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Say 👋goodbye👋 to scooping with the self-cleaning litter box! If you're in a hurry, check out our top 3 picks so you can cut this extra hassle from your daily routine. If you want some more information, hop on down to our in-depth buying guide below our reviews.
The LitterMaid High-Capacity Litter Disposal System tops our list with a strong 10 rating. If you want a truly simple and easy-to-use self-cleaning automatic litter box, this device is for you. Compatible with all LitterMaid-brand litter boxes, this device will transfer waste into a bottom bag. Once you're ready to throw out the waste, simply tie up the bottom bag and throw it away! This unit has an extra-large capacity that will work with even the fluffiest of felines and pans. If you don't have a LitterMaid box, don't worry! ScoopFree versions are available.
All in all, we think it's worth the investment.
If your kitty likes her privacy—and you like odor control—check out the ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box! This auto cat litter box from PetSafe comes covered, which will provide Fluffy with all the privacy she needs. The top-entry hood is great for preventing litter tracking due to its smart grated design. What's also nice about this model is that it comes with a tracker. It will tell you how often your pet uses her box; this might become necessary for certain medical reasons. It's also quite easy to clean. Simply remove the disposable litter trays when needed, and slide replacements in with new litter.
While there's a lot to love about this device, it isn't perfect. It's a bit pricier than our first pick, and you must buy the brand's own litter. Moreover, you will likely have to replace the litter more often than what the manufacturer says. If you're fine with buying specific litter and replacing it often, then this item is a great option to explore.
If you want to keep your litter box clean on a budget, the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box could be for you! This item is only $26.29 on Amazon. This box is covered, which is great for odor control and privacy. However, if your feline gets claustrophobic easily, she might not enjoy this litter pan very much.
Note that while this product is self-cleaning, it is not automatic. What this means is that you will have to manually make the device scoop for you. You simply roll the box, and clumped litter will deposit into a receptacle. So while you'll have to do a little bit of work, you won't have to scoop. Make sure to get a great clumping litter for this product to work properly.
You have cats. Your cats are making a mess of their litter box. You have no time to clean up after them. Things pile up, and soon the house smells like cat litter. Sound familiar? Fortunately, there is just the thing to help you and your cats out.
Meet the auto litter box, revolutionary in design and technology. Self-cleaning litter boxes cut out the hassle of having to scoop waste yourself. Automatic litter boxes are even better, as they even put the waste into a separate receptacle for you while you're away. If you're looking for an easier way to maintain your cat's litter box, this might be the solution for you!
The reasons for owning an automatic cat litter box are endless. For brevity's sake (as we know your cats are sulking around for food already), we have listed the top five most important ones.
For starters, let's take a look at health. Bacteria from feline waste can easily be spread to your hands and then to other places if you are not careful. In addition, there are toxic fumes that cat waste emits profusely. Breathing these fumes in is also not healthy for humans and animals alike.
The health needs of your cat are equally as important. It is unhealthy for your cat to be breathing in fumes (in a covered box) or to be stepping on old waste, especially if your cat is old or has raw spots that could get infected. It is best to have a litter box that is regularly maintained. So, if you cannot or are not keeping up with maintenance, then go for an auto cat litter box.
The next reason to own one is for cleanliness. Some auto kitty litter boxes have automatic rake systems. Some have grills. Some have kitty-litter tracking devices to keep the litter contained. Others flush the litter like a real toilet. The creative ideas that people have put to good use are endless.
The point is, you do not have to get down on your hands and knees with a scoop and sift through the clumps. Nor do you have to sweep or vacuum up all that extra kitty litter that your cat excitedly kicks up in a dust storm (depending on what size and style of auto kitty litter box that you buy).
The third reason to get one is for odor control. Waste is properly disposed of in a timely manner so that you do not have to be the first responder. Some even come with carbon filters, which sit on top of the box to collect wafting fumes as they go to leave the box. There is typically a slot that you can insert a carbon filter and replace it as needed. For added odor control and reduced litter tracking, opt for a fully automated litter box with a privacy hood.
Another fabulous reason why these litter boxes are so effective at their jobs is their convenience. With an automatic cat pan, you don't have to worry about rushing to scoop every time your cat completes her business. The convenience of auto cleaners makes cat-waste management a breeze. Your job is simply to facilitate the last step, which is taking care of the auto cleaner itself and throwing out the contained waste.
Finally, comfort is a tremendous plus for your cat. Your cat benefits enormously from an auto cat cleaner. In nature, cats do not excrete their waste in the exact same spot. You would not want to do this either. In regular kitty litter boxes, cats are forced to find new room in a small space to take care of business. This can be especially stressful for Fluffy if her boxes are not regularly cleaned. In many different types of auto cleaners, cats have an open field all day, every day. This mimics what happens in nature, and they won't have to worry about working around old waste.
The exact process varies from product to product. In general, though, there is a rake that sweeps across the litter box, which collects and deposits waste into a receptacle or drawer at the end. The receptacle then closes, which keeps odor under control. It is like a bowling alley in this regard. Then, you just empty the waste drawer.
Some automatic cat litter boxes also have a sensor for when the cat enters and leaves. This sensor alerts the rake when immediate clean-ups can begin. Sensors have built-in precautions, so you won't have to worry about kitty getting spooked by an untimely clean-up. This safety precaution prevents cleaning when a cat is still in the box, sort of like an elevator door sensor. The cleaning cycle essentially works independently, though it is nonetheless in tune with your cat's behavior and activities.
You must clean the receptacle before it overflows, otherwise the cleaner will not be able to do its job. Even worse, you will have an even bigger mess on your hands. To avoid this issue, get an idea of how often your cat uses the bathroom. It is a good idea to check it once every day, though some auto cat litter boxes can store waste for up to a week. Of course, this might mean it will smell bad if you don't check on it properly.
There are three basic categories of automatic self-cleaning litter boxes:
Open-air automatic cat litter boxes are exactly what they sound like. They are open for all eyes to see: no covers or enclosures. These are great for cats of all sizes because they have the added comfort of head space. Most cats do not like to poop in small spaces; they do not have the room they need to get comfortable. Therefore, these litter boxes are ideal because the cat is happy, odor is under control, and the box stays clean.
The drawbacks to this type of box include the fact that they offer no privacy, less odor control, and little protection against litter tracking.
Next on the list are enclosed auto kitty litter pans. They are good for cats who love their privacy and prefer to be secretive about where they use the bathroom (as if you do not know already). The covered litter box also has the added benefit of reducing odors while keeping litter fly-away to a minimum.
The downsides to these litter pans are that they can make some felines feel claustrophobic and tend to be a bit pricier than open-air options.
The third style is the furniture-style box. Designs for this type of litter pan are pretty new age and revolutionary. They can look like night stands, flower pots, tables, cabinets, desks, you name it! The automatic-cleaning aspect is a beautiful ingenuity here, because you can let the "furniture" stand as is, with minimal maintenance, and not draw attention to the fact that it is a litter box. A litter box you don't have to regularly scoop and it doesn't look like a litter box? Yes, please. When you set out to buy one, just know that it will probably be on the pricier side, especially if it is high quality.
All in all, there are multiple styles to choose from, so you can go with what is best for you, your cat, and your home. When buying a box, don't forget to think about the size and number of cats that live with you.
The size and number of cats you have will determine, well, the size and number of boxes you need. Ask yourself the following questions to see if you need to make a drastic change in box size from what your pet already has:
Chances are, your kitty litter box will never be too big. In fact, cats often love big spaces to dig around in. It's more likely that your litter box is too small. This is obvious when kitty litter is flung all over the place or your cat is digging into the bottom of the container in the hopes of achieving a breakthrough. If your cat doesn't use her box at all, it's a clear sign she's unhappy. The optimal size is approximately one-and-a-half times the length of your cat.
Cats are territorial and like to claim and protect their own space. Single-cat spaces require just one litter box. Multiple-cat households should have an equal number of litter boxes to cats, plus one more. If you think you can get away with just one litter box and keep it clean all the time, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed. Odds are you'll quickly find waste under the couch or right beside the bed. Cats want space, and although your cats might get along in other aspects, potties are different. Commercially available multi-cat self-cleaning litter boxes will often be quite large. However, it is still recommended by experts to provide multiple pans for multiple cats.
Automatic self-cleaning litter boxes won't work will all kinds of litter. So, know that picking up a new box might mean you can't use a favorite litter you've used in the past. Some brands have made it so that only their own in-house litter will work with their boxes. Others have a wider range of options from which you can choose. Always see what the manufacturer recommends.
If you aren't limited to a specific brand of litter, some great options include:
Sometimes, people mistake allergies to cat litter for allergies to just cats in general. Many commercial cat litters are full of powerful chemicals. These chemicals are in place to help control odor, but these litters also create a tremendous amount of dust. People and even cats can be allergic to such litters. Natural kitty litter can help reduce dust and potential allergy triggers.
Crystal litter contains little to no dust, and it is incredible at absorbing moisture. This absorbency is a result of sodium silicate sand that gets processed with oxygen and water when manufacturing these litters. Look for litter made without crystalline silicate, which is harmful to cats. Crystal litter is also big and porous with a lot of interior channels, which makes it an excellent option for reducing odors. Some cats might be cautious or hesitant to try it out because it is made of crystal chunks. Normally, though, you can acclimate your cat by gradually introducing it.
Clumping litter is great, no matter what type of litter box you have. However, these litters are especially important to use in automatic boxes. If you have litter that doesn't properly clump, you'll be left with bits and pieces that you'll have to scoop out. This defeats the point of the auto box! There are plenty of natural clumping litters available, so you can get the best of both.
There's definitely a few accessories you should pick up along with your box and litter. Some of these items include:
If you are considering additional accessories, think about litter box mats. They are designed to collect any litter that your cat might carry on her paws as she leaves the litter box. The mat is the first line of defense against litter tracking! After all, it is much nicer to clean a mat once a week than get in a bed full of tiny litter granules.
Yes, the point of the automatic box is to avoid scooping. However, if anything should happen—like the power goes out—you'll definitely be thankful to have a spare scooper on hand.
Many self-cleaning automatic cat pans work by pushing waste into receptacles, which is often lined with a bag of some sort. Some brands will require specific types of bags, but many work with regular old plastic bags or kitchen trash bags.
Besides the style of box, there are some other factors to consider when looking for the best automatic litter pan for you, including:
You will need to consider how durable your new litter pan is. Some items may look fancy and have lots of bells and whistles but are poorly constructed. Our suggestion? Read product reviews to see what other pet parents have to say. If you notice a trend of faulty products or missing parts, it's probably a sign that the particular product you're looking at won't hold up for long. Save your money for a product that works well and lasts awhile!
Many manufacturers claim that their auto litter boxes are quiet. However, this may not always be the case. Almost all fully automated products will produce some noise as the rake scoops up waste. Most of the time, this noise is hardly noticeable and won't cause a problem. Some products are prone to producing more noise than others, though; keep this in mind as you do your research. Again, reading reviews can be a great way to predict how quiet your new litter pan will be. Additionally, if you notice that your once-silent litter pan is now making noise, that could also be a sign that something is broken.
Some advanced options let you control how long the cleaning cycle is. Many auto litter boxes have a pre-set cycle time of 60 minutes.
You may hear these terms thrown around a lot, but a self-cleaning box is not always the same thing as an auto litter box.
High walls on a box can reduce the amount of litter your kitty kicks up. However, some smaller and/or older felines may have a difficult time getting over these higher walls.
You and your cat both deserve the best! Automatic cat litter pans are great for the messy cat, the busy human, and the pleasant-smelling house. The best self-cleaning automatic litter boxes are ones that your pets will readily use and that you will have to do little to maintain. As such, no single box will work perfectly for everyone's needs. You have to really know your feline friend: Does she prefer open space or privacy? Can she easily step over high walls? Asking yourself these questions will help you find the litter box best suited for your home.