Having a cuddly, furry feline companion in your life is great, until it comes time to clean out their litter box. When you’re busy with work or school and have kids to look after, clearing out the cat’s litter tray every day can feel like too much to handle, and this is where a self-cleaning litter box can be particularly useful. They can help to save you time from scooping up after your cat, as well as minimising foul odors by keeping the litter enclosed, and be great for your health too; having to touch your cat’s dirty litter less means you won’t be exposed to the harmful bacteria that can come along with it, while your cat still has a clean, fresh place to go to the bathroom.
Why do I need a self-cleaning litter box?
A self-cleaning litter box can be beneficial in so many ways. First and foremost, a self-cleaning litter box will save you massive amounts of time. While you love your cat, they can take up a lot of your busy time and this can be difficult if you’re constantly rushing around and trying to get things done. This can be particularly difficult if you have more than one feline friend living in your home, as you’ve got maybe twice or three times the amount of litter to clean out. With an automatic cat litter box you’ll be dealing with less hassle and less mess, perfect for both you and your cat.
Self-cleaning litter boxes are also very hygienic. Not only do they mean you don’t have to touch the dirty litter as often an expose yourself to potentially harmful bacteria, but it also means your cat will be cleaner. If they do their business in a clean litter box, then they won’t be spreading dirty litter around the house with their paws. The litter box will also smell a lot better too — great for you and any guests you have staying!
Self-cleaning litter boxes are easy to set up and use, so even if you struggle with technology, you’ll be able to use one. They fit right into your home and can look stylish so they not only match your decor, but make your cat feel like a king or queen! They come in lots of different designs and styles, so you can find one that’s right for you and your cleaning needs, as well as your cat’s!
What should I look for in a self-cleaning litter box?
With self-cleaning litter boxes being so advanced these days, there are many different types of litter trays on the market.
They can be in the style of traditional open top, a more discreet covered top style or a hidden litter box, so it can be difficult to know which one to get. The open-top litter boxes are very easy to clean and are easily accessible, but do not give your cat the privacy they might want. With no lid, there’s also no way to stop the odor from spreading throughout the house. A covered litter box comes with an opening for your cat to enter and exit, allowing them privacy as they do their business. Cleaning can be a little difficult though as you don’t have direct access to the litter.
A hidden litter box is a litter box in the shape of a household item, such as a plant or pot. These blend right in with your home and fit in with your decor, so you don’t have the eyesore of a litter box on show.
Whichever style you’d decide to go for, remember a self-cleaning litter box should have one main function — to remove the waste for you so you don’t need to touch it. Take a look at the other factors we think you should consider when buying a litter tray in our buying guide below to ensure you get the best cat litter box.
Most self-cleaning litter boxes come with a sensor that detects when your cat has left the litter box. This scooping sensor activates a few minutes after your cat has left, so it gets rid of the mess almost right away. It is possible to buy self-cleaning litter boxes with an adjustable timer, so you can set it to scoop immediately after you cat has left the box.
Some self-cleaning litter boxes flush the waste away and others scoop it into a large waste bin that you need to empty out later. If you’re looking for one with a waste bin, try to purchase one with a large waste bin so you are not having to empty it every day.
Ease Of Cleaning
Every self-cleaning litter box needs to be cleaned every once in a while, even when you’re not clearing it out every day. The litter boxes that are easier to assemble and more simple will be easier to clean, because there are less parts to them.
Size is an important factor to consider when buying a self-cleaning litter box. Manufacturers provide different sizes of litter boxes so you can pick the size that fits your cat the best. The height of the sides should be easy to climb because if your cat is having difficultly getting into the box, they will not use it. As a general rule of thumb, the size of the litter crate should be as wide as the length of your cat, giving your kitty plenty of room to move around, scratch and dig.
The price of self-cleaning litter boxes can vary greatly depending on the type of litter box and the features it has. Some of the litter boxes can be up to $500 if they have special sensors and features, where as you can also pick up a simple self-cleaning litter tray for a $40 that’ll get the job done.
If you and your cat are ready to see the benefits of these litter boxes, take a look at the best self-cleaning litter boxes we recommend below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Self-Cleaning Litter Box Reviews
With crystal litter, this taupe colored PetSafe self-cleaning litter box has five times better odor control that your regular litter box and the crystal litter performs much better than clay clumping litter. 99% dust free, this litter box gives your cat a place to go the bathroom without making a mess and without tracking dirty litter throughout the house. Very easy to use, this hooded litter box allows your cat privacy while they go, while also giving weeks of odor and moisture control.
Once plugged in, the cleaning cycle can be set to 5, 10 or 20 minutes after the sensor detects your cat has left the tray, with a safety mechanism to ensure the scooping only starts when your cat has vacated the tray. When you’re ready to replace the litter tray, you can simply cover the tray with the provided lid and throw it away. This self-cleaning litter tray comes with a health counter so you know how often your cat is going, giving you peace of mind. You can purchase additional replacement litter trays in packs of three or six.
Although this PetSafe self-cleaning litter box does not come with a lid and may not offer your cat maximum privacy, the crystal litter removes the smell from your cat’s business by absorbing urine and dehydrating solid waste. With a cleaning cycle that begins twenty minutes after your cat has left the box (and a safety mechanism to ensure it does not scoop while your cat is in the box), this litter tray requires no scooping, cleaning or refilling for weeks at a time.
The crystals are dust free and will not stick to your cats paws so they don’t tread them throughout the house and the disposable trays have a plastic lining to help protect against leaking and to keep your floors clean. Each pre-proportioned package of litter comes with a tray and lid for easy disposal, and you can buy replacement trays in packs of three or six.
The unique patented grill inside this Omega Paw self-cleaning litter box scoops out the clumped waste and deposits it into the pull-out tray for a quick and easy way to remove your cats waste and the smell that comes along with it. All you need to do is roll the litter box onto it’s top and back again after your cat uses it. This will move the waste into the tray and then it can be quickly removed and disposed of. Super easy to use, all members of the family can help out with the cleaning of the cat’s litter box. Without electricity, you don’t have to worry about this self-cleaning litter tray breaking down, so your cat can use the bathroom whenever they want.
Perfect for cats of all sizes and households with multiple cats, this litter box is best used with clumping cat litter. The mechanism of this litter tray ensures only dirty litter is thrown away, and the chrome accents ensure the litter is caught as the cat exits the litter tray, so no litter goes to waste. It is also simple to clean with just soap and water — simply clean and then reassemble quickly and easily!
This self-cleaning cat litter box looks like a real toilet! Not only does this CatGenie cat box flush away waste, but it also washes itself clean so you won’t ever have to touch or buy cat litter ever again. This box removes and liquefies the solids for safe and easy disposal down the drain or toilet so you don’t have to deal with any nasty clumps. Using water and cat-safe, veterinarian-approved SaniSolution, this self-cleaning litter box washes, scrubs, scours and purifies the washable granules and cat area clean as new, doing all the hard work so you can focus on loving your cat instead of cleaning them out! A built-in dryer heats the granules leaving them ready for the next use.
With a one-time easy set up, this litter box needs to be connected to a cold water source and can even be put in the bathroom, with a drain hook that secures under the toilet seat so the waste drains down into the toilet. This litter tray comes with three different programs so you can either set it to clean automatically four times a day, to activate when you press the start button, or to start when your cat activates the sensors by going into the box. Enclosed, the smell is kept in and your cat has privacy while doing their business.
Similar to the Omega Paw Roll ’n Clean self-cleaning litter box above, this litter tray is large and perfect for large cats or a multi-cat household. The covered lid gives your cat privacy as they use the bathroom, while also cutting down on litter dust so the area stays clean and your cats do not spread litter all around the house. This simple design means all you need to do is tip the box onto it’s head and then back again and the grating design inside will sift your cats waste into the waste bin, so you can easily remove it.
The enclosed waste bin means there is no bad odor between removals and also means your cat is not sitting in their own waste, so they stay clean. Requiring less litter than your average litter box, this self-cleaning litter tray means that on the dirty litter and waste is thrown away and the clean litter is left, so you are not wasting it. Easy to assemble and take apart, you can wash this litter tray with soapy water. This tray also comes in packs of two, incase you have more than one cat and they’re fighting over who gets to use this great box!
The purple version of the hooded PetSafe self-cleaning litter box mentioned above, this box comes with crystal litter that removes the smell by absorbing urine and dehydrating solid cat waste. Easy to use, all you need to do is pour the pre-proportioned package of litter into the litter tray and then place the tray under the box. The cleaning cycle can be set for 5, 10 and 20 minutes after your cat has left the litter box, with the sensors always ensuring the cat is out of the box before beginning to scoop through the litter. The litter trays not only have plastic linings to help protect against leaks, but come with lids and can be easily thrown away when needed.
These litter trays can last for weeks before needing to be changed and replacement litter trays can be bought. There is a counter on this litter box to tell you how often your cat is going to the bathroom, which is a great way to detect early signs of health problems. The crystal litter is dust free and will not stick to your cats paws, so you don’t need to worry about litter tracking throughout the house.
The Le You Pet self-cleaning litter box comes in a semi-automatic design, creating a convenient and easy way to dispose of your cat’s waste. Built with a litter separation grid, all you need to do is lift the front of the tray to begin sifting and then flip the box to allow the clumps of waste to fall into the waste tray. You then lower the unit to refill the tray and remove the waste tray easily. With this easy mechanism, anyone in the family can help to clean out the litter. The enclosed waste tray means there is no nasty odor coming from the litter box and the whole tray is moisture resistant to avoid any horrible smell.
The large size of this self-cleaning litter tray means it can accommodate a cat up to the size of eighteen pounds. You should take into consideration that your cat should be able to jump into the litter tray with ease before buying. Easy to put together, this tray is easy to clean and can be placed anywhere in the home.
This PetSafe self-cleaning litter box uses a slow-moving conveyor system that sifts the litter and carries the waste to the covered bin while the replaceable carbon filter helps reduce odors. Rotating every hour and a half, this litter box comes with a large bowl to give your cat plenty of room to go to the bathroom and a high rim on the bowl ensures the litter stays in the box and does not spread around the house. Designed to work with clumping clay litter, this litter box is extremely quiet and has a LED light to let you know the box is on and rotating.
The carbon filter fits under the conveyor hood and helps keep the litter box smelling fresh, so you barely notice the litter tray is there. You can line the waste bin with a recycled plastic or grocery bag for an easy clean up, so you can quickly take the bag out and replace it with another so you don’t have to clean the tray every time.
This self-cleaning litter box allows your cat to have a clean litter box for up to seven days at a time. Easy to use, this litter box has automatic scooping with a rake that removes waste into a waste receptacle. The waste receptacle has carbon filters to keep the mess and any odors contained and the box comes with high walls to prevent litter from scattering outside of the box. The design of this litter tray includes a paw cleaning ramp to clean your cat’s paws as they leave the box, meaning they do not tread litter throughout the house. There is a sensor to detect when your cat is in the box and the raking of the litter will begin twenty minutes after your cat has left the box.
The easy-lift handles ensure for an easy clean up and there are three different modes — on, off and clean. This self-cleaning litter box also comes with a small scoop rake, incase the automatic rake misses any areas of the dirty waste in the tray. This litter box is designed for a small, single cat under 15 pounds and the unit comes with four waste receptacles and four carbon filters.
Similar to the other Omega Paw Roll ’n Clean litter boxes above, this easy-to-use self cleaning litter tray requires you to roll the box onto it’s head and back again, sifting the waste through a grate and into a waste bin for easy removal. This method ensures no clean litter is removed and thrown away, saving you money. The enclosed waste bin means there is no bad smell coming from the litter box and the box is so easy to use that every member of the family — even kids — can help to remove the litter.
The enclosed lid not only gives your cat privacy but also keeps the smell and the dust inside the box so they and the rest of your house stays clean. Best used in conjunction with clumping litter, this particular self-cleaning litter box is for smaller cats. As this litter box is not electronic you don’t have to worry about it breaking down — just keep rolling it for the best results!
Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes FAQ’s
How do self-cleaning litter boxes work?
Automatic litter boxes rake through your cat’s waste and dispose of it into a waste bin situated either underneath the box or at the end of the box. The odors are contained in this receptacle until it is emptied. The litter boxes often have a scoop timer that activates after your cat has left the box, so it knows when to start sifting through the litter and disposing of the waste. On more expensive models, you can customize this timer. Non-automatic or manual self-cleaning litter boxes, although they scoop on their own, will need you to either roll or sift them to remove the waste from them.
What type of litter should I get for my litter box?
Some self-cleaning litter boxes require certain kitty litter to work, so this is something to take into consideration. If your cat doesn’t like the litter, they will not use the box. However, normally, over time, cats can adjust to a different litter type. Always read the manual that comes with your litter box to ensure you buy the right litter.
Where in the house should I place my litter box?
You want to place the litter box in a space that’s free of obstacles and clutter, so your cat can get to the box easily. A hard and sturdy surface is optimal, not just for your cat to reach but also for you to clean more easily in case there is an accident. It should also be a quiet place, so your cat can do their business in peace!
The litter box should also be away from your cat’s food and water bowl. Cats like their space to be clean, and won’t want to go to the toilet in an area where there food and water is.
How do I teach my cat to use the self-cleaning litter box?
Having a self-cleaning litter box in the house is great, apart from when your cat doesn’t know how to use it! There may be some effort required in training your cat to use the littler box, but once you do, it’ll save you masses of time.
If you have a kitten, you should expect to start teaching them how to use a litter tray at around six months old. They might come to you already knowing how to use one from their mother. You should try to establish your cat’s routine — when they are most likely to need to go to the bathroom, whether it be after eating, after napping or after playing — so you can put them by their litter tray when you know it’s time. You can put some of their toys near the litter box or re-direct them there as they learn, until they understand what it is and get accustomed to it being there.
It’s possible you may need to show your cat how to dig inside the litter box and also help them get into it the first few times, so they understand. Remember to never yell or become frustrated with your cat — this won’t help them learn and could scare them out of ever wanting to use the litter tray.
If you are switching litter trays for your cat to a self-cleaning one, putting some of their old litter into the new litter box can be a great way for them to familiarize themselves with the new tray. By smelling their old litter, they will understand what the new litter is for. You may need to leave the automatic litter box off for a few days while they get used to it and then turn it on when they have got used to it. Make sure to watch how your cat reacts to the mechanism and the noise the litter tray makes.
Remember, the key to getting your cat to use a self-cleaning box is patience. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, it will happen eventually!
Cleaning litter is a cat owners most hated job and a self-cleaning litter box can be so beneficial to both you and your furry feline friend. Saving you time cleaning out the litter, an automatic litter tray can help to reduce odors and prevent your cat from spreading bacteria around the house. Easy to use, they fit right into your home and give your cat some privacy while going to the bathroom, keeping the mess out of the way. With lots of different types and sizes, we know in the list above you can find a self-cleaning litter box that works for both you and your cat.