Best Self-Cleaning Kitty Litter Boxes
Want to make poop scooping business as hands-free as possible? Check out our list of top self-cleaning kitty litter boxes to find a type that will suit you and your feline friend both.
Poop scooping might be the least appealing part of being a cat pawrent, or at least go hand in hand with cleaning up their barf. However, with a self-cleaning litter box, you won’t have as much toilet duty as you would with a regular litter box. Self-cleaning litter boxes simplify the pee cleaning and poop scooping business and they can come especially handy if you work long hours and don’t want to be greeted with odor when you come home or just want to minimize your involvement in your cat’s “dirty business” in general.
Not all self-cleaning litter boxes are made equal, though, and there are different variations on the system they use. To make sure you’re making a choice your finicky feline will approve, read our list of top 10 self-cleaning kitty litter boxes!
1. Editor’s Choice: CatGenie Self-Flushing Cat Box
Self-scooping, self-cleaning, and self-flushing, this smart litter box will allow you never to touch litter again. To do so, it will require hookup to cold water, a drain or toilet, and an electrical outlet to function. Unless you have a tiny bathroom, you’ll have no issue fitting CatGenie inside.
Most self-cleaning litter boxes simply scoop away the waste into a hidden compartment that you’ll need to empty periodically. But the CatGenie Self-Flushing Cat Box combines innovative technology and products to offer superior litter cleaning experience. It scoops, liquefies, and flushes cat waste out of your home through the drain. Of course, the gadget doesn’t use your regular clay clumping litter but comes with its own litter-like Washable Granules. They are cleaned with the SaniSolution that keeps the granules and the bowl spotless and odor-free.
The “working hours” of the CatGenie are programmable, and you can choose if you want it operating for 24 hours straight or pause it while you sleep with a 14-hour shift. Additionally, you can decide between 10 and 30-minute delays for cleaning.
2. Runner Up: PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
With this self-cleaning litter box, it will be weeks before you need to toss out the waste and replace the litter inside. And all that without any unpleasant odors coming from the litter! The secret is in the special crystal litter and automatic self-cleaning cycle that keeps it poop and pee free where it counts. Each tray comes with a bag of ScoopFree Crystal Litter included, and the measured amount is enough to last for weeks if you have one cat in the household. It will absorb liquid waste and neutralize the odor, and dehydrate solids- before the automatic rake scoops them away inside the covered trap. The trays have plastic lining to prevent leaking and make sure no pee reaches the floor underneath the litter box. And since they are disposable, they are easy to clean, too – just remove and throw it away and the lid will help to make disposal quick to boot.
The rake timer can be set to start cleaning the litter 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat leaves the box. And, as an added bonus, PetSafe ScoopFree has a Health Counter feature built-in their tray. It’s a tiny display that shows you the number of times your kitty has been to the toilet. And, if you ever had a cat with urinary tract issues, you know how important this is. Monitoring your cat’s toilet habits could be lifesaving, and this feature gives you the ability to do it with precision, even when you’re not at home.
3. Best for Single-Cat Households: LitterMaid Single Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box
This is for all those single kitties out there! If you have an only fur child that expects pampering, LitterMaid is the way to do it. The smart litter box automatically scoops itself after every use, with the help of a rake that pushes clumped urine or poop straight to a waste receptacle. The rake starts cleaning from one end of the litter box to the other, where the container is located, so there won’t be any mess to miss! With proper use, the litter box won’t have to be touched for a week. After that, you simply toss out the tightly sealed container with waste and replace with a new one.
This particular model is designed to accommodate cats that weigh up to 15 lbs, but the company offers a model suitable for multiple cats– which fits chubbier singles, too. The LitterMate comes with 4 weeks worth of supplies and it will work with any premium clumping litter.
4. Budget Buy: Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box
The simple, no-frills mechanism inside the Omega Paw Roll’N’Clean helps you cut down on litter use and avoid scooping the poop at the same time. While this is a self-cleaning cat litter, it does need a bit of assistance. To make it work, you’ll have to roll it to the side, but you still won’t have to get up close and personal with your kitty’s number 2 so it’s a win.
The grill inside the litter box collects clumped and solid waste and disposes it into a pull-out tray. The tray is located in the front and easy to access for emptying. The Omega Paw Roll’N’Clean will work with all clumping and silica litters. In addition to being affordable, this design is particularly suited to big cats or multi-cat households.
5. Best Easy to Use: Catit Design SmartSift Sifting Cat Pan
With this self-cleaning litter box, getting rid of the waste is as easy as pulling a lever once a day. This will activate a seamless and noiseless process of litter sifting. The pan inside the box will rotate and empty onto an integrated sifter, separating clumped liquids and poop into a waste bin. This pull out bin is located on the bottom of the box and will hold up to 2 weeks worth of waste- for a single kitty. The clean litter is not wasted in the process but put back in the tray for your pet to use again.
Not only that Catit SmartSift Sifting Cat Pan is easy to use, but it will also work with any high-quality clumping litter.
6. Best Top Entry: ScoopFree Top-Entry Ultra Automatic Cat Litter Box
This is the same PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box with crystal litter tray that many kitties and their owners love to use- but with a different point of entry. Some kitties prefer to use litter boxes with the top entry and won’t accept any other types, so this one is great if you’re looking to transition your picky pet from a regular litter box to a self-cleaning one.
Additionally, if your kitty’s not keen on any particular entry points, this one could be a great choice if they’re messy in the litter box. The large hood over the tray and the grated surface top will make sure that there’s no tracking whatsoever! And of course, let’s not forget the nifty built-in health counter that tells you how many times your kitty has visited the litter box, so you can easily keep track of their potty habits and share the data with your vet to keep their urinary health under control
7. Best Spinner: Litter Spinner Cat Litter Box for Small Cats
Unique design and simple mechanism make this round litter box a hit with cat owners. You fill the bottom with your cat’s favorite litter, and once you see that they’ve done the deed, simply spin their litter box to clean it. No scoops required! The clumped and solid waste are then deposited into an easy-to-empty drawer. Simple as that, really. And since this self-cleaning litter box needs no batteries or electrical outlet to work, there’s no limit to where you can place it – any room, even the garage could work.
However, you should be aware that Litter Spinner is not a good fit for bigger cats. The compact size of the litter box makes it ideal for kittens or cats under 10 pounds.
8. Best Simple Design: PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
Another self-cleaning litter box for small cats, the PetSafe’s Simply Clean will accommodate felines that weigh up to 15 pounds. The automatic function will require for this litter box to be plugged in, but it also means that, besides emptying the waste compartment every 2 weeks, you won’t have to do a thing.
The quiet, slow-moving bowl will run constantly, but at a very slow pace so your kitty won’t notice it. The bowl makes a full rotation in one hour. The continual movement sifts the clumped pee and poop and carries it up a conveyor belt straight to a waste bin. Your cat’s litter will constantly be clean!
9. Honorable Mention: Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Cat Litter Box
This self-scooping litter box starts working 15 minutes after your kitty leaves the tray. The electric-powered automatic rake will slide for the whole length of the tray, capturing all clumps and solids before dropping it in the waste collection compartment. The carbon filter inside the waste bin will trap odors.
The fact that the self-cleaning process activates automatically when your cat triggers the sensor is what makes this litter box a great choice for busy cat pawrents. You won’t have to manually set off the self-cleaning process when you notice the mess in the box- and you won’t come to a dirty litter box after a long day at work.
10. Also Consider: Le You Pet Semi-Automatic Quick Cleaning Cat Litter Box
The unusual design of this litter box is actually ingenious, as it makes it super easy to clean up after your cat. Although self-cleaning, this litter box is not automatic, so you’ll have to put in a little effort to make the poop and pee disappear. You will also have to put it together on your own, but it’s not difficult if you follow the provided instructions. The self-cleaning mechanism works on the tipping bucket principle- you just tip the vessel to sift waste away from the clean litter.
The waste bin pulls out from the side so you can just empty the contents when it’s full. The Le You Pet semi-automatic litter box will suit cats that weigh up to 18 pounds.
What to Look For In Self-Cleaning Kitty Litter Boxes
While all self-cleaning litter boxes are designed with the same idea in mind- to make your life easier and meet the requirements of your finicky feline at the same time- there are some important design variations to consider before settling on a certain model or brand. These seemingly small details such as the shape of the litter box or the type of litter it uses can make a big difference, especially for your pet.
Hood vs no hood
Not all kitties are gracious when they go to the toilet- some make a proper mess when covering their tracks. If your cat tends to kick out the litter when they do the deed, a covered or hooded self-cleaning litter box is the way to go. Encased self-cleaning boxes are also great at odor control so if you’re planning on placing the litter box somewhere where smells could be an issue, it might also be a factor to consider. However, not all cats are comfortable with using a hooded litter box so if you’re worried your spoiled furbaby will turn its nose at the new litter box, it might be a safer bet to go with an open self-cleaning kitty litter box design.
Automatized litter cleaning is a great thing- as long as the “machinery” behind the operation doesn’t make a loud squeaky or grinding noise when it’s doing its magic. Not only that it can be irritating to you (especially if the litter box is in your bedroom or living room) but it could also terrify your cat to the point that they start avoiding using the litter altogether.
Despite us seeing them as magical creatures, cats don’t poop out rainbows and flowers. The reality is that, even with frequent cleaning that is done automatically, some odor might still be present around the litter box, especially if there are multiple cats that use it. This is why it’s better to go for a self-cleaning kitty litter box with a built-in filtration system that is meant to prevent bad smells from escaping- and makes sure that your home smells fresh at all times.
Type of Litter
Not all kinds of cat litter work with self-cleaning litter boxes. Each design relies on a different type and must be used with the designated litter only- be it a certain brand or form (e.g. just crystal or just clumping litter). Many cats have strict preferences about the litter they use and won’t be happy when a change is introduced, so try and go for the litter your feline already uses or that is at least similar in texture and smell (if your cat is used to odorless litter, they will probably be bothered by the fact that their “bathroom” suddenly smells like a lavender field).
How does a self cleaning litter box work?
There are two types of self-cleaning litter boxes: automatic and mechanical. An automatic self-cleaning litter box is powered by electricity and works by sensing when the toilet has been used, after which it starts the cycle of raking and separating the waste to be transferred to a separate compartment. These self-cleaning boxes have a timer that can be set so that the cleaning cycle starts in a scheduled period after your cat goes potty. Mechanical self-cleaning litter boxes are not as advanced, as there is no timer or automatic start of the cycle: you will manually have to spin them to start raking through waste. Otherwise, the base principle is the same.
Can two cats share one litter box?
No, they can’t. Cats can be notoriously picky and moody, and that’s particularly true when it comes to their potty habits: if the litter is not to their liking or the litter box is not in their preferred location, they’ll start doing their business wherever they feel like it (except in the litter box). The same goes when another cat is using the litter box they consider their own: they’ll get territorial and the same potty issues will arise. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one litter box per cat in the household.
Do self-cleaning litter boxes smell?
Provided that you use them as intended, no, they do not smell. Automatic self-cleaning litter boxes wil activate the cleaning cycle not long after the box has been used, which means that there won’t be time for the feces and urine to release odors into the room. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a self-cleaning litter box is impervious to foul odors: be sure to clean it regularly (removing the waste from the separate compartment) and to add enough litter in the box.
Can you use regular litter in a self-cleaning litter box?
If by “regular” you mean non-clumping, unfortunately, you can’t use it in self-cleaning litter boxes. They only work with litter that clumps, and most of them work only with a specific type of litter at that (e.g. crystals). To get the best results and prevent malfunction, always use only the recommended type of litter for your model of self-cleaning litter box.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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