Litter Box Priorities
According to Dr. Lisa Pierson “urinating and defecating outside of the litter box (…) is one of the most common reasons for a cat to be relinquished to a shelter”. Because this is so common, it’s important to understand what your cat wants in a litter box.
Cats want a box that is clean, large enough to turn around in, and in a location, they feel comfortable using. Individual cats may also have preferences about the smell and texture of the litter they’re using, the ease of entering and exiting the box, and whether they will urinate and defecate in the same box or would rather use separate ones for each activity.
As cat owners, we want a box that is easy to scoop and keep clean. Odor elimination, visual aesthetics, durability, and shape/size are important factors when choosing a box, too.
Resolving inappropriate elimination may be as simple as changing the litter box to something that makes both of us happy!
How Large Should My Litter Box Be?
Average litter boxes at most stores are twenty (20) inches in length, and the average cat is approximately eighteen (18) inches from nose to hindquarters.
Ideally, the litter box should be one and a half times the length of your cat, and wide enough for them to turn around with ease.
In addition to offering additional space for your pet to move, larger boxes mean your cat has more room to avoid solid waste and clumps.
In a study from Nestle Purina, it was noted that odor and use by another cat were much less significant deterrents from using a box than the presence of solid waste.
Large, exotic cat breeds such as Savannahs, Bengals, and Maine Coons are experiencing a rise in popularity. At the same time, pet obesity has been on the rise over the past 25 years.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention states that overweight pets are at an increased risk for arthritis, affecting their mobility.
Whether your cat is overweight, an exotic breed, or just large, many traditional litter boxes may not provide the space your pet needs.
Best Litter Boxes for Large Cats
With all of this in mind, we’ve gathered some of the best litter boxes available for you and your large cat!
Catit Hooded Cat Litter Pan
Available in a variety of colors including pink, warm grey, and white with tiger stripes. The pan is large enough for almost any cat and can be set up in a couple different ways to accommodate both your and your cat’s desires. This box weighs just under 4lbs, with dimensions of 22.4L x 18.1WH x 15.3H inches.
Users state this box is large enough for even 16-18lb cats to use comfortably, that the clear entry flap is easy to train cats too, and that the non-stick finish holds up well.
The main complaint was that the entry flap didn’t fit precisely, but most users were able to melt or file it to fit appropriately.
- Variety of styles and colors
- Rounded edges for easy scooping
- Replaceable filter for odor reduction
- Optional entry flap to reduce tracking and odors
- A Lid can be flipped back for scooping, and for cats that prefer an open box
- Cover eliminates litter kicking
- Low entry is easy for cats to step over
- Built-in bag anchor helps hold the bag open for scooping
- Locking lid with handle can be used to lift and move the entire unit
- Urine becomes trapped between lid and base
- Entry flap may be intimidating to cats
- Consumers have complained of latching mechanism breaking
Petmate Giant Litter Pan
One of the largest litter boxes available, this pan holds 30+ pounds of litter, making it ideal for larger cats or multi-cat homes. This popular model has over 1000 positive reviews on Amazon and a rating of five stars!
The part of the pan which holds the litter measures 26 x 17 inches, and the entire unit is 34.7 x 19.8 x 10 inches.
Features convenient storage pockets for bags, litter deodorizer, scoops, etc. Durable plastic with built-in handles aids in ease of moving this box even when full.
- Large enough for any cat
- Plastic is made with odor-reducing micro ban technology to fight bacteria, mold, and mildew
- Built-in storage for accessories
- The Wide base won’t tip over
- Affordable price for the size
- High walls reduce litter kicking and tracking
- Constructed of strong, durable plastic
- Litter pan liners are not available for this size box
- No cover to track odors
- High sides are not ideal for cats with mobility issues
- Giant size may not fit in all households
- Cats that pee standing up may pee over the edges
- Some customers found the corners and pockets difficult to clean
Nature’s Miracle Advanced Corner Hooded Box
This litter box fits both large cats and tight corners! If you’re cramped for space, this triangular box will fit where others won’t, without sticking out as a tripping hazard. An un-hooded version is available.
The sides are 26 x 23 x 23 inches, and with the hood, the box is 20 inches tall. Visit this video for a visualization of the dimensions in a home, and clips of a large cat using the box.
- Unique space-saving shape
- Rounded corners are easy to scoop and clean
- Durable plastic withstands cats sitting on top
- A Replaceable charcoal filter helps eliminate odors
- The Wide opening is easy for cats to enter and exit
- Deep tray reduces litter kicking
- Anti-stick coating eliminates stuck litter
- Urine may leak between lid and base when cats pee on the side
- Awkward to scoop unless lid is removed
- No door to help trap odors
- The Entryway features an outward-leaning scoop shape which some cats don’t like
- Awkward shape to move, no handles
Favorite Jumbo Covered Enclosed Litter Box
The unique style of this box eliminates corners that cats may aim to pee in, and that is difficult to scoop or clean. At 25 inches long and 19.5 inches wide across the largest part of the center, this box meets the requirements for 1.5x the body length of average cats.
Users found this box large enough for all cats, but the main complaints revolved around the entrance. The entrance is narrow compared to the actual box and arrived with rough edges for several customers who left reviews. Customers were able to adjust the size and smoothness of the entrance with household tools.
- Rounded corners for easy cleaning
- Lid reduces kicking and odors
- Clear lid allows observation of litterbox behaviors
- Lid contains urine spraying
- Snaps hold the lid in place relative to the base
- Polished interior eliminates litter sticking
- Some customer complaints of lid and base not aligning
- Curved sides may be difficult to scoop
- Plastic is thin compared to other pans available at price point
- The Lid must be removed to scoop the whole interior
- The Rounded shape does not fit snugly into corners
Petmate Clean Step Litter Dome
This domed box is 50% larger than average litter boxes, and the circular shape means there are no cramped angles for your cat.
This Box is available in four neutral tones to blend into your home, features a stick-resistant finish, and is manufactured in the United States.
Reviewers either loved or hated the unique features of this box. While most consumers have only positive things to say about the odor and tracking reduction with this box, some found the oddly shaped interior and ramp entryway exacerbated urine and litter overflow when their cat peed or kicked toward the entrance.
- Large interior accommodates most cats
- Ridged ramp significantly reduces litter tracking
- Replaceable carbon filter reduces odors
- Built-in handle for easily moving the box or removing the lid
- Curved entrance helps keep cats out
- Cats unaccustomed to an enclosed box may not use this box
- The Lid must be removed to scoop
- A Rounded shape may be difficult to fit in the home
- Ramp entry is difficult to keep clean
- Pan liners are difficult to fit and don’t stay in place