An Analysis Of Cat Litter Boxes

cat sitting on top of the table

Growing up, I spent most of my life with cats for pets, and boy did I love it. A cat is a feline friend that has the ability to blend into your family. She also provides you with a level of happiness, calmness, and companionship in this journey of life.

My mom loved cats and she was big on that, even though she only entertained keeping one cat at a go.

For this reason, our close friends and relatives enjoyed receiving healthy, lovely looking kittens as gifts.

 As a result, I naturally grew in love with cats.  Being the youngest in a family of six, it went without saying that it was my primary responsibility to design a litter box and scoop it every day. While this responsibility wasn’t fun, with time I developed a high level of understanding on how to take care of cats, their bathroom issues, and their health in general. One good look at a cat or its poop, and I could tell that something was wrong.

Cats when they are about to eliminate, start by sniffing an area and scratching at the surface with a front paw as if digging a hole. She then moves around in circles, squats and urinates or defecates on the scratched surface.

When the cat is finished, she will stand, turn, smell the soiled area and scratch the litter again in an attempt to bury the deposits.

Some will repeat this sniff and scratch procedure more than once before leaving the site.

The intensity of scratching and digging varies among cats.  Some barely bury their waste while others create a huge mound on top of the waste.

For these reasons, different cats need differently designed litter boxes. 

We will dig much deeper into this later.

These adjustments and considerations are important while choosing the best cat litter box for your cat. They determine eventually what you will settle for.

Figuring out which is the best cat litter box to choose can be quite confusing. Knowing what will best suit your cat’s size, age, health, comfort, your home, and taste can be challenging.

These are the key questions you should consider:

  • What type and size of litter box best suits your cat?
  • What type of litter is best?
  • How much litter should the boxes contain?
  • How many trays do you need?
  • What makes sense for your type of house?
  • How often are you willing to empty and scrub the litter box?
  • How often can you scoop the poop?

Pro tip: Remember that you are choosing the best cat litter box suitable for your cat, not you. It is impossible to train a cat to use a litter box that he finds uncomfortable or annoying.

 Your choice for the right litter box is purely dependent on:

  • The setting at your home
  • The type of cat you have
  • Availability of time on your hands
  • Personal preference.

Factors to consider before selecting the right litter box

1. What does your cat prefer?

Cats can be picky and reject the constant changing of litter box types. It’s best to stick with one consistent design unless you are willing to put in the time to retrain your cat. If a cat values privacy, a covered litter box will be ideal.

If you’re considering an unusually shaped or high-tech box, some cats may accept them, while others cats them unacceptable.

2. How many cats do you own? 

Cats can be territorial and in case you own more than one cat, having an extra tray will be beneficial. This will make sure they can help themselves with ease without facing any aggression. A timid cat will then go and poop elsewhere.

3. The size of your cat:

The litter box should be large enough to enable your cat to comfortably relieve herself and turn, without stepping outside the box. If the cat box is tiny, she may end up using another corner in the house since she doesn’t want to step on her own poop.

Kittens require a small, low-sided box since they are too tiny to climb into a larger one.

A shallow tray, something similar to an aluminum baking pan, comes in handy. This is until the cat is about 12 weeks of age when they can get in and out of a typical litter box.

 Once the kitten grows bigger, automatically transition into a larger one.

When dealing with a larger cat, select a litter box that has enough room for him to urinate and poop in several spots. They should still have some clean space to stand on.

Ensure that the box is large enough so that your cat’s rear the end doesn’t hang over the side when he eliminates.

If you have a bigger-bodied cat, you will automatically select a bigger box that will accommodate your cat. This is important when turning around and still find a good spot to eliminate.

Whatever size you choose for your adult cat, the bottom of the litter box should be deep enough (four to five inches). This will give him enough burying room without spilling the litter outside.

4. What type of kitty litter boxes?

A covered, self-cleaning or uncovered litter box is ideal.

Each has its pros and cons and this is something you want to look into deeply.

Understand what is best suited for your unique position.

 Some cats like the privacy and security of a covered litter box. Others prefer an open box where they can observe everything that’s going on in the area.

You may decide to experiment at first and provide both types to learn which your cat prefers.

Here are some factors to consider:

 A cat who is especially shy or reserved may prefer a covered box.

  Hooded boxes are good choices for cats who like to dig and kick a lot of litter outside the box.

  A covered box can be helpful in isolating your cat’s feces from any resident dogs. Lots of dogs enjoy eating cat poop because they are attracted to its high protein content. While this may gross you out, it poses no health hazard to your dog.

  The hoods on the box tend to reduce air circulation.

 Soiled litter takes longer to dry, creating a perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to grow.

  Reduced air circulation is bad for cats with asthma and other chronic respiratory ailments.

  Cats who object to covered boxes can sometimes be retrained. Simply take off the lid and let the cat use the bottom tray until he gets used to it and then replace the lid. But remember, you cannot force your cat to use a box he dislikes.

 If you choose a covered box, ensure that the opening is large enough for your cat to enter and exit comfortably. The box should have a deep bottom and be roomy enough for your cat. He needs to turn around, scratch, dig, and position himself comfortably before he eliminates.

Pro tip: In a multiple-cat household, a covered box may make it easy for an aggressive cat to lie in wait and ambush a timid one as he leaves the box. You may find it hard to believe that your favorite pet is a bully.  Just know that you are blind to a reality that happens so often.

5. The condition of your cat:

Is your cat a sprayer, a young kitten, an old cat or has a physical impairment or even arthritis. All these put into consideration will help you determine the height of your litter box. Sprayers will need a cat box with taller walls. Kittens and the cat with mobility issues will need a litter box with a low entry wall.

6. The durability of the box material:

The best material for a litter box should be heavy and durable plastic. This will be easy to clean and will endure the test of time. A weak material will break down easily and need to be replaced regularly which can be expensive. 

7. Consider the age of your cat:

Older cats need a box with lower sides. Those with an injury or suffer from arthritis and experience loss of mobility make it difficult for them to enter and leave the litter box. If your older cat is suddenly “missing” the box, try providing one with lower sides.

kitten

What you never knew about Hidden litter boxes

Cats generally like to feel safe and enjoy their privacy while relieving themselves. This translates into ensuring that the litter box is in a low traffic area, may be covered, or in this case hidden. This is a perfect hiding place since it’s designed to blend in with your living space and remain unseen by visitors.

A hidden litter box is usually stays hidden in plain sight by being hidden in an enclosure. This makes it an ideal resting area and comfort zone for your cat.

These enclosures come in the form of a cabinet, a table, or a nightstand. Since they are part of the basic furniture in the house and they don’t alter anything.

They provide much more space for your feline friends, unlike a typical standalone litter box. They have ventilation systems that keep odors at bay and leakage avoidance features.

To create your own unique and top-notch hidden cat litter box, ensure at least most of these features are in place:

  • Contains ventilation holes that enable air circulation
  • Comes with a plant and decorative moss
  • Contains vented system that keeps dust and odors at bay
  • Contains hydraulic safety hinge for easier cleaning
  • Keeps dogs away from the litter

The Best Cat Litter Boxes:

1. Self-Cleaning Litter Box:

The thought of constant scooping of the cat’s litter boxes can quickly dim your plans of acquiring a cat.

It can be a tedious, repetitive, and gross affair that takes up your time and effort….

And who wants to keep cleaning a smelly kitty box anyway?

Lucky for you, automatic litter boxes are here to solve your biggest problem.

If you’d like to dig deeper, here is a detailed post on the automatic litter box reviews.

>> Read Our Full Review Here <<

2. Covered litter box:

Hooded litter boxes, also known as closed or covered litter pans, are boxes with a covering or hood.

This converts the box into a small looking house, where your cat enters to relieve himself in seclusion and privacy.

Recently, with the advancement in tech, some have odor absorbing filters in the hood vent. This keeps the air fresh and reduces odors.

The hooded cat box is one of the best litter box options for any cat home.

Follow me as you and I dig deeper into the unique benefits that these covered boxes offer.

>> Read Our Full Review Here <<

3. Litter box furniture:

This litter box cabinet however, is a game-changer. It is a litter box built into a piece of furniture such as a cabinet or a night stand.

This forms part of the basic furniture in the house and doesn’t alter anything.

A hidden litter box usually stays hidden in plain sight since it’s inside an enclosure like a cabinet. This makes it an ideal resting area and comfort zone for your cat.

They provide much more space for your feline friends unlike a typical standalone litter box.

This is a perfect hiding place since it’s designed to blend in with your living space. It remains unseen by visitors.

Who is this for?

If the unsightly site of a bulky looking smelly box, is not your cup of coffee, then I’m speaking to you my friend.

How about you read more of the benefits of the litter box cabinet, if you are not yet convinced.

 >> Read Our Full Review Here <<

Seated cat

4. Top entry litter box 

Getting home to find litter scattered all over the house, is a messy affair…

 It can frustrate you and tire you with endless sweeping.

The top entry litter box design eliminates these problems flawlessly.

 It keeps litter in, keep most dogs out, and reduces odors.

It keep the unsightly view of the litter mess hidden from you and your precious guests.

You can take a quick detour from this home page to read this article here in full.

>> Read Our Full Review Here <<

5. Disposable litter box

What happens when you want to travel and carry your feline friend with you?

You are in the process of moving into a new house or you are in-between places.  How will your cat handle her elimination business during this transition period?

Or even worse, your cat is sick and you don’t want any infection to spread to the other pets? What do you do?

Ordinary litter boxes that your cats use on a day to day situation are definitely not the best solution.

They can spread infection to the other pets, they are bulky to transport and are not a good fit for air travel.

This is where a disposable litter box comes in handy. A good portion of them are crap and the possibility of buying a piece of junk is high.

For this reason, you definitely need to learn which the legitimate brands are. Brands that won’t break your bank, while offering you superb service.

Where else can you get genuine reviews of the litter boxes in the market place?

Let’s dig deeper.

>> Read Our Full Review Here <<

 6. Dog proof litter box

Do you have a multi-pet household that consists of a cat and a dog for pets?

Did you know that your lovely dog tries to sneak into the cat’s litter box for a “midday snack?”

Gross! I know right. But such is life and the reality that faces you and every household that has a dog and a cat.

The risk of infection from eating cat’s poop is present.

If you don’t address it, you’ll accumulate bills at the veterinarian and even risk losing your dog.

 All manner of gastrointestinal tract issues in your lovely dog can crop up quickly. Helminths such as tapeworms, viruses, and bacteria are a potential threat.

You in luck though, because there is a solution to combat this problem.

Some litter boxes are designed to prevent dogs from accessing them and making a mess while at it. These are dog proof litter boxes.

I have carefully and consciously reviewed the top 5 best available options right here on Mr litter box.

These boxes are robust and designed as anti-dog litter boxes.

>> Read Our Full Review Here <<

7. Portable Litter Box for Travel:

What happens if you are a frequent traveler and you have to take your cat with you on a journey?

The regular home litter box in most cases is not ideal for the journey and an alternative portable travel litter box is needed.

A portable cat box that can easily fit in your car or even a plane and isn’t a hustle to ferry around.

They come in different shapes and sizes and here I classify them into three categories:

1.      Collapsible litter boxes

2.      Multi-use boxes

3.      Disposable litter box for travel

Read more for a detailed breakdown into the various options available.

 >> Read Our Full Review Here <<

Should you buy your first litter box at Walmart?

There are lots of options available from where you can source your favorite litter boxes. These include:

  • Chewy  
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Other online stores
  • Your local store

 The choice of the store will be influenced by factors such as:

  • The cost of the litter box at the store
  • Ease of accessibility and convenience
  • Shopping habits
  • Brand loyalty

Conclusion:

Your cat’s needs are unique and with this guide, you will be able to quickly settle on the best litter box ideal for your cat. There is no one size fits all option. Follow the steps given and you will find your ideal cat box!