Covered Vs. Uncovered Litter Boxes: Which Do Cats Prefer Most?

April 18, 2020 // 5 minute read

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kitty with a closed or open litter box

It has been a long-standing feud with cat owners as to what cats prefer regarding litter boxes. There are the open types and the enclosed or hooded types of litter boxes. Some owners prefer the open ones, some prefer the hooded litter boxes. Unfortunately, these owners aren’t the real users of these litter boxes. It is our cats. Our cats that we love so much we treat as part of the family. We try to make them happy and try to give them the best life possible. That includes giving them the best space for them to do their “dirty work.”

Honestly, it is in my opinion that cats do not mind at all what kind of litter boxes they use. With the research that I’ve done and my own personal experience, I think all they want is a clean and spacious area. We also have to bear in mind what our cats like with regard to the other factors of where they do their business. Some factors may be the location, the type of litter used, and the size of their litter box. So, let’s try to uncover what our cat’s like.

Hooded Vs. Open Litter Boxes: Scientific Research

A group of researchers from The Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine did a study in 2012 about what cats prefer, Hooded or Open Litter Boxes. They had 28 cats go through the study for 2 weeks. They all had access to open and enclosed litter boxes. What they found was surprising. The results showed that 70% of cats had no preference. It did not matter to them what kind of litter box they used. The other group of cats was divided as well. Four had a preference for open litter boxes and the other four liked the enclosed kitty litters boxes more. What they found is very beneficial because we find out that almost none of the factors were actually factors. They found out that cats only wanted their areas to be clean and free of any other dirty “materials”.

You can find their result posted in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Click here to read their abstracts.

Inappropriate Feline Elimination

A shared problem that most cat users have today is Inappropriate Feline Elimination – Peeing on furniture, rugs and other household items. Most if not all cat owners have experience with this one way or another. Some owners rely on other cat owners and ask their opinion on what to do. The problem I see with doing that is that your cat may have a different preference than my cat. It’s almost always never the same case with every cat. The best person to consult is your vet. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to consult with anyone because you know what your cat likes and not experience this problem.

Kitty Litter Box Solutions

Some solutions that people find helpful are the following

Clean The Litter Box Daily

Probably one of the most important things you can do for your cat is to clean their litter box. We all know that there are those very sensitive cats that do not like going on dirty litters. Find a middle ground with your cat on cleaning schedules if you cannot do it every day. However, I still suggest you try to clean it daily for their satisfaction.

Cat Box Location

Where you place your litter box is also very important. You may think that one area is more suitable for you, but in reality, you are not the one to use the litter box. Observe and see where your cat might find it suitable for him to do his business that will also work for you. It’s a game of hot and cold, and you just have to play it.

Type Of Kitty Litter

Clumping or Non-Clumping. Whichever one you choose, make sure it is the one that your cats like to use. Most researches say that even this does not always matter. Like people, cats also have their preferences. They may find that some textures of the litters are not suitable for them so they will not use it. Try to find what works.


Covered Vs. Uncovered Litter Boxes: The Final Verdict

So now we have come to a conclusion that is backed up by scientific research, cats almost always have no preference when it comes to enclosed and open type litter boxes. It all boils down to what works for you and your cat. If you have a new cat in the house, try a bunch of different things to try to find out what they like. It is up to you to decide for them. Just make sure that what you are choosing for them is the one that will work to their benefit and keep them satisfied. If you encounter more problems with inappropriate feline elimination, try to consult with your vet to see what other options you may have.

Enclosed or Open? What do you prefer? Click here to see options for the best cat litter boxes for odor control.

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