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Is An Uncovered Litter Box The Best Type Of Litter Box?

An uncovered litter box is recommended as being best for the cat. The cat can see exactly what is happening around him when he is sitting in an uncovered box. He can see if there are people, other cats or pets approaching. Plus, the cat can also make a quick exit if he feels under threat or anxious.

At the end of this article there are 10 reasons given for choosing an uncovered litter box.

Reviews Of Uncovered Litter Boxes

Taking the advice of a study which ​concluded that larger litter boxes are better for all cats, 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 the size of your cat or the space you have to place the litter box.

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1. IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box

The removable litter shield is a popular and practical feature of this uncovered box. It makes it easier to reach into the box to scoop. It’s also to empty and replace the litter. ​

The box is an off white color ​which is going to suit almost any decor. It comes with a matching color litter scoop.

The polished interior ​makes scooping easier and the molded feet ensure the box sits securely on a flat surface.

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 ​grows 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 the cat is using is too small go for a larger size.


  • The removable litter shield makes cleaning and scooping easier. 
  • Polished interior surface for easier scooping.
  • High sides to help prevent litter scattering


  • Some find this box too small. Always check measurements. 


These dimensions are for the outside of the box – 19.00″L x 15.00″W x 11.75″H.
These exact measurements are useful if you want to fit the box into some cat cabinet furniture or have a specific space and must have exact measurements.

2. Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

Nature'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 because it makes it easier to enter and exit the box compared to a box with a higher entry point.

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 at some point 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 has very high sides.​ This is definitely something to consider if your cat fits the high pee-er category.

This box ​is deemed to be ​suitable for kittens and ​suitable 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.

3. Catit Cat Litter Pan ​

Catit Cat Litter Pan, Gray, 58702

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​ with a litter scoop. There is nothing more annoying than hitting ridges or bumps.

This is a big box and is suitable for big cats. The measurements are19.00″L x 15.00″W x 11.75″H. The ​ back is 11.75″ high so the box is higher at the back. The lowest measurement from the floor to the front entry is approximately 6.1/2.” 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 a 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. This will ensure that the liners stay in place.

4 ​​IRIS Ellipse Cat Litter Box

IRIS USA Pne-500H Large Shielded Litter Pan, Black

This litter pan is oval in shape. It is a very cool and sleek looking litter pan and would definitely not look out of place wherever it was placed. ​

The reason for the shield is to help contain litter and for those cats who are referred to a high pee-ers. Perhaps not the best label for your cat but is is an accurate description.​

There is also an option without the shield.

​The oval shape means that there are no pesky corners to get into with the scoop.

The box has a matching scoop and to make scooping easier the inside of the box has a polished surface.

The dimensions are 19.68″L x 15.51″W x 10.63″H

IRIS USA Pne-500H Large Shielded Litter Pan, Black

5. ​Petmate ​Hi-Back Open Cat Litter Pan

Petmate Hi-Back Open Litter Cat Pan

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. This can make cleaning difficult. If you don’t have a high pee-er this is not a concern for you.

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 ​now has difficulty reaching.

This box has two size choices, a large size and a jumbo size.
​This product is made in the USA.

6. PetFusion Cat Litter Box (The Better Box)

PetFusion BetterBox Non-Stick Large Litter Box. Pet Safe Non-Stick Coating for Easier Cleaning & Superior Hygiene. Open Top Box Promotes Healthy Usage. Litter Pans Made of Stronger ABS Plastic

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

Our Recommendation

1. ​Iris Cat Litter Box

​We highly recommend the Iris Cat Litter Box​ because it ​includes all the ​practical design functions a cat owner is looking for.

It has high sides​, a removable litter guard, ​a low entry for older cats or kittens and it includes a scoop. ​It is also an unbeatable budget option for all the features included.

10 Reasons ​​To Use An Uncovered Litter Box

Uncovered litter boxes are generally recommended because:

  1. Cats using an uncovered litter box can see if a person or another animal is approaching​.

  2. ​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.

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

  4. Litter dries faster in an uncovered box.

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

  6. ​​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.

  7. ​An uncovered box may feel less cramped for a cat.

  8. ​A recent 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.

  9. 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.

  10. ​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​.
Do we want an uncovered litter box
I’ve always preferred uncovered dear. As long as I have some privacy I’m fine.

Choosing a litter box can be a tricky decision. You might like to read these articles about choosing a litter box.

Which litter box type is the best? Uncovered or Covered? Read about pros and cons for a covered or uncovered litter box.

Do you have a large cat? A traditional litter box may not be big enough. Read about litter boxes for large cats.

A top entry litter box is a popular choice. Have a look at some top entry boxes with reviews.

What is the best covered litter box?

As you can see there are different things to consider wen choosing a litter box. All of these articles go through the pros and cons of each type.