10 Best Litter Boxes of 2021 (So Far)

Finding your ideal litter box usually means combing through reviews and/or a trip to your local big box pet store to compare a large selection of undifferentiated options. 

Here at tuft + paw, we are cat experts. We're intimately familiar with features that are most important to cats, like whether you should buy a big or small litter box, covered or uncovered, automatic or manual. We searched through dozens of litter boxes and found ten different litter boxes that are great for a variety of homes, cats and styles. We also spoke to actual cat and cat furniture experts to do some of the work for you. 

We divided our top picks into five key categories:

  1. Best overall litter box
  2. Best budget litter box
  3. Best modern litter box
  4. Best litter box on Amazon
  5. Best automatic litter box

Be sure to continue reading after we list our winners. We interviewed cat veterinarians, cat behaviorists, and product designers on what features are most important to look for when purchasing a litter box at the end of the article.

Without further ado, let’s get started on our top picks!

Best Overall Litter Box

Tuft & Paw Cove Litter Box + Shelter - $199

Full disclosure - this is our own product, but what can we say? We're proud of the products we make :) The Cove litter box is my pick for best overall litter box. Not only is this box big (slightly bigger than most you'll find in pet stores based on cat behaviorist recommendations), but it is also a beautiful modern design - it looks even more beautiful and high quality in person than it does in photos. No need to hide away in a closet! Arguably the best feature is the add-on shelter wall extender which is ideal for keeping the mess inside the litter box.

It also includes a handy scoop, dustpan, and handbrush to clean up any litter that escapes.

Pros Cons
Large SizeComparable to most "large" size litter boxes on the market

Price: Quality comes with a price, but it's SO much better looking than other litter boxes AND functional

Integrated ToolsMost boxes require you to leave a dirty scoop on the floor. Everything included in a clean unit. Space: Larger litter box takes up a bit more floor space. If you intend to squeeze this in a small space, this might not be the box for you
Beautiful DesignI get so many comments on this litter box - hands down the nicest looking litter box on the market

Runner Up

Van Ness Sifting Litter Pan - $14 

For a no frills, simple design featuring a neat sifting mechanism, look no further than the Van Ness Sifting Litter Pan  Medium sized and optional semi-enclosure provides an all around great option.

Pros Cons
Space Saving: At a slightly smaller footprint and width, this litter box is great for apartments.

Aesthetics: Not too uncommon for most litter boxes but worth mentioning

Sifting Mechanism: Use a scoop or the built in sifting mechanism to clean
Scatter Shield Optional shield to keep the mess inside

 

 

Best Budget Litter Box

Petmate Basic Open Litter Box- $6

Let's face it, you're not going to win any design awards with this box, but for hte price, we can't complain.

Pros Cons
Simple: Clean and simple shape make it easy to clean

Design: If you're conscious about the other items in your house, this kinda feels like it will stick out

Price: What can you buy for $6 these days

Runner Up

Lurvig Ikea Litter Box - $10

This is actually pretty sweet. Simple design and a more modern look than most litter boxes at a great price.

Pros Cons

Design: Definitely more aesthetically pleasing than most litter boxes

Availablity: Only sold in select Ikeas

Price: Hard to beat at $10

Shape: Cylindrical shape may look nice, but it's not the most efficient use of space

Best Modern Litter Box

Tuft & Paw Haven Litter Box - $699

For those who want to hide their litter box in plain sight. The Haven offers humans an attractive and intuitive design, while cats will appreciate its ample interior space, screened window, and fresh airflow. 

Pros Cons
Modern Look: Stunning design allows you to hide your litter box in any space

Price: Not for the faint of heart, but worth it if you consider it as a piece of furniture

Litter catcher / paw cleaner: A grated exit catches stray litter on your cat's paws, keeping your floors clean

No litter box included: You still need to buy an actual litter box to go inside

Storage area: Small area to keep your scoop and other litter box accessories

 

Runner Up

Sito Litter Box- $399

This minimally-designed litterbox has clean lines and industrial metal material that add to your home’s style rather than detracting from it. 

Pros Cons

Modern Look: You won’t find anything else like this

No litter box included: Requires a litter box inside

Enclosed: Keep everything neatly tucked away (for humans)

Enclosed: Many cats actually prefer non enclosed spaces

 

Best Litter Box on Amazon

Kichwit Stainless Steal Litterbox - $36

 

Simple and clean, with high walls and an open top. This is a great alternative to plastic litter boxes.

Pros Cons

High walls: Keeps litter in the box and off your floor

Industrial: This has a bit of an industrial feel to it that might not suit all homes

Big: Most litter boxes are too small. Not the case here.

Size: Very large so may not be a fit for smaller apartments
Metal: This will be easy to clean


Best Automatic Litter Box 

Litter Robot - $599

The original automatic litter box. The king who has yet to be dethroned. Lots of great reviews, definitely worth considering if you don't want to scoop and you can afford it.

Pros Cons
Automatic: No more scooping! 

Design & Size: Some reviews mention the design, sound, and size as being detrimental

Well knownLots of knock offs on the market, but litter robot has been around for a long time Expensive: The price tag is really high. It's a big risk if your cat doesn't end up using it
Can break: Although litter robot team is reliable, automatic litter boxes are prone to breaking down from time to time which would be a hassle

 

That's wraps up our top 10 litter boxes of 2021. But it's always good to understand more about the products you're purchasing, so read on for more details on what makes a good litter box...

 

What makes a good litter box?

Cats need to feel safe while using their litter box. Look for litter boxes that are
designed to offer comfort and security to cats as they do their business. Other
important features for humans and cats include:

Discretion for humans.

If you want to keep things hidden, look for a litter box that integrates with modern household decor, concealing the litter box within an attractive design.

 

Visibility for cats.

Cats prefer a box with a view, but we understand that many humans live in small spaces where an open litter box is unpleasant. To ensure the comfort of every household member, look for enclosed litter boxes that are designed to provide plenty of light and ventilation.


Cleanliness.

A cat’s sense of smell is 40 times stronger than yours, so imagine how unpleasant a dirty litter box can be for them! No matter the design you choose, clean it daily to keep you both comfortable. Most cats prefer fine-grained, unscented, clumping cat litter.


Easy maintenance.

Look for litter box designs provide easy access for daily cleaning, and are made of durable materials that can stand up to daily use. To avoid urine and litter from landing outside the box, look for a design with high walls. The additional purchase of a silicone mat, or choosing a litter box with a grated floor, can help prevent litter from being tracked onto the floor.


Abundance.

To prevent accidents and squabbling, we recommend one litter box for every cat in the house, plus one extra. (So if you have two cats, three is the magic number of litter boxes). There also needs to be at least one box on each floor of the home.

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We hope you found these tips useful! Let us know if we missed any of your favorite litter boxes. 

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