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10 Best Cat Litter Boxes for Small Apartments in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat stepping out of litter box

As a cat owner, you need to choose a litter box that helps you keep your home clean and smelling nice. Selecting the right litter box can be a challenge and you don’t want to waste time and money by trial and error. The size, shape, and features can all play a role in clean and successful litter box usage.

If you live in a small apartment, you will want a litter box that not only helps reduce odor in your small space but prevents litter scatter and fits perfectly into your home. We’ve taken a close look at ratings and reviews from fellow cat owners and have a list of our top picks just for you.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
  • Prevents mess
  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Van Ness High Sided Cat Litter Box Van Ness High Sided Cat Litter Box
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean
  • Prevents mess
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Whisker Litter-Robot Whisker Litter-Robot
  • Self-cleaning
  • WiFi-enabled
  • Great for multiple cats
  • Best for Kittens
    Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box
  • Easy access for kittens and seniors
  • Great for privacy
  • Reduces odors
  • Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan
  • Built-in bag anchor
  • Easy to clean
  • Reduces smell
  • The 10 Best Cat Litter Boxes For Small Apartments – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box – Best Overall

    IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box with scoop

    Dimensions: 47 x 16.14 x 14.56 inches
    Weight: 85 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Top Entry
    Color Choice: White, Black/Gray, Gray/White, White/Beige, White/Green, Orange/Gray

    Our pick for the best overall cat litter box for a small apartment or living space is the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box. The top entry design of this litter box offers your cat more room on the inside and prevents litter from being scattered all over the place.

    The grooved lid will assist in removing litter from your cats’ paws as they exit the box. IRIS isn’t very expensive and doesn’t take up much space in your home. This litter box weighs 4.85 pounds, so you won’t have to worry about larger cats knocking it over either. The round shape makes cleaning it super easy. This choice even comes with its matching scoop.

    IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Boxes come in a variety of color options so it’s also easier to match the overall aesthetic of your home.

    Pros
    • Prevents mess
    • Easy to clean
    • Inexpensive
    • Comes in a variety of colors

    Cons

    • Not ideal for disabled cats
    • Some cats may not prefer top entry
    • Flimsy lid


    2. Van Ness High Sided Cat Litter Box – Best Value

    Van Ness High Sided Cat Litter Box

    Dimensions: 5 x 15 x 8.5 inches
    Weight: 26 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Open top
    Color Choice: Blue, Green, Gray

    If you are in search of a cat litter box that will give you the best value for the money, look no further. The Van Ness High-Sided Cat Litter box may be the choice for you. This inexpensive litter box is ideal for cats that like to dig into the litter and fling it all over the place.

    It is small, lightweight, with a simple design, and is very easy to clean. The plastic is made to resist odor and stains, so it won’t be a smelly eyesore in your home either. Its compact size makes it a great fit for any apartment.

    We all know that some cats don’t like to squat very well when doing their business, the high sides of this Van Ness litter box will prevent any urine from spraying beyond its borders. Bonus, it comes in a corner cat litter box variety as well! Overall, this is a nice, simple, and inexpensive choice that will be great for your apartment and your wallet.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Easy to clean
    • Prevents mess

    Cons

    • No top
    • Color choices
    • Not ideal for large cats


    3. Whisker Litter-Robot – Premium Choice

    Whisker Litter-Robot automatic cat litter box

    Dimensions: 25 x 27 x 29.5 inches
    Weight: N/A
    Material: Polypropylene
    Type: Automatic, Covered
    Color Choice: Black, Beige, Gray

    If you are not a fan of cleaning the litter box and let’s face it, who is? The Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box may be your best friend. This tops our list as the premium choice since it is an automatic self-cleaning litter box that helps make cleaning up after your cat a breeze. Its process is to sift the waste from the litter within moments of your cat exiting.

    There is a fully enclosed waste drawer that is carbon filtered and will keep odors to a minimum. The Litter-Robot can reduce the use of litter by up to 50%. While the upfront cost of the unit may be pretty high, you will save a lot of money in litter over time. It is a great option for those with a busy schedule that does not have the time to stop and clean the litter box.

    You can even monitor this litter box by using the app. It will give you updates on usage and levels of waste your cat is depositing. Another perk to this unit is that just one Litter Robot can be used for up to four cats, though it does require at least 5 pounds to trigger the sensor.

    Pros
    • Self-cleaning
    • WiFi-enabled
    • Great for multiple cats

    Cons

    • The cat must be 5 pounds to trigger the sensor
    • Expensive
    • Can run slowly


    4. Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box – Best for Kittens

    Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box

    Dimensions: 5 x 22.5 x 19 inches
    Weight: N/A
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Covered
    Color Choice: Pearl Linen, Titanium, Nickel

    The Booda Dome Clean Step Litter Box is not only a great choice for adult cats but kittens and seniors as well. It gives easy access to even the tiniest of kittens thanks to its ramp that leads right into the litter area. Not only does it provide ease of access to your kitten but a safe, comfortable place to go to the bathroom.

    The Booda Dome Cleanstep comes in three pearlescent colors that can fit in perfectly in just about any home. This box is a little on the large side, but still makes a great choice for apartments if you can find the perfect space for it. We know that our cats do like to have their privacy when doing their business and the dome design of this litter box allows just that. It’s like going into their own private, hooded bathroom.

    The igloo-like design keeps cat litter mess to a minimum. The top comes with a built-in handle, making it easy to remove and clean. There is a carbon filter on the top to help eliminate any unwanted smells. This litter box is priced great and is a favorite among many cat owners.

    Pros
    • Easy access for kittens and seniors
    • Great for privacy
    • Reduces odors

    Cons

    • The lid can come loose
    • The shape can be awkward to clean


    5. Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan

    Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan

    Dimensions: 4 x 17 x 18.3 inches
    Weight: N/A
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Automatic, Covered
    Color Choice: White Tiger, Gray

    The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan is a great choice for those looking to minimize the smell, which is a necessity in a small apartment. It’s also ideal for cats that enjoy their privacy. This litter box is more on the large side and is big enough to accommodate households with multiple cats.

    It comes equipped with a removable hooded lid for easy cleaning, a built-in bag anchor that keeps litter in place, a removable door, and a carbon filter to help with the litter smell. The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan is available in a basic gray that blends in with any home and a unique and fun white tiger print that you don’t see on many litter boxes.

    Overall, this litter box is very well-reviewed, very fairly priced, and would make a great choice for a small apartment if you have a space you can dedicate to a box this size.

    Pros
    • Built-in bag anchor
    • Easy to clean
    • Reduces smell

    Cons

    • Large
    • The door can become stuck
    • Plastic is thin


    6. Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box

    Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box

    Dimensions: 23 x 26 x 11 inches
    Weight: 25 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Covered, Corner
    Color Choice: Black/White

    If you’re looking to stow your cat litter box away in a corner, look no further than the Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box. This box is specifically built to fit into the corner of your home for space-saving convenience. This box has some depth so it will require a good amount of litter to fill it up.

    This litter box has a non-stick antimicrobial surface that helps reduce litter from caking to the bottom and sides, which makes cleaning quick and easy. The replaceable charcoal filter has odor-block technology that will help eliminate litter box odors for up to 3 months. The hooded design keeps litter from making its way out of the box and onto your floor.

    This litter box makes a great choice for large cats and offers them plenty of room to move around and do their business all while sitting snugly in a corner. This box comes at a fair price and Nature’s Miracle has a whole line of cleaning products designed for pet parents.

    Pros
    • Fits easily into corners
    • Charcoal filter with odor-blocking technology
    • Non-stick antimicrobial surface

    Cons

    • Lack of color variety
    • Lid latches may break easily
    • Deep requires a lot of litter


    7. Modkat Flip Litter Box

    Modkat Flip Litter Box

    Dimensions: 47 x 15.75 x 16.73 inches
    Weight: 7 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Covered
    Color Choice: White

    The highly reviewed ModKat Flip Litter Box has a unique design and is versatile. The flip lid offers three privacy positions that will cater to your cat’s bathroom privacy preferences. The lid can be fully closed, half-open, or fully open. The lid style also includes the perk of easy access for cleaning.

    The high-base design makes it ideal for preventing litter from being scattered outside of the box and any spraying issues from becoming a problem. This litter box comes with a hook and liner system designed to keep the liners in place. The liners are made to be rip-resistant and easy to clean. A scoop and 1 litter liner are included in the purchase.

    This litter box is made of sturdy plastic and is ideal for even large cats. It is not overwhelmingly large and will be relatively easy to fit into a small apartment. The most common theme among customers is their love of the fact that this box retains messes. It does have a bit higher price tag, but the overall benefits make it well worth it.

    Pros
    • Multi-positional lid
    • Comes with a liner and scoop
    • Sturdy

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • Lack of color choices


    8. Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter

    Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter

    Dimensions: 36 x 19 x 19 inches
    Weight: 8 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Covered
    Color Choice: Clay-colored

    If you reside in a small apartment and would like to keep your litter box hidden, the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter may be your perfect fit. This litter box is disguised as a decorative house plant in a clay-colored pot.

    It comes equipped with a two-piece bottom with a cut-out so that your cat can come and go easily. The plant is designed to look real but thankfully won’t require any watering and is impossible to kill. It even has decorative moss that helps with realism.

    This litter box is large enough to fit large cats and could be used in a multiple-cat home. The pot is made from very durable polypropylene that makes it look like it is made of clay. There is a filtered vent system in place to help prevent any litter dust and unwanted odors. The good news is that it is priced fair, especially since it doubles as home décor.

    Pros
    • Decorative
    • Well-disguised
    • Fits large cats

    Cons

    • Cats may destroy the fake plants
    • Difficult to assemble


    9. PetSafe ScoopFree Original Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

    PetSafe ScoopFree Original Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

    Dimensions: 24 x 6.93 x 28.47 inches
    Weight: 08 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Uncovered
    Color Choice: Taupe, Purple

    The Petsafe ScoopFree Original Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box comes with a higher price tag but is still much less than the Litter-Robot regarding its self-cleaning abilities. This litter box automatically removes waste to prevent you from scooping, cleaning, or refilling for weeks.

    This litter box uses crystal litter that is 99% dust-free and made to reduce the smell by absorbing urine and dehydrating any solid waste. The litter used in this litter box does not stick to a cat’s paws and will prevent litter mess from getting all over your floor. The disposable trays are lined with plastic to prevent leaking.

    Cleaning this litter box is simple and easy. You just remove the tray and throw it in the trash. It has a very low to the ground design and will fit easily into any home. Customers love the lack of smell and ease of use. You can also use regular litter in this box with no problem.

    Pros
    • Self-cleaning
    • Easy maintenance
    • Great odor control

    Cons

    • No hood
    • Lack of privacy
    • Pricey


    10. Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box

    Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box

    Dimensions: 67 x 15.75 x 14.96 inches
    Weight: 47 pounds
    Material: Plastic
    Type: Covered
    Color Choice: White

    This Amazon favorite is simple and well-reviewed. The Amazon Basics No-Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box is currently only available in white but does come with a limited one-year warranty. Its size is perfect for small apartments. It has a convenient snap-on hood that is great for cats that need privacy, and it helps keep litter contained.

    The handle on top makes it easy to carry and move around, the swinging plastic door provides easy access for your cat whether it is coming or going. The hood lifts off for easy cleaning. This litter box is made of polypropylene plastic that is meant to resist odor and stains and typically wipes clean with just a damp towel or cloth. There are replaceable carbon filters, one of which is included with purchase but replacements are sold separately.

    Pros
    • Hooded for privacy
    • Easy to clean
    • Odor and stain resistant

    Cons

    • Limited color variety
    • Design in the back makes litter scooping difficult


    Buyer’s Guide

    There are so many options when it comes to purchasing a litter box and you will need to ensure you make the best decision for your situation. We all know how finicky our cats can be and litter boxes are not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to type. We’ve broken down some of the most important considerations when choosing the best litter box for your cat.

    Size

    Size is a very important factor to consider, not just for your cat’s comfort and convenience, but for your home as well. Experts recommend that a litter box be a least 1.5 times the length of your cat. If you have multiple cats in your home, you will use the size of your largest cat to help you determine the best sizing.

    Even if you live in a small apartment, you’ll need an appropriately sized litter box. Purchasing a litter box too small for your cat could cause unwanted behaviors, such as going outside the litter box. If you have a kitten, you’ll need to make sure it is accessible while they are very small to encourage successful litter training.

    Style/Shape

    Cats can be finicky creatures and their litter box preferences vary. Some cats prefer to use open-style litter boxes while others prefer covered litter boxes for that extra privacy. If you choose an open litter box, you will want to ensure it has high sides to prevent litter from being tracked outside the box and from urine spraying outside. A covered litter box will need easy access and if it has a door, the space should be big enough for your cat to get through comfortably.

    The shape will play a huge role in the ease of cleaning and scooping up litter. Some shapes make it difficult to scrape areas of urine and leave behind a lot of residues. You will want a litter box that is shaped conveniently so that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of stuck clumps.

    Some litter boxes blend right into the home and double as décor, some are shaped to fit snugly into a corner for space-saving convenience. You may want a litter box that has color varieties that fit into the aesthetic of your home. There are many shape and style options for litter boxes, you’ll want one that is easy to clean, works for your cat’s preferences, your space, and personal taste.

    Maine coon cat large using litter box
    Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

    Quantity

    Depending on your situation, you may need more than one litter box. If you are a multiple cat household, some single boxes are equipped for multiple cats, but it may be best for you to have more than one litter box available. 

    Material

    Having a flimsy, thin litter box will likely not work out well. You will want to search for a litter box that is constructed to be durable. A lot of litter boxes nowadays even come with stain and odor-resistant surfaces to help with cleanup and stench. Poorly made litter boxes can crack easily, may be difficult to latch, and may distort under the weight of litter. The litter box will be a frequent stop for your cat, you’ll want one that can hold up and be worth your time and money.

    Regular or Self-Cleaning

    We live in the age of technology, and it has gotten us far enough that we have litter boxes that clean themselves. Of course, we are still responsible for disposal, but a self-cleaning litter box can be a huge convenience if it works well. That being said, self-cleaning litter boxes can be pricey and have some downfalls such as slowness and leftover waste. You will need to decide if you’d like to go the old-fashioned route or opt for a higher-tech box.

    cat peeping from top entry litter box

    Price

    As with any purchase, price is going to be a top consideration. You know your budget best and probably have an idea as to what you want to spend on a litter box. Prices for litter boxes range from under $5 to over $500 for some automatic versions. Getting the best litter box for your budget is essential.

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    Finding the right litter box for a small apartment may not be as simple as you would think with all of the options available. The IRIS Top Entry is a great all-around choice for those looking for a top-quality, fair-priced litter box that won’t take up much space. The Van Ness High Sided Litter Box is great for the budget and checks all the necessary marks or even the high-tech Whisker Litter Robot that works with your phone and does a lot of the work for you. Regardless, the reviews speak for themselves, now it’s up to you to decide which works for you!


    Featured Image Credit: Litter Robot, Unsplash