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Choosing a New Litter Box for a Cat or a Kitten

Choosing the Best Litter Box for Your Cat or Kitten

Cats are selective when it comes to many things—their litter box is no exception. With tons of factors to consider like the size, material, and different types, this can make finding the best litter box for your cat feel like a chore! To help, we put together a handy guide so you can find a litter box your feline will love, and more importantly, use.

The Basics: Size, Material, and Location

Comfort is key when getting your cat accustomed to their litter box. They need enough space to step inside, turn around, scratch, and squat without bumping into the sides. The best litter box for kittens or smaller cats will require lower sides, around 2-3 inches. A box that is 24 inches long or wide, with 4-inch walls, is a good option for full-grown cats.

Most litter boxes are made of plastic since it doesn’t absorb unpleasant cat waste odors. There are also disposable boxes made from 100% recycled paper which neutralize ammonia gases and allow air to flow through. Wooden washrooms are available if you’re looking for something that blends with your decor.

When picking a spot for your cat’s litter box, find a place where they have privacy. High traffic areas of your home will make your cat less inclined to use their box. Any time you replace your cat’s litter box with a new one, place it in the same location. Cats are creatures of habit and moving their box could confuse or upset them. If you must find a new spot, make sure they have easy access.

Different Types of Litter Boxes

Now it’s time for the fun—finding the best litter box for your cat! Before jumping in, consider your cat’s habits. Knowing their litter behavior or any special conditions will help you determine what they need. A cat that hates anyone noticing when they relieve themselves will welcome the added privacy. Senior cats who suffer from arthritis or aching joints will need a litter box that is easy to step into. Here are a few of the most common litter box options:

Best litter box for multiple cats—open litter pans

Cats are territorial which is why some pet parents follow the one litter box per cat rule. But what if your home doesn’t have space for more than one box? Or, what if your cats can’t figure out when the box is available? This is where open litter pans save the day!

Litter pans take up less space and are easy to clean. The open design allows cats to see each other so they can determine when it’s safe to handle their business. But before making your decision, know that odors may be more noticeable because of the open top. Curious dogs or children are other areas of concern since there’s no barrier to keep them out.

If neither of those are an issue, an open litter pan may be the best option for your multi-cat home. Buy a mat to help limit litter tracking or catch litter that gets kicked out. You can also look for high back pans that keep litter where it belongs.

Best litter box for odor control—covered boxes

Covered litter boxes do a great job keeping litter and unpleasant odors under control. You may notice that you have more cleaning to do and that’s because covers or hoods concentrate odors within. To get around this, look for a covered litter box that has built-in ventilation.

Aside from being the best litter box for odor control, covered boxes lend more privacy. To see if this is a feature your feline prefers, let them test it out and make sure they can get comfortable. Most cats will enjoy the seclusion that a covered box provides.

Best litter boxes for busy pet parents—self-cleaning boxes

If convenience is a priority, you might find self-cleaning and automated litter boxes a worthwhile investment. These advanced options work by sifting waste from the litter and storing it in a disposable plastic bag or container. Some automatic litter boxes come with disposable trays, so you don’t have to worry about scooping litter or seeing your cat’s waste.

On top of that, these boxes work for cats who reject their pans if they smell or need a deep cleaning. While this is a convenient option, it can take some time to get used to. The unfamiliar noises may make your cat jumpy at first but with time, they’ll adjust and appreciate the cleanliness of their box.

Finding a permanent litter solution is a big task but by knowing the important factors to consider, you’re on the right track. Before making the decision, keep your cat’s litter behavior in mind. This plays a big role in you choosing the best litter box for your pet. Once you’ve narrowed down the choices, head to Petco to shop our selection of litter boxes and accessories!