Scooping clumps of cat waste out of the litter box every three days or so quickly grows tiresome. In fact, it’s such a hassle that there are now self-cleaning litter boxes to make owning a cat more convenient. These innovative contraptions aim to make cat ownership more convenient by automating the process of waste removal. With these high-tech litter boxes, you can enjoy a cleaner and more hygienic environment for your feline friend while freeing up your time for more enjoyable aspects of pet ownership.
But Do They Really Work?
But do self-cleaning litter boxes work as advertised? Are they worth the higher price? Users on a popular online cat forum share their insights about the pros and cons of investing in a self-cleaning litter box for your home.
1. It Will Need Monthly Cleanings
While you don’t have to scoop litter quite as often, that doesn’t mean you no longer have to clean the litter box. Many cats have a poor aim when they urinate, and it can hit the sides of the box.
2. Our Cats Prefer the Automatic Litter Box
Numerous cat owners share that their cats prefer self-cleaning litter boxes over traditional ones. Our thirteen-year-old will potty prance around us when we’re cleaning the litter robot and ignore the other (cleaned, unoccupied) traditional boxes,” writes one cat lover.
3. It Saves You Tons of Cleaning Time
The best thing about self-cleaning litter boxes is that they save users a lot of cleaning time. Instead of scooping cat poop every few days, you must empty the waste chamber around once a week.
I’m currently in a condensed difficult masters program, and it’s been a lifesaver for me,” one self-cleaning litter box owner confesses.
Taking it apart and scrubbing it down is kind of a pain and takes me an hour to an hour and a half to do,” says one feline mama. Others admit it is a hassle but much less painful than cleaning regular litter boxes.
4. You Can Still Check Waste for Health Issues
One massive misconception about self-cleaning litter boxes is that you can’t look at your cat’s poop to check for critical health issues.
However, one notes, “You can check the waste drawer anytime.” Some self-cleaning litter boxes even have an app that lets you know how often your cats use the box. “You can notice if they use it more or less than normal.”
5. They’re Much More Expensive Than Traditional Litter Boxes
While many cat owners call self-cleaning litter boxes a lifesaver, others prefer traditional litter boxes for one big reason: the price. Self-cleaning litter boxes can cost between $200 and $600 upfront.
The cost was the straw that broke the camel’s back for us. We were spending $60 a month on the trays,” writes one user. On top of that, many self-cleaning boxes require you to use their brand’s litter, which can be more expensive than other brands.
6. They Can Still Get Super Stinky
While the cat waste is separated into a hidden chamber in the litter box, that doesn’t always mean the smell is any better than when the cat poop lies on the top of the litter. Because you aren’t scooping poop every few days, it piles up in the waste chamber and causes a terrible smell for many.
However, others on the thread claimed that their self-cleaning litter box does help improve the smell as long as they regularly clean out the waste chamber.
7. Self Cleaning Litter Boxes Can Be Bulky
Finding the right place for a self-cleaning litter box is more complicated than finding space for a traditional one. First, because “It is large. There is no way to tuck it into a corner discretely,” says one commenter.
If you don’t have many power outlets around your place, you’ll be limited in where to place the self-cleaning box since it needs to be plugged in to function.
8. It Makes Having Cats More Accessible
Cat owners with disabilities like fibromyalgia and ADHD rave about self-cleaning litter boxes because owning and caring for their cats is much more accessible.
A commenter with ADHD shares that the self-cleaning litter box helps them because “It doesn’t make responsibility go away, but it does make it much more manageable!
9. They Don’t Work Perfectly
As is true with all technology, motorized self-cleaning litter boxes aren’t going to work perfectly every time. Cat owners note issues with their motorized box’s sensors: “My cats are around 12 and 15 pounds, and sometimes the sensor still doesn’t detect them, so I have to check it a few times a day and manually cycle it.
10. Some Litter Isn’t Compatible
Many self-cleaning litter boxes require that you use a specific type or even brand of litter in their box to prevent blockage. This can become expensive and limiting if stores around you offer a different variety than your litter box requires.
However, not all self-cleaning litter boxes have specific litter requirements, so if that is an issue, research before purchasing.
Litter Robot – The Automatic Litter Box Alternative to Scooping
“My initial thought when I first saw the Litter- Robot was…that thing is MASSIVE. Little did I know, it is one of the smartest and handiest cat inventions my sister has had me test so far. I work away from my home a good portion of the day and the Litter-Robot has been a lifesaver. I can depend on having a clean litterbox for my cats all day long.”
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,