Nothing quite beats the heartwarming feeling of coming home to the purrs and meows of a furry family member after a long day of work. Owning a house cat can be one of the most rewarding and entertaining aspects of your day-to-day routine, but it can also be a daunting task. There is an endless amount of time, care, and love that must be invested in order to keep your pet happy and healthy, but there is one particular aspect of cat ownership that anyone would get rid of completely if they could: the litter box.
It’s odorous, time-consuming, and messy to maintain a proper place for your feline to do his business, but luckily, there are several options available for making this process a little easier. If you are new to cat ownership, or if you’re getting tired of cleaning up after Mr. Floofy every day, it may be time to consider upgrading to an automatic litter box: a wise investment for both you, and your kitty.
Benefits of Having an Automatic Litter Box
As the name suggests, an automatic litter box does 99% of the work for you, from scooping, to cleaning, to disposing of your cat’s waste. Not only are these systems beneficial time-wise, they are also practical from a health standpoint. A conventional litter box has the potential to contaminate the surrounding area of your home with germs and feces, even if properly maintained. This problem is almost completely abolished with the use of an automatic litter box due to the fact that they continuously clean and sanitize themselves. Plus, you will never have to personally come into contact with used litter, drastically minimizing the spread of germs.
If you have more than one cat, an automatic litter box is essential for preserving the wellbeing of each of them without any additional effort. There are many automatic options which cater specifically to those who have several cats in the household. These are also perfect for those of you with more than one litter box throughout the house.
Although you may be used to the odor of scented kitty litter, what about your guests? If you want to keep your home smelling fresh for everyone, automatic litter boxes have the ability to virtually eliminate the smells that are normally associated with a regular box. Seeing as most of these are self-contained systems, you will never have to worry about offending visitors with the distinct smell of an open litter box.
|Best Automatic Litter Boxes|
How to Choose the Best Automatic Litter Box
Not all automatic litter boxes are created equally. The same can be said for your cat. It’s important to address your cat’s individual needs before making a decision on buying one brand or model over another. Some things to consider are:
- Your cat’s size and weight
- How frequently your cat uses the litter box
- Placement (most require a little more space than a conventional litter box)
- The features you want your automatic litter box to have
- Your personal budget
With that in mind, here are some of the best automatic litter boxes currently available for purchase:
Top Automatic Litter Boxes
Litter-Robot III Open Air
Treat your cat like a king with this ultra-advanced, automated, self-cleaning litter box. The Litter-Robot features a large spherical design, which does one auto-rotation after every use. As it rotates, it uses a patented method of sifting, which captures, and disposes of your cat’s waste into a carbon-filtered tray—goodbye, bad smells.
After the cleaning cycle is complete, it’s ready for another use. Once the tray is full, you will be notified with an indication light, at which point your only job is to pop open the tray, tie up the liner, and toss it in the trash. That’s it.
The only required purchases for the all-inclusive Litter-Robot are standard kitchen garbage bags and clumping litter. No special chemicals. No unnecessary add-ons.
The Litter-Robot’s size makes it perfect for larger cats, and is certainly one of the better options for people who own multiple furry friends. Since it’s enclosed, it’s also beneficial for those peculiar cats who appreciate their privacy. Additional features include: a night-time illumination light, control panel lock (to prevent children from tampering with the settings), and delay-cycles—everything needed ensure that your Litter-Robot is optimized to fit both your busy schedule, and your cat’s needs.
- Top of the line cleaning and sanitation system
- Perfect for all types of cats, both big and small
- Packed with convenient features
- Easiest waste removal system and no special bags or chemicals required.
- Much more expensive compared to other options
- May be difficult to find a suitable spot for it, due to its large size
CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
This particular automated litter box is a little more unique than most, since it actually doesn’t use disposable litter. The sanitation process for the CatGenie works by scooping, washing, and heat-drying special re-useable granules, and then liquefying the waste.
The set-up for the CatGenie is a little more in-depth, since it does requires a water hook-up, as well as a place to drain the waste it captures (either via toilet, or through your washer’s drain pipe). One of the major benefits of using an automated litter box with this kind of system is that it’s not only litter-free, but bag-free as well. They are also very inexpensive to operate.
A single 3.5 pound bag of re-useable granules can last up to six months for a single cat, and the sanitation solution used to clean them can last up to 240 cycles per cartridge. The CatGenie does operate on a timed schedule, rather than a sensor, so this product is recommended for pet owners with no more than three cats. Things could potentially get messy if used too many times before its scheduled cycle.
The box itself is also slightly smaller compared to other models, so it is better suited for smaller to medium sized cats. With the CatGenie’s focus on recyclability, it is certainly one of the most environmentally friendly options currently available.
- Litter-free and bag-free
- Inexpensive to operate
- Drains waste, rather than storing it
- Environmentally friendly
- Slightly more complicated set up
- Smaller box can be limiting, depending on the size of your cat
- Not the best option for multiple cats.
ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box
Looking for something a little less technical? A rake-style cleaning system may be a better fit for you. This self-cleaning method does exactly what the name implies, by raking through the litter box, and collecting all of the solids during its cycle.
With this system working in tandem with ScoopFree’s proprietary, disposable litter trays, cleanup is a breeze. Each litter tray can last up to several weeks depending on how frequently it is used, and with the ultra-absorbent crystals that come along with it, you don’t have to worry about odors or mess. The plastic box itself is also inherently sanitary because it is infused with a safe, antimicrobial additive.
The ScoopFree is slightly limited in the settings department—there is only one default option, which completes one cycle 20 minutes after use—so this automatic litter box is definitely geared toward owners with only one cat in the family. It should also be noted that the replacement trays can be slightly expensive, and if there is more than one cat utilizing the ScoopFree, you may have to replace this tray several times during the month, which can start to add up. Ultimately, this option is definitely for single-cat households.
- Can self-clean for weeks at a time
- Super sanitary with its absorbent crystal litter, and antimicrobial plastic
- Easy disposal method, when it comes time to replace the tray
- Not recommended for more than one cat
- Replacement trays can be pricey
LitterMaid LM680C Automatic Self-Cleaning Classic Litter Box
Similar to the ScoopFree automatic litter box, the LitterMaid LM680C also uses a rake system for cleaning. The difference, however, is that this model utilizes clumping litter, rather than absorbent crystals.
Ten minutes after use, the LitterMaid will run its rake through the litter, collect all clumped waste, and deposit it into the closed lid receptacle. When full, the receptacle is able to be removed with the push of two buttons, and once the waste is disposed of, it’s ready to be inserted again.
One benefit of using an automatic litter box with clumping litter is the fact that the litter doesn’t have to be continuously replaced, as opposed to absorbent crystals. When the litter level starts to get low, just fill to the line. It’s as easy as that.
Three notable features of the LitterMaid are its easy-access ramp (perfect for older cats), high-walled design (essential for cats that like to dig), and its use of carbon filters to keep smells neutralized. Due to the LitterMaid’s smaller size, this particular model is also recommended for families with just one friendly feline at home.
- Easy to remove waste receptacle
- A better option for older cats, or for cats who like to dig
- Can be powered with an AC adapter and batteries
- Uses carbon filters
- Not multi-cat friendly
Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Cat Litter Box
The Pet Zone is the third rake-style automatic litter box to make this list, and although it is very similar to the previously listed litter boxes, the raking operation is slightly different. Rather than having only the rake move along the length of the box, this one moves the entire upper housing across the box (including the receptacle) 15 minutes after your cat has used it.
This translates into a little bit more torque/force when scooping through the litter, ensuring that every little clump is picked up with ease. The Pet Zone boasts a much stronger motor and drive train compared to similarly priced options, and is also quieter than other raking systems. Because of its larger size, this automatic litter box can tend to the needs of two to three cats in a household. With the Pet Zone’s modular build, it is also easy to disassemble and clean when necessary, making it a perfect, stress-free option for cat owners on a tight schedule.
- Durable build, and strong motors
- Unique raking operation ensures a pristine litter box after each cycle
- One of the larger options for an automatic litter box with a raking system
- Easy to disassemble
- Some people have reported unreliable units
Think you’re ready to upgrade to automatic?
With so many different options available, there is undoubtedly an automatic litter box that perfectly fits your cat’s individual needs. Whether you have a big cat, a small cat, several cats, or a picky pooper, it goes without saying that any of the aforementioned products will keep your feline feeling clean, happy, and loved. Not only that, but they will save you time, and keep your house smelling fresh. Order one today, and say sayonara to scooping poop, and combating obnoxious odors. Your kitty will thank you.