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Best Cat Litter Boxes & Trays UK: We Tested & Reviewed Them

by Ben Doyle | Reading Time: 14 minutes

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Cats can be super fussy around their toilet. The best cat litter box will make litter training your cat a doddle. But get it wrong and you might find that your cat refuses to use it.

So, in this article, we’ll;

  • Show you 8 of the best cat litter trays from the 34 we tested
  • Explain how to choose the right litter tray for your cat

At a Glance: Our Top Picks

Stainless Steel Litter Tray: Long Lasting & Hygienic

4.3 out of 5.0 stars (4.3)

Stainless steel is stronger than plastic and the ammonia in cat pee doesn’t degrade it, making it much more hygienic. Also our top choice for large cats.

Or Read Our Review

4 Pets Plastic Litter Tray: A Good Budget Choice

4.2 out of 5.0 stars (4.2)

This litter tray by 4 Pets is big enough for most cats and the top ridge reduces the amount of litter your cat kicks out while digging.

Or Read Our Review

Cat Centre High-Sided Litter Tray: Best For Old or Clumsy Cats

4.2 out of 5.0 stars (4.2)

The cat centre high-sided litter tray is good for cats that pee over the side of a regular litter tray. The high sides also prevent cats from kicking litter everywhere.

Or Read Our Review

Catit Hooded Litter Pan: The Best Enclosed Litter Box

4.1 out of 5.0 stars (4.1)

If you prefer a hooded or enclosed litter box, the Catit Hooded Litter Pan is excellent. It’s well-priced and does everything well.

Or Read Our Review

Cat Centre Scoopless Litter Tray: Makes Most Litters Last Longer

4.3 out of 5.0 stars (4.3)

This sifting litter tray makes separating clumps from clean litter easy, without the need for a scoop. This means there’s less wasted litter.

Or Read Our Review

Iris USA Top Entry Litter Box: Best For Those With Nosey Dogs

4.0 out of 5.0 stars (4.0)

If your dog has a habit of sticking his nose in your cat’s litter box, the Iris will prevent this. It also looks fantastic.

Or Read Our Review

ModKat XL Top & Front Entry Litter Box: A Versatile Premium Choice

4.0 out of 5.0 stars (4.0)

An excellent choice for cats who share a litter box. Use bother entrances or just the top. Easy to clean and looks fantastic.

Or Read Our Review

petkit pura x self cleaning litter box

PetKit Pura X: The Best For Self Cleaning

4.1 out of 5.0 stars (4.1)

If you hate cleaning your cat’s litter box, the PetKit Pura X is fantastic. It’s safe, looks good, easy to use, quiet and has an excellent app.

Or Read Our Review

Why Trust Us?

We created Pet Checkers in 2013. 

Since then, our team of cat sitters have scooped cat poo thousands of times. We’ve cleaned all kinds of litter boxes and trays. Some of which are excellent. Others are, well, shitter than the stuff we’re scooping!

We’ve tested all kinds of cat litter to find the best, we’ve also tested litter bins, hidden litter boxes, litter mats, litter freshers and cat litter scoops over the years.

Also, because we’re ‘in the business’, we get to talk to;

  • Our clients
  • Other pet owners
  • Fellow pet carers
  • Vets
  • Animal behaviourists, and 
  • Cat rescues and charities

On top of that, we’re pet owners too. We have our own cats.

This gives us a unique angle from which to test these products. We can look at them both from the perspective of professional pet carers and pet owners.

How We Picked Which Litter Boxes to Test

A good litter box is one that your cat is happy to use. The best litter boxes are also easy to clean.

So, with that in mind, we;

  • Spoke with our customers
  • Chatted with other pet carers
  • Visited a local cat rescue centre
  • Talked with local vet, and 
  • Had a chat with a feline behaviourist 

To get their thought and opinions about what they thought was important.

We then scoured shopping sites like Amazon, Pets at Home and product manufacturers.

This gave us a range of litter trays to test.

How We Tested

We asked a few of our most trusted cat parent clients if we could replace their litter boxes and conduct our tests in their homes, with their cats.

We bought each of them one of our chosen litter trays, filled them with litter. Every day for 6 weeks, we visited twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening to scoop the litter. Then each week we emptied, cleaned and refilled each litter tray.

We graded each litter box on;

  • Size
  • How willing each cat was to use their new litter box
  • Ease of scooping and cleaning
  • Quality of materials

Litter Box Reviews: A Closer Look at Our Top Picks

After testing 34 litter boxes for 6 weeks (and then re-evaluating and testing new products), we have chosen 8 of the best. 

1. Stainless Steel Cat Litter Tray: Our Top Pick

stainless steel cat litter box
Size5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.3 out of 5.0 stars (4.3)

These stainless-steel cat litter trays are our favourites of the ones we tested.

They’re not cheap but stainless steel has two main benefits over plastic;

First, stainless steel is much stronger than plastic so it’s more durable.

Second, stainless steel is far more hygienic. The ammonia in cat pee degrades plastic, leaving it open to bacteria building up. This is why plastic litter boxes often smell and have those white stains, no matter how much you clean them. This doesn’t happen with stainless steel. 

You could change your cat’s plastic litter tray several times during their life. A stainless-steel litter tray should last your cat their whole life.

This particular litter tray comes in three sizes;

  • Large – 50cm long x 35cm wide x 20cm high
  • Extra Large – 60cm long x 40cm wide x 16cm high
  • Extra Extra Large – 60cm long x 40cm wide x 20cm high

We tested the biggest which is big enough for large cats.

These litter boxes have a non-stick coating which makes scooping and cleaning easy. Especially if you use clumping litter and your cat wee’s against the side of the tray. We found it much easier to scrape off than it is in a plastic litter box.  

The sides are a good height too. They’re tall enough to prevent your cat from kicking their litter all over the floor. But they’re low for them to step into without having to hop or jump.

You might get some tracking of cat litter but no litter box will stop that. If you want to prevent it as much as you can, invest in a cat litter mat.

Other than that, there’s nothing we can say bad about this, we really like it.

2. 4 Paws Standard Cat Litter Tray: A Good Budget Option

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.2 out of 5.0 stars (4.2)

If you’re on a budget the 4 Paws standard litter tray is the one to choose.

It’s cheap but it also has some decent features.

At 50cm long x 38cm wide x 14cm high, it’s big enough for most cats to use.

It feels reassuringly well made and it has a detatchable rim that creates a lip on the inside of the litter tray. This prevents litter from spilling over the sides as your cat digs and moves their litter around. That said, moving litter around is one thing, but it won’t stop your cat from booting it everywhere if that’s their style.

If your cat has messy litter box habits, consider upgrading to the high-sided litter box below. It’s only a couple of pounds more expensive but it’ll make your life a whole lot easier. But if your cat is well-mannered, in their litter box, this litter tray will work fine.

3. Cat Centre High-Sided Litter Tray: Excellent For Elderly Cats

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.2 out of 5.0 stars (4.2)

If you have an elderly or arthritic cat, have a look at the Cat Centre high-sided litter tray.

We tested it on an elderly cat called Ximon who always pee’d over the edge of his regular litter tray.

The lowered entrance made it easy for him to get in and out of and the high sides stopped him from peeing over the edge. Ximon’s owner would have a cleanup operation every time he went to the toilet but when we tested this litter box, all that stopped, saving her hours every month.

Not only is it a good choice for elderly cats, any cat can use it. It’s especially good at preventing your furry from kicking their litter all over the house when they’re digging.

It’s pretty easy to clean too. It’s sturdy enough so it’ll take a good scrub if needed.

Also, its size will accommodate most cats. That said, if you have a giant breed like a Maine Coon, we’d recommend you spend the extra and get the XXL stainless steel model above.

4. Catit Hooded Cat Pan: Best Enclosed Litter Box

Size4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.1 out of 5.0 stars (4.1)

The Catit hooded cat pan has a lot going for it.

For starters, it’s one of the cheapest litter boxes on our list. In fact, we also tested the Iris Ohyama hooded litter box which was more than double the price but we couldn’t see why. So, the cheaper Catit model gets our recommendation.

At 57cm long x 39cm wide x 46.5cm high, it’s big enough for most cats. We tested it with an American Ragdoll who was very happy to use it. 

The bottom litter tray is pretty deep. 15cm deep at the front and 25cm at the back. As such, it holds an impressive amount of litter which is perfect if your cat likes to dig in their tray. In fact, you can use it as a high-sided litter tray without the hood if you choose to.

The see-through flap is 21cm at the bottom, 25cm wide at the top and 26cm high, so there’s lots of room to get in and out. The front flap lifts up and folds with the grey filter holder to create a huge opening. This makes it easy to scoop without having to take the hood off. It also helps to get your cat used to going in a covered litter box if they haven’t used one before.

Removing and replacing the hood is easy enough when you want to wash it out and replace the litter. That said, the sliding clips are a bit stiff and you do need to make sure they’re in a locks position. Otherwise, the hood will detach from the tray when you try to move it. We made this mistake and tipped soiled litter everywhere. Lesson learned!

A carbon-infused filter on the top does a good job of controlling any odours. That said, you’ll need to replace it every few weeks (you can buy them here). While they’re not expensive (around £6 for 2), they are an ongoing cost.

Also, because it’s an enclosed litter box, you’ll want to scoop often as the smell is contained inside. A smelly litter box might put some cats off using it. Especially if your cats share their litter box.

5. Cat Centre Scoopless Litter Tray Review: A Good Sifting Litter Tray

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.3 out of 5.0 stars (4.3)

The Cat Centre scoopless sifting litter tray does a lot well.

For starters, it’s well made, feels sturdy and comes in two sizes. The large is 50cm long x 38cm wide x 24cm high. The jumbo is 57cm long x 43cm wide x 27cm high. 

For the sake of a £5 price difference between the two, we tested the jumbo. It’s better to have a litter tray that’s too big than too small. Still, if your cat is on the smaller side, the smaller litter tray will work.

It’s a high-sided litter box so there’s little chance of kitty kicking their litter all over the house. This will save you time from sweeping and hoovering up after them.

From a scooping and cleaning perspective, it works well. It’s a stacked system which consists of two trays and a sieve.

When scooping, all you have to do is

  1. Tip the soiled litter from the top tray into the sieve, and
  2. Sieve the litter into the bottom, clean tray.

The clumps and waste will stay in the sieve so you can throw it away. Give the dirty tray a wipe, re-stack them and you’re good to go. The whole process takes a couple of minutes.

Because it’s so easy to separate the dirty litter from the clean, there was much less waste. As a result, a bag of cat litter lasted longer.

The only potential downside that we could see is the size of the holes in the sieve. Some users have reported that clean wood pellets can;

  • Fall through to the dirty so they’re wasting clean pellets, or
  • Block the holes so they can’t sieve the waste

That said, other users say it works perfectly. Still, if you use wood pellets, either switch to another type of litter or choose another litter tray.

6. Iris USA Top Entry Cat Litter Box Review: Best For Those With Nosey Dogs

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.0 out of 5.0 stars (4.0)

The Iris USA top entry litter box is a good option if you have a dog that likes to stick his nose in your cat’s litter box. Or curious kids.

It keeps everyone but your cat out.

We have to admit, when we tested this litter box, we didn’t have much hope that our test cat would take to it. Regardless of its over 12,000 reviews on Amazon. We figured that no cat wants to ‘dumpster dive’ into their toilet.

Shows how much we know!

Within 20 minutes of us setting up, our test cat had a look, hopped in, left us a present and hopped out again.

So, despite our reservations, it seems cats are happy to use it.

It looks fantastic too, more like a piece of furniture than a litter tray.

The entry hole is 26.5cm x 23cm so it’s big enough for most cats. The manufacturers say it’ll accommodate cats up to 8kg. That said, if you have big moggies like Maine Coons, it’ll be too small.

Because it’s a top entry, there’s no chance of your cat kicking their litter all over everywhere. Its grooved lid helps to knock litter off their paws too. Still, if you want to stop tracking as much as you can, use a litter mat.

Scooping and cleaning are easy. All you have to do is push the circular buttons on each side, lift the lever on the back and the lid pops off.

It holds a huge amount of litter too. If you have a teeny cat or one that struggles to hop out, just put more litter in to raise the height.

You do need to scoop out the mess often though. If not, odours can build up inside the box which could put your cat(s) off using it.

7. ModKat Top & Front Entry Litter Box: A Versatile, Premium Option

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.0 out of 5.0 stars (4.0)

If you don’t mind spending a bit extra on a more premium litter box, you could do a lot worse than the ModKat Top & Front Entry Litter Box.

It is expensive when compared to most of the other litter boxes on our list but t does have a lot going for it.

First, it looks fantastic. If you don’t want your cat’s toilet to look like a toilet, this makes it look like a piece of furniture that actually belongs in your home.

It’s large enough to accommodate most cats. You can also choose to have it as a top entry only or a top and front entry. When we tested it, we found there were a couple of benefits to this;

  1. It made the transition from a regular litter box to top entry only easier: If you’re looking for a top entry litter box but you’re not sure if your cat will take to it, let them use the front entrance. Then, when they’re used to using it, close the front entry. We did this and our test cat picked it up and started using the top.
  2. Good for cats that share a litter box: Cats have different preferences. Some like to go in the top, some in the front. It also provides a way out if there’s any conflict between cats around the litter box. If your cats share a litter box, this is a good choice.

When used as top entry, the lid doubles as a walk-off mat which helps to reduce how much litter your cat tracks. That said, it’s not a miracle cure.

Scooping, cleaning and replacing the litter is surprisingly easy. The lid of the litter box folds out of the way giving you plenty of room to work.

The Modkat features an internal, reusable, scratch-proof liner that you hook into place. It comes with two different liners; the one you’ll use depends on whether you have the front entry open or not. They’re super easy to use. When you need to replace the litter, you can lift the whole liner out and tip the used litter into the bin. Then re-attach the liner and pour in fresh litter.

As they’re reusable, the liners will last up to three months before you need to replace them.

They are quite expensive at around £40 for a three pack. That said, a three-pack should last a good 9 months.

8. PetKit Pura X: Best For Self-Cleaning

Size4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Easy of Cleaning4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Preventing Litter Tracking4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Cats Willingness to Use4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Total Score4.1 out of 5.0 stars (4.1)

If you hate nothing more than cleaning your cats’ litter box, take a look at the PitKit Pura X. It came top in ur search for the best self-cleaning litter box.

Compared to the other litter boxes on our list, the PetKit is eye-wateringly expensive. That said, it is very much the Rolls Royce of cat toilets!

Despite the cost, the PetKit has thousands (and counting) online reviews. Not only in the UK but in the USA too.

It takes minutes to get up and running and once set up, it looks like a mini space ship.

Not only does it look space-age, it’s also packed full of features. We’re not going to lie, we definitely had more fun testing this than our cats. They just wee’d and poo’d in it.

When it arrived, our test cat Nico was pretty inquisitive. That said, it did take him a while to get in and use it. We ended up having to take some of his used litter from their normal tray and put it in the PetKit to get him to recognise it as a toilet. We also kept his old litter tray next to it to avoid any accidents.

Over time though, our he got used to it.

Every time your cat goes to the toilet, it activates a timer (which you can set) that allows the clumping litter to clump. Then, the internal drum rotates, sifting the clean litter from the clumps. It then drops the clumps into the waste basket at the bottom. The big benefit here is that it uses 50% less litter than traditional litter boxes.

It also comes with an app that;

  • Tells you when your cat is using the litter box
  • Records when your cat uses it and how long they’re in it
  • Notify you when the waste drawer is full
  • Tell you when you need to top up the litter
  • Set the cycle timer or cycle on demand

All this comes with a 2-year guarantee which, of course, you can extend to 4 years for an extra cost. And there is a range of accessories you can buy too.

There are a few things to bear in mind though.

First, at 64.6cm tall, 53.2cm deep and 50.4cm wide, it’s pretty big! It looks fantastic, but you’ll need space for it.

The weight sensors that activate the cycle only recognise a weight of 1.36kg and above. If you have a kitten wait until they’re older and heavier before investing..

Also, some larger cats might find the entrance hole too small to climb in. That said, PetKit Pura X is plenty big change for most cats.

We loved it!

In Conclusion

Choosing the right litter box for your cat is important if you want them to use it reliably. Especially when you’re litter training a new cat or kitten.

The problem is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The best litter box for one cat might be the worst for another.

That said, after testing 28 litter boxes and trays, we believe our list contains products that meet the needs of both cats and their owners.

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Ben Doyle

Ben Doyle co-owns Pet Checkers with his wife, Vicki. He spends his days looking after all kinds of animals, from dogs to eagles. When he's not taking care of animals, he's writing about them.

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