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Buy Litter Box

With that in mind, we considered five key aspects of boxes that would keep cats happy and healthy, and cause the least trouble for humans as possible. Quagliozzi does a great job of showing that most litter box gimmicks have major downsides that make things worse for humans, cats, or both. Instead of gimmicks, we stuck to simple boxes and avoided weirder designs like boxes that roll over.

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Like all of our current picks, the Frisco pan has a smooth bottom and rounded corners that make it easy to scoop up cat waste. We dismissed a few litter boxes for having crevices that were harder to clean, including our former runner-up pick, the Petmate Giant Litter Pan, which had a small ridge along its walls where dirty litter could cling.

Like our other picks, the Modkat Flip has high, seamless sides, which can help prevent messes if your cat wants to run an archaeological dig in their litter box, and it can contain the pee of any cat who aims a bit high. But we noticed at the cat café that a lot of litter tracked out through the opening, despite its being about an inch higher than that of our top pick. Plan to pair this one with a litter mat to keep the mess down.

The best way to prevent the litter box from smelling is to scoop it daily and replace the litter every couple of weeks. If you own multiple cats, you may need multiple litter boxes, and to replace the cat litter more frequently to keep your space smelling fresh.

Cats have very specific preferences when it comes to litter boxes. So do their guardians. The key is finding one that satisfies both simultaneously. Over the last two years, we've tested 27 different litter boxes to do just that. We also spoke to veterinarians and cat behaviorists for advice on what to look for in a litter box.

Our search for the best litter boxes has taken us from the simplest to the most technologically advanced models. We have selected the best basic, easy-to-use litter boxes with enough space to satisfy large breeds like Maine coon cats or multiple-cat households.

We've also chosen a design-forward top-entry litter box for cats that prefer to urinate against the side of a pan or aggressively kick their litter, a sturdy and reliable disposable litter box for travel, and an automatic litter box with extra bells and whistles.

Often what a cat desires in a litter box is not the same thing that appeals to our human interests. I saw this firsthand as my two cats tested the litter boxes for this guide. After speaking to Dr. Wailani Sung, a veterinary behaviorist at the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital, and cat behavior consultant Daniel "DQ" Quagliozz, what I've learned above all is that cats need choices in order to feel secure.

I selected Frisco's Extra-Large Hooded Cat Litter Box because it can be altered to meet a cat's specific litter box needs and has a spacious 26-by-18-inch interior. It's also one of the more affordable enclosed litter boxes on the market. The box comes in two pieces: a high-sided pan and a hood that clips into the base and has a charcoal filter for absorbing odors.

A translucent plastic door can help prevent nasty odors from escaping. If you have a sensitive cat that may be uncomfortable pushing through a door or freaked out by it swinging once inside, the door can be removed. You can also use this litter box with just the pan alone without adding the cover.

The lid folds back for easy cleaning and litter tracked onto the roof returns to the pan through perforations. The box also comes with two rip-resistant reusable plastic liners, which will last up to three months each, and a scoop.

While the front-entry makes this litter box more accessible, aging cats and kittens may still struggle to access the door that hovers about 6 inches above the floor. My senior cat had no trouble, though, and used this box frequently. Although he didn't use the top-entry, he tracked no more litter out of this box than the others we tested.

Pros: Easy to set up and use, covered compartment holds solid waste, uses odor-absorbent and dust-free proprietary litter, tracks how often a cat uses the box, disposable trays can be easily thrown out

Self-cleaning litter boxes are controversial among cat experts. Sung does not recommend them because they can frighten cats and guardians may miss the signs of intestinal or urinary problems. Still, if you're struggling to clean your cat's litter box at least once daily, a self-cleaning model can help. Of the four I tested, my cats preferred the one that most resembled a generously sized standard litter box: the Scoop Free Self-Cleaning Litter Box.

This box is designed with a sensor rim and a built-in rake that sits on top of a 23-by-15.5-inch disposable litter tray. Sensors recognize when a cat enters the box. Twenty minutes after they've exited, the rake automatically pushes solid waste toward a covered compartment at the opposite end. A health counter keeps track of how often your pet does their business.

The Scoop Free box must be used with Petsafe's proprietary disposable crystal cat litter or reusable litter tray. The litter is absorbent, drying, and 99% dust-free but must be replaced every two to four weeks at a cost of $20 per disposable tray or $13 for a bag. Chemical-based litter may also be harmful to a cat if they accidentally ingest it.

Just because the box is self-cleaning doesn't mean you're completely off the hook. The small compartment that collects waste may need to be emptied several times before it's time to change the litter tray. All things considered, this box works hard to keep the pan constantly clean and fresh.

Simplicity and spaciousness are the first two factors Quagliozzi and Sung look for in a litter box. "Most of the traditional litter boxes offered are [too] small," Sung said. A litter box should be at least 1.5 times the length of a cat. Smart Cat's Ultimate Litter Box is among the largest of the litter boxes we tested at 25 by 18.5 inches.

At approximately 1.5 times the length of a 17-inch cat, there is plenty of room for larger cats to comfortably stretch out and cover waste in this box. Even better, it has relatively high ramped sides to decrease litter scatter.

Smart Cat's litter box is made from durable plastic resin that is easy to clean and has an oversized rim for convenient lifting. At around $20, this litter box is priced right, too, but it's only available in one color: bright blue.

Whether you're looking for a sturdy stand-alone box or a liner for a plastic box, the So Phresh Disposable Litter Box is a good, worry-free choice. Unfortunately, the disposable litter box we liked best, Nature's Miracle's Disposable Litter Box, has been out of stock for more than a year. Unlike that box, So Phresh's disposable box is much smaller, at just 16.7 by 12.6 inches, and is not leakproof, so you'll want to place it on a waterproof surface.

Because many traditional litter boxes are too small for more than one cat to use several times a day, Quagliozzi and Sung often recommend that their clients use a wide, flat plastic storage container instead. With their extra-large size and simple design, the containers make excellent, affordable stand-ins for the real thing.

Sterilite's 41-quart Storage Box is made from durable, clear plastic and measures approximately 35 inches by 17 inches, providing a cat with tons of room to perform natural behaviors like digging and covering their waste. Because the box is waterproof, it won't leak any excess urine that goes uncaptured by litter.

The included plastic lid can be snapped in place to easily move the box to a different location without spillage. With sides that are approximately 6 inches high, this box is shallow enough for most cats to easily enter and exit. However, guardians with cats that aggressively scratch and kick their litter may need to do more floor cleanup than they would with a litter pan with higher sides.

The fourth version of the Litter-Robot is a reliable smart machine that self-cleans and notifies you when the waste drawer needs to be emptied or litter replaced. Our tester, Insider Reviews reporter James Brains, said his cats took to this litter box after four days of encouragement and have chosen to use only the Litter-Robot ever since.

Waste is filtered into a lined tray that needs to be emptied regularly. At times, our tester was notified before cleaning seemed necessary. He found that if he shook the drawer to distribute the waste more evenly, it would reset and he could wait longer to remove it. The machine's "empty" cycle worked well to remove all of the litter when it needed replacing, but Brains still had to wipe down stuck-on debris inside.

With a circular entry 16 inches in diameter and an interior that is 30 by 27 by 22 inches, this litter box is spacious enough for a multicat household. However, the automatic movement and noise made by the box may frighten some cats. The biggest downside is its high cost, which comes with a one-year warranty. If you or your cat aren't happy with the machine, you can also return it within 90 days for a refund. Return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

A litter box enclosure keeps unattractive pans out of sight while containing bad odors. The Unipaws Decorative Cat Litter Box Enclosure is designed to look like a farmhouse-chic end table or cabinet. It's available in black, gray, or white to best match your decor and has a broad top that is sturdy enough to hold plants, lamps, and other decorative items.

Unipaw's enclosure is large enough to fit most litter boxes at 29.7 inches wide, 20.1 inches high, and 20.5 inches deep. You can split the interior into two spaces with the included divider to keep litter from being easily kicked out or to make room for storing extra supplies.

Even if this litter box didn't have solid odor control features, we'd still give it top ratings for its generous size (22.4 by 18.3 inches) and adjustable cover. In fact, it was a serious contender for the best overall pick, but it lost points due to its higher price tag (about $20 more). 041b061a72

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