- 1 Best Automatic/Self-Cleaning Litter Box Reviews
- 2 What Is a Self-cleaning Litter Box?
- 3 Are Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth It?
- 4 Automatic/Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Cats Buying Guide
- 5 DIY Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- 6 Conclusion
You cannot even imagine how easy one automatic cat litter box can make your life. Yes, they are expensive. However, when you are purchasing one, remember that you are not only purchasing a litter box. You are also buying back all your precious time which would be spent on cleaning your cat’s litter box and in our busy lives, time is one of the most valuable things. As self-cleaning cat litter boxes are expensive, it is very important that you get the right one in the first shot because you probably do not have the luxury for trial and error method. Since I am in the same position myself, I have done extensive research and dug out the best automatic/self-cleaning litter boxes for cats. I hope that they will be of help to you too!
CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
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Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box
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PetSafe ScoopFree Original Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
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LitterMaid LM580 Classic Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box
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Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
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Best Automatic/Self-Cleaning Litter Box Reviews
1 CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
CatGenie Cat Box is a clever cat litter box that flushes all the waste away and cleans itself. This cat toilet uses litter-like, permanent granules. Permanent means that you will never need to replace them because they are washable and reusable. Plus, these granules are 100% dust free and they come along with the box itself, as well as a recyclable SaniSolution cartridge. One can use the SaniSolution to wash, scrub, scour and purify the granules in order to make them clean as new. CatGenie also features a heater which heats and dries the washed granules to make them warm and ready for the next use.
CatGenie is 19.25” wide in front, 16” wide in the bottom back, 17.5” in the top back, 21” high, and 24.5” deep. It is ideal for up to three cats but no more. Moreover, it is safe to use only with cats which are older than 6 months.
CatGenie requires hookup to cold water and a 120V electrical outlet for setup. It can share the cold water line for the toilet or the washing machine. It liquefies the solids for safe and easy disposal down the toilet or the drain, depending on where you set it up. This automatic cat litter box has 4 programming options all of which are set on cat activation.
One thing you should consider when purchasing this litter box is that its water sensor needs to be cleaned every month. Even though it takes only about three minutes and is an easy chore, it is still a chore. Also, sometimes the machine misses some of the poop in the center and you may need to interfere manually…
- Flushes the waste.
- Uses washable and reusable granules.
- It comes with one SaniSolution cartridge.
- 100% dust-free.
- 4 programming options.
- Suitable for up to 3 cats.
- Easy DIY setup.
2 Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box is a cat litter box that operates without using electricity! All you have to do is to roll the box to the right side until its top touches to the floor and then you roll it back into the upright position and that’s it. The secret to this self-cleaning litter box is the patented grill-like screen inside of it which separates the clean litter from the clumped parts. It features a pullout tray where all the wastes are accumulated and can be easily dumped.
Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box can only be used with clumping cat litters and it is ideal for big cats or multiple-cat households. It has a closed top to give your cat some privacy and is effective in dust and odor control. One negative aspect about this litter box is that even though it is self-cleaning, it is not automatic; you need to make it work manually. On the bright side, you will be saving on your electric bills. Also, you need to choose a very good clumping litter because it will not clean effectively otherwise.
- Self cleans when rolled on to the right side.
- Works only with clumping cat litter.
- Suitable for households with multiple cats.
- It has a closed top.
3 PetSafe ScoopFree Original Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
PetSafe ScoopFree Original Self-Cleaning Cat Litter box is an automatic litter box that only works with crystal litter. Although crystal litter is more expensive than clay litter, it trails less and is 100% dust-free. This litter box self cleans and does not need any maintenance for weeks. All you have to do is slide a ScoopFree Disposable Litter Tray under the frame of the box and load ScoopFree Crystal Litter into it. Then you plug it in and you are set to go.
PetSafe cat litter box features movement sensors that trigger the cleaning cycle 20 minutes after your cat leaves the box. If your cat walks into the box during the cleanup, the process automatically stops. When it is time to change litter, you need to remove the disposable tray, cover it with the lid provided and dump it.
PetSafe self-cleaning litter box is equipped with a rake that scoops all the solid waste into the waste trap and the waste trap also traps all odors thanks to its covered design. One point on this product is that if you have more than one cat, you might want to think twice before purchasing it. The crystal litter will last shorter with multiple cats and the refills are quite costly.
- Works only with crystal litter.
- It does not need any maintenance for about a month.
- Equipped with motion sensors to start/stop cleaning cycles.
- Wastes accumulate in a disposable tray.
- Not hooded.
- Covered waste trap eliminates all bad odors.
4 LitterMaid LM580 Classic Series Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The LitterMaid(R) Self-Cleaning Litter Box is designed for single cat households or cats under 15 pounds. It is an unhooded litter box but with a high wall design. It has a strong and durable self-cleaning mechanism that is activated by a sensor. The sensor needs to be blocked for at least 10 seconds for the machine to start working. When the sensor is unblocked again, the cleaning cycle is initiated. It actually starts working 10 minutes after your cat leaves the litter box and if it comes back during a cycle, the cycle immediately stops until the sensor triggers a new cycle and the 10 minutes start over.
During the cleaning cycle, an automatic rake moves forward and back to scoop waste clumps into the waste receptacle. This receptacle will keep waste and odors trapped until it is time for a replacement. This automatic cat litter box also features an optional sleep mode that deactivates it overnight.
The LitterMaid(R) Self-Cleaning Litter Box comes with 4 sealed waste receptacles and 4 carbon filters. Moreover, it comes with a power adapter but can also run on batteries and has a 14” x 14” compact design. Points to consider about this automatic litter box is that it is not extremely quiet while working and if you put a lot of litter in it slows down the rake.
- For single cat households.
- A sensor triggers the cleaning cycles.
- Has a sleep mode.
- 4 sealed waste receptacles and 4 carbon filters
5 Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box is perfect for multi-cat households. The self-cleaning cycle begins 15 minutes after your cat uses the litter box. It features a rake which moves across the litter box and scoops any waste. The rake is metal instead of plastic and this makes it quite sturdy. Afterward, it dumps all that waste into the waste collection bin. Once the waste collection bin is full, you can remove the tray, take off the waste bag, toss the bag, and replace it with a new one.
Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box features a universal carbon filter that eliminates bad odors. Plus, it is proven to be significantly quieter than its opponents with 75% less noise. To top it all, you can use your own bags in the waste bin; there is no specific brand that you will need to buy. However, one thing that users complain about is that the rake does not reach to the bottom of the box and leaves some waste there.
- It has a metal rake instead of plastic.
- Any bag which fits the waste bin can be used.
- Has a universal carbon filter for odor control.
What Is a Self-cleaning Litter Box?
A self-cleaning or automatic litter box is not much different from a regular litter box. The only difference lies in the way self-cleaning litter boxes work. They feature a built-in mechanism that separates your cat’s pee and poop from the clean litter. Therefore, you do not need to clean your cat’s litter daily by yourself but only have to clean the waste bin of the litter box and add litter every once in a while. If the
Self-cleaning or automatic litter boxes work with either clumping cat litters or crystal litter. Some of them have different programming options that you can choose from, depending on the toilet habits of your cat. Most of them are equipped with a sensor that detects your cat in the litter box and starts a cleaning cycle accordingly.
Automatic litter boxes are much more expensive than standard cat litter boxes but they save you from the great load of daily litter box cleanup.
Are Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth It?
Self-cleaning litter boxes are quite costly and it naturally makes you wonder if they are worth it. Well, it depends. First of all, it depends on how much time you want to spare on their maintenance. You should clean a regular litter box at least once a day Most of the time, it is better to do it twice a day or even more if you have multiple cats. A self-cleaning litter box will need to be attended every other week or so. You will need to add some more litter and empty the waste bin if it works on a collecting principle.
Secondly, it might be a great idea to get one if you travel often and leave your cat home alone for a day or two. With a regular cat litter box, you will either have to ask someone to go clean it in your absence or you will go back home to find a mess. It will probably reek, too. However, an automatic litter box sets you and your neighbors completely free and you will go back home to find a fresh and clean litter box. Having a fresh smelling clean litter box will be a bliss for your cat, too.
On the negative side, you will have to trust the product you have purchased to work. And, it is always risky with electronic devices because sometimes they just stop working and you cannot even find out why. Therefore, it is very important to do proper research before getting one.
Automatic/Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Cats Buying Guide
Measuring your cat for an automatic litter box is no different from measuring a cat for a regular litter box. However, since most self-cleaning litter boxes are open tops, you need to consider the size of the base only.
As much as it is important that the litter box size is comfortable enough for your cat, the size of the unit itself relative to the size of your apartment also matters. There are some very bulky devices on the market and if you do not live in a large apartment you may find it difficult to find a spot for the box.
The first thing that you need to consider is if the self-cleaning litter box is fully automatic or manual. There are some litter boxes with a simpler apparatus for self-cleanup. You may need to shake or move the box to a side for the box to self-clean. However, with fully automatic litter boxes, all you have to do is to power it on.
You can program some automatic litter boxes for different cleaning schedules. For example, you can set the box to start the cleaning cycle every 12 hours or every 6 hours, etc. On the other hand, some of them are equipped with a sensor that detects when your cat comes in and goes out of the box and start the cleaning cycle accordingly. I believe that the one with a sensor is the better option.
Some automatic litter boxes have a sleep mode that stops all cleaning actions during night time. This might be a great option for those who are light sleepers because some litter boxes work quite loudly and the sound may wake you up in the middle of the night.
When we talk about sound, you may want to check how loudly the litter box operates. There are some very loud ones and relatively silent others. It would be smart to choose something quiet both for your own comfort and your cat’s. Your cat might be freaked out by a loud working litter box and might avoid it because it is too frightened to go near it again.
Most self-cleaning litter boxes collect the used up litter in a waste bin which you need to empty whenever full. There are also automatic litter boxes for cats that flush. It means that they send all the waste down your drain rather than collecting them for you to clean later. Even though the waste compartments are closed and the odors are trapped inside, flushing boxes are better at odor control since they completely get rid of all the waste almost immediately. However, their setup requirements are a long list when you compare to the collecting litter boxes. On the other hand, you can always use cat litter for odor control with your new self-cleaning litter box which will help to eliminate the litter box odor.
I suggest you also check approximately how long each cleaning cycle takes, especially if you have multiple cats. Some boxes operate really slow. It takes forever for one cycle to end and each time one cat or another comes back in, it disrupts the cycle and will need to start over again.
Type of Litter
You can use certain types of the litter with certain self-cleaning litter boxes. Some of them are compatible with only clumping litters while others cannot operate without crystal litter. This is important because each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, crystal litter is very expensive in comparison and you may want to use a cheap cat litter. Or, most clumping cat litters are dustier than the crystal ones and they trail more. Of course, there are some dust-free cat litter options available on the market.
Another point is that some self-cleaning litter boxes are designed to work with only one brand of litter. I think this is extremely important because if you or your cat hate the litter for some reason, you will have no other choice from changing the box itself because you cannot change the litter.
Ease of Setup
Most self-cleaning cat litter boxes are pretty easy to set up. Generally, all you have to do it is to add litter and plug the unit in. Some also can work on batteries but usually too slow. The case is a bit different for flushing litter boxes because you need to connect them to a drain. It can share your toilet drain or the drain of the washing machine. Check whether you are going to be able to set it up by yourself or if you will need to call a professional. Remember that hiring a professional for it means extra money and consider if it is worth it. Most setups are DIYs, though and unless you have two left hands you will be able to do it by yourself.
One of the main reasons for getting a self-cleaning litter box in the first place is to save time. Therefore, if the maintenance of the litter box that you get is difficult and time-consuming, then it is not worth it. You want something easy to take care of. While flushing ones are the easiest to maintain, the ones that collect waste in a bin are also quite practical. All you have to do is to empty the waste bin or the tray. If you are using a litter mat for the litter that trails, it will be enough for you to shake it off every once in a while as well.
Some waste bins are suitable for placing plastic bags inside them so that you can simply replace the bags when it is cleanup time. Some have disposable trays for collecting waste and you change the tray with a new one and dump the other. Remember that you will need to buy these disposable trays and it may become costly. Also, some waste bins are compatible with a certain brand of plastic bags only and you will continuously need to buy new bags. Make sure that you do the math before making a purchase in each case.
Number of Cats
Check the cat capacity of the self-cleaning litter box. One is suitable for only one cat while another is ideal for up to three cats. If you have multiple cats and want to get the daily litter box cleanup process out of your way, getting a box fit for only one cat will not solve your problem. You can also check Kittie Cat for my reviews on litter boxes for multiple/big cats.
DIY Self-Cleaning Litter Box
If you are planning to buy a self-cleaning litter box, you should be very thorough in your search for it since what you are about to buy is not cheap at all. Spending money on something useless would really be a frustration. Therefore, I hope that my reviews on the best self-cleaning/automatic litter boxes have painted a clearer picture for you. Now you can spend the time you have saved on litter box cleanup with your furry friend. Play one more game for me too! If you still think that an automatic litter box is not for you, check my top entry litter box reviews.