Cat litter boxes might not be high on your list of favorite discussion topics, but they’re essential for any homes where cats live. Even if your cat is allowed to roam outdoors, you’ll need a litter box for times when outdoor access is restricted, periods of poor weather, and any time your kitty just doesn’t feel like going outdoors. Cats prefer to keep their living areas clean, so if you provide litter boxes, they’ll almost always use them, preventing any unwanted accidents.
We reviewed dozens of cat litter boxes to identify the best of the best. To narrow down our options, we compared a range of features, including size, shape, tray style, material, edge height, and average ratings from buyers.
Ultimately, we chose the iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box as our best cat litter box overall. The stainless steel material doesn’t absorb stains or odors, leaving it fresh and sparkling between cleans and less likely than plastic litter trays to cause bad smells in the home.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Litter Boxes
|Best Cat Litter Box Overall||iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box||4.6|
|Best Hooded Cat Litter Box||Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan||4.5|
|Best Budget Cat Litter Box||Petmate Small Litter Pan||4.4|
|Best Corner Cat Litter Box||Van Ness Corner Cat Pan||4.4|
|Best Disposable Cat Litter Box||Kitty's WonderBox Disposable Litter Box||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Litter Box Overall: iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box
You’re used to seeing the same old plastic cat litter trays, but the iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box is different. Since it’s made from stainless steel, it’s non-porous, so it won’t hold on to smells and stains. When it’s time for a full empty of the litter box, you can just wipe it down with soapy water and it will look at good as new. It measures 15.5 by 23.5 inches and the large size accommodates even the biggest of cats, as well as those who simply prefer a spacious litter box. The 6 inch sides are low enough for most cats to hop in easily but high enough to stop some mess caused by kicking and digging.
The stainless steel feet on the bottom of this litter tray help prevent it sliding on hard floors while the rounded corners are safer for your cat than pointier edges. A single litter box costs around $45, which is expensive compared to plastic options but it could last your cat’s whole lifetime.
iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat Litter Box Key Features:
- Easy to clean
- Highly durable
- Doesn’t rust
Best Hooded Cat Litter Box: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
Not all cats get on with hooded litter boxes but if your feline friend is happy with them, try the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan. The internal tray measures approximately 22 inches by 17 inches, which is large enough for most cats. The doorway in measures 10.4 by 9.6 inches and comes with a flap-style door, though you can remove this for easier access. You can easily remove the hood from the base to to the pan.
If bad odors are a problem for you, note that this litter box has a carbon filter in the hood which will reduce unpleasant smells. One filter is included, but you’ll need to buy replacements separately. This litter box costs around $28, which we think is reasonable considering the size and quality.
Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan Key Features:
- Handle for easier moving
- Locking tabs keep hood in place
- Roomy interior
Best Budget Cat Litter Box: Petmate Small Litter Pan
The Petmate Small Litter Pan is one of the cheapest on the market. We’ve focused on the small size that costs around $3, but you can buy medium, large, and jumbo sizes for a little more. It measures 14 inches long and 10.5 inches wide, with a depth of 3.5 inches. The relatively compact size means that it’s best for small cats and kittens. It makes an ideal first litter box for a kitten while you figure out their litter box preferences and buy a permanent option.
The wide profile base of this litter box helps to prevent spills and the rimmed sides make it easier to lift when it needs emptying. It might be a basic litter tray but it’s a solid choice that won’t put a dent in your finances.
Petmate Small Litter Pan Key Features:
- Comes in either blue or gray
- Crafted from recycled plastic
- Made in the USA
Best Corner Cat Litter Box: Van Ness Corner Cat Pan
In small homes, sometimes you need to be creative when making room for items. A corner litter tray, such as our favorite the Van Ness Corner Cat Pan, slots into otherwise unused corner space giving your cat a roomier litter box without taking up more floor space in homes where it’s at a premium. The high sides in conjunction with the fact it’s positioned up against two walls means you end up with significantly less scatter when cats dig or kick their litter.
The highly polished finish of this cat litter box allows it to absorb less odors and stains compared to standard plastic litter trays. It measures 18 inches by 18 inches with 9 inch sides at their highest point. What’s more, it will only set you back around $6.
Van Ness Corner Cat Pan Key Features:
- Easy to wipe clean
- High sides to prevent scatter
- Lower front for easier entry
Best Disposable Cat Litter Box: Kitty’s WonderBox Disposable Litter Box
Disposable litter boxes might not be the most eco-friendly option for every day but they’re great for travel or occasional use, or for anyone who can’t manage the emptying and cleaning of litter trays. Our favorite disposable option is Kitty’s WonderBox Disposable Litter Box, which is made from recycled paper and therefore biodegradable. Despite the paper construction, these boxes don’t leak tear or shred.
Since paper is naturally breathable, they give you better odor control than solid litter boxes, plus the pH of paper helps reduce the smell of ammonia from urine. Each WonderBox lasts for up to four weeks and when it’s time for a change, you just throw the whole thing away. You can buy these disposable litter boxes individually, but for the best value opt for the pack of three that costs just $5.
Kitty’s WonderBox Disposable Litter Box Key Features:
- No cleaning required
- Can also be used as a litter box liner
- Measures 12 by 16 inches
Who Should Buy a Cat Litter Box
It’s fair to say that anyone who owns a cat should buy a cat litter box. Even cats who are allowed to roam outdoors need litter trays, since they shouldn’t have outdoor access 24/7 (it’s generally safest to keep your cat indoors at night) and because sometimes they just won’t want to go outside, for instance if it’s raining heavily or there’s deep snow on the ground.
Important Features to Consider
A cat litter box should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a litter tray for your cat:
- Size. You can find cat litter boxes in all kinds of sizes to suit felines from small breeds and kittens up to the very largest of breeds. It’s important to choose a large enough litter tray for your cat as some cats will refuse to go in too-small options.
- Shape. Most litter boxes are rectangular, but you can also buy litter pans shaped to fit in the corner of a room, and occasionally oval models or other non-standard shapes.
- Material. Plastic is the most common material for cat litter boxes, since it’s inexpensive, durable, and lightweight. It does, however, stain and absorb odors over time. Stainless steel litter boxes don’t stain or absorb odor and are easy to clean, but they are more expensive than plastic.
- High-sided. Cat litter boxes sometimes have extra-high sides to help prevent cats from kicking too much litter out of the tray. High-sided options generally have a lower entry point to allow cats easier access.
- Open vs. enclosed. Open litter trays are simple five-sided boxes without any sort of lid, allowing cats free access from any angle. Enclosed litter boxes have some kind of hood or lid with an doorway either at the front of the box or on top of it. Some people choose enclosed models for their odor-containment properties but you should make sure your cat prefers an enclosed option, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?
Cats are individuals so will have different preferences, but most prefer open litter trays to closed boxes. Of course, you might like the fact that enclosed litter boxes make your house smell less, but the odors don’t just cease to exist, they’re trapped inside the box so cats must endure them every time they go inside their litter boxes. That said, some nervous cats may prevent the privacy afforded to them by enclosed litter boxes.
Where should I put my cat’s litter box?
The best place to put your cat’s litter box is in a relatively low-traffic part of the house but somewhere that your cat is familiar with and hangs out in regularly. Don’t position a litter tray near your cat’s food and water, or near any noisy appliances that might scare your cat away.
Can I move my cat’s litter box?
Moving your cat’s litter box is likely to cause confusion and lead to your cat eliminating in spots where he shouldn’t. If you must change the location, start by putting an extra litter box in the spot where you want to move the litter tray to permanently. After a few weeks, if your cat has got used to using the tray in the new location, you should be able to safely remove the old one.
How do I keep the litter box from smelling in my house?
Unfortunately, some litter box odors are part and parcel of cat ownership. However, you can reduce bad smells from your cat’s litter box by keeping on top of scooping poop and clumps of urine, as well as giving the litter tray a thorough scrub every time you completely empty out the litter.
Other Cat Litter Boxes We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat litter boxes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat litter boxes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your feline friend. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Corner Litter Boxes
This triangular litter box fits into corners nicely and comes with a hood, although you can easily remove it if you find your cat prefers an open option.
- Hood prevents scatter
- Charcoal filter for odor reduction
- Generous size
A basic and affordable open corner litter tray with a free litter scoop included, too.
- High sides
- Lowered entrance
- Easy to clean
The high sides of this corner litter box keep mess to a minimum, which is a real boon when you have a cat that’s a prolific litter kicker.
- Lower front for easy access
- Polished non-stick interior
- Antimicrobial protection
Thanks to the sifting design, you can easily separate out solid waste from unsoiled litter to make cleaning out your cat’s litter tray even easier.
- Three-tray design
- Low-profile entry
Enclosed Litter Boxes
This large enclosed model measure approximately 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 17 inches tall, giving your cat plenty of space inside.
- Removable door
- Easy to open
- Carbon filter
A spacious yet affordable hooded litter box with a quick access lift top for easier scooping.
- Litter scoop included
- Handle for portability
- Made in the USA
Somewhat different from your standard enclosed litter tray, this one has an entrance at the top. Some cats prefer this whereas others will struggle with it.
- Design prevents litter scatter
- Large entry hole
- Range of color choices
The rounded dome design of this litter box looks more attractive than your average cube-like options. The clean step design helps reduce litter tracking from the paws.
- Three color options
- Spacious inside
- Reduces tracking
Cost: $27 to $34
Measuring approximately 20 inches wide by 25 inches long, this is a roomy option that can even accommodate two cats at once.
- Rounded edges for easier cleaning
- Bright color choices
- Clear hood helps keep your cat from feeling too exposed
Cost: $43 to $44
You won’t find a much more affordable enclosed litter box, though it isn’t the largest option, measuring around 20 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 17 inches high.
- Polished interior is easy to clean
- Odor-removing filter in hood
Disposable Litter Boxes
If your cat just can’t deal with an open litter box, even for temporary use, you can buy these disposable covered litter boxes. However, top and bottom can be used separately as open trays, too.
- Made from cardboard with a moisture-resistant barrier
- Each tray measures 17 by 19 inches
- Low-profile entry
Cost: $40 (10 pieces)
Not only are these litter boxes disposable, they also come pre-filled with recycled paper litter so they’re ideal for travel.
- Each tray lasts a week
- All-natural litter
- Measures 12 by 18 inches
Cost: $43 (pack of 5)
These cardboard sifting litter boxes can either be used as disposable litter trays in their own right or inside a solid box as sifting liners.
- Available in regular or jumbo sizes
- Choose between a 4-piece and 8-piece set
Cost: $26 to $36
Made from leak-proof and tear-proof recycled paper, these disposable litter boxes are tougher than you’d expect for a biodegradable option.
- Use alone or as a liner
- Saves time and effort
- Measures 17 by 13 inches (approx)
Other Litter Boxes
The flexible nature of this litter box makes it easy to squeeze in tight spots, plus the handles make for easy lifting and emptying.
- Easy to clean
The 11-inch high sides make litter scatter a thing of the past for all but the most determined cats.
- Lower entry point
- Non-stick interior for easier cleaning
- Generously sized
A high-rimmed litter tray from Petmate infused with Arm & Hammer’s antimicrobial protection to reduce odors.
- Tall removable rim
- Low front
- Easy-grip edges
This three-piece sifting litter box is ideal for anyone who hates scooping. It’s as simple as lifting the sifter and throwing away the chunks.
- Antimicrobial protection
- Low odor
- High sides
If you’re sick of your cat kicking litter over the edges of the litter box, this high-sided model could be the answer.
- Slightly lowered entry point
- Absorbs minimal odors
Because it’s made from stainless steel, this litter tray doesn’t absorb odors and is stain-resistant making cleaning a breeze.
- Generous size
- No rust
- Doesn’t harbor bacteria