A self cleaning litter box sounds like a dream come true. Do they work? Do they cost more? Is this just a gimmick?
We all want to know if the cat is actually going to use a self cleaning litter box before forking out any money. As cat owners we may have, well we probably have, already spent money on items that the cat totally ignores.
Best Self Cleaning Litter Box Reviews
The first three litter boxes are all similar in price and are automatic self cleaning litter boxes.
The fourth litter box, the Omega Paw is also a self cleaning litter box but it requires some intervention from you. The name of the litterbox, includes the words Roll n Clean and that is where you come in. You need to roll the box to assist with the cleaning. I have included this short video that explains how this action works. It is a very simple action.
The final choice in this selection, the Cat Genie is the most expensive self cleaning litter box in this review. It is truly automated and is a toilet for the cat.
Read these reviews to help you choose what will be best for you.
1. Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
A smart sensor triggers scooping activation 15 minutes after the cat leaves the box.
When the unit is operating it only picks up dirty litter. The rake that glides through the litter and picks up the dirty litter is metal, built to last and for strength. The clumps are picked up by the rake and deposited into the waste box that is already lined with a litter liner. Simply remove the bag and dispose of the waste. Replace with a fresh bag.
The design of the rake including an angled deflector and the height of the rake ensures that litter stays inside the litter box and no on the floor.
The operation is quieter than some automatic cat litterbox other models. It won’t scare the cat or wake household occupants.
One of the positive features of this box is that it uses clumping litter so you can continue to purchase the clumping litter that your cat already uses. You may need to review the litter you use as a light weight clumping litter is suggested.
One Cat owner uses Arm & Hammer, Absorbx with success. If the litter is too heavy it will put excessive strain on the motor. Don’t overfill the unit with litter. There is a line marked in the box, showing the ideal litter level.
There are no cartridges to to replace. All that is required is litter, waste bags, which can be seen in the image and carbon zeolite filters.
No litter box is perfect and you will still have to remove small clumps, every few days that are too small for the rake. If the tines were closer together this would put more stain on the motor. Other litter boxes will be like this also. Follow the instructions to have the best success.
It is recommended that the whole box be thoroughly cleaned once a month.
One months free supply of the no touch cat litter bags are included with the purchase. Note: Some cat owners successfully use plastic grocery bags as the litter bags.
Works well to contain odors. It is easy to dispose of the waste.
There is no cover.
This box may be too small for a largish cat. Measure your cat and check the box measurements.
The litter box measures 26.5 x 16.88 x 7.63 inches. The internal measurements of the box are
approximately 14 x 15 inches. There is no cover with this litter box. The only color option is the color shown in the image.
2. PetSafe ScoopFree original Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box
ScoopFree is the original self cleaning litter box. This system uses disposable litter trays so there is no need for you to come into contact with litter at all. The trays are removed from the bottom of the machine, covered with the supplied lid and disposed of. If preferred reusable litter trays can be used also.
The tray is then replaced with a new tray.
The litter box can be left alone for weeks at a time before it needs to be changed. This is very useful when away on vacation. Even if you are just going away overnight, you know you won’t come home to a stinky house. If a neighbor or friend is coming to feed the cat, they won’t have to worry at all about the kitty litter tray.
The box needs to be plugged in, so must be situated near a power supply. The cord is 10 foot.
How Does It Work?
Twenty minutes after your cat uses the box, the entire box is cleaned and the waste is raked into a separate covered compartment. If your cat should re-enter the box it is detected by safety sensors and the twenty minute timer resets to start at the beginning again.
The litter used is crystal litter which is highly effective at absorbing urine and has very effective odor control. As a bonus crystal litter is low tracking and dust is almost non existent.
This system is for cats over 6 months old. As it is a good idea to get your little kitty used to the box, it can be used unplugged and just scooped like a regular litter box until kitty is over 6 months. It is also not recommended for very old cats that may have trouble getting in and out of the box.
The box needs to be placed in an area that is not susceptible to high moisture, for example a bathroom, a laundry or basement. This is because the crystals will attempt to soak up the moisture from the air and will mean the tray will need to be replaced more often. Avoid bathrooms or areas of high humidity.
There is a trade-off that needs to be made for the ease of use of this box and that is having replacement trays at the ready.
Replace the tray when the crystal litter is saturated or when the waste trap is full. This will vary depending on how many cats are using the litter tray. One disposable litter tray is included Plastic reusable trays can be purchased.
The biggest pro is just not having to deal with litter.
Uses less litter than clay and clumping litters.
Don’t place the box where it is humid, such as the laundry or basement. Crystal litter doesn’t like humidity.
This box is suitable for cats up to 15 lbs.
You have two color options, the box with the purple guard or the box with the gray guard. The box measures 27.56 x 19.1 x 6.25 inches. It weighs 18.64 pounds. The box needs to be near a power supply. A separate privacy hood is available. It is purple. A disposable litter tray and a bag of crystal litter is included along with a Power Adapter, Manual. Disposable Litter trays are available separately.
3. ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box
This is the big brother of the Original ScoopFree box described above. It has more features and therefore costs a little more.
This box has a readout which shows how many times your cat has used the box. While this may sound a bit unusual, it is a really good idea to be able to keep count of the number of times your cat, that has a urinary tract infection, has used the litter box.
It may also help to identify a problem that you are unaware existed. This is particularly useful if your cat is getting older. You can also choose whether you want the waste to be raked at 5, 10 or 20 minutes after the cat has used the box. Be aware also that the rake will need cleaning at some point. If your cat re-enters the box soon after it has been used, the rake will not clean because the sensors will be obstructed. The timer will reset itself.
It also has a privacy lid which can be removed.
These models that use power won’t work automatically if the power supply is interrupted.
Not intended for use by kittens or very old cats that may have trouble entering and leaving the box.
No more handling litter, storing litter and tipping dusty litter into a litter box.
If the power supply is interrupted the automatic self cleaning features will not work
Included is a Litter box UL-rated 120V 60Hz adaptor with a10 foot power cord, a litter tray filled with premium blue crystals, and a privacy hood. Note: The first litter tray is disposable and carboard (with crystal litter) comes with the box. Disposable Litter trays are available separately. Plastic reusable trays can be purchased. Power is required. The litter box is made from plastic and silicone.
4. Omega Paw – Easy Fill Roll ‘n Clean Cat Litter Box
This is the newest of the Omega Paw Self cleaning litterboxes. You may be wondering what is different about this one, as it looks the same as the previous model. This model has an improved method of refilling the box with litter. The hood, swivels down, transferring it into a chute. Then just pour the litter into the box. Great idea! Clumping litter must be used for this box to work properly.
This is a self cleaning litter box but it is not totally automatic. You need to do some work, however the clever design makes the job easy. The price point is certainly a consideration as this product is considerable cheaper than the more automated versions.
I have included this very short video, as it is easy to quickly see, how the box works.
Didn’t watch the video? Here is a short explanation of how the box works.
Notice how the box has a slightly curved bottom? The way this box operates is via a tipping motion to the side. The filter or grate separates the clean litter, which filters through the grate and stays in the litter box. This leaves behind the clumps of soiled litter. The waste box is then removed, by gently pulling it out and disposing of the waste. It is a clever and simple way to avoid having too much litter duty.
There are a couple things to note…
Firstly, make sure the hinges securing the top to the bottom are closed before tipping otherwise it won’t be pretty. If your cat doesn’t like lids, the lid can be removed and just replaced for cleaning. Don’t be too vigorous when tipping. It is not a compost tumbler. The video above shows the desired tipping motion.
The plastic around the removable tray, the part that is pulled out to remove the waste, can become worn. Don’t use excess force when removing and replacing the tray. This will to prolong the life of the product.
The price. This is a good option. It is not completely automatic but certainly much easier than scooping, cleaning and refilling a standard litter box.
No liners, filters, or electricity needed.
One cat owner suggested that Boxiecat litter works well with this box because it clumps well.
There are two sizes to choose from – Regular and Large. The Regular measures 16.5L x 18.5W x 17H inches. The Large measures 18.5L x 21.5W x 20H inches. When it is time to clean the box, use warm soapy water and let it air dry. Both sizes are two tone gray in color. Clumping litter is used with this box.
5. CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
This deluxe litter box does need some basic DIY plumbing. Everything you need for installation is supplied. There are different plumbing options .
Bathroom – The drain hook sits under the toilet seat. Waste drains into the toilet. Cold water is shared with the toilet.
Laundry – The Genie hose is inserted into the washing machine drain pipe. The cold water line is shared with the washing machine.
When you purchase this litter box, a SaniSolution cartridge and one box of washable granules are included. This litter box or cat toilet flushes away waste and then washes itself clean. The Cat Genie doesn’t use litter as such, but washable granules.
The toilet is programmable. The Start button can be pressed to start cleaning at any time. If you prefer you can set it to time activation mode to automatically clean at a set time each day. Another option is cat activated, this means the unit will be cleaned after the cat uses the box. It is recommended that this unit be used for one or two cats.
This is how it works…
When the cleaning starts, the CatGenie
- removes and liquefies the solids which are then flushed down the drain or toilet.
- The unit and granules are then washed and cleaned automatically using water and SaniSolution.
- The granules are hot air dried and the unit is ready to be used again.
The cleaning solution is very efficient at removing smells
No scooping or dumping of used litter.
No dealing with cat litter.
You will need to purchase the washable granules and the Sani Solution cartridges but nothing like the amount of litter you would have been buying previously.
Don’t turn the unit off and then on again in the middle of the drying cycle or some of the poop may be twice baked – not great.
The litter box measures 24.5 x 19.25 x 21 inches. Further measurements can be seen in the image above. It always a good idea to measure the space you have and even do a floor space mock up using newspaper. There’s nothing worse than getting something that is a little larger than you expected. This can be avoided by spending a few minutes measuring (even if it is annoying). Before purchasing, check that this unit will be compatible with your current set up. These notes are part of the product description “Recommended setup locations: Bathroom (toilet) -If you have a rigid water line in your bathroom, you may need to replace it with a flexible one) or Utility/laundry room. When you purchase the CatGenie, everything needed to make your home litter free is included: The only tools needed are a wrench or a pair of pliers. Some non-standard hook-ups may require additional parts not provided by PetNovations, Inc.” It is suggested that you read the entire description.
benefits of a self cleaning litter box
- A litter box that self cleans, is a huge time saver for anyone, families, working couples and the elderly or if you are recovering from an illness or operation.
- Not having to clean the litter box gets a big tick.
- No more bad smells is also a good reason to get a self cleaning litter box. There will always be some odor however a self cleaning litter box just means that the clean up is dealt with straightaway. This lessens the chance of any odors lingering for too long.
- Some boxes are totally automatic, like the Cat Genie and almost works like a flushing toilet, even plumbed to your toilet. Other litter boxes will collect the waste for you and then you then dispose of the waste later at your convenience.
- We all have those days where life gets in the way and knowing the litter box is clean is a relief. Great if you are coming home from work and are having guests. One less thing to do and the house won’t be smelling like a litter box. Cats are clean animals and they need a clean litter box. A dirty litter box can lead to litter box avoidance.
- There is also the hygiene aspect to consider. Just being that step removed from the actual cleaning is more hygienic for us, the humans and yes we have some rights too.
- Pregnant women should avoid handling litter.
- Great if you have small children or grandchildren. Although obviously small children need to be supervised, a self cleaning litter box will at least afford some protection from the nasties that lie within.
Shake any trapped litter back into the litter box when using a litter trapper litter mat.
Will kitty use the new box?
The brand new self cleaning litter box arrives. It is set it up and in theory that will be that. Kitty will be enamoured of his new litter box and trot off to do his business.
But alas, he won’t use the box!
This should not come as a complete surprise as cats can be resistant to change – stating the obvious.
Sometimes we have to be a little bit devious (for the greater good) to get our way.
- Keep the old litter tray nearby, so that the cat can still use the box BUT don’t keep it as fresh as a daisy, like it normally is. Cats are clean animals and they want a nice clean litter tray.
- Eventually as the old litter tray starts to get a bit on the nose, kitty will decide, that the new box is looking and smelling mighty attractive (good decision kitty).
- Then you can stealthily remove the old litter box but not too soon.
This may take some perseverance on your part but be strong – you can do it.
What Do We recommend?
If you have decided on investing in a self cleaning litter box but have some reservations because of the cost or the reliability of the box, begin with an Omega Paw. The price point is low. It is not totally automatic but it is self cleaning. It is easy to rock the box from one side to the other. There is the convenience of self cleaning without the cost of initial set up.
If more automation is what you are looking for we like the Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box. One thing that is highly desirable about this box is that it requires no ongoing purchases of cartridges, litter trays or crystal litter. It does require the purchase of a light clumping litter and waste bags. Preferably also use the filters for optimum results.
WI FI enabled Cat Litter Boxes
A Wi-Fi enabled litter box is connected to your phone via an app. You can monitor things such as litter level, your cat’s health, get notifications and more, depending on the brand of box. One unit can support up to four cats which certainly offsets some of the cost, not to mention space freed up from having multiple litter boxes.
The Litter Robot is unquestionably the leader in this field and they certainly have devotees who are prepared to pay the price.
I get it, the boxes are brilliant they are also good to look at and would not look out of place anywhere. A lucky cat that has a Litter Robot.
The Litter Robot
ScoopFree Smart WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
The ScoopFree boxes are also Wi-Fi enabled but at less than half the cost of a Litter Robot. The app tells you when it is time to change the tray or order replacement trays. I like the sound of that. One less thing to remember.