As much as we love our cats, everyone can agree that cleaning out the litter tray is probably the worst thing about having our feline friends around. Before, the self-cleaning litter box only existed in sci-fi and futuristic dramas. We’re here to tell you that the future is here! Our 2021 review of the PetSafe ScoopFree litter box will have you wanting one immediately – especially after we tell you of all its realistic perks!
With the PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box, you won’t have to do nearly as much litter box cleaning. It is already hailed as a must-have for any cat owner. Here’s our review of this fantastic feline product. Take a look, and see for yourself if the hype is truly justified, or if this self-cleaning cat box truly is like a work of fiction.
What We Like:
It’s fair to say that the biggest selling point of this litter box is its cleanliness. The ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box keeps your hands free of any scooping requirements (just as the name says!). This means you won’t need to keep a dirty scoop to one side, or worry about cleaning said scoop each and every time your cat goes to the bathroom.
On top of that, you don’t need to worry about emptying the litter tray. With this litter box, the tray can be easily removed. A lid can also be placed on top to keep from tipping out dirty litter into a bag or trash can. Filled with non-tracking litter, these trays make clean-up a breeze. Both of these factors mean that there’s no risk of dirty litter falling onto your floors. Also, there’s no tracked litter around the house and no dirty dust in the air during transition periods. Sounds great to us!
Ease of Use
You would think an automatic litter tray would be difficult to set up and use. This is not the case with the PetSafe litter box! We will get into specifics of setting up your new, electronic cat boxes below – but let’s just say that set-up takes only a few minutes. Better yet, you don’t need to worry around cleaning it for four whole weeks! Even then, it is only when you need to remove and replace the trays.
Whether you have a larger family, or if it’s just you and your cat, know that this self-scooping litter tray is incredibly family friendly. It’s great for pregnant women, as you won’t need to worry about the risk that comes with cleaning out a litter tray. (Although we would still recommend having someone else do it, just to be on the safe side!). The box will clean itself 20 minutes after your cat has used the tray. If you prefer not to wait, then you can always choose to rake it out immediately. This will clear up your cat’s mess as soon as you’re ready to rake!
The litter used in this automatic cat box is ideal for absorbing odors. You can enjoy your home, without the overpowering stench of ammonia from your cat’s urine. Even after weeks of use, the PetSafe litter box makes sure that any nasty smells are absorbed and covered up completely, without you having to intervene!
What We Don’t Like:
Arguably one of the most frustrating aspects about this electronic litter tray is that it’s designed to work in conjunction with its own products. This means there are fewer, more restricted options. While this ensures brand loyalty, it can be frustrating if the seller is out of stock of an item or product you currently need. For example, if your cat decides they don’t like this specific litter, then you’re out of luck!
Limiting available options means you won’t be able to pick and choose between different litter types for your cat. If they decide they don’t want to use that particular option, you’d have no choice but to try another brand altogether. While this isn’t an issue for most cats, (as most are perfectly happy to use any clean litter box), it’s good to keep in mind for those with fussy felines.
While the litter tray’s key selling point is definitely its auto-raking feature, this also means it can sometimes scoop away perfectly clean litter along with it. This can be the case with any litter used. When we consider there is less tracking and less general mess, this is really no biggie. Unfortunately though, this particular tray has costly replacements. Especially when compared to other litter boxes. Because of this, we can’t help but feel a little sour over lost litter.
Another big concern regarding the PetSafe ScoopFree cat box is that any excrement not successfully covered up by your cat will surely stick to the rake. Yuck. If this happens, you would need to take the tray completely apart and clean the rake yourself. There are a few solutions to this online. Look for other users, and their remedies, as they have proven adept at preventing these semi-regular clean-ups. Of course, we’d prefer if we didn’t need to clean poop off the rakes at all!
- Self-cleaning litter box.
- Only requires replacement litter every 4 weeks (half this time for every additional cat).
- Quick set up.
- Easy to clean and safe for families.
- Disposable trays.
- Up to 5x better odor control.
- 99% dust free.
- Non-tracking litter.
- Compatible with PetSafe accessories.
- Leak protection.
- U.S. based customer service center.
- Litter bed measures 14” W x 15-1/2” L.
- Exterior litter box dimensions are 19-1/8” W x 27-5/8” L x 6-3/8” H.
- Height of optional hood accessory is 16”.
Before You Use It, Let’s Take a Look at Setup
Setup for the ScoopFree litter box is super easy and barely an inconvenience. Your new purchase will arrive with all its components. They’ll even be placed near their resting sections, so you can see where each piece is designed to go. You’ll need to take it apart in order to remove all of the cardboard that’s there to protect the litter tray during delivery. Putting it all back together is simply a case of reversing the steps you just used. Let’s walk through them now:
- Remove the waste trap cover.
- Stand the upper section of the litter box up vertically.
- Remove the cardboard packaging (the AC adapter is located within this cardboard, so be sure not to throw that away).
- Open the blue crystals and place these into the tray provided.
- Give the tray a quick shake to distribute the crystals evenly.
- Remove the colored tape at the base of the upper tray component.
- Replace the upper unit back on top of the litter tray with the crystals.
- Then, replace the waste trap cover by sliding the pegs into the tray’s upper section.
- Listen for the click that reveals the waste trap cover has attached itself properly.
- Place the AC adapter into the socket, provided at the back of the litter tray and at the opposite end of the waste trap.
- Place the litter tray in its usual spot, close to a plug socket.
- Plug in to a power source and allow the ScoopFree litter tray to cycle once through.
You’ll need to follow these steps every time you clean out the PetSafe litter tray. This is usually only needed once every 20-30 days per cat. If you have two cats, you’ll need to do this every 10-15 days, every 7-10 days for three cats, and so on for more.
How Does It Work
PetSafe’s automatic litter tray uses sensors that know when your cat has been inside. Exactly twenty minutes after your pet leaves the box, (the timer will reset if it senses any reentry), the rake will move across the litter. Next, the rake picks up lumps and clumps from the litter and pushes them into the waste trap. This, combined with the odor-control litter, allows the box to stay clean and usable for up to four weeks at a time. You just need to change it when the litter becomes too saturated. For example, when the litter becomes mostly yellow, or the smell of urine is noticeable.
Build Quality and Durability
The overall quality of the PetSafe ScoopFree box is brilliant! Previous buyers have had little-to-no issues, with zero malfunctions reported. It’s completely safe for pets to use and is designed to last as long as possible. Even the trays and litter are easily disposed of. This is a great item, which is why we love it, too. It can seem more costly than standard litter trays, but that’s only because it is so ideal for cat owners.
Sturdy and secure, your cat will enter and exit their litter tray without any concerns. The tray won’t flip over on them, just as their little paws won’t get caught in the rake. This is usually tucked away during use. It even comes with an optional hood, for added cat privacy. Furthermore, the additional hood is made from equally excellent quality.
What Type of Litter Should I Use in It
Our choice of automatic cat litter tray comes with a specific type of PetSafe litter and disposable box. This means it doesn’t offer a great variety for owners to mix and match litter types. However, it’s no secret that budget options can quickly become available for items as popular as this one. Bear in mind: when looking for cheaper options, you may encounter increased tracking around the house from poorer quality litter. These types are usually less absorbent with odor and liquids, too.
Fit and Sizing
One of the most-loved aspects of this electronic litter tray is its compact size. Don’t worry, it’s still large enough for your cat to use with ease! When paired with the hood, you’ll need at least 16 inches of clearance space. The largest measurements for the PetSafe ScoopFree are 19-1/8” W x 27-5/8” L x 6-3/8” H.
Odor Meter – How Well Does It Control Odor
This litter box is incredibly absorbent! The litter is great at controlling the strong ammonia smells of cat urine and not-so-pleasant aroma of excrement. Additionally, the waste trap uses both a cardboard cover and a plastic waste trap cover. This ensures that odors stay exactly where they need to be – in the waste trap, and ONLY in the waste trap.
Maintenance (Cleaning & Washing)
Overall, cleaning and washing is minimal. Which is exactly what buyers want from a self-cleaning litter tray! The only downside is that an upset kitty stomach could easily lead to a messy litter tray. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend this litter tray to cat owners whose kitties may experience irregular bowel movements or loose stools. For everyone else, this is a great choice for quick and easy clean-ups.
- You’ll be limited as to where you can place this litter tray, as the AC adapter doesn’t come with a huge cord length. Placement will need to be near a power source at all times. It cannot be used without being plugged in.
- The litter trays do not remain sealed once they’ve been used. Because of this, you’ll still need to use a bag to contain the litter itself within your trash can, as the lid may come off if you’re not careful. This could lead to an unfortunate spill of four weeks’ worth of cat waste!
The Litter Maid is the cheapest of all the options given here. It comes with a loud motor and contains a much smaller cat area. This makes it much more awkward for larger cats or those who have a habit of missing their target. It does, however, come with the added benefit of being able to use any clumping litter your cat likes, making it cost effective and less restrictive.
The Litter Robot has been one of the most popular brands in this area, thanks to being one of the first on the market. Each model comes in unusual shapes and sizes, which can be off-putting to some cats and make it difficult to place within the house. It’s also a little more daunting to take apart, replace its litter, and put back together. Otherwise, it’s a great steal!
How Much Does the ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box Cost?
You can get the PetSafe ScoopFree Litter Box from Amazon or Chewy at just under $140 – an excellent value for money. Be aware that you’ll also need to factor in the cost of replacement trays, which come in packs of three for $50. Good news – you can relax after. Happy not scooping!