Choosing a Litter Box

Last Updated on April 13, 2020

Cat owners tend to overlook the proper litter box for their kitty. While there are tons of sizes, shapes, colors, and designs, you must really think about your cat’s own personality when litter box shopping. Kittens are simple as they need less room and don’t tend to care about privacy. Adult cats, on the other hand, are a bit more finicky than that!

Things to consider about your cat when choosing a litter box:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Number of Cats
  • Activity Level
  • Level of Security
  • Bathroom Habits
  • Fears
  • Cleanliness


There are now options, be it DIY or store-bought, where you can hide the litter box out of sight! While this is great news for us, not every cat will enjoy this. Some have platforms or raised entryways which can be an issue for a feline who is over the age of 10. This, of course, depends on their own individual health and athletic ability. An older cat who has trouble jumping will not like this. This may result in peeing and pooping outside the box. Both you and your kitty will not be happy about that!


If you have ever been shopping at the pet store, you will notice there are normally 3 different sizes of cat boxes. This has nothing to do with the number of cats, but more or less the weight of an individual cat. The smallest size available is for cats under 5 pounds. So if you don’t have a kitten, it is best to just skip the small ones. The medium ones are for cats who are 8 to 12 pounds. The large is for 13 to 18 pounds. Some pet stores will carry the XL litter boxes as well which are used for cats who are 19+ pounds. Typically, if you have a larger breed of cat-like a Norwegian Forest or a Maine Coon, you will want this size. When choosing a box, base it off the largest cat in the home if you have multiple cats.

Number of Cats

As mentioned above, the size of the box is about the weight of the biggest feline in the home. Knowing this, no matter how large of a box, you will always need to compensate the number of boxes to the number of cats in your home. A rule of thumb to go by is for every 2 cats, you need one box. If you have an odd number like 3 or 5 cats in your home, you want to round it up to the next time, so 3 cats need 2 boxes and 5 cats need 3 boxes.

Activity Level

The more active a cat is, the more it will be using the box. The less active a cat is, the less they will be using the box. If you have 2 very active cats, you may want to consider getting 2 litter boxes instead of just one. Keeping the box tidy is important for your health and your cat’s happiness.

Level of Security

Some cats do not like being watched or simply can’t go when a human, dog, or other cat is close by. This is where getting a “hooded” litter box comes in handy. They will not only be happier and feel more secure, but you will smell a lot less of the mess in between cleanings. On the other hand, some cats get scared or nervous in tightly closed in areas which is why it is important to consider your cat’s personality while shopping.

Bathroom Habits

Not all cats are exactly “neat” when it comes to using the litter box. Some will gently brush litter over their waste, while other cats will do a full force kick and spray of litter all over the room. This is where you need to consider the height of the litter box as well as the lips. A litter box lip is just a detachable piece of plastic that acts as a guard to keep “some” litter in. These work fine for some cats, but not all. I always opt for getting the high tray boxes because you can use more litter and in most cases, it contains the mess. Just using a lip not only allows your cat to still fling litter all over the place, but it makes it a pain in the butt to clean the box!


Do you have a cat that reacts negatively to your desktop printer? Well, getting an automatic litter box cleaning system is probably a bad idea! While most do not run while the cat is in or near the box, they run after, and that is enough to spook any scaredy-cat. If you do have trouble cleaning the box and this is the only option for you, do your research and find a system that runs quietly as possible.


Does your cat very frequently clean itself? These cats tend to like the box to be as clean as possible and the second there are too many poos or pee clumps, they let you know by not using the box. What you want to do is make sure you have a litter box that is wide enough in the base to have a good amount of litter spread out so even in between cleanings, your cat will not make a fuss.

The Best of the Best

If you are still having trouble choosing a good litter box, we have compiled our top 5 picks that will be purrfect for most cats. You can check them out by reading Top 5 Cat Litter Boxes. We have included pros and cons for each one as well.

As for the options, you will find all kinds of litter boxes. There are the standard tray boxes, the ones with lips, raised sides, round and square domes, tip or shift cleaning boxes, and automatic ones as well. The above information will help you determine which is best for you and your kitty. If you have multiple cats, always consider each individual personality. When it comes to weight, go off the largest cat in the home. Which age, do the oldest. If you have larger age gaps, consider having more than one option of styles to see what works best.

What about cat litter?

If you need help choosing the right kind of cat litter for your kitty, check out Cat Litter Types and Comparisons to determine which type of litter is best for your litter box and your cat.

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1 thought on “Choosing a Litter Box”

  1. Thanks for pointing out that for every two cats you need at least one litter box. I am thinking about adopting two cats that are bonded, and I’m trying to figure out how best to take care of them since I haven’t had a cat since I was a kid. I’ll have to make sure to get them a good litter box to share. It might also be smart to look into having their car litter delivered so I don’t have to worry about running out of it.


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