No matter how much love you have for your kitty, you probably don’t love cleaning up their litter box. Poop scooping is unpleasant, smelly and probably just another chore on the long list of things you need to do each day.
And yet most of us have accepted it as the price we have to pay to keep these fun and furry creatures of mystery in our lives.
Get behind on your scooping, and it’s not healthy for you or your cat. Get really behind and your feline friend may leave you a little surprise on your bedspread. No one wants to pick up a mess outside of the litter box from solid waste to wet waste.
Thankfully, as we move further into the 21st century, getting rid of your cat’s dirty litter is also moving ahead.
Now instead of daily scooping, you can switch your traditional litter box out for an automated self-cleaning cat litter box model that will do the job for you. Say goodbye to sifting through dirty litter and find an automatic self-cleaning litter box that works for you and your cat.
Of course, there are a lot of options on the market. And not all of them may be right for you and your cat. That’s why we’ve gathered together our seven favorites for all types of cat owners.
With different automated systems and different price ranges, this collection will give you an idea of the choices that are out there from some of the most dependable brands.
Let’s get this pooper scooper party started!
Related: What Is Pretty Litter?
Petsafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box System (For Budget Poops)
Size: 26 x 19 x 10 inches
Litter: Only works with clumping clay type of litter
This litter box from Petsafe has no sensors. Instead, it has a conveyor belt that ever so slowly and quietly turns in a circle every hour. The soiled litter is then conveyed up a ramp and into a waste container.
The continuous rotation of the conveyor is so slow that most cats won’t be bothered by it. But because of the tray's small size, this litter box is better for single cat families. And if your cat is extra huggable, say over 15 pounds, this may not be the litter box for you.
- Simple (No fancy parts to go on the fritz)
- Cleans continuously
- Small size (not for cats over 15 pounds)
- Continuous motion could frighten skittish cats
- Using too much or too little litter can cause motor issues
If you’re looking for a more affordable option to cut back on poop scooping, this litter box is a good combination of simplicity and functionality.
LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Good for Multiple Cats and Larger Cats)
Size: 24 x 17 x 9 inches
Litter: High quality and lightweight clumping litter. It does not work with pellets, crystals or heavy clumping litter.
Because of its longer length and high sides, this litter box gives your cat (or cats) a little extra room to dig around. It works by raking clumps into a sealed waste container 10 minutes after they’ve done their thing. The rake is removable when you need to clean it.
This litter box also has a paw cleaning ramp, so less litter gets tracked through your house. On the downside, it’s fairly noisy. You also have to replace the waste receptacle every so often to keep the litter box functioning properly (they can be purchased in 12 packs).
That being said, reviewers claim that this box is very durable. Some customers even say that their box is still working 5 or 7 years later.
- Works for multiple and larger cats
- Electric but has a battery backup system
- Paw cleaning ramp
- Requires waste receptacle and filter refills
- Rake cleaning required
This litter box is a solid and affordable option for a multi-cat household or for extra large cats. Just be careful where you decide to put it because of the noise.
PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box (Good for Odor Control)
Size: 19 1/8 x 27 5/8 x 16 inches
Litter: Crystal litter trays
A major benefit of this Petsafe model is that it’s designed to work with disposable crystal litter trays. Crystal litter absorbs moisture extremely well, so it can trap urine and dry out feces which cuts back on odors. It also comes with a privacy hood for more discreet kitties.
The litter box works with sensors and a raking system that activates once your cat has finished their business. The waste is then stored in a sealed compartment for easy disposal. The box also has what’s called a “health counter” to track the number of times your pet has used it (which could alert you to health issues).
However, there is a price to be paid for that extra odor control. The disposable crystal litter trays have to be replaced and that can get pricey over time. If you want to use regular litter, this box can be converted by purchasing what’s called a “Forever Tray,” which sells for around $50.
Not all cats like the feel of crystal litter so you may need to get your pet accustomed to the feel at first. But if you exercise a little patience, the extra odor-absorbing benefits may be worth it.
- Works with crystal litter (for extra odor absorption)
- Privacy Hood
- Health Counter
- A bit pricey
- Not all cats like crystal litter
- Requires disposable litter tray refills
If you’re extra sensitive to cat odors, this litter box will keep your house smelling more pleasant. Just give your pet some time to adjust to the feel.
CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box (Good for Going Litter-Free)
Size: 19 x 16 x 17 inches
If you’ve just can’t with the cat litter anymore, this self-washing litter box could set you free. So how does it work? Well, pretty much like a cat toilet.
The box does need washable granules to function. Once your cat drops his load, the CatGenie scoops and flushes it. Then the reusable granules are cleaned with water and a biodegradable SaniSolution before being dried.
You can purchase a cat dome separately for this box if you don’t like the look of the toilet or want to give your cat more privacy.
Of course, this model does require some extra work up front. You’ll have to hook it up to a cold water line and drain wherever you decide to put it. And the granules and Sanisolution will have to be replaced every 2 to 3 months.
- No litter required
- Works for multiple cats
- Installation required
- Needs refills for Sanisolution and granules
If you never want to buy or scoop cat litter again, this self-washing box is for you.
Nature’s Miracle Single-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Good for Odor Reduction and Picky Cats)
Size: 24 x 18 x 10 inches
Litter: Compatible with most clumping litters
Nature’s Miracle is a company that’s well known for its pet cleaning products. This litter box helps to reduce odors because it has an anti-microbial layer on the box surface to help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
This model works with a raking system and is deep enough to reduce litter spillage. It can also be used with just about any clumping litter, which is great news if your furry little diva is extra picky about his or her brand.
Like many litter boxes with a raking system, this one is a bit noisy, and the rake will have to be cleaned from time to time.
- Anti-microbial and odor-reducing
- Works with most litters
- Raking system needs cleaning
- Gears might wear down after a few years
If your cat is super picky about their litter, this box offers a simple solution to constant scooping without having to change your brand.
Omega Paw EL-RA15-1 Elite Roll 'n Clean Litter Box (Good Manual Option)
Size: 18.5 x 21.5 x 20 inches
Litter: Clumping cat litter
Maybe you want some help with scooping but don’t want to be tied to an electrical outlet to do it. In that case, Omega Paw offers this manual option.
Once your cat goes to the bathroom, you tilt the box on its side. The dirty litter will go into a removable waste tray, which you can simply dump the clumps out of.
This box also has a “litter step,” which helps to clean your cat’s paws and cut down on tracking throughout the house.
- No outlet required
- Scoop free
- Works with your favorite clumping litter
- No noise
Requires a little physical labor
If you want to save some electricity and cut down on scooping, this tilt and role model could be a decent option.
Little Robot 3 With Open Air Connect (For Smart Poops)
Size: 29.5 x 24.5 x 27 inches
Litter: Works with any clumping, scoopable litter or crystals. It does not work with litter that is only absorbent and non-clumping.
Yes, if you pay enough money, even your cat’s poops can go high-tech. This super futuristic-looking litter box rotates after your cat does his business to filter out any clumps into a waste chamber. Then it recycles the clean litter back into the box.
This recycling process is supposed to save you up to 50% on the amount of litter you use. Another benefit to the Little Robot is that it has a wi-fi-connected app that alerts you when the waste chamber needs to be emptied.
Unlike many litter boxes on the market, this one works by rotation, so there’s no raking mechanism that your pet could get caught in. It also has a weight sensor that tells it when your cat is inside so it won’t start the cleaning cycle (although the cat must weigh at least 5 pounds for the sensor to be activated).
If your cat hops back in, the cleaning cycle will stop. You can also program this smart litter box to start the cleaning process after a certain amount of time from when your cat exits. Yes, this thing is a genius when it comes to cat poops.
- Reduces litter use
- Cleans after every use
- Relatively quiet
- Alerts you to empty waste chamber
- Won’t work for cats under 5 pounds
If the price doesn’t make you wince, the Robot 3 is about as smart as a litter box gets.
A Few Quick Tips for Transitioning Kitties
If your cat is familiar with a traditional litter box, it may take some time for him to get used to the noise and unusual movements that these litter boxes make. In fact, they may not even understand it’s a litter box at all!
To help your kitty transition, you can put a scoop of their old litter in the new box. Their sense of smell will help them get the message.
Or, instead of taking your pet’s old box away altogether, put it next to the new one and leave it dirty. Most cats will opt to do their business in a clean litter box and eventually use the new one.
Another way to get your cat used to his new potty box is to fill it with litter but not turn it on. Once he’s comfortable with using it, you can plug it in and let the automated poop scooping begin.
More Scoop on Scooping
As you can see, there are a good variety of litter boxes for pet owners looking to eliminate the old pooper scooper and opt for a litter-robot. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages. When deciding which one may work best for you and your cat you’ll need to consider various factors.
- Is the litter box big enough for your cat or cats?
- Will it accommodate your cat’s favorite kitty litter?
- Is your cat sensitive to noise?
- Is the waste disposal receptacle big enough?
- Will they be able to adapt to a new litter box?
- Does your cat need high walls because of their litter mess?
- And does it contain odors well?
- What does it cost?
- And does it require the use of expensive refills?
Also keep in mind that while these self-cleaning litter boxes eliminate the need for daily scooping, automated poop scooping is not a perfect science. Most of the machines will require cleaning at some point and the mechanisms are known to jam sometimes.
And you will need to empty those waste receptacles too. In other words, there’s some crap you just can’t escape. Unfortunately, someone has to pick up the cat's waste, and the upkeep is not going to be on the cat.
In the end, only you can decide if a self-cleaning automatic cat litter box is worth it. Just be sure to consider your choice of litter box with your cat in mind and have patience with the transition.
And that, cat lovers, is the word on poop scooping 2.0.
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The 7 Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes:
- Petsafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box System (For Budget Poops)
- LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Good for Multiple Cats and Larger Cats)
- PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box (Good for Odor Control)
- CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box (Good for Going Litter-Free)
- Nature’s Miracle Single-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Good for Odor Reduction and Picky Cats)
- Omega Paw EL-RA15-1 Elite Roll 'n Clean Litter Box (Good Manual Option)
- Little Robot 3 With Open Air Connect (For Smart Poops)