Outdoor Cat Litter Box – Does Your Cat Need One?

December 4, 2020 // 12 minute read

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The outdoors is undeniably the best place for your cat to explore. It’s spacious and has lots of elements where your cat can exercise her senses. The outdoors promote a better and healthier environment because of the fresh air and direct access to sunlight. But, do you need an outdoor cat litter box? If so, where do you place it in an outdoor cat enclosure or elsewhere?

However, even with these amazing benefits, the outdoors can also be dangerous for our little cats. There are threats of getting chased by dogs, bitten by snakes, getting hit by a vehicle, and many more life-threatening situations. This is why having an outdoor cat enclosure is very important for every cat owner.

Outdoor cat enclosures serve as a safe place for cats to be while they’re outdoors. It’s almost the same as their indoor environment but is more stimulating. But, even if it keeps cats safe, it can also be limiting.

Outdoor Cat Litter Box

An example of this is that it most probably lacks an area for cats to go potty. One solution most cat owners have is providing a litter box they can use while in the enclosure. However, what if there are better ways to provide your cat with an outdoor litter box?

Below we share with you how to create an outdoor litter box for your cats. We also share some top reasons why you should build one and what makes it so different from your indoor cat litter box.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cat Litter Box

As we all probably know, litter boxes are designed to create a private space for your cat to do her business. It’s made to prevent the spread of the litter’s smell regardless of whether it’s inside or outside your home.

Indoors, it’s very important to have one because you certainly don’t want to have your cat’s mess in any corner of your house. That’s why you provide them that one space that you need to keep clean and fresh, so she keeps using it. This way, you maintain the cleanliness and freshness of your house, too.

However, what happens if your cat is outside?

Do you provide them with an outdoor litter box, too?

Outdoor litter boxes are not something most people are familiar with. When they talk about outdoor cat enclosures, they sometimes only put the same indoor litter box inside the enclosure, and that’s it. And although that’s fine, it’s still better to use a litter box designed for the outdoors.

What’s the difference between the two?

Well, technically, outdoor litter boxes are always covered and waterproof. This ensures that rain or any water or moisture can get through and ruin the litter inside. It’s also recommended to use sand instead of the ordinary cat litter for these litter boxes. You would need frequent changing of sand in outside litter boxes, so it will help you save.

Here is an innovative approach to an outdoor litter box solution:

Why do you need an outdoor cat litter box?

An outdoor cat litter box may seem unnecessary if you already have an indoor one. Also, cleaning up litter from your backyard or garden is relatively easy compared to when it’s indoors. Added to that, you won’t have to bother about the smell as you can cover it easily whenever you want.

But, there’s more to an outdoor cat litter box than you probably know. Here are some great benefits you and your cat would enjoy if you create an outdoor cat litter box:

1. Your indoor litter box doesn’t have to take in all the mess.

It is always advised that we have more than one litter box indoors, especially if you have multiple cats. But what most of us are probably forgetting is setting up a litter box outdoors, as well.

By doing this, you get to allow your indoor cat litter box to rest. You also get to keep the mess your cat makes outdoors and also some of the odor there.

2. It helps remind your cat to keep using the indoor litter box.

Every time your cat is outdoors and goes potty without a litter box, she might forget the need to use one while indoors. This then creates a very big problem for you as you would have to train her again in using it. You would have to remind her where the indoor litter boxes are.

However, if you place an outdoor cat litter box, your cat is reminded to use the litter box regardless if she’s outside or inside the house.

This is something we would highly advise for those with outdoor cats. Why? There might come a time that you would need to leave for a few days. Because you’d need to leave him indoors, he’s already aware of the need to use an indoor litter box. There’s an assurance that you won’t be greeted by litter all over the house by the time you get back.

3. It keeps the litter in one place.

Another advantage of having an outdoor litter box is that your cat’s litter goes only in one place. You won’t have to watch your step across your backyard, worried you might step in a litter at any time. You also won’t need to clean up throughout your garden, checking your plants if there are surprises hidden there.

4. It helps you save money.

Indoors, you would need to use a cat litter so that no dust would get to your floor in case your cat tries to cover her waste. This also helps ensure that the smell is kept inside and that it will clump if your cat pees, making it easier for you to scoop up.

However, outdoors, you won’t need this type of cat litter. You can buy a cheaper one that is also non-clumping but can be a bit dusty. This wouldn’t matter since it’s outdoors.

Another option you have is just to use sand to cover the litter.

5. It keeps your cat comfortable.

When your cat is in her outdoor cat enclosure, you just can’t assume that she wouldn’t need to go poppy or pee. You should be able to provide your cat with a place to do her business as she enjoys the outdoors. This way, she wouldn’t need to go to the house for that.

6. It keeps the outdoor cat enclosure clean.

Since an outdoor cat enclosure serves to be a comfortable space for your cat to be in, it’s essential to keep it clean. Having an outdoor litter box will really help with this. As mentioned above, when your cat wants to go pee, she wouldn’t want to go back indoors to do her business. Instead, she would do this inside the enclosure.

Who Should Have An Outdoor Litter Box

Naturally, anyone with cats who spend time outside should have an outdoor litter box. This includes:

  • People living in apartments.
  • Those living in a small ground-floor apartment with no garden.
  • People with outdoor cat enclosures.
  • People who have a garden.
  • For People who keep their cat’s outside.
  • People who want to keep strays from using their garden as a bathroom.

In other words, regardless if you have an outdoor enclosure or not, you should set up an outdoor litter box for outdoor cats. This way, you get to keep your community clean.

How to Create An Outdoor Cat Litter Box

Now that you know the importance of having an outdoor litter box, how do you even start creating one? Just like with your outdoor cat enclosure, you can get creative with your outdoor litter box.

But, here are some fundamentals to start with:

Find the Best Location

The location would always be very important. As much as possible, you should place the litter box in an area away from your house. It should also be in an area your cat would most likely use.

Now, since this is a litter box you’d put inside a cat enclosure, it’s probably best to put it in a distant corner. Also, even if this is a covered litter box, it should be in an area that won’t be rained on. You don’t want to risk water seeping through your litter box.

Another thing you should consider is how much noise there is in that area. You don’t want your cat to be scared in the area where you placed the cat litter box. You should also consider if it’s a hidden spot to give your cats some privacy.

Most importantly, place it in an area away from where their treats and water are.

Build and Install the Frame

Once you’ve found the best location for the cat litter box, it’s time to build the frame. You can use any materials you want, whether it’s wood or plastic, but it should be sturdy. You should also construct the frame at the right height for your cat, whether their adults or kittens.

Once you’ve cut the materials up to your desired height, make sure to hammer or screw the cuttings together and make sure that it’s tight or stable. How big the litter box should also depend on the size of your cat.

After that, dig up some ground to place the frame there. There should only be a few inches of the frame that sticks out from the ground. Again, your cat should be able to come in and out easily from the box. Secure the frame by tightening the dirt around it.

Create a Cover Box

If you don’t want to build a cover over your litter box, that’s completely fine. But it’s recommended that you do this to create some kind of privacy for your cat.

Grab a large container, probably a plastic storage bin. Cut it in the same size as your frame. This way, it somehow looks like a shelter. If you’re feeling a little extra, then you can create something from scratch and build something like a wooden litter box enclosure.

Fill It With Litter

With an outdoor cat litter box, there’s no need for you to create a bottom. This will help for easy drainage.

All you need to do now is to put cat litter in the outdoor litter box you made. Again, you don’t need to use the same litter as you would indoors, which makes this ideal for those who want to save money.

Sand or peat moss are better alternatives for outdoor litter boxes, and you can get these from any hardware or garden stores. Just be reminded not to overfill the litter box with litter. Your cat should still be able to settle comfortably inside and dig. This way, there won’t be any litter scattered outside the box for you to clean.

Other Accessories You Can Place Inside An Outdoor Cat Enclosure

It’s already quite obvious the need to have an outdoor litter box in an outdoor enclosure. But other than that, there are other accessories you can place inside too.

Scratching Post

A cat scratching post is a great choice for cats who love to scratch things. Your cat may be outside now, which means you won’t have any problems with your furniture getting ruined.

However, if you think about it, the grass or ground may not be the most ideal surfaces for your cat to sharpen their claws. So, help your cat a bit by providing them with this. You can also add a little hanging toy on top to provide extra entertainment.

Food and Water

Your cat would also appreciate having food and water anytime they feel hungry or thirsty. This is especially important if you’re going to leave them inside the enclosure for hours.


Place some toys that your cats love inside their enclosure, too. This could be a fake mouse, a hanging toy, yarn, feathers, basically anything that will entertain them while inside. This also helps remove any boredom if your cat gets tired running around the enclosure.

Boxes or Tunnels

For cats who love tight spaces, boxes, and tunnels are perfect accessories. You can create a tunnel that is attached to your house for easy in and out access. You can also put a box inside with a soft bed inside for them to take a comfortable nap.


As cat owners, we want what’s best for our cats. So, as much as we want to keep them safe with an outdoor cat enclosure, you should also make sure that they have everything they need inside. This includes an outdoor cat litter box where they can do their business.

The steps above teach you how to make an excellent outdoor cat litter box. However, it’s more designed for a large cat enclosure. If you have the portable ones, you can perhaps buy an extra indoor type of litter box that you can place inside the enclosure every time you go out with your cat.

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