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10 Best Litter Boxes for Messy Cats in 2021- Reviews & Top Picks

Kathryn Copeland

July 17, 2021

cat in Catit Cat Pan with Rim

We all know how challenging the upkeep of your cat’s litter box can be. But what if your cat is particularly messy? This makes the cleanup duty a little more frustrating—your cat is burying her waste but making your job more difficult. Why do cats even do this?

The instinct to bury their poop comes from the need to avoid attracting any unwanted attention from natural predators in the wild. Obviously, your cat doesn’t have this problem, but the instinct remains.

So, all of this means you’re in the market for a new litter box that can help contain the litter when your cat goes to town digging around. But where do you even begin?

We’ve written reviews for 10 of the best litter boxes for messy cats, so you just need to pick the one that will work best for both you and your cat.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Hooded Corner Litter Box Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Hooded Corner Litter Box
  • Hood helps contain litter
  • Corner design saves on space
  • Comes with replaceable charcoal filter for eliminating odors
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box
  • High sides help to contain litter
  • Made with durable plastic that’s BPA-free
  • Lowered entrance for easy access
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Litter-Robot 3 Litter-Robot 3
  • Self-cleaning
  • Carbon filters for odor reduction
  • Waste is placed in a drawer
  • Best Litter Box for Cats That Kick Litter
    Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box
  • Completely enclosed—perfect for messy cats
  • Lid has edge and ridges for trapping litter on paws
  • Will keep dogs out
  • Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats High Sided Corner Litter Box Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats High Sided Corner Litter Box
  • High sides keep the litter inside
  • Inexpensive
  • Lower entranceway
  • The 10 Best Litter Boxes for Messy Cats – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Hooded Corner Litter Box – Best Overall

    Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box

    Length: 23 inches
    Width: 26 inches
    Height: 11 inches
    Color: Black & white

    The best overall litter box for messy cats is the Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Hooded Corner Litter Box. The hood helps keep the litter contained, and it saves on space by its corner design. The box itself has a black base and white hood and is made from a non-stick antimicrobial material that is easy to clean and helps prevent the litter from caking on the surface. It additionally comes with a charcoal filter, which helps to reduce odor.

    Do double-check the measurements before purchasing this (or any) litter box, as this is a rather large one. Also, if your cat tends to pee high, urine might leak out between the seam of the hood and the pan.

    Pros
    • Hood helps contain litter
    • Corner design saves on space
    • Comes with replaceable charcoal filter for eliminating odors
    • Non-stick antimicrobial surface

    Cons

    • Some might find it too large
    • Urine might leak out of seams


    2. Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box – Best Value

    Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box

    Length: 24 inches
    Width: 18 inches
    Height: 10 inches
    Color: Navy, light gray

    The best litter box out there for your messy cat for the money is the Frisco High Sided Litter Box. This is an inexpensive and simple litter box with very high sides that will help contain the litter and comes in either navy or light gray. It features a lowered entranceway so your cat can step in and out easily and is made with durable plastic that can hold up against your cat scratching around. Its open design makes cleaning easy, and it’s BPA-free.

    On the downside, while the lowered entrance is necessary for many cats, it’s also a place where your cat might still kick the litter out. The box itself also has slightly rounded corners, so cleaning and scooping might be somewhat challenging. And like the previous one, it’s quite large, so double-check the measurements.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • High sides help to contain litter
    • Lowered entrance for easy access
    • Made with durable plastic that’s BPA-free
    • Open design makes cleaning easy

    Cons

    • Lowered entrance might allow litter scatter
    • Rounded corners can make scooping challenging
    • Very large—check measurements


    3. Litter-Robot 3 – Premium Choice

    Litter robot automatic cat litter box_Chewy

    Length: 25 inches
    Width: 27 inches
    Height: 5 inches
    Color: Beige, dark gray

    Our pick for premium choice is the Litter-Robot 3. Yes, this one is tremendously expensive, but it will undoubtedly make the chore of cleaning the litter box almost a thing of the past. This litter box can be beige or dark gray and is self-cleaning, so every time your cat uses it, the Litter-Robot rotates and sifts the waste on its own. It also has a timer that provides a waiting time after your cat has used it to allow the litter to clump. The waste is deposited into a drawer that you only need to change on occasion, and it has a carbon filter, so odors are reduced. It also includes a ramp so cats of any age or with mobility issues can easily access it, and its design does help contain the litter.

    Some of the disadvantages, however, are that it is exceptionally expensive! It is also quite large, so as always, check the measurements first. Lastly, some cats might find it off-putting as it is a rather unusual litter box, so you might need to spend some time getting your cat to become accustomed to it.

    Pros
    • Self-cleaning
    • Waste is placed in a drawer
    • Carbon filters for odor reduction
    • Has ramp for cats with mobility issues
    • Round design helps contain litter

    Cons

    • Very expensive
    • Quite large
    • Some cats might find it off-putting


    4. Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box – Best Litter Box for Cats That Kick Litter

    Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box

    Length: 25 inches
    Width: 25 inches
    Height: 15 inches
    Color: Light gray

    The Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box is probably one of the best boxes for cats that really like to kick their litter around. It’s light gray in color and entirely enclosed except for the entry, which is accessed on the top. So, unless you have a cat that can kick litter straight-up over his head, this could very well be the best litter box for those high kickers! The lid has an edge and ridges that can help trap the litter stuck to your cat’s paws. It is also quite effective at keeping your dogs out of your cat’s waste.

    On the downside, it’s not at all good for very large cats or any senior cats with mobility issues. Again, check the measurements as it might work best for smaller cats. Lastly, not every cat will take to this box because of the necessity to access it through the top.

    Pros
    • Completely enclosed—perfect for messy cats
    • Lid has edge and ridges for trapping litter on paws
    • Will keep dogs out

    Cons

    • Not good for cats with mobility issues
    • Check the measurements if you have a larger cat
    • Not every cat will take to the top entry


    5. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats High Sided Corner Litter Box

    Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter Box

    Length: 23 inches
    Width: 26 inches
    Height: 10 inches
    Color: Black

    The Nature’s Miracle Just for Cat’s High Sided Corner Litter Box is a great price, and its high sides will help keep the litter where it belongs. This one is quite similar to the Nature’s Miracle in the number one spot but is less expensive and doesn’t come with a hood. It’s also a black corner box, so it can help save space, has the same nonstick antimicrobial surface for easy cleaning, and has a lower entranceway.

    On the downside, this litter box, while high, will not contain the litter if your cat is a kicker. Or if your cat pees high, she might manage to urinate outside the litter box. We also found that the company placed their product sticker in the bottom of the litter box and was quite difficult to remove. This takes away from the nonstick aspects that they claim.

    Pros
    • High sides keep the litter inside
    • Inexpensive
    • Lower entranceway
    • Large box with corner design for smaller spaces
    • Nonstick antimicrobial surface

    Cons

    • Cats that pee high or kick litter might still make a mess
    • Product sticker difficult to remove


    6. Catit Magic Blue Litter Box

    Catit Magic Blue Cat Litter Box

    Length: 4 inches
    Width: 3 inches
    Height: 7 inches
    Color: Dark blue

    The Catit Magic Litter Box is a black litter box with a white hood, which should help keep the litter inside. It also has a detachable door that can add an additional barrier to litter scatter and helps keep the odor from entering your house. It comes with what they call a Magic Blue filter, which is located on the top of the hood and absorbs the ammonia gases for up to one month. This particular box is in the jumbo size, so it should easily fit even those larger felines.

    Unfortunately, we thought it was a little expensive for a relatively simple litter box. We also found that the door flap didn’t always work as it tended to get stuck. Lastly, the box itself feels lightweight and not as sturdy as some of the other boxes on our list.

    Pros
    • Hooded litter box keeps litter inside
    • Door flap provides an extra barrier
    • Jumbo size will fit large cats
    • Magic Blue filter which absorbs ammonia odor

    Cons

    • Expensive for a simple hooded litter box
    • Door flap doesn’t always work
    • Litter box feels lightweight


    7. Catit Cat Pan with Rim

    Catit Cat Pan with Rim

    Length: 4 inches
    Width: 3 inches
    Height: 12 inches
    Color: Gray

    The Catit Cat Pan with Rim is a unique litter box with a sloped design, so it’s higher towards the back, has a large rim, and is light gray. All of this does a good job at keeping the litter inside the box and for a reasonable price. It also has an anchor that helps to keep litter liners in place and is large enough for bigger cats. The front of the box is also low enough that older cats or those with mobility issues shouldn’t have too much trouble getting inside.

    The disadvantages include that while the low entry is great, it can also allow your cat to kick the litter out if she tends to kick in that direction. We also found that the plastic material didn’t feel sturdy, and in some cases, it cracked after a period of time.

    Pros
    • Lower entrance makes for easy access
    • Slopes up towards the back to help keep litter inside
    • Has a strong rim that keeps litter in place
    • Inexpensive

    Cons

    • Lower entrance can still allow litter scatter
    • Litter box might crack after some time
    • Not a sturdy box, feels lightweight


    8. Frisco Leaf High-Sided Litter Box

    Frisco Leaf High-Sided Cat Litter Box

    Length: 41 inches
    Width: 3 inches
    Height: 95 inches
    Color: Beige

    The Frisco Leaf High-Sided Litter Box has exceptionally high sides, which will help with litter scatter and can give your cat some extra privacy. It’s actually got the name “leaf” in the title because of its appearance—when you look at it (particularly from above), it has an attractive leaf-like shape in a light beige color. It’s made from flexible BPA-free plastic, so it can be squeezed together into a spout when emptying. It also has a large and low entranceway making it accessible.

    We found that the handle that helps you to pick it up for cleaning tends to break after some use, and while it does have high sides, it wasn’t as effective for containing the litter as we would have liked. We also found that it was relatively small and wouldn’t work well for larger cats.

    Pros
    • High sides prevent litter scatter
    • Has a unique leaf-like shape
    • BPA-free plastic can be squeezed into a spout for easy emptying
    • Low and large entranceway for accessibility

    Cons

    • Handle breaks easily
    • Doesn’t contain litter too well
    • It’s not very big


    9. Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan

    Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter

    Length: 4 inches
    Width: 17 inches
    Height: 3 inches
    Color: Gray, White Tiger

    The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan comes in gray or white with black and white tiger stripe accents and comes with a hood and transparent door flap. This all works to help contain the litter inside. The door is removable, and the box has a built-in anchor that helps keep the liner in place. It comes with a carbon filter that will help to remove odors and is a large and sturdy box.

    We thought that for a hooded litter box, that this was more expensive than some of the others out there. We also found that the door was not designed well. More often than not, the door got stuck so that the cat couldn’t access the litter box or wasn’t able to get out. Lastly, we found that if a cat tends to pee high, the urine escapes through the seam between the hood and the base.

    Pros
    • Comes with hood and door flap
    • Has carbon filter for reducing odors
    • Very large and sturdy box

    Cons

    • A little pricey
    • Door gets stuck
    • Urine can leak through seams


    10. Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box

    Omega Paw Roll'N Clean Cat Litter Box

    Length: 23 inches
    Width: 20 inches
    Height: 19 inches
    Color: Gray

    The Omega Paw Roll’n Clean Litter Box is our final entry in the 10 best litter boxes for messy cats. It comes in gray and essentially works similarly to the Litter-Robot, but manually. When your cat finishes his business, you roll the litter box upside down and then back again, which sorts out the clumps into a pull-out tray. It’s also an enclosed litter box, which should help reduce the litter scatter of your messy cat. The measurements above are for the large size, but it also comes in regular (20” x 17” x 16.5”) for those of you with small cats and is relatively inexpensive.

    We found that the plastic this litter box is made from was quite flimsy and cracked easily. You also should ensure you’re using really good clumping litter and that you need to roll frequently, or you’ll end up with a bit of a mess on your hands. The clumps might break apart, or if your cat pees in the wrong spot, you might just distribute the urine all over the place. We also found that the clumps would sometimes stick to the sides after rolling. Lastly, the large might still not be large enough for some cats.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Manually roll for separation of clumps
    • Enclosed litter box to reduce litter scatter
    • Comes in regular and large sizes

    Cons

    • Flimsy material and easily cracked
    • Needs good clumping litter or it’s messy
    • Litter clumps—sometimes sticks to sides after rolling
    • Large size is still not big enough for some cats


    Buyer’s Guide

    While shopping for a new litter box for your messy cat, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

    Size

    This is a pretty obvious point. The general rule of thumb is that the litter box should be large enough for your cat to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably.

    cat in Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced High Sided Corner Cat Litter Box

    Height

    For a messy cat, this is an important aspect of your litter box. The higher the sides, the less likely your cat will make as much of a mess. For kickers or sprayers, you’ll want to look for litter boxes that are about 8 to 12 inches high (or higher) but ensure there’s also a lower entrance for easy access.

    Think of the Cat

    On our list, we have included a top-entry litter box. This is certainly not the norm, but you’ll need to consider your cat before settling on a different kind of litter box like this. If you suspect your cat might avoid using a top-entry box or might dislike a hooded one, then you might want to save your money and try a box that you believe your cat will actually use.

    Covered Litter Boxes

    If you’re considered a covered litter box, remember that you will definitely need to clean and/or scoop every day. The build-up of the ammonia scent will make using the litter box quite unpleasant for your cat, and covered boxes will trap a lot of the odors inside.

    Automated Litter Boxes

    Not every cat will take to these. They might make your life easier, but if your cat tends to be skittish, she might dislike the noises these machines make and will avoid using it. Then you end up with a costly litter box taking up space in your garage or closet. Before plunking down all of that money, you need to be confident that your cat will use it without any issues.

    Litter Mat

    You can also use a litter mat in conjunction with one of these boxes. This can also trap a lot of litter scatter that is typically kicked onto your floors.

    In the long run, while having less of a mess for you to clean up is important, your cat’s own comfort is more important. Just do your research and think about your cat before making your purchase.

    divider-cat

    Conclusion

    The best overall litter box for all of those messy cats is Nature’s Miracle Hooded Corner Litter Box for its space-saving design and very high sides. Next, our best value pick goes to the Frisco High Sided Litter Box for its price tag and sturdiness, and lastly, our premium choice goes to the Litter-Robot 3. While it might break the bank, it very effectively takes care of the litter box chore.

    We hope these reviews have helped the decision-making process much easier and that you and your messy cat will both be quite happy with your new litter box.

    Kathryn Copeland

    Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she's not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.


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