The 8 Best Cat Litter Boxes of 2020

Keep your home clean and your pet happy with these receptacles

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan at Amazon

"This litter box is super simple to clean and refresh with new litter."

Best Budget: Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan at Amazon

"Reviewers enjoy the affordable price point and design."

Best Splurge: Litter-Robot 3 Connect at Litter-Robot

"Scooping waste will be a thing of the past as the Wi-Fi-enabled self-cleaning litter box sifts out clumps as soon as your cat exits."

Best Automatic: PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box at Amazon

"An automated litter box that's easy to maintain."

Best Design: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Scoop at Amazon

"The IRIS Litter Box proves that litter boxes can look sleek and stylish."

Best Hidden: ecoFlex Litter Loo at Amazon

"Your guests won’t know the ecoFlex Litter Loo is actually your cats’ litter box."

Best Disposable: Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box at Amazon

"A hassle-free way to keep your litter box clean and fresh."

Best Self-Flushing: Cat Genie Self-Washing, Self-Flushing Cat Box at Amazon

"You never have to touch or change litter again."

If you have cats, you know they can be super picky about their bathroom habits. So, if you want to avoid cleaning up, ahem, messes on a daily basis, it’s important to choose the right litter boxes for your cat (or cats). The type of box, as well as its size, shape and even location in your house can make or break your cat’s bathroom behaviors. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best cat litter boxes, in a variety of sizes, shapes and budgets. Keep in mind: The number of litter boxes in your house should equal the number of cats, plus one. So, if you have one cat, you’ll need two litter boxes; if you have three cats, you’ll need four litter boxes; and so on. You can always supplement an expensive litter box with several more affordable options, but your cat may not approve. Read on to learn about our top picks for best litter boxes, so you can choose the best option for your feline friends.

Best Overall: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan

Excellent

Reviewers tout its budget-friendly price tag, massive size, and durability. Plus, several reviewers shared that it contained their cats’ messes—that means no litter tracking.

Because this litter box is so large—its dimensions are 22.4 x 18.3 x 17-inches—it’s best for households with multiple cats, very large cats or cats that appreciate a little extra space while they’re doing their business.

Despite its massive size, this litter box is super simple to clean and refresh with new litter. The hood lifts for easy access and the built-in bag anchor helps keep bags of litter open, so your hands are free to scoop. Plus, it’s carbon filter traps and reduces litter box odors.

If your cat doesn’t like this litter box’s hood or attached door, both can be removed to fit his or her preference.

"One human-friendly innovation we appreciated was the “bag anchor.” It’s the simplest thing: A protruding lip along the interior edge of the doorway that you can use to catch the front of the garbage bag you’re scooping into, holding it open. We didn’t know we were missing that feature in a litter box, but now that we’ve used it, we’re dumbfounded as to why all models don’t have this."—Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Best Budget: Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan

high-side-litter-box
Courtesy of Chewy.
Very Good

If you’re looking for a basic and affordable litter box, we recommend the Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan. It's made of plastic and other recycled materials, and the polished finish is odor and stain-resistant, which makes cleaning a breeze.

Available in two generous sizes (large or giant), this litter pan can accommodate cats of all different sizes. The high sides give cats with messier bathroom habits plenty of space and it prevents litter from scattering. And despite the high sides, the slight dip in the front allows easy access for cats that are older or have arthritis.

Reviewers say that this box is great to leave for their cats when they go on vacation because it holds a lot of litter. They also enjoy the affordable price point and design.

"One note about the walls...our cats liked to ignore the lower wall in the front of the pan and leap out over the 9-inch sides instead, kicking litter on their way. The higher walls definitely kept litter from escaping while our cats were inside the box, but jumping out was a different story."—Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Best Splurge: Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Courtesy of Litter-Robot 

If the sky is the limit on your litter box budget and you're looking for the Cadillac of all models, say hello to the Litter-Robot 3 Connect. Scooping waste will be a thing of the past as the Wi-Fi-enabled self-cleaning litter box sifts out clumps as soon as your cat exits. When the cat box cycles, waste is automatically dropped into a carbon-filtered odor-reducing drawer and new litter is left in its place. Cleaning the gadget is as simple as pulling out the drawer and dumping it and in a single cat household, the brand says you should be able to go a week before needing to empty it again.

Of course, that's just where the positives begin. The Litter-Robot uses up to 50 percent less litter than traditional boxes. It also feeds useful information to the Connect app. Access the app with your smartphone and you'll have to access to troubleshooting info, a waste level gauge, and usage insights which can be helpful should any of your four-legged family members end up at the vet.

The one possible downside of this model is its sheer size. The Litter-Robot 3 weighs 24 pounds and has a 24.25 x 27-inch footprint. If you have more than one cat, though, it can eliminate the need for multiple boxes which would take up even more space.

"Litter-Robot says the drawer will need to be emptied around once a week, but we often didn’t get a notification that the drawer was full for 10 days or more."—Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester

Best Automatic: PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Very Good

If you're looking for a litter box that's easier to maintain, an automatic litter box may be a good option for your home. PetSafe's Scoop-Free Litter Box is one of the most popular automatic litter boxes on the market and for good reason. Rather than scooping waste every day, this self-cleaning litter box does the work for you—all you have to do is remove and replace the disposable tray every few weeks.

The silica crystal litter is five times more effective in eliminating odors than clay or clumping litter but is also the only type of litter that can be used with this box—a major downside for our reviewer, whose said her cats didn't like it. "We recommend acquainting your kitties with PetSafe’s crystal litter before purchasing this product to make sure they use it," our reviewer advised. Also note that, since the litter trays are disposable, you'll incur additional costs (and waste) after purchase.

"An important thing to note is that this litter box only works when used with the brand’s crystal litter and trays. While larger pet stores tend to carry these trays, if you normally shop at a small grocery store or bodega, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find them there."—Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Best Design: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Scoop

Excellent

We never thought we’d say it, but the IRIS Litter Box proves that litter boxes can look sleek and stylish. Its modern design, in gray and white, can seamlessly blend into any room. It measures 20 x 14.75 x 14-inches, so it won’t take up too much floor space either.

The unique design of this litter box helps contain spraying and eliminates litter tracking; its top-entry design and small holes in the lid help remove litter particles from your cat’s paws (and help keep your house nice and clean). Plus, the rounded shape and included litter scooper allow you to dispose of waste in no time at all. The best part? It traps unpleasant odors inside the box, so if you’re a bit overdue for a litter change, it won’t be so noticeable.

Reviewers can't say enough positive things about this litter box. Many note that the design keeps their dogs out, and keeps bad odors contained so their house doesn't smell.

"We were skeptical of the top entry at first because we were afraid our cat wouldn’t recognize it as her litter box, but she started using it immediately and hasn’t had any issues."—Avery Stone, Commerce Editor

Best Hidden: ecoFlex Litter Loo

Want a more discreet litter box? Your guests won’t know the ecoFlex Litter Loo is actually your cats’ litter box. The easy-to-clean enclosure keeps litter boxes hidden away, prevents litter tracking and can save floor space if you choose to use it for an additional storage surface in the living room, office, laundry room or bathroom.

Reviewers say this enclosure will work with most litter boxes but warn that spills over the sides can result in odors. Try pairing it with a litter box of nearly the same dimensions or just be sure to check for misses on a daily basis.

Best Disposable: Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box

Designed for use as stand-alone litter boxes or litter box liners, Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Boxes are a hassle-free way to keep your litter box clean and fresh. Available in three sizes—small, regular, and jumbo—and completely disposable, they’re ideal for simple clean-up at home or during travel.

These litter boxes are manufactured with super sturdy materials, so they won’t leak or shred, but they’re totally safe for landfills. The breathable design allows air to pass through the box; the increased airflow reduces moisture and odors and keeps litter drier for longer. Plus, it contains built-in baking soda to further reduce odors.

Bonus: Using these as liners for your plastic litter box eliminates the need to scrub the plastic box—just throw it away and replace it. The manufacturer recommends changing every four weeks for maximum freshness and odor control.

Best Self-Flushing: Cat Genie Self-Washing, Self-Flushing Cat Box

cat-genie

Courtesy of CatGenie

Although it comes with a heftier price tag, you never have to touch or change litter again with the CatGenie Self-Washing and Flushing litter box. Simply connect the CatGenie to a cold water line in your bathroom or laundry room and program it for easy, hands-free waste disposal and litter cleansing.

Here’s how it works: During the cleaning cycle, the CatGenie removes and liquefies solid waste, then transfers it to your toilet or utility sink drain—however you decide to hook it up—for disposal. Then, it uses clean water and veterinarian-approved cleaning solution to wash, scrub, and dry the reusable litter granules. Not only does the CatGenie dispose of the waste for you, but it recycles the litter, so you’ll reduce waste and save cash.

The manufacturer recommends the CatGenie for households with one to two, but no more than three average-sized cats. This may not work for super trained or older cats either—some reviewers said their trained and older cats wouldn’t transition to using the CatGenie.

Final Verdict

For a spacious, durable, and well-designed litter box, go with the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan. The hood lifts for easy access and a carbon filter traps and reduces litter box odors. If you’re looking for a slightly more attractive option, though, we love the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box. Its modern design, in gray and white, can seamlessly blend into any room.

What to Look for in a Cat Litter Box

Size Not all cats are the same size, which means not all litter boxes should be, either. Larger cats will need larger litter boxes — otherwise, they might be cramped and end up doing their business right outside the box.

Height Similarly, you’ll want to consider the height of a litter box. In general, litter boxes with five- to seven-inch sides are fine for most cats. However, if yours has bad aim or tends to kick litter around, you may need an option with taller sides  or even a cover, which will save you the hassle of cleaning up litter and pee off the floor.

Style While not the most important consideration, you may also want to think about the design of your litter box, especially if you plan to place it in a central area of your home. Many people prefer sleek, modern styles, as they’re less of an eyesore. If you really don’t want to see the litter box, you can also find “hidden” options, which enclose the box inside a side table or other piece of furniture.

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