Dealing with the picky litter box habits of large cats can certainly be a challenge. For example, larger cats don’t fit comfortably in regular litter boxes and need more space to move around. Getting your cat's litter box situation just right requires Goldilocks-level precision: not too big, but not too small; not too hidden, but not too public; not too covered, but not too open; not too this, and certainly not too that.
Add to your calculation the need to please a large breed or overweight cat, and the task becomes even more challenging. Never fear! We have narrowed down the most important things to consider when looking for litter boxes for large cats.
Do cats prefer a large litter box?
Cats may love squeezing themselves into boxes or curling up in tight quarters, but when it comes to the litter box, it’s a very different story. Larger cats simply don’t fit comfortably in average-sized litter boxes. They need more space to turn around and stand up. They need to enter and exit without touching walls or ceilings. They simply need a litter box that fits them if we're to expect them to use it reliably.
In fact, according to a study by the University of Prince Edward Island, large litter boxes are much more selected over regular-sized litter boxes. So much so that large litter boxes recorded 55% more usage than regular-sized litter boxes.
This clearly indicates that most cats show a definite preference for a larger litterbox and that other factors such as box cleanliness and location have an influence on this choice as well.
How to choose a large cat litter box
When you have a large cat breed—or even just a cat with some extra padding—you’re going to have to pay special attention to their litter box needs.
When selecting a litter box for a large cat, the general idea is—you guessed it—big cats need big litter boxes. You may have to accommodate the space for its larger footprint and possibly pay a little more for a larger litter box, but those minor inconveniences are well worth it to prevent your large cat from avoiding an undersized litter box and choosing to pee outside the litter box instead.
On a budget? While there are many oversized litter boxes out there, from traditional to automatic, you can also DIY with a little creativity.
If you have an especially large cat or multiple large cats, you may want to use plastic containers as litter boxes. Large storage bins and under-bed storage containers make for cost-effective litter boxes. If you have a litter-kicking kitty, buy a container with high walls (clear plastic is best) and cut out an entryway; otherwise, choose a large, low-walled container, fill it with litter, and there you have it: a litter box that's juuust right.
Choose a more open litter box
You may prefer a covered litter box to contain smells and keep the clumps out of sight, but your large cat probably doesn't. Large cats tend to prefer litter boxes that feel open or airy, where they can enter and exit with ease, turn around comfortably, and use the box without feeling confined.
Try self-cleaning litter boxes
Larger cats make larger messes, so you might hope to use a self-cleaning litter box that does the work for you. The catch? They have to fit!
There are only a few automatic or self-cleaning litter boxes out there made to fit large or overweight cats. Many have a very small opening that can even deter normal-sized cats. On another hand, both Litter-Robot 4 and Litter-Robot 3 Connect have enough room inside for a Maine Coon and other large cat breeds. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all automatic litter boxes on the market.
In addition to noting your cat's measurements, shop around until you find a self-cleaning litter box that’s proven to be a successful solution for large cats. Again, choose an option that has an open feel, so your cat doesn't feel confined and uncomfortable.
Use multiple litter boxes
Managing litter boxes in a multi-cat home can be challenging. Don’t forget the golden rule for multiple cat households: Generally, you want the number of litter boxes to equal the number of cats, plus one. For a three-cat household, for example, you should maintain four litter boxes. If you have a self-cleaning litter box, you can get away with fewer litter boxes since it cleans itself automatically (and is therefore more attractive to use). In addition, self-cleaning litter boxes like Litter-Robot can accommodate up to 4 cats with only one robot.
When one or more of your cats is larger than average, having enough appropriately-sized litter boxes is even more important. You don't want to create a situation where all of your larger cats are forced to use one large litter box; give your larger cats plenty of options to keep them happy (and avoid a mess).
The best litter boxes for large cats
Want to give your big kitty a comfortable space to do their business? Try one of two self-cleaning litter boxes or a large traditional litter box.
Litter-Robot 4 is the newest, quietest, and smartest self-cleaning litter box for cats. Its wide opening makes it a friendly large cat litter box and the automatic sifting process quietly separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter, depositing the clumps into a tightly sealed drawer that drastically reduces odors. You can track litter and waste drawer levels in real time, and monitor kitty’s litter box activity and weight—right from the Whisker app.
Litter-Robot 4 has a sleek, modern design and features a wide opening to maximize cat comfort, providing a clean litter box for households with up to 4 cats of any breed or size.
- Pros: The large 15.75’’W x 15.75’’H entryway provides an open-air feel while using the litter box.
- Cons: The 19’’W x 18’’D globe is a little less roomy than Litter-Robot 3 Connect.
With 10,000+ 5-star reviews, Litter-Robot 3 Connect is the highest-rated WiFi-enabled, automatic, self-cleaning litter box. It also has a patented sifting process that automatically separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter, depositing the clumps into a drawer below the unit that helps reduce odors. You simply empty the waste drawer when indicated and add litter as needed. The globe opening on Litter-Robot 3 Connect is slightly narrower than the opening on Litter-Robot 4.
- Pros: The 20’’W x 20’’D globe offers plenty of space to turn around and get comfortable.
- Cons: The 10.25’’W x 15.5’’H entryway might feel a bit tight to some large cats.
Hidden litter boxes
If you’re in the market for a larger litter box but you’re concerned about the space they take up in your home, another solution is to use furniture designed to hide litter boxes. These pieces look like regular furniture, but have a hidden compartment for a litter box.
They're a great way to provide a large, open litter box for your cat while keeping the litter box out of sight.
Extra large stainless steel litter boxes
If you’re in the market for a more traditional litter box, you can’t do better than a stainless steel litter box for large cats. These boxes are long-lasting and easy-to-clean, and the stainless steel doesn’t absorb stains and odors, while remaining rust-free no matter how many times you clean it. Look for one that features an ergonomic design with rounded edges, so there are no sharp sides, as well as non-slip rubber feet.
Do keep in mind that the litter should ideally be about 2-3 inches deep, meaning you will have to use almost a full bag of litter in these extra large litter boxes.
Many litter box problems can be solved by providing the right number of the right-sized litter boxes. Give your large cat the right kind of litter box and increase your chances of success!
Remember, when choosing a litter box for your bigger feline, think big, open, and comfortable. The right litter box, chosen with your cat's size and comfort in mind, can make a huge difference in maintaining cleanliness and contentment in your home.