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The 9 Best Cat Litter Box Options, According to Our Pet Expert

All litter boxes are not created equal! We found the best cat litter box for your favorite feline friends.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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If you’re shopping for the best cat litter box for your furry BFF, there are many variables to consider. You’ll need a litter box that’s large enough for your cat, but small enough to fit comfortably in your living space. Choosing the best litter box for cats and the ideal location for the box helps prevent cats from peeing on the carpet.

Decide where you want to place the litter box in your home, then measure the area. Always choose the largest box possible, especially if you have a bigger cat or felines that share the toilet. Cats often refuse to use boxes that feel cramped—kitties must be able to stand up, turn around, squat and cover waste without standing in their mess.

It’s tempting to reach for cutesy litter boxes with covers to deal with cat smells or ones that blend in with furniture, but many cats don’t like these models. Cats may feel vulnerable when doing their business, so they want ample room and visibility. By leaving as much open space as possible, your cat can see everything coming their way and determine the best escape route. Not sure where to start? We found the best litter box for every need and breed.

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Petmate Open Cat Litter Box Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Overall Cat Litter Box

Petmate Open Litter Pan

No matter the cat’s size, the best cat litter box for a kitty should have lots of space with no cover. You need enough room for your cat to fit, of course, but also a deep enough tray for litter to line the bottom an inch or two, with high sides to contain kicked litter. If you expect cats to share, you need the biggest size you can find to accommodate multiple felines.

This no-frills jumbo litter pan is just what the vet ordered, with nearly 14,000 five-star Amazon reviews and an extremely affordable price tag. You won’t find a wide selection of colors or patterns, but any cat will be comfortable in the large tray. Mission accomplished.


  • Available in four sizes
  • Open top
  • High sides
  • Economical


  • Only one color option

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Vanness Cp2 Large Cat Pan Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Budget Litter Box

Vanness Cat Pan

If you just need a functional, affordable litter box, it doesn’t get more basic than this open-style plastic pan. It has a lower front so smaller cats and kittens can easily get in and out, and the price point (less than $7!) makes purchasing multiple pans more affordable.

This best cat litter box pick has a fill line guide to help keep the correct amount of litter inside. It’s not as high quality as other name brands on this list, but with 7,000+ glowing five-star Amazon reviews, you can rest easy knowing this pan will do exactly what it advertises.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable high-impact plastic is odor- and stain-resistant
  • Ideal size for most cats


  • Litter may get kicked over low sides

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Petsafe Scoopfree Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Splurge Litter Box

PetSafe Self-Cleaning Litter Box

If you want a litter box that does all the work for you, look into self-cleaning models such as the PetSafe ScoopFree Litter Box. Automatic models feature motorized rakes that sense when a cat has finished its business, then cleans up the mess left behind. Some automatic models go for up to $500, but this one received high praise at less than half that price, with more than 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon to prove it.

This self-cleaning design includes one insert litter tray for easy disposal, which lasts for 30 days. For optimal performance, only use crystal litter, which has superior odor control. To help monitor your cat’s health, there’s a helpful counter that keeps track of how many times a kitty uses the box—rather than letting them stay out of sight and mind.


  • Splurge-worthy investment
  • Two cover options (front entry and top entry)
  • Superior odor control
  • Convenient for owners and easy to maintain


  • Only works with crystal litter
  • Purchase of additional litter trays required
  • Requires training to transition from a traditional box

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Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter Box Ecomm Chewy.comvia merchant

Best Litter Box for Small Spaces

Nature’s Miracle Corner Cat Litter Box

Litter boxes take up space. If you’re living in tight quarters, you may not have the floor space to handle a full-size standard litter box. Enter this genius corner design! The Nature’s Miracle Corner Cat Litter Box boasts a wide-enough tray bed that accommodates small and medium-size cats. It has higher sides than many standard rectangular boxes, which helps contains litter scatter or urine-splash for felines that stand to pee. A non-stick surface eliminates caking and buildup, which makes cleanup quick and hassle-free.


  • Fits corner spaces
  • High sides reduces litter scatter
  • Sized for most small to medium cats
  • Includes antimicrobial surface for hygiene


  • Some cats object to corner potties

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Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Litter Box for Older Cats

Senior Cat Litter Box

Elderly kitties just want to do their business without hurting themselves, but many have arthritis that makes using standard potties a pain. They don’t want to squeeze into an open-top litter box, or climb over high sides to get to the litter. The KittyGoHere box features a low-sided step that allows older cats to walk right in.

The large, shallow pan lets them spread out as much as they need. Tiny kittens learning the ins and outs of boxes also appreciate low sides. Several reviewers noted that after purchasing this best cat litter box pick, their aging cats finally started using the litter box again, with this version.


  • Low sides are arthritis-friendly
  • Two size options
  • Three color choices


  • Low sides allow litter tracking

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Nature's Miracle High Sided Litter Box Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Litter Box for Large Cats

Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

This high-sided litter box is roomy enough for multiple pets or big breeds. It’s also the best litter box if you have cats that dig and throw litter around. The extra-high 11-inch sides keep kitties’ litter-flinging messes contained. It has a shallower entry side that’s only five inches from the floor to help cats with mobility issues get in and out. The entry also has a pour spout to help empty litter during cleaning. Put a litter mat underneath the entry side to help eliminate litter tracking messes.


  • Large enough for big cats or multi-pet households
  • High sides contain stand-up peeing
  • Lower entry accommodates aging or small cats


  • Low entry allows for some litter scatter

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Modkat Flip Litter Box Includes Scoop And Reusable Liner Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Adjustable Cat Litter Box

Modkat Flip Litter Box

Want a litter box that doubles as home décor? Opt for the Modkat Flip Litter Box, which falls under high-end cat furniture that spoils your pet, but also seamlessly blends into your home. This design stands out for its adjustable features to suit each individual feline. If your kitty likes privacy or wants an open cover, the top flaps open and shut as necessary to provide whatever environment your cat prefers.

It also comes with a tear-resistant and replaceable tarp litter liner, plus a scoop that handily attaches to the box’s side. The high sides prevent messes from “side pee-ers” and cats that excavate, and throw litter outside the box.


  • Adjusts to cat’s needs
  • Sized for larger cats
  • Contains litter and pee overshooting


  • Liners expensive to replace
  • Pricier than basic models

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Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box With Microban For Odor Control Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Litter Box if You Hate Scooping

Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan

Digging out your cat’s business isn’t fun, but there’s no getting around it. Or is there? Here’s a helpful pet cleaning tip: This sifting litter pan does the dirty work for you! It contains two separate pans that nest together, with the top one acting like a sieve. Simply lift the top liner and watch the litter fall while the dirty bits remain.

The size of this best cat litter box pick works for most small to medium cats, and is manufactured with recycled materials. This is a great option if you really hate using a litter scoop. Reviewers particularly recommend this model if you use pine-pellet-based litter, but it works with most cat box fillers.


  • Sifting pan eliminates scooping
  • Affordable
  • Works with all litter types
  • Eco-friendly


  • Not suitable for large cats

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Petphabet Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best Covered Litter Box

Petphabet Covered Litter Box

Covered litter boxes may help contain pet odors and prevent messes, but some cats just don’t take to them. It keeps you from smelling the yuck, but condenses the odor for a kitty’s sensitive nose. Cats also may feel trapped, or fear another feline might ambush them when they can’t see out of the cover. If you want to explore covered litter boxes, go for the Petphabet. It’s the best litter box with a transparent top and colorful bottom.

The clear top allows your cat to see what’s around them, which is critical. It comes in a range of fun colors, so you can pick the shade that best matches your cat’s personality (and your decor). Even better, the rounded corners on the bottom make it easier to keep clean.


  • Transparent cover
  • Available in four colors
  • Rounded corners for cleaning easy


  • Snaps on cover may break or misalign

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What to Consider When Buying a Cat Litter Box

Instead of choosing the best cat litter box based on human convenience, start by understanding where cats prefer to go potty and why. Posing to eliminate makes cats feel vulnerable. They dislike locations that feel like traps where a second feline might corner them, noisy locations that startle, or high-traffic areas where a dog or toddler might interrupt them.

Many cats prefer two boxes, so they can use one for solids and the other for liquid waste. While friendly cats—especially smaller felines—may be okay with sharing, there’s really no best multi cat litter box. I recommend the 1+1 rule: one box per cat, plus one extra—especially with multiple cat homes, because cats rarely want to share. You can increase cat territory by providing window perches and other elevated levels, and several boxes help reduce cats feeling territorial.

Placing litter boxes on each end of the house, or both upstairs and downstairs, gives kittens and elderly felines a better chance of getting to the potty on time. In multiple cat homes, one feline might guard a single litter box and prevent the others from using it. Territorial cats can’t guard boxes spaced appropriately in different rooms.

How We Chose the Best Cat Litter Box

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.


Why do cats use litter boxes?

Cats inherited the instinct from wild felines to cover their waste, so their scent wouldn’t draw attention from predators or other cat competitors. They also use pee and poop to mark territory as “owned” and safe. When cats feel stressed, they “go” outside the box to help calm themselves down with familiar self-scent. Kittens copy the behavior of their mothers, learning to cover waste in deference to the cat-in-charge. Cats prefer sand-like paw-soft litter they can easily dig.

What size litter box does a cat need?

Cats need a litter box at least three or four inches longer and wider than they are. The best cat litter box should have high-enough sides to prevent the cat from “over-shooting” when posing to eliminate. Some cats won’t squat and need higher sides, or they might like to hang over the edge.

A litter box must allow the cat to walk around and cover the waste without having to step on top of the mess. If cats get out of the box and then paw-dig the floor, that means they need more room inside to cover properly.

Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?

Most cats prefer open boxes, which allow them see any other cat, dog or human approaching while doing their business. Covered boxes also hold and concentrate odor, which is highly offensive to a cat’s extremely sensitive sense of smell.

How often to clean litter box?

Scoop every day. The more cats you have, the more frequently you should change the entire box. Throw out old litter, clean the box with soap and water (no strong perfumes cats hate!) and refill with fresh litter. The top reason cats “go” outside the box is a dirty or smelly box.

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Kate Tully
I am an avid baker, knitter and writer. My passions include Star Wars, stress baking and—of course—chocolate. When I'm not chasing my partner around the house asking him to try my latest recipe, I'm relaxing with my cats or knitting (another) sweater.
Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai, CABC is the Affiliate Pet Editor at Large for Family Handyman. She's also an award-winning pet journalist and the author of 35 pet titles. She specializes in translating pet medical jargon and shopping information into information pet parents easily understand. Amy shares animal behavior and care information on her blog, and lives in North Texas with her furry muses.