Finding the right cat litter system is an important part of living with a cat who uses a litter box indoors. Many people do just fine tossing their cat's waste in a baggie and taking it out to the trash, but some people may prefer to let it pile up before making a trip to the bin. Dropping your cat's litter in your everyday trash can may lead to unwanted odors in the house, so having a cat litter disposal system near the litter box can take care of that problem. Cat litter disposal systems come in a wide variety of styles and prices, with all of them relying on a bin to contain cat waste before it's taken to the trash.
What to consider when purchasing a cat litter disposal system
Litter: Getting rid of pet waste with a disposal system will only get you so far if you're using the right litter. Litter that clumps, has built-in deodorizers, and hasn't been sitting for too long will be your best bet in keeping unpleasant smells under control. To keep your litter smelling as fresh as possible, be sure to have enough for each cat if you have a multi-cat home, clean it regularly, and add a sprinkle of deodorizing powder in between deep cleans if needed.
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Bag or Bin: Most cat litter disposal systems come with a bin in which to store cat litter. Sometimes, this bin is lined with a baggie, and in other cases the bin is unlined, requiring the cat owner to scoop waste into a bag before dropping it in the disposal bucket. The preferred method will be up to the person cleaning the litter box, but either way, it's always best to keep waste sealed in a bag for the most effective odor removal. Plastic bags tend to be the go-to for most people and products, although there are a number of biodegradable and compostable baggies for sale online and in stores as well.
Price: The price of a litter disposal system will vary, with some selling for under $20, and others, like self-cleaning cat litter boxes, costing over a few hundred dollars. If you're looking to save money over time, at whatever price point you decide on, you can look for features to avoid like custom baggies designed specifically for that device. These are often more expensive than regular liners— and cost much more than plastic grocery bags from the store—and can add up in cost in the long run.
The best overall cat litter disposal system
When you start shopping for cat litter disposal systems, there's one name that pops up over and over again—Litter Genie. This is an excellent choice for any cat owner looking to keep their litter clean-up as simple and odor-free as possible for its compact design and affordable price. Odors become locked in thanks to its Push-N-Lock system that seals off the bin from outside air, using a 5-layer bag inside with built-in odor-fighting ingredients to keep smells from escaping. This item does require Litter Genie refills to fit the included bin, and comes with one 18-foot film refill. In addition to the refill, it does come with a litter scoop and is available in black and silver to look great in any room.
The best odor-fighting cat litter disposal system
When you're shopping for a cat litter disposal system, one criterion likely surpasses all others—fighting odors. While all litter disposal systems are, in theory, designed to keep odors from penetrating your home, this one keeps unwanted smells locked away behind a triple-sealing door (!!!). Better yet, this disposal system keeps you far away from even handling your cat's litter by including a hands-free foot pedal to open the top, and affixing the lid with childproof locks to ensure that old waste stays where it was placed. It can hold up to four gallons of waste before it needs to be changed and is designed to dispense a new bag each time the old one is filled and removed, which can save on liners over time.
The best choose-your-own-bag cat litter disposal system
While many cat litter disposal systems are designed to hold bags made specifically for that device, this one works with any bag of your choosing, allowing you to use what you want and spend within your means. It does come with five compostable bags, each of which is designed to hold up to two weeks' worth of litter a piece, and the top is fitted with a silicone gasket that holds a charcoal filter for deodorizing what's kept inside of it. Additionally, this disposal system has a lid handle that serves as a locking mechanism and a means of portability, making it easy to carry around your home if you have multiple litter boxes to clean out. You'll be sure to get years' worth of use out of this product, and when it's time to finally toss it, you can drop it right in the recycling bin as it's made of recyclable plastic.
The best DIY cat litter disposal system
Not everything needed to keep pet messes under control is necessarily designed just for pets. A Diaper Genie is a tried-and-true product used by parents everywhere to keep their kid's smelly messes locked away, so why wouldn't it work for our feline friends too? With the capacity to hold up to 50 dirty diapers before it needs cleaning, thanks to an odor lock system found in the lid, the potential to hold cat waste is high. This product does require liner bags designed specifically for it (which are sold separately) but it does come with one, seven-layer refill bag to get you started.
The best large-capacity cat litter disposal system
Sometimes, we just need a little more time in between taking our trash out to the bin or the curb, so having a cat litter disposal system designed to hold more waste than the average model can help in such a situation. The same brand as the greatly-celebrated item listed earlier, this Litter Genie is extra-large in size, meaning it can hold about one week more of litter than the standard design it's offered in. As with the original, this is a great option for anyone who doesn't wish to keep their litter in small, individual bags, but would rather scoop away their cat's messes, drop it in a bucket, and forget about it for a few weeks.
The best self-cleaning cat litter disposal system
When you've got a home that houses multiple cats, keeping the litter boxes clean can feel like a never-ending task. Having a self-cleaning litter box can make litter box maintenance that much simpler, and having one that will also keep that waste stored until you're ready to make a trip to the trash can is even better. This hands-free device clips together in seconds, and scoops out your cat's waste for you before opening its own lid and dropping that mess inside of it, all on its own. It uses carbon zeolite technology to keep odors under control once the waste is inside the storage space, and comes with a one-year limited warranty. Because it sifts through the litter on its own, it's recommended that you use lightweight cat litter for the best results.