out which box is the way to go.
This should be your first choice if you’re getting ready to replace a kitty litter box. While it lacks a hood, most cats will readily take to it and get their business done without any further issues and you won’t have any trouble getting it cleaned out.
Top 5 Cat Litter Boxes
|Nature’s Miracle High-Sided||23” x 18 ½” x 11”||No||Check Price|
|IRIS Cat Litter Box with Scoop||19” x 15” x 11 ¾”||Available||Check Price|
|Petphabet Litter Box with Lid||24 8/10” x 20” x 16 ½”||Yes||Check Price|
|Nature’s Miracle Advanced||26” x 23” x10”||No||Check Price|
|Petmate Litter Pan||Various||No||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Cat Litter Box
Nature's Miracle High-Sided Litter Box
When it comes down to it, this was probably our favorite litter box currently available. While it may lack a hood, we found that cats readily took to it and the high sides prevented “sand castles” from being made on the floor and kept urine in.
The smooth bottom also helped with caking issues that can occur with boxes that don’t have it. The corners are even gently rounded, rather than sharp, to help ensure that you’re able to seperate all of the waste when it comes time to clean up.
The lower entryway was also nice, although some cats definitely used it as a way to throw litter out. It helps for smaller and older cats who aren’t quite as agile however, allowing them easy entry in and out of the litter box.
The whole thing is easy-to-clean, fits almost anywhere, and is appropriately sized for the average cat. All of that adds up to big value as far as we’re concerned.
Pros and Cons
- High sides
- Generously sized
- Perfectly smooth bottom
- Non-stick surfaces for easier cleaning
- A bit expensive
- Doesn’t prevent all litter flinging
2. Runner Up for Best Kitty Litter Box
IRIS Cat Litter Box with Scoop
While not quite as generously sized as our favorite, it’s a bit taller and helps to stop litter flinging even better. It’s also available with a hood, but we recommend you take a look at the next option if that’s what you’re planning on going with.
It’s fairly priced, although it’s a bit harder to clean than our top pick due to some weird curves around the front. It does come with a scoop, which can save you a little bit of extra money but we haven’t found anyone who thinks that litter scoops are prohibitively expensive in our experience.
The interior is polished, which is a nice touch and helps to keep things from sticking to it. The shinier the better as far as we’re concerned, since it helps to avoid gathering a ton of waste and bacteria.
The litter shield also comes off for easier cleaning, which is nice since it’s quite high.
If our first pick didn’t catch your fancy, then you may want to take a look here. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the generic tubs you’ll often find in pet shops which makes it our second favorite.
Pros and Cons
- Great pricing
- High sides
- Comes with a scoop
- Good sizing for the interior
- Curves around bottom make it hard to clean at times
- Litter shield sometimes doesn’t want to come off
3. Best Hooded Cat Litter Box
Petphabet Litter Box with Lid
If you’ve got a particularly feisty feline, then you may want to take a look into getting a hooded box. The biggest problem is that most cats like to be able to see out of the box when it comes down to it, which means that hoods can sometimes be a problem.
Thankfully, this model has a clear hood. We found that cats took more readily to this, since it didn’t keep them from checking out their surroundings. The top also comes off quite easily for cleaning, which is more than we can say for most of the others that we tested out.
The bottom is quite smooth and well-polished, making it easy to clean and preventing you from having to go digging when you’re trying to sort out waste. On top of that it comes in a variety of colors.
If you’re looking for a hooded litter box, then this may be one of the best options on the market. We found that cats used it easily and the entire thing was easy to clean, quite durable, and ended up being our absolute favorite of the bunch.
Pros and Cons
- Clear hood
- Easy to clean bottom
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Generously sized
- Rather large
- Some shipping errors leading to broken locks
4. Best Corner Litter Box
Nature's Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner Litter Box
Corner litter boxes are a bit niche, but thankfully our favorite brand comes to the forefront once again with the corner version of their high-sided litter box. Made of the same great materials as our favorite, this one can be conveniently placed in the corner for those who want to keep things out of the way.
It’s well-sized, although not optimal for larger cats and the high-sides should keep urine off the walls. Since it tucks neatly into the corner, litter spray is less of a problem than with many of those on our list.
It also has an anti-microbial coating which helps to keep smells minimized. In practice, of course, the best way to avoid that problem is just to make sure you keep the box clean but it’s a nice touch.
If you’ve been looking for a corner litter box, then we strongly recommend taking a closer look at this one. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s perfectly suited for the task.
Pros and Cons
- Perfectly suited for corners
- High quality materials
- Super easy to clean
- Anti-microbial coating
- Too small for large cats
- Rather expensive
5. Best Budget Cat Litter Box
Petmate Litter Pan
If you’re just looking for a decent, basic cat litter box without having to spend a ton of money then you’ll be quite pleased with one of these. They come in a wide variety of sizes and are polished to make them easy to clean.
Apart from that, there’s really not much to write home about. The sides are a bit low, it’s just a bog-standard litter box like you’d be able to find pretty much anywhere.
On the other hand, the price is about right and there’s no point in spending a ton of cash if your cat does fine with a regular box.
If you want to save some money, or have a particularly large cat, then you’ll be well suited with the Petmate Litter Pan. It’s not the best, but it’s better than the generics and these boxes are super cheap.
Pros and Cons
- Quite cheap
- Available in a wide variety of sizes
- Polished bottom for easy cleaning
- Relatively unremarkable apart from polish
- Sides are fairly low
Who Needs a New Kitty Litter Box?
Cats are peculiar about which box they’ll use, and if you’re both fine with the one you’ve got… keep it.
Seriously, it can be hard to predict how your pet is going to react to a new litter box and if you spend a considerable amount of money on one then you may end up disappointed that your cat doesn’t like it.
On the other hand, for a new addition to the family it can help to get them trained in one which benefits the both of you as soon as possible.
Basically, if you don’t have any major complaints about the box you have, it’s still in good condition, and your cat is using it you may not want to rock the boat… or you may end up wiping the poop deck.
You vs. Your Cat: Kitty Litter Box Dynamics
Let’s get one thing clear before we get into what makes for a good litter box: chances are that what you and your cat consider ideal are going to be at least a few shades apart.
For the most part, your cat is going to want the following:
- A box which is at least one and a half times as long as themselves and as wide as they are long.
- Your cat wants to make eye contact with you while they’re pooping. Well, not quite and a quiet area is actually desirable, but most cats prefer to be able to view their surroundings while they’re handling their business.
- Cleanliness is important, if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box the problem is often that their high-caliber senses are engrossed in the mess and they can’t handle it.
- The litter matters as well and while not the focus of this article there’s a definite argument to be made that you should spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that your feline doesn’t mind it.
On the other hand, many humans are squeamish about their cats bodily functions and that’s led to a rise in “robot” litter boxes and other gimmicks that promote being lazy on our parts.
Covered boxes have also become more common in recent years, but as we noted above many cats will find them disconcerting. The reason is obvious: your cat is vulnerable while eliminating their bodily waste and they want to be able to make sure nothing is coming after them during the process.
Smaller boxes are also a big time human preference, since they take up less floor space, but it’s best to give your cat room to move around in order for them to be more comfortable during the process.
Your best bet is to make a real compromise, but with new cats it will be easier to get them to use a less optimal box as long as you keep it clean and have it placed properly in the home.
What to Look for in a Litter Box
Litter boxes are pretty simple for the most part: just a plastic tray. There are quite a few little nuances to take a look for, however, in order to ensure that you’ve got something which both you and your feline friend can live with.
This is where many of the boxes that we took a look at fell short in a serious way. Every groove, bump, and other protrusion in the bottom is going to make it harder for you to clean the box when the time comes.
This is especially true for those which have a groove around the entire outside of the box. Clumped together litter will often gather here and can lead to quite a bit of smell since you won’t be able to scoop it out.
If everything else lines up, then always go with the smooth bottomed tray even if it costs more.
As we noted above, the boxes which your cat prefers are generally much larger than the ones that we prefer. While a cat will often use a smaller box, it’s not a guarantee and they won’t be as comfortable overall.
Even if you can’t adhere to the rule, which can be hard with larger cat breeds, you should definitely take some time to make sure that you have room for one which is a bit larger than you’d normally expect to use, even if it needs to be a bit out of the way.
We’ll get into where to place your box in a bit.
Pretty much all kitty litter boxes are made of plastic.
Not all plastic is equal, however, and a thicker plastic box is going to be more durable in the long haul. Plastics which are “shinier” also tend to resist cat urine much better overall, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for.
Any kind of plastic which appears porous or rough to the touch is going to gather smells and bacteria readily, and we avoided recommending anything which was overly low quality since they’re not only unsanitary but can also be unhealthy if things are pushed to the extreme.
Higher sides are something you really want in any kind of kitty litter box. They’ll prevent overspray of urine, can help keep all of the litter inside the box when your cat decides it’s time to pile the litter, and are generally much easier to clean.
For this reason we recommend that any box you go with has high sides. This is actually important with covered boxes as well, since quite often the area where the seam is can also be filled with various problematic materials if the hood is too low.
Ease of Cleaning
How easy your box is to clean is going to make a big difference in the long run. Since you’ll want to be going at it at least once per day it helps to avoid corners, protrusions, or other things which can emerge even with a smooth, polished bottom.
Also factoring in here is whether or not any removable parts come off and on easily. That was a big deal breaker for us, since you’ll likely be cleaning a litter box at least once a day and you don’t want to have to wrestle with a hood or the sides of the box.
Placing Your Cat’s Litter Box
First things first: the general rule of thumb for litter boxes is that you need one for each cat plus one.
Quite often you’ll be able to get away with just one box if you only have one cat.
Make sure to space the boxes a bit if you’ve got multiple cats however. While your cat may not mind you sitting there while they handle things, there’ll be some definite problems if you just start lining the litter boxes up right next to each other.
Keep the following in mind to find the right placement:
- Low traffic areas are best.
- Keep them away from food and water.
- Sufficient lighting is a good idea, nothing really likes to poop in complete darkness after all.
- Look to see where your cat spends most of their time and you’ll be on the right track to finding a good spot.
- Avoid the temptation to stick them in the laundry room or by the heater, the loud noises can be quite disruptive.
Placing boxes for multiple cats will obviously get complicated in a hurry, but everything doesn’t need to be optimal: do your best to spread them out and you’ll be fine.
Litter Box Care
Taking care of your cat’s litter box is a chore. We didn’t recommend any of the robotic options we looked at because we found that in practice… you still end up having to do the work but many people will neglect them for longer.
For the most part cleaning the litter box once a day is best for everyone involved. This will keep smells down and hopefully keep your cat from rebelling and handling things on the carpet or kitchen floor.
If the box is clean and you’re still having trouble you’ll want to see a vet. Oddly enough many of the problems with a cat not using their litter box emerge from medical problems rather than just your feline being sassy.
Fortunately for you, we’ve also done the research on kitty litter already. As a general rule, you may have to compromise with your cat here as well though: not all cats take well to litters which smell great.
We’ve often found that experimentation is the best way to ensure that your feline gets something that the both of you can live with.
As a general rule changing the litter once per week is the way to go. Sometimes you may need to change it less or more often, especially if your cat is an indoor/outdoor pet since often these cats will do their business outdoors more frequently than using the box.
As we noted above try to scoop it out each day. As long as you keep things clean and make sure to change the litter on a regular basis you’re likely to have a much easier time to convince your cat to use the box that you prefer.
If it’s time for a new litter box and you don’t know where to start, then we recommend taking a look at the Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box. It’s the best around for the average house cat and it might just be a game changer when it comes time to clean up.
There are a lot of boxes out there, however, and all of them have their own pros and cons at the end of the day. No need to confine yourself to our experience, the right litter box can be on the best presents you can ever get your cat.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt if it makes your life easier as well.
It’s time to get going and make both of your lives just a little bit easier and invest in the best cat litter box you can afford.