kittens in a cat litter tray

Photo by @stratman2

A litter box is typically one of the first purchases a new cat owner makes. Your first concern tends to be feeding them and dealing with what they do with that food. As an essential purchase, most cat owners don’t tend to overthink it. They go for a simple tray. Sure, cats like these trays just fine but they’re often quite ineffective. Litter gets kicked everywhere, they can break or leak, and it has to be in a room which you don’t mind abandoning to that foul smell. Surely there’s a better cat litter tray out there than those?

There are numerous cat litter boxes on the market that cater to the more discerning pet owner. Since they’re all essentially just tubs, most are in the same price range as a normal litter box. These litter boxes can keep your cat’s toilet sealed away, where you won’t be greeted by its constant smell. An enclosure even helps with a messy cat, since it is kind of hard to train them not to kick litter everywhere. Covered cat litter boxes aren’t to everyone’s tastes though. A recent study found that most cats don’t really have a preference for a covered or uncovered litter box, but there isn’t a better choice for all cats. Some cats will prefer an uncovered box, it is worth seeing if your cat would benefit from a covered option.

A good cat litter box can provide your cat with some privacy, and more importantly give you some privacy from what your cat gets up to in there. If having to watch your animal get up to that in the same room has put you off choosing a cat as a potential pet, a good quality litter box might convince you otherwise.

What to Look for in a Cat Litter Box

cat litter tray present

Cat pee art. Photo by @alohaorangeneko

There a few factors to keep in mind when making your decision about which litter box is for you. The first concern has got to be the price. A fancy litter box crammed with features is all well and good, but it isn’t exactly an essential purchase. If you’d rather go for a cheaper option, then you won’t really be losing much by not having the added convenience. Even enclosed cat litter boxes are available on a budget if you’re willing to compromise.

Another factor is construction and quality. As fancy as some cat litter boxes look, they have to made from strong materials too. Cats scratch and play in their litter boxes. If your cat’s litter box isn’t well constructed, then they can easily make a mess out. Leaks and other horrific accidents can occur if a box is too cheaply constructed. You also need to consider if it is big enough for your cat once they grow into an adult cat. If your cat prefers an open litter tray, you should consider purchasing one of these instead. However, if your cat hasn’t shown any preference yet then they might appreciate the option of a closed litter box.

Then you can consider the additional features. These depend on what is important to you. Things like how easy it is to clean, the visual look of the box and how well it fits into your home, and how well it actually masks the smell of your cat. These are all important, but it depends on what you’re looking for in a cat litter box.

These are the highlights of what is currently available that takes these factors into consideration. Between them, there should be a recommendation for any cat or owner.

Imac Zuma Taupe Cat Litter Box

This litter box is on the fancier end of the spectrum. It comes packed with extras for convenience. It is an enclosed cat litter box. This means your cat has to enter its own little room to do its business. It features a swing door like a cat flap. Your cat should be able to enter and exit easily with this, and the box itself is secured despite this opening to keep the smell closed in. If your cat is not used to a swing door, you can also remove it and gradually ease your cat into it.

Perhaps its best feature is the removable tray – it makes your everyday job of cleaning the tray that much easier. Unlike with other litter boxes, it’s easy to pull out and push back in. You also don’t run the risk of pee getting stuck between the tray and the box. The Imac Zuma really does have a solid design.

It also comes with a carbon filter. This is a really useful addition that helps to neutralise any odours. This little box should be safe to keep just about anywhere with this filter. It will need replacing every now and again but these filters have a long shelf life. The litter tray itself can be easily pulled out. This saves you the hassle of having to take apart the entire box every time.

Imac Zuma Taupe Cat Litter Box

Imac Zuma Taupe Cat Litter Box View on Amazon

The tray inside of the box is relatively big so most cats won’t have too much trouble with it. No matter how much playing they get up to, they can’t really make a mess in here. This cat litter box has a solid construction. It offers really good value considering all of these features. If you want a nice middle ground between value or a solid cat litter box, the Imac Zuma Taupe is the best choice.

Clean N Tidy Cat Concept Multiloo Cube

This cat litter box is a bit high-concept. It is a toy, scratching post, bed, and litter box all in one. Well, that’s the advertising tagline at least. It is more of a little box with some attachments on it but it’s still a quality litter box.

The entire top section can be removed to reveal the litter box below, making it easy to clean. The roof of the unit is a blanket for your cat and there’s even a replaceable scratching post and a toy on a string attached. This isn’t quite enough to keep your cat entertained, but it is a nice bonus. It is pretty solidly constructed and shouldn’t cause you any problems with leaks or emptying. The cat flap is solid too, so the smell won’t be a problem.

Clean N Tidy Cat Concept Multiloo Cube cat litter box

Clean N Tidy Cat Concept Multiloo Cube View on Amazon

One thing to consider is that it is on the pricier end of the spectrum. If you want a block of toys and blankets for your cat as well as a litter box, it might be worth it. However, if you just want a toilet for them this probably isn’t the right one for you. Some customers also complain of difficulty assembling the unit, but anyone with some experience in Ikea furniture will probably cope.

This is an elaborate box, but most of the features won’t get used making it a bit of a frivolous choice. It might save you space, but it isn’t really worth paying extra for a blanket and toy that your cat isn’t going to use. Most cats probably don’t want to play and sleep on their toilet, so unless space is at a real premium it seems a little unnecessary.

Curver Cat Litter box

This cat litter box looks pretty impressive. It has a nice modern design that hides the fact that it is essentially a tub full of cat poo. As another enclosed cat litter box, it shouldn’t give you much trouble with the smell. However, this box does have air holes which let out a little odour. This is a tradeoff since some cats will prefer the ventilation. It can actually be quite helpful for a cat that isn’t used to using an enclosed box as some can get a bit claustrophobic.

The tray is removable like the Imac cat litter box. This makes it quite easy to actually empty. However, unlike the Imac Zuma, the Curver’s tray is harder to pull out so you almost have to wiggle it to get it out. Just like with the Imac, you can also remove the door which is especially helpful if your cat is transitioning from an open to closed litter box.

The seal between the removable tray and the unit is well constructed so you won’t have any problems emptying it. This cat litter box does look lovely and is a very popular choice. However, some people have reported leakage if a cat goes against the edge of the box. If they miss the tray and it lands on the rim, this cat litter box might not contain the mess. However, this is a risk you run with any litter tray.

Curver Petlife Cat litter box

Curver Petlife Cat Toilet View on Amazon

This litter box comes with a handle which makes it very convenient for moving it around, for example when you’re taking kitty to a friend while you’re away and you need to carry all her cat paraphernalia. Additionally it comes with a free litter mat which you can place inside the tray or in front of the entrance so it traps the litter when your cat gets out of the box. The Curver comes in three different colours – white, grey and brown so it can even match your interior colour scheme. We’ve tried both the Curver and the Imac and our preference is definitely for the Imac – it’s just a better design that’s easier for everyday use.

Trixie Vico Cat Litter Box

This is the best budget cat litter box on the market. It has a price point about as low as any thin plastic box most pet owners go for. However, this is an enclosed litter box. With a sturdy cat flap so you shouldn’t be bothered by the sights, sounds, or smell of what your cat is getting up to. Since it comes in so much lower on the price scale though there are some sacrifices. To empty the litter, you need to move the entire top half, there is no easily removable tray.

This cat litter box is a little low on features but you can do worse for the price. If you’re looking for a little box on a budget, then this is a solid choice.

Trixie Vico Cat Litter Tray with Dome

Trixie Vico
View on Amazon

Lords and Labradors White Wooden Cat Washroom

Is the thought of a cat using a ‘litter box’ below you? Does your cat require their own washroom instead, something benefitting their high status in feline-society? Then the Lords and Labradors cat washroom is for you.

This is a really expensive cat litter box and it doesn’t even include a litter box. It’s a wooden cabinet for your cat to use as their own executive washroom, bearing in mind that you’ll have to scoop up whatever they leave behind off of that lovely polished wood. Of course, you could just put an actual litter box inside of it. If you really have money to burn you could even purchase a good litter box like those mentioned above and slide it inside your cat’s special washroom. However, your cat probably won’t notice the difference so it might be easier to skip the washroom altogether.

Lords and Labradors White Wooden Cat Washroom

Lords & Labradors White Wooden Cat Washroom View on Amazon

Which Cat Litter box is Right for You?

There isn’t a one size fits all recommendation for the best cat litter box. It will depend on your needs but there are some that stand out in the market.  The Imac Zuma Taupe Cat Litter Box is a great happy medium. It contains most of the little features that make your life easier but without the high price tag of some of the fancier models. Unless you want an art piece or something solid wood for your cat to go in, this will probably meet all of your needs and help minimise the smell and clean up from your cat’s litter box.

The Trixie Vico Cat Litter Box is a good choice if you’re on a budget. Compared to most other litter boxes that come in at the same price, it is going to help you. However, for only a little bit more you could get something a lot better that will require a lot less work. Then if you really want to splash out you can get a Lords & Labradors wooden cat washroom, but you’ll still need an actual litter box to put inside of your expensive wooden cat house.

Of course we can all dream of teaching our cat to be like Halo the toilet trained cat but until then you need to make the  most informed choice for a cat litter box that works for both you and your kitty!

Halo the toilet trained cat - pooping and peeing not in a cat litter box

Halo the toilet trained cat