What to Look for in Cat Litter Pans

Cat litter pans come in different styles and sizes. Some have several added features, while others are pretty plain. Determining which one is best for you and your cat can make your cat cleanup chores easier and quicker, which leaves you more time to enjoy your feline companion.

Litter Pan Considerations

When choosing a litter pan, you need to keep a few considerations in mind, including style, size and ease of cleaning.

Pick the Best Pan Style for Your Cat

Several styles of litter pan are available, including flat pans, covered pans, concealed pans, self-cleaning pans and sifting pans.

The flat pan is the basic plastic cat litter box. The simple design is one that many cats seem to prefer, and it’s easy for an owner to clean. Most flat pans can accommodate a pan liner, which allows an owner to easily bag up used litter and makes cleanup even easier.

The covered pan features a hood that fits over the flat pan to help hide it. This offers privacy to your cat and helps control litter scatter. Pan odors may become trapped in the hood, which may make your cat less likely to use the pan. Most manufacturers provide ventilation holes in the hood, and some offer additional odor control filters. If you choose a covered pan, select one that’s easy to maintain regularly, and make sure to change the filter frequently.

Concealed pans are hidden inside a piece of furniture. These may or may not be a good choice because some of them are rather small, which makes them less likely to be used than a roomy plastic pan. The concealed nature of the pan may make maintenance more challenging, so be sure you’ll follow through with regular pan cleaning before selecting a concealed pan.

We’ll look at self-cleaning and sifting pans in the section on easy-clean pans below.

Find the Proper Pan Size

When choosing a litter pan, select one that is large enough for your cat to move around in comfortably. Make sure she has room to do her business and that the box isn’t too low or too small for her to use it regularly.

Select an Easy-to-Clean Pan

Since most cats won’t use a dirty, smelly litter pan, it’s important to select a pan that’s easy to clean. Manufacturers have created self-cleaning boxes and sifting boxes to help make pan cleaning quicker and easier.

As the name suggests, self-cleaning pans clean themselves. A sensor activates after your cat leaves the box and the cleaning cycle begins. A rake runs through the litter, removing waste into a well, which needs to be emptied at least every other day.

Sifting pans feature a flat pan and a slotted sifting tray. The litter is poured over the sifting tray into the top flat pan, and you clean the pan by sifting out the waste with the sifting pan.