Many pet parents have a dream of living with their cats without manually scooping waste from the box. An automatic cat litter box is like a loyal maid to your cat that ensures your cat’s waste is carefully removed from the box and kept in a receptacle.
Having the best automatic cat litter boxes is not only good for the cat parent but also for the cats. Your cat can now go to a clean toilet without the worry of finding any unremoved waste.
An automatic cat litter box differs from the traditional litter boxes in the aspects of cleaning. For the automatic one, the litter box will detect when your cat has used it and it will automatically remove the waste from the chamber.
For the traditional litter boxes, you will have to do daily scooping to ensure the litter box remains clean and usable.
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like scooping the litter box, then you need to consider getting an automatic one since it will serve you and your cat better.
Please read along this buying guide to get more insights and recommendations about the best automatic cat litter box. There are many factors that you can consider before rushing to buy any litter box that you find around.
Since this is an investment, take your time and read in detail to find the best that will fit your needs and budget.
How Does an Automatic Cat Litter Box Work?
Probably you might begin to wonder how the scoop-free automatic litter box works to clean the waste from the chamber. Where is the waste deposited to? Do these automatic litter boxes produce a bad odor? All these are genuine questions that can ring in your mind and I will provide answers in this section.
Automatic cat litter boxes use a power source to remove your kitty’s waste from the box by a mechanical rake that sifts through the content.
Some models allow you to set a time when the self-cleaning action will begin, typically between 5 and 20 minutes.
Other fully automatic models will detect when your cat leaves the chamber and immediately activate the self-cleaning action.
Most of these automatic cat litter boxes have a receptacle/waste bin at the bottom or side of the main box frame. The waste products are deposited in the bin which you can empty at a convenient time.
All waste is enclosed in the bin which then prevents any sort of odor from swift through your house. Some of these litter boxes are fitted with materials that absorb odor in the bin area hence further reducing the odor footprint.
4 Reasons Why You Need an Automatic Cat Litter Box
Whether you are busy at work or school and you cannot get enough time for daily scooping or you just hate scooping in general, an automatic cat litter box has already solved one of your major concerns.
You can start your journey of going scoop-free by purchasing these amazing products and create time to do other things that matter.
The following 4 reasons will make you discard the traditional litter box and go for the automatic one;
1. It saves your time
Cats can be very independent if we allow them to be. You can further make your kitty independent by getting an automatic cat litter box that will ensure you save time that could have otherwise been used in scooping.
As I already mentioned earlier, when you have a machine that does the daily scooping on your behalf you have already saved time to perform other tasks. You will now have to empty the receptacle once in a while when it is full.
2. It makes your cat healthier and happier
Imagine how annoying it can be not to have the freedom to visit the washroom whenever you like? Just picture out the frustration when you visit the washrooms and find it messy.
With a traditional litter box, it is common to forget doing the daily scooping and with such, your cat has to deal with lumps of waste in the box.
Once you get the automatic cat litter box, your cat will always look forward to easing himself whenever he feels like and the hygienic conditions are improved by the self-cleaning mechanism.
3. A good way to effectively manage cats’ waste
For traditional litter boxes, it is very common to find your cat messing up on the side of the box or on the floor near the box. He mostly does this when the litter box is not clean and attractive.
By virtue of your cat being happy using the automatic litter box, he will always make it a point to visit the box whenever he needs to. This will encourage effective use of the box and hence offer good management of waste from your cat.
4. Good odor control
With the receptacle in an enclosed segment of the automatic cat litter box, the waste’s odor is effectively minimized as opposed to a traditional litter box. Furthermore, some automatic litter boxes have adsorbent cat litters e.g., carbon that absorbs waste odor to maintain a clean atmosphere within the box.
4 Qualities to Look for In A Good Automatic Cat Litter Box
If you are wondering what is the best automatic cat litter box, you need to consider several factors that come into play whenever you are choosing the best products for your cat. Always keep in mind to have the cat’s comfort first then all the other things can follow.
The following 4 qualities will determine how good an automatic cat litter box is.
1. The capacity of the receptacle
Remember that in the automatic cat litter box, your cats’ deposits will be kept in a receptacle wherein you can empty at a later time. A good box should have a receptacle of a reasonable size.
A healthy cat can go to the toilet three times a day, also keeping in mind the number of cats that will be using the box you can then make an informed decision on the size that serves you well. A bigger box will save you the tussle of emptying the receptacle more frequently.
2. Self-cleaning mechanism
A good automatic cat litter box will have a faster self-cleaning cycle which gives room for the next cat to come in almost immediately. You will need a box with a faster cycle more especially if you have multiple cats.
3. Effective odor control
A good automatic cat litter box should have measures in place that ensure no odor arises from it that can make your house inhabitable. You should be able to stay with a good box in the same room without ever noticing what business it does in the house because of the good odor control measure it has.
Some manufacturers put materials within the box that can absorb the odor from your cat’s deposits. You can however spray the cat litter box area with a mild air freshener that is not harmful to your cat.
4. Is the litter box appealing to you and your cat?
The finish style of the litter box will have a direct impact on how often your cat will look forward to using it. Also, choose a box that will not look out of place when in your house. It should be able to complement the furniture within the desired location setting.
How to Get Your Cat to Use A Litter Box
After you have decided to purchase an automatic cat litter box, the next big thing is to train your cat to start using it. This step will be applicable especially if you are buying the litter box for the very first time.
Most kittens are usually versed on how to use a litter box having already seen the habit in their mothers. A kitten that does not know how to use it will always feel guilty whenever he does the deed hence making it easier to teach him an effective way to go to the toilet.
You can do the following to ensure your cat learns how to use the litter box as quickly as possible.
1. Buy a box that is spacious for your cat
The first thing you would want to do is make sure that you have chosen a box that is big enough for your cat or cats. Many people get this wrong by purchasing a small box for their kitten not knowing that they are bound to grow big. A small box is a turn-off for your cat and he will avoid using it because he feels kind of exposed.
2. Place the litter boxes in a good location for your cat
Do not simply put the litter box in a place where your kitty will feel ashamed of using it. Cats have a high instinct to destroy and bury evidence after going to the bathroom. To give your cat confidence in using the box, search for an underexposed area within your house where you can place the litter box.
3. Guide your cat and show her the litter box
When your cat arrives in the house for the first time, direct him to the litter box and let him examine the conditions there to acquaint himself with the area. Avoid changing the location of the litter box to help your cat remember easily where he can find it.
4. Be mindful of the type of kitty litter you use
In the box, make sure that the kitty litter is of the right texture and does not cause irritation on your cat. Some cats are very sensitive about any foreign matter that makes them feel uncomfortable or sneeze too much, and with this, he may avoid the litter box because of the wrong choice of kitty litter.
5. Reward your cat with treats and toys
After you notice that your feline friend has used the litter box, you can reward him with a few treats and toys to show your love and appreciation for his actions. Without long, your cat will develop a connection between using the litter box and the reward he receives hence making it a habit.
6. Do not scold your cat for not using the litter box as quickly as you expected
It is a common practice for many cat parents to be frustrated by the action of their cats not using the litter box in good time. If this is your case, avoid scolding or punishing your cat therein because you will send a bad message to him.
Whenever you do so, your cat might run into stress and anxiety problems, and always remember that punishment is not a tool in training cats to do anything.
If you get an elderly cat that does not know how to use the automatic cat litter box by the time you acquire him, you might need to add another strategy on top of the ones I mentioned above.
By this time, an elderly cat already knows how to leave deposits within or outside the house and hide all evidence, so you must teach him the hygienic way to go to the bathroom as quickly as possible.
If it was previously an outdoor cat, you can add some soil in your automatic litter box to give your cat the impression of a ground where he can leave his deposits. As your cat learns to use the automatic litter box, you can then start replacing the outdoor soil gradually with kitty litter.
By the time you make all the replacements, your cat will have gotten used to the new way of doing things in your house.
A sign of anxiety and stress
If your cat has been using the automatic cat litter boxes to make his deposits then suddenly or gradually stops, this can be a sign that things are not well and he is developing stress and anxiety. In this situation, make sure you visit your vet for a medical diagnosis to help your cat’s health condition.
The earlier you notice and react, the better it will be for you and your cat.
6 Best Automatic Cat Litter Boxes in 2021
The following list will highlight the best-rated automatic cat litter box that you can buy today and make you go scoop-free.
This automatic cat litter box comes in three colors; Purple, Grey, and Taupe. It has a hood that covers and protects the inner chamber from dust or any other foreign particle.
The hooded cover also helps keep your kitty safe in the box, especially a shy one who does not want anybody to see him there.
The entire litter box has a moderate size that can accommodate most medium-sized to large cats. You can comfortably place this box in an ideal location including under the table or between your house furniture items.
If your cat is very large, say more than 15 pounds, you can remove the covering hood
The crystal cat litter used in this box removes odor from your cat’s deposits by dehydrating and absorbing all the moisture content. The waste drawer is made of disposable trays with plastic linings that prevent any leaks from reaching your floor surface.
Once the tray is full, you can remove it from the box and dispose of altogether, hence making the cleanup exercise much simpler.
This automatic litter box is fitted with health and motion sensors that will monitor how frequently your kitty visits the facility. You can use the information to check on your cat’s health and easily detect when he has an underlying health problem.
· It monitors your cat’s health pattern.
· The box is ideal in size.
· It has less noise during the clean-up process
· The crystal litter is not the best.
· The additional cost of disposable trays.
My other automatic cat litter box is also from PetSafe but this one does not have a covering hood. As such, the price of this box is slightly lower than the one above which has a covering hood.
If your cat is neither shy nor timid, you can consider getting this box without any covering facility. It is much easier to place it in many places where other huge boxes cannot fit in.
This box also has disposable trays which are leakproof. I however recommend getting a reusable tray that can serve you for long without necessarily replacing it. A good tray should be able to accommodate at least a week’s waste load from your kitty.
For a reusable tray, you can use plastic bags to cover the surface where the waste will be deposited.
You will also get the crystal kitty litter which will absorb all moisture content from your cat’s deposits hence offering a level of odor control. The crystal litter is dust-free and hence will not stick on your cat’s paws.
During the clean-up process, this box produces a moderate noise that cannot cause much disturbance to you. However, your kitty might be curious and remain back a little while to observe how the raking goes on especially during the first days of use.
· Has a button for raking when you can’t wait for the automatic process.
· Quite easy to set up and maintain.
· Minimal noise during clean-up
· The box can sometimes rake in litter into the waste tray hence you might have to replace the litter quite often.
· Disposable litter trays are not the best, you can purchase a reusable one.
· It has no covering hood.
This is a more premium automatic cat litter box that has many features and sensors all aimed at improving the well-being of your cat and your convenience as well.
This box has a xSecure system that incorporates the following sensors: Thermal, infrared, weight, anti-pinch infrared, and the following convenience detection systems; smart detection, remote alerts, and accident protection system.
One fascinating control feature about this box is that you can use your phone to control it through the PETKIT app which is available for both iOS and Android users.
The App will also relay important data that has been collected about your cat. For self-cleaning, you can either have a scheduled cleaning mode or auto cleaning mode.
The box can use multiple cat litters but the company does not recommend the use of crystal litters. There is a more advanced odor control system in this Litter box where the waste bin will automatically be sprayed with a purifying liquid that eliminates unpleasant odors and kills bacteria as well.
Have a look at the explainer video below that shows the various aspects and utilities of this automatic cat litter box.
· Effective odor control
· It monitors your cat’s well-being in multiple dimensions.
· Remote control through the App.
· Sleek and clean design.
· Might be expensive to repair if the sensors break down.
This product from PetSafe comes in a grey color and with an additional price, you can get yourself a covered option. If you have a shy or timid cat, you can consider getting the covered option.
Unlike the other previously discussed boxes from this manufacturer, this particular one can be connected remotely to your phone through the smartphone APP which is available for both iOS and Android owners.
The PetSafe App is a great tool to have for monitoring your kitty’s health and checking for a possible underlying issue pattern for a quick response.
Since this product comes with disposable trays, you can receive timely notifications on your phone on when to change and purchase more disposable trays for the box.
This box has a modern design that will blend well with your household items. It uses crystal litters which absorb moisture content from your cat’s deposits. The self-cleaning process kicks off 20 minutes after your cat has vacated the box.
· It has a smartphone App for effective monitoring of your cat.
· Sleek design.
· Very minimal noise during the raking process.
· Crystal litter might not be the best option.
· You might need to replace the disposable trays with a reusable one.
This automatic cat litter box from Pet Zone has smart sensor technology that activates the cleaning cycle once your cat vacates the litter chambers. Purchasing this product will guarantee you a one-month supply of non-touch plastic bags.
The angle deflectors and raised edges of this box ensure that your cat deposits are safely kept in the waste bin fully enclosed hence significantly reducing odor. To optimum performance, it is recommended that you use a less dense litter in this box.
This particular litter box gives you the leeway to choose the type of cat litter that you would like to use hence saving up on the cost in the long run because you don’t have to buy any specialized cat litter.
The self-cleaning mechanism is performed effectively with minimal noise hence it does not offer any disturbance in your living space.
It is much easier to disassemble and clean this box in routine cleaning exercises and during emptying. You can use pet-friendly soap and water.
· Easy to assemble and set up.
· Minimal noise during raking.
· It offers convenient odor control.
· The self-cleaning cycle can leave some refuse behind hence might need manual scooping each day.
This automatic self-washing cat bot resembles a miniature toilet bowl for humans and it uses a rather different mechanism when it comes to self-cleaning.
The previous products use a raking feature to filter out your cat’s deposit clumps but here, Washable Granules are used to eliminate waste from the box chambers.
In this box, there’s no use of cat litters that can be inconvenient at times. Your cat will dig up the granules, lay his deposits there and you will not need to do anything after this. You will only top up the granules when the level gets low.
After each use, this product cleans the waste by scooping the solid material as a liquid passes through the granules. After removing the waste material, the product will then clean the granule with water and a mild SaniSolution which is friendly to your pet.
The waste is then flushed out of the box via your toilet draining line to the sewer. After the elimination process, the last step is to pass hot hair which dries the granules and makes the box usable again.
This self-washing box uses advanced intelligence technology that monitors your cat’s bathroom behavior and gives you ready information on the things you need to adjust.
· Sends immediate notifications when your cat uses the box.
· Advanced self-washing technology with artificial intelligence.
· No refuse left on the granules; it’s completely scoop-free.
· Few instances of inconsistent drying of the granules.
Going scoop-free by purchasing the best automatic cat litter boxes is a dream come true for many cat owners. On top of relieving your hands from daily scooping and cleaning, an automatic cat litter box is also convenient when it comes to monitoring the bathroom pattern of your cat hence keeping his health in check.
Always remember to empty the receptacle often when using an automatic cat litter box. Since the daily scooping challenge is now removed from the picture, many cat parents tend to forget about emptying the receptacle in time especially where an App is not involved.
For easy remembrance, you can make it a habit to empty the waste tray on a particular day every week or two.
Thank you for reading through my buying guide, I hope you found it useful. If you have any concerns or questions, please leave them in the comments section below.