Cleaning up your kitty’s litter box can be a really messy endeavor. In doing so, you are exposed to some of the potentially harmful toxic fumes that can make you sick. However, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up your cat’s litter box, providing that you have a fully-efficient automatic cat litterbox.
With that being said, keep in mind that all self-cleaning litterboxes are not created equally. It is important to watch out for telltale signs of quality construction that is just so-so. Check out our list of the best self-cleaning litterboxes to get you started.
1Our #1 Choice: The Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litterbox
Economical and effective, the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litterbox is great because it does not require any electricity or batteries to operate. We think that is fantastic! Even though it doesn’t have a sensor or a timer, it still does an excellent job of managing your cat’s waste. Many people who review it consider it to be one of the best, because it is so easy to use. All you need to do is roll the Omega Paw on its side to separate the litter from the waste.
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Construction is sturdy and durable
Uncomplicated and easy to use
New bags may need to be purchased every few weeks
Just roll the box to the right and it self-cleans
Patented grill allows you to remove cat waste easily
Ample space is needed for it to be rolled on its side
Does not require electricity, filters or liners
No electricity or batteries are needed
Comes equipped with a pull-out tray for waste collection
No clouds of dust are omitted when you empty the litterbox
The great thing about the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is an effortless way to dispose of waste for weeks on end. It features an automated raking system, disposable litter trays, integrated sensors and a fully adjustable timer. Although it sounds a bit complicated, it offers hassle-free operation. A hood is included on this automatic cat litter box to give your kitty some privacy when they relieve themselves.
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Its self-cleaning mechanism is fully automated and keeps the box fresh for weeks
Convenient to use, as it offers no-touch cleaning
Costs a bit much, but the technology makes it worth the price
Has safety sensors for resetting the timer on the rake
Not everyone agrees that the crystal litter is the best in absorbing cat urine
Comes with a trap that is covered
Excellent odor control mechanisms
Comes with a fully-disposable leak-proof tray
Fully automated sensors
Comes with crystal litter that absorbs urine better
Privacy hood helps the kitty feel comfortable when pooping
3Our 3rd Choice: The Litter Box Kit by Modcat
You may not consider the Modkat to be a self-scooping litterbox, because it doesn’t have a mechanism that separates waste from litter. However, it has one thing that is unique. It has a top entry for the cat. This prevents litter tracking. This keeps debris from coming out of the litterbox itself. It has high walls that help trap nasty smells. It also has a reusable liner which keeps the whole thing free of odors.
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Has very high walls and a top entry design
Its top entry-design prevents litter from being tracked around
It is pricey for what you are getting, considering it doesn’t really self-clean
Its fully built-in locking lid doubles as a walk off mat
Its high walls can keep bad odors from the room
You still have to scoop the poop
Its ultra-modern look is chic and stylish
Its reusable liner can last up to 3 months
Long-lasting liners are reusable so you don’t have to buy them often
Comes with a litter scoop that hangs on the side
4Our 4th Choice: The PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litterbox
Should you need a fancy and sophisticated self-cleaning litterbox, the PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Cat Litter may be right for you. It has a slow-moving bowl which keeps rotating, moving your cat’s poop up the conveyor where it is dumped into the waste bin. This super slow-moving bowl makes one complete rotation every hour. This eliminates the need for sensors and timers. The only possible issue that may arise is that it has a weight limit of 15 pounds.
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Self-cleaning mechanism is fully-automated
You don’t have to scoop the litter
Cats bigger than 15 pounds are out of luck
Easy to maintain and operate
Uses less litter than average litter boxes do
Certain households may need a longer cord
For cats up to 15 pounds
Only has to be cleaned every 2 weeks
No cover is available so some odor may exist
Has a 6-foot power cord
Is able to be used with recycled bags
Comes complete with a 1-year warranty
5Our 5th Choice: CatGenie Self-Washing Cat Box
Shaped like a toilet bowl, the Cat Genie Self-Washing Cat Box is a self-washing and self-flushing automatic cat litterbox. It uses washable granules as litter. These granules flush away, to provide easy cleaning. However, it does require that it be attached to a cold water source.
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Innovative toilet bowl design
Its whimsical toilet bowl design makes a great conversation piece
Cleaning Mechanism is self-cleaning and fully automated
Flushes pet’s waste like a real toilet bowl
Odor isn’t absorbed by the washable granules
Comes with SaniSolution cartridge and washable granules
Needs no human effort to scoop, flush and dry itself up
Some litter gets stuck in crevices
A T-Adapter comes with it to connect with a cold water supply
No need to manually handle kitty litter
Cleaning cycle takes a bit too long
Settings are fully programmable
Buying Guide for Self-Cleaning Litterboxes
Automatic kitty litter boxes are great gadgets to have around for your cat. It makes managing your pet’s waste, allowing you to free up your time for other more pleasurable tasks.
However, the real issue becomes, which one is right for you? Perhaps you don’t know where to start. This buying guide is here to help you pick out the right one for your cat.
How Do Self-Cleaning Litterboxes Work?
Before we talk about how to select one, let’s gain a basic understanding of what we are buying, first of all.
This device makes cleaning up your cat’s poop and urine much easier. It is basically just a regular litterbox that has a built-in mechanism for scooping and separating the waste from the litter sand. Self-cleaning litterboxes can be manual or completely automatic.
Let’s take a moment to discuss how an automatic litterbox works.
Your cat poops or pees
Any substance that your kitty doesn’t need ends up in his urine or feces. Felines cover their droppings in the sand to help cover the smell.
The waste makes clumps in the sand
Depending on the type of litter that put inside of the litterbox, the waste clumps together into balls, making it easier to scoop or remove. This is where the choice of litter becomes important. Depending on the manufacturer of self-cleaning litterboxes may recommend which type of litter they recommend.
Why is this so important? It is because if the urine will not form clumps, it will go straight to the bottom of the pan, soiling the remainder of the litter. When this happens, you have to replace all of the litter. This becomes just a waste of money. Clumping allows the waste to easily be scooped out, and dumped in the trash.
Devices that are fully automated come equipped with a sensor and a timer. The device knows when your cat goes into the litterbox, and a timer begins ticking. This timer usually has a range of 7-10 minutes. Some models allow you to program this timer. If it senses that your cat is still inside of the crate, the timer won’t start yet.
On the other hand, manual litterboxes don’t come with a timer feature. Instead, you would have to see for yourself if the litter has clumped inside of the litterbox. If it is, you can move forward to the next step.
The waste is separated from the clean litter
As described above, when the litter clumps, it can be mechanically removed with ease.
Systems that are fully automated have a rake-like device that instantly activates when the timer has met its predetermined time. The rake pulls the large clump towards its waste collection section, leaving nothing but clean litter in the crate. Some manufacturers add different odor treatments within the litter to maintain a better smell in the litterbox.
If the device is manually operated, you will need to remove the waste from where it has collected in the compartment.
The waste gets disposed of.
Whether your litterbox is automated or not, you are still the one that will have to remove it from the device’s compartment to dispose on your own.
What Kind of Litterbox is Right for Me?
As you may have already noticed, there are 2 types of self-cleaning litterboxes: manual and automatic. Whatever decision you make between the two is a matter of personal preference. However, here are some considerations to review when making a decision.
Consider the size of your cat when making a selection.
Selecting the right litterbox for your cat does depend on its size. There are different sizes of automatic litterboxes out there, so that you can select the right one for your feline friend.
If you have a small cat, or kittens for example, a small crate is the right choice. Also take the height of the litterbox into consideration. If the cat isn’t able to climb over the sides, he might decide to not use it at all.
Standard-sized cates do best in a medium-sized box, and large cats in a large litterbox. If your kitty is extra-large, make sure your litterbox is large enough to accommodate him or her.
Generally speaking, the inner dimensions of the litterbox should be as wide as the length of your cat. However, its inner length dimensions should not be less than 1 ½ times the length of your cat. Your cat needs plenty of room to scratch, bury and cover their poo.
How easy is it to operate the litterbox?
What good is a litterbox if it is complicated to operate? With that being said, if you don’t want to have to constantly check the crate for clumped waste, a fully-automatic litterbox is the best choice. As mentioned, the only thing you will need to do is to dispose of the contents appropriately.
Manual sifting devices are easy to operate as well. However, instead of an automatic raking system, you manually sift the excrement without ever touching it.
Logically, cost also factors in. Fully-automated litterboxes will definitely cost more than manual varieties will.
How easy is the litterbox to clean out and maintain?
Here is a tip: the more complicated the design of the mechanism is, the harder it is going to be to maintain it. Look for litterboxes that have features that simplify and eliminate cleanup and maintenance.
Pay attention to what others are saying about it.
When choosing the right gadget for your pet, it can be a good idea to read the reviews.