Your cat might think they’re the center of the universe, but they still need you to clean out their litter box. If you’re a devoted cat parent, you’ll want to find a cat litter box that’s easy for your favorite felines to do their business and easy for you to clean.
It might be a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding the best litter box for your feline’s needs, says Dr. Bryce Zietz, DVM and Team Veterinarian at Fuzzy, a digital pet care company. He suggests setting up a range of options in box styles, sizes, and litter types for two weeks. “Think of it as a litter box buffet,” he says. If your cat(s) use more than one litter box, you might have to extend the trial to see which comes out as a clear winner.
Need some assistance in creating your own litter box buffet at home? Our PEOPLE Tested team has done a lot of the leg work for you. We tested 43 litter boxes in order to find the best cat litter box that’s purr-fect (we had to say it) for your pet.
Read on for the best cat litter boxes that PEOPLE Tested.
Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan
Door allows for more privacy, which can help cats feel more comfortable
Handle makes it easy for us to carry
Built-in bag anchor makes it easy to clean
You need your privacy when you’re doing your business, and so does your cat. The Catit scores the top spot on our best cat litter box list because it has both a hood and a door to cover up your cat’s business, but you can easily remove both when it’s time to clean the box. It also has a built-in bag anchor, making it even easier to scoop out old litter and add new. In addition, you can add the included carbon filter to keep odors at bay.
If you’ve got a cat who likes to kick up litter, the front door on this box does an excellent job of keeping the litter in the litter box and not on your floors. We also loved the handle for carrying the box because it makes it easy to transport.
If your cat is not used to a door on a litter box, it might take a bit of time for them to get used to it, as it did for one of our tester kitties. It’s worth the time, though, because the door helps contain mess and odor. Overall, this litter box got top scores across the board due to its high quality and great value.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Type: Covered pan | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 22.44 x 19.69 x 18.31 inches | Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Box
Sifting pan makes this box much easier to clean than a traditional litter box
Made from recycled materials
Excellent value, especially for a multi-cat household
Sifting the pan comes with a bit of a learning curve, so it might take time for you to get used to
Lower walls may not be great for high-kicking cats who can spray litter around the box
Skip the scooping with this Arm & Hammer sifting pan, which is actually made up of three boxes: one sifting and two regular. The whole system is made from recycled materials, so this is an eco-friendly option for cat owners. It has Microban protection to prevent bacteria from forming and causing odors, so it’s a win for your household, too.
We were surprised at how easy it was to clean this box. There was some concern that the holes in the sifting tray would become clogged, but that wasn’t the case. However, one feline tester did seem to kick out more litter than usual after jumping out of the box, so this might not be the best choice if you’ve got a high-kicking cat.
There’s a bit of a learning curve if you’re not used to sifting or having this many pans, but overall, we found it functional and a good value.
Price at time of publish: $16.88
Type: Sifting | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 8 inches | Weight: Not listed
Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan
Low entry is easier for small or senior cats to use
Rubber grips make it easy to move
Back wall is high enough to contain the litter with minimal kickback
Your cat is a lucky champ indeed with this low-entry cat litter pan that’s a particularly good choice for smaller cats or cats with limited mobility. We found the easy entry and exit space especially good for our tester’s senior cat — but it was also perfect for their younger cat.
While the front is low enough to allow your cat to step in rather than jump in, there’s a high back wall that helps the box contain the litter. The plastic pan is large and easy to clean, plus it has rubber grips on the side that make it easy to move the box whenever and wherever you need it.
There’s no lid for this cat litter box and the tester did note with some dismay that the plastic is shiny, so it might not work if you’re looking for something more discreet. Still, if you are looking for a low-entry litter box for cats with limited mobility, this is the box for you.
Price at time of publish: $21.99
Type: Pan | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 25 x 16.75 x 9 inches | Weight: 3.31 lbs
PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litterbox
Automatically scoops litter with a full-length comb and remained entirely odor-free throughout our testing period
Emits a low hum that didn’t scare our tester cat, so our kitty felt comfortable using the box right away
Great value for an automatic litter box and performs just as well as (or better than) much more expensive boxes that we’ve tested
As much as we love our feline friends, the odors that can waft from their litter box are, in a word, gross. As a foster parent to two cats myself, it feels like as soon as I’ve painstakingly scooped every bit of waste from their litter box, the tell-tale odor is back within the hour. The PetSafe ScoopFree Smart Covered litter box is a game changer — if you thought you had to spend big to find a decent automatic litter box, then this fairly-priced model might change your mind. Our tester cat quickly felt comfortable using the automatic box, which emitted a low hum that didn’t seem to phase our felines. And, best of all, our sensitive noses detected zero smell.
This box takes care of the usually disgusting daily task of scooping the litter for you, with an automatic scooping comb that senses when your cat is using the box and cleans up once they’re finished and safely out of the box. It will only work with crystal litter, but you can use whatever brand of crystal litter that you like.
The only time that the PetSafe litter box required any elbow grease on our part was during the monthly cleaning process, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle. Taking the waste box out of the machine proved somewhat complicated, and we spilled some litter on the floor in the process. But, in our opinion, that monthly cleaning is absolutely worth the odor-free, daily ease that the PetSafe ScoopFree litterbox provides.
Price at time of publish: $199.95
Type: Automatic | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 20.38 x 7.13 x 28 inches | Weight: 16 lbs.
Petphabet Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box
The Petphabet litter box does a great job at containing cat litter. The jumbo size makes it a good choice for larger cats because they’ve got plenty of room to move around. Plus, it’s easy to clean this Petphabet cat litter box with soap and water once you remove the lid. The lid attaches securely to the base of the box, and there are extra latches in case one snaps off, though this was not the case during testing.
This litter box comes in bright colors like teal and purple, though there is a light gray color if you want something a little more discreet. Unlike others on this list that have hoods and lids, this one is clear. Depending on how much your cat likes his or her privacy and how much you want to keep your litter box hidden, the clear lid might not work for you. At the end of the day, this is really just a large plastic box with a clear lid, so it might be a bit pricey unless your cat is super picky.
Price at time of publish: $49.99
Type: Covered | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 17 inches | Weight: 3.12 lbs.
Tuft & Paw Cove Litter Box
Most attractive litter box we tested
Walls can be removed for easier cleaning
High sides are great at keeping litter in the box, even for cats that kick back litter
Most expensive manual litterbox that we’ve tested
Scoop holder tends to trap litter, so we had to clean it after use
Though it’s not a word that we ever thought we’d use when describing a litter box, this one from Tuft and Paw is pretty. Not only is it pretty, but it’s also easy to keep clean — just remove the walls and wipe it out. The high sides kept most of the litter in, though there still was a bit of litter tracking from our cat tester.
We appreciated having the litter scoop attached to the box — it’s a handy feature to begin with, but the scoop is also sturdy, which is even better. We did note, however, that litter did get into the scoop holder, which was harder to clean out.
Aesthetics do come with a higher price tag, which is indeed the sticking point with this one. It might be a splurge if you’ve got just one cat, but if you’ve got multiple cats or would simply prefer a more generic-looking litter box, consider another option on our list.
Price at time of publish: $199
Type: Open | Material: Plastic with rubber base | Dimensions: 6.5 x 16 x 26 inches | Weight: Not listed
Best Design (Less Expensive)
Frisco Multi-Function Covered Cat Litter Box
Box contains litter and spray better than most other litter boxes we’ve tested, drastically reducing litter tracking
Lidded design contains and prevents odor and is easy to lift off to scoop and change out the litter
Low entry point makes it easy for all cats to go in and out of the box, no matter their size
At first glance, the Frisco Multi-Function litter box might appear to be just a standard box-shaped litter box with a lid, but it’s actually a sneakily genius product that not only reduced the amount of litter tracking but also reduced odor.
Inside the litter box is a litter tray and an exit area that helps to catch the litter stuck on a cat’s paws after doing their business and reduce tracking before they exit the box. The internal exit area design was a game changer when it came to keeping the space around the litter box clean in our testing, and we loved that the thoughtful design included a scoop and scoop holder. The lip of the external box isn’t very high, and our large cat had no trouble maneuvering in and out of the box, so the Frisco box works for cats of all sizes.
When it’s time to change out the littler, simply lift off the lid of the outer box and take it out of the internal litter tray. Our only gripe with the box is that the litter tray isn’t super big, so while it works well for one large cat, it probably wouldn’t be suitable for multiple felines (but veterinarian Dr. Zietz suggests getting each cat in your household their own litter box anyway).
Price at time of publish: $69.99
Type: Covered | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 29.7 x 17.5 x 17.6 inches | Weight: 8.28 pounds
Best with High Sides
Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box
High-sided litter box contains litter spray to create less mess outside the box
Large enough for our three test kittens to comfortably use
Box has a low-entry door that our older cat could easily enter and exit from without jumping
Simple one-piece design requires no set-up time and is one of the best values for a litter box that we’ve tried
High-sided litter boxes, like this one from Frisco, can help prevent pesky litter spray that ends up scattered across your floors. If your cat likes to kick up litter after they use the box, then the Frisco High Sided litter box is well worth its incredibly reasonable price. It’s ready to use straight out of the box with no assembly required and was large enough for our three tester kittens to use without issue. Throughout our tests, we found that this high-sided litter box produced less mess outside the box than most others.
This box has higher sides than most other open-air litter boxes that we tested, but still has a low entry door that allowed our older cat to easily move in and out of the box without jumping. Because this box is just one piece, it’s easy to scoop and clean when needed. And while it doesn’t do anything to eliminate odor, we think that for the price, this basic litter box is smartly designed and gets nearly perfect scores across all of our testing criteria.
Price at time of publish: $24.99
Type: Open | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 10 inches | Weight: 2.89 pounds
Frisco Hooded Cat Litter Box
Hooded box with swinging door helps to contain odor and gives your cat privacy, which can help them feel more comfortable using the box
Box is large enough to fit our 13-pound tester cat comfortably
Hooded litter boxes can help contain cat odor and also give your pet a sense of privacy (yes, even cats want privacy when they do their business!). That’s why we love the Frisco Hooded litter box, with a flap door that helps to contain any smells or litter spray.
This hooded litterbox performed exactly as we hoped it would, and our large tester cat was able to get in and out of the swinging door design easily. We were surprised with just how large the box is (comfortable enough for a 13-pound cat), and the swinging cover can also be removed if your cat prefers a box without a door. Our only gripe with this box is that our cat tracked litter out of the box after using it, but that’s not unusual, even among the best litter boxes. Overall, the Frisco Hooded cat litterbox is an incredible value and works for cats of all sizes.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Type: Covered | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 26 x 18.1 x 19.3 inches | Weight: Not listed
Easiest to Clean
Litter Genie Cat Litter Box
Bucket-like design has convenient handles that make moving this litter box around easier than with any others we’ve tested
Bucket design also makes it really easy to pour out used litter when you’re ready to empty the litter box
At first glance, the Litter Genie looks more like a laundry basket than a place for your cat to do their business, but that unique design is actually what makes this litter box so effective and easy to clean. The two side handles slope down to a flexible curved base, making it easy to lift up and empty the box (or should we say bin?) without spilling any of its contents. It’s also one of the most lightweight litter boxes that we’ve tested and definitely the easiest for us to move.
In our real-world testing, we were pleasantly surprised with how easy this box was to not only move around but also to pour litter into without spilling. The latter is thanks to the box’s wide opening, which also creates more space for larger cats to use the box comfortably. By the end of our testing period, both of our cats preferred this litter box to any other that we had set up around the home.
Because this is an open-air box, the design doesn’t really prevent litter tracking. But, if you’re looking for a litter box that’s remarkably easy to lift and clean and will make your cat feel comfortable right away, then the Litter Genie is a great choice at a competitive price.
Price at time of publish: $29.99
Type: Open | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 22.3 x 17.6 x 16 inches | Weight: 1.49
Best for Kittens
Iris USA Open Top Cat Litter Box with Shield and Scoop
Small design takes up less floor space than most other litter boxes we’ve tried and is the perfect size for small cats and kittens
Detachable spray guard helps prevent mess outside of the box
For smaller cats and kittens, there’s often no need for a large litter box that takes up a big chunk of your floor space. That’s why we’re big fans of this smaller box from Iris — it’s just the right size for our smaller cats to enjoy while still allowing enough room for them to do their business comfortably. The simply structured box is made from two parts: a base tray and a detachable spray guard, which took about 30 seconds for us to clip together. It also comes with a scoop that can clip onto the outside of the box, which is a convenient touch.
The litter spray guards were very effective at preventing mess outside of the litter box, so we gave the box top marks for its ability to keep our floors clean. Where we ran into some issues was with the size of the box, which was small enough that our 17-pound cat couldn’t use it, and our 11-pound cat could just barely use it comfortably. Because of the smaller size compared to other boxes we tested, we’d recommend the Iris Open Top litter box for those owners of smaller cats and kittens.
Price at time of publish: $15.17 (orig. $18.99)
Type: Open | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 11.75 inches | Weight: 1.96 pounds
Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box
Box base is bigger than most other litter boxes we’ve tried, making it comfortable for large cats or multiple cats to use the box
Hooded design with door flap gives cats more privacy and can make them feel more comfortable using the box, plus it helps to contain odor
If you’re looking for a simple litter box with a few extra design perks, then the Amazon Basics hooded litter box might be just what you’re after. It’s made of a hooded top and a standard tray bottom that snap together easily, and it took us less than a minute to assemble the box. Our cat also took a liking to the box right away, which might be due to its roomy interior or privacy-providing flap door.
This is one of the larger litter boxes that we’ve tested, which is great for large cats or for households with multiple cats. The hooded design helps to prevent odors and litter spray from leaving the confines of the box, and a top handle makes it easy to move and lift. While we think this box is great for households with space to spare, we wouldn’t recommend it for smaller apartments or tight corners because its base area is larger than most others we tested. But, for those with space for a larger box, this box seems to be of great quality and falls in the middle of the price range compared to others we’ve tried.
Price at time of publish: $37.59
Type: Hooded | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 15 inches | Weight: 2.47 pounds
Best with Pellets
Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
Liner pads absorb liquids, making this easier to clean than traditional litterboxes
Pellets effectively trap waste without absorbing odor, and create less mess from kickback
Whole system is a game changer for cat litter odor
Not all versions of this box are covered
You’ll need to keep pads on hand, which can get expensive
After thoroughly testing this cat-litter system, we think it’s worth every dollar. While cleaning out your cat’s litter box might not be high on your list of favorite household tasks, this litter box is much easier to clean than others. We found that the litter box stays cleaner longer, and the pellets are great at preventing odor without absorbing it. And, though it’s easier to clean, you might find that you won’t have to clean it nearly as often, which is indeed a great value.
This Purina system features a BREEZE System Starter Kit that comes with a litter box, litter pellets, and pads. The pads are disposable and lock in moisture well enough to last for up to a week per cat, so you’ll have to buy more when the included pack of four pads runs out. The litter pellets are anti-tracking, so you can expect to see far less dust and tracking around the box. It has a drawer that easily slides out so you can remove the pad. This system comes in three different versions — an open model, one with a hood, and a larger open model that has higher walls.
Price at time of publish: $42.98
Type: Open | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 16.5 x 21 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 9.3 lbs.
ModKat Flip Litter Box
More attractive-looking design than typical litterboxes
Flip top makes it private and discreet, which can help cats feel more comfortable
Liner makes it easier to clean than the traditional plastic-tub litterbox
Cats are notoriously private about their personal business. And while there are a number of excellent cat litter boxes with hoods that allow for privacy, they don’t hide the fact that you’ve got a litter box in the corner of your house — unless the litter box in question is this flip litter box from Modkat. It’s got a boxy shape that makes it look more like a storage bin, so it’s much more discreet than your ordinary litter box.
We really liked the design of this litter box, but we loved the easy-to-clean liner even more: You just need to unhook and wash it. The litter box walls are high enough to contain the kickback of litter, and it comes with a liner and a scoop (the Katch Litter mat is sold separately). The scooper also deserves high praise, and we found it impressively durable but lightweight.
This litter box has a top and front entry. If your cat doesn’t enjoy the top entry — like one finicky feline on our tester team — then the front entry is another option. Again, this litter box delivers with its discreetness, but if your cat only uses the one entry, you might find this a bit expensive — though your cat likely will feel it deserves it.
Price at time of publish: $89.95
Type: Flip top | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 20 x 16.75 x 15 inches | Weight: 7 lbs.
Whisker Litter-Robot 4
Robotic litter box automatically scoops and empties itself into a convenient plastic bag-lined bin that can be changed out about every three weeks — meaning no more scooping
Box automatically senses when a cat enters and exits the box, and then records the cat’s weight, and sends that data to a connected smart app
Box automatically scoops itself with a rotating sieve when your cat exits the box and puts waste into a sealed bottom container that completely prevents odor
One of the most expensive litter boxes on the market
Set-up took us about an hour of getting used to the controls, connecting to the smart app, and figuring out what each light signal means
The Whisker Litter Robot eliminates the downright disgusting task of scooping and cleaning out a litter box. Using a motorized chamber that rotates to filter out clumped litter, this robot cleans itself after every use, dropping the waste into a plastic bag-lined chamber that’s easy to tie up and throw away about once every three weeks. The litter box robot automatically senses when your cat enters and exits the box and also records your cat’s weight automatically. All of this data is sent to a convenient smartphone app, so even when you’re not home, you can rest assured that your cat is doing their business in the box.
PEOPLE shopping writer Cai Cramer has been using the Litter Robot 4 for months with multiple foster cats and says the robotic litter box has transformed the way she cares for her pets. “I can’t overstate how much time and energy this robotic litter box saves me,” Cai shares. “Not only do I no longer need to scoop out cat poop by hand constantly, but I also feel confident leaving my cat home throughout the day while I’m at work, knowing that the Whisker box will keep the litter fresh and my cat comfortable (and my home odor-free!).”
Because of the connected app and smart features, Cai found this litter box took about an hour for her to set up and get used to the controls fully. But, once she understood how the lights corresponded to the robot’s settings, she fell in love with it’s easy-to-use interface. So, while the price might automatically inspire a healthy dose of sticker shock, think about how much you’d be willing to pay to never have to clean a litter box again.
Price at time of publish: $699
Type: Robotic | Material: Not listed | Dimensions: 22 x 15.75 x 29.5 inches | Weight: 24 pounds
Things to Consider Before Buying a Litter Box
There are a few types of litter boxes: open, hooded, and covered. Some also include doors or cut-outs for easy entry and exit. Cats like privacy, so hooded or covered litter boxes are a fan favorite, as long as they’re not too small — after all, your kitty does need room to turn around and comfortably do their business. Open litter boxes tend to be more affordable, but you may find yourself cleaning up litter from the surrounding floor. Many cat owners prefer a hood, like the one on the Catit Hooded Cat Pan, to keep their cat’s business discreet. However, your cat will ultimately call the shots with the type of litter box he or she prefers. The good news is that with a bit of practice — and some patience on your part — your cat can get acclimated to a new litter box.
All of the litter boxes on our list are made of plastic, which is easiest to keep clean. Our testers found that soap and water were all it took to get these boxes clean and smelling fresh again. Some litter boxes, like the ModKat Flip Litter Box, come with a liner to make cleanup even easier. The Arm & Hammer Sifting Cat Litter Pan comes with a sifting pan that can also make it easy to keep things clean on a daily basis.
You’ll want a roomy enough box so that your cat won’t feel cramped when doing its business. It should be tall and wide enough that it can easily get in and turn around. The size of the Petphabet Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box should be big enough for your cat (or cats) liking. If your cat is smaller or has limited mobility and a litter box with a lower entry is required, try the Lucky Champ Cat Litter Pan.
How We Tested
Our testers evaluated 43 of the best cat litter boxes on the market. They scored them based on ease of assembly, ease of cleaning, mess prevention, box design, scoop design (if one was included), and overall value.
To test the litter boxes, the testers filled the litter box with cat litter per the box’s guidelines. They acclimated their cat(s) to the litter box. Each week, they scooped or sifted the kitty litter at least one or two times, though the actual schedule depended on the type of litter used and the cat involved. After a month of using each litter box, the testers cleaned the box as if they were going to pack or move it and recorded their findings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size litter box does a cat need?
“The general rule for box length is 1.5 times the length of cat from tip of nose to tip of tail,” says Dr. Zietz. He adds that when in doubt, a wider box is usually better so that there’s room for your cat to turn around and bury things effectively.
However, be careful if you’re choosing one that has high walls. “Some smaller cats, kittens, and even older cats with mobility problems will not be able to climb into the box easily if it is too tall,” he adds.
Do cats prefer open or closed litter boxes?
“Most cats generally prefer larger open-type boxes,” says Dr. Zietz. “For some, they will be the better option if a cat tends to have increased anxiety when forced to go into a cornered space with only one exit point.”
How many litter boxes are needed for multiple cats?
“The general rule for total number of boxes is the number of cats in the home plus one,” says Dr. Zietz. So if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes — and if you have one cat, it’s still a good idea to have two litter boxes on hand.
Why Trust PEOPLE?
Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelancer with more than 18 years of experience as a writer, editor, and social media consultant specializing in home improvement and lifestyle topics. For this story, Barbara used insights collected from extensive testing by the PEOPLE Tested labs, with a methodology that was informed by research and real cat owners’ experiences. Barbara also interviewed Dr. Bryce Zietz, Team Veterinarian at Fuzzy. This story was recently updated by Cai Cramer, a staff writer at PEOPLE who fosters two cats. Cai provided additional, up-to-date information on automatic litter boxes.
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