Searching for a self cleaning litter box was on my agenda for a long time but I was hesitant. On one hand, self-cleaning litter boxes for cats would save a lot of time and hassle. Especially when we travel or come home late from work.
But I wasn’t too sure about which were the best self-cleaning litter boxes. In this article, I compare the 10 best automatic litter box for cats to help you make an informed choice.
If you have no idea what to look for, you’re in luck. I decided to share my reviews of the ones I have tried.
These self-cleaning litter boxes can help to ease your workload (who needs another chore on the list!?). And of course, anything to make your sassy feline happy right? Yes, I did think getting one would make my kitty Lilo love me a little more. Don’t forget, they can be good for your health too.
Here are the best automatic litter boxes:
- Litter-Robot III Open Air Self Cleaning Litter Box
- PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- CatGenie Self Flushing Cat Box
- Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box
- Littermaid LM980 Mega
- PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- Catit Design Sifting Pan
- Nature’s Miracle Multi-Cat
Best Self Cleaning Litter Box Reviews 2020
Litter-Robot III Open Air Automatic Cat Litter Box
Dimensions: 26.8 x 24.4 x 29.1 inches
My Rating: 4.8
Petsafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Dimensions: 27.4 x 19 x 7 inches
My Rating: 4.7
I had this odorless Petsafe Scoopfree Ultra self-cleaning litter box with crystal litter for two years. I was very happy with it and didn’t have any problems. It is very effective at handling urine and you don’t need to change the litter tray that often. Usually, about 9 to 15 days is good enough.
- Premium Blue Crystal litter controls odor really, really well!
- Use any type of cat litter
- Does not stick to paws
- Rakes waste into closed waste compartment
- Safety sensors
- Disposable trays
- Adjustable timer for rake
CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing
Dimensions: 24.5 x 19.2 x 21 inches
My Rating: 4.5
This self cleaning litter box washes, sanitizes and dries itself. This is great for 1 or 2 cats but I wouldn’t recommend for any more than 3. You have to hook it up to water and power. But if you prioritize hygiene, this is one of the better auto cat litter box with washable granules you can get. It works like a toilet!
- Flushes waste and great at cleaning itself! Effective self-cleaning litter box
- 100% dust-free!
- Washable granules used instead of clay so your kitty can still dig and cover to its heart’s content
- Includes biodegradable & recyclable cartridge
- Several activation choices
- Perfect for 1-2 felines but no more than 3
- Multi-cat families!
- Electric best cat litter box – needs to hook up to electricity and cold water
I recommend you to install this cat box in a bathroom where there’s access to cold water. This self-cleaning litter box flushes away the waste after use and is great at cleaning itself without you having to do anything.
Pet Zone Smart Scoop
imensions: 26.5 x 16.9 x 7.6 inches
My Rating: 4.3
The Pet Zone self cleaning cat litter box comes with an smart sensor which triggers the activation of the cleaning cycle. It’s known for being very quiet and easy to disassemble for cleaning.
- This best litterbox is known as the most popular option for multiple cats. This cat box is auto flushing, self-cleaning and comes with a smart sensor to activate the cleaning cycle. The scooping and motor rake run for 15 minutes after your feline leaves with a quiet and powerful motor.
Litter Maid LM980
Dimensions: 26.5 x 16.9 x 7.6 inches
My Rating: 4.6
- New and improved design! A lot more durable
- Large sized design with high walls
- Has safety bar which stops rake in case of blockage
- Easy to clean & set up
- Carbon filters reduce odor
- Great for multiple felines. Even your pet who’s above 15 pounds.
- Multi-cat households!
- Comes with lots of accessories: removable rake, removable tray, battery back-up, 4 sealed waste receptacles and 4 carbon filters
PetSafe Simply Clean Continuous-Clean
Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 10 inches
My Rating: 4.5
This is a unique system from Petsafe that cleans and removes wastes. It has a built-in waste container via a slow-moving rotating Conveyor System.
- Reduces odor and bacterial
- Simple to set up
- Uses less clumping litter
- Quiet operation
- Doesn’t need purchasing special bags needed
- Does run on low voltage AC power adapter
- Suits felines up to 15 pounds
- 1 year warranty
- The waste is sifted through and is made to move up the conveyor belt and right into the waste container. Self cleaning. Remove waste container and dump waste in the trash to clean.
LitterMaid LM580 Classic
Dimensions: 17.2 x 9.3 x 24.3 inches
My Rating: 4.4
This self-cleaning litter box from Littermaid takes away the need to scoop daily and keeps the home smelling fresh. It comes with a compact designing and has a removable robotic rake which removes the waste.
- Ideal for single cat households
- Comes with adjustable programming
- Reduces litter
- Comes with detachable rake mechanism
This litter box scoops your cat’s waste into a closed and disposable receptacle which has a carbon filter in it to absorb and remove odors. The dual-motion sensors scoop and remove waste easily.
Pet Zone SmartScoop
Dimensions: 26.5 x 16.9 x 7.6 inches
My Rating: 4.2Technologically advanced, this self cleaning cat litter box scoops from the kitty box. It then deposits it into a waste bin after your cat leaves the box. The Self-Cleaning Activated Carbon Filter in the bin helps to eliminate odor. Low maintenance and easy to clean, all you have to do is remove the rake, waste bin and slide off the motor unit.
The self-cleaning rake moves forward to scoop the clumps forward and then puts them into the waste bin. The litter box waste bin comes with a no-touch waste bag so that the waste can be disposed of easily.
- Eliminates odor
- Easy to empty
- Uses any clumping litter
- 6-month supply of activated carbon filters
- All parts are removable
- Comes with one year warranty
- Low maintenance
Catit Design SmartSift Sifting Pan
Dimensions: 26.6 x 19.3 x 18.5 inches
My Rating: 4.0
This Catit sifting cat pan which allows you to forget all about maintenance. It has a pull-and-refresh system which you simply pull the lever to get rid of the waste. You simply have to pull down the lever to activate a seamless and quiet process that efficiently and rapidly sifts and disposes of the waste for you.
- Scoops by pulling the lever
- No motorized pieces
- Less expensive
- Sealed design
- Suitable for your pet of all sizes
- Helps with litter tracking
Nature’s Miracle Multi-Cat
If you’ve tried the LitterMaid LM580, you might find that this looks quite similar. The Nature’s Miracle box is in fact, bigger actually. It’s known to suit bigger cats or multiple cats. You’ll find it handy if you travel often or have a multiple pets. Personally, I love the night light. It’s also very easy to set up and refill.
- Use it with any cat litter brand
- Simple to set up and use
- Night light feature
- Doesn’t get stuck to the bottom or side
- Suits multiple felines up to 15 pounds
- 1 year warranty
Best Covered Litter Box – Hidden
How Automatic Cat Litter Boxes Can Help?
- Cheaper to purchase
- Quiet and safe to use
- Saves time
In this day and age where we are all so busy, who wants to spend time dealing with kitty waste? It’s a lot easier and more efficient to get an automate the cleaning process and free up your time for other more important things. You won’t find yourself scooping the litter box every single day. Instead, you’ll only be scooping the self cleaning litter box once in a while.
For your kitty and for you as a cat owner. Using a great self cleaning litter box means you do not have to come into contact with kitty litter. If you use non clumping cat litter, you’d know that they can get filthy and out of control quickly even if you scoop daily. The urine-soaked clay left behind makes it unpleasant for your home and your cat.
- Pamper your kitty
- Get rid of odor
Since your litter box self-cleans, you won’t have cat waste sitting there for hours. You’ll really appreciate better odor control especially if your cat’s box is placed in your living room or guest room.
How do self-cleaning litter boxes work?
Do self cleaning cat litter boxes really work? There are a few different kinds of self cleaning litter boxes, and they each work slightly differently. The most simple type is a manual self cleaning litter box. There’s no electricity required, but you do have to do a little work, usually by rolling a dial to make the litter sift through.
The two other litter boxes do use power, but the difference is mostly in when they scoop. Semi automatic ones do all the scooping and sifting, but they come with a preset scooping interval. It could be 20 minutes or 30, or even less, but it stays the same.
Self Cleaning Litter Boxes typically allow you to set timed intervals for scooping. You don’t need to set the time regularly, just tell the litter boxes how long to wait to scoop after it senses your cat is done and out of the box.
What kind of automatic litter boxes should I get?
Self cleaning litter boxes come without any shortage of different styles and options. While some boxes definitely do more work than others, there’s more to these boxes than just manual or automatic. Like any other litter box, there are plenty of factors to consider before you choose.
- Considerations for your cat
If you get self cleaning litter boxes that are too small, even if it’s fully automatic, you’ll see more of a mess. Felines need a certain amount of space to use the litter box. If it’s too small, they may have an accident outside of the box. Make sure you check the intended sizes before you buy a self cleaning litter box. If you have an older, or smaller cat, ensure the front entry is low enough for them to climb in.
- Covered vs uncovered
Like regular litter boxes, self cleaning litter boxes come in covered and uncovered styles. Some felines need the hood on self cleaning litter boxes to feel like they have privacy. Other kitties don’t like feeling closed in. Keep your cat’s temperament in mind when you choose. If you have a cat that really likes to dig and kick litter around, a covered box may be your best option.
- Look for self cleaning litter box features
It goes without saying that the more features you want included, the more you’ll end up spending. For many cat owners, certain features are non-negotiable. If your cat is messy with litter, a covered or hood is probably one of those things.
Or, if your cat is skittish around mechanical things, semi automatic litter boxes might scare them if it starts scooping too soon. Certain features will make a litter box either very easy to clean, or somewhat more difficult.
If making litter duty easy is a top priority, look for a self cleaning litter box that’s easy to empty and scoops itself. There are plenty of manual self cleaning litter boxes that take very little effort on your part, so don’t discount it until you look further.
- Look at long term upkeep
Warranties and guarantees can give you a lot of peace of mind when you buy a self cleaning litter box. If something goes wrong, you can count on the manufacturer to fix it. That isn’t the only thing to look for, even if it is a good thing to have.
They still need some care once in a while. Manual self cleaning ones do require a little more work when you clean the litter, but significantly less maintenance over time. The more advanced a litter box is, the more components could end up needing care. Look into the process for emptying old litter, and keeping all the parts working properly.
Is it easy to clean? Yes, you can’t fully escape from cleaning. You still do need to clean your self-cleaning box once in a while. Choose brands that are easy to pull apart and wash. You might even find that most of the time, the simple models turn out to be the easiest to wipe out.
- Size Matters
Think about how much room you have and where you’re going to store the automatic litter box. If you live in a smaller apartment, you might want to go with something a lot smaller and compact.
Also, consider the sizes of your felines. Some cats like a bigger space, some likes smaller, cozier ones.
Have kittens or smaller breeds? Choose a smaller crate. Of course, make sure the side is easier to climb up and over. Keep in mind your kitten’s smaller stature. If you get one with walls that are too high, your kitty might not even use it at all. You’d feel so annoyed about wasting your money!
If you consider your feline to be an average size, go for a medium-sized self cleaning litter box. Larger felines will love oversized self cleaning litter box more.
If you find this all confusing, bear in mind this general rule of thumb. The crate width should at least be the length of your pet. Do not get one that’s any smaller because more felines do not like spaces that are too cramped.
Don’t forget, your kitty isn’t just going to sit in there. It will need space to move, bury, scratch and turn around!
- How It Works
- Power Sources?
Some automatic electric cat litter boxes need you to plug it into an electrical source. Is that something you would like? Is the spot where you’re going to put it accessible to any electrical power points?
- Scooping Time
It’s a standard that most self cleaning litter boxes have a sensor. This sensor activates minutes after your cat exits the box. Some models come with a timer where you can choose the scooping time that you want.
- Type of Litter
Does the self cleaning litter box you want only work with certain types of litter? This isn’t usually a problem but it can be an obstacle if your cat decides it doesn’t like the self cleaning litter box. Also, it impedes on your flexibility of which cat litter brand you like.
Where Should You Place Your Self-Cleaning Litter Box?
Now, you have to decide where the best optimum place is to put your automatic litter box. Of course, the first tip is to put it somewhere that is easy for your cats to find. And make sure there’s enough room.
A Safe and Quiet Environment
If it’s not safe or too noisy, your cat might shy away from it. Try to put the self cleaning litter box somewhere with fewer strangers and disturbances. Give it enough room.
Also, try to keep the automated box away from dryers or even dogs. Your cat might be too worried about being pounced on while doing its business.
If You Have A Garden…
If you’re lucky enough to have a nice spacious garden, then it’ll be ideal to place your best self-cleaning litter box near the porch. It will give your pet plenty of room.
Privacy Is Best
It’s no secret that felines love their privacy, especially when they have to eliminate. Some private areas to consider are a spare bathroom or bedroom.
Especially for very young or very old cats, it’s not ideal to place the self cleaning litter box in a bedroom upstairs. Try not to force your cat to climb the stairs to use the litter box. Older cats might also suffer from arthritis, causing them a lot of pain if they have to climb stairs.
Basements seem quiet and private enough. However, they are usually too dark and even damp. This can lead to bacteria breeding in the self cleaning litter box. Overall, not the best spot.
All Levels Might Be Necessary
If you’ve got quite a few cats, it might be necessary to place a self-cleaning box on every single level. Getting the best litter box for cats is certainly a good long term investment. These best self-cleaning litter boxes are great, budget-friendly and your pets are going to love them.
They also have health benefits for you so why not? Try to understand your feline friend’s behavior and character to help you choose the right one too. We definitely love our cleaner environment now!
If you’re looking for more, I also have a full review of traditional cat litter boxes.
How to train my cat to use its robot litter box?
Cats can be fickle about their litter box routines, and it’s important to understand how to train them if you want it to work. Here are some tips to help you litter train your cat.
- Be patient
Patience really is the key to litter training. If you’re yelling and getting stressed out, your cat picks up on that. Then, using the litter box becomes a stressful, unwanted experience for them. Take your time, and be persistent. Most of all, just be patient.
- Follow their cues
Most cats have some sort of ‘tell’ for when they need to use the litter box. Often, you’ll see these signs pop up at certain times of day. Most cats use the litter box shortly after eating, so pay special attention after meals or after they drink a lot.
When you see these cues, get your cat to the litter box. If your cat doesn’t have big signals, there’s nothing wrong with marking a chart when they do go. Obviously, the cat won’t be reading the chart looking for a prize, but you can get a feel for their most regular times.
- Don’t be afraid to get hands on
Younger cats especially need some direction when it comes to the best self cleaning litter box. Show them the litter is for digging by raking your hands lightly through litter. In the beginning, it’s going to be your job to ‘escort’ your cat to the litter box.
Are self cleaning litter boxes worth it? Definitely a resounding yes! When you see signs your cat needs to go, pick them up (calmly) and take them to the box. Set them in, and stay with them while you wait for them to do their business. Feel free to bring a favorite toy, or a treat for after they successfully use the best self cleaning litter box.
In a nutshell, I have laid out a detailed review of the top ones on the market today. Overall, I have to say the Litter-Robot III Open Air is the top pick and the most worthy investment. You’ll love how easy it is to use and maintain, its technology is just impressive and the design is beautiful.