The 9 Best Cat Litter Boxes of 2021

Top-notch receptacles for keeping your home clean and your pet happy

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Best Cat Litter Boxes

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Cat owners know how finicky felines can be about where they relieve themselves. To keep your home clean and fresh-smelling and avoid messes, you'll want to select a litter box carefully. The design, size, shape, and features can make or break a cat's bathroom habits. So, what are the best cat litter boxes? We rounded up top-tier picks for every budget.

Here, the best cat litter boxes for your pet.

Our Top Picks
This massive, durable, and affordable litter box is designed to contain messes and trap odors.
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Extra-high walls help ensure kitty litter stays inside this budget-friendly box.
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With an adjusting weight sensor and a self-cleaning design, this fancy litter box will not disappoint.
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Its domed design and hooded top offer privacy for your cat while preventing tracking and containing odors.
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The self-cleaning design allows you to go weeks between scooping and refilling the box.
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Best for Multiple Cats:
Omega Paw Roll n' Clean at Chewy
This pick makes it easy to separate clumped waste and deposit it into a tray for easy cleanup.
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The extra-large size is perfect for bigger house cats, and the fully enclosed design helps prevent scatter.
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Super-absorbent disposable pads wick away moisture and contain odors while special pellets capture solid waste.
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This compact litter box lets your cat in from the top, helping to prevent messes like litter tracking and spraying.
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Best Overall: Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan

Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan

The Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan from Catit is an all-around excellent choice. Considering its affordable price tag, humongous size, and reliable design, this litter box provides a lot of bang for your buck.

Measuring 22.4 x 18.3 x 17 inches, it's ideal for larger cats or households with multiple kitties. The hood is easy to lift when it's time to switch out the bags and also removable in case your pet prefers open access. Plus, the Cat Pan is designed to contain messes and trap odors, which means no litter tracking or unpleasant smells throughout your home.

What Testers Say

"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. It made scooping so much easier."—Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Best Budget: Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box

High Sided Cat Litter Box

Want something even more budget-friendly? Check out the Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box from Nature's Miracle. Thanks to its extra-high walls, kitty litter stays inside the box.

Not only that, but the non-stick, antimicrobial material prevents buildup and caking, which makes cleaning a breeze. This litter box is also generously sized, so it's ideal for big cats and families with multiple fur babies. It's also a good pick for cats that don't like enclosed boxes.

Best Splurge: Litter-Robot 3 Connect Cat Litter Box

Litter-Robot 3

If you can swing the steep price tag, the Litter-Robot 3 can make your cat more comfortable and your life easier. The automatic self-cleaning design means you don't have to scoop, and your cat will have clean litter every time they enter.

Additionally, a sizable chamber and upward-facing entry give this space-age litter box a comfy, inviting, open-air feel. We also love that the self-adjusting weight sensor detects cats of various sizes, then deposits waste into a handy drawer after each use.

What Testers Say

"When we got a push notification saying the waste drawer was full, all we had to do was pull open the drawer, tie up the bag of waste, and throw it away. From there, we just lined the drawer with a new bag, hit the button to reset the waste gauge level in the app, and that was it. The whole process takes a few minutes, requiring no scooping."—Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester

Best Design: Petmate Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box

Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box 3 Colors

The Booda Dome Cleanstep is unlike other litter boxes on the market. The igloo-style design and hooded top provide privacy for your pet while containing bits of litter and filtering unwanted odors. If you find that your cat kicks or tracks litter around, this box is a good way to keep things more tidy.

This cat litter box is also 50 percent larger than most of its kind, but the sleek shape and visually pleasing exterior help it blend in with your home decor. It comes in various pearlescent hues, including brushed nickel, pearl white, and titanium.

Best Automatic: PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box

PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box

The ScoopFree Litter Box is another standout automatic option. Like the Litter-Robot, it has a self-cleaning design, allowing you to go weeks between scooping, cleaning, and refilling the bin. Also, safety sensors make sure it only scoops once your pet has left the box.

This model requires a special crystal litter that contains odors, absorbs liquids, and dehydrates solid waste. Additionally, the disposable trays have a leak-proof plastic lining and can be replaced every few weeks.

What Testers Say

"During the weeks we tested it, the box captured all the solid waste in the trap, only leaving behind a few small flecks of solid matter. The only issue we had was when Nugget piled up too much litter on one side of the box, blocking the sensor. When this happened, I had to use a litter scooper to even out the litter level and pressed the button to run a manual rake cycle to get things back on track."—Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester

Best for Multiple Cats: Omega Paw Roll n' Clean Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box

If you've got more than one feline roaming around your home, we recommend Omega Paw Roll n' Clean— particularly the large size. This litter box helps you scoop out clumped waste and deposit it into a built-in tray.

When it's time to clean up, just turn it upside down, roll it back into the upright position, then remove the tray and toss out the waste. While this isn't as hands-off as a fully automatic box, it does make it easier to clean up solid waste without removing the lid of the litter box.

Best for Large Cats: Van Ness Enclosed Cat Litter Pan

Enclosed Cat Litter Pan

The extra-large Enclosed Litter Pan from Van Ness is ideal for big house cats. It has a fully enclosed design with a flap-style door to help prevent tracking and scatter and give your pet some added privacy.

Plus, a replaceable air filter absorbs yucky odors, keeping both the pan and your home smelling fresh. The exterior is also resistant to stains and super easy to wipe clean when needed.

Best Odor-Control: Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System

Breeze Litter Box System

Odors got you down? The Tidy Cats Breeze System is designed specifically to keep unpleasant smells under control and ensure your home smells fresh.

It has a grated floor to help wick moisture into the disposable pads while feline-friendly pellets capture solid waste and dry it out for scooping. This makes it super easy to clean up with the included scoop and makes it easier to clean up after your cat.

Best for Apartments: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Scoop

 IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with Cat Litter Scoop

If you live in an apartment or a home with limited square footage, we suggest getting the IRIS Top Entry Litter Box. This compact oval bin measures just 20.5 inches long, 16.1 inches wide, and 14.6 inches high.

Thanks to its round, slightly tapered shape and top-entry design, it's easy to clean and prevents scatter in your home. This cat litter box is available in white with tan accents, black with gray accents, or gray with white accents. It comes with a matching scoop too.

What Testers Say

"Our cat had never used a top entry litter box before so we were skeptical that she would understand the design. We're happy to report that she started using it immediately and hasn’t had any issues since. However, just a note—the entry hole itself is a little small, so make sure it's big enough for your cat!"—Avery Stone, Commerce Editor

Final Verdict

Our number one pick is the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan because of its extra-large, durable structure, mess-containing design, and affordable price tag. However, if you want a sleek, innovative litter box and are willing to splurge, the self-cleaning Litter-Robot 3 is an excellent choice.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect

 The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

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 5- to 7-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.

PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box

The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This guide was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer and animal lover with lots of experience covering pet products and home goods.

For this list, Theresa considered the size, height, and style of each litter box, as well as insight from product testers. Our team also tests top products in our own homes, to see how cats in real life react to different designs.

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