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Unless you’re willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a self-cleaning litter box, you’re going to have to do some scooping as a cat owner.
While scooping might not be a chore you can avoid entirely, you don’t necessarily need to spend time elbows deep in an empty litter box with a scrub brush. Don’t get me wrong – cleaning the litter box is important, but there’s another option: replacing it entirely.
Disposable litter boxes provide a convenient alternative to cleaning the litter box week after week while still providing your cat with a clean, comfortable place to do his business.
In this guide we’ll explore the pros and cons of disposable litter boxes. We’ll talk about the important features to look for when shopping for these litter boxes and introduce you to our top 5 picks.
At A Glance: 5 Best Disposable Litter Boxes To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? 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.
#1 Overall Best: Kitty’s Wonderbox Disposable Litter Box
You’re going to pay more over the life of your cat using disposable litter boxes versus reusable litter pans, but you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune. Kitty’s Wonderbox disposable litter boxes are affordably priced and come in 1-, 3-, and 6-count sets.
At first glance, the Kitty’s Wonderbox looked similar in size to the Kitty Sift, though not quite as deep. The recycled paper materials were thicker than the Kitty Sift’s individual trays, making them less likely to shred or tear.
In fact, my dog Archie (who loves tearing apart toilet paper rolls) decided to give the litter box a try – with his teeth. Even after a good 10 minutes of biting and scratching, he only managed to work his way through one of the corners and the litter box still retained its shape and integrity.
I tested Kitty’s Wonderbox with Special Kitty non-clumping litter. It held up very well against moisture, lasting a full two weeks before I noticed any sign of the materials becoming soaked.
The main downside of this disposable litter box is its size. It’s fairly shallow and smaller than even a traditional litter pan, so it didn’t do a very good job of containing scatter or spray. I can see it being a good option for kittens or used as a liner for a small litter box.
What We Liked
- Made from 100% biodegradable recycled paper
- Fairly thick and sturdy, holds its shape well
- Affordably priced, sold in sets up to 6
What We Didn’t Like
- Small and shallow, might not work for large cats
- Not completely moisture-resistant
#2 Runner Up: Kitty Sift Disposable Sifting Litter Box
If you’re trying to avoid cleaning AND scooping the litter box, the Kitty Sift disposable sifting litter box set might be the perfect pick.
With its no-scoop patented technology, the Kitty Sift turns a messy, clump-filled litter box into a clean tray in just 30 seconds or less. You simply lift the top tray in the multi-tray stack, allowing clean litter to sift through into the tray below. From there, just toss the clumps and add the tray to the bottom of the stack.
The Kitty Sift system comes with one solid tray, three sifting liners, and a removable shield. It’s made entirely from 100% recycled cardboard in a biodegradable, plastic-free design.
My first impression of the Kitty Sift was that it is fairly sturdy, especially with the multi-layer system. Angled slits in the bottom of each sifting pan ensures that litter flows through quickly and effectively while slumps are left behind.
The trays themselves aren’t as thick as other disposable litter boxes, but they don’t have to be. They’re designed to be stacked which results in a sturdy base that ends up being at least as thick or thicker than other disposable litter boxes on this list.
In practice, the Kitty Sift was very easy to set up and even easier to use. I did have a little trouble getting the collar to fit properly and it came off a few times during use, but it did seem to help contain litter scatter. Overall, the size of the litter box was still fairly small, however, and the height of the collar didn’t do much to contain urine spray.
The Kitty Sift system does come in different sizes, but I’d still recommend it for kittens or smaller cats. In a single-cat household, it can last up to four weeks.
What We Liked
- Made from 100% recycled cardboard materials
- Multi-layer sifting system saves you from scooping
- Sifting technology works quickly and efficiently
- Lasts up to four weeks in a single-cat household
What We Didn’t Like
- Limited sizing options, best for kittens or small cats
- Humidity may weaken the cardboard materials
#3 Best Subscription: Kitty Poo Club
Not having to clean the litter box is great but using disposable litter boxes means you’ll have to buy them regularly. If you’re looking for a simple solution, a subscription like Kitty Poo Club might be a good option to consider.
Kitty Poo Club offers disposable cardboard litter boxes and five different varieties of litter. You can purchase the litter box only in two sizes for $11.99 or $15.99 or add a bag of litter for an additional $10.
While the Kitty Poo Club disposable litter box is made from cardboard like the Ten Second Litter Box, it has a few features that make it a little sturdier and longer lasting. This litter boxes arrives folded down, so some assembly is required, but you can fit the assembled litter box into the lid which gives it a second layer of stability.
I also love that this litter box comes with two plastic stabilizing rails. You slide them onto the top edge of the two fold-up sides to keep the box from folding back in on itself.
The Kitty Poo Club litter box is lined with an FDA-certified food-grade waterproofing material that really gets the job done. While I did notice some litter sticking to the side of the box after two weeks, there wasn’t any leakage on the floor.
I also appreciated the high sides that helped control urine spray with the cat-friendly cutout in front to ensure easy access. Where the Kitty Poo Club litter box lacks is in odor control.
While it may depend what type of litter you use, there’s little hope for avoiding odor in a litter box designed to be used consistently for weeks. I’ve used Kitty Poo Club with their crystal cat litter before and definitely noticed a strong urine odor after about a week, but litter box odors were less of an issue this time when I used Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control clumping clay litter.
What We Liked
- Made from recyclable cardboard with a cute pattern
- FDA-certified food-grade waterproof coating
- Fold-flat design for travel, transport, and disposal
- Fairly deep with high sides to contain scatter and spray
What We Didn’t Like
- Somewhat limited odor control
- A little more expensive than other options
#4 Best For Travel: Ten Second Litter Box
Whether you’re taking a weekend trip or heading out for an extensive holiday with your cat, you probably don’t want to be lugging his litter box around. The Ten Second Litter Box provides an affordable, portable solution perfect for travel.
The Ten Second Litter Box is made from recyclable cardboard and sold in packs of 4 or 10. The litter boxes fold flat for storage and transport, and each litter box lasts for up to a week.
I found the Ten Second Litter Box very easy to assemble and I appreciated the handles on top. I was a little concerned about it lasting without leaking, so I decided to use it with clumping cat litter as a liner for a large, high-sided litter box I already had on hand.
In testing this litter box, I was pleasantly surprised with how well it held up. The bottom bowed a little bit when I lifted it out for scooping, but I may have overfilled it.
Some customer reviews mention that while the inside of the box is coated to resist moisture, the corners don’t fit tightly enough to prevent leaks. My cats seemed to prefer using it for solid waste, however, so it wasn’t a problem for me.
This fold-up litter box is decently sized, though the 6-inch depth could be difficult for kittens and older cats to manage.
I’d recommend the Ten Second Litter Box for short-term use, such as for travel. It does a decent job containing liquid but seems to work best with a clumping clay litter and should still be scooped daily.
What We Liked
- Simple fold-up design with carry handles
- Sold in packs of 4 or 10
- Made from recyclable cardboard materials
- Portable, fold-flat design great for travel
What We Didn’t Like
- Cardboard isn’t a sturdy as recycled paper
- May be too deep for kittens and older cats
- Not completely leak-proof, especially in the corners
#5 Best for Multiple Cats: Nature’s Miracle Jumbo Disposable Litter Box
Definitely the largest of the disposable litter boxes I tried, this box from Nature’s Miracle is my top pick for multi-cat households. I have three cats and used it as a supplemental litter box in the basement where it saw a lot of use and held up well over the two-week trial period.
The Nature’s Miracle disposable litter box comes in two sizes: jumbo and regular. The jumbo size measures a generous 21×15.2×7.8 inches while the regular is just 17.1×12.6×6.4 inches. Both are pretty deep, so this may not be the best choice for kittens or geriatric cats.
This litter box is made from eco-friendly, biodegradable materials and it was the thickest of the disposable boxes I tried, making it nearly tear-proof.
I used this disposable litter box with Special Kitty non-clumping clay litter and experienced no issues at all with saturation or leaks. My cats did seem to use it primarily for solid waste, but even when water seeped into my basement the litter box didn’t lose structural integrity.
It’s difficult to say how well this litter box controlled odors given its proximity to other litter boxes I was testing, but Nature’s Miracle says the product is infused with baking soda to protect against ammonia odor. I imagine that because the materials are so thick, it helps prevent urine saturation that would also contribute to odor.
For its sturdy materials and generous size, I recommend this litter box for large cats and multi-cat households. It can certainly be used as a standalone litter box but would also work well as a litter box liner, as long as your litter box is big enough.
What We Liked
- Made from thick, biodegradable materials
- Affordably priced and available in two sizes
- Infused with baking soda to help prevent odor
What We Didn’t Like
- Very deep, might not work for kittens or old cats
- Regular size may be too small for bigger cats
What Are The Qualities Of The Best Disposable Litter Box?
A great litter box offers strong odor control and protection from litter scatter and urine spray. It’s easy to scoop and appropriately sized for your cat’s comfort.
So, what makes a disposable litter box different? And are they worth it?
Disposable litter boxes are designed for temporary use – generally up to four weeks. When it’s reached the end of its lifespan, you can simply compost or recycle it instead of scrubbing it clean.
These litter boxes are typically designed for function rather than form, so they may not look as attractive as a traditional cat litter pan. What they lack in aesthetics, however, they make up for in convenience. If a litter box gets the job done and makes your life easier in the process, it might be worth it.
If you’re considering making the switch to disposable litter boxes, there are a few things to look for. Here are the five criteria I used to determine my top picks.
The Best Disposable Litter Box Is Made From Biodegradable Or Recycled Materials
Most of the traditional litter pans you find on the market are made from plastic. It’s an affordable, lightweight material that resists moisture which makes it the perfect container for cat litter.
Disposable litter boxes are typically made from biodegradable and compostable (landfill-friendly) materials. Cardboard and recycled paper are some of the most common materials used to make these litter boxes.
Before recycling or composting a disposable litter box, it should be emptied of all litter and clumps.
The Best Disposable Litter Box Prevents Leaks, Scatter, And Spray
While cardboard and paper aren’t nearly as moisture resistant as plastic, many disposable cat boxes are thick enough to contain liquid or have a leak-proof coating.
Leakage isn’t the only mess you should be concerned about, however. Some cats like to dig around in the litter box before they do their business, kicking litter all over the floor. Others tend to spray the sides of the litter box when they urinate.
Disposable litter boxes come in a variety of sizes, so choose one that’s appropriately sized for your cat and his toilet habits.
A larger, deeper litter box will typically be more effective in containing litter scatter. To contain urine spray, choose a disposable box with higher sides.
The Best Disposable Litter Box Works With All Types Of Cat Litter
Every cat owner has their own preferences for the best cat litter.
Clay cat litter is the most popular option for its affordability and clumping convenience. Cat owners on a budget often opt for non-clumping litter but, if you’re willing to spend a bit more, there are alternatives like crystal cat litter cat litter made from natural, biodegradable, or recycled materials.
The good news is most disposable cat litter boxes work for any type of cat litter. The type of cat litter you choose may affect how often you need to scoop or how long the box will last, but the choice is yours.
Some disposable litter boxes even come with cat litter. Just be sure the included cat litter is one that is cat-friendly.
The Best Disposable Litter Box Is Easy To Scoop
Disposable litter boxes are great because you don’t have to clean them for reuse. That doesn’t free you from scooping duty, however.
Frequent scooping not only keeps the litter box clean and comfortable for your cat, but it helps prevent odor. It’s best to scoop at least once daily, but you can never really do it too often.
When shopping for disposable litter boxes, the size and shape of the box will be the factors that influence scoop-ability. If the box is too small, a large litter scoop might be tricky to use. Rounded corners can trap damp litter, especially if you’re using a non-clumping variety.
Some disposable litter boxes have a coating on the inside which not only protects against leaks, but helps prevent litter from sticking.
The Best Disposable Litter Box Is Economically Priced
Convenience is one of the primary benefits of disposable litter boxes over traditional litter pans. You get to save yourself the hassle of scooping, but you’re going to pay a premium for it. While disposable litter boxes don’t have to be pricey, it’s a recurring expense you’ll have to work into your budget.
Prices run the gambit from the ultra-affordable Kitty’s Wonderbox disposable litter box, sold in a 3-count for under $10, to the $40 Kitty Sift sifting litter box set. Consider how many litter trays you’ll get with each option and how long they’re going to last to determine the best value.
Here are a few other factors to consider when shopping for disposable litter boxes:
- Size – A large litter box is going to be more cat-friendly than a small one. The bigger and deeper the litter box, the better it will be at containing scatter and you’ll be able to pour a thicker layer of litter for your cat to dig around in.
- Portability – Traveling with cats can be tricky but disposable litter boxes offer portable convenience. Look for a disposable litter box that folds down for transport or has handles so you can move it easily.
- Height – A shallow litter box won’t contain scatter or urine spray very effectively, but if the walls are too high it might not be practical for kittens or older cats. Some boxes have dropped entries with higher walls to provide the best of both worlds.
- Odor Control – Because the whole point is to avoid deep-cleaning the litter box, you want it to do a good job containing odor on its own. Moisture-resistant coatings help keep urine from soaking into the material and may help prevent odor from lingering as well.
Looking for a more traditional, reusable litter box? Check out our top picks for the 10 best litter boxes in this in-depth round-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are disposable litter boxes worth it?
It depends on your priorities. If you’re traveling, a disposable litter box is a great option because you can pick one up at your destination and toss it before you head home. They work well for people who don’t want to perform the necessary in-depth cleaning of a litter box.
They’re also a good solution if you find that ammonia odor tends to leech into the plastic of your standard litter box, creating a permanent odor you can’t get out. It’ll cost more to keep replacing your cat litter pan, but the convenience may outweigh the cost for some cat owners.
How long do disposable litter boxes last?
Most disposable litter boxes are designed to last for up to four weeks, but their longevity depends on several factors. Sturdy litter boxes made from compressed fibers tend to last longer than cardboard, as do cat boxes with moisture-resistant linings.
Regardless which type you choose, a disposable litter box will generally last longer in a single-cat household than a home with multiple cats.
What type of litter should you use with disposable litter boxes?
Disposable litter boxes are generally designed to accommodate all types of cat litter. A disposable sifting litter box works best with clumping cat litter while a litter box with a leak-proof lining is recommended for non-clumping litter.
Crystal cat litter is a good option for disposable boxes because it is highly absorbent and may help prevent moisture from soaking into the bottom of the box.