When choosing a litter box, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true. According to the ASPCA, there are some common bad behaviors that can be avoided by making sure that you chose the correct litter box.
Listed below are the basic factors that you should look at as you decide which type will best suit your cat.
The most important thing to remember as you go through this list is that each cat is an individual and in order to find a litter box that your cat will use, you need to answer these questions based on your pet:
- Your cat’s preferred level of privacy. Will the litter box you are considering accommodate your cat’s need in this area?
- Your cat’s individual physical needs and size. They will need a box that is easy to use. This means making sure that they do not feel cramped, scared, or trapped inside. Also, they will need a litter box that is large enough that it will fit somewhere that is not too hot or noisy.
- Your cat’s need to have their food and water separate from their litter box. Will the box you are considering fit in an area that will not be too near your cat’s “dinner table”?
- Your budget and how many litter boxes you will need. The rule of thumb is one per floor per cat. The last thing you want is to have cats refusing or unable to use their litter box due to a territory issue or because they can’t get to the box in time.
- Your cat’s individual personality. Are they timid or easy going? Do they prefer to not be seen while they eliminate or is that not a concern for them? What habits have you observed as it pertains to your cat’s bathroom habits? Try to tailor your choice to these behaviors so you chose a box that they will use.
With the above checklist in mind, let’s look at a few types of litter boxes that have the highest satisfaction rating from both cats and their people.
A Litter Pan/Box
There’s a reason that this simple and economical type of litter box has stood the test of time. They are convenient and easy to use for your cat, quick and easy to clean, and accessible for cats of all ages and sizes. These pans are also highly customizable. After going through the basic checklist of what your cat needs, choose from the various options and go!
- Lid or no lid
- High or low sides
- Varying depths
- With or without a detachable top and handle
- With or without doors
- With or without extended exits that catch litter from your cat’s feet as they leave
- Transparent or not
Hidden Litter Boxes
You may decide that you want a litter box that blends in with your home décor. As long as you remember to make sure that your pet’s needs are met, there are many options that can fit your needs.
- Boxes that look like planters
- Boxes that double as furniture such as washroom tables, nightstands, and cabinets
- Boxes that also act as cat furniture such as scratchers and lounging areas
- Decorative boxes with print such as Leopard or flower
Self-Cleaning or Easy-Clean Boxes
Understandably, you may decide that you prefer a litter box that is labeled as self-cleaning or easy-clean. These often cost a little more and have more working parts or specialty parts and accessories that need to be purchased for or with them. While considering these boxes, keep the comfort and preferences of your pet in mind. As long as you have your cat’s blessing, you should be fine.
- Scoop-free boxes
- Boxes that rotate after each use to dispose of waste
- Boxes that come with trays that catch waste and can be removed and replaced with refills
- Boxes that come with their own ventilation systems
photo credits: Classic Tabby Scottish Fold via photopin (license), More home improvement via photopin (license), and Litter Robot via photopin (license)
Great article! It was very thorough. I’ve never been one to use covered litter boxes (they tend to trap smell inside that turns cats off to using them), but the good ‘ole litter pan has never failed. I especially love the corner litter box we got! It was a lifesaver when we were short on space.