The 7 Best Litter Boxes For A Small Apartment

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Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

Whether it’s an apartment, a small house, or a shared living space, your home should be just as comfortable for your cat as it is for you. With limited space to work with, however, you may find yourself choosing furniture, decorations, and cat essentials based on their size.

As you’re shopping for the best litter box to suit your small space, keep your cat’s needs in mind. Our top pick is the tuft + paw Cove litter box because it really delivers on both form and function without taking up unnecessary space.

At A Glance: 7 Best Cat Litter Boxes For Small Spaces

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

tuft + paw Cove Litter Box

  • Sleek, modern design fits in with home décor
  • High sides to help contain scatter and urine spray
  • Integrated storage for scoop and brush/dustpan
Premium Pick
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

ModKat XL Litter Box

  • Dual entry options for convenience and security
  • Enclosed design controls scatter and urine spray
  • Integrated liner makes scooping and cleaning easy
Best to Control Scatter
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box

  • Enclosed, top entry design helps control scatter
  • Perforated lid acts as a litter mat to trap excess litter
  • Comes with a litter scoop that hangs on the outside
Best Space-Saver
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Van Ness High-Sided Corner Litter Box

  • Triangular shape fits perfectly into corners
  • High sides to contain litter scatter and urine spray
  • Stain-resistant materials with a polished finish
Best for Large Cats
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Frisco Multi-Function Covered Litter Box

  • Generously sized with a large front opening
  • Flip-top lid makes it easy to access the litter for scooping
  • Can be used with a smaller tray to double as a storage solution
Best Litter Box Enclosure
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Merry Pet Cat Washroom Nightstand

  • Aesthetically pleasing and functional design
  • Helps contain litter scatter, urine spray, and odor
  • Functions as a nightstand and storage shelf
Best Decorative
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box

  • Doubles as décor and an enclosed litter box
  • Generously sized with a 19-inch diameter
  • Filtered vent system helps control dust and odor

Why Should You Trust Us?

Over the last three years, we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what it takes to make a great litter box.

We’ve researched the types of litter boxes available, read hundreds of customer reviews, and performed real-world tests on over a dozen top boxes. We spent over 40 hours testing these litter boxes’ sturdiness, cat-friendliness, and appropriateness for smaller living spaces.

Based on this extensive research and hands-on testing, we’ve selected the 7 cat litter boxes described below as the best you can buy for small apartments.

How We Picked

After thoroughly researching the topic of litter boxes for small apartments, I narrowed down the options for my top 7 picks based on the following criteria:

  • Compact but large enough for the average cat
  • High sides to contain scatter and urine spray
  • Easy to scoop and clean
  • Quality materials and durability
  • Added benefits like odor control and storage

I tested most of these litter boxes with my three cats, Bagel, Biscuit, and Munchkin. For some of the picks on this list, I relied on the in-depth testing and video reviews made by our Head of Content, Mallory Crusta.

All three of my cats weigh less than 10 pounds which gives me greater flexibility in terms of litter box sizing. If you have a large cat, some of the picks on this list simply might not be big enough.

Check out our top picks for the best litter boxes for large cats here.

The Best Litter Boxes For Small Apartments: Our Top 7 Picks

#1 Overall Best: tuft + paw Cove Litter Box

Buy on tuftandpaw.com

Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 26 x 6.5 inches (plus 8-inch shelter)
  • Features: Integrated storage, high walls, sleek design

The Cove litter box from tuft + paw is thoughtfully designed to keep both cats and cat owners happy. It features a sleek, modern design with removable walls and a sturdy litter bed equipped with nonslip feet.

This has been one of my favorite litter boxes over the past year. I use it in my bathroom because it does an excellent job of containing litter scatter and urine spray, but it also has built-in storage for the included litter scoop and broom.

The litter scoop itself is one of the better ones I’ve tried as well. It’s wide and shallow with elongated openings that allow clean litter to sift through quickly with minimal shaking of the scoop. I found cleaning this litter box very easy. The materials keep litter from sticking and the inside corners are slightly rounded so litter doesn’t get stuck.

One of my cats, Munchkin (the smallest of the three), tends to spray urine instead of squatting but the walls of this litter box are high enough to keep it contained. There’s some litter scatter from the entry to the box but placing the box on a litter mat works well enough for me.

What We Liked:

  • Sleek, modern design fits in with home décor
  • High sides to help contain scatter and urine spray
  • Integrated storage for scoop and brush/dustpan

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly expensive, around $200
  • Wide entry allows for some litter scatter

#2 Premium Pick: Modkat XL Litter Box

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Read Our Full Brand Review

Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 21 x 16.3 x 17 inches
  • Features: Top or front entry, integrated liner, controls odor and scatter

The ModKat has been one of our favorite top entry litter boxes since its release, but the ModKat XL takes everything we loved about the original and ramped it up a notch. This enclosed litter box offers both top and front entry, making it incredibly versatile. The top entry option helps contain litter scatter and urine spray while the front entry option offers easy accessibility for kittens and older cats.

As an enclosed litter box, the ModKat XL helps control odor, though the lid is perforated to prevent odor from accumulating and creating an unpleasant situation inside the box. Plus, even when you have the front entry open, the top entry option remains in place so your cat can’t get boxed in by another cat.

Every detail that went into the ModKat XL’s design was thoroughly planned. The box itself is lightweight but sturdy and comes as a single piece – you simply need to install the included litter box liner and the lid. The ModKat XL comes with two different liners, one each for the top entry and front entry options. It’s simple to install, does an excellent job containing litter box mess, and makes the box incredibly easy to clean. The lid even flips up for easy scooping, so you don’t have to disassemble anything.

True to its name, the ModKat XL is generously sized, measuring 21 x 16 x 17 inches. I found that it fit perfectly into a corner in my home, but if the XL is too large the original ModKat might be a more appropriate choice. It has a smaller 16 x 16-inch footprint.

What We Liked:

  • Dual entry options for convenience and security
  • Enclosed design controls scatter and urine spray
  • Larger than the original ModKat, more interior space
  • Integrated liner makes scooping and cleaning easy

What We Didn’t Like:

  • XL may still be too large for some homes
  • Fairly expensive, around $180

#3 Best To Control Scatter: Iris Top Entry Cat Litter Box

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Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 14.75 x 14.4 inches
  • Features: Top entry, enclosed, perforated lid

With its simple but functional design, this top entry litter box from IRIS is an affordable option for small spaces. The enclosed design does a good job controlling scatter and the perforated lid paired with the top entry design helps keep litter from clinging to your cat’s paws as he exits the box.

This litter box measures about 15 inches across and a little over 20 inches deep, so it doesn’t take up an excessive amount of floor space. It stands about 14.4 inches tall, however, so you’ll need to place it somewhere that the top opening won’t be obstructed.

While this top entry litter box worked well for my small cats, it may not be appropriate for larger cats. The ovular design also takes away some interior space in comparison to rectangular top entry boxes. It also makes it a little challenging to scrape sticky litter from the rounded edges, but it wasn’t too much of a problem for me.

What We Liked:

  • Enclosed, top entry design helps control scatter
  • Perforated lid acts as a litter mat to trap excess litter
  • Comes with a litter scoop that hangs on the outside

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not be appropriate for large cats
  • Ovular design takes away some interior space

#4 Best Space-Saver: Van Ness High-Sided Corner Litter Box

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Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 18.25 x 18.5 x 11 inches
  • Features: Corner design, high sides, stain-resistant material

When you live in a small space, you have to make the most of every square inch – even the corners of your home. The Van Ness high-sided corner litter box could be a good option if you’re looking for something unobstructive to capitalize on that unused corner space.

This litter box is made from sturdy stain-resistant materials with a polished finish that helps resist odor and keeps litter from sticking. The box is triangular in shape, with walls 11 inches high on two sides to help contain litter scatter and urine spray.

While the triangular shape of this litter box is great for saving space, it does make the size and shape of the litter bed a little awkward for larger cats. Some customers report that the shape is less stable than rectangular litter trays, making it prone to tipping as the cat exits the box.

Like all high-sided litter boxes, there’s still some risk for scatter through the dropped entry to the litter box. When it comes to affordability and space-saving convenience, however, the Van Ness high-sided corner litter box is a good choice.

What We Liked:

  • Triangular shape fits perfectly into corners
  • High sides to contain litter scatter and urine spray
  • Stain-resistant materials with a polished finish
  • Affordably priced under $15

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Litter bed size limited by corner shape
  • Some litter scatter from the dropped entry

#5 Best For Large Cats: Frisco Multi-Function Covered Litter Box

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Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 29.7 x 17.5 x 17.6 inches
  • Features: Spacious interior, optional tray, room for storage, included scoop

If your cats are small, you can get away with using a more compact litter box, but that tactic may not work for larger cats. Even in a small apartment you need a little box big enough to accommodate your cat comfortably. That’s where the Frisco Multi-Function Covered Litter Box comes in.

This product looks similar to a large storage tote. It is rectangular in shape, measuring about 30 inches long by 17.5 inches wide, and has a flip-top lid. On the right side of the box is an opening about the size of a standard sheet of printer paper that sits 6 inches off the ground.

What makes this litter box perfect for large cats is that you can use the entire thing as a big enclosed litter box. The opening sits high enough off the ground to give you space for several inches of litter and the enclosed design does an excellent job controlling litter scatter and urine spray as well as odor. The flip-top lid makes it easy to access the box for scooping and it comes with a scoop and holder.

Because my cats are small, I was able to take advantage of this litter box’s multi-function feature. Rather than filling the entire box with litter, I placed a smaller litter pan inside and used the extra space to store extra litter and the litter scoop. The problem with this option is that Munchkin peed over the side of the tray but, fortunately, both the urine and most litter scatter was still contained within in the larger box.

Owners of large cats seem largely pleased with this litter box, both with and without the use of a smaller litter pan inside the box. There are numerous comments about the plastic hinges on the lid being a little flimsy and one cat owner reported that her cat sprayed urine through the opening where the litter scoop is stored.

What We Liked:

  • Generously sized with a large front opening
  • Flip-top lid makes it easy to access the litter for scooping
  • Can be used with a smaller tray to double as a storage solution
  • Comes with a litter scoop and scoop holder

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Urine spray could make it through the litter scoop storage opening
  • Lid hinges may fail after a few months

#6 Best Litter Box Enclosure: Merry Pet Cat Washroom Nightstand

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Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 20 x 18 x 25 inches
  • Features: Doubles as nightstand, hinged door, storage shelf

No one likes staring at a dirty litter box all day, especially if you’re stuck with it in a small apartment. Litter box enclosures that double as furniture or storage are an ideal solution, if you can find the right one. No product is perfect, but the Merry Pet Cat Washroom Nightstand is simple, practical, and modestly priced around $100.

This product looks much like a typical nightstand with an enclosed bottom topped by an open shelf. It functions as any nightstand would, but the enclosed bottom serves to contain a litter box, complete with a cutout for your cat to enter and exit.

The Merry Pet nightstand is fairly easy to assemble, and it comes with the hardware and instructions you need. The unit is constructed from white fiberboard with paneling made to look like wainscoting and the hardware is durable stainless steel.

As with any kind of litter box furniture, you might need to take precautions against leaks and interior damage. One cat owner sealed the seams with silicone and lined the inside walls with plastic sheeting to make the unit easier to clean. Some users also had trouble finding a litter pan that fit inside, though simply cut an opening in an 18-gallon plastic tub which solved most issues with litter and urine damaging the inside of the unit.

What We Liked:

  • Aesthetically pleasing and functional design
  • Helps contain litter scatter, urine spray, and odor
  • Functions as a nightstand and storage shelf

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Materials could be of higher quality
  • May not be comfortable for large cats

#7 Best Decorative: Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box

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Read Our Full Brand Review

Product Info:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 36 inches
  • Features: Doubles as décor, filtered vent system

When you live in an apartment, sometimes you have to choose between form and function. With the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box, however, you get both – an enclosed litter box and a decorative planter.

At first glance, this product has the look of a large terracotta planter with a fake leafy fern sprouting from the top. It does indeed serve a decorative function, but it’s also a litter box. The planter comes apart in two pieces, the bottom serving as a 19-inch round litter pan with an opening that sits about 6.5 inches off the ground.

While I didn’t test this litter box myself, Mallory Crusta did. Having tested this litter box for two weeks with her own cats, Mallory came to the conclusion that the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box leaves something to be desired in terms of construction but it’s generously sized and the price is right.

This litter box has the same issue as any covered litter box – it limits your cat’s visibility. The rounded sides can be a little tricky to scrape as well, though the large opening makes it easy enough to maneuver the scoop. The box contains litter scatter and spray pretty well, but it’s worth noting that the interior doesn’t have a non-stick coating, so regular cleaning is recommended.

What We Liked:

  • Doubles as décor and an enclosed litter box
  • Generously sized with a 19-inch diameter
  • Large opening makes it easy to access for scooping
  • Filtered vent system helps control dust and odor

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Construction is a little flimsy
  • Rounded sides can be tricky to scrape

4 Qualities Of A Good Litter Box For Small Living Spaces

It’s difficult to say that any litter box is truly the “best” because every cat and every situation is different. If you live in an apartment or have limited space in your home, some of the picks from our Best Cat Litter Boxes roundup simply may not work for you.

The best litter boxes for small spaces have the following things in common:

  1. They are compact and don’t take up a significant amount of floor space.
  2. They give your cat space to turn around and dig in the litter.
  3. They have high sides to contain litter scatter and urine spray.
  4. They offer additional benefits such as storage for maximum value.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four qualities so you can better understand how we came to our top 7 picks reviewed above.

1. The Best Litter Box For Small Apartments Is Compact And Doesn’t Take Up A Lot Of Floor Space.

Floor space is at a premium in small apartments, so you can’t just buy new furniture (or litter boxes) without considering the dimensions and how much space you have available. Look for a litter box that doesn’t take up an excessive amount of floor space but still meets your cat’s needs.

If you’re squeezing the litter box in between pieces of furniture, the traditional rectangular litter pan design might be best. You can find corner boxes, but these tend to limit the amount of space your cat actually has inside the box. To maximize open corner space, consider a square litter box – something like the ModKat XL reviewed above is ideal for this purpose.

2. The Best Litter Boxes For Small Spaces Still Give Your Cat Enough Room To Do His Business.

Don’t just buy the smallest litter box you can find. If you do, you’ll end up with litter scattered all over the place, urine sprayed outside the box, and a very frustrated cat. Your cat may even get frustrated enough to stop using the litter box entirely.

When shopping for litter boxes for small spaces, look for something compact but make sure it’s still appropriately sized for your specific cat. The litter box should be at least as long as your cat from nose to tail (with his tail extended) and as wide as your cat’s body is long.

A litter box too small won’t give your cat room to turn around or dig to cover his waste. Small litter boxes also tend to fill up faster, so you may find yourself scooping the box more often than you like.

3. The Best Litter Box For Apartments Have High Sides To Contain Messy Litter Box Behavior.

With a small litter box, the risk for litter scatter is fairly high – especially with larger cats and enthusiastic diggers. One of the simplest ways to mitigate messy litter box behavior is to choose a box with high sides. High-sided litter boxes are particularly beneficial for households with female cats who tend to spray urine. Urine spray will hit the high sides of the box and trickle down into the litter instead of ending up on the wall behind the box or on the floor.

When shopping for high-sided litter boxes, be sure to check the height of the entry to the box. Most high-sided boxes have a lowered entry for easy access which, unfortunately, leaves some room for litter scatter. If you have a kitten or an older cat who struggles to climb into the litter box, a high-sided litter box might not be a practical choice unless the entry is less than 5 inches off the ground.

4. The Best Litter Boxes For Small Homes Do Double Duty As Storage Or Shelving.

While it’s important to consider your cat’s needs first and foremost when shopping for a litter box, it’s a bonus when the product you choose can benefit you as well. If you’re working with limited living space, look for a litter box that has integrated storage for the litter scoop or, better yet, one that doubles as a side table or shelving unit.

If you’re considering a litter box that doubles as a piece of furniture, carefully consider the materials from which the unit is made. If you’re putting the litter box inside an enclosed space, check to see whether it’s leak-proof. Even if it is, you may want to line the interior to keep urine spray from soaking into the wood and ruining it.

Still not sold on any of the litter boxes from the list above? Check out some of our other favorite litter boxes on the market in our in-depth guide here:

Also Read: The 11 Best Cat Litter Boxes in 2022 – We Tried Them All

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats prefer covered or uncovered litter boxes?

Generally speaking, cat behaviorists and veterinarians recommend uncovered litter boxes over their covered counterparts. While covered boxes may help contain odor in a smaller living space, the odor can become concentrated in the litter box and create an unpleasant environment for your cat. It’s also possible that you may not clean the litter box as often simply because you aren’t affronted by the sight and smell of your cat’s waste on a daily basis.

There’s also the issue of privacy versus vulnerability. While we humans like to do our business behind the security of a closed bathroom door, cats feel vulnerable when they’re in an enclosed space with limited visibility. An open litter box enables them to see what’s going on around them while they’re already in a vulnerable position.

Are automatic litter boxes good for small spaces?

Most cat owners love the idea of eliminating the hassle of litter box maintenance, but automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes are pricey. There’s another problem, too – they tend to be pretty big. The Litter Robot 4, for example, has a 27x22x29.5-inch footprint and a price tag around $650.

If you’re considering an automatic litter box, be sure to check the dimensions before you buy, but don’t assume smaller is better. The dimensions listed typically refer to the entire unit – the size of the litter bed itself could be much smaller and may not be adequate for your cat.

Think about all the pros and cons of an automatic litter box before you open your wallet and commit more of your valuable floor space to one of these units.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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