Want to know how to get rid of the litter box blues in your home? We’re reviewing 7 of the best self-cleaning litter box options available on the market. Because no one wants to spend their days scooping poop.
Let’s be honest, for many cat owners, one of the least favorite parts of being a parent is cleaning your cat’s litter box. And if you’re anything like us, you’ve come up with novel ways to avoid doing it. In our house, there was a lot of rock-paper-scissors challenges, or occasionally we’d play a made-up game of ‘you’re the pooper scooper’. But then we discovered the self-cleaning litter box, which has literally changed our lives.
- Our Top 5 Picks of the Best Self Cleaning Litter Box
- 1. Omega Paw Roll'N Clean Cat Litter Box
- 2. Nature's Miracle Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- 3. Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Cat Litter Box System
- 4. ScoopFree Automatic Cat Litter Box
- 5. ScoopFree Top-Entry Ultra Automatic Cat Litter Box
- 6. Litter Spinner Cat Litter Box
- 7. PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box
- Essential Features to Consider When Choosing a Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box?
- Everything You Need to Know About a Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
- What is a self-cleaning cat litter box and how does it work?
- Is it essential to have a self-cleaning litter box?
- Are there any benefits to using a self-cleaning cat litter box?
- What type of cat litter can be used for a self-cleaning litter box?
- How easy is it to get a cat to use a self-cleaning litter box?
- Is there an easy way to introduce the new litter to a cat?
- Is it possible to teach a kitten to use a self-cleaning litter box?
Overall Winner – The Best Manual Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box
What immediately attracted us to the Omega Paw Roll ‘N Clean cat litter box was its price. It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t an automatic cleaning litter box, and will require some manual input from you. However, with its clever design, you won’t actually have to scoop the litter by hand.
As the name suggests, with a simple roll of the uniquely designed litter box, the used litter is trapped inside a filter, which is then deposited in the removable tray. All you need to do is pull the tray out, empty it, and replace it. It’s that easy. It’s suitable for cats of all sizes, and also works well in multi-cat households.
Something we noticed almost immediately was how effectively the Omega Paw Roll ‘N Clean handled unpleasant odors. This is because of the hooded design, which keeps the smells inside the litter box. And once you’ve given it a roll, the waste is trapped inside an airtight container, until you dispose of it.
Assembling the self-cleaning litter box is straight forward, as is using it. And you can use any kitty litter you like. This really is one of the best self cleaning litter boxes available, at a very affordable price.
Take a look at this video to see the Omega Paw Roll ‘N Clean in action…
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Overall Winner: Best Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box
If you need a litter box for multiple cats, then Nature’s Miracle Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box is the way to go. Possibly one of the best boxes on the market, it includes a motion sensor that detects when your kitty’s done, and an automated rake combs clumps into a container. Carbon filters then trap the odor inside the box, ensuring there are no unpleasant smells wafting around.
The unit also has high walls to stop litter being spilled, and a paw-cleaning mat reduces litter tracking. The multi-cat litter box is easy to use, and the removable rake and scoop make cleaning up quick and effortless. We like that you can use any type of clumping kitty litter, or if you prefer, you can buy Nature’s Miracle super absorbent scented clumping litter.
A really neat feature is the sleep mode, which allows you to pause the litter box for nine hours. This stops it from cleaning in the middle of the night. The unit is fairly noisy, so you’ll definitely want to set this up. Additional features that make the self-cleaning litter box a good choice, is the anti-microbe protection which stops bacteria growing in the tray, as well as the warning light that flashes to let you know the tray needs to be emptied.
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Best All in One Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box System
Depending on how much your cat likes his privacy, the Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System is available in two different styles; with a hood and one without. The self-cleaning litter box for cats is another affordable option that’s easy to assemble, and maintain. It consists of a base with a slide-out tray, a sifting tray, and a high sided top, or hood, depending on the model you choose.
The all-in-one system also includes a scoop for sifting the Tidy Cats Breeze litter pellets, as well as a spare bag of pellets and Tidy Cats breeze cat pads. Although it can be used for more than one cat, it’ important to note that each system is designed to last approximately 30 days for a single cat.
To use the litter box, simply place the pads in the bottom of the slide-out tray, and the pellets at the top. When your cat goes to the toilet, any liquids are absorbed by the disposable pads, while the non-clumping pellets trap waste as well as odors. We liked that the pellets reduced the amount of litter that was tracked through the house, and honestly only noticed any smells when we removed the tray to change the pad.
At first glance, the scoop is small, but having said that, it’s the right size for the litter box, and the slots are big enough to sift the pellets effectively. This dual cleaning system works well for one cat, however, if you have two or more you might want to go for a larger cat litter box or one that’s made for multi-cat use.
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Best Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Multiple Cats
One of the best automatic cat litter box options is the ScoopFree Automatic Cat Litter Box. There are two versions available, namely the Original and the Petsafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Both models work exceptionally well, but the Ultra, as you would expect, comes with a few additional features, and it costs a little more.
Like the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box, this one also has its own unique pellets. But these absorbent crystals have a dual purpose; they dehydrate solid waste and absorb liquid. After 20 minutes, when your cat has finished using the litter box and the crystal litter has had a chance to work, an automated rake pushes the dried-out poop into a separate airtight compartment. Unlike traditional litter boxes, unpleasant odors are eliminated.
A real stand out feature of ScoopFree litter box is how long it can be used before it needs to be emptied. Thanks to the super absorbent crystals that controls odors and bacteria, it only needs to be cleaned every 20 to 30 days (if you have one cat), approximately every 15 days (if you have 2) or between 7 and 10 days (if you have 3 cats).
WIth the ScoopFree Ultra, you have the option of setting the rake’s timer to work after five, 10, or 20 minutes. The rake is also adjustable with this model, and there is a function that helps you track the number of times your cat uses the litter box.
Although this is one of the more expensive products reviewed here, if it’s in your budget, we definitely think it’s worth the investment.
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Best Top-Entry Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Okay, so we’ve already reviewed the ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box, but we wanted to include this one because of because it’s a top-entry litter box. Some cats just prefer this design, as do a lot of pet owners. The enclosed litter box gives your kitty the privacy he needs to do his business, and it keeps unpleasant odors at bay.
It works exactly the same way as the ScoopFree Original and ScoopFree Ultra with super absorbent crystal litter, but litter tracking is kept to a minimum thanks to the grated surface top. Something we forgot to mention is the disposable tray. There’s no scooping, refilling, or getting your hands dirty with this automatic litter box.
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Best Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box for Small Cats
Okay, we’re going to get this out the way from the get-go. If your cat is small and weighs 10 pounds or less, then the Litter Spinner Cat Litter Box is an excellent choice. The opening is approximately 7.5-inches wide, which is one of the smallest we’ve seen, so if your feline is average-sized or large, then it’s best to look at one of the other litter boxes.
The Litter Spinner is really easy to use, and best of all, it works with any type of clumping litter. Simply fill the bottom of the box with litter, and once your cat’s finished doing his business, give it a good spin. All the clumped litter and poop is deposited into the easy to clean waste drawer. The only downside to this litter box is that you need to dispose of the waste in the drawer after each spin. Given the size, we would say it’s probably better suited to one cat or kittens.
This self-cleaning litter box doesn’t need batteries or power, so you can use it in any room, and because it’s fairly small, it’s perfect for traveling with.
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The Best Automatic Litter Box for Cats Up to 15 Pounds
The PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box works differently than the other products reviewed here. Using a conveyor belt system, the unit collects and dumps the soiled litter into a waste bag. The automatic litter box removes waste every half hour, and it makes one full rotation every 90 minutes. Although this would be a problem with some of the noisier models, this automatic litter box is whisper-quiet, so you don’t even notice.
The PetSafe Simply Clean has a replaceable carbon filter that helps with odor control, and there is an LED light that indicates when it’s running. Unlike a lot of the other self-cleaning cat litter boxes, we liked that this one is particularly close to the floor, which means the transition from a normal litter tray would be relatively easy. It is also a great choice for older cats or those with health issues.
This is an affordable automatic self-cleaning litter box that works well and requires the least amount of effort from you.
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Essential Features to Consider When Choosing a Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box?
Unlike traditional litter boxes, there are a few essential features to keep in mind when choosing a self-cleaning unit. Depending on your needs, and your budget, not only should the litter box be easy to set up and use, but it should also be easy to dispose of the litter.
Other important features to consider include:
- The size – There is very little point to having a self-cleaning litter box that is either too small or too big for your cat. So one of the first things to consider when choosing a self-cleaning litter box is its size. There are some that are only suitable for one cat, while others work well if you have two or more cats. While others are available in different sizes, like the Omega Paw Roll’N Clean Cat Litter Box. For small cats, that weigh 10 pounds or less, the Litter Spinner Cat Litter Box is an obvious choice.
- The type of litter – For the self-cleaning cat box to work properly, you need to use the right type of litter. For example, both the ScoopFree Automatic Cat Litter Box and the Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Cat Litter Box System only work with their specific brands’ kitty litter. Most of the litter boxes we’ve reviewed work with any type of clumping litter.
- Manual or automatic – As mentioned already, you can choose either an automatic or manual self-cleaning litter box. The automatic models, although more expensive, come with a timer that allows you to program how soon after your cat has used the box the rake scoops through the litter. Some also have a sleep mode that stops the unit from working in the middle of the night. Manual self-cleaning litter boxes will need to be checked by you on a daily basis.
- The size of the waste compartment – It’s definitely worth keeping the size of the waste compartment in mind. Large waste bins mean more convenience for you. This is because you won’t have to spend as much time emptying it.
- Easy to clean – Some of the best self-cleaning litter boxes are those that are easy to clean. Remember, you will still need to give the entire unit a deep clean every now and then. Make sure the one you choose is easy to take apart, and reassemble. You also don’t want to waste time fussing with too many parts.
- Noise – The noise levels of some of the automatic litter boxes prevent nervous cats from using it. Manual litter boxes are more suitable in these situations, or you could opt for the whisper-quiet PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box.
- Your budget – Last but not least, it’s definitely worth thinking about your budget, and what you can afford to spend. You can expect to pay between $40 and $170 for the self-cleaning litter boxes we’ve reviewed. But if money really isn’t a problem, you could splash out on the Litter-Robot.
Everything You Need to Know About a Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
According to the Litter Robot website, the first patented design for an automatic self-cleaning litter box was in 1991. Since then, they’ve come a long way, and more people are taking advantage of this clever invention. But how exactly does a self-cleaning litter box work and are they worth the cost?
We’re answering these questions, plus a few more below. Carry on reading to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about automatic litter boxes.
What is a self-cleaning cat litter box and how does it work?
A self cleaning cat box is exactly that. A cat box that doesn’t require you to do any scooping of your cat’s litter box to keep it clean. There are two types available for you to choose from; automated models and manual units. The automated type works with a power source and rakes through the litter, separating soiled and clean litter. Manual models rely on you rolling or sifting the box.
Needless to say, unlike traditional boxes, these save you a lot of time and trouble. And while they cost more, we think it’s money well spent.
Is it essential to have a self-cleaning litter box?
It’s not essential, but it sure as heck makes your life a lot easier if you have any health issues that make bending, scooping, or lifting difficult. It’s also really useful if you have more than one cat and you find you’re having to clean out their litter box three times, or more a day. In terms of convenience and saving time, a self-cleaning litter box gives you both.
Are there any benefits to using a self-cleaning cat litter box?
There are loads of benefits to owning one of these units. The most obvious is that you never have to come face to face with your cat’s poop ever again and that in itself is reason enough to get one. But after using ours for a couple of days, we noticed a couple of other benefits too.
No more unpleasant odors
No matter how much you love your cat, the odors that waft from the litter box are sometimes unbearable. Self-cleaning cat litter boxes do a good job controlling this. As is the case with some of the litter boxes reviewed here, the kitty litter itself eliminates odors by absorbing pee and dehydrating poo. Also, because most of them are enclosed, it keeps the smell inside the box. Automatic litter boxes with rakes eliminate odors by combing through the used litter soon after your kitty has done his business.
Saves you time and money
Although some self-cleaning litter boxes are more convenient than others, they’re all still better than traditional litter boxes. The ScoopFree Automatic cleaning litter box and Nature’s Miracle self-cleaning litter box are pretty much self-sufficient and don’t need to be worried about for several weeks. The manual self-cleaning litter boxes require you to do some work, but it’s nowhere near the time and effort you spend cleaning traditional litter boxes. After using a self-cleaning cat box, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before.
They also save you money. While the initial cost of a self-cleaning litter box is more than a regular one, you’ll end up spending less on cat litter.
Far more hygienic
Self-cleaning litter boxes are also far more hygienic. Some, like the Nature’s Miracle automatic cleaning cat litter box, has anti-microbe protection, which stops bacteria multiplying. This means it’s safer for your cat and your family. Other models include an airtight sealed compartment, where used litter is stored until you dispose of it. This prevents germs from spreading around the house, making it a far safer option. And if you have children or other pets, there’s very little chance of them getting into these litter boxes.
What type of cat litter can be used for a self-cleaning litter box?
The type of cat litter you need for a self-cleaning litter box will depend on what style of box you are using. Non-automated boxes typically use clumping or any other kind of litter, whereas automatic litter boxes tend to require the use of non-clumping litter or specialized crystals. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for which litter to use in your cat’s box.
How easy is it to get a cat to use a self-cleaning litter box?
Getting your cat to use a self-cleaning litter box is a lot easier than you think, and can be done in a few steps. The most important thing you can do is be patient, and allow your cat to get used to it gradually.
Let your cat get used to the new litter box
First things first, let your cat get used to the new litter box. Take it out of its packaging and let your cat sniff it out. You can also interact with the unit to show that there is no threat. For the first few days, leave it unplugged so that your cat doesn’t get startled by unexpected noises. You can also place a few of his favorite toys around the litter box.
Add some of your cat’s litter to the new self-cleaning box
When your cat is more comfortable around the unit, add some of the litter from his old tray to the new one, and place it next to his regular tray. Remember to leave it unplugged.
Leave the old litter box to get dirty
As strange as this sounds, leaving the old litter box to get dirty is one of the best ways to get your cat to use his new litter box. Because cats are very particular when it comes to their toilet habits, a smelly litter box is far less appealing than a clean, fresh-smelling one.
Praise your cat when he uses the new litter box
Shower your kitty with praise (and a few treats) when he uses the new litter box. After he has been using the self-cleaning litter box for a few weeks, you can then get rid of the old litter box.
Is there an easy way to introduce the new litter to a cat?
If the self-cleaning litter box you choose comes with its own type of kitty litter, it might make it a little more difficult for your cat to get used to it. But there are a few things you can do to make this transition easier. If the self-cleaning tray you buy has refill packs, then it’s worth getting an extra one or two, to use in your cat’s old litter tray. This is one of the easiest ways to get him used to the new texture.
The Petsafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning litter box uses crystal litter, which you and your cat won’t be familiar with. Your pet might need a little more time to adjust to this new litter. And keep in mind, some cats refuse to use a different litter at all.
Is it possible to teach a kitten to use a self-cleaning litter box?
You can start training your kitten to use a traditional litter box when he’s around a month. It’s best not to have him use a self-cleaning one when he’s too young, especially the automatic models. The loud motor could scare him, and stop him using it.
Let him use the self-cleaning unit for a few weeks, while it’s unplugged. As he gets more comfortable with it, you can then turn it on. Remember, cats and kittens are more inclined to use a litter box if it has a lid or high sides for privacy, and is accessible.
Hopefully, we’ve covered everything you need to know about self-cleaning litter boxes. If not, let us know in the comments below. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.