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5 Best High-Sided Litter Boxes for Messy Cats

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kate
Updated by  Kate Barrington
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cat stands inside the litterboxHaving tried countless solutions to prevent urine spray from staining my floors, I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of high-sided litter boxes. The higher the sides, the better they contain the mess. But not all of these litter boxes are created equal.

The best high-sided cat litter boxes keep litter box mess where it belongs but they’re also durable and easy to scoop and clean. In this guide, we offer our top recommendations and what to look for when shopping for a high-sided cat litter box.

At a Glance: Best High-Sided Cat Litter Boxes in 2024

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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.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Modkat XL Litter Box

  • Top- or front-entry configurable
  • Reusable liner and custom scoop
  • Helps contain litter scatter and urine spray
Budget Pick
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Frisco High-Sided Cat Litter Box

  • Tall 10-inch sides contain litter box mess
  • Modestly priced around $20
  • Sturdy base and reinforced rim
Premium Pick
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

iPrimio Stainless-Steel Litter Box

  • Durable stainless-steel construction
  • Resists rust, stains, scratches, and odor
  • Removable rim adds 6 inches of height
Best For Tight Spaces
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

SmartCat Corner Litter Box

  • Triangular shape conserves floor space
  • Affordably priced under $20
  • Durable plastic resin construction
Best Self-Cleaning
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Litter-Robot 4

  • Fully automatic, self-cleaning model
  • Strong reputation for effective performance
  • Controls odor and litter scatter well

Why Should You Trust Us?

With three cats at home, I’m always cleaning up the litter box area. I don’t mind sweeping up scattered litter but sticky, smelly urine is another matter. Having owned cats for over a decade, I’ve come to prefer high-sided litter boxes and I’ve tested dozens of different models.

To write this roundup, I drew on my personal experience and consulted veterinarians and cat behavior experts. I also conducted in-depth market research to identify products with a strong reputation then ordered them and tested them at home with my cats, Bagel, Munchkin, and Biscuit.

Over several weeks of testing, I observed how well these litter boxes contained litter and urine spray. I noted how easy they were to scoop and clean and took cues from my cats about which designs they liked best.

Our Veterinary Advisors

The Top 5 Best High-Sided Litter Boxes

With both litter scatterers and urine sprayers in my household, the Modkat XL litter box is a long-standing favorite of mine. The dual-entry configuration prevents my three cats from using it as a territorial stronghold and the reusable liner makes it easy to clean.

But the Modkat XL isn’t the ideal choice for every household. Whether you’re looking for something a little more affordable or a litter box that does the scooping for you, one of my other recommendations might be more appropriate. Consider your cat’s preferences as well as your own to narrow down the options.

#1 Overall Best: Modkat XL Litter Box, Top or Front-Entry Configurable

Modkat XL Litter Box, Top or Front-Entry Configurable

$179.95 At Amazon

$179.99 At Modkat.com

If you’re struggling to find solutions for a cat who likes to dig or spray, the Modkat XL is one of the best options we’ve found. Enclosed litter boxes – especially top-entry models — are ideal for tracking and scatter control, but not every cat feels comfortable with them.

While the Modkat XL is technically an enclosed litter box, it is configurable for two entry/exit points, so your cat won’t feel trapped. Whether you use the front or the top door, the almost-cubical design of the box keeps litter and litter box mess well contained.

To reduce tracking, the front entry has a litter-catching step, and the lid of the box is perforated with holes. Both features help remove litter from your cat’s paws, encouraging it to fall back into the litter box as your cat makes their exit.

The Modkat XL is a little more spacious than some top-entry litter boxes, measuring 21.3 inches wide by 17.3 inches deep and 16.5 inches high. The box also comes with a custom scoop and reusable liners to make cleanup quick and easy.

What We Liked

  • Two points of entry to suit different needs
  • Includes a reusable liner and custom scoop
  • Perforated lid doubles as a litter mat to reduce tracking
  • Stylish and modern design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive, priced over $150
  • May be too small for very large cats

#2 Budget Pick: Frisco High-Sided Cat Litter Box

$24.99 At Chewy

While our top pick will cost you over $150, you don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune to enjoy scatter control. This high-sided litter box from Frisco is modestly priced around $20 and it does a good job of containing litter scatter and urine spray.

The Frisco high-sided litter box is generously sized with 10-inch sides, so even big cats will feel less cramped than they would in a typical litter pan.

The box is durably constructed from recyclable BPA-free plastic. Because it doesn’t have a seam running down the middle, the base is nice and sturdy which makes a difference when it’s full of litter. The top of the box is reinforced to hold its shape and to make carrying easier.

Though the sides of this litter box stand 10 inches tall, there’s a lowered entry point for improved accessibility. It’s still 5.6 inches off the ground, however, so it may not be ideal for older cats and cat with mobility issues.

What We Liked

  • Tall 10-inch sides help contain scatter and spray
  • Modestly priced around $20
  • Strong, sturdy base with no middle seam
  • Reinforced rim for easy carry

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lowered entry may still be too high for some cats
  • Takes up a significant amount of floor space

#3 Premium Pick: iPrimio Stainless Steel Litter Box

$79.99 At Chewy

$79.99 At Amazon

Plastic litter boxes are inexpensive but they tend to scratch, stain, and accumulate odor. The iPrimio stainless-steel litter box is a pricier pick but it offers numerous features that help reduce litter box mess.

This litter box is generously sized, measuring 23.5 inches long by 15.5 inches wide with 7.5-inch sides. It’s made from durable stainless steel with rubber feet to keep it from sliding around. For added protection against litter scatter and urine spray, it comes with a removable topper that adds another 6 inches of height to three of the four sides.

Not only does this litter box reduce mess by keeping urine and litter inside the box where it belongs, but the stainless-steel materials resist stains, rust, and odor. The box also features rounded interior corners to help keep dirty litter from getting stuck.

There’s a lot to love about this iPrimio litter box but you’ll pay a premium for it. With the addition of the 6-inch topper, it costs about $75. It’s also important to note that, with or without the topper, the entry is 7.5 inches off the ground which may be difficult for some cats to manage.

What We Liked

  • Made from durable stainless-steel materials
  • Includes a removable topper that adds 6 inches of height
  • Resists rust, stains, and scratches
  • Rounded interior corners help keep litter from getting stuck

What We Didn’t Like

  • May be difficult for kittens and older cats to access
  • Expensive, priced around $75

#4 Best for Tight Spaces: SmartCat Corner Litter Box

$18.99 At Chewy

If you’re living in an apartment or a small home where floor space is limited, a corner litter box might be a viable solution. The SmartCat corner litter box was designed for just this purpose.

This triangular litter box is constructed from durable plastic resin, so it won’t bend under the weight of heavy litter. The rolled rim adds reinforcement and gives you something to hold on to if you need to carry the litter box to another location.

With 8-inch sides, this litter box helps control scatter and urine spray a little better than traditional litter pans, though it still has a dropped entry for accessibility.

Because the box is triangular rather than rectangular, the litter bed space ends up being a little smaller. It may not be an appropriate choice for large cats.

What We Liked

  • Fits in a corner to conserve floor space
  • Modestly priced under $20
  • High 8-inch sides may help contain litter scatter
  • Durable plastic resin holds up under heavy litter

What We Didn’t Like

  • Triangular design limits interior litter bed space
  • May not be appropriate for large cats

#5 Best Self-Cleaning: Litter-Robot 4

$699.00 At Litter-Robot.com

$699.00 At Chewy

The only thing better than a litter box that contains litter scatter and urine spray is a self-cleaning litter box. The Litter-Robot 4 is a high-tech self-cleaning litter box that utilizes an internal sifting mechanism to automatically separate clumps and waste from clean, reusable cat litter.

While the Litter-Robot 4 is easily one of the most expensive litter boxes on the market, it has a strong reputation for reliable and effective performance. The manufacturer, Whisker, has been in business for over two decades and continues to implement customer feedback in each new iteration of the Litter-Robot.

What makes the Litter-Robot 4 so effective in containing litter box mess is its enclosed design. The front opening is still wide enough, however, that it’s easily accessible. Cats who dislike the standard covered litter boxes may feel less claustrophobic in this model.

On top of its self-cleaning convenience, the Litter-Robot 4 is highly effective in containing litter box odor. It deposits waste in a discreet sealed compartment below the unit, so all you have to do is empty the container when it’s full.

What We Liked

  • Strong reputation for effective performance
  • Enclosed design contains litter scatter and urine spray
  • Does a great job controlling odor
  • Automatically cycles to separate clumps and waste
  • Pairs with an app for health monitoring features

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive—over $600
  • Takes up a lot of floor space

What to Look for in a High-Sided Cat Litter Box

Before shopping for a new litter box, consider the problem you’re trying to solve and factor in your cat’s unique needs and preferences. If litter scatter is the issue, a high-sided litter box might do the trick. For messier issues like urine spray, however, an enclosed litter box or top-entry model might be a better option.

Here are some factors to consider when shopping for a high-sided litter box:

  • Dimensions – A litter box should be spacious, especially when it has tall sides that might make it feel more enclosed than a standard pan.
  • Wall Height – To contain litter scatter and urine spray, look for a litter pan with walls at least 10 inches tall.
  • Accessibility – Make sure the litter box has a low enough entry that your cat can easily step into and out of it. Kittens and senior cats may need a lower entry than healthy adult cats.
  • Durability – Sturdy materials are a must to ensure the litter box stands up to daily scooping and is strong enough that it won’t buckle if you carry it while it’s full.
  • Convenience – The litter box should be easy for you to scoop and may have additional features like a nonstick lining to help prevent litter from sticking to the sides.

A great high-sided litter box offers many of the same features as a standard litter pan, just with higher walls. To learn more about what to look for when shopping for a litter box, check out our guide to the best cat litter boxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep cat litter from scattering?

A little bit of litter scatter is all but inevitable. High-sided litter boxes help contain litter scatter that results from digging, but your cat may still track litter when they exit the litter box. Consider placing a litter mat under the entry to the litter box to catch loose litter.

How high should litter box sides be?

Generally speaking, the taller the sides of your litter box, the more effective it will be in containing litter scatter and urine spray. Standard litter pans range in height from 4 to 8 inches while high-sided models may offer an additional 4 to 8 inches of height. Just be sure the entry point is low enough for your cat to comfortably access the litter box.

Why does my cat keep peeing on the edge of the litter box?

If you’re considering a high-sided litter box because your cat is peeing outside or on the edge of the litter box, it may not be a problem with the litter box itself. Health problems like urinary tract infections, diabetes, and kidney disease can cause cats to pee outside the litter box. Talk to your veterinarian if your cat exhibits this behavior.

How do you stop cats from spraying urine outside the litter box?

Urine spraying is a natural territorial behavior for cats, though it can also be a sign of stress or a medical issue. If it’s a new behavior for your cat, talk to your vet to rule out underlying health issues. In some cases, switching to a high-sided or enclosed litter box may help contain the mess.

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  1. Denise

    Just wanted let everyone know I have used this litterbox for years with 2 different cats that were 17lbs and 20lbs they liked it just fine and was big enough for them. plus keeps litter in box and space saving.

    Reply