Choosing The Best Covered Litter Boxes
Buying a covered litter box can be tricky since there is only one step from additional privacy to discomfort and from cozy to claustrophobic. Most hooded litter boxes come with plenty of benefits, but not if they feel too cramped, overly restrictive, and prevent your pet from monitoring his or her surroundings. To make a good decision for your cat and get the right covered litter box, you need to be aware of the requirements the box needs to meet in order to provide your feline friends with optimal comfort and happiness without triggering their natural defensive instincts.
Every litter box should be sturdy and durable, especially if it has a hood. All of the removable components need to lock tightly into place and provide your cat with a safe and private toilet environment. This is particularly important if your pet exhibits higher levels of aggression and constantly scratches or bumps against the inner walls of the hood.
Spacious Litter Area
Although they are famous for trying to fit into tiny boxes, cats still prefer being able to move freely. If the litter area of the new box feels too tight and claustrophobic, your cat may never feel comfortable using it. For optimal results, your pet needs to be able to get in and out, stand straight, squat, and turn around inside the box without problems.
Although domesticated, cats have retained their natural instincts, which means they feel exceptionally vulnerable while doing their business. Apart from sleeping, this is the only situation when they cannot effectively defend themselves from potential attackers. That is why your hooded litter box either needs to have a fully transparent cover or be designed in such a way that your pet feels secure in it at all times. The first option allows cats to monitor their surroundings and stay alert and aware of any potential dangers while the latter simply provides your pet with a sense of safety due to its secure build.
Ease Of Cleaning
Covered litter boxes are known for being more difficult to clean and maintain than regular models since you have to remove the cover and perhaps even some other components in order to gain access to the litter area. This is why our list of the best covered litter boxes includes a nice mix of traditional, manually operated, and automatic models, so you can familiarize yourself with all the available options and pick one that works best for you.
The top cover reduces the airflow inside the litter area, which is why it is so important to find a box compatible with top-quality hard clumping litter. Clumping (clay) litter or crystals coming from reputable manufacturers wick away moisture and dehydrate solid waste before it is scooped manually or automatically. Using absorbent-only, non-clumping, loose-clumping, pine/newspaper-based litters or wood-based pellets may spread unpleasant odors around your home, produce dust clouds, and/or leave your pets wet for prolonged periods of time.
As we already mentioned, cats feel extremely vulnerable while they are going to the toilet. Doing their business inside a litter box goes against every natural instinct they have, so if your cat is to use a fully covered model, it needs to produce as little noise as possible. Of course, this only applies to motorized boxes with automatic rakes or other types of self-cleaning mechanisms.
Best Covered Litter Boxes
Finally, it is time to get to know our top picks a bit better and decide which one of them is most likely to keep you and your kitty satisfied. Read the following mini-reviews to discover all the important details about the best covered litter boxes currently on the market.
Litter Robot is the most sophisticated and hi-tech motorized self-cleaning litter box that features a patented litter-sifting system in charge of separating solid waste from clean litter automatically.
The device is designed for pet comfort and safety with a lot of room for movement inside the litter globe. It features a large entryway, which is ideal for older or sick cats. The construction is solid, so your pet will not be able to damage the box or interfere with the cleaning process in any way. The electrical components are hidden, so there is no danger of your cat getting injured.
Apart from being fully automatized and perfectly safe, Litter Robot comes with a wide variety of convenient features, including an adjustable timer that allows litter to clump properly before initiating the cleaning cycle, sensitive motion sensors that detect your cat’s movement, backup battery, nightlight for elderly cats with impaired vision, and many more.
Thanks to its optimized design, Litter Robot requires a lot less cleaning than traditional litter boxes. Depending on the number of cats in your household, you can clean it thoroughly once a month or every couple of months. For one cat, you should empty the waste bin every 7-10 days. You should also fully replace the litter every month or so using the box’s convenient empty function that dumps all the litter into the waste drawer automatically.
Litter Robot can only work with high-quality clumping litter (preferably clay). The device has a large carbon filter integrated into the waste receptacle for optimal odor control. The motor unit is surprisingly quiet during the cleaning cycle and the box features a sleep mode that keeps it inactive for 8 hours.
Modkat Litter Box
Modkat is a minimalistic litter box primarily designed to prevent urine leaks and litter tracking while providing your pets with maximized privacy and comfort. It features a locking swivel lid that also acts as a walk-off mat, allowing your cat to clean his or her paws after going to the toilet and preventing other pets and children from accessing the litter area.
The seamless base of the box prevents any potential leaks, even if you decide not to use a liner. However, keep in mind that the (reusable) liner prevents liquid penetration and provides additional odor control. Since the box does not feature any automatic cleaning mechanisms, you have to scoop the litter manually. Along with Modkat, you get a convenient scoop that can be hanged by the side of the box.
Modkat is perfect for smaller and medium cats. Due to its top entryway, it is not ideal for older and disabled felines that have problems jumping or climbing.
Like the rest of our picks for this list, Modkat does not require a lot of cleaning and maintenance. You should replace the litter and clean the box every month. With proper maintenance, the absorbent liner can last up to three months. The scooping frequency entirely depends on your chosen type of litter and the number of cats in your home.
Modkat should be used with an all-natural or organic clumping litter for ultimate comfort and odor control. Finally, Modkat does not produce any noise, so your cat will not have problems getting used to it.
Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE
Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE is a convenient all-in-one starter kit that provides your pets with exceptional comfort and privacy while saving you a lot of time and money on maintenance and component replacement. Its minimalistic 4-part design ensures optimal ease of use and maintenance.
The overall construction of the box is very simple and resistant to scratches or any other type of pet abuse. It is easy to set up and provides your cats with a lot of room inside the litter area. Since it does not feature any electrical parts and similar components, Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE is extremely pet-friendly. The box’s spacious hood provides an added sense of safety and privacy, but the entryway is positioned quite high, so it is not ideal for older or disabled cats.
When it comes to litter compatibility, Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE can work with any type of litter, but the manufacturer recommends using its proprietary options. The box features moisture pads underneath the litter area, providing excellent odor control.
Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE is easy to clean as well. All you have to do is disassemble the box and wash the elements with some warm water and mild soap. The moisture pad should be replaced every week and the litter once a month. Since it does not feature a motor unit or any electrical/automatic components, Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE does not produce any noise, which makes it ideal for timid cats that are easily startled.
Petphabet is the simplest fully hooded cat litter box on our list. It is designed for maximum ease of use and pet comfort. Its top hood is transparent and removable, which allows your cat to monitor his or her surroundings at all times. Apart from preventing oversprays and litter scattering, the construction is resistant to scratches and offers plenty of room inside the litter area. Its minimalistic design and durable materials guarantee years of usage, with proper maintenance.
The overall design of the box is perfect for one larger or two medium cats and the low entryway makes it easier for older or disabled felines to get in and out of the box without any difficulties. Note that this is one of the rare models designed specifically for larger cats, so even Main Coons should feel comfortable inside.
Petphabet can work with any type of litter, but the manufacturer recommends using high-quality clumping litter for optimal results. Since the box does not feature any specific mechanisms to prevent unpleasant smells and mold growth, you may want to choose a type of litter that quickly wicks moisture and efficiently dehydrates solid waste.
Petphabet is easy to clean since it does not have any electrical components and intricate mechanisms. It can be fully immersed in water and cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap. Finally, Petphabet is ideal for timid cats as it does not produce any noise whatsoever.
Omega Paw Litter Box
Omega Paw is a unique manually-operated self-cleaning litter box specifically designed for households with larger or multiple cats. It completely eliminates the need for manual litter scooping by allowing you to separate solid waste from clean litter by rolling the box to its sides. The company dubbed this process “roll’n’clean.”
The design of the box is simple but clever. On the outside, it looks like a regular covered litter box, but the inside features a spacious litter tray and scooping area, separated by a patented sifting grate. Apart from separating the two areas, the sifting grate also isolates litter clumps from the clean litter throughout the cleaning cycle. The overall construction is also ideal for odor control and dust reduction.
Omega Paw can be used by all pets and even older and disabled cats can go in and out of the box without any problems. The litter area is big enough to allow unrestricted movement while providing excellent privacy and security. Having said that, cats with frequent stool problems should not use the box since liquid stool can interfere with the clumping process and reduce the effectiveness of the cleaning cycle.
The manufacturer recommends using Omega Paw with clumping and silica litters. The box should be cleaned every 1.5-2 months, which is also a good time to replace the litter completely. It can be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild detergent and it should not be exposed to any aggressive or abrasive chemicals and scouring pads. Since it does not produce any noise while your pets are inside, Omega Paw is ideal for timid felines scared of loud motor sounds.