One hallmark of a responsible pet owner is the ability and the patience to train his or her pet. And while cats are largely considered as more independent than dogs, there are certain instances when they do require the assistance of their human masters. To help them from eliminating anywhere else, you’ll have to make sure that their litter box is kept clean at all times. And, to help you with this, we’re bring you the 8 best self-cleaning litter boxes you can get for your pet cat.
8 Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
1ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box by PetSafe
It may look nothing like the best automatic cat litter box but the ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is packed with a lot of space age features that are guaranteed to let you sit down and relax while the ScoopFree Ultra does what it does best – clean itself up. With state of the art sensors that automatically activates the rake system to put your pet’s droppings into the unit’s uniquely covered waste trap and help keep the rest of the unit clean and odor-free, the ScoopFree Ultra is sure to make your chores a lot easier. The automated rake system is preset at 20 minutes although you can change the settings to two other presets. Additionally, the same rake timer is reset if your cat happens to re-enter the ScoopFree Ultra.
Weekly, you will still be disposing of the litter trays but even this has been made ultra-convenient by the system as you simply need cover it with its accompanying lid and just dispose of it in one hygienic, super-quick cleanup. Its patented litter crystals work all the time to help make sure that the moisture is fully absorbed to help prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. These same crystals help absorb those nasty odors to keep the unit smelling fresh all day long. These crystals have been ingeniously designed to absorb odors at least 5 times better than other types of litter.
The system even has a built-in health counter to help you determine how many times your pet went inside the ScoopFree Ultra and defecated or urinated. As we all know, the number of times a pet eliminates can provide an idea of the overall health of both the kidneys and the digestive tract. This way, we know if it’s time to visit the cat vet or not. It also comes with a hood to give your pet the privacy it needs.
What We Like about It – The ScoopFree Ultra’s revolutionary technology is just phenomenal. It really does take the art of litter box cleaning to a whole new level.
2LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box by Litter Robot
More like a super futuristic robot straight out of Wall-E, the LRII Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box is a uniquely designed cat litter box that doesn’t depend on a rake system to get rid of your feline wastes. Because of this particular design, the safety of the LRII is several notches higher than other systems because there are no wires that can get tangled, jammed, or break and which can clog the entire mechanism. The cleaning prowess of the LRII is closely tied to its rotating mechanism. Allow us to explain how the system works.
When your pet feline enters the globular litter chamber, weight-activated sensors kick in to initiate the 7-minute timer. You can also change the timer settings if you like. After 7 minutes, the globular chamber initiates a sanitizing action that separates litter clumps from the clean ones. A counterclockwise rotation is then activated to sweep all the wastes into its waste drawer that you are supposed to line with an ordinary garbage bag. Once all the wastes are dumped into the drawer, the globe returns to its original position and ready for the next session. You can also add carbon filter in the drawer itself to help absorb those nasty smells, although the drawer itself already does a fine job of trapping the odor so your room won’t be reeking with your pet’s droppings.
One particularly good thing about the LRII is that it can be powered by a 12 volt rechargeable battery so you can save on energy while keeping your home smelling fresh and clean.
What We Like about It – The LRII has a very simple design yet it is this simplicity that makes it really work. The technologies inherent in the LRII may not be as sophisticated as the ScoopFree Ultra but it has certain characteristics that make it very likable. For instance, the use of ordinary garbage bags means you don’t have to worry about running out of usable lining for the LRII.
3ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box by PetSafe
What does the ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box have (or don’t have) that the ScoopFree Ultra has (or don’t have)? Well, the only difference, unfortunately, is the presence of a privacy hood on the Ultra. Other than that, you can look at the ScoopFree as essentially the same.
It features the same rake waste management system that moves pet wastes into an opening that empties into the covered trap. It also features the same sensor system that helps initiate the different stages needed to activate the rake system. It has the same moisture- and odor- absorbing litter crystals that have been designed to be at least 5 times more efficient in absorbing nasty smells as well as moisture from your pet’s unit so it stays clean and hygienic all the time. The ScoopFree also features the same highly removable tray which you can easily dispose of without hassle. These features do really make cleaning your kitty litter box hassle-free. But we do wonder, why not just come up with a single ScoopFree product and just add the privacy hood as an accessory that can be purchased separately instead of naming a product an Ultra for the simple reason that it has a privacy hood? Nevertheless, the ScoopFree is a very useful automatic litter box especially if you’re already tired of cleaning up your pet’s mess every time it does decide to go.
What We Like about It – The patented rake-sensor system is admirable. However, we simply cannot find the justification for using the word “Ultra” on a product that has a privacy hood as its only difference. But with a lot of consumers giving a thumbs up for the ScoopFree, we’re not going to argue.
4Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box by Omega Paw
We’re really not sure if the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box can be rightfully called an automatic cat litter system because it simply doesn’t involve any electronics at all. There are no complicated circuitry, no lights, no timers, and definitely no rake systems and other mechanical systems that help separate your pet’s wastes from the clean litter. What it does involve, however, is plain old muscle. Yes, to operate the Omega Paw, you have to roll it on its side so that the waste clumps will go directly to the removable scoop. The clean litter is sifted and filtered for recycling. Once you have collected the waste, you simply roll the Omega Paw back to its original position and dispose of the waste in the scoop. Do take note that the Omega Paw works best with silica and clumping litters but not so much with pine pellets.
The design of the Omega Paw is truly ingenious, if you ask us. Since there are no electrical components, you can be sure that it will keep on working for as long as you are able to roll it on its side, remove and empty the scoop, put it back on, and then roll it back to the upright position. Even though you will have plenty more cats in the future, every single one of them will still be able to use your Omega Paw. Cleaning it will entail tilting it to the left and right in an effort to dump all of the litter and debris into the scoop.
What We Like about It – Who said that you’d have to have the latest in space age technology that runs on state of the art computers to effectively manage your pet’s wastes? The Omega Paw is a clear reminder than a well-thought design is all that’s needed to produce something that is truly useful. Because the Omega Paw doesn’t require power, you can save a lot.
5LRIII Open Air Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box by Litter Robot
If you think Litter Robot’s LRII is phenomenal, wait until you’ve tried the 3rd generation of Litter Robots. The LRIII features the same patented sanitation and sifting technology that the LRII is known for. The system allows for the more efficient segregation of the waste clumps from the clean litter. The wastes are then moved into a waste drawer that is fitted with carbon filter to help absorb odors as well as moisture. This makes pet waste management a lot more efficient and reliable.
But the LRIII has a lot of other features that the LRII clearly hasn’t. For instance, it now has a self-adjusting cat sensor so it seamlessly makes the necessary corrections in its settings to allow for more efficient cleaning. The LRIII now also comes with a Drawer Full notification that flashes blue light to inform you that the waste drawer is already full. You don’t have to open the drawer every time just to check if it’s already full or not yet. This makes for a more efficient management of your pet’s waste matter. The LRIII also comes with a control panel lockout mechanism which effectively prevents the accidental changing of the unit’s settings secondary to accidental or inadvertent pressure on the buttons. This is especially true if you have kids at home who are quite curious as to what these buttons do.
The 3rd generation Litter Robot also features a fully adjustable cycle delay timer. This means it has to wait 3, 7, or even 15 full minutes from the time your pet used the LRIII before it activates the cleaning and sanitizing cycle. There’s even an 8-hour sleep mode which is perfect for undisturbed sleep. You will have to manually activate the cleaning cycle if you want it to start kicking in again. The LRIII also comes with a fully automated night lamp which can be especially beneficial for elderly cats. With all these improvements, we’d say Litter Robot has clearly revolutionized the way we manage our pet cat’s wastes.
What We Like about It – The feature-packed LRIII is many lightyears ahead of its predecessor, the LRII. It is for this reason that we find this device to be really interesting particularly its self-adjusting sensors, sleep mode, panel lockout, and night light. And oh, we almost forgot, it comes with a backup battery so you’ll have it operating round the clock.
6LM580 Classic Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box by LitterMaid
For a no-fuss, no-frills automatic litter box, we recommend the LitterMaid LM580 Classic Self-Cleaning Litter Box. This device takes care of your smelly problem by automatically scooping the waste of your cat and then dumping it straight into a fully disposable waste receptacle. The receptacle itself contains a carbon filter to help absorb and remove that distinctly nasty odor from your pet’s droppings. At least, there’s no way the odor will permeate through your room so you can be sure you’re inhaling fresh and clean air all the time. The LM580 also features dual motion sensors that has been programmed to automatically activate after 10 minutes from the time your pet cat has moved out of the LM580. This helps guarantee that your kitty litter box is kept clean within 10 minutes after it has been used by your cat. Part of this prowess is a fully detachable rake mechanism that has been engineered for optimum efficiency. The LM580 also features high sidewalls to help prevent the unnecessary scattering of cat litter. Now you can go on long holiday vacations and still feel very confident that, when you do get back home, your property will still be smelling clean and fresh as the day you left it.
What We Like about It – The waste receptacles that have built-in carbon filter are a joy to behold as they really do make cleanup a breeze. The carbon filter itself works like a charm.
7CatGenie 120 Self-Washing Self-Flushing Cat Box by CatGenie
Perhaps the most unique and truly the best automatic cat litter box we’ve ever encountered is the CatGenie 120 Self-Washing, Self-Flushing Cat Box. You won’t believe the ingenuity in this product. First, it’s designed like a toilet bowl that connects to your cold water system that really works to flush your cat’s waste. The bowl itself is filled with proprietary washable granules that help deodorize and sanitize the waste from your pet. Its GenieHandmarvelously scoops out your pet’s feces and turns it into liquid for a more efficient, safer, and easier removal. Fresh, clean water then fills the basic where the GenieHand again works its many wonders by scrubbing and scouring the box as well as the CatGenie granules. It features a fully recyclable and biodegradable SaniSolution which serves to decontaminate every single component of the CatGenie. It even comes with a hot air blower to completely dry the granules which, coincidentally, have been designed to be permanent. This simply means you will not be replacing the granules for as long as you live. In case you’re wondering what the 120 in the CatGenie 120 stands for, it is actually related to the minimum number of washes that the SaniSolution has been designed to handle before it needs to be replaced.
What We Like about It – The toilet bowl styling alone of the CatGenie 120 is already guaranteed to get your neighbors talking about how excellent and sophisticated your cat litter box is. The functionality of the SaniSolution, the permanence of the granules, and the superb operational performance of the GenieHand all work together to make this a really phenomenal product.
8Simply Clean Self Cleaning Litter Box by PetSafe
If you’ve seen how a conveyor belt works, then you know how it can help move your pet cat’s litter off its box and into a waiting waste disposal unit. This is the basic design philosophy of the Simply Clean Self Cleaning Litter Box. It has a very simple design and assembly making setting up easy. The circular litter box sits on a rotating mechanism that helps facilitate the transfer of cat wastes from the clumping litter into the conveyor belt and drops these into a waste bin that can be lined with your ordinary garbage bag. The litter box one full rotation in one full hour. We know it’s slow but this helps in aiding your pet to use it. If the device goes any faster, your cat may not be able to stand right in it to defecate. The slow rotation allows for the more efficient sifting of the waste materials. Simple, yet very effective.
What We Like about It – The combination of slow sifting and conveyor belt action make the Simply Clean simply efficient. It clearly minimizes complex operations.
How We Chose the Top 8 Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes in Our List
Picking an automatic litter box to include in our shortlist of the best was quite tricky as it did entail a lot of careful scrutiny. We first had to narrow down the pack as there are numerous products that offer such feature. So, we’d like to include only those that have been fully tested by pet owners themselves. If they had an excellent experience with these products, we’re pretty sure you would, too.
Since we’re talking about fully automated systems, we had to evaluate how the product’s automated components are able to serve their function. At the very least, it should require very minimal human intervention, otherwise, the whole idea of an automated system is already defeated.
Automated systems run on electricity or some other forms of energy such as rechargeable battery systems. It is thus, critical to ensure the safety of these power mechanisms. We don’t want to recommend a product that will cause electrical fires or perhaps even cause serious burn injuries to you, your pet, or any other member of your family. At least, you’ll feel more confident about leaving these electronic devices fully plugged in your home so they can continuously provide your cat with a cleaner litter box.
We also considered the product’s ease of cleaning and maintenance as these are often complicated in fully automatic systems. It should be understood that while these kitty litter box units are already self-cleaning, we will still be required to dispose of the litter after some point and perform regular maintenance checks on the equipment itself. This helps in ensuring optimum device performance and increase its overall lifespan.
Lastly, we gave points to the credibility of the company that made these products. A company that has an excellent reputation can be relied on to provide a product that is of the highest possible quality and of the safest possible design.
Helpful Tips on Cleaning Your Pet’s Litter Box Yourself
For those of us who simply don’t like to have an automatic litter box for our pet cats, we have to really clean the box ourselves. While it is one of the most dreaded jobs around, cleaning our cat’s litter box can be rewarding in itself. If you happen to be the more hands-on type of cat owner, then here are some useful tips to help you safely clean your pet’s litter box.
- Always use the correct tools.
Our cat’s feces and urine can possibly harbor microorganisms that are harmful to our health. As such, it is imperative that we wear the correct face mask and rubber gloves. These personal protective devices can help us avoid getting infected with toxoplasmosis, of which, cat droppings are notoriously famous for. Additionally, if you’re pregnant, it is often a lot better to have someone else do the cleaning as you’re not only endangering yourself but your unborn baby as well.
- Create a system for cleaning.
Before cleaning, try to picture in your mind how you want to approach the task. This is often dependent on the type of box that you have. Covered units will require you to remove the cover first before you can even begin cleaning the platform. For uncovered units, the cleaning process is pretty straightforward.
- Try to scoop more often.
Don’t wait a week before you start scooping your pet’s droppings. A good rule to follow is to inspect your cat’s litter containment every day and scooping out feces as well as clumps of litter that have been soiled with your pet’s urine. This helps localize the offensive odor and keep the unit relatively smelling fresh. Cleaning can thus, be done on a weekly basis.
- Regularly dump the contents of the litter box.
Just as daily scooping of your cat’s feces can help simplify the cleaning process, dumping the contents on a more regular basis can also help provide a safer environment for both you and your cat. At least, the feces and solid clumps have not yet fully adhered to the surfaces of the unit, making cleaning a lot easier. If you wait a long time before you start cleaning up, then you’ll be faced with a lot of scraping chores, often doubling the time it would take to finish the job.
- Experiment with different types of cat litter.
There are a variety of cat litters available in your favorite pet shop. Your choice of cat litter often spells how easy the cleaning process will be. For instance, the easiest litters to clean are silica and clumping litters as scooping is made a breeze because of the unusual clumping of your cat’s elimination. Unfortunately, because of the clumping properties, your cat can step on this and bring with it to the rest of your home. You’ll be wondering why your bedroom or your kitchen is now smelling like feline droppings.
- Always use a good scoop.
The key to easy and effortless cleaning of your cat’s litter box is getting a good quality scoop. More importantly, it should be designed specifically for the type of material that you’re using in your feline’s unit. For instance, you can choose scoops with very fine slots if you’re using clumping litters. If you’re using silica, then a scoop with larger holes may be necessary. For pine pellets, you’ll need two scoops: one with large holes and another one without holes. Regardless of the type of scoop you will eventually get, make sure that it’s comfortable to hold or grip. Additionally, it should not be too rigid nor too flexible. But more importantly, it should be large to scoop as much of your pet’s droppings as possible.
We also would like to add that, while an automatic litter box can make life more convenient for you, you should still clean it according to the manufacturer’s directions and recommendations. It is also for this reason that some pet owners still prefer to use the traditional cat litter box instead of automated ones.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning your cat’s litter box can be downright messy. With our top 10 self-cleaning litter boxes, you now have all the help you can get to make this chore more enjoyable.
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