Last updated: August 18, 2021

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We all love or have had a pet that makes our day when we come home from school or work. Just as we worry about their health and nutrition we also need to find a place for them to do their business, such as a cat litter box.

Luckily for us, if this little feline is a kitten, his instinct is to look for litter or soil to do his business. So you can use a cat litter box to keep your home clean and hygienic, while your pet is happy to have its own special, private place.

Below you will find everything you need to know about this product, its advantages and disadvantages as well as its variants. We also provide you with other important information that will help you identify your needs and those of your kitty to find the right litter box for both of you.




Summary

  • A cat litter box is a container, usually made of plastic, in which you can place special absorbent litter and your cat can do its business in it. This product allows you to keep your home clean while reducing unpleasant odours and your cat learns to do its faeces in one place.
  • There are many types of cat litter boxes, among the main ones you will find open tray type, semi-open ones in which the door is a hole and closed ones that contain a hinged door. Each works well but some give you a little extra privacy for your cat.
  • It's not just the type of cat litter box that you need to consider when looking for a special toilet for your pet. You should also consider the shape, the type of scoop, the filter, the door and whether or not it contains a paw cleaner. Knowing all these factors will help you find the perfect cat litter box.

The Best Cat Litter Box: Our Picks

Buying a cat litter box for your little kitty can be a very easy task or become the most complicated task depending on how much time you like to invest in a purchase. So that you spend less time looking and more time playing with your kitty, here are the best cat litter boxes you'll find on the internet.

Buying Guide

Keeping your home clean is important and keeping your kitty comfortable is also important. Here we will tell you about the different characteristics of cat litter boxes as well as their variants and some extra elements that you will need to take into account to make a good purchase.

Cats prefer sandy places to relieve themselves. (Photo: serezniy / 123rf.com)

What is a cat litter box and what are its advantages?

A cat litter box is a container, usually plastic, in which litter is placed for cats to relieve themselves. The simplest are open, but there are also closed ones with openings or doors to allow access. They usually have a small shovel to scoop up the litter.

This item provides your pet with a designated place for his or her needs. The litter absorbs the liquid from the faeces and reduces odour. Cleaning is also easy as there is a small scoop for solidified waste. If the container is closed, it prevents faeces from being ingested.

Some of the disadvantages are that if sand has to be used, it has to be purchased separately. Finally, the effectiveness of the litter box will depend, to some extent, on the quality of the litter. Some litter boxes have the option of an odour filter, which is also an added bonus to the item.

Advantages
  • Specific place for faeces
  • Minimises odour
  • Prevents ingestion of faeces
  • Facilitates cleaning
Disadvantages
  • Purchase of additional litter
  • Depends on the quality of the litter

Cat litter box: open, semi-open, closed - what should you pay attention to?

Cat litter boxes are no exception, you can choose from a wide variety of shapes. You can practically classify them into three groups, open, semi-open and closed. All three perform their functions very well but some allow you to keep your home more odour-free.

Open. The container has only a bottom lid to store the litter. It's almost like a plastic tray with a small door for the cat to enter through. It doesn't reduce odour as much since it's not covered, but it does allow the litter to stay in one place.

Semi-open. This litter box has a top lid, which has an opening for the cat to enter through. There are variants in which the opening is on the side of the box. Odours are reduced due to the lid but not 100%.

Closed. Closed litter boxes have a top and bottom lid, with a transparent door in the access opening through which the cat can enter to use the litter. They retain most of the odours as the door does not allow them to escape except when the cat goes in and out of the litter box.

Open Semi-open Closed
Has a lid No Yes Yes
Has a door No No Yes
Includes litter No No No
Retains odours No In 50% Nearly 100%
Litter waste Yes Moderate Little

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate cat litter box models

As you can see, there are different models of cat litter boxes with different features. It will be useful to know some of the most important ones when you are looking for the perfect litter box for your pet. Below we show you those features that will help you to better compare the different items.

  • Shape
  • Scoop
  • Filter
  • Door
  • Paw cleaner

Shape

You can find everything from a simple tray shape to more complex shapes such as spheres or domes. If you are one of those people who like sophisticated and want everything in your home to look great, here we describe the different shapes so you can find the right one for you.

Squares. They are the most conventional in open sandboxes, they have the advantage that they can be placed on any wall or corner as the shape allows them to adapt, not wasting space, leaving less place where you can throw the sand and go unnoticed in your house.

Round. They are usually closed, either spherical or dome-shaped, and although they may be more difficult to fit, they tend to be more eye-catching. There are even decorative versions that have a plant or some other decorative element on top.

They are usually closed, their shape is a quarter of a circle, so they have the advantages of the square and round ones, they are eye-catching and at the same time they can be placed perfectly in a corner, so they hardly get in the way.

Harvesting

You will find two collection methods for the dirty litter that needs to be removed from the litter box if you want to minimise odours. One is simpler and the other is a little more complex but both are equally effective when it comes to keeping the environment clean.

Shovel. Most sandboxes have this form of faeces collection, whether or not they include a scoop with perforations to achieve this. It's a simple but effective way to clean the litter, although you may get some odours from doing so.

Automatic scoop. Some litter boxes have a compartment in which litter and clumping litter are separated from the rest of the clean litter. However, to achieve this, the litter box must be tilted in the direction of the collector and then removed for cleaning. Sometimes this is more work than using a shovel.

Filter

The filter is usually a cloth placed in the litter box to prevent odours from escaping. They are usually disposable, so they must be constantly renewed. Not all sandboxes are suitable for using filters, here are the ones that are.

Without filter. Open tray sandboxes, semi-open ones that do not have a lid and some that do have a lid do not usually have an air filter to eliminate odours. So you will have to clean the litter more often if you want to avoid the accumulation of odours.

With a filter. Normally those with a lid have an option to add a filter. This is usually positioned at the top of the litter box and the door is a little more airtight. This will give you some extra time without odours before you need to clean the litter.

Sandboxes with lids reduce the amount of odours released by litter. (Photo: Ysbrand Cosijn /123rf.com)

Door

The various types of doors will give a different look to the litter box located in your living room, as well as each one will stop different amounts of odours. Some can even stop other pets from getting in, playing in the litter, over soiling it or even ingesting your cat's faeces.

Crevice. This is usually found in pan-shaped litter boxes to make it more intuitive for the cat to enter from this direction. Because the litter box is open 180° it does not trap extra odours other than those permitted by the litter.

Door-shaped opening. You can see them in semi-open sandboxes. This way it is easier for the pet to know where the entrance is and you can position it in a hidden way. This door stops bad smells a little more.

Hinged door. Semi-open top-covered litter boxes can have a door that opens or closes with the force of the pet going in and out. You can also place it hidden and it will reduce bad smells.

Top hole. Some litter boxes look more elegant with this door, which is a hole in the top. Because of the ability cats have, they won't struggle to get in through it. If you have another pet such as a dog, this is a good option as the doggy will not be able to access the litter.

Paw cleaner

Sometimes you don't realise that your cat's paws get trapped in the litter, usually dirty, when it comes out of its litter box. This litter will then find its way onto the floor of your home, forcing you to clean up more often. Some litter boxes include a paw cleaner and others do not.

No cleaner. If the litter box is a pan, semi-open or door type, it may not include a cat paw cleaner, so you will need to consider getting a mat that is placed at the entrance to the litter box. This way you'll avoid finding litter strewn around the house.

With a cleaner. Top-entry litter boxes usually have the lid designed with different sized slits for the cat to pass through when it comes out. This allows the litter trapped in the paws to stay there without soiling your floor.

(Featured image photo: krasnoyarsk / 123rf.com)

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