Dealing with litter boxes is part of owning a cat—albeit far from the best part. However, using the right cat litter box supplies makes this messy job much easier. Here’s a handy guide to help you choose the best litter box and cat litter, as well as some other cat litter box ideas that can keep your cat’s bathroom area looking neat and smelling fresh. 

Choosing the Best Cat Litter Box Supplies 

Cat sitting in litter box indoors

When it comes to helping your cat adopt good bathroom habits, the two most important purchases are the litter box and the litter that goes inside it. If your cat doesn’t like their box or litter, they might decide to go outside the box—something you want to avoid at all costs. You should have one litter box per cat in the house, plus one additional box. That means a household of two cats should have a total of three litter boxes.

Types of Litter Boxes

Cat going into covered top dome litter box

Litter boxes come in a broad variety of sizes and styles. Covered litter boxes are helpful in keeping litter from being scattered outside the box, but they also trap smells inside—a feature humans like, but most cats do not. If a cat finds their litter box too smelly, they might decide not to use it. But many cats enjoy the privacy afforded by a covered box, so keep your box extra clean to encourage consistent habits.

Uncovered litter boxes are a popular option, as most cats will happily use them. Some litter boxes, like the Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker, are even automated to make litter chores nearly hands-free. These automatic, self-cleaning litterboxes use electronic mechanisms to scoop and clean them after your cat goes to the bathroom. 

Regardless of the style of box you choose, make sure it’s big enough for your cat to comfortably use. A litter box should be at least as long as the length of your cat’s body from nose to tail. 

Types of Cat Litter

Cat sitting next to kitty litter box with kitty litter sitting on table

You’ll find many different types of cat litter, including clumping clay litter, silica gel litter, and litter made from pine, wheat, corn, grass, walnut shells, and paper. In general, most cats prefer a soft, fine-particle litter like clumping clay. It’s always a good idea to choose unscented cat litter. Perfumes intended to cover up litter box odors can be irritating to a cat’s sensitive nose and may cause litter refusal. 

Cat Litter Box Supplies: 9 Essentials We Love

Kitten sitting in litter box next to scoop

Here are some must-have litter box supplies—from the absolutely essential to extras so helpful, you won’t want to live without them. 

  • Litter boxes (at least one per cat, plus one more)
  • Cat litter
  • Litter scoops
  • Litter box mats (optional)
  • Litter box liners (optional)

All cats are individuals with different preferences, but the vast majority of cats like a large, uncovered litter box and an unscented, soft, clumping cat litter. If your cat doesn’t seem to like these, a bit of trial and error may be in order. Try two different litters or two different style boxes and see if your cat has a preference.

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Overall Litter Box

Our pick: Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker

Shop now and save $50 off any Litter-Robot purchase

This self-cleaning, automatic litter box tops our list because it handles so many litter box chores, you don’t need to waste your time and money on litter box supplies and upkeep.

The innovative Litter-Robot 4 has all the must-have automated features that made the original Litter-Robot such a hit, including a patented sifting system that automatically separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter without you having to lift a finger. In addition, this upgraded model has plenty of high-tech improvements, like smart sensors that detect when your cat is using the litter box, to ensure their safety. Other new features include a WhisperQuiet cleaning cycle, plus an enlarged waste drawer and optional odor neutralizing system to ensure your home stays fresher longer between litter changes.

Highlights

  • Automatically removes waste without clogging or jamming
  • Sensors detect and deposit solid waste in drawer for easy cleanup
  • Whisker app tracks usage, litter levels, and when it’s time to empty
  • Works well with almost any clumping or scoopable litter
  • Suitable for up to 4 cats

Things to Consider: 

  • At over $600, it’s a big investment
  • Some cats may need time to get comfortable using a self-cleaning litterbox

Best Litter Box (Uncovered)

Our pick: Smart Paws Cat Litter Box

litter box uncovered

Many cats like uncovered litter boxes because they don’t trap smells inside. But the downside is that cats are more likely to fling litter outside of an uncovered box when digging inside. The high walls of the Smart Paws cat litter box help keep litter inside, while the lower entrance ensures cats can enter and exit the box easily.

Highlights 

  • High sides keep litter inside the box.
  • Low entrance makes it easy for cats to use.
  • Simple design is easy to clean.

Things to Consider 

  • Enthusiastic diggers may still fling litter outside the box.

Best Smart Litter Box Monitor

Our pick: Petivity Smart Litter Box Monitor

Smart Litter Monitor for cats

Imagine being able to access real insights about your cat’s weight and behavior every time they use the litter box. Petivity helps give cats a voice by empowering pet parents to manage their cat’s health from home. Place your cat’s litter box atop the Petivity unit. In conjunction with the Petivity app, you will receive alerts that may help indicate a health issue to discuss with your veterinarian.

Highlights

  • Uses Artificial Intelligence technology to develop a profile for each cat in your household
  • Tracks important information in the free app
  • Receive information about your cat’s weight and daily visits to the litter box each day
  • Works with multiple cats without the need for a special collar or chip

Things to Consider

  • Some cats may prefer a slow integration of the Petivity into their routine
  • A bit on the pricey side for some budgets
  • The Petivity Smart Litter Box Monitor pairs with the Petivity app, which is available for Android 10 or higher, and iPhone running iOS14 or higher

Best Litter Box (Covered)

Our pick: Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Litter Box

Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box

Some cats prefer a covered box, which affords privacy and ensures the cat cannot be ambushed by another cat while using the box. Petmate’s Booda Dome Clean Step Litter Box keeps litter inside the box and cuts down on litter odor in your home. The grooved steps that lead to and from the main litter box area capture litter from your cat’s paws, so they don’t track it outside the box and throughout your home. 

Highlights 

  • Covered box with charcoal filter contains litter odors.
  • Grooved clean steps prevent litter tracking.
  • Large, roomy size. 

Things to Consider 

  • Some cats do not like the smells that become trapped inside a covered box.
  • Shape and dimensions may make it harder to clean than a rectangular box. 

Best Cat Litter Subscription Service 

Our pick: Kitty Poo Club

Kitty Poo Club photo

For cat owners who want to make litter box maintenance as streamlined as possible, a monthly cat litter subscription service might be just the ticket. After signing up, you’ll receive a bag of litter shipped to you on a recurring schedule—so you never have to worry about running out or needing to haul heavy cat litter from the store. The Kitty Poo Club goes one step further, sending a pre-filled, leak-proof cardboard litter box that you can recycle monthly when your new shipment arrives. You’ll never have to scrub a litter box again! 

Highlights

  • Choose from five litter types: diatomite, clay, silica, fine-grain, or organic soy.
  • Convenient—never run out of litter.
  • Disposable cat litter box—no need to scrub.
  • Dome available as an add-on.
  • No-risk guarantee. 

Things to Consider

  • Limited litter selection, but you can purchase the litter box only and use your own litter if preferred.
  • More expensive than buying litter without a subscription. 

Best Cat Litter

Our pick: Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter

Most cats like a soft clumping litter that doesn’t contain perfumes, which can overwhelm a cat’s ultra-sensitive nose. Although Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter contains no perfumes or dyes, it fights odors with scent-free activated charcoal. The litter has strong clumping action, and the low-dust formula won’t irritate your cat’s respiratory tract.  

Highlights

  • Unscented litter won’t bother a cat’s nose.
  • Activated charcoal fights odors.
  • Strong clumping action.
  • 10-day odor control guarantee.

Things to Consider

  • Soft litter can be tracked outside the box.
  • Clumps cannot be flushed. 

Best Litter Box Scoop

Our pick: DurAnimals DuraScoop 

DuraScoop Jumbo Cat Litter Scoop

After you choose a litter box and cat litter, the next most important tool in your litter box cleaning arsenal is the litter box scoop. The DurAnimals DuraScoop is made from sturdy aluminum and has a soft, ergonomic handle. This large scoop is durable and effective, making short work of litter box scooping duties. This is an essential as one of your cat litter box supplies.

Highlights

  • Durable aluminum scoop is made to last.
  • Textured grip for easy handling.
  • Large size.

Things to Consider

  • Does not come with a cover or storage container.

Best Litter Box Mat

Our pick: iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper EZ Clean Mat

iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper EZ Clean Mat

A cat litter box mat can help capture litter stuck to your cat’s paws so it’s not tracked throughout the house. The iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper EZ Clean Mat is made with two layers. The top layer looks like a honeycomb with large holes that snag stray litter, trapping it between the two layers. Peel back the top layer to dump the dropped litter into the trash or back into the litter box. 

Highlights

  • Dual-layered design traps and holds litter.
  • Water repellent with a plastic bottom layer so urine won’t leak through. 
  • Easy to clean.
  • Extra-large size. 

Things to Consider

  • May be difficult to empty litter from between layers.

Best Litter Box Liners

Our pick: Jonny Cat Heavy Duty Jumbo Litter Box Liners

JONNY CAT Heavy Duty Litter Box Liners, Jumbo

Cat litter box liners make cleanup easier when it’s time to change out all the litter. Simply lift the bag and tie it closed, then throw it away. The litter box itself remains clean. Jonny Cat Heavy Duty Jumbo Litter Box Liners are extra thick to withstand a cat’s digging and scratching in the box. Plus, they have a drawstring so you can easily and securely close the bag when it’s time to toss out the litter. The extra-large size fits almost any litter box. 

Highlights

  • Made from heavy-duty, tear resistant plastic.
  • Thick plastic prevents cuts down on litter box cleanup.
  • Easy-to-close drawstring. 
  • Jumbo size fits most litter boxes.

Things to Consider

  • Aggressive scratchers may be able to pierce the liner.
  • May not fit all litter boxes.

How Often Should You Clean a Litter Box?

Cat head tilt looking up to camera

While these recommendations can help make maintaining a clean bathroom easier, there’s no such thing as a hands-off approach to litter boxes (though a Kitty Poo Club subscription comes pretty close!). Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re holding up your end of the kitty litter cleaning conundrum.  

The key to making sure your cat uses their box is keeping it as clean as possible. No one likes using a dirty bathroom—including your cat! Scoop solids at least once daily (two or three times a day is better). Once a week, dump out all the litter and replace it with fresh litter.

Monthly, dump the litter and scrub the box well using hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap residue. You might need to scrub the box weekly, depending on the type of litter you use and your cat’s bathroom habits. A heavy-duty litter box liner can eliminate the need to scrub out the box.

Simply replace the liner and litter weekly. If you go the recyclable litter box route, maintain your litter as directed, then discard the litter and recycle the box when your new shipment arrives.