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Petmate Cat Litter Box Review

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side view of petmate giant cat litter box

Liz Coleman / Cats.com

Are you looking for a basic, no-frills litter box? The Petmate Cat Litter Box is an affordable open-style pan that will suit a range of cats and cat parents. I tested the Giant size with my two cats for several weeks, evaluating its performance in several areas. Here’s what we discovered and who might find it a good fit.


  • Ease of Cleaning – 5/5
  • Odor Control – 3/5
  • Appearance – 5/5
  • Construction – 3/5
  • Price – 5/5

Overall Score: 4.2/5

Why Trust Cats.com

Over the years, our team has tested dozens of litter boxes, gaining valuable insights on what makes a good one. With these criteria in mind, I evaluated the Petmate litter box based on its design, durability, and size. I compared it against similar litter boxes on the market, noting its price and construction. In addition, I assessed its performance in terms of scooping, cleaning, and odor control. I also observed my cats’ reactions to the Petmate litter box, noting whether its large size was an advantage or disadvantage.

Finally, I dug into customer reviews to learn how others found the Petmate litter box. This gave me a better picture of how this litter pan might work for different types of cat parents.

Petmate Litter Box and Petmate Brand Overview

Petmate entered the pet space in 1960. The brand’s initial focus was on providing safe pet transportation, which led to the development of the first dog kennel. Over the decades, the company has acquired a number of pet brands, including ChuckIt! Aspen, Booda, and JW Pets. Currently, Petmate owns 21 brands.

On the sustainability front, Petmate aims to reduce its carbon footprint through eco-friendly manufacturing techniques. The company is a member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition: a nonprofit organization that helps companies in the pet industry identify ways to drive business performance through social and environmental impact. The resin used in Petmate’s products is made with over 95% post-industrial recycled content. And the brand has proudly kept over 60 million pounds of waste out of landfills each year.

Petmate carries products for dogs and cats, including bedding, food bowls, grooming accessories, kennels and carriers, toys, collars, and leashes. The brand also carries a lot of items related to waste management, such as litter boxes, liners, mats, and litter scoops. It also offers accessories for birds.

Petmate Cat Litter Box Features

front view of petmate giant cat litter box

Petmate’s Giant Cat Litter Box offers a spacious interior for larger cats. Liz Coleman / Cats.com

The Petmate Cat Litter Box is a traditional open pan that offers more space than most. It’s an affordable option for folks who need a basic litter box, minus any frills.

The Petmate Cat Litter Box comes in five sizes:

  • Small: 14” L x 10.5” W x 3.5” H
  • Medium: 16″ L x 12″ W x 4″ H
  • Large: 18.5″ L x 15″ W x 5″ H
  • Jumbo: 22″ L x 16.5″ W x 6.5″ H
  • Giant: 25.5″ L x 18″ W x 10″ H

Since my cats are on the larger size, we tested the Giant box. This is a roomy option for bigger cats or multi-cat households. The interior is 25” long by 16.5” wide, making it 5.5” longer and 4” wider than the Lucky Champ Litter Pan. In fact, the Petmate Litter Box is the most spacious open litter box we’ve tested at Cats.com. The back reaches 10”, which helps contain litter. The front slopes down slightly to a height of 8”.

This litter box holds a lot of litter, which is ideal for multiple cats. The brand asserts that this means less cleaning, but that’s not entirely accurate: using extra litter won’t cut down on the amount of scooping or cleaning you’ll need to do.

The Petmate Litter Box is made with cat-safe Microban®: built-in antimicrobial protection that prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. This helps the litter box stay fresher and last longer.

The rimmed sides give your hands something to grip and make carrying easier, which I appreciated when it came time for cleaning. Since the pan is so large, it might be hard to find liners that fit (that is, if you use them. I’m not a fan.) One cat parent reported success with Fresh Kitty Super Jumbo Liners.

What We Liked:

  • Affordable option ($24 on Amazon)
  • Open style will appeal to most cats
  • Roomy interior makes it ideal for large cats and multi-cat households
  • Fairly high walls and wide profile base help contain litter scatter
  • Made using 95% pre-consumer recycled plastic

What We Dislike:

  • Only comes in one color (blue)
  • Material is on the flimsy side

What Did Our Test Cats Think?

orange senior cat inside the petmate litter box

Our senior cat tester had no trouble clearing the Petmate’s higher sides. Liz Coleman / Cats.com

My cats are used to open litter boxes, so I wasn’t surprised that they used the Petmate right away. Admittedly, I was a little concerned that the high sides might be problematic for one of my senior cats, but she appeared to enter and exit the box with zero issues.

This is a large litter box, and my bigger cats found it comfortably spacious. They had plenty of room to turn around and dig. If you’re going with the Giant size, I’d recommend measuring your space to make sure it will fit. It takes up quite a bit of floor space. The sides are fairly high (10”), and I didn’t notice an excessive amount of scatter—though no litter box is going to contain litter particles 100%.

A folded lip around the perimeter is designed to make it easier to carry, which was a nice touch. It’s also a lightweight pan. However, as a number of reviews noted, I found the plastic to be slightly flimsy. It bent and wobbled when lifted, and it didn’t feel super sturdy (unlike the solid Lucky Champ) This had me wondering how long it would realistically hold up under constant use. I think it just requires a gentle touch during transport and cleaning.

Some reviews mentioned ridges inside that made scooping challenging, but I didn’t find this to be the case. The bottom of the pan is flat, without indentations, so I found it easy to scoop urine clumps without them sticking.

Overall, Petmate’s basic litter box is nothing fancy. Which is exactly what some cat parents are after. It does its job, it’s affordable, and I think the simple design would work well for the average cat parent.

What Do Customers Think of the Petmate Giant Litter Box?

Positive Reviews

“I needed a bigger box for my boy cat and this fits him fine. No trickles over the edge because he can now fit into it easily. Two cats use the box and it works great.”
—Joe and Carolyn, Amazon Review

“This is a great litter box. Our cats were tossing the litter out of their other boxes. This one solves the problem. It’s deep enough that they can’t do that and it’s large enough that they have room to go in there. The other deep boxes I have purchased were too small so they seemed a bit cramped when the cat would go in to use it. I will be getting another to replace the smaller ones I have.”
—Carol Doss, Amazon Review

For the most part, customers were happy with the size of the Petmate litter box. They also appreciated that it’s easy to clean, with most reviewers noting that clumps released from the sides effortlessly. The majority of people considered it a good value.

Negative Reviews

“So, I got the jumbo. Doesn’t really feel huge to me. Ultimately, didn’t work out for me. Plastic is cheap and my cat who’s almost 13 pounds can break it. She laid in it when I first got it and her whole body filled every inch of it. Price was too good to be true.”
—Hart, Amazon Review

While the majority of cat parents were pleased with the size, a few thought the sides were too short and didn’t solve their scatter problem. As I noted, a number of people considered the material flimsy and complained that the plastic was too thin. Some customers mentioned the Petmate Litter Box arrived damaged or cracked during use or cleaning.

Similar Brands

Looking for other litter box brands similar to Petmate? Check out some of our other brand reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats prefer large litter boxes?

Generally, bigger is better. Cats need enough space to turn around comfortably and dig. A larger box is also going to do a better job of keeping litter inside. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a box as long as your cat’s body, from their nose to the tip of their tail. The width should be the length of their body minus the tail.

Can a litter box be too big for a cat?

Most adult cats will do well with a large litter box. But small kittens may struggle with accessibility. Filling a box with too much litter can also be problematic, as most cats prefer a depth of two inches.

Do open litter boxes smell more?

An open box, of course, won’t be able to contain smells the way an enclosed litter box can. However, controlling litter box smells is more about choosing the right litter than it is about the right box. It’s also important to clean your litter box regularly to keep smells to a tolerable minimum.

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About Liz Coleman

Liz is a freelance writer with a focus on pets and their fur-covered folk. She’s also a professional member of the Cat Writer’s Association, and her work appears in several pet-related publications. Liz shares her home in Western New York with two cats, two birds, and (arguably) too many plants.