Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
It’s time for a hard truth: There is no such thing as a pretty litter box, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to sell you something. Probably an ugly litter box. True, there are a handful of cute, covered litter boxes on the market like this one from Make Sure, but these really only work if your cat is very small and doesn’t mind being completely shut in while going to the bathroom, which a lot of cats (most, even) aren’t and do.
The best thing you can hope for is to find a way to hide said litter box — somewhere that keeps it out of sight, but doesn’t obscure it to the point that your cat decides to pee in, say, the bathtub. “To ensure a cat will use the litter box (any box), it should be as comfortable and easy for them to use as possible,” says certified feline behavior consultant and The Wildest Expert Collective member Cristin Tamburo (a.k.a. the Cat Counselor). “In my opinion, bigger is always better when it comes to litter boxes. Ideally, they should be at least one and a half times the size of the cat, and your cat should be able to easily maneuver and turn around without having to play Twister.”
That’s a tall order when it comes to traditional covered litter boxes, which can often feel like claustrophobic little caves to cats. With only one entrance/exit and no way to see what is going on just outside the box, some cats will eschew conventional covered litter boxes for fear of being ambushed either while doing their business — when they are most vulnerable — or upon exiting the enclosure. “[This is the reason] most cats prefer open boxes without lids — especially in multi-cat homes,” Tamburo says. And once a cat starts going to the bathroom outside their litter box, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to get them to go back.
Still, there are some enclosure options on the market that allow cats the space and visibility they need to use their litter boxes comfortably, while still allowing you to put some visual distance between yourself and their…place of, um, business.
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
An electric litter box for techy cat parents and their tactful felines.
I introduced my cat to an automatic litter box, and let’s just say it went off with multiple hitches.
If you do nothing else, teach your cat to poop in their litter box (not your shoe).
The Petkit Pura Air uses an advanced filtration system to keep pet-friendly homes odorless.
In exchange for a $5 donation, this rescue org in Ohio wrote people’s ex’s names in a litter box.
Mid-century modern coffee table or litter box? Industrial bookcase or cat tower? If you can’t tell, that’s kind of the point.