Uncovered Litter Box

Is An Uncovered Litter Box Up To The Task?

Last Updated on

Why Choose An Uncovered Litter Box?

Uncovered boxes are generally recommended because:


Cats can see if a person or another animal is approaching when they use an uncovered litter box.


​The interior of a covered box can be cramped and difficult to turn around.  Cats are more easily able to turn around in an uncovered box.


Odors can be trapped inside a covered litter box. While there will still be odors with an uncovered box, the odor will dissipate ​easily​​.


Litter dries faster in an uncovered box.


​Is your cat a litter finger?  Choose an uncovered box with high sides like this one if your cat likes to dig and fling.


​​Does your kitty like to leap from the box and take off in a hurry. An uncovered box is a good option for the kitty in a hurry.


​​An uncovered box may feel less cramped for a cat. ​This study examined cat elimination behavior in two contrasting environments.
It didn’t examine whether cats preferred covered or uncovered litter boxes however the study did conclude that cats used the entire litter box space and that size should perhaps be a recommendation when designing litter boxes.
So for the sake of the cat and if you have the space, choose a litter box on the larger side.


Litter dries faster in an uncovered box.


Another advantage with an uncovered box is that it is easy to see when the box needs scooping. The litter box is likely to be cleaned more often if it is uncovered. There is no doubt that having easy access to the litter is an advantage, so scooping will be a quick job. 


​If you choose a box with higher sides ​and you have a senior cat or kitten, make sure that they can still access the box easily. This will mean that the box will need to be a lower height at the front to allow easy access​.

Reviews Of Uncovered Litter Boxes

The litter boxes reviewed are all uncovered and ​taking the advice of the study mentioned earlier, these boxes are all on the larger side.  

Some of the boxes have size options, meaning you can choose the uncovered litter box that suits your cat or the space you have.

IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box


uncovered litter box with a scoopIRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box Kit with Shield and Scoop, White

The removable litter shield is a popular and practical feature of this box making it easy to clean. The fact that it is very high on three sides helps to keep the litter in the box.
The box is an off white color so will not clash with any decor and comes with a matching color litter scoop.

The polished interior helps with cleaning and the molded feet ensure it sits securely on a flat surface.
These dimensions are for the outside of the box 19.00″L x 15.00″W x 11.75″H, which is necessary if you want to fit the box into some cat cabinet furniture or have a specific space and need exact measurements.

Is it okay for a 6 week old kitten? The front opening is 5’’ to 6’’ high so it should be okay for kittens however if you find it is a little high, a step could be placed in front until the kitten is a little bigger.

Many people ask about the suitability of the box and the size of their cat. Some people say cats up to 22 lbs can use the box whereas others find the box too small for their cat.
The best way to judge the size suitability for your own cat would be to look at the dimensions of the box the cat is currently using and whether that is satisfactory. Then you can make some decisions based on measurements. If you think the current box is too small go for a larger size.

The study mentioned above did come out in favor of a larger box but this of course depends on the actual size of your cat.

If using liners is your preference these liners fit the box.


liners for an uncovered litter boxNature’s Miracle Odor Control Jumbo Litter Box Liners, 27 Count

These liners have a drawstring which is super convenient when emptying the litter, just pull the drawstring and it is closed with no messing around tying knots to close the bag. They have built in odor protection.

Nature's Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

 High-Sided Uncovered Litter BoxNature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box, 23 x 18.5 x 11 inches

This box is low at the front which makes it perfect for senior cats or cats with medical conditions. It makes it easier for senior cats and kittens to enter and exit the box compared to a box with a higher entry point.
Arthritis is extremely common in senior cats, so the easier it is for the cat the better.The front entrance (that they would need to stop over) is approximately five inches high.

The built in handles as seen on the two long sides are convenient for picking up the litter box to empty and clean or even to change location.
Any litter box does need to be moved to clean underneath.
The dimensions of this box are 23 in x 18.5 in x 11 in. The front opening is approximately 5 ” from the ground.

With a low opening at the front you might think that the cat would flick litter out of the front, however most cats enter a box and then turn around so that they are facing the front.

If your cat is a very high pee-er you may need a box with higher sides. The sides of this box are 11 inches. One plus for the person who cleans the high pee-ers litter box, is that this box is molded in one piece so there are no seams where pee may leak out. This doesn’t always happen but it is definitely something to consider if your cat fits the high pee-er category.

This box has deemed to be okay for kittens and okay for Maine Coons up to 18 lbs, however you need to use your discretion about how much space your kitty cat needs.

This box gets a big, big tick for senior cats or cats with mobility issues.

The same liners that were suitable for the IRIS litter box are suitable for this box too.


litter box liners for uncovered cat boxNature’s Miracle Odor Control Jumbo Litter Box Liners, 27 Count

These liners have a drawstring which is super convenient when emptying the litter, just pull the drawstring and it is closed with no messing around tying knots to close the bag. They have built in odor protection.

Catit Cat Litter Pan - Taupe

Uncovered Cat Litter Pan with a rimCatit Cat Litter Pan with Rim, Taupe

This litter box has a clever design feature. It has a rim all the way around and a lip that is on the inside edge so that when cat is digging and flicking, the litter won’t just fly up and over the edge of the box. The litter will stay mostly in the box by hitting the rim first and then falling back into the box. The rim is about 2’’.

The rim clips on so it can’t be knocked off.
The box is flat on the bottom with no ridges meaning it can be scooped smoothly.

This is a big box and is suitable for big cats. The measurements are 18″L x 14″W and the front of it is 6 1/2″ high, the very back is 11″ high so the box is higher at the back. The lowest measurement from the floor to the front entry is 6.5″ The image shows that there is a dip at the front.

The rim is a definite plus for this litter box and anything to help cleaning is going to be a plus.

The litter box is large enough to use an Easyology disposable litter tray to make for an easier clean up if desired.

Jumbo litter liners can be fitted by pulling the rim off, fitting the liners the liners and reattaching the rim.

Petmate Plastic Hi-Back Cat Litter Pan

 Hi-Back Open Cat Litter PanPetmate Plastic Hi-Back Cat Litter Pan, Jumbo, Assorted colors

This litter box has a high back molded all in one, so no leakage for high pee-ers. Sometimes, if there is a join in the box for example, a lower half with an additional guard placed on top, high pee-ers can pee where there might be a join which can make cleaning difficult. If you don’t have a high pee-er this is not a concern for you.

It is made from a product called Microban which helps retard the growth of bacteria. What is Microban? Here’s some information with FAQ s regarding Microban.

The front entrance is between 6 and a half and 7 inches tall which would be fine for most cats, however senior cats or cats with arthritis or medical problems may find this a little high.
If this is the preferred box, a step can always be placed in front of the box. We find, with our elderly cat that steps are becoming a necessity to help him access the places he has always been able to get to but has difficulty getting to now.

This box has two size choices, a large size and a jumbo size.
The large size measures18-3/5-inch length by 14-2/3-inch width by 9-4/5-inch height.
The jumbo size measures 21-1/5-inch length by 17-1/3-inch width by 10-1/3-inch height.

This product is made in the USA

PetFusion Cat Litter Box (the Better Box)

This is a non stick cat litter box which makes scooping an easy task, made even easier using a non stick cat litter scoop.

The non stick aspect is very popular.  
Some people have had issues with the non stick not being effective, however overwhelmingly this is a positive aspect of this model.  

It is a very sturdy well made box. The sides are 8" so maybe not suitable for a high pee-er however a suitable height for most cats.
This box is a decent size at 22’ long x 18” wide and 8” high.

The front opening is five inches from the ground so still suitable for older cats however if your cat has arthritis or other mobility issues you may want to look at a litter box specifically made for senior cats. 

This is an evergreen popular litter box choice especially when looking for giant litter pans, however it is not so giant that can be used by any cat.

You might think that the pockets at the front would be tempting for kitty to use, however that does not seem to be the case.  
There is no doubt they will fill with some litter so if placing the scoop there for convenience, it would be useful to also line the pocket with a plastic bag.

The measurements are 34.63" L X 19.75" W X 10" H. This box is made from Microban to help prevent the growth of bacteria. There are no litter liners for this liter box.

It will hold up to 30lbs of litter.


 We highly recommend the IRIS Cat Litter Box that comes with a scoop because it ​ covers the major things a cat owner is looking for. It has high sides and a removable litter guard and also an entry low enough for older cats or kittens. It also comes with a scoop which is a bonus.

​The Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box also ticks the boxes with a low entry so suitable for all age cats plus it has high sides.  This box is molded in one piece.

The Petmate Giant Litter Pan is just that, a big litter pan and if that is what you want it is very hard to go past this evergreen basic model. It sounds basic but it actually does the job and lives up to its strong reputation.

uncovered litter box for cats