Maine Coon cats will use a litter box as long as it is clean and spacious and the best litter box for a Maine Coon is a large one. Two of the biggest and best available are the Petmate Giant Litter Box and Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box. If your cat is an indoor cat, it’s a good idea to have several of these spread around your home.
Below, you can see more about these two litter boxes as well as everything you should consider before buying a litter box and the litter to go in it.
The Petmate Giant Litter Box
The Petmate® Giant Litter Pan, with well over 1000 five-star reviews, is clearly a favorite with many cat owners.
As the owner of two Maine Coons, I know how important large litter boxes are. And this one certainly provides plenty of room.
Measuring 34.6 inches long, 19.75 inches wide, and 10 inches high, this high-sided litter box helps prevent litter scatter, keeping litter (and everything else!) in the box where it should be.
It has anti-microbial protection that helps prevent the build-up of odors and staining. The design improves structural stability giving it added strength and durability.
The side compartment provides storage space for litter box accessories, scoops, disposal bags, and more. The curved rim provides a handle area for easy lifting. And it holds up to 30 pounds of litter.
Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box
This is another litter box with more than 1000 five-star reviews.
If the storage area in the first tray doesn’t appeal to you, Nature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter Box might be your preference.
It’s a more traditional shape with high sides to prevent litter scattering, an easy-clean spout, and a non-stick surface for easy cleaning.
At 23 x 18.5 x 11 inches it’s slightly smaller overall but as it doesn’t have the storage pockets there probably isn’t that much difference in size between the two trays.
It also has anti-microbial protection to help prevent the build-up of odors and stains. There’s a handle built-in each within the rim which makes it easy to pick up to move or clean.
Types of Litter Box
There are a variety of litter boxes to choose from, some quite basic and others rather gimmicky.
Tray Style Litter Box Without Lid
The two I’ve reviewed above are trays without lids. This type is ideal for Maine Coons.
In my experience, though they love squeezing into small spaces to sleep, when it comes to toileting Maine Coons seem to prefer open-plan trays.
Some people believe a cat feels vulnerable when doing its business, and therefore prefers to have 360 vision and to know it can make a quick getaway if necessary.
However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. Being tall cats, even in a squatting position, most lidded boxes are not tall enough for Maine Coons, or when they are tall enough, aren’t long or wide enough.
The above litter trays are perfect.
Tray Style Litter Box With Lid
I honestly believe this type was designed with owners in mind and not cats. The idea seems to be to contain odors, hide the view of the contents and contain litter that would otherwise be flung about.
When we first got our Maine Coons, the only large tray in our local pet store came with a lid and a flap. By the end of the first day, we had removed the flap.
By the end of the second day, the lid was consigned to the basement. After that, the cats happily used it – actually, they were still kittens at this point.
At the size they are now, the lid would have been too low and they would not have been able to hold their tails clear as they like to do. So, I’m not a fan of lidded litter boxes.
Self-cleaning Litter Boxes
There are several self-cleaning, self-flushing litter boxes on the market and I’ve always thought they sound a bit gimmicky.
But, the CatGenie (follow this link to see a video and more details) gets more than 500 five-star reviews so, obviously, some cat owners like it.
Rather than litter, it uses washable granules. It has to be linked to a
Several Litter Boxes Are a Good Idea
If you have several cats, they often prefer a litter box each. Siblings may share OK if they have always done so since they were kittens. As a rule of thumb, have one more litter box than you have cats.
It’s even recommended for one cat to have at least two trays placed in different areas in your home. Once a tray is soiled, you might find your cat is more likely to go elsewhere the next time.
Providing an alternative tray usually alleviates this problem. As cats get older having a tray near each place it prefers to spend time may be useful if it gets caught short!
Little as you may like it, your cat will probably prefer its litter box to be near where you spend a lot of time, so the kitchen, the living room or even your bedroom.
You may not relish the idea of having a number of litter boxes scattered around but this has got to be preferable to the alternative – cleaning up accidents from carpets or other difficult-to-clean areas, hasn’t it?
Types of Litter
There is a wide variety of litter to choose from and sometimes it takes a while to find the best type for your cat.
- Clumping. This type of litter is typically made from a highly absorbent clay that clumps together when your cat urinates. It’s easy to scoop these clumps out, leaving clean litter behind and so lasts longer before smelling. This type is dusty, non-biodegradable, and heavy to transport.
- Non-clumping. This type is also made from clays but doesn’t clump, so it’s not so easy to scoop just the used parts. This means you will have to change the whole lot more often as it will go smelly more quickly. non-clumping litter is usually cheaper than clumping litter.
- Recycled paper. This litter is made from pelleted or granules of recycled paper. It is dust-free, highly absorbent, and biodegradable. In pellet form, the paper doesn’t clump, whereas the granule form does.
- Pine. Pine litter is usually made from lumber scraps that have had toxins, oils, and allergens removed. This type of litter comes in pellets, granules, or crushed pine. It has a pine scent, which helps control odor. The granules and crushed pine clump to an extent, but the pellet form is like sawdust once wet.
- Silicone-based crystals. These consist of tiny silica gel beads. Crystal litter is highly absorbent, controls odor effectively, and is fairly dust-free. And, cats track it around the house less than other types of litter. It is a more expensive option but tends to last longer. Some cats don’t like getting the crystals on their paws, and there is a danger if they are ingested in large amounts when cats clean their feet.
Whichever type you choose try to pick one without added deodorizer.
If you’d like to see our review of a couple of popular litter brands (with a rather unexpected ending) then take a look at this video from our YouTube channel:
There are a variety of ways to dispose of litter.
- Avoid flushing it away even if the packaging tells you it is flushable. It can block sewer pipes and cause problems in septic tanks.
- Double bag it and place it in with your trash if it is not biodegradable.
- Place it in the relevant recycling bin according to the packaging – if you have that service provided.
- Dig it into your garden if it is biodegradable – but only in flowerbeds not in vegetable patches
- Use a collection service if you can source one
Controlling Litter Box Odors
One of the most unsavory aspects of a litter box is the odor. But there are some simple steps you can take to keep the smell to a minimum:
- Scoop the box out at least once a day. The quicker you clean out any urine and feces the better for you and your cat.
- Replace the litter often. Even if you scoop each time your cat uses the litter box, little amounts are left behind which soon get smelly. If the litter box smells even after you’ve scooped it out, it’s time for a complete litter change. Empty the contents and clean the tray thoroughly before refilling it.
- Replace the litter box once a year. If your litter box shows signs of being scratched and scuffed these areas will harbor nasty smells and bacteria. This is the time to replace it with a nice new one.
- Keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area. This prevents the concentration of odor that can build up in a small, airless room. In a well-ventilated spot, the smell can easily disperse.
Cat Litter Box Hygiene
Remember cat feces can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma
Always wear rubber gloves and disposable cloths when cleaning a litter box and dispose of them carefully.
Cat Litter Box Smells
If you are looking for an excellent way to destroy litter box odors, I recommend the Lampe Berger system. We have used it for years and it truly rids your home of all unsavory pet-related odors.
People often ask do Maine Coons do this, do Maine Coons do that. Now you can read about the top 44 things that Maine Coons do all in one place!