Cats

The 7 Best Cheap Cat Litter Boxes

January 28, 2020

The 7 Best Cheap Cat Litter Boxes

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The best cheap cat litter boxes are more than chintzy plastic pans. They’re well-made products that don’t cost much and save you money in the long run.

Great boxes are made from robust materials that resist stains and odors, helping to ensure that your initial investment lasts a lifetime.

And like the best litter boxes at any price point, they’re spacious enough for digging and turning, fit your home’s needs, and receive positive customer reviews.

Coming in at the top of our list is Van Ness’s High Sides cat litter pan. At just under $8, this litter box is big, beefy, and resists stains and odors.

With 96% of over 700 reviewers saying they’d recommend this product to a friend, it has both the specs and the reputation to justify a purchase.

Keep reading for reviews of the Van Ness box and six more litter boxes that you can buy for $15.99 or less.

At a Glance: The Best Cheap Cat Litter Boxes To Buy

IMAGEPRODUCT 
  • Highly-polished surfaces help this litter box to stay clean longer
  • A generously-sized box appropriate for cats of almost all sizes
  • Has a lowered entry to make it easy to get into the box
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  • One of the largest litter boxes on the market
  • Coated with Microban for reduced bacterial growth, stains, and odor buildup
  • Appropriate for large cats and multi-cat homes
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  • Made from a robust, long-lasting material
  • High-sided design helps to keep litter contained
  • Lowered entry allows your cat to easily access the litter box
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  • Shallow enough for small kittens to enter
  • Spacious enough for cats of all ages
  • Framed design is compatible with litter box liners
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  • Has a removable top rim to help prevent litter tossing and spraying over the edge
  • Has a cute decorative look
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  • Helps to disguise the appearance of litter in your house
  • Enclosed design and top grate help to prevent litter tracking and scatter
  • Comes with a litter scoop
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  • Antimicrobial plastic controls odors and stains
  • Has a flexible design, allowing it to fit in tight places where other boxes won’t fit
  • Spacious for cats of all sizes
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How do you choose the best cheap litter boxes?

In our article on the best cheap cat litter, we talked about how there’s no need to scrimp on quality to get affordable cat litter. The same principle applies to cat litter boxes.

An excellent $5 litter box has the same qualities as an excellent $50 litter box.

Regardless of price, the best boxes fit both your cat and your home. 

They’re roughly one-and-a-half times the length of your cat’s body from nose tip to the base of her tail and measure at least seven inches deep. This allows the box to contain a hearty base of litter while providing all the room your cat needs.

And while a litter box should be a minor part of keeping clean—a consistent scooping routine should handle most of that—the best ones help a little bit. Look for non-stick materials and slightly rounded corners that won’t gunk up.

Finally, the best cheap litter boxes fit in your home. That could mean a covered litter box for people who don’t like the sight of litter or a jumbo box for a multiple-cat family.

In the following product roundup, you’ll find options for a variety of living situations. In addition to our number one recommendation, you’ll find boxes that stand out for odor control, kittens, multiple cat homes, and small apartments.

Best Cheap Litter Boxes: Our Top 7 Picks

Overall Best: Van Ness High Sides Giant Cat Litter Pan

Product Info:

  • Price Range: Low
  • Dimensions: 21.25 x 17.75 x 9 inches
  • Key Strengths: An all-around good litter box at an unbeatable price
  • Ideal For: Anyone who wants a top-notch litter pan

Pros:

  • Highly-polished surfaces help this litter box to stay clean longer
  • A generously-sized box appropriate for cats of almost all sizes
  • Has a lowered entry to make it easy to get into the box

Cons:

  • Comes in blue and tan with colors shipped at random, so you won’t know exactly what color you’re getting until it arrives
  • Some reviewers say that the corners aren’t quite rounded enough, making it hard to scoop from the box

For less than $8, this box gives you just about everything you could want out of a litter box. There’s nothing to complain about here. The box is roomy, deep, and appears to be constructed from high-quality materials that will last for years.

As an open litter box, it’s easy to access and clean, but it won’t disguise your cat’s waste. If you prefer a covered litter box, consider Van Ness’ enclosed cat litter pan. The large size is a couple of dollars more than the open equivalent and the extra-large is over twice as expensive, but the cost may be worth it for those who prefer a covered box.

Best for Multiple Cats: Petmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban, Bleached Linen

Product Info:

  • Price: Low
  • Dimensions: 34.75 x 19.5 x 9.75 inches
  • Key Strengths: One of the largest litter boxes on the market
  • Ideal For: Households with multiple cats using the same litter box

Pros:

  • One of the largest litter boxes on the market
  • Coated with Microban for reduced bacterial growth, stains, and odor buildup
  • Appropriate for large cats and multi-cat homes
  • Features a storage caddy for litter box supplies

Cons:

  • Some reviewers don’t like the storage pockets
  • Might be too large for some spaces

It’s a good idea to provide multiple boxes for multiple cats—many sources suggest one box per cat, plus one additional box—but if you want your cats to share a box, you’ll need a big one. For less than $16, this litter box gives you plenty of litter space and enough room for multiple cats to share.

You can fill this litter box with over 30 pounds of litter and have room to spare. In addition to a large litter capacity, the box is designed to hold litter supplies in a convenient side caddy. It’s a handy spot for litter box liners, litter scoops, and other essentials.

The box is coated with Microban to help prevent bacterial growth and lingering odors.

Best for Large Cats: Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box, Extra Large

Product Info:

  • Price: Mid
  • Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 10 inches
  • Key Strengths: A spacious litter box with high sides
  • Ideal For: Large cats who tend to throw litter over the sides of the box

Pros:

  • Made from a robust, long-lasting material
  • High-sided design helps to keep litter contained
  • Lowered entry allows your cat to easily access the litter box

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive litter boxes on this list

This litter box brings a lot of value, especially for larger cats who tend to go over the wall or need extra space to move. The litter box has 10” walls, making it one of the deepest on the market. A lowered entrance measures 6” high, ensuring that your cat can enter the box with ease.

It’s made from a sturdy plastic material that’s BPA-free and easy to clean.

Reviewers say that the litter box is a good choice for large cats, heavy diggers, and cats who urinate over the sides of shallow litter boxes.

Best for Kittens: Van Ness Large Framed Cat Litter Pan

Product Info:

  • Price: Mid
  • Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 7.5 inches
  • Key Strengths: A litter box that’s both roomy and easy to enter
  • Ideal For: Kittens and cats who need a lower entrance

Pros:

  • Shallow enough for small kittens to enter
  • Spacious enough for cats of all ages
  • Framed design is compatible with litter box liners

Cons:

  • Some reviewers said their cats knocked the frame off of the litter box
  • Not deep enough for heavy diggers

Kittens don’t need tiny litter boxes—they just need something that’s easy to get in and out of.

That’s why we recommend Van Ness’s large framed cat litter pan as the best litter box for kittens. This box is spacious enough for cats of all ages, but it has a lowered entrance measuring just 4 inches high. With high sides and a lowered front, this box is easy for kittens to access but not so shallow that it lets litter go flying across the floor.

The litter box is made from a highly-polished plastic material that is both odor and stain-resistant for longer-lasting freshness.

Best for Messy Cats: Frisco Feline the Love Litter Box with Rim

Product Info:

  • Price: Low
  • Dimensions: 20.1 x 15.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Key Strengths: A deep, spacious litter box with an added rim to keep litter where it belongs
  • Ideal For: Cats who tend to dig deep and throw litter outside of the box

Pros:

  • Has a removable top rim to help prevent litter tossing and spraying over the edge
  • Has a cute decorative look

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say that this box is too small for their cats

This litter box earns its place with an unusual design that promises to cut back on the amount of time you spend cleaning up after your cat. The box has a sloped design that’s lower in the front and deeper in the back, giving you a balance of accessibility and containment. The removable top rim is thicker than most and adds additional mess protection. Combined with its generous size, this gives the litter box the ability to keep litter and waste where it belongs.

The doodled hearts and cats design is directly molded onto the litter box—you don’t have to worry about labels peeling off or degrading over time.

Best for Apartments: IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box & Scoop

Product Info:

  • Price: Mid
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 14.75 x 14.38 inches
  • Key Strengths: A stylish, discreet top-entry litter box
  • Ideal For: Small homes, houses with dogs, and people who hate the look of exposed litter

Pros:

  • Helps to disguise the appearance of litter in your house
  • Enclosed design and top grate help to prevent litter tracking and scatter
  • Comes with a litter scoop
  • Can help to keep dogs out of the litter box

Cons:

  • Some cats won’t want to drop through the top hole to enter the litter box
  • The smallest litter box on this list

When you’re living in a small apartment, it takes additional foresight to make sure that your cat’s litter box doesn’t take up too much space. This top-entry litter box promises to reduce the footprint of your cat’s litter box, reduce litter scatter, and hide the appearance of litter.

Instead of stepping straight into the litter box, your cat will drop through a top portal into the deep litter box. A grate around the lid catches litter from your cat’s paws and prevents tracking. To clean the litter box, you’ll remove the lid and use the included scoop.

For under $14, you’re getting a subtle litter box and a litter scoop—it’s a good deal.

Best for Odor Control: Litter Genie Cat Litter Box

Product Info:

  • Price: Mid
  • Dimensions: 22.3 x 17.6 x 16 inches
  • Key Strengths: A flexible litter box that makes cleaning easy
  • Ideal For: Multiple cat homes and people who want to minimize odors

Pros:

  • Antimicrobial plastic controls odors and stains
  • Has a flexible design, allowing it to fit in tight places where other boxes won’t fit
  • Easy to clean and carry, especially if you use non-clumping litter
  • Spacious for cats of all sizes

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say that the lower sides allowed their cats to go over the walls

This litter box looks more like a plastic tote bag than a traditional litter box. It’s made from a flexible antimicrobial plastic that helps to control bacterial growth and odor buildup. Reviewers say that the litter box is easy to clean—the flexible shape makes it easy to lift and dump, while no corners translate minimal sticking.

If you use a non-clumping litter, this box makes it easy to dump and replace your litter.

The litter box is deep enough for most cats. While the sides measure 16” in height, the lowered front and back make it easy for your cat to get in and out.

Once you’ve chosen a great litter box, fill it with an outstanding—and affordable—cat litter.

A litter box is only as useful—and as affordable—as the litter you put in it. While an economical litter box should be a one-time investment, cat litter is a recurring expense. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping wisely and choosing litter that’s as affordable as it is effective.

Click here to read our guide to the top 5 best cheap cat litters on the market.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta is a blogger and adventurecat enthusiast who brings you the facts about cat products, wellness, and care. She's the co-founder of Wildernesscat, a resource for savvy cat guardians who want to give their felines richer, healthier lives. Visit Wildernesscat for product reviews, radically natural nutrition tips, and lifestyle inspiration
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