The 10 Best Litter Boxes

Updated December 12, 2017 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Litter Boxes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
The first time your cat saw you cleaning up his waste, he became convinced that he was royalty and you were his lowly subject, so you may as well find him a litter box that's fit for a king. The options on this list are great for controlling messes and odors, and some even manage to be inconspicuous. And hey, if you get a satisfactory model, he might just let you pet him — for about three seconds. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best litter box on Amazon.

10. Petmate Booda Cleanstep

The Petmate Booda Cleanstep is a cost-efficient option that does a great job of reducing litter mess from cats that like to dig to China before doing their business, while also keeping odors inside. Plus, it's made of easy-to-clean plastic and comes in four color choices.
  • built-in mat reduces litter tracking
  • good for keeping dogs out
  • not a lot of room when top is on
Brand Booda
Model 50022s
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Nature's Miracle High-Sided

The Nature's Miracle High-Sided is a basic, low-cost option with smartly-designed borders that effectively prevent litter spray. It's a good choice for those without a lot of money to spend on a box, or extra time to spend constantly sweeping up stray dirt.
  • offers lots of vertical clearance
  • mold- and mildew-resistant
  • urine sticks to plastic
Brand Nature's Miracle
Model P-82035
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Good Pet Stuff Plant

The Good Pet Stuff Plant stays hidden in plain sight. It looks just like a house plant in a clay pot, so guests will admire your green thumb — and your cat will enjoy strolling through the living room when company's over to fertilize the shrubbery.
  • filtered vent controls dust and odor
  • comes apart for easy cleaning
  • fake plant is flimsy
Brand Good Pet Stuff
Model HLHF2
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Litter-Robot III

If you're tired of cleaning up after your pet, the Litter-Robot III does the work for you, rotating to sift clumps of waste out of the unsullied litter. You won't find a more hassle-free solution, although the weight sensor that activates the unit can be glitchy.
  • no special equipment required
  • good for germophobes
  • very expensive option
Brand Litter-Robot
Model pending
Weight 21.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Favorite Top Entry

If you want a box that can hold tons of litter, the Favorite Top Entry will cut down on how often you have to replace the dirt. The tray's roughly the size of a small basin, so you can put in a whole box with room to spare. You're still on the hook for cleaning it, though.
  • good for high-peeing cats
  • won't tip over when cat is on top
  • arthritic pets may struggle to enter
Brand Favorite
Model pending
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Tidy Cats Breeze

The Tidy Cats Breeze has a removable pad in the bottom that is designed to absorb urine and trap odors, so your entire room doesn't have to reek of litter box. It also comes with dehydrating, anti-tracking pellets that suck the moisture out of solid waste.
  • creates almost no dust
  • pellets last a long time
  • picky cats may not like it
Brand Purina Tidy Cats
Model 70230_12733
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Nature's Miracle Advanced

For those with small homes or apartments where every inch of space counts, the Nature's Miracle Advanced has a unique triangular design that allows it to be tucked away in the corner of any room. It also has an antimicrobial coating to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • nonstick surface prevents caking
  • hood latches securely closed
  • odor-controlling charcoal filter
Brand Nature's Miracle
Model 5915
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Petmate Top Entry

The Petmate Top Entry is a great solution for messy cats. The crafty design helps reduce litter being kicked out, and any that clings to your cat tends to fall back inside. It also gives cats some privacy while going to the bathroom, which is more than they'd give you.
  • extra-wide opening
  • lots of room when cleaning
  • hook on side to hold scooper
Brand Petmate
Model 22062
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

2. Modkat Flip

Let's face it — you show your love for your cat with food. Lots of food. If he's getting a bit chunky, the Modkat Flip has plenty of room for his ample posterior, and the lack of seams means that it won't leak even if he sprays directly at any of the walls.
  • lid offers 3 different positions
  • sturdy reusable liner
  • good for cats that fling litter
Brand Modkat
Model MOD-012
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

1. Petphabet Jumbo

If you live with more than one impatient feline, the Petphabet Jumbo can comfortably hold two small cats simultaneously. This is a great option for anyone looking to consolidate multiple boxes, or for those with pets that can't stand to be apart even when nature calls.
  • latches easy to open and close
  • flat sides don't trap wet litter
  • good for senior cats
Brand Petphabet
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

When Outdoors Isn't An Option

Growing up, my family cat Esposito–named for the great hockey player Phil Esposito–was an outdoor cat. I never encountered the unfortunate aroma of the litter box until after Espo passed, a raccoon bite having carried him off. The shock of Espo's sudden departure at the hands of a rabid animal caused my mother to rethink her outdoor cat policy, and we confined our next feline friend to the indoors for its own safety. Thus, I got my first taste (or smell, more appropriately) of a litter box.

Where I live now, you couldn't dream of keeping a cat outdoors. There are coyotes everywhere of an evening. I even keep an old hockey stick in my car to chase them back up the hill when I see them lurking around people's lawns. If you own a cat in this neighborhood, or any city for that matter, you're going to need a litter box.

The good news is that the litter box has come a long way since Espo's day, as have the formulas for the litter itself, and both the smells and labors that plagued cat owners in days gone by are slowly becoming things of the past.

All but one of the litter boxes on our list has some sort of feature designed to make your life with the litter box that much easier. Many of the boxes feature full enclosures that cut down on the proliferation of that litter box smell while also providing a greater degree of privacy for your kitty.

A few of these litter boxes also perform a self-cleaning function, in which a motorized grate or scooper runs the length and width of the litter box, removing any and all clumps into a waste receptacle that you can easily remove, empty, and rinse.

A Question Of Privacy

In my experience, the more privacy you can afford your cat for its litter time, the better. For this reason, I always leaned toward the litter boxes that offered some kind of enclosure for your cat, either by way of high walls or by creating a tiny little room for them to enter. This is especially important if your place is small enough to necessitate that you keep your litter box in a more public area.

If you're worried about the smell and the appearance of it, the enclosed boxes do a better job than the open ones at keeping any and all odors confined to the area immediately around the box, and they also make it so you and your guests don't have to look at anything your kitty might not have bothered to cover up.

The downside to enclosed litter boxes is usually their size, as they are significantly higher that their simple, pan-style brothers, and they need to be wide enough for your cat not to get too claustrophobic. Some are designed more elegantly than others, so if aesthetics are a concern, start by looking for a box that will fit in with your space and evaluate the features from there.

Then, there are the self-cleaning litter boxes, which are a dream come true in many ways, and a nightmare in their own right if you get one that's overly complicated or that's a little too noisy and rambunctious for the kitty in question. Remember: cats are skittish creatures. If you bring any device into your home that has a degree of automation to it, it might be a while before the cat can adjust to its presence.

The last thing you want is for your cat to fear its own litter box. When an automated litter box scoops itself, or rakes its grid across the litter, the sound of the motor and the movement of its arms could turn your cat off to the box for good, necessitating a return and a lot of hassle. If you know your cat to be a little more sensitive than most, these might not be the litter boxes for you.

From Sand And Snow To Salvation

If you owned an indoor cat before 1947, you had to be pretty creative about its litter. At this point in feline history, absorbent clay granules and cats had nothing to do with one another, and cat owners resorted to filling their baking pans with anything from sand, to wood ash, to shredded newspaper. They had to clean their pans a heck of a lot more often than we have to scoop litter, and even more thoroughly if they wanted to use them to bake a casserole (I sincerely hope nobody did that).

In 1947, when a woman couldn't reach her outdoor reserve of sand due to a blizzard, she asked her neighbor if he could supply her with some from his business, which sold both sand and clay products. He, too, was cut off from his sand pile due to the storm, but he offered her some clay granules to tide her over, and they were a hit with the cat.

Even after the storm abated, she came back for more clay, along with a gaggle of her friends, and the gentleman knew he had an opportunity on his hands. He packaged up a few bags of the granules and brought them to his local pet store, where they sold out almost immediately. From then till now, inventors and designers have worked tirelessly to maximize the effectiveness of this litter, as well as the boxes in which it works.



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Last updated on December 12, 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.


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