Choosing the Best Automatic Litter Box for your Cat

Numerous reliable studies have proved that having a cat or many cats is good for mental health as well as mental development of growing children. Apart from that, cats are very independent creatures; they will not pester you for attention or any special care. The only reason living with a cat requires some effort is that you constantly worry about keeping the litter box clean. 

Automatic litter boxes make it easy for you to enjoy your cat without worrying about the mess. Technological advancement coupled with creativity and innovation has enabled the invention of a litter box that self cleans. An automatic litter box ensures you spend less time cleaning up after your cat and more timing enjoying your cat. A great advantage to owning a robot litter box is that it reduces odor in your home. 

This article gives you a valuable insight concerning the self-cleaning automatic litter boxes. The focus is to educate you and inform you on everything you need to know about automatic cat litter boxes before you decide to purchase one. This information will ensure you are well informed and ultimately make an investment you are happy with.

You never know what you'll find when you clean the litter box.

Exploring the Self Cleaning Abilities of Automatic Litter Boxes

These litter boxes operate in a fairly simple method. They essentially remove waste autonomously and catch it in a recipient which is located on one end of the litter box. All you have to do is regularly empty the recipient. Once your cat/s is done eliminating, the litter box has a strategically placed small rake that move the waste from one side of the box to the other. The rake simply grabs the waste and then deposits it in a receptacle. Most models are typically large enough to accommodate a lot of cat waste. To prevent odor and messiness, it is recommended that the recipient is emptied as frequently as possible. 

How does an Automatic Litter Box Identify Waste?

Although these litter boxes are widely popular, most people do not understand the principle associated with automatic litter. The main principle behind this box is safety of your cat; some of these litter boxes have sensors that detect immediately when a cat steps away. After the cat is gone the waste is deposited in the recipient. Others constantly rotate slowly enough that your cat is safe and won’t even notice the rotation.

The rake in an automatic litter box moves after a specific period of time. In most brands, the timer is set after a few minutes. This is enough time for a cat to cover its waste-this is part of a cat’s habit. 

How a Typical Automatic Litter Box Works

1.) Once the cat exits, a timer counts down; this allows the litter to clump before a cleaning cycle starts

2.) The waste is then dropped into a lower compartment

3.) The robotic movement is thanks to the weight sensitive sensor

So far this article is putting me to sleep...

Will my cat use an automatic litter box?

Purchasing the robotic litter box is just one part of the equation. For any litter box to be effective your cat or cats have to get acclimatized to it. Cats have different personalities so this may take some time; the good news is most cats are able to easily adapt a new litter box provide it is kept clean and odorless.

Cats prefer a clean box so emptying the automatic litter box regularly is a great way to help you get your cat to start using it. Be assured that as soon as your cat gets used to its new automatic box; your only task will be emptying the box regularly. 

Is an Automatic Kitty Litter Box a Worthwhile Investment?

If you dread cleaning your cat’s litter box then I am sure the robotic litter box is a dream come true. However before you rush to put it into your shopping cart, here are some things you should consider.

Benefits of Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes

Automatic cat litter boxes significantly cut down the cleaning time

  • Cleaning the litter box will only take seconds, as it only involves empting the waste tray on a regular basis.

An automatic self-cleaning litter box reduces odors

  • Most cat owner complain about the odor of litter boxes. This is a problem you can eliminate by simply removing the waste as frequently as you can. It will all depend on the owner, the more frequently you empty an automatic litter box, the less the odor. To be safe ensure you select a high performance model that traps odors.

Automatic litter boxes are the easiest way a cat owner can make extended absence possible

  • If you have a busy schedule that keeps you away from your home for extended periods of time then you need a reliable litter box that will self-clean until you are back. Unless of course, you really think your friends or neighbors like cleaning the litter box for you when you’re gone?

I've been meaning to talk to you about the smell...

BEST SELF WASHING AUTOMATIC LITTER BOX

CatGenie Self-Washing Self-Flushing Cat Litter Box

This automatic litter box flushes cat waste into your sewage system eliminating the need for you to handle your cat’s waste at all.  When it is flushed the washable litter is cleaned to be ready for the next use.  

The washable granules, which are included, last around three months or two months if you have two cats.  More than two is not recommended as it does take time for the litter to dry.

The CatGenie does require a flexible water so it most likely needs to be placed in the bathroom or laundry room. It also has some assembly required but don’t worry the setup is easy.  After the initial setup is finished there will be very little to do as the automatic litter box handles the nasty business of scooping and removing the waste. By washing the granules the CatGenie removes the job of replacing litter will only be need every three months as opposed to every few weeks.

There are some drawbacks to the CatGenie however. One is the 30 minute cleaning cycle if you have multiple cats for obvious reasons.  If you have only have one cat though, this automatic litter box can be a big time saver.  

Another negative is the limited options of where it can be placed.  If you have live in an apartment without your own laundry room or have small bathrooms the unit can take up valuable space.

Overall this is a great model for anyone looking to reducing their workload at home or those that just don’t like handling the worst part of being a cat owner.

The Potential Downside of Automatic Litter Boxes?

There are some brands that are low quality and may not work well

  • Although the idea sounds great and simplistic, just like any other mechanical component; it may malfunction and the maintenance may be troubling then simply empting the box regularly. It is in your best interest to extensively research and go through reviews before settling on a particular brand.
  • An automatic cat litter box does not necessarily make litter box cleaning completely hands off. If you want to eliminate this troublesome chore completely then you are out of luck because some effort is still required from your end. Most models will require regular maintenance and emptying. At times you may be required to remove clogs and clumps from the rake. The trick is simple; do your homework and ensure you choose automatic litter box that makes regular care and maintenance easier. 
  • There is a real chance that some cats may not like the self-cleaning litter box you purchase. This is especially true if you have a large cat that doesn’t comfortably fit into the litter box. Larger cats may also not be able to use the models that rotate as they may overload the bowl.

Other cats are simply put off by the appearance and sound, although most models are quiet or do not operate until the cat has been gone. You know your cat the best so select an automatic litter box that best suits your cat’s personality. Bottom-line is that if your cat doesn’t like it then it is not worth the money.

What Size of Automatic Kitty Litter Box do I need?

The most important consideration is size. There are currently a plethora of types depending on what shape or size you prefer. There are basically four sizes in market namely; large, small, extra large and medium large.

Selecting the Best Automatic Litter Box for Multiple Cats

Finding an automatic litter box for multiple cats can be a challenge.  However the challenges are the same for finding a regular litter box for multiple cats.  

In some multiple cat households the cats can be under a lot of stress if they all don’t get along.  This is especially common when a new cat is introduced. The stress can cause one or more of the cats to defecate, urinate or spray outside of the litter box. These issues can usually be cleared up with multiple litter boxes in separate spaces.

Another challenge is the need to clean litter boxes more often. With an automatic litter box you will no longer need to scoop the waste from the box but you will be required to empty the tray more frequently.

The model you ultimately select will depend heavily on how many cats you have and what their relationship is like. While some models are only suited for only one cat others allow for multiple cats. Just like regular litter boxes it maybe necessary to purchase multiple automatic litter boxes depending on the amount and personality type of the cats you have.  When you start to look at individual models be sure to check the recommended number of cats for that unit. 

BEST AUTOMATIC LITTER BOX FOR MULTIPLE CATS

Litter-Robot III Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box

If you’re looking for quality, dependability and durability the Litter-Robot has it all.  Unfortunately along with those selling points comes a hefty price tag.  At close to $700 it is one of the most expensive automatic litter boxes on the market today.  However it is easily the best we have reviewed for multiple cats and the best overall.

The Litter Robot III works by sensing the cat’s presence then after the cat leaves it rotates the globe that contains the litter dropping the waste into the containment drawer.  When it rotates back you will be unable to tell the cat was ever there.  Your only job is to empty the drawer when the robotic litter box alerts you through the waste indicator light.  Cleaning is usually once a week, more so if you have multiple cats.

This automatic litter box has plenty of features as well.  A night light for poorly lit rooms, delay timers to set the cleaning cycle and a control panel sensor that prevents your kids or cats from setting their own parameters.  It is also one of the quietest automatic litter boxes we have reviewed.

Price is the only real complaint owners have of the Litter-Robot III.  With other models constantly breaking down or needing more maintenance, the price tag maybe worth it to you if you can afford to make the investment.  Cat owners that own the Litter Robot are overall happy with its performance and its reliability.  

How Much Does an Automatic Cat Litter Box Cost?

The amount you choose to spend on an automatic litter box should depend on how reliable the brand is and how much you can afford. Price is an important consideration particularly if you have many cats you may need more than one automatic litter or to purchase a higher end model. The price of these robotic litter boxes typically depends on their beneficial features and how easy they make it for you to clean.

Features to Look for in an Automatic Litter Box

Privacy

Depending on your cat’s specific preference, most brands have an option for a hood so that your cat has some privacy and that the litter is kept well contained and hidden.

High walled designs

In addition to the hood that is added for privacy; you may want to settle for a design that has high wall. This will particularly come in handy if our cat loves to scatter its litter. Purchasing a mat designed to capture litter is also advised if your cat tends to make a mess.

Programmability

Depending on how busy your schedule is, you may want to shut off the cleaning feature at night to avoid the noise particularly if the model you choose produces considerable amount of racket that can cause disturbance to your sleep. 

Using a programmable feature you can generally program the number of cleaning cycles and the specific times that the cleaning system will run. 

Noise production

As you know cats can be a little jumpy. It is advisable to go for a model that produces little to no noise so your cats are not frightened by it. When you look at individual units check the decibel rating, should be a number followed by dB.

Battery backup

If you are very concerned about the self-cleaning feature not working during a power outage, it is wise to look for a model that is available with a battery back up. This backup is particularly useful if you are always out if the house and have no time to consistently monitor the robotic litter box.

Shhhhhhh....

Are Automatic Kitty Litter Boxes Safe for My Cat?

Most cat lovers are skeptical about using these automatic litter boxes because they are concerned about how safe these robotic boxes are for their pets. So are these automatic litter boxes safe? The truth is yes, they are completely safe for cats of all sizes. The biggest fear most people have is that the cleaning system can begin while the cat is still eliminating and if this can harm or terrify the cat. You can be assured that the cleaning cycle will not and cannot start while your cat is still in the unit. This is because of the sensors that tell if the litter box is empty or not. Make sure you take the time to check that your cat reaches the minimum age and weight requirement for the particular model you purchase. 

Can Kittens use Automatic Litter Boxes?

There are some reasons you should avoid these if your cat is less than six months. First and foremost, the cat is still very young and may not be big enough to properly set off the motion sensors and tell the box that cleaning should start. The second reason which is equally as important is that the consistency of the waste of a young cat is much softer making it challenging or rather difficult for the cleaners to work effectively. One option would be to purchase an automatic litter box for your kitten but use it as a regular litter box until the kitten’s stool is firm enough to be picked up automatically.  This method has the added advantage of getting your kitten used to the self-cleaning device.

BEST AUTOMATIC LITTER BOX UNDER $100

PetSafe Simply Clean Self Cleaning Litter Box

Coming in under $100 the PetSafe Simply Clean maybe the right automatic kitty litter box for cat owners on a budget.  This self-cleaning litter box works differently than some other models as the bowl that contains the litter continuously rotates collecting the waste as it does.  

No need to worry about your kitty though, as the name implies the PetSafe is indeed safe for your pet.  The bowl rotates so slowly that there is no chance your cat will be harmed by or even notice the rotation.

This automatic litter box can handle multiple cat households although you will have to empty the waste tray more often.  One option multiple cats would be to buy more than one unit and being that the Simply Clean is on the lower end of the price scale doing so won’t break the bank.

Because the PetSafe is constantly cleaning it does a good job of cutting down on the odor as long as you regularly empty the waste collection tray.  Empting the tray is easy and made more so if you line it with a small bag so you don’t have to wash the tray after dumping it out.

Where to Buy an Automatic Litter Box?

While some large stores stock one or two different models of self-cleaning litter boxes, most brick and mortar stores don’t have a large selection to choose from. If you are going for variety then you will get the model you desire at an affordable price online at sites that offer a wide variety of merchandise. Such sites include Amazon

When going through the variety of options offered online, it is very important to factor in the cost and the supplies you will need. It is advisable to go for quality rather than simply jeopardizing true value for price savings. Many of the lower cost models have complaints from customers of reliability issues. Just the simple fact that you will not be saddled with the tedious task of scooping up after your cat/s makes this product a worthwhile investment that you will not regret. 

Bottom-line

All in all the best automatic litter box for you is one that that meets all your budgetary needs, works with the kind of litter that you prefer and also keeps your space smelling clean and fresh without requiring too much effort on your part.  The best automatic kitty litter box for your cat is one that it will feel comfortable using, and who better to make that decision for your cat than you?

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