Before we decided to add a furry friend to our adventurous RV lifestyle, the issue of the litter box was a top concern. We lived in an apartment when we had our previous cat and the litter box was not a great memory. Even with daily cleaning, there were several issues that would make having a litter box in an RV with a much smaller living space more challenging and unpleasant.
Litter box problems:
- Where to put it
- How to keep the litter from tracking
- How to keep the smell minimal
- How to clean it without dust getting in the air
- How to dispose of it when boondocking
I’m the type of person that will research everything and anything until I find the perfect answer to what I’m looking for. So, after extensive (really really extensive) research, I found the perfect solution for all those problems and it can work for anyone!
Ultimate RV Litter Box Solution:
- Save you lot’s of money!
- No unpleasant smells
- No need to cut holes or change your RV
- No litter tracking
- No dust when you clean
Where to put a litter box in an RV or Camper?
This was the first major concern before we got our new kitten. We are living in a 30 foot RV and space is limited, to say the least. I looked into a lot of other articles that had ideas on how to store a litter box but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. One solution was to put the litter box in the shower. The problem with that was the now litter would go down the drain. Not only that but if you have a shower door that opens outward like we do, it’s difficult to keep the door propped open and you can’t leave it open when you are on the road. So, that option was quickly crossed off the list.
The most popular solution that people turned to was putting the litter box in a cabinet, closet, or storage space which involved cutting holes and permanent alterations to the RV. We did not want to do this because if we decided to sell our RV and upgrade, a future buyer wouldn’t be too thrilled unless they too had a cat.
If you are not worried about resale value, you have an outside compartment that you could construct so your cat can access it from inside, and you are handy with a set of tools than installing a litter box in your RV might be your best option.
Since these two options were not ideal for us, I was left with either putting under the steering wheel or at the foot of our bed (our bed is a slide out and when it is in, there is a large area under the bed that is accessible to the cat).I wasn’t excited about either of these options but we decided that that joys of adding a furry feline would outweigh these inconveniences.
So there we were: a cat, an RV, and a litter box. Turns out that when we put the litter box under the steering wheel it didn’t offer much privacy to the cat, it needed to be moved when driving, and litter would spill down the peddle area which could lead to breaking/accelerating problems. No problem, we’ll just go with option 2 and move it to under the bed.
That didn’t work as well as expected. Now we had litter tracking all over the floor and the not-so-fun smells while trying to sleep.
The REAL Problem: Litter
I took a step back and realized that the many of the problems that come with litter boxes are because of the litter. So off I went, searching the depths of Google and forums desperately looking a solution.
Option 1: Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded Litter Box System
I found hundreds of different litter boxes and litter that all had their ups and downs but in the end, I choose to go with the Purina Tidy Cat’s Breeze Litter Box system. I looked into this system with my previous cat but I needed a litter box with high walls or a hood to contain the litter and smell. Well, turns out that now they have a Breeze Litter Box with a hood! Other cat owners had great results from the reviews I read. There was 0 dust, it didn’t track, and order was minimal.
If you aren’t very familiar with how it works, here is a quick rundown:
- Clay pellets are used for the litter, they don’t stick to paws so there is no tracking
- Disposable pads go in the tray under the litter to absorb urine and control odor
So it’s fairly simple, you scoop out the solid waste daily and the disposable pads are replaced weekly. (They say a pad should last one week if one cat is using it). The clay pallets come in 3.5-pound bags and they say that should last a month. I was beyond excited with the thought of putting the days of stepping on litter trackings behind me.
And it actually solved a lot of the problems we had. However, there was something that I didn’t fully consider and that was the cost. The litter box kit was a reasonable price at $45 on Amazon. You get the litter box, a scooper, a full bag of litter plates and 4 disposable pads.
Theoretically, this should last a month. But realistically, I needed more than one bag of litter. I was using about 2 per month and 6 pads and the cost was quickly adding up. I looked for alternatives to the Breeze pallets and pine seemed to be the answer.
Option 2: Pine Pallet Litter
The Breeze Litter was better at reducing odor, there was still room for improvement. A solution that is better for the wallet would be to use pine pellet litter. It’s cheaper, 100% natural, and has a fresh pine smell. You can get pine litter at any Walmart. Last time I bought some it was around $3.45 for a bag. If you want to go a step further, you can also get 40-pound bags of pine pallets at Tractor Supply stores for less than $6.00 and that should last you at least 6 months!
If this is a solution that you want to try I recommend that you first try to transition your cat to pine litter in its current litter box. The best way to do this is to slowly add more pine pallets everytime you clean the litter box. Pine pallet litter can be used in a regular litter box.
When a cat pees on it, it absorbs it and turns from pallets into sawdust. When Neo was using the pine litter I would scoop out the solid waste a couple times a day or when I would notice that he pooped.
Not all cats like pallet style litter. It can be harder for them to cover up their waste and they might not like the texture. This is a big reason I recommend trying pine litter before buying the Breeze Litter box or something similar. If your cat doesn’t like the pine pallets there is no point in spending the money on a new litter box.
That’s a lesson I learned the hard way. I transitioned Neo slowly onto pine pellet litter and the Breeze litter system worked perfectly. I scooped out solid waste multiple times a day and shuffled the rest of the litter so that the sawdust would collect in the tray with the pee pad. I was thrilled that this was working! … Until Neo decided that the leather couch was a more suitable place to go to the bathroom.
Long story short, he did not like the pallets. So we were back to square one. I was back to cleaning dusty litter that tracked all over the floor.
Option 3. Low Tracking and Dust Free Litter
It was disappointing that the Breeze Litter Box and Pine Litter combo didn’t work. I had already bought him a fancy Breeze litter box and now I needed to find a solution that both of us would be happy with. While I searched for a better option and waited for my Amazon package delivery, I covered the holes of the Breeze litter box by lining the bottom with blue painters tape to keep the old clay litter inside.
This actually worked really well and I could have continued to use this litter box but I wanted to reduce the tracking as much as possible. So the first step was to find a litter that was low tracking and dust-free.
Dust-free litter was very important since we are living in such a small area, the last thing I wanted was to be breathing in litter dust. I found a couple articles reviewing different litter brands and settled with Dr. Elsey’s Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter.
- 99.9% Dust Free
- Low Tracking
- Odor Control
- Hard Clumping
- All Natural
- Hypo-allergenic contains no plant protein
- Prevents moisture from reaching the bottom of the litter box
This was loads better than the other clumping litter I was using and the cat loves it. The next step for us was finding a litter box that would work well with this litter and further reduce tracking.
Option 4. Top-Entry Litter Box
As I’m sure you know, when you are living in an RV space is very limited, especially when you are traveling with pets. We needed a litter box that wouldn’t take up a ton of space and keep the dog out. In the end, a top-entry litter box made the most sense. There are lots of top-entry litter box options.
Some are ridiculously priced, I can’t believe people actually pay $90+ for a basic top entry litterbox). The one that I liked the best, and had a far more attractive price tag, was the IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box from Amazon. It had lots of reviews and a high rating. These are the features that I like about this litter box:
- Wide entry
- A grooved lid to reduce tracking
- Scoop and hook included and hangs inside the litter box
- Lots of room inside
- Gives the cat privacy
- Round corners and design makes it super easy to clean
- Looks stylish and BPA free
- The dog can’t get into it
We didn’t need a transition period for Neo to start using this litter box. All I did was dump the litter from his old litter box into this one and placed him in it. He sniffed around and jumped out. I kept an eye on him and when he had to go he uses this new litter box like a pro.
The IRIS Top Entry Litterbox has a grooved trackpad as the cover so when Neo jumps out the little pieces fall from his paws and get trapped in the grooves. This combines with using the low tracking litter have worked wonderfully for us.
Having a top entry litter box also gives us more options on where we want to store it. We can easily fit it into smaller areas since the cat enters from the top and not the sides. It also has a nice design so it’s not an eyesore and there are a few color options. It’s very sturdy and we can place it anywhere without having to worry about the dog getting into it.
Hope you found this article helpful and if you have your own experiences or litter solutions you would like to share, please comment below!