What Is the Best Cat Litter Box?

Best Seller
Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Box
10/10Our Score
  • Enclosed hood with two-way swinging door helps prevent litter scatter outside of the box and contains urine spray inside
  • High polished, non-stick finish is easy to clean and resistant to stains and odors
  • Includes a replaceable zeolite air filter to absorb and reduce litter odors

What does a Cat Litter Box Do?

A cat’s litter box gives your cat a place to relieve themselves. They are meant to hold cat litter and keep cat waste in one easy-to-clean space.

Some litter boxes use special liners or cat litter mats, while others use cat litter. There are also self-cleaning, automatic litter boxes that can offload waste into the toilet for you to flush.

There are many cat litter box types for the needs of any cat.

What Is the Best Litter Box for Your Cat?

The best litter box system for your cat is the one they prefer to use. This can take some trial and error to figure out, but the main types of litter boxes are closed, open, and self-cleaning.

  • Closed Cat Litter Box: A closed litter box will allow your cat to have some privacy while going to the bathroom. These are also great at controlling odors, and they often come with activated charcoal filters to further reduce pungent odors such as ammonia.
  • Open Cat Litter Box: Open litter boxes are basic and often just plastic trays in which you put cat litter. These are very easy to refill with clean litter and easy for your cat to get in and out of. Some companies make open litter boxes that include a sifting layer that helps to make cleaning the box easy, whether your use non-clumping or clumping cat litter. These tend to be the best sellers in the litter box world because they are inexpensive and functional.
  • Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box: Some models, like a litter robot, empty cat waste into the toilet at regular intervals, while others simply store the waste in a bin inside the litter box. Some self-cleaning models are also WiFi compatible, enabling remote activation, and giving cat owners the ability to monitor their feline friend’s movements.
  • Disposable Cat Litter Box: A disposable cat litter box can be handy when traveling, so you do not have to bring a cat box with you. These are not made to keep litter box odors under control, however, so there are some compromises to be made when using a disposable box.
  • Stainless Steel Cat Pans: Stainless steel cat pans are great for multi-cat households. Stainless steel does not allow bacteria to grow, but these litter boxes are not cheap and are likely to be out of the financial reach of most cat owners.

Do Cats Prefer Open or Closed Litter Boxes?

This is largely dependent on the cat on an individual basis. There is no evidence indicating whether cats prefer open or closed litter boxes.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Cat Litter Box?

Using a cat litter box is practical and promotes good hygiene. Here are the benefits of the cat litter box:

  • Odor Control: Controlling odors is one of the most important functions of a cat litter box. Covered litter boxes are particularly good at this as the cover holds in aromas, and an air filter absorbs them to keep the house and the inside of the litter box from smelling offensive.
  • Easy Cleaning: Many litter boxes are made with non-stick plastic to allow for easier cleaning. This also helps to keep bacteria at bay, so the risk of infection is lowered.
  • Hygiene: Removing waste from the litter box is one of the best ways to keep your cat healthy. This will help reduce the chance of urinary tract infections, among other ailments. Good cat litter is also imperative to helping to reduce the chance of infection and transmissible diseases in multi-cat households.

The Best Cat Litter Boxes Reviewed

There are many cat litter box products on online retailers like Amazon and Chewy. To help owners find the right cat litter box, we have selected and reviewed some best-sellers.

Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Box

Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Box

Get it on Amazon

Price: $17.99

Size: 19.5” x 15.25” x 17.5”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 19.5” x 15.25” x 17.5”

Item Weight: 1.6 lbs

Style: Indoor-covered litter box

Color: Varying

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Made of BPA-free plastic, this covered litter box is made with your cat’s health and safety in mind. The cover keeps odors from spreading throughout the house, and this is helped by the closeable door flap.

In addition to the cover, a zeolite air filter is included to help clean the air that moves from the litter box to the house. It is made in the USA and sold in various colors.

Pros
  • Non-toxic BPA-free plastic
  • Zeolite air filter
  • Excellent odor control
  • Affordable price tag
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • The clasps that hold the lid on are too weak to pick up the litter box with litter in it 
  • The seller’s page on Amazon does not give you the option to choose from the various colors they offer

Customer Reviews: Most of the 18,000 reviews were positive, with over 80% giving this litter box a 4 or 5-star rating. With these ratings, people raved about the box and how well it controls odors. They are happy with the price and say it is well made.

Others have not had such experiences. These people complained about the weak clasps and the inability to choose what color box they get.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Box an overall 7/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): The cover provides your cat with privacy, while the door
  • Material Quality (10/10): The material is excellent and can withstand prolonged use.
  • Cost Effectiveness (8/10): At $18, this is a good price for a covered litter box.
  • Customer Feedback (9/10): Over 18,000 customer reviews give this product an average rating of  4.3 stars.
  • Product Variety (5/10): There is only one color shown and various colors available, but you do not get to choose what color you buy.

Petmate Open Cat Litter Box

Petmate Open Cat Litter Box

Get it on Amazon

Price: $7.59

Size: 22” x 16.5” x 6.5”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 22” x 16.5” x 6.5”

Item Weight: 1 lb

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Pet Mate produces quality pet products for all aspects of pet life. This litter box is a simple, basic design made to hold cat litter and a little more.

The wide opening at the top makes it very easy to clean and wash out. It is made in the USA and available in large and jumbo sizes for cats of all ages and sizes.

Pros
  • Basic & efficient design
  • Wide top opening
  • Affordable price tag
  • Available in big sizes
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Is not covered

Customer Reviews: Thousands of buyers raved about this inexpensive cat litter tray. They like that it is simple and easy to clean as well as how inexpensive it was.

Other cat owners complained about thin and brittle plastic that had broken or shown signs of wear when they moved it full of litter. These reviews only made up 3% of total reviews.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Petmate Open Cat Litter Box an overall 7/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (10/10): This litter box is very easy for cats to use.
  • Material Quality (7/10): While we and most other customers had no problems with the quality, numerous customers seemed to have trouble with the plastic breaking.
  • Cost Effectiveness (10/10): As far as litter boxes go, it doesn’t get much more affordable.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Over 10,000 reviews give this litter box a 4.7 average rating.  
  • Product Variety (5/10): This litter box is only available in one color and in two different sizes.

Petmate Clean Step Dome Cat Litter Box

Petmate Clean Step Dome Cat Litter Box

Get it on Amazon

Price: $41.99

Size: 22.5” x 22.5” x 19”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 22.5” x 22.5” x 19”

Item Weight: 2 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: White

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Another product from Pet Mate, this dome cat litter box, is made to keep your floors and your cat clean. It features a staircase entrance that cleans the paws of a cat as they exit the box.

The dome cover keeps cat waste out of sight while also providing some protection against odors. A charcoal air filter absorbs even more unwanted smells to keep your house smelling fresh and to encourage your cat to continue using the litter box.

Pros
  • With 95% recycled plastic
  • Sturdy dome shape
  • Paw-cleaning steps to keep tracking down
  • Staircase for easy entrance
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • More expensive than other litter boxes
  • The top may be tricky to get to fit onto the bottom

Customer Reviews: Most of the reviews were positive, with 80% of them being 4 and 5 stars. These people were happy with the quality and appearance of this box. While this litter box worked for some cat owners, it did not please all of them.

Over 10% of reviews were negative, with the chief complaint being about the quality of the plastic. For these people, the plastic felt cheap, and the top would not fit securely on the bottom.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Petmate Clean Step Dome Cat Litter Box an overall 8/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter box is a great option for most cats, but cats with three legs or hip problems may have trouble using it.
  • Material Quality (10/10): The plastic is extremely sturdy, and the air filter does a great job of reducing odors.
  • Cost Effectiveness (8/10): Although it is more expensive than other boxes, the quality of the material and the design is worth it.
  • Customer Feedback (8/10): 80% of the 5,000+ reviews were 4 and 5 stars giving this an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.  
  • Product Variety (5/10): Pet Mate makes numerous pet products, but this is the only version of this particular litter box.

Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box

Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box

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Price: $42.89

Size: 23.62” x 17.32” x 16.93”

Material: Polypropylene plastic

Dimension: 23.62” x 17.32” x 16.93”

Item Weight: 3.5 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: Beige

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Amazon Basics offers high-quality products at an affordable and budget-friendly price, and this cat litter box is no exception. The box is made of polypropylene plastic, which is odor and stain-resistant. Plus, it is very easy to keep clean – it just needs to be wiped with a damp cloth.

This cat litter box has a snapped hood for extra privacy. The hood and easy-open door also help retain odors. The odor control powers are additionally boosted with a replaceable carbon filter. The product is available in large sizes and fits cats of different ages.

Pros
  • Innovative, no-mess design
  • Stain and odor-resistant plastic
  • Snap-on hood controls odors
  • Replaceable carbon filter for odor protection
  • Easy to clean with a damp cloth
Cons
  • A bit small for larger cats
  • The lid design can be frustrating to assemble

Customer Reviews: Most consumers found this litter box to be useful and worth the price. They liked the cover and how well it worked to keep smells under control, as well as took a liking to the filter that aids in odor control.

Negative reviews came from customers who were not happy with the lid design or who had cats that were too large for the box they had ordered.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box an overall 6/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (6/10): Some cats won’t use a covered box, and some cats may be too big for this particular covered litter box.  
  • Material Quality (7/10): We had no problems with the unit, however, a significant number of customers had expressed disdain for their experience with the materials.  
  • Cost Effectiveness (6/10): This is not the most cost-effective covered litter box on the market, but it is not the most expensive either.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): An average rating of 4.6 comes from the 15,000+ reviews on Amazon.
  • Product Variety (7/10): There are three sizes and two different shapes of this litter box.

Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box with Microban for Odor Control

Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box with Microban for Odor Control

Get it on Amazon

Price: $16.89

Size: 19” x 15” x 8”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 19” x 15” x 8”

Item Weight: 2.5 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: Dark grey; Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Arm & Hammer has been a trusted name in pet products for years. This top-entry litter box is a great example of why. It saves litter by removing more smaller clumps that are easily missed with handheld litter scoops.

The dual tray design features slots in the top tray that allow litter to fall through to the solid tray while collecting waste left behind. The plastic is made of anti-microbial, so infections are less likely to be spread when changing the litter.

Pros
  • Sifting action helps to save litter
  • Made of 95% recycled plastic
  • Very easy and quick to clean
  • Unique, dual-tray design
  • Reputable and reliable brand
Cons
  • Does not keep litter in the box when the cat is using it

Customer Reviews: Most customers had good experiences with this litter box. For them, the box had served its purpose and served it well. They liked the material it was made of and said it was sturdy enough for their multiple cats to use.

Other customers did not like the material and said it was horrible at keeping litter inside the box.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box with Microban for Odor Control an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (10/10): This is a great option for any cat or pet that uses a litter box.  
  • Material Quality (10/10): The plastic used to make this box is sturdy and durable.  
  • Cost Effectiveness (8/10): This is priced at under $17, which is not a bad price.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Nearly 40,000 people have reviewed this product, and these reviews give it a 4.4-star average.  
  • Product Variety (8/10): Arm & Hammer has loads of cat products, but this litter box only comes in one color and one size.  

IRIS USA Cat Litter Box with Scoop

IRIS USA Cat Litter Box with Scoop

Get it on Amazon

Price: $39.99

Size: 17.32” x 13.39” x 12.2”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 17.32” x 13.39” x 12.2”

Item Weight: 3 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: White; Black; Orange

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: Adult

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Iris USA, Inc. is a cat supply company that specializes in cat litter box accessories. This top-entry cat litter box of theirs is a unique take on modernizing the litter box. It features a grooved or perforated lid that helps to remove litter granules from the cat’s feet as they exit.

It is rounded in shape to allow for easy scooping and includes copper. It is made in several colors, including black, white, and orange, and is made of non-toxic plastic in the USA.

Pros
  • Unique & modern design
  • Grooved lid prevents tracking
  • Excellent at odor control
  • Includes scooper
  • Proudly made in the USA
Cons
  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Customer Reviews: Over 31,000 reviews give this product an average of 4.5 stars. High ratings say this litter box is great for their cat and the lid helps greatly to keep litter inside the cat litter box. These consumers liked how roomy it appeared to be.

Other buyers were less than impressed with the grooved lid saying it did little to remove litter from their cat’s paws.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving IRIS USA Cat Litter Box with Scoop an overall 7/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (6/10): This litter box may take some training to use, and it is best suited for healthy adult cats who can climb into the top hole.  
  • Material Quality (10/10): This is a well-made litter box with a unique design that is sturdy and durable.
  • Cost Effectiveness (7/10): This is not the most expensive litter box, but it is more expensive than most traditional-style boxes.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Over 31,000 reviews give this litter box an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
  • Product Variety (9/10): There are several colors and sizes of this litter box, and IRIS USA makes cat litter box accessories for every occasion

IRIS USA Open Top Cat Litter Box

IRIS USA Open Top Cat Litter Box

Get it on Amazon

Price: $18.99

Size: 19” x 15” x 11.75”

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 19” x 15” x 11.75”

Item Weight: 1.3 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: Gray; Navy; Black

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: The raised sides of this litter box help to keep litter inside the box as your cat uses it and keeps cat waste relatively out of sight. The spacious, open-top design gives your cat all the room they need, while the removable shield makes for easy cleaning.

The included scooper is made of the same recycled, BPA-free plastic as the litter box. It is all made in the USA to provide a safe and non-toxic product for cat owners across the country.

Pros
  • Non-toxic and quality plastic
  • Includes a scooper
  • Raised sides keep litter inside the box
  • Removable shields for cleaning
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Aggressive diggers may knock off the cover

Customer Reviews: Over 22,000 reviews have been made about this product, with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews express satisfaction with the sturdiness of the box, and a few say they prefer it over the self-cleaning litter boxes they have tried in the past.

Disappointed customers did not like the scooper and had issues keeping the top portion attached to the bottom.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving IRIS USA Open Top Cat Litter Box an overall 8/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter box is great for healthy cats of any age. 
  • Material Quality (10/10): Both the cat box and the included scooper are made of high-quality plastic that is easy to ash and does not easily stain.
  • Cost Effectiveness (8/10): At $19.00, this is a good price for a litter box with raised sides and an included scooper.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Over 22,000 reviews give this litter box an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
  • Product Variety (9/10): There are several colors and sizes of this litter box, and IRIS USA makes cat litter box accessories for every occasion.

Nature’s Miracle Hooded Flip Top Litter Box

Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip Top Litter Box

Get it on Amazon

Price: $29.59

Size: 17 inches

Material: Plastic

Dimension: 25.13″ x 19.13″ x 11.75″

Item Weight: 3.7 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter box

Color: Silver; White

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Put in a place away from common areas, such as the living room or a spare bathroom. To reduce odors, put it in a room far away from the house entrance and living room or kitchen.

Product Use Instruction: Place the litter box in an appropriate place away from common areas. Fill the box with litter and wash the box with warm water and soap when replacing the litter.

Summary: Nature’s Miracle makes stain and odor removers for pets as well as litter boxes and litter box accessories. This litter box has a removable top that helps to control odors. The charcoal air filter helps to provide even more odor control, and the hinged front door lets you get your hand in there while cleaning.

Strong clasps hold the top to the bottom, and the top features a carrying handle for easy moving when cleaning around the litter box. This makes it suitable for traveling and portability.

Pros
  • Carrying handle for portability
  • Removable top cover
  • With a charcoal air filter
  • Hinged front door
  • Suitable for easy cleaning
Cons
  • Hard to reach for older cats with mobility issues

Customer Reviews: Thousands of consumers give this litter box a 4 or 5-star rating. Happy cat owners liked the cover and said the clasps were sturdy and able to hold the weight of the box filled with litter.

However, others mention the clasps breaking or being unable to hold the front of the cover down to the bottom. Others say the entrance is too small for their cat, or their older cat has trouble getting into and out of the box.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Nature’s Miracle Hooded Flip Top Litter Box an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter box is great for most cats, but large cats may have trouble with the cover.
  • Material Quality (10/10): The plastic used to make this box is very durable and sturdy, and the clasps are tight and strong.
  • Cost Effectiveness (6/10): There are other covered litter boxes available for cheaper, but for the price, you get a high-quality item here.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Over 11,000 reviews give this litter box an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.  
  • Product Variety (10/10): Nature’s Miracle makes a ton of high-quality cat products, including several styles of litter boxes like this one.

What Should I Look for in a Cat Litter Box?

Here are some of the factors to consider when buying a cat litter box:

  • Materials: Most cat litter boxes are made of plastic. Make sure the plastic your box is made is BPA-free and free of harmful chemicals if possible. The plastic should also be wear-resistant and pliable to avoid cracking and flaking.
  • Size: If you have a small cat, this may not be an issue, but for those who own large breed cats, the size of the box is important. This is especially true for covered litter boxes and for cats who are anxious, as a covered box may discourage fearful or large cats from using it. An extra large kitty litter box may be necessary for bigger cats as they need room to be able to sit and stand as well as turn around inside the box.
  • Cover: A cover can be a great way to control smells commonly associated with cat ownership. It is not always necessary and, in some cases, can be counterproductive, so make sure your cat is open to using a covered box before committing to the idea. Covered litter boxes often come with deodorizers built into the cover that filter out smell before they reach the room.
  • Function: The basic function of any litter box is essentially the same, however, there are different ways of performing this task. Self-cleaning cat litter boxes, like the Tidy Cats Breeze litter box system, are set up to clean the cat waste from the litter area and store it in a bin to allow for easier cleaning by the cat owner. This can eliminate some problems associated with cleaning the litter box, but some cat owners do not need this level of convenience. In this case, a basic litter tray is probably best suited for the job as its only function is to collect the cat’s waste.

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Cat Litter Box?

Cleaning a cat litter box is easy, but you need to be prepared. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Collect your Tools: This should only really require a scooper and a bag to throw the waste in for most cases.
  • Remove the Old Litter: The soiled litter can pose real health problems to your cat. Promptly removing old litter is imperative to maintaining a clean-smelling house and a healthy cat. This process may include removing the top cover if you have a covered litter box.
  • Wash the Cat Litter Box: Washing the box is a vital part of the litter box cleaning process. This removes any stuck on soiled litter and kills bacteria growing on the plastic. Repeat this process for the litter box enclosure as well.
  • Dry the Cat Litter Box: Either allow it to air dry or dry it with a towel. Cat litter is made to clump when it comes into contact with moisture, and leaving water drops in the litter can reduce its performance of the litter.
  • Replace the Litter: Using new litter, spread an even layer about 2-4 inches thick across the bottom of the pan.

How Often Should You Change the Litter in a Cat Box?

Clean the cat litter box as needed to prevent odors.

The more frequently you clean it the less often you will have to change the litter. This is especially true if you clean the litter daily, as this will prolong the life of the litter greatly.

Some cat litters need to be changed less frequently than others. For example, crystal litter may only need to be changed half as often as clay cat litter, but both should be scooped clean daily.

What Are the Health Risks of Not Cleaning a Litter Box?

Some common problems associated with a dirty litter box are parasites and urinary tract infections. These risks are more pronounced in multiple cat households.

Also, an unhygienic cat litter box can be a source of infection for humans. For example, people can get infected with Toxoplasma gondii – a single-celled parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.