Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

10 Best Litter Boxes for a Small Apartment in 2021: Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

July 4, 2021

Nature's Miracle Cat Litter Box II_Chewy

Often, the best litter boxes out there are large ones. You don’t have to change them as often, and cats often prefer them. However, when you’re in a small apartment, it often isn’t possible to have a large litter box. Instead, you have to get a bit creative and carefully choose a litter box for your space.

Smaller spaces complicate litter box shopping. You shouldn’t simply choose a smaller litter box, as these are often more difficult to maintain. Instead, you need a litter box that is specifically designed for smaller spaces. You need a good small litter box.

We reviewed 10 of the best litter boxes for smaller apartments in this article. Most seem quite small, but they are designed to be used in small spaces.

divider-cat

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box
  • Antimicrobial coating
  • High sides
  • Easy to clean
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan
  • Polished finish
  • Inexpensive
  • High sides
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Frisco Decorative Side Table Litter Box Cover Bundle Frisco Decorative Side Table Litter Box Cover Bundle
  • Versatile table
  • BPA-free
  • Stylish
  • Best Litter Box for Small Spaces
    Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
  • Suitable for multiple cats
  • Handles smells easily
  • Easy to maintain
  • Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter B Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter B
  • High-wall design
  • Fits easily into a corner
  • Antimicrobial coating
  • The 10 Best Litter Boxes for a Small Apartments — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box — Best Overall

    Nature's Miracle litter box_Chewy

    The Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box is by far the best overall cat litter box for small apartments. When you live in a small apartment, your cat can easily spread litter everywhere — literally. With this in mind, this litter box is designed with taller sides. This helps keep the litter in the box when your cat digs.

    The surface of the litter box has an antimicrobial coating, which keeps odors to a minimum. Bacteria won’t grow alongside the sides of the box, and the litter won’t clump to the bottom. It is also much easier to clean when the time comes, so you don’t have to purchase a new box quite as often. The open design makes it acceptable to most cats.

    Even if you have multiple cats, this litter box should work. It is decently sized, but much of its bulk is vertical.

    Pros
    • Antimicrobial coating
    • High sides
    • Easy to clean
    • Open design
    Cons
    • Just a basic box

    2. Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan — Best Value

    Van Ness Cat Litter Pan_Chewy

    The Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan is a basic litter box. However, it is much cheaper than most of the competition. While it is technically a “large” litter box, it is the perfect size for most apartments. It is rectangular, which makes it easier to fit in between things. It is also extremely simple and straightforward to use and clean. The high sides prevent litter from ending up all over your house, especially if your feline likes to dig.

    A high-polished finish ensures that the box is easy to clean. Litter won’t clump to it, and a simple rinse is all it needs cleaning-wise. This box is even made with recycled materials, so you can feel good about purchasing it. The open design means that most cats will use it without a fuss. While it isn’t as large as some other options, it should be fine for multi-cat households as long as you spot-clean it regularly.

    This litter box is best for cats that are under 10 pounds. Otherwise, they may just be a bit too large for it. Still, if your cat will fit, this is the best cat litter box for small apartments for the money.

    Pros
    • Polished finish
    • Made with recycled materials
    • Inexpensive
    • High sides
    Cons
    • Not suitable for cats over 10 pounds

    3. Frisco Decorative Side Table Litter Box Cover Bundle — Premium Choice

    Frisco Decorative Side Table Litter Box_Chewy

    One of the best ways to make use of every inch of your space is to purchase versatile furniture pieces. That is exactly what this Frisco Decorative Side Table Litter Box Cover Bundle is. It comes with a side table that your cat’s litter box fits inside, as well as an actual litter box to put inside it. You can easily hide your cat’s litter box in plain sight with this cover. It is a stylish end table that should fit with most home designs.

    It also provides a small shelf and tabletop space. You can use these to store equipment for your feline or for anything that you would use a regular living room end table for.

    Another feature of this box is that it is completely enclosed once inside the side table. This prevents litter from spreading around and keeps the box out of sight. If you’re in a small apartment, this can be essential. The box is also BPA-free and recyclable.

    Pros
    • Versatile table
    • Includes extra storage space
    • BPA-free
    • Stylish
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System — Best Litter Box for Small Spaces

    Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box_Chewy

    The Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System is a unique litter box. You don’t simply add cat litter to it. Instead, it has an upper portion that is separated from a bottom drawer by a grate. You put specially made pellets onto the top portion and a pad into the drawer. Urine flows through the pellets and onto the pad, which neutralizes the odor. Solids sit on top and are dehydrated by the pellets.

    This system can be useful for smaller apartments for a few different reasons. First, it is quite small, but the lack of a clumping litter means that you won’t have to spot clean it as much. The urine doesn’t stay on top of the litter box, so it basically spot cleans itself. Secondly, it handles the smell pretty well, which is important when you’re in a smaller space. It is easier to maintain than a normal cat litter box.

    The main downside of this box is that you will have to track down the special pellets and pads. These aren’t available at all stores, though you can find them online. You also can’t adjust which cat litter that you use to suit your cats. There is only one option available.

    Pros
    • Suitable for multiple cats
    • Handles smells easily
    • Easy to maintain
    Cons
    • Requires special pellets and pads

    5. Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter Box

    Nature's Miracle cat litter box_Chewy

    When you’re in a small apartment, you may need to get a bit creative with your litter box shapes. The Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter Box is designed to fit into a corner, which often flows better in small spaces. For those that don’t have much floor space available, this litter box can be a lifesaver.

    It has a high-wall design to keep the litter inside the box. This is also important for small spaces, where litter can track much farther. The surface is non-stick so clumped litter won’t adhere to it. Once it is time for deep cleaning, the box is easy to wipe down. A quick rinse is all that is normally required.

    The antimicrobial coating prevents bacteria from growing inside the litter box, so it will need to be cleaned less often. This also helps keep the smell in check, as bacteria is the main reason that most litter boxes start smelling worse with time.

    Pros
    • High-wall design
    • Fits easily into a corner
    • Antimicrobial coating
    Cons
    • Label is difficult to remove
    • Can tip over easier than rectangular boxes

    6. IRIS Open Top Litter Box with Shield

    IRIS Open Top Litter Box_Chewy

    With its shield attachment, the IRIS Open Top Litter Box with Shield does a good job of keeping litter inside the box. The attachment covers three walls, leaving one open so cats can enter and exit easily. It is still technically “open,” so cats that are scared of covered litter boxes may be perfectly fine with this one. The open-top also makes it easier to spot clean because you don’t have to spend time taking the lid off.

    The surface is polished, which makes it easier to keep clean. Of course, you will have to wipe it down occasionally, but this is often easy to do, thanks to the coating. The recessed bottom and feet keep the box in its place and prevent even large cats from moving it around. However, these feet do make the litter box more difficult to clean because you have to pay extra attention to the ridges.

    The shield isn’t constructed that well. The seal is not tight, so urine can leak out if your cat likes to spray. It is also a bit difficult to snap in, which can be a problem if you need to remove it often for cleaning.

    Pros
    • High sides
    • Open
    • Polished surface
    Cons
    • Low-quality shield
    • Ridges make it difficult to clean

    7. Frisco Leaf High-Sided Cat Litter Box

    Frisco Leaf High-Sided Cat Litter Box_Chewy

    The Frisco Leaf High-Sided Cat Litter Box looks quite unique compared to some other litter boxes. It almost looks like a laundry basket, albeit with a wide opening on the front. The high walls provide your cat with privacy and hide most of the box from view. However, it does still have an open top, so it may be used by cats that are typically scared of closed boxes. The high walls prevent litter from spreading around and can prevent spraying.

    This litter box is BPA-free, so it is safe for both you and your cat. The side handles make it easier to move around and clean. The pointed sides work well as pouring spouts for removing the litter. This box looks unique too, which some owners prefer to the usual litter box design.

    The opening in the back does make it minimally helpful for sprayers. It is easy enough for cats to spray out of the back. It also isn’t that durable, as the handles tend to break easily.

    Pros
    • Open top
    • High walls
    • Unique design
    Cons
    • Openings allow for spraying outside the box
    • Not that durable

    8. Van Ness High Side Corner Cat Litter Pan

    Van Ness High Side Corner Cat Litter Pan_Chewy

    The Van Ness High Side Corner Cat Litter Pan is a corner pan that is useful for smaller spaces. You can easily place it in a corner when you don’t have room for a large, rectangular box. The space on the inside is a bit small, so it isn’t suitable for medium to large cats. Smaller cats should have no problems, though.  The high-sided design prevents litter from scattering around your home. The side is mostly tall in the back, though, which is where the wall would usually be, anyway.

    The polished finish makes it easier to clean than some other litter boxes. This also helps prevent litter from sticking to it nearly as badly. The material that it is made out of is FDA approved, so you can rest assured that it is safe for your feline.

    Pros
    • Polished coating
    • Fits in a corner
    • FDA-approved material
    Cons
    • Not really high sided
    • A bit small

    9. Litter Genie Cat Litter Box

    Litter Genie Cat Litter Box_Chewy

    The Litter Genie Cat Litter Box was advertised as being revolutionary, but it is mostly just a pretty-looking litter box. It is also much more expensive than most other options.

    It is designed with flexible, antimicrobial plastic. This can help control the odor because it prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing. The sleek design looks nice, but you’ll have to decide if it is worth the high price. The box’s handles make it decently easy to move and clean, though you probably won’t be using them that often.

    This litter box isn’t that durable. It tends to crack after a while, which can lead to a huge mess. It works great when it isn’t broken, but unfortunately, it tends to break more often than not. The handles often break as well, especially if you’re moving a full box around.

    Pros
    • Made with a flexible plastic
    • Sleek design
    • Fits easily into small spaces
    Cons
    • Breaks easily
    • Expensive
    • Handles often snap

    10.Van Ness Sifting Cat Litter Pan with Frame

    Van Ness Sifting Cat Litter Pan_Chewy

    Though expensive, the Van Ness Sifting Cat Litter Pan with Frame is straightforward and simple. It has a grate in it that keeps the litter pan “scoop free,” though it still requires regular maintenance. It won’t make your job that much easier or require less time; you’ll just be doing different tasks.

    The frame adds extra height to the box. This is meant to stop the spread of cat litter, but it doesn’t actually do much. The sides come in a bit, so it cuts into the inside space of the box. If you have large cats, this isn’t a suitable option, as they likely won’t be able to fit.

    On the bright side, this box is made with 100% recycled materials.

    Pros
    • Scoop-free
    • High sides
    Cons
    • Frame doesn’t do much to keep litter in the box
    • Smaller than most
    • Somewhat expensive
    divider-cat

    Buyer’s Guide

    When you’re getting a litter box for a smaller apartment, you need to be a bit creative. You will need to use your space wisely while also ensuring that your cat has everything that they need. In this section, we help you determine what the best box is for your space.

    Not all small apartments are the same. You might have an easy-to-access space that you can use to keep decently large litter boxes. Or, you may only have one small corner. Either way, it is essential that you take your overall space into account when choosing a litter box, as well as your cat’s needs. There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to the best litter box.

    Shape

    There are many different litter box shapes on the market. Most boxes are rectangular. However, they do make litter boxes with side entrances, as well as those for corners. Even rectangular boxes can come in different shapes. Some are long and narrow, while others are square. The shape may not matter much when you have a larger home, but it can be essential when you’re living in a small apartment.

    Finding the right shape for your apartment is essential. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to move things around to fit in the box.

    Consider your cat’s size as well. While most cats can fit in any shape box, larger cats may need a longer box to use it correctly. They may not be able to fit correctly into corner boxes either.

    Van Ness High Side Corner Cat Litter Pan II_Chewy
    Image Credit: Van Ness, Chewy

    Size

    This is a balancing act. You want a litter box that is large enough for your feline. Otherwise, you’ll end up with litter and urine on your floor, or your cat may just refuse to use the box at all. However, when you’re in a smaller space, you likely don’t have unlimited room for a litter box. Therefore, you want the smallest possible box that your cat will still get good use out of.

    If you have multiple cats, larger litter boxes are often required. However, you may also get two or more smaller litter boxes instead. You may find these easier to fit in your home than one large box.

    Height

    Pretty much every cat scatters around cat litter as they dig. This is simply their nature. In a larger space, this often isn’t a huge deal. When you’re in a small apartment, however, it doesn’t take much for this litter to end up everywhere. For this reason, you may want a box with high sides. These can prevent the litter from ending up outside the box as your feline digs around. They are also suitable for cats that tend to spray, as the high walls will keep their urine in the box too. This is a suitable alternative to an enclosed litter box if your cat doesn’t like boxes with lids.

    Cat litter box_Lilia Solonari_Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, Shutterstock

    Style

    In a small apartment, you likely won’t be able to hide your litter box. Instead, you’ll often have to put it out in the open somewhere. For this reason, you may want to pay more attention to the style of the litter box. Of course, a regular bright-blue litter box is perfectly fine if that’s what you want. But there are many modern, sleek litter boxes on the market today that you may be interested in instead.

    The main problem with these litter boxes is that they are usually more expensive. You have to decide if style is worth the extra cost.

    Cost

    Cost is a significant factor for most cat owners. Most litter boxes are quite inexpensive. They shouldn’t take up a big part of your budget in the least. However, others can be substantially more expensive. It simply depends on the box that you choose. If you have an unlimited budget, you may find yourself able to afford the perfect box. Otherwise, you may need to compromise.

    Modern-looking boxes are often the most expensive, though they don’t necessarily have any extra benefits. Other features, like high sides and lids, can make the litter box more expensive too.

    cat litter box_Lightspruch_Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

    Odor Control

    This may be one of the most important features of a litter box, especially when you’re living in a small space. If your litter box doesn’t do a good job at controlling odors, you may find yourself smelling it throughout your whole apartment, not just in one room. There are many features that can keep odors to a minimum. For instance, antimicrobial coatings can prevent bacteria growth, which can lessen much of the odor.

    Of course, it is important to remember that the litter box itself is only a part of the odor equation. The litter that you choose also plays a significant role, as does the amount of maintenance that you perform on the box. If you take better care of it, then it will likely not smell as bad.

    Ease of Cleaning

    On top of spot cleaning, you will also need to regularly clean out the litter box. This is often done by removing all the litter and cleaning the pan itself. How easy a litter box is to clean does matter, though you likely won’t be cleaning it more than once a month. Many cat litter boxes have a coating of some sort that helps make them easier to clean. Other litter boxes have features like handles, making it easier to carry the litter box to the dumping location.

    cat litter box top entry_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock
    Image credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

    Durability

    Surprisingly, the durability of litter boxes varies widely. The last thing that you want is for your litter box to break while you’re changing it, leading to a huge pile of litter on your floor. Therefore, it is important to consider the durability of a box.

    However, most companies aren’t up front about this factor. No brand will tell you if their box tends to crack. Therefore, your best option is to rely on reviews, which can provide you with an accurate look at how much a litter box can withstand.

    divider-cat

    Conclusion

    Choosing a litter box can be complicated, especially if you live in a small apartment.

    For most apartment dwellers, we recommend the Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Cat Litter Box. It is small enough to fit into most spaces and accommodate most cats. The coating prevents bacteria from growing and makes it easier to clean, keeping the smell to a minimum. It has high sides to keep the cat litter in place instead of all over your floor.

    If you’re looking to save money, you may want to consider the Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan. This box is extremely inexpensive and is suitable for most apartment cats. The high sides prevent the litter from spreading all over the house, while the slimmer design makes it easier to fit in some apartments.

    We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you determine which litter box is best for your situation. Not all apartments or cats are the same, so it is important to consider both when choosing a litter box for your home.


    Featured Image Credit: Nature’s Miracle, Chewy

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.