6 Expert Tips To Choose A Litter Box

One of the reasons why you might be choosing a pet cat over a dog is that cats don't have to be walked outside.  You don't have to give up your morning snuggles and rush to the nearby grounds so that your pet can use the toilet. However, because cats need to go to the toilet too, you will have to buy them a litter box. Read on to see what types of litter trays there are available and which one will be best suited for you and your cat.

Table of Contents [Hide]

1. What Are the Types of Litter Boxes and Which One Should I Choose?

Enclosed (Covered)

This covered litter box has several features:

  • The enclosed cubicle offers privacy
  • Prevents the spread of odor
  • Tough and durable polypropylene (PP) body lasts for many years
  • Available in many cat-friendly designs

You should opt for this design if you want your investment to last long, and have a safe, hygienic, and discreet litter-space for your kitty. Choose from a vast range of finishes that suit your home.

Covered Standard Litter Box in Pink Plastic
White Litter Box Enclosure
Large Litter Box Enclosure in White
White Plastic Enclosed Standard Litter Box
Modern Litter Box Enclosure
Cat Home Litter Box Enclosure in White

Open design (Uncovered)

These are open from all sides and offer features such as crystal litter that quickly absorbs urine and solid waste and leaves the surroundings almost odor-free.

Most models in this open type have disposable trays, so that's an added advantage. The compact and light-weight plastic body can be placed discreetly in a corner.

Go for this design if your cat feels uncomfortable in an enclosed tray.

Uncovered Travel Cat Litter Pan
Grey Plastic Open Standard Litter Box
Open Plastic Standard Litter Box
Open Standard Litter Box with Scoop
Green Plastic Open Standard Litter Box
Simple Open Litter Box for Cats

Scoop-free (self-cleaning)

No scooping is required in this design innovation because it has self-cleaning technology. A slow-moving conveyor sifts the litter and takes the cat waste and drops it into a waste bin. Additional features:

  • Scientific design - the slow-moving and silent conveyor does not scare the cat away

  • The waste bin is lined with plastic to make waste-disposal hygienic and easy

  • Carbon filters make the environment odor-free

This is an advanced model of cat litter boxes. Go for it if you want an end-to-end automated device, and in the process, maintain impeccable home hygiene.

2. Should I Choose the Covered or Uncovered Design?

As a pet owner, you should consciously choose between the covered and uncovered models of the litter box. Cat behavior experts say that not all cats have the same temperament. Some are shy and may feel inhibited to litter openly. They might like a discreet littering space. On the other hand, some cats are more of extroverts and may prefer to litter in an open environment.

For this reason, the decision should be based on your cat's temperament. The key consideration should be that your kitty should feel comfortable and at ease in the litter box.

White Open Standard Litter Box for Cats
Covered Plastic Standard Litter Box
Stylish Grey Modern Litter Box Enclosure
Scoopfree Self-Automatic Standard Litter Box
Brown Wood Litter Box Enclosure

3. Why Should I Switch to An Automatic Litter Box?

Are you done with the old-fashioned litter box that requires manual scooping? It's time you upgraded to one of the latest automatic litter boxes that is cat-friendly, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced to do the scooping, cleaning, and refilling on its own. Read these useful tips to know more.

  • It offers you the freedom to remain out of home for a longer time. Now you don't have to miss out on the weekend outings or short vacations, because the litter box does not require your daily attention.

  • Self-cleaning. It saves you from daily scooping. You can forget scooping, cleaning, and refilling the litter box.

  • Self-flushing. It ensures no waste is left behind.

  • Odor control. It prevents odor from emanating and spreading in your home.

  • It has sensors that ensure that the scooping is done only after your cat descends from the litter box.

  • Non-stick tray ensures that your cat's paws are not soiled and keeps the floor clean too.

  • Memory feature in advanced models tracks the usage, so you know if your cat has been in the litter box and how often; this feature allows you to monitor the cat's health.

Scoopfree Self-Automatic Standard Litter Box
Scoopfree Automatic Litter Box in Purple
Scoopfree Ultra Self-Cleaning Automatic Litter Box
Quick Clean Spinner Cat Litter Box
Grey Plastic Automatic Litter Box

4. Are the Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth Their Price?

You would be spending over $150 on a self-cleaning litter box. Is the purchase worth the money? Consider these two factors:

  • Self-cleaning designs operate on conveyor technology that has a motor. Although all manufacturers claim "whisper-silent" operation, cats are very sensitive to sound. The motor sound may obstruct their natural process of littering. The best solution to this problem is an actual trial.

  • Some cats are not as good as others at covering their litter. This may cause the cat feces to stick to the rake as the cat comes out of the litter box. This is not hygienic, neither for the cat nor for the home environment. It also allows for some odors to spread.

If you can train your cat to get used to the motor sound and teach her to cover their litter, the price of this litter box is worth its self-cleaning feature.

5. Which Size of Litter Box Should I Choose?

This depends on your cat's measurements. Most manufacturers decide their product sizes keeping in mind the various sizes of domesticated breeds of cats.

However, not every cat is the same. Some may be a bit overweight, so the litter box you choose may be too small. Some may have conditions such as arthritis, for whom you may have to opt for an oversized model.

To overcome such problems, follow this rule:

The inner dimensions of the box should be:

  • 1.5 times longer than your cat
  • Its width should be equal to your cat's length

A lot of manufacturers offer different litter sizes of the same model -- small, medium, large, and extra-large, which allows you to choose the right size in the model you like.

Medium Plastic Litter Box
Large Litter Box Enclosure in Light Grey
Small Square White Litter Box Enclosure
Modern Litter Box Enclosure in White
Medium Litter Box Enclosure with Mat
Small Plush Litter Box Enclosure

6. How Many Litter Boxes Should I Get?

If you have one cat, you will do with one litter box. Getting more than one for just one pet might be a convenience but is not a necessity. You may wish to place one litter box upstairs and one downstairs if, for example, you take your cat upstairs for the night and lock the access to the ground floor.

Nevertheless, if you have more than one cat, you will have to get more litter boxes too.

Having a single litter box for two or more cats poses some problems:

  • They may not like to share it
  • They may need to use it at the same time
  • If the litter box is placed near a source of noise or other disturbance that inhibits, frightens, or obstructs their littering, your cat or cats will want an alternative.

Due to these concerns, it is better to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have. If you have more than one cats, place the litter boxes in different locations as cats may want privacy; especially if they are introverts or shy.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.