Everyone hates having to clean out the litter box. It’s an unpleasant task at the very least. Fortunately, we finally have an alternative of scooping out clumps every day, and technology has advanced to the point that we now have self-cleaning litter boxes.
There are lots of different options when it comes to self-cleaning litter boxes, so the type of litter box you want to buy depends on the features that you want, and how much you want to spend. Here are some tips on purchasing the best self-cleaning litter box, and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Best Self Cleaning Litter Box 2017
These self-cleaning litter box are good enough to make it to our list of the top 8 best Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box 2017.
|Litter-Robot III Open-Air (Editor’s Choice)||Yes||Check Price|
|Omega Paw (Editor’s Choice)||Yes||Check Price|
|CatGenie Self-Washing Self-Flushing (Highest Rated)||No more than 3||Check Price|
|Petsafe Scoopfree Ultra||Yes||Check Price|
|LitterMaid LM580 Classic||No||Check Price|
|Our Pet's SmartScoop||Preferable one cat||Check Price|
|PetSafe Simply Clean||Preferable one cat||Check Price|
|Pet Zone Smart Scoop||Preferable one cat||Check Price|
Self Cleaning Litter Box Reviews 2017
Things to know before buying a self-cleaning litter box:
One of the benefits of a self-cleaning litter box system is that you do not have to touch or smell the cat waste. These systems work the best for:
- Cats who refuse to use a dirty litter box
- Owners who hate dealing with litter.
- Owners who need a more convenient option, and who don’t have the time to clean the litter box as often as they should
- Owners who hate the smell of their litter box
- Pregnant owners or someone who has a weakened immune system
Self-cleaning litter boxes are generally easy to maintain and set up. They are pretty easy to use as well, but there are a few things to think about when you go to purchase one.
1. Litter-Robot III Open-Air – Our Pick Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The Litter-Robot III Open-Air Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box was created to fully automate your litter box cleanup routine. It is a large litter box, so it is great for larger cats, or multiple cat homes. Features include a ridged step to help your cat easily get in and out of the box, and an internal LED-based nightlight that is very helpful for older cats that may need a little extra light in the middle of the night. The Litter-Robot III also has a lip extender to keep litter from falling on the floor. Odor is reduced by a large charcoal filter, and the unit also has a backup battery in case of power outages.
After your cat has used the litter box, the device’s mid-section will turn in a counter-clockwise direction. A centrifugal force then collects the solid and liquid waste, and deposits it into the catch bin. A light notifies you when it is necessary to change the litter in the catch bin, and it is simple to remove by lifting the removal bag and throwing it away. The cleaning process starts between three to seven minutes after the cat is finished in the litter box, which can also be preset by the owner. It can also be set to clean at intervals by using a panel on the right side of the device. There is also a lock-out function so that a particularly smart cat or young child won’t think to start the cycle repeatedly.
- Reduces odor, and has a large entryway
- Perfect for multiples cats
- Includes an automatic night light
2. CatGenie Self-Washing Self-Flushing – Highest Rated Litter Box
The CatGenie is a popular automatic litter cleaning system that was created by a rocket scientist. It automates the entire cat litter cleaning process, including throwing away the waste. It actually looks very much like a toilet, and it links to your toilet bowl’s water supply. It is a heavy system weighing 26 pounds, and it takes up quite a bit of room. It comes with litter that does not need to be replaced, and consists of machine washable granules. The only replaceable part of this system is the CatGenie SaniSolution, which is a chemical treatment that needs to be replaced occasionally.
The CatGenie removes solid waste after the whole bowl spins around, and the Genie Hand scooper deposits the waste into a hopper. Solid waste is broken down in the hopper with water and SaniSolution until it is liquefied. All waste is then flushed out through a tube that hooks onto the side of your toilet. Once the waste is in your toilet, it is easy to flush it away. The granules are then cleaned by the CatGenie solution that is pumped into the main granule area. A warm air vent dries the granules, and they are then ready to be used again.
- It automatically flushes waste away, and washes itself clean
- Uses litter-like Washable Granules that satisfy cats need to dig and cover
- Perfect for one to two cats, but not more than three average size cats that are 6 months or older
The positives of the CatGenie is that it is a well-built product that works well for years, it is easy to install, and the entire cleaning process is automated, including the waste. The negatives are that the drain system and the actual drain hose are too small, and the solution and the granules are expensive.
3. Petsafe Scoopfree Ultra – Most Unique Litter Box Design
The Petsafe Scoopfree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box has a very unique design. It comes with a sloping front where the collection mechanism is housed, and it comes with a privacy dome that keeps litter from getting out of the box. It uses a tray system that does not require changing for at least a month. The Petsafe Scoopfree uses Fresh Step litter crystals, and a wall to wall rake collects the solid waste and then places it in a covered waste trap that needs to be cleaned out occasionally. Crystals absorb all of the liquid waste, and the odor-free design of the crystal guarantees no odors as long as the tray is changed out once a month. Sensors can tell when your cat is finished, and the fully automated litter box will start the cleaning process after twenty minutes. This gives the crystals enough time to work. Owners can also manually change the cleaning time down to five minutes.
- Urine is absorbed by the Crystal litter which also dehydrates the waste to instantly remove odors
- You never have to touch the waste as it is covered in a trap lock
- Cleanup is quick and hygienic with a completely disposable leak-proof tray with lid
The advantages of the Petsafe Scoopfree are that it is very convenient, fully automated, and you only need to clean out the trap once a month. The disadvantages are that it does not mask odor well, and it creates hills can form from aggressive digging by cats, which lower the litter boxes performance.
4. Omega Paw – Most Affordable Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box is one of the cheaper options on this list. It is not automated, but it does have a simple self-cleaning feature by simply rolling it along its curved side. Litter passes through the inside structure, and liquid waste and clumps are collected into a compartment that goes through a hole to the outside of the litter box. All you have to do is pull the handle, and all the waste is collected for easy disposal.
- Very easy to use
- Doesn’t need electricity, liners or filters
- Has a patented Grill that separates clean litter from waste
The positives of the Omega Paw is that it saves a lot of time from cleaning, it is great for larger cats, and it is very convenient. The negatives are that the latches that connect the top and bottom portions are somewhat weak, and it doesn’t have a privacy door.
5. LitterMaid LM580 Classic – Best Single Cat Litter Box
The LitterMaid LM580 Classic Self-Cleaning Litter Box is a convenient system to maintain your cat’s litter box. It comes with adjustable programming that schedules scooping waste in between major cleanings. It is a unique litter box that makes it easier for busy cat owners, and those with limited physical mobility to maintain the litter box. The LitterMaid LM580 is perfect for one cat homes.
The LitterMaid LM580 scoops waste into a sealed, disposable receptacle that includes a carbon filter that removes and absorbs odors. Dual motion sensors are timed for ten minutes after your cat leaves the box to start cleaning. It can also be manually activated for unscheduled cleaning. The raking system is so efficient it reduces your litter use, making it necessary to empty the receptacle after 5-7 days. It also keeps your home odor-free with waste being emptied into a sealed, disposable receptacle where carbon air freshener filters destroy any odors. This helps make your home clean and comfortable for everyone.
- Durable, rugged motor
- Has a high side wall design
- It is easy to clean with a removable automatic rake
6. Our Pet’s SmartScoop – Best Automatic Litter Box for Large Cat
SmartScoop Deluxe Self-Scooping Cat Litter Box reduces odor, and the need to scoop out the litter box daily. It is motion activated, and will begin cleaning 15 minutes after your cat leaves the litter box. After clumping is allowed to take place, the waste is raked into the waste tray. For a single cat house, it is recommended to change the waste bags once a week, and the Activated Carbon filter once a month. If you are a multiple cat home, the bag and filter will need to be changed more frequently. SmartScoop Deluxe features a smart sensor that triggers the cleaning cycle, and an improved rake design and deflector for more efficient cleaning. It works with your favorite clumping litter, so there isn’t expensive litter to purchase for this product.
- Power unit has been improved for a more reliable, quieter, and smoother overall performance
- It is easier to operate and maintain than its competitors
- It has a large usable litter area that is great for larger cats
The upside to the SmartScoop is that it is a great product that does not smell, it is very convenient to clean, especially if you have back problems, and there is very little maintenance needed. The downside is that the crystal litter is expensive and dusty, and litter tends to stick to the sides and bottom of the box.
7. PetSafe Simply Clean – Best Environmentally Friendly Litter Box
The PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box is an innovative design that is environmentally friendly and economical. Maintaining the PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box does not require additional accessories, and you only need to use regular recycled grocery bags when you line the waste receptacle making clean up quick and affordable. It’s also very quiet, and reduces odor by reducing mess and the need for scooping.
- Easy to set-up, clean, and use daily
- Requires less clumping litter than regular litter boxes
- Recycled grocery bags can be used in the waste bin
8. Pet Zone Smart Scoop – Quietest Litter Box
The Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Cat Litter Box is a self-cleaning automatic litter box that has a smart sensor to trigger the cleaning cycle. The cleaning cycle runs fifteen minutes after your cat leaves the box. It has a powerful, but quiet motor, and works with your favorite clumping litter so you do not have buy special litter. It is significantly quieter than other self-cleaning litter boxes, plus it has better litter containment. Clumps stay inside the litter pan thanks to the angled deflector with fins and raised height, and the strong metal rake has superb scraping performance. Not only does the SmartScoop Automatic Litter Box scoop for you, but it also eliminates litter box odor.. It is also easy to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.
- Durable and reliable with sturdy metal gears in its drive train, and a powerful and smooth operating motor unit
- Owners can use any clumping litter, and the scoop and dispose action does not waste clean litter
- Over four times quieter than competitors
The advantages of the Pet Zone Smart Scoop is that it uses less litter overall, and makes sure not to waste the clean litter. Your litter box will stay really clean as the scooping action efficiently picks up waste clumps. The downside is that the scooping action doesn’t always scoop all the way to the bottom, and sometimes the rake pushes the litter to the end of the box and onto the floor.
Self Cleaning Litter Box Buying Guide How to choose the best Self Cleaning Litter Box in 2017
When you hear self-cleaning litter box, your first thought is probably, how exactly does that work? Basically, they litter box itself does the scooping for you. In some cases, you still have to empty a tray, but in other cases the waste is literally flushed away. There is either a raking system, or the whole inner part of the litter box is tilted to remove the waste. There are a lot of different systems on the market, each with a unique method of removing the waste. When you do have to remove the waste from a bag or tray, you usually only have to do it once a week, and in some cases, once a month. This is more convenient than the daily scooping of traditional litter boxes. There are a lot of benefits to having one like keeping your home cleaner and fresher, and providing a better environment for finicky cats that refuse to use a dirty litter box.
Some of these litter boxes are pretty large, so you need to make sure you have enough room for it. Also, some of them have tubes that need to be hooked up to your toilet, so you need to make sure you have the space in your bathroom. It’s important to measure the area you plan to put the litter box, and make sure it will fit.
They are called self-cleaning litter boxes but there is still some amount of cleaning you will have to do. At the very least, you will have probably have to throw away a waste bag, or dump out the waste tray once a week. But at least you won’t have to clean it out daily. Almost all the models are pretty quiet, and the cleaning process shouldn’t be too noticeable when it’s happening.
In almost all the models, there will either be a waste bag, or a waste compartment that the waste will be removed to.
Guarantees and Warranty
Most of these models are from brand name companies and they should offer a warranty of some sort. Usually, they will run from either a 90-day warranty to a one year warranty.
When a self-cleaning box is not a good idea
If you have a cat that has diarrhea or runny stools, a self-cleaning litter box is not a good idea. Cats also need to be a certain weight to trigger the sensors, so a self-cleaning litter box will not work well with kittens.
Self-cleaning Litter Box Features:
There are a lot of features that are available when you are shopping for a self-cleaning litter box. Here are a few features you will see when you start shopping:
Some cats prefer privacy, and there are lots of models that have the option to have a hood on your litter box to give you cat privacy. This is also a great feature so that litter also stays in the box and not on the floor.
High Walled Design
High walls can also help your cat from scattering litter on the floor
Having a programmable feature is great if you have a busy schedule. This allows you to shut off the cleaning features during the night so it won’t wake you up. You can also adjust the amount of time it cleans during the day, or how quickly it will clean the litter box once your cat leaves it.
These are a great feature to tell the machine when your cat has entered and left the litter box so that your cat doesn’t get hurt by the machine, and so that the cleaning mechanism starts to clean the litter box.
If you have a power outage, it’s a great feature to have a battery backup to make sure you continue to have a clean litter box while the power is out.
Do they work well for multiple cats? Some litter boxes will work well for just one or two cats, and others are larger, and they are great for a large cat or a multiple cat house.
Are they environmentally friendly? Litter is not great for the environment, and self-cleaning litter boxes use less litter, which is better for the environment. There are some that use reusable granules that get washed each time they are used, and it removes the need for purchasing more litter.
Do they smell?
Most of the time, the self-cleaning litter boxes do a better job containing the smell since it is removed and placed into a closed air tight compartment.
Why don’t they work for small cats?
Self-cleaning litter boxes usually do not work well with kittens. They are usually too small and too light to set off the sensors that let the box know that it should start cleaning. Also, a kitten’s waste tends to be softer, which makes it more difficult for the machine to work well.
Are they safe?
Self-cleaning litter boxes are very safe for your cat. Most people are concerned that their cat might get hurt if the machine starts while it is in it. There are sensors that let the machine know when the cat has left the box, so it won’t start until the cat has left the box. You can also program some of them to start twenty minutes after the cat has left, so that also ensures your cat will be out of the box by the time it starts.
Wrapping It Up
There is no argument that cleaning out the litter pan each day is an inconvenient and messy chore. Having a self-cleaning litter box not only eliminates the need to clean the box daily, it also helps keep your house cleaner and fresher. This is perfect for busy professionals, women who are pregnant, those who have weakened immune systems, or someone would rather not have to change the cat litter altogether. It also gives your cat a cleaner place to do his business, which will make him healthier and happier.
There are lots of models to choose from with an array of features that should thrill any cat lover. And no matter what your budget is, you will find the best self-cleaning litter box that fits your wallet and your needs. Say goodbye to scooping, and say hello to a happier and healthier cat.