What Cat Litter Tray Is Best?

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Cats love huge trays.

Research revealed cats prefer massive sandbox style trays, compared to normal sized trays.

Going big is the best way to stop behavior issues.

In this article, I’ll talk about what cat litter tray is best and what to look for. Finally, I’ll answer questions on the topic of cat litter trays.

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article isn’t a replacement for medical advice.

Let’s get into the article.

What cat litter tray is best?

What Cat Litter Tray is Best?

Large trays are best.

Cats prefer a size of 89cm to 39cm, when researched.

Things cats prefer:

  • Clean trays
  • Depth for digging
  • Fine grain preference
  • Cleaning without harsh chemicals
  • Daily cleaning

Cover these bases for a happy cat.

Clean litter trays are healthier.

Parasites in cat poop may cause mental illness. Get rid of waste daily in a sanitary way to prevent health problems.

A large sandbox
Research shows cats want a bigger box

How Do I Choose a Litter Tray?

Look for size.

This is the most important factor to check for.

The research shows cats prefer boxes with 86cm length, or ‘sandbox style’ trays. If you can’t find anything, make your own tray.

The problem is we’ve accepted these small rectangle boxes without a second thought.

Here’s the best product I’ve found (untested):

One of the biggest litter trays I’ve seen, and it’s stainless steel for better odor control.

A far cry from 86cm, but it’s bigger than average.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cats Prefer Larger Cat Litter Trays?


When studied over a month, cats preferred big litter trays (86cm) over normal trays.

The 74 studied cats used the large box 5,031 vs 3,239 times for small boxes.

Cats got used to the new location after 1-2 days once they knew where their preferred box was.

Do Cats Prefer Covered Litter Trays?


A 14 day study tested covered and uncovered side-by-side. Overall, there was no difference in usage.

Some cats do seem to prefer a type.

One thing to try is a ‘cafeteria test’ with covered and uncovered side-by-side. See what your cat prefers.

What Cat Litter Is Best for Health?

Plant based litter.

Ingredients like tofu, corn, and wheat are safer.

Clay litter is less ideal.

Ingestion can lead to bentonite toxicosis, with symptoms including anemia, weakness, and lethargy.

Silica based cat litter may be harmful to humans. It may trigger sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition.

Some clay litter may produce silica dust.

Over time, exposure can cause silicosis. Silicosis symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain.

Whether the amount in cat litter is unsafe for you or your cat is hard to say.


Do You Need 2 Litter Trays for 2 Cats?


Every cat should have their own litter tray to enjoy.

Fewer litter trays increases the risk of behavioral issues and urinary tract infections.

It’s stressful sharing toilets.

Some claim to use the ‘plus one’ method for best results. For example with 2 cats, have 3 litter trays.

How Often Do You Change Cat Litter?


Keeping the litter tray clean is important for health (feces contain parasites) and making sure your cat use the litter.


Large cat litter trays are best.

Cats prefer using ‘sandbox style’ cat litter trays double the size of normal trays. Either upgrade your size or build your own monster box.

Cleanliness and location also help your cat use the litter tray.

Further reading:

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I'm qualified dietitian that's turned their attention to cat nutrition. My goal is to help tease out the science on how best to feed your cat.