If you're like most cat owners, odds are you've probably gone through at least a couple of different litter boxes for your precious fur ball. Either they're too small, too cramped, or the material is easily damaged and can lead to litter spilling out. Whatever the case, you've likely had to deal with a litter box that didn't work and needed to change for something that does.
When trying out the Van Ness Giant High-Sided Cat Litter Pan, I was surprised at just how effective this was at being a potential last stop in the veritable smorgasbord of different litter box options out there. This was even wilder when you consider the fact that it's an open litter box design, meaning everything showing at all times.
Still, I gave it a try... and I've got to say it wasn't half bad. The Giant High-Sides Cat Litter Pan from Van Ness provides, easy access for older cats, larger cats, kittens and is perfect for reducing litter scatter within multiple cat households.
Below, I'll go over what I thought of its design and build as well as how well it is for cleaning up as opposed to handling litter tracks. By the end, I'll compare its price point before going over what I think of it as a whole and if it's worth your (or your cat's) time.
Is The Van Ness Giant High-Sided Cat Litter Pan Any Good?
Generally the Van Ness Giant High-Sided Cat Litter Pan is well-regarded for its size, ease-of-use, and high sides, which help contain litter, and messes and prevent spills. Some users have reported issues with durability over time. But saying that, it does come in at a very affordable price.
Van Ness High-Sided Litter Box: The Setup
Starting with the setup process, one of the more decided wins for the Van Ness High Sides Giant Cat Pan is the fact that everything is already put together.
Pretty much, all you're going to do is open it out of the box and fill it up with litter. And since it's an open litter pan, you don't have to worry about setting up or putting on a lid.
The Van Ness doesn't come with a litter scooper or any baggies for the cat business, but that's not something too unexpected considering its more bare-bone nature. Still, if you're just starting and don't already have a litter pan, don't expect these to be included.
Size & Build
In terms of overall size, one of the biggest selling points for the Van Ness High Sides Cat Litter Pan is its larger dimensions, giant size, and "huge" sides.
I wouldn't go crazy and say that these sides are necessarily the biggest you'll ever see with litter boxes, but they certainly get the job done when it comes to helping large cats feel like they have a moderate amount of protection, if not all that much privacy.
The back goes up to about nine inches, while the sides slope down a bit to six inches. This makes getting in and out of the litter box much easier than having constantly leap in blindly.
The size of the pan is also great if you've got a cat that likes to be a bit messy when they're doing its thing.
My cat, Milly, loves to "spray" out instead of down, while simultaneously having a huge aversion to many closed-lid litter boxes.
As you can imagine, having an open pan that has high sides ensures the room itself stays much cleaner and less smelly and litter covered.
From an overall build perspective, the Van Ness isn't too shabby. It's made from 20% recycled resistant plastic, is stain resistant, and comes with a high-polished finish.
It's also durable enough not to break apart even when cats try scratching a bit too hard on its floor.
As far as designs go, the Van Ness offers a few different color options based on your personal tastes. I've always been partial to the more standard medium blue look, though they also have green and bronze colors if you're interested in something more "exotic".
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Outside of its different color options, however, there's not a lot of "fun" you can do with the design. It's meant to be a more standard open litter box and that's what you're getting.
I guess that the ultimate trade-off when it comes to open pans is that they just can't afford to be anything other than an open litter pan.
Odor & Litter Protection
First, when it comes to odor, since it is an open pan, the Van Ness isn't going to be nearly as effective as other covered options simply for the fact that there's nothing to cover any exposed waste.
As such, you're always going to know what your cat's been up to if they aren't great at burying their waste, the litter isn't particularly great, or you've waited a bit too long to clear things out. Seriously.
They argue that the pan is "odor-resistant" but I don't see how that's possible outside of any odors not "staining" the plastic itself before a wash or covering.
As far as keeping your floors safe from litter tracks, I have to say that this is more based on where you have the litter box as well as the nature of your cat.
I have two cats (Milly & Marley) and they treat the litter box in very different ways.
For Marley, he's very much a jumper, and because the walls are as high as they are, this almost inspires him to want to jump more than he did with the previous open litter pan we used.
Milly, on the other hand, is much more ladylike, always opting to use the front entrance when entering and leaving.
That said, she does seem to always want to scamper full-throttle the second she's finished, and that doesn't change even when there isn't a lid on the pan.
We also tried putting it in separate areas and that either made the situation worse or otherwise negated the issue entirely.
Here, we put it close to the middle of my bathroom (no nearby surrounding walls) as well as the laundry room right in front of a wall. While the laundry room was relatively uneventful (and ultimately the place we ended up keeping it) the bathroom was insane.
While we didn't have to worry about anything "messy" flying out anywhere, the same couldn't be said when it came to litter.
Here, the cats seemed to treat the box like it was a dig site, tossing tons of litter out onto the floor from just about all sides. I honestly don't know what the logic was or why they felt so inspired to do it.
Needless to say, as great as the giant walls are for handling mess escaping, if you have your litter box in an open space, don't expect those same walls to do anything when it comes to crazy digging excursions.
As far as cleaning goes, so long as you're keeping up with your cat's business and have quality litter there shouldn't be much of an issue. It's really when you start cleaning the pan itself that you may run into some issues.
Depending on the type of litter you decide to go for, it's very likely you'll end up with some major clumps that are difficult to move unless you've put in the serious elbow grease and strong solution soap.
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The Van Ness isn't trying to be anything crazy expensive or super chic. It's really just a basic litter box with high sides and no lid.
You're not going to be out really anything more than $14 on the high end, with some places offering as little as $8, which tells you how competitive prices can be as well how simplistic (yet surprisingly effective) this litter box option ultimately is.
Van Ness Giant High-Sided Cat Litter Pan: The Verdict
When it comes down to it, the Van Ness Giant High-Sided Cat Litter Pan is exactly what the name tells you it is. It's a litter pan with high sides and a ton of overall space.
This isn't to say that it's not effective or doesn't do its job.
While I wouldn't say it's the definitive cat litter box that everyone should run out to get, if you're someone that's had issues in the past with your cats using a closed-lid pan, and you're interested in trying an easily affordable option, the Van Ness Giant High Sides Cat Litter pan is a great place to start (and possibly end) for your kitties.