Cats can be picky at the best of times, from their sleeping quarters to their food. Their litter box is another area where they can
be notoriously fussy. Even the most minor change can put a cat off their litter box, such as new litter, moving their box to a new place, or something they don’t like being placed close to their litter box. This often results in your cat using something else to do their business on, and all cat owners know the difficulty in getting the smell of cat urine out of the carpet!
It’s difficult to find the perfect litter box for fussy cats. Some prefer high sides, others low, and some prefer hidden, private litter boxes, while others are happy with the most basic litter box. It can take trial and error to find the right one, and the process can be frustrating. If you have a picky cat and are looking for a new litter box, we put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you find the perfect one. Let’s get started!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan||
|Best Value||Van Ness High Cat Litter Pan||
|Premium Choice||Whisker Robot Cat Litter Box||
|Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box System||
|IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box||
The 10 Best Litter Boxes for Picky Cats
1. Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan — Best Overall
|Size||4 x 17 x 18.3 inches|
|Colors:||Grey and white|
The Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan from Catit is our favorite overall choice of litter box for picky cats. If you have a picky cat that prefers their privacy, this hooded litter box may do just the trick. It’s big enough for multi-cat households and the hood lifts for easy cleaning, with a built-in bag anchor that helps keep the litter in place for less mess and tracking. There’s an overlapping mechanism to prevent leaks from urination. The litter box also has a removable clear door for easier access and a carbon filter to help reduce odors. It has a sliding lock for extra security while carrying and a convenient carrying handle.
Several customers report that the door repeatedly gets stuck, so it needs to be used without the door for best results. This is disappointing because this door issue can cause even more hesitation in picky cats.
2. Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan — Best Value
|Size||25 x 17.75 x 9 inches|
|Colors:||Blue and Tan|
|Features:||Made from recycled plastic|
Sometimes all a picky cat needs is a simple pan litter box with high sides to make them feel comfortable. The Van Ness litter pan is just that: a simple, inexpensive litter box. It is the best litter box for picky cats for the money. The box has a highly polished finish that is odor and stain-resistant and is great to look at. The high sides will prevent messy cats that like to dig from scattering litter all over the floor, which makes it ideal for multiple cat households. The litter box is made in the U.S.A. from 20% recycled content.
The only issue that we found with this litter box is the lack of non-slip pads on the bottom, which can cause the tray to slip and possibly even deter your cat from using it.
3. Whisker Litter-Robot Auto Cat Litter Box — Premium Choice
|Material:||Plastic and Polypropylene|
|Size||25 x 27 x 29.5 inches|
|Colors:||Grey and Beige|
|Features:||Wi-Fi enabled, self-cleaning|
If you are looking for a premium cat litter box for your picky cat, the Whisker Litter-Robot Automatic cat litter box may be a perfect choice. Some cats are so picky about using their litter box that they will avoid using it if there is already poop or urine present, so a self-cleaning box can help dramatically. This automatic litter box sifts waste from the litter the moment that your cat is done using it, with a carbon-filtered waste drawer that prevents nasty odors. You can save on litter usage by up to 50% with this design, as there is no need for scooping, and it can be used for up to four cats. The unit comes equipped with Wi-Fi that links to the “AutoPets Connect” app to let you remotely keep an eye on waste levels, get notifications, learn recent usage history, and troubleshoot any issues.
This unit is fairly loud and may scare some cats out of using it, and it is quite expensive.
4. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System — Best for Kittens
|Size||5 x 15.8 x 10.1 inches|
|Colors:||White and Green|
|Features:||Liquid and Solid Separation|
The Tidy Breeze cat litter box system has an advanced technique of odor control and waste management and is our top choice for kittens due to its ease of use. The unique system uses litter pellets to catch solid waste on top while letting liquids pass through onto super-absorbent pads below, making the litter tray almost odor-free to help with picky cats and with cleaning. It also helps prevent litter tracking and keeps your home smelling fresh. The system comes with a month’s supply of pellets and pads (which can last for up to 7 days for one cat) and a litter scoop.
While this litter box is certainly convenient and helps keep odors under control, constantly replacing the pads and the litter can quickly get expensive, especially for multi-cat households.
Related Read: 10 Best Litter Boxes for Kittens – Reviews & Top Picks
5. IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box — Best Top-Entry Option
|Size||47 x 16.14 x 14.56 inches|
|Colors:||White, Black, Beige and Grey|
Some cats prefer the privacy of a top-entry litter box. If you have a picky cat with this preference, the IRIS Top Entry litter box is a great option. The IRIS looks great with a sleek modern aesthetic that fits well into modern homes, and the top-entry design will give your cat the space and privacy that they want without them getting litter on the floor. The lid has built-in grooves to stop litter tracking and is removable for easy, quick cleaning. The litter box comes with an included scoop that conveniently attaches to the box, right where you need it!
The only issue that we have with this litter box is the lid. It fits fairly snugly but is not ideal for large cats because it can give way under their weight.
6. ScoopFree Covered Auto Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
|Material:||Plastic and silicon|
|Size||5 x 19 x 16 inches|
|Colors:||Grey, Purple and Taupe|
For picky cats that don’t like to use soiled litter boxes, the ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box is a great choice. The litter box has an automatic rake system that sweeps waste into a separate, covered compartment, which can be programmed to activate 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat uses the litter box. A built-in safety timer will reset if your cat re-enters the box. It also has a health counter to let you track how much your cat uses the litter box, and it uses five to 10 times less litter than traditional litter boxes. It has a hood for privacy and to help keep litter in the box, and it comes with one tray of crystal litter.
Replacing the litter in this litter box can get expensive, especially if you have more than one cat, and several customers reported that the crystal litter absorbs urine smell, making the whole system smelly.
7. Arm & Hammer Sifting Cat Litter Pan
|Size||88 x 15.21 x 7.86 inches|
The Sifting Cat Litter Pan from Arm and Hammer has a unique system of two regular pans with one sifting pan to remove soiled litter and may be just the right litter box for your picky cat. The top, sifting pan has built-in holes that allow the clean litter to fall through with no need for scooping. It also has antimicrobial protection to prevent stains and odors, with a solid, reinforced bottom to support heavy litter when lifted. If you are looking for an inexpensive, easy cleaning litter box for your picky feline, the Arm and Hammer is a great choice.
While the concept makes these trays seem easy to clean, the litter can stick to the top tray when you try and clean it, which can be a hassle. Also, it’s a bit too small for large cats.
8. Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box
|Size||23 x 20 x 19 inches|
|Features:||Sifting and Covered|
Give your picky cat the privacy that they need with the Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Covered Litter Box. It has a unique cleaning mechanism, where you simply roll the box onto its top, and the litter falls into a grill that is then removed and easily cleaned. The patented grill inside catches the waste, which is then pulled out with the built-in tray for quick and easy cleaning. The lid is also removable for easy cleaning, and the litter box can be used for multiple cat households.
This product is designed only for use with clumping litter, which some cats may not like. Also, the clips for the lid are rather flimsy and could result in a huge mess while rolling.
9. Good Pet Stuff Hidden Cat Litter Planter
|Material:||Plastic and Polypropylene|
|Size||36 x 19 x 19 inches|
|Features:||Hidden and Covered|
It doesn’t get more private than the Hidden Cat Litter Planter from Good Pet Stuff! This litter box is cleverly designed to look like a house plant, with a realistic clay pot bottom that is nice and private for fussy cats. The planter looks like a real plant, but there’s no need for watering or soil! The pot is made from durable polypropylene and is big enough to hold two cats inside, and it has filtered vents for odor control.
With the large size of this litter box and the plant design, it is difficult to clean. The lid is also flimsy and difficult to attach. Also, the plastic plant may get ripped off by excited cats!
10. Booda Dome Cleanstep Cat Litter Box
|Size||5 x 22.5 x 19 inches|
|Colors:||Pearl, Titanium and Nickel|
|Features:||Covered with steps|
The Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box is a sleek, cleverly designed litter box for cats that enjoy their privacy while doing their business. The steps are lined with small dimples to catch any litter on your cat’s feet and reduce mess, and the closed design prevents litter from being scattered. The lid is removable for easy cleaning with a handle or convenient transport, and it is built with a carbon filter to reduce unwanted odors.
This litter box is rather large and cumbersome, which can make cleaning a chore. It’s also far too small for large cats due to the angled steps. Lastly, the domed lid doesn’t fit that tightly, and the movement may scare off timid felines.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Litter Boxes for Picky Cats
Since some cats can be rather picky about almost everything, from their food to their favorite sofa, it makes sense that they’d be picky about their litter box too. Cats can get put off of something because of the smallest feature — even the smell!— and this can make finding the right litter box for particularly picky cats quite a challenge. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Choosing a litter box for picky cats
So, what is the best litter box option for fussy felines? Unfortunately, there is no black-and-white answer, and it will take trial and error to find a litter box that your cat will use. Of course, you don’t want to go out and spend money purchasing the entire range of litter boxes and hope that your cat likes one! To save yourself time and expense, there are a few things to consider that may help you find the best litter box for your feline the first time.
Observe your cat
The first step in choosing the right litter box for your feline is to pay attention to their habits and take them into consideration. If they already have a litter box, are they using it? It makes sense to purchase a litter box similar to the one that they have now, as it’s likely that they’ll keep using it. If they are not using their current litter box, try to figure out why. Maybe the sides are too low or high, maybe it’s covered and they prefer an open top, or maybe it’s just placed somewhere that makes them feel vulnerable. The first step is to get a litter box that is the polar opposite of the one that you currently have, and they may then prefer it.
Also, watch your cat while they do their business, especially outdoors. Try to notice if they hide away under a tree or bush or prefer an open space, if they dig extensively, or if they keep going back to the same spot. This will give you an indication of whether they’d prefer a hooded or open litter box, a high-sided litter box that they can dig in, or a clean space every time, in which case, a self-cleaning litter box is best.
Location, location, location
It may seem like it most of the time, but no cat is born picky. It’s far more likely that they have picked up the trait for a reason, and finding out the reason may help solve the problem more so than a particular style of litter box. One of the most common reasons for “picky” behavior when it comes to litter boxes is location. There may be something near your cat’s litter box that has frightened them, like a washing machine or dryer, and this could be the reason that they’re not using it. Also, if you have more than one cat in your home, observe the cat litter box golden rule: one litter box per cat, plus one extra. So, if you have three cats, you’ll need four litter boxes in different places in your home.
Your cat may also be picky about their litter box simply because of the type of litter that you’re using. Most cats prefer clumping litters, but some may be deterred by them. Also, litters with fragrances may help reduce nasty odors in your home but may also stop your cat from using their litter box. You may need to try a few litter types to see which your cat prefers.
Litter box type
The final consideration is the type of litter box to use for your cat. This may come down to trial and error, but observing your cat’s habits will help you choose the right type. If your cat is highly social, friendly, and unintimidated by other cats, they will probably be fine with a closed-top litter box. If, on the other hand, they are a bit suspicious and cautious, an open-top litter box will enable them to get a good view of the area around them. Most cats are also clean animals and fussy about having a clean litter box too. While most will be fine using the same litter once or twice, others may not be, and a self-cleaning box may be what’s needed. In any case, regular cleaning is essential.
Our top choice overall of a litter box for picky cats is the Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan from Catit. It’s big enough for multi-cat households, is easy to clean, and has a carbon filter to help reduce odors. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Van Ness litter pan is a simple, inexpensive litter box that has a highly polished, odor- and stain-resistant finish with high sides to prevent spillage.
If you had a more premium option in mind, the Whisker Litter-Robot Automatic cat litter box is ideal. This litter box automatically sifts waste, has a carbon-filtered waste drawer, and comes equipped with Wi-Fi to let you remotely keep an eye on various aspects of your cat’s litter box usage.
It can be tricky to find the right litter box for your feline, all the more so for a picky, fussy cat. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you find the best litter box for your feline friend.
Featured Image Credit: Tanya Plotnikova, Shutterstock