The Lowdown on Litterboxes

From simple to elaborate, litterboxes come in several styles. Learn the features of each.

By Peggy Scott

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The sheer volume of cat litterbox choices can overwhelm any consumer, but especially a first-time cat owner. These are the basic types.

Open: This low-tech, time-tested favorite is filled with litter, either with or without a liner, depending on your preference and your cat's. Some liners are scented; some are designed to stand up to claws. Many brands of open cat boxes have their own brand of liners. These boxes are economical, relatively easy to clean (especially with a liner or clumping litter) and easy for your cat to use.

Hooded: Hooded boxes put a roof over an open box. Bashful kitties may appreciate the privacy; fastidious owners may like the clean look. Odors are also somewhat contained. Cleaning is simple; just pop off the lid. Tentlike versions of box covers are also somewhat contained. Cleaning is simple; just pop the lid off first. There are tentlike versions of box covers, as well.

Motorized: Simply put, they do most of the work for you. You replace waste containers when they get full. Motorized boxes cost more, but the convenience is worth it to many cat owners. And cats that appreciate a clean box like them, too.

Disposable: New to the market, these may not seem economical since they're used once and thrown away, but they're convenient, easy to dispose of and come in handy for traveling or in situations where sharing a box is not an option.

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Reader Comments

Tricia    Butler, PA

4/19/2012 8:04:17 PM

For Valerie and the search for the low and large litterbox, although quite some time has already passed; You need an "under the bed" rubbermaid or similar storage container. Those are generally low sided and large for clothes. I use a regular rubbermaid storage box, a really large one, for my extremely tall and long Oliver. He was always kicking the litter out of the box and,or urinating outside the box wall because, like a man, did it standing up !! Actually my mom told me this trick. She has one too for her two cats to keep the litter in the box and it does the job. So,good luck if you didn't already find something and best wishes for your cat.

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

4/9/2012 9:19:23 AM

good article, thank you

Cheryl    Encino, CA

11/8/2010 6:44:22 PM

How about a paint mixing container? I know I had a large kitty for years also and could not use small boxes.
Loews and Home Depot have departments where you can buy colors of paint and a pan for mixing them, the pan can work as a large litterbox.

Valerie    Littlestown, PA

2/2/2010 10:04:19 PM

This is great information, so I am desperately asking my question here. I need to find a

container that will act as a litter box for my older cat with back and leg problems. The sides

need to be low and the interior needs to be large. He is extremely long and needs the space to

move around. He (and his companion) use an under the bed storage container and a regular

litter pan. But Fred is having a very hard time making it over the sides of both containers. He

manages to run around the house and do light jumping but he sometimes falls into the pan(s)

when navigating the sides or has a bad time turning around in the smaller one. Fred is a great

guy who has had a hard life until we adopted him and spoiled him beyond reason. He was

found running around in the woods with no front claws and cornea damage in his left eye. we

have no idea how long he managed to survive alone or how.That is why I am pleading for ideas.

I have spent hours on the net and sent many emails looking for this one simple thing and

cannot find it.
Please.... if anyone knows where I can buy a container with low sides and a large interior

section post it on this site.

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