The Best Litter Box for Messy Cats

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: February 3, 2023
© Lightspruch/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points:

  • The #1 Overall Best litter box for messy cats is the Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System.
  • Keeping a clean litter box for your cat is essential for their health and emotional well-being. Cats are naturally clean creatures, but they can be notoriously messy with their litter boxes. Choosing a litter box for messy cats is important if you want to keep litter off your floor and out of the way.
  • There are many options of litter boxes available for messy cats, like self-cleaning litter boxes, top-entry litter boxes, and hooded litter boxes.

The best litter box for messy cats has to be designed specifically for those little feline paws that kick litter all over the place. Cats are super clean by nature, which means they kick litter around to find a good spot to go, then spend a while burying their messes. In their minds, they’re doing a great job. The problem, however, is that in the process it’s flinging litter all over the place, and for you, it’s borderline infuriating. You’ve probably set up a good pet vacuum next to the messy station so that you can take care of all those over-the-edge spills. But is there a better way?

Indeed, there is! If your kitty is messy, you’ll love some of the options we highlight below. From a litter system that uses pellets instead of traditional litter (our top fave) to enclosed front-entry and top-entry options, you’ll find what you need. We even highlight a splurge option that takes care of the cleaning for you. We’re talking about a litter robot that clears the pan after each use. Fancy, right? We also break down the pros and cons of each and offer some guidance on how to choose the best one for your needs.

  1. Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded Cat Litter Box System
  2. Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded Cat Litter Box System
    • Use pellets that don't track through the house
    • 99.9% dust-free
    • Cats use this with ease
    • Lock in moisture
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box
  4. Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box
    • Comes with a built-in charcoal filter for odors
    • Nonstick surface makes cleaning very easy
    • Corner design saves space
    • Affordable option
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
  6. Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
    • Carbon-filtered waste drawer reduce odors
    • Self-cleaning
    • Big enough for up to four cats
    • Dog-proof
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box
  8. Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box
    • Seamless bottom for no leaks
    • Well designed
    • Top entry for more privacy
    • Dpg proof
    Check Chewy

#1 Best Overall: Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System

Hands down the best litter box for messy cats — drum roll, please — is the Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System! This hooded cat litter box is not just a box — it’s a whole system. Part of the issue with messy cats is they track litter throughout your home. Just when you’re ready to hop into bed, it feels like a sandbox. You get your heart rate up furiously sweeping it all up off your sheets and covers, just so you can lay back down agitated. We get it because we’ve been there.

This litter box system comes with a hooded litter box, pee pads, a scooper, and pellets. Pellets, you ask? Well, it’s a revolutionary type of material you can use with this litter system that doesn’t track throughout your home. That’s right, sandbox days are over. These pellets are much larger than your typical sand-like litter (which means they don’t get stuck into those cute little toe bean crevices and thus do not disperse throughout your home later) and the hooded litter box helps to keep those messes contained. There is a caveat here though — these pellets aren’t flushable! Be sure to dispose of them properly in your waste bin.

Insert the pee pads into a tray at the bottom of the litter box, just beneath the pellets. This system is 99.9% dust-free and solids stay up on top for easy removal. Urine gets locked away in the absorbent pad (no more clumps!). Just replace it regularly and you are a much happier cat owner! However, that may be one of the downsides of this system, as it does require regular cleaning to keep out odors and messiness.

In addition, the pellets can take a little getting used to, so be sure to take the time to transition your kitty. In addition, the system does have recurring costs (purchasing new litter pellets and new potty pads), but you can interchange various brands.

Pros and Cons of the Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System

ProsCons
This litter box system comes with a hooded litter box, pee pads, a scooper, and litter pellets.It can take a while for your cat to get used to using pellets instead of litter.
The pellets are larger than regular cat litter, so your cat won’t track them all over the house.The pellets are not flushable.
This box is easy to clean. The solid waste stays on top of the pellets, while the liquid is locked away in the pee pad at the bottom.The system requires regular cleaning to prevent messy build-up.
It is 99.9% dust-free.
Best Overall
Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded Cat Litter Box System
  • Use pellets that don't track through the house
  • 99.9% dust-free
  • Cats use this with ease
  • Lock in moisture
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Budget-Friendly: Nature’s Miracle Hooded Corner Litter Box

Nature’s Miracle Hooded Corner Litter Box is super budget-friendly and weighs only 4.1 pounds. Its unique corner design helps you set it up in any tiny corner of your bathroom or other room to keep it out of the way (while still providing your kitty with easy access to a comfortable, private enclosure so she can do her business). It’s hooded, which is what makes this ideal for messy cats. Some kitties love burying and burying … and burying their business some more. We get it, but gosh! With the hooded lid, your little babe can bury all she wants — with none of that pesky litter scatter.

It’s equipped with a built-in charcoal filter that helps to control yucky odors and keeps the litter box (and any room it’s in) smelling fresh. The non-stick surface makes it so you don’t have to clean up litter caking — that means much easier clean-up! This litter box is made by Nature’s Miracle, which is a trusted brand when it comes to odor removal. It’s a well-known and well-loved brand because it creates its products with care. And they work! You can buy a single litter box or if you’re in a multi-cat home, you can even purchase a pack of six to stock up and keep all your kitties’ messes well contained!

The box itself is large and roomy, measuring 26 inches long, 23 inches wide, and 11 inches tall. This makes it a great choice for larger cats as well. However, scooping from the box can be a bit tricky due to its unique shape. In addition, many customers reported that the sticker labels are incredibly difficult to remove. Although this does not affect the function of the litter box, it can be annoying.

Pros and Cons of the Nature’s Miracle Hooded Corner Litter Box

ProsCons
This box has a unique corner design. It fits nicely into room corners so that you can keep it out of the way, while still giving your cat easy access.The label stickers are incredibly difficult to remove.
The hood helps to keep litter from scattering on the floor.The unique shape of this box can make it tricky to scoop.
It has a built-in charcoal filter that helps to control odors.
The box has a non-stick surface to keep litter clumps from caking.
Nature’s Miracle is known as a trusted brand when it comes to pet odors.
Best Budget-Friendly
Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced Hooded Corner Cat Litter Box
  • Comes with a built-in charcoal filter for odors
  • Nonstick surface makes cleaning very easy
  • Corner design saves space
  • Affordable option
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Splurge: Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

We have to include a splurge option like the Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box for fancy cats and their owners. As much as you love your fluff ball, picking up clumpy poops isn’t necessarily a favorite activity. With this automatic self-cleaning litter box, you don’t have to sift through your kitty’s waste — it does it for you! Every time your cat leaves the litter box, it automatically engages in a unique process to create a fresh pan. It’s equipped with an enclosed and carbon-filtered waste drawer to reduce all those unpleasant odors, which makes the environment not just look cool with this high-tech design but also smell like the candles you burn!

Okay, so on the one hand, you’re no longer responsible for scooping, and on the other, litter usage is reduced by 50%. Over time, that saves you money, your knees, and your nose! If scooping on its own wasn’t enough, you can also connect to an app that delivers notifications straight to your phone regarding waste levels. No guessing or continuous checking is required — the machine communicates with you! Plus, if you’re ever in a pickle and something stops working or gets wonky, you can troubleshoot through the app.

Although this splurge option is fit for a little feline king or queen, it’s big enough to support up to four cats. In addition, since the entrance is raised, it helps to keep dogs out of your cat’s litter box as well. In addition, you can purchase stairs that attach to the litter robot for smaller cats and older cats who need assistance reaching the entrance.

Customers continually report how much they love the Litter-Robot; in fact, their only complaint is often that they didn’t get it sooner. The price tag is intimidating at first but after seeing how well it works, many comment that it’s a sophisticated piece of equipment, so the initial investment is completely justified if you can afford it.

Pros and Cons of the Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

ProsCons
The Litter-Robot automatically does the scooping for you.This is a much more expensive option.
It automatically removes cat waste and drops it into an enclosed and carbon-filtered waste drawer.
This litter box helps to reduce litter usage by 50%.
It connects to an app on your phone.
The app alerts you when you need to empty the drawer, and when you need to add more litter.
You can troubleshoot your Litter-Robot through the app.
One Litter-Robot can support up to four cats.
The entrance is raised and helps to keep dogs out of your cat’s litter box.
You can purchase stairs that attach to the litter robot for smaller cats and older cats who need assistance reaching the entrance.
The box is large and roomy, and big enough for large-breed cats.
Best Splurge
Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
  • Carbon-filtered waste drawer reduce odors
  • Self-cleaning
  • Big enough for up to four cats
  • Dog-proof
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Litter-Kicking Cats: Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box

The Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box is designed with a top entry to nearly eliminate tracking and prevent over-the-edge spills. Even enclosed litter boxes designed to prevent litter scatter can’t battle with cats that find the entrance a good place to kick back litter. They’re mischievous, they’re funny, and sometimes you just have to throw your hands up at their antics. If you happen to be the owner of a litter-kicking cat that finds new and creative ways to make messes outside the litter box, you’ll love this box!

It keeps all the litter contained inside, which means your kitty can kick her little heart out while in the litter box and exit through the top as if she didn’t just create a tiny sandstorm. The top isn’t completely open — it’s only partially open to allow for easy entry and exit. This design also helps to reduce litter box odor and keep your home smelling fresher than ever. If you have a curious pup that likes getting into your kitty’s litter, this is a great option to keep your canine friends away. For shy kitties, this design offers plenty of privacy so they can do their business in peace.

We love how well-designed this litter box is. Aside from providing an option for litter-kicking cats, the bottom has no seams, which means there are never any urine leaks. 90% of the litter formerly tracked through the house now gets caught in the textured top. However, while younger cats adapt quickly to this top-entry litter box, it may not be a good choice for elderly or disabled cats. This litter box measures 20 inches by 15 inches by 30 inches.

Pros and Cons of the Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box

ProsCons
This box has a top entry, which helps to keep litter inside the box.Since the entrance to the box is on the top, this may not be a good choice for elderly or disabled cats who struggle to jump up.
Cats can dig and bury and kick litter as much as they want without it falling out of the litter box.
There are no seams in the bottom of the box, so you don’t have to worry about any urine leaks.
The top is only partially open, with the rest being textured to help trap litter from your cat’s paws.
The top-entry design of this box helps to keep curious dogs from getting inside.
This box allows plenty of privacy for cats to do their business.
Best for Litter-Kicking Cats
Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box
  • Seamless bottom for no leaks
  • Well designed
  • Top entry for more privacy
  • Dpg proof
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best Litter Box for Messy Cats: What to Look For

With messy cats, the best litter box is one capable of containing messes. Therefore, there are two critical factors to consider for finding the perfect option: design and cost.

Design

The best litter box for messy cats is enclosed. Whether it has a front entry or a top entry depends on whether your cat is able to shovel litter away from the entry. The top entry design is best for litter-kicking cats, especially if it has a textured surface on top to trap any stray litter when they exit. For front-entry enclosed litter boxes, you can simply add a litter mat to serve as the textured surface that cleans your cat’s paws. If you’re all about an automatic self-cleaning solution, then it’s best to invest in a high-tech litter box that takes care of clean-up, so you don’t have to.

Cost

Cost is another important consideration. Of course, if you’re ready to shell out some serious cash for an automatic, self-cleaning option, then you know the investment is worth it. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution, you may want to stick with options that won’t break the bank. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing litter boxes for messy cats that can fit any budget!

Verified Review: User Experience

Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System

The Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System is touted by many cat parents. This user shares her love for it:

“For those of you new to the breeze system, it is absolutely amazing. The pee stays on the pad below and almost never does the odor carry. The poop sits on top of the pellets or slightly under them if your cat buries it. The poop becomes hard shortly after landing on these pellets and it is a breeze (ha!) to scoop. The ONLY problem I ever encounter was a splash of diarrhea that require the box to be cleaned with water. But that would be true of any litter box hit with a watery stool. For my money, this breeze system is the single best cat waste system. It is so easy to clean, doesn’t require daily maintenance (unless you want to) and the cats love it.”

Nature’s Miracle Hooded Corner Litter Box

“It fits nicely in the corner & for it’s large size, this is a space saver. It is larger than most & works well for multiple cats tp use. Any standard box of this size, would stick out in to the room more. It has a wide opening & height, that is great for my over weight cat. The lid attaches with locking clips & not a simple snap, I can lift it by handle to pull out for cleaning, others I’ve tried the bottom comes undone when lifting. The cats & I are very happy with how this box has fit in to our smaller space.”

Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

“I switched over to the LitterRobot 5 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I use Tidy Cat Free & Clean cat litter and 8 gallon medium-size garbage bag for the waste drawer…though during the pandemic the garbage bags were in short supply and I ended up buying the purpose made ones directly from Whisker. Since you don’t have to dump all the litter out like when you change a regular cat box, the litter savings alone is worth the price. Read a couple reviews of folks complaining about it getting stuck during the cycle, but as long as you take the unit apart and thoroughly wash it every 6-9 months then you won’t encounter this issue. My original two are 5 years old and still going strong. Just added a third…got another cat…and opted to upgrade the the 4th version. Loving the extra technology that comes with the latest version.”

Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box

Affordable and perfect for litter-kicking cats, the Clevercat Top-Entry Litter Box is recommended by this user:

“This litter box lid is great at catching stray litter that clings to either the kitties’ paws (3 cats – 4 different litter boxes) or behind as they exit the litter box. It’s sturdy, not falling over. Fantastic for kitties that devote more time to pawing at the litter box sides when they’ve finished their business than actually answering mother nature’s call.”

Up Next:

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The Best Litter Box for Messy Cats FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do I stop my cat from getting litter everywhere?

This has a two-fold solution. For one, you can choose a lower-tracking litter. Options like the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter System are designed specifically to reduce tracking and dust. The second suggestion is to invest in a covered or top-entry litter box — these designs keep messes contained. Top-entry litter boxes especially, as they are typically equipped with a textured top that traps any leftover litter from your kitty’s paws. Add an extra textured litter mat at the entrance of your cat’s litter box for an extra layer of protection!

Why is my cat so messy with her litter box?

Cats are inherently clean creatures. They are constantly self-grooming to keep themselves in tip-top shape and they expect to find a clean area for their waste needs as well. Often, when cats make big messes with their litter boxes, it’s because the litter box is dirty. They have to dig around more to find a clean enough spot to do their business. Then, when they’re done, they make sure to thoroughly bury their waste. This could result in what seems like excessive kicking and spilling litter — but they’re just trying to keep the environment as clean as possible (although it doesn’t feel that way to you!).

Do cats outgrow their litter box?

Yes, if your cat has outgrown her litter box, she may refuse to use it altogether. The space may be much too small for comfort, and you may just find that she prefers to go just outside the litter box. If this is the case, it’s time for a larger litter box where your kitty can enjoy greater space and greater comfort.

Are bigger litter boxes better?

Larger is certainly better than too small. The litter box, at minimum, should be at least one and a half times the length of your cat and the width should be the length of your cat. This gives kitties plenty of room to comfortably use their potty.

How often should you completely change cat litter?

If you’re using clay litter, twice a week is a good schedule. With clumping litter, you can change it out every two to three weeks. If you’re using the Breeze Litter System, you can change the pellets once per month.

Do you have to clean a litter box every day?

Yes — in fact, probably more than once per day depending on your situation. Whenever your cat goes, it’s important to clean up after them. It’s like manual “flushing.” Your kitty appreciates the clean environment and so does your nose! It’s completely normal to forget but setting a daily reminder for scooping and discarding waste can help you keep a daily schedule! Especially if you’re using an enclosed litter box, daily reminders may be required because you can’t see the waste the way you would with an open litter box. If it’s stinky, it’s already been too long!

Can I put baking soda in cat litter?

Baking soda is a great all-natural deodorizer and it’s safe to use in cat litter! Just sprinkle some in with your kitty’s litter — it’s great at managing the smell and it helps with absorbing urine.

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