Should My Cat’s Litter Box Have a Lid?

A lot of people opt for covered litter boxes i.e. litter boxes with a lid, because they believe that cats love privacy. They do, to an extent. But, does this apply to litter boxes? If you want the answer to ‘should my cat’s litter box have a lid?’ then read on. Our experts have done their research.

Cats prefer the litter boxes to be uncovered. As you probably know, litter boxes can get rather smelly. A cover will ‘lock’ the scent of the litterbox inside. It won’t be too pleasant for your cat. So, wherever possible, use an uncovered litter box and ensure that you keep it nice and clean.

Let’s go into a bit more depth on this. There are pros to having a lid on a litter box, although very few of them relate to your cat.

Should My Cat’s Litter Box Have a Lid?

There are two reasons why people opt for a litter box for their cat:

  1. They believe that their cat wants privacy.
  2. They want to ensure that the litter box doesn’t smell.

The problem? Both of these are reasons not to have a lid on the litter box. Let’s explain.

Privacy Concerns

Yes. It is 100% true that cats love their privacy. This is why they enjoy hiding around your home so much. However, they aren’t such a huge fan of privacy when they are using a litter box.

When a cat is doing their business, they are vulnerable. Now, obviously, they know that they are safe while in that litter box. However, nature’s instincts overwhelm them.

Cats enjoy looking around while they are doing their business so that they know nothing is going to come and take them by surprise. They can’t do this if the litter box has a lid. This is because their sights are covered. So, you may think that having a lid is doing your cat a favor on the privacy front, but it is likely just causing them a lot more anxiety.

Smell Concerns

For most people, the reason why they get a litter box with a lid is to trap the smells inside. There is no denying that whatever the cat does in that litter box isn’t really going to smell all that pleasant. In fact, it is going to be an absolutely repugnant smell. It is no wonder people want to keep it completely sealed off.

Now, the litter box lid is going to trap those smells inside of the litter box, which is fantastic for humans. It isn’t going to be quite so fantastic for the cat. Whenever they step into that litter box, they are going to become overwhelmed with a foul smell, full of bacteria and the like. If that litter box smells too bad, then your cat isn’t going to go near it. In fact, there is a chance that going inside could make them sick.

Bonus Third Reason: Cats Need Space

Cats like to get themselves nice and comfortable when they are about to do their business. Therefore, it is vital that you do not have a lid. If the litter box has a lid, then the cat, particularly larger cats, won’t have the space that they need to move around. This can make using the litter box difficult for them.

So, for these three reasons, we tend to recommend that people do not have a litter box with a lid. You can keep it out there in the open. If the smell of the litter box is going to be a concern, then you can keep it a little bit out of the way. Some people will keep the litter box in their bathroom, just because the bathroom is going to have some smells in it anyway. As long as the cat has access to the litter box, they aren’t too fussed about where it is.

Will Cats Use a Covered Litter Box?

Yes. Cats will use a covered litter box, however, you will need to keep it clean.

If you have a covered litter box, then you are going to need to take extra special care to ensure that you keep the inside clean. This means that you need to regularly remove any feces inside and, of course, change that litter out.

If you do not keep the covered litter box clean, then your cat is going to be highly reluctant to use it. This may mean that they end up fouling in various places around your home, normally on plants.

How Do You Keep An Uncovered Litter Box Clean?

Obviously, the main reason why people opt for a litter box with a lid is due to smell concerns. Therefore, it is important that you stop the litter box from smelling in the first place.

This means that you are going to need to regularly clean the litter box. Every day, you should remove the feces in the litter box.

In addition to this, you will want to purchase a litter that clumps when it comes into contact with urine. You will need to remove these urine clumps too. If the litter is getting a little low, then top it up.

As long as you are regularly emptying the urine and the feces out, then you will only need to change the litter completely once per month.

When you remove the litter from the box, make sure that you give the box a good clean with soap and water. When it is dried, add the new litter.

If you do this, then you will never have to worry about the smell coming from the litter box.

Final Thoughts

While some cats will be fine with a litter box with a lid, we recommend that you avoid them. Other than keeping the smell away from your nose, there is no real benefit to having a litter box with a lid, but there are a lot more benefits to having a litter box without one. As long as you keep the litter box clean, then you won’t have to worry about the smell anyway.

Does your cats litter box have a lid on it? If so are you now considering removing it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and as always be sure to checkout or other cat related articles!

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