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The best cat litter trays, with buying advice from cat experts

We spoke to a leading veterinarian and a seasoned animal behaviourist to get their take on what you should look out for (and avoid) when looking for the best cat litter tray for your favourite feline.

best cat litter trays

While cat litter trays might not feature in our adorably fluffy cat-owning dreams, they come with the territory, and finding the best cat litter tray for your pet is essential for their comfort (and your carpet).

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Cat litter trays come in all shapes and sizes, from the very basic to high-tech designs. While there will be an element of testing what works for your pet specifically, there are some things to note when shopping for a cat litter tray.

The Recommended spoke to a leading veterinarian and a seasoned animal behaviourist to get their take on what you should look out for (and avoid) when purchasing a cat litter tray. We took their sage advice and trawled the web to find the best cat litter trays for your pet and home.

Jump to the best cat litter trays:

Our Cat Experts

Caroline Clark, Johnny Mullins

Our cat experts, Caroline Clark and Johnny Mullins, have decades of experience between them. Both qualified veterinarians, Caroline and Johnny have dedicated their careers to the health and wellbeing of cats and companion animals.

Caroline Clark is a registered veterinary nurse and clinical animal behaviourist with over 30 years of experience in the field. Caroline favours a holistic approach to diagnosing, treating and managing behavioural problems and uses positive reinforcement to improve the well-being of pets and owners alike. Caroline has previously shared her expert insight on a variety of topics for The Recommended, including the best cat litter and the best dog treats.

Johnny Mullins is a qualified veterinarian and graduate of the Royal Veterinary College who spends his days working in a UK veterinary practice treating the nation’s pets and advising owners on pet management and care. Johnny has a wealth of knowledge and advice when it comes to purchasing pet products, he gave us some great insight into what makes the best dog beds and best dog crates.

What should you look for when buying a cat litter tray?

When asked what to consider when looking for a litter tray, Caroline encouraged us to think about size, telling us to ideally purchase a tray “that is one and a half times their own length – that’s from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail” as “this makes it easier for them to move around and dig in the litter with comfort”.

Johnny told us that the “provision of multiple litter trays is the most important thing”, he continued that “the current recommendation is to provide an average of 1.5 litter trays per cat in the household” to help avoid conditions such as feline interstitial cystitis, a sterile inflammatory condition affecting the urinary bladder, which experts believe can be brought on by having too few litter boxes available for cats in your home.

What should you avoid when looking for a cat litter tray?

Caroline tells us to consider the age and health of our pets telling us that “as cats get older they can develop arthritis. So when choosing a tray for an elderly cat avoid ones that are too deep as it can be painful for them to climb in and out. A little ramp up to it can be helpful.”

Caroline also stressed the importance of size telling us “litter trays that are too small can be uncomfortable for cats when they are trying to adopt a suitable posture for voiding the bladder and bowels. This can lead to accidents occurring outside of the tray”.

Taking all of our experts’ guidance in mind, we got to searching to bring you our pick of the best cat litter trays, below.

The best cat litter trays 

Best open litter tray: Iris Ohyama Cat litter tray

High sided and mess-free

best open litter tray

While this litter tray is made with an open-top design, the high sides prevent mess and the transparent plastic allows your pet to see their surroundings, helping them feel safe and secure.

This cat litter tray is made with durable plastic and comes equipped with a litter scoop. It’s less restrictive than a hooded design, while still working to keep litter contained thanks to its high sided design. The sides detach from the base for easy cleaning and the moulded feet keep the design sturdy on a variety of surfaces.

Best litter tray with hood: Trixie Vico Litter Tray

For added privacy 

best litter tray with hood

With a hooded design and door flap entrance, this cat litter tray offers a more concealed design and allows your pet some privacy.

This litter tray is designed with a removable hood that clicks out of place for easy cleaning. Equipped with a built-in handle, this tray can be moved with ease and the double rim design helps to stop litter from escaping.

Best discreet litter tray: unipaws Cat Litter Box

Practicality and style

best discreet litter tray

This litter tray works to bring together practical usage and interior aesthetics with a stylish wooden exterior that easily accommodates most litter trays.

This wooden litter tray is designed with a door at one side and a removable interior divider allowing you to customise the space. Claiming to be durable and easily assembled, this cat litter tray is a discreet option that won’t sacrifice your decor.

Best self-cleaning litter tray: PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Tray

Does the dirty work 

best self-cleaning litter tray

This scoop-free, self-cleaning litter tray does what it says on the tin. Equipped with automatic cleaning technology, this tray is designed with a rake programmed to activate after every use.

This innovative litter tray prioritises hygiene and pet safety. Designed with sensors that stop the rake when your cat enters the tray, this litter tray priorities your pet’s health and safety with an inbuilt health monitor that records usage. The tray base is easily removed for convenient litter disposal and cleaning.

Best basic litter tray: Trixie Nuno Cat Litter Tray

No frills value 

best basic litter tray

This basic litter tray does the job and won’t break the bank. The open design and low sided entrance speak to Caroline’s recommendations of easy mobility for kittens, older and large cats.

This litter tray is an affordable option and is made from plastic for easy cleaning. The tray features three high sides to help contain litter and an open design to allow easy mobility for large cats.

Best litter tray for kittens: PAWISE Small Cat Litter Box Kit

For new friends

best litter tray for kittens

This cat litter tray comes equipped with a scoop, feeding bowl, and toys to help welcome your new family member.

This litter tray set features low sides to allow kittens to use the tray easily and the durable plastic promises to be odour and stain-resistant while allowing for easy cleaning.

Best large litter tray: CatCentre Large Litter Tray

Extra wiggle room 

best large litter tray

This cat litter tray works to fulfill Caroline’s recommendation of large litter trays. This tray gives your cat extra room to move allowing ease of use and the lowered entrance enhances accessibility.

This litter tray is designed with rounded corners that promise to stop litter from sticking and the deep-sided design is suitable for use indoors and outdoors, something to consider if using multiple trays as Johnny suggests.

Best metal litter tray: Yangbaga Stainless Steel Litter Tray

Durable design

best metal litter tray

Made with stainless steel, this litter tray promises to be extra sturdy and odour-resistant while the anti-rust design promises long-lasting quality.

Designed with a non-stick coating, this litter tray promises easy cleaning and the extra-large design delivers on Caroline’s recommendation of allowing your pet ample space. This litter tray promises to harbour fewer bacteria than its plastic counterparts, claiming to be a healthier option for both pets and owners.

Best travel litter tray: Petsfit Portable Litter Box

On the go convenience 

best travel litter tray

This lightweight cat litter tray is easily folded for convenient storage and the handle allows for portability.

This portable litter tray is equipped with a waterproof, leak-preventing inner layer that is machine washable for easy maintenance. With a detachable hood, this litter tray can be adapted for indoor and outdoor use.

Best for older cats: Booda Cleanstep Litter Tray

For golden oldies

best litter tray for older cats

This hooded litter tray offers privacy and an entrance ramp, something Caroline recommended for the benefit of older cats.

This litter tray comes equipped with a clean-step entrance ramp that cleans your cat’s paws, helping to keep your carpet litter-free. The round design works to prevent litter from sticking in corners and the dome covering is removable for easy cleaning.

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Want to read more expert-recommended pet product round-ups? Check out our Pets page for a full list of recommendations, including our list of the best cat litter, as recommended by cat experts.