Updated: May 16, 2015

Litter Box Reviews:

If you own a cat you can understand that getting your feline to use a litter box is essential to your household hygiene. Most cats if given a consistent environment will use a litter box when indoors. Cats that are both indoors and outdoors often prefer to use the outdoors if given the chance but make sure they have a litter box to use when indoors. The key is to start litter box training when the cat is still just a kitten. Instinct tells them to dig and bury their waste so get them familiar with the litter box and it's location so they can do their busness in it. Beyond finding a litter box many people want the simplest product around with as little mess as possible. Also, the odors and smells that arise near litter boxes can be terrible if the kitty litter is not changed often enough or the box itself is not kept clean. Tray litter boxes have been the preferred choice for years with most cat owners but the automatic, or self cleaning, litter boxes are becoming more popular and innovative. Which litter box is right for you and your cat? Keep reading to find out about the latest products and read reviews (or read our detailed review of the ScoopFree Litter Box).


Litter Box Features

A general overview of what kinds of litter boxes are on the market and what features to consider before purchasing is listed below. To start with, your litter box should be sized appropriately for your cat. If the cat is still just a kitten, experts say you should stick with a litter box that has 2 to 3 inch sides. When the cat becomes larger (full grown) make sure the litter box has 4 inch sides or higher as cats will definitely scratch and spread the kitty litter over the sides if it's too small. Cats are very skittish creatures and a little paranoid of strange sounds or textures. You want a litter box with enough space for your cat to turn around and be able to dig a little hole in the litter and bury their waste. Some pet sites we visited said go with a litter box that is a minimum of 24 inches wide or long. The best litter boxes are those made with a durable plastic since they are best at keeping smells to a minimum and easy to wash out when needed. The main styles of litter boxes are the tray boxes, hooded boxes, and self-cleaning boxes. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages associated with it. The cheapest are the tray boxes which offer the best access for cats but at the same time allow for other pets (dogs mostly) or even kids to get into them quite easily. Tray boxes do give you easy access to get the scoop out and pick up their poop. These boxes tend to spread more odors throughout your house and apartment than say the hooded variety. Also, no matter how high the sides are on these models, it always seems that some kitty litter gets outside the box. Hooded litter boxes do have some advantages like keeping the odors to a minimum (contained in the box) and the kitty litter is less likely to escape the box on these designs as well. Kids and dogs will have a harder time getting into the hooded boxes and cats will get a bit of privacy. The cost of the hooded boxes will run more than the tray boxes and they can be a touch harder to clean as the access to the litter is not as easy. The automatic litter boxes may sound great, but before you buy one, read some reviews to find out which ones really work. The self-cleaning boxes will sift through the litter for you and get rid of the solid waste by putting it into a plastic bag. Some cat owners find these models to be the most convenient litter boxes around. They are the most expensive of all the litter boxes but require the least amount of work to be done by the pet owner. Not all cats like the automatic machines so you may have to go through a few litter boxes to find your cats preference. ScoopFree and Litter Robot are 2 popular brands to look into. Also, pet show owners say you should have 1 litter box per cat (2 cats = 2 litter boxes). You can browse the top selling cat litter boxes online here.

Tray Litter Box:

The most common and basic of all litter boxes is the tray. People have been complaining about emptying the litter box for years because the smells can become so toxic if left uncleaned. The latest products definitely cut down on the obnoxious odors but you still need to clean the box periodically. Petco.com carries the Fresh Kitty Antibacterial Litter Pan ($8) and owners say it's a smart buy for the money. At less than $10 you get a fresh smelling litter box area for months as the pan stops odors and bacteria from building up. The tray is made with plastic that has anti-microbial protection so your house doesn't have to smell like a litter box. The pan is replaceable for a cheap price so that is why so many cat owners choose this style. Experts suggest you put a newspaper or mat under the litter box so that you can quickly pick up spills that spread over the sides of the box.

Automatic Litter Box:

Ok, now for the fun products. The self-cleaning cat litter boxes are definitely better than they used to be, but there are still complaints on motor noise, cats being skittish near these contraptions and the overall cost of them. The Litter Robot is perhaps the most famous of all the automatic litter boxes we could find. The Litter Robot looks like a small clothes dryer in which your cat climbs into. The cost is close to $300 but you get a litter box that empties the litter into a drawer by simply pushing a button. The timer allows you to sleep soundly knowing the poop is being discarded properly at all times of the day. The downside to the Litter Robot is that it is a rather large machine and some owners say the odors from your cat stink up the house. As we mentioned, some of these automated litter boxes have noisy motors that do the work. The Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box has a self-cleaning raking system which does the scooping for you and the reviews from cat owners are near perfect for this mdoel. The ScoopFree ($120) gets better reviews than the LitterMaid and can go up to 30 days without having to be cleaned. The crystal litter allows for easier self-cleaning than the other brands of kitty litter. The rake scoops the waste into a covered trap although it's not a sealed area so the smell of cat poop can still invade your house. Owners say the box is literally clog and jam free and the motor is durable on this unit. Lastly, the CatGenie Cat Box ($300) gets mixed reviews. This toilet looking machine actually flushes away cat waste and is self-cleaning. The box uses permanent washable granules instead of the disposable litter that other litter boxes incorporate. At $300 it's definitely priced pretty high and you would expect no problems, but some owners complained about warning beepers that go off when the sanitizing cartridge runs out. Others said if the box is not on a perfectly flat surface it could have issues. Others say the device works wonders if you can get your cat to use it. The CatGenie is available at Petco and other pet stores nationwide. You can view all the self cleaning litter boxes here.


Hooded Litter Box:

The Booda Dome Cleanstep Cat Box ($30) resemble miniature igloos. The domed box is called the "worlds greatest cat litter box" and reviews on this style are very positive. The box is 99% odor free and it's about 50% larger than the average litter box. The covered litter box gives your cat privacy while keeping the kitty litter in the box where it belongs. The purchase includes a charcoal filter and a Booda Clean Step liner. You also get a sifting scoop. The drawback to these hooded litter boxes is that they are large and take up quite a bit of space in your house. We have also heard that cleaning the kitty litter can be a little combursome as you have to reach into the dome to get the poop out. If you don't mind the bizarre shaped dome in your home, overall appears to be a good buy. Amazon.com sells these litter boxes along with other popular styles.