cat in litter tray

Best Cat Litter Box

LAST UPDATED 10 May 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Gillian Hill, BVSc (Hons)

By no means the most pleasant aspect of cat-ownership, cleaning up after your kitty is something every cat-parent has to do. Choosing the right litter box for your situation is an important part of making your job easier, and keeping your home mess and odour free! There are a range of litter boxes to suit yours, and your cat's needs, and to make your life easier, our vets have reviewed the best ones!

Why is choosing the right litter box important?

Cats can be very particular about the size, accessibility, location and substrate of their litter box. If the attributes of the litter box do not suit a particular cat, the cat can develop aversions to the litter box which can lead to urinary health conditions or behavioural problems.

Four reasons why it's important to get the right type of litter box are:
  1. Comfort: If the litter box is too small, or in the case of a covered box, the hood too low or the flap too narrow, the cat may feel uncomfortable using it.
  2. Accessibility: Some cats may be frightened or frustrated by covered litter trays, whilst others like the privacy provided by them and dislike an open tray. Providing a quiet and accessible location can also encourage the cat to use the litter box.
  3. Preference: As well as a location preference (where they want to urinate and defaecate), cats also have a substrate, or litter, preference (what they want to urinate and defecate on). Choosing the right type of litter tray which works with your cat's litter preference is therefore very important.
  4. Health: Inappropriate toileting can be a sign of underlying medical issues, so it's important to rule out medical problems by having the cat checked by a veterinarian. Providing a comfortable and accessible litter box suited to your cat's preferences can also help prevent health problems related to inappropriate elimination.

Results:

  1. Best Hooded Tray for Small Spaces: Feline First Corner Litter House
  2. Best for Ease of Cleaning and Reducing Litter Use: Catmate Litter 3 Piece Kit
  3. Best for Style: Pidan Igloo Cat Litter Box
  4. Best for Odour Control: Ezi Lockodour Dual Layer Cat Litter System
  5. Best Value: Poowee Cat Litter Tray
  6. Best for Reducing Litter Scatter: Smartcat Corner Litter Box

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Top Kitty Litter Boxes in Australia

Best Hooded Tray for Small Spaces: Feline First Corner Litter House

Pros

  • Hooded litter box provides privacy and reduces odours
  • The triangular design fits discreetly into the corner of the room
  • Top and bottom separate to make scooping waste and cleaning the tray easy
  • Litter and waste is prevented from being pushed outside the tray by the covered design and flap
  • Features a handle for ease of carrying
  • Suits all litter types

Cons

  • Overall the area of the base is quite small so may not suit larger cats
  • Triangular design means that standard litter liners may not fit

Ideal for making practical use of small spaces, the Feline First Corner Litter House can be tucked into the corner of most rooms, and it's hooded design offers privacy for your cat while reducing odours and mess for you! The flap and hood prevent litter and mess being kicked or pushed out of the tray while your cat is 'tidying up'.

Made from sturdy, durable plastic, the top and bottom of the tray can be separated for ease of cleaning and the carry handle makes moving the litter tray around simple.

This covered corner box is very reasonably priced for a hooded tray, and will work with all types of litter.

The door flap may take some getting used to for some cats, and those who do not like a hooded tray will not be suited for this litter box.

This product also comes in a standard rectangular litter tray.

What our customers say: "I have a very small area and this litter tray takes up about half the space of a regular litter tray. I have one cat and one kitten and they both are happy to use this litter tray together. Our girls are under 4kg and fit in fine. The litter tray I clean out completely every 3-4 days, we use recycled paper litter approx 5 cups."

What our vets say: "I use a hooded litter box for my cat- it's great at reducing mess/tracking and gives her some privacy too! It didn't take her too long to figure out how to use it, and it stops the litter from being out in plain view." - Dr. Katelyn

Shop Feline First Hooded Trays

Best for Ease of Cleaning and Reducing Litter Use: Catmate Litter 3 Piece Kit

Pros

  • Easier clean-up - urine soaked litter separates easily from dry litter, falling through the sieve into the bottom tray
  • Litter lasts longer by reducing wastage of unused portions
  • Comes with a scoop to easily remove solid waste

Cons

  • Works only with wood-based litters
  • Higher sides may make getting in and out more difficult for some cats

Ideal for reducing litter use, the Catmate 3-piece tray allows urine soaked litter to fall through the sieve tray and into the tray below. Not only making for easier clean up, this helps you save litter by removing only the used portions! Complete with a scoop for removing solid waste, it's perfect for all your clean-up needs!

Made from durable plastic, this tray will stand up to constant use, and offers great value at the lower end of the price range for litter boxes. Combined with litter savings, it's ideal for the cost-conscious cat owner.

When stacked together, the sieve and base tray measure 15cm in height, which may impact ease of access for kittens, or senior cats with mobility issues.

This litter tray works with wood based litters only, as they turn to sawdust when wet, so it is not suitable for cats with aversions to wood based litter.

This product also comes in a 5-piece litter tray kit with a spare base tray for rotation when cleaning, and 2kg of litter pellets.

What our customers say: "I highly recommend this litter try for the CatMate litter and wished I had invested in one sooner. I work with foster cats and some cats are very light on their use of cat litter, and others will make MOUNTAINS out of the stuff. This litter tray allows me to sift a mountain down to leave all the best bits behind, instead of having to throw the whole lot out. Saves me a lot of time and money."

Shop Catmate Cat Litter Trays

Best for Style: Pidan Igloo Cat Litter Box

Pros

  • Sophisticated, modern design
  • The covered design provides privacy for your cat and reduces odours
  • Long corridor design helps reduce litter tracking throughout the house
  • Made with an antibacterial polymer to inhibit the growth of bacteria
  • Comes with a soft-grip scoop

Cons

  • Smaller internal space
  • On the heavier side at 3.5kg without litter

Made for the modern, sophisticated house (and kitty), the award-winning Pidan Igloo Cat Litter Box provides privacy for your cat to do their business, and hides litter out of sight. It also features a long grated corridor to catch those pesky litter pellets and reduce litter tracing.

Environmentally friendly as well, this litter box is made from eco-friendly, recyclable polypropylene, with a smooth antibacterial polymer to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Not only will this help to keep the litter box smelling fresh, it will aid in hygiene control in your home!

The Pidan Igloo is priced at the higher end for a non-automated litter tray. Due to it's design, the internal space may be quite small for some cats.

What our customers say: "Fantastic design. Gives privacy to the cat and means you don't have to see the litter unless you are cleaning/emptying it. Contains smells really well except for if you've a silly cat who doesn't bury his poops. Very easy to maintain with the included scoop. Just lift off the cover, remove the poop and spread out the non-accessible litter that is under the grate. This means you can get longer use out of the litter in between a full clean and refill. Love this product!"

What our vets say: "With no bright colours or visible litter to look at this litter tray is perfect for those that don't want to compromise on aesthetics for function. In addition to the modern, stylish design it also features a long corridor to reduce litter tracking. The igloo shape makes it perfect for cats who crave a little privacy when visiting the loo." - Dr. Lacey

Shop Pidan Igloo Cat Litter Box

Best for Odour Control: Ezi Lockodour Dual Layer Cat Litter System

Pros

  • Dual layer system comprising a grated tray holding the litter pellets, and based tray lined with an absorbent pad. The litter pellets dehydrate and drain liquid onto the absorbent pad below, locking in odours
  • Cuts down on cleaning and litter change frequency - the pad is changed once weekly (for a one cat household) and the entire litter changed once a month

Cons

  • Works only with natural mineral zeolite pelleted litter
  • Replacement absorbent pads are required ongoing

With a dual litter tray system to lock away odours, the Ezi Lockodour Dual Layer Cat Litter system is perfect for cat-owners looking to minimise mess, smells and clean up time! The natural zeolite pellets contain micropores which help to dehydrate the urine, and then allow it to pass through onto the absorbent pads below. The absorbent pads are changed weekly for a single cat household, and the litter once a month.

The higher sides and back help to contain mess if your cat likes to kick their litter around. This product works best with natural zeolite pellets, which dehydrate the urine, helping to remove odours, so may not be suitable for cats with a preference for other litter types. It is priced at the high end of non-automated litter trays, and requires the purchase of replacement pads on an ongoing basis.

This litter box also comes as a hooded litter tray, with a hinged lid to make the clean up of solid waste simple and easy, and an extra wide litter tray for multi-cat households or large breed cats.

What our customers say: "If you are sick of scooping and cleaning your litter tray, then buy this product. No more tracking and way less scooping! You must use the pads and pellets designed for this product to get the best result. No more scooping pee, you only need to scoop out poop and change the absorbent pad in the tray underneath every week. Zero dust and so much less litter tracking. I actually use litter tray wipes while it has pellets in it, to keep the tray clean. It does not affect the pellets, which are 100% dust free. No more wet litter stuck to paws or floors. It's the best litter system on the market!"

Shop Ezi-LockOdour Trays

Best Value: Poowee Cat Litter Tray

Pros

  • Great value, simple design
  • Comes in 3 different sizes to suit different sizes of cats
  • Available in bright, attractive colours
  • Reduces litter scatter with higher sides
  • Works with any litter type

Cons

  • Larger sizes may be needed as cats grow
  • No specific odour control features

If you're looking for value for money, look no further than the Poowee Cat Litter Tray. Available in bright, attractive colours, and 3 sizes, this litter tray will suit all sizes and styles of kitty!

The small size is perfect for kittens with a lower edge to step into, whilst the medium is good for adult cats and the large, with it's higher sides is good for cats who like to kick their litter around.

This is a no-frills litter tray and offers great value at the cheaper end of the price range. It's easy to access for cats, and available in different sizes to grow with your cat. It will also work with any litter type, however does not offer any specific odour control features.

What our customers say: "Everyone! Your cat will grow bigger and this large tray is easy to place in your house. with 2 plus cats you we need 3-4 trays dotted around. Excellent value. Better than small sided, cheap plastic and tiny trays sold in other shops!"

What our vets say: "I use the Poowee Litter tray because it holds the perfect amount of Scrunch and Sticks litter for my cat and fits perfectly in the space between my shower and the wall!! Seriously though, it is an economical, easy to clean litter tray" - Dr. Maree

Shop Poowee Litter Trays

Best for Reducing Litter Scatter: Smartcat Corner Litter Box

Pros

  • Ideal for unused corner spaces
  • The low lip at the entry point makes it ideal for senior cats or those with mobility issues
  • High sides prevent litter being kicked out
  • Works with any litter type

Cons

  • On the smaller side overall
  • No specific odour control properties

Ideal for senior cats who have trouble stepping over the higher sides of other trays, the Smartcat Corner Litter Box provides a sturdy alternative. The higher edges at the sides help to prevent litter being kicked out when your kitty has finished their business.

Made from a durable plastic resin, this litter tray will stand up to constant daily usage, is simple to use and easy to clean. It is priced in the mid-range for non-automated litter boxes.

What our customers say: "This tray fits perfectly in the corner, and the high sides do a good job preventing my cat from kicking her litter out. She is a small cat but she still climbs over the sides to use it without any issues. It has lines on the inside to indicate how much litter to use, which is helpful."

What our vets say: "For pet parents who struggle with kitties that pee over the sides of their trays or kick out too much litter, the SmartCat Corner Litter Box is a fantastic choice. It's well-made, durable, and easy to clean, making for a litter experience that's a lot less messy. The minimalist design looks great in any home and helps you free up a bit of floor space as it conveniently fits into any corner of your room." - Dr. Antonella

Shop Smartcat Corner Litter Box

What to look for when buying a cat litter box

Covered vs uncovered

While some cats love the privacy of a hooded litter box, others will avoid them at all costs. If you are not sure which your cat prefers, look for a litter box in which the top and bottom can be separated so you can try both options!

Litter preference

Most cats have very definite litter substrate preferences. While many litter trays will accommodate all litter types, there are some that will only work with specific types of litter. Make sure the litter tray you purchase will accommodate the type of litter your cat prefers.

Want to know more about what to look for in a litter? Check out our Complete Guide to Cat Litter.

Frequency of Cleaning

Most of us would (hopefully!) want to clean our cat's litter trays as infrequently as possible. Some trays, like sieved trays, offer a system where soiled litter falls through the sieve to the bottom of the tray, allowing for just the soiled litter to be removed, rather than a complete litter change. Beware though, most of the types of tray work only with one type of litter!

Number of litter boxes

The number of cats you own determines the number of litter boxes you should have. In order to reduce stress, behavioural and urinary issues, you should have at least one litter tray per cat plus one extra. These should be placed in locations where your cat's can access them freely, without risk of their access in or out being blocked by another cat.

Further Reading

Complete Guide to Cat Litter

How to Reduce Litter Tracking

Best Self Cleaning Litter Boxes

How To Stop Cat Litter From Smelling

Can You Flush Cat Litter?

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