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Cat Litter Boxes Guide

Updated on June 3, 2013

Okay, we cat owners know we need them, but they can be a bit of a pain. The kitty goes inside, does his business, and no matter what you do, cat litter gets everywhere. There’s a smell. It doesn’t look great. It’s a hassle to clean. But it’s just a part of cat owning life, you know? When it comes to owning a cat, cat litter boxes are just part of the job, so here is a bit of information to make life a little more bearable with your cat doing his…business, and helping you find the best litter box for your situation.

Cat Litter Boxes are a necessity for cat owning, and there are many choices.
Cat Litter Boxes are a necessity for cat owning, and there are many choices.

Getting Started

Depending on the number of cats you have in the house, the best way to avoid accidents is to follow the general rule of thumb – one litter box per cat, plus an extra. Cat litter should be cleaned everyday, and the box should be cleaned once a week. Unfortunately, if you don’t empty it out often, your cat might do his business on the nice clean floor instead. There are also cats who need to have their litter box cleaned out every time he does his business, and for times when you are away, it’s just beneficial to have more than one litter box for him.

Cats like their privacy, so putting a litter box in a place where it’s nice and quiet may encourage a cat to use his litter box if he keeps making a mess in the house. You might want to try different types of litter boxes, as there are quite a few types to go around – round, square, rectangular, hooded or non-hooded. You might want to make a mix if you don’t know which your cat would prefer. Open is less privacy for the cat, but covered cat litter boxes can be a little too confining, and even keep in the smell. Both situations would discourage a cat from using a litter box, so choices are always nice. Also, take into consideration the size of your cat. An 8 lb. cat can fit better into a round litter box than a 15 lb. cat could. He would probably only be able to get his tail end in there, and nothing else. Kind of funny to imagine, yes… but uncomfortable for the cat. Of course, if you’re cats are like mine, they might be more interested in staying around you, in which case, a kitty litter box in the room you frequent would be best.

Types of litter boxes

Litter boxes come in metal and plastic. The plastic ones come in nicer colors and a wider variety, but can stain easier and retain that smell. Metal ones are much simpler in form and color, but a little more durable. Today, as many people don’t like the site of a litter box for aesthetic purposes, can find many different styles to choose from today.

One of these styles are mod litter boxes. The cat can climb in from the top to do his business. It looks a bit like a fancy trash can rather than a litter box. There are also designer cat boxes that look more like furniture. The possibilities for the furniture boxes are endless, and are wide enough to allow the cat room to move, give him his privacy, and keeps the litter in one spot. They are definitely aesthetically pleasing, and you could find one that can match your décor if you do your research.

There are also automatic cat litter boxes that will scoop the litter for you, such as the Cat Genie. I haven’t heard very good reviews on these, however. The complaints have run from, “My cat is afraid of it!” to “the thing broke in two weeks.” I once considered buying one of these myself, but just the fact that it has a loud whirring noise, comparable to a paper shredder, made me think twice. One of my cats is skiddish, after all. There is, however, something called a litter robot which has gotten good reviews, though there is still the possibility of the cat being afraid of it, or it being too small for a cat to fit in.

As for the best cat litter boxes, it's a matter of opinion. I prefer the plastic covered cat litter boxes, but I have covered and uncovered. Many have complained, however, as the cat may not want to use the covered litter box as it keeps in more of the smell.  However, uncovered ones make a big mess.  A litter box with high sides would probably work best.  I would actually prefer the furniture ones - they look nice and big and private, plus since I don't have room for litter boxes, they get placed in odd places in the house that stick out like a sore thumb. But I haven't bought one yet as they do cost a lot.

Cat Litter

With talk of a cat litter box, there is always talk of cat litter. Litter can halt all litter training. The fact is that cats may not like the feel of the litter, and because of this, won’t use it. Shopping around for different types of litter if you don’t know what kind of litter you cat will use is a good idea. And if he is particularly finicky, you might want to ask the store about possible returns.

Litter can smell. Bad. So there are many types of litter on the market that is made to try and maintain orders. But if you’re concerned about the environmental impacts, you’ll want to look for biodegradable littler, like feline pine. There is a give in take when it comes to choosing cat litter, as most cats prefer finer litter, so I’ve included consumer reports for the best cat litters here.

If you are looking for a cat litter box, you might want to check out So that's it for cat litter boxes! I hope you have a few new ideas on how to have your cat and your cat's business in better harmony!


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    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 7 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages ! Great Hub lots of useful information as well . We have tried many types of litter , the pine litter you mentioned our cats loved however being so light weight wise it ended up all over the house ! The same cleaner used to clean urine from fabric works great on the litter box and surrounding flooring , sold at pet stores it doesn't cover the urine smell it neutralizes it completely .