The 9 best automatic self cleaning cat litter box reviews of 2019
(Last Updated On: September 25, 2019)
For many people, nothing’s better than sharing their life with one or more cats. Like most pets, they add far more to your life than they take, giving unconditional love and constant companionship from day to day.
They do take, though. Specifically, they take time to care for, which includes keeping a clean litter box for them in cat households. This isn’t a job you can skimp on, saying you’ll “get to it when you have time.” The ultimate judge of whether it is clean or not is your cat. If they don’t approve of your efforts to keep things ready for use, they’ll start leaving “presents” around the house instead of in the box. That's why choosing the best self cleaning litter box is so important.
This is the 21st century, though, which means that technology is catching up with the problem of keeping them clean. No matter your budget or needs, there's an electric litter box that’s just right for you. Check out this extensive list to determine the best automatic litter box for your needs!
Best Overall Self Cleaning Litter Box
Litter Robot III Open Air with Connect
In the world of electronic litter boxes, there’s one that stands above the rest and is the best you can find when it comes to features, the Litter Robot III Open Air is completely automatic and self cleaning. This automatic litter box is indeed a product of the 21st century, and it looks the part compared to other similar products we review.
Not only does it have a futuristic look, but it also operates the same way. Every time your feline stops in for a visit, the Litter Robot III Open Air goes to work, filtering out the clumps and recycling the clean litter for additional use within minutes. Litter Robot claims their sifting method will reduce your usage by half, which saves money to boot. This automated litter box is also great for multiple cats, and can successfully eliminate and prevent the worst cat odors, leaving your family happy.
It’s evident that quite a bit of thought was put into this machine & it's design; many owners say it's the perfect size and the space inside is easily accessible. No batteries to run down while you’re gone, and no guessing when the waste compartment needs emptying because this self-cleaning model will alert you on your phone when it needs emptying! Our top pick is the best at reducing odors, which is a plus as a pet owner. If you're interested, you can check out the full Litter Robot review.
Highest Rated Convenience
CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
If you’re looking for something truly unique in the self-cleaning litter box world, this is your option. Their marketing statement says it best: “It acts like a cat box, cleans like an appliance and flushes like a toilet.” No, you didn’t misread that; this self-cleaning litter box flushes the poop away automatically.
After you set it up, you program the Cat Genie to clean itself on the schedule that best suits you. Add to this the fact that this automatic cat box doesn’t use actual kitty litter, but litter-like permanent washable and reusable granules, and you will never deal with cat litter again.
Of course, for this level of convenience, there are some concessions. The CatGenie litter box has to be hooked up to a cold water source, and you will have to place the drain pipe someplace where it can, well, drain. But, if you want a “set it and forget it” litter box option, those may be small prices to pay. Read the full Catgenie review here.
Top Rated Single Cat
LM580 Classic Series by Littermaid
This self cleaning litter box is called the “Classic Series” for an excellent reason. This self-cleaning device from Littermaid is a classic design, with a rake mechanism that activates every time your cat makes use of the facilities.
One of the benefits of this litter box model is that the clumps are sealed away after the rake collects them. This keeps the odor from escaping from the litter box until you have a chance to empty it. The types that don’t do this may keep it clean, but they may also remind you to empty the collection bin every time you smell it walking by the litter box.
The routine of scooping out the litter box daily to keep the smell down will be gone, and the only thing you’ll have to remember is to check the waste receptacle on a regular basis to keep it emptied. Of course, if the bin is full, your cat will most likely remind you to check it with a few “reminders” left around the house. Check out our full LM580 Classic Series review here.
Best Value Automatic Litter Box
Omega Paw Roll’n Clean Elite
When most people think of a self-cleaning litter box, they usually imagine a mechanized litter box device of some sort, working tirelessly to keep the poop scooped and the litter raked. This one is a different animal altogether.
When the Omega Paw Elite litter box needs a good cleaning, it’s still a manual process. The difference is that, instead of using a scooper to retrieve the clumps, you merely roll it onto its top. Inside, a sifting grill will separate the clusters from the loose litter, sorting them into a drawer you can pull out for easy removal.
This may sound like a low-level improvement over a traditional litter box, but once you’ve used an easy clean self cleaning litter box version like this, you’ll soon see just how much an improvement it is.
Another feature from this review that you’ll soon appreciate is the step at the entrance to this fully-enclosed box; this is the doormat of the Omega Paw Elite, helping clean the litter from your cat’s paws as it exits. The amount of stray litter that is tracked around the house is far less with these boxes. If you want even more details, you can check our full Omega Paw review.
Highest Praised For Litter Versatility
Nature’s Miracle Single-Cat
When you’re shopping looking at reviews for a self-cleaning litter box, you’ll start to notice the litter limitations in some reviews. Some of the highest praised models require a specific brand while others are limited by type of litter. Nature’s Miracle litter box has no such limitations; in fact, one of the selling points they use is that it works with your cat’s favorite litter.
Not that your cat is picky, of course; I’m sure any litter would do.
Joking aside, this litter box does a good job of odor control with specialized litter receptacles and carbon filters to keep the air fresh, and a motion sensor in the tray to allow it to jump into action once your cat is done.
One unique feature of this self-cleaning cat box is the attention to your cat’s needs. Night lights are installed on either side of the litter box to help during use in the dark, and a paw cleaning ramp will not only help your cat enter and exit the facilities, but also knock those pesky stray pieces free from their paws. Check out Nature's Miracle's full review here.
Best Self Cleaning Litter Box For Odor Control
PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic
This litter box is designed to provide the absolute maximum odor protection. Instead of traditional litter, the PetSafe ScoopFree model uses specialized crystals that absorb urine, dehydrates poop and is much less likely to stick to your cat’s paws when he’s done.
This litter box model self-cleans regularly, collecting the waste underneath a covered trap that provides yet another barrier to odors. By using the specialized low-tracking crystals, this electric litter box doesn’t require refilling like a traditional one; in fact, it can go for weeks with no attention needed.
This level of odor protection has a price, and in this case, it’s the actual price. The PetSafe ScoopFree Self Cleaning Electric Cat Box has a hefty price tag which may put it out of reach for some cat owners. For those that don’t turn away from the cost, they won’t have to turn up their nose at litter box smells ever again, which is why it's considered the best self cleaning cat litter box for odor control.
Great for Noise Reduction
Pet Zone Smart Scoop
The design team at Pet Zone decided to focus on one of the sometimes-annoying aspects of self-cleaning litter box design, the noise. Some models can create a grinding, mechanical noise while operating, which can quickly start to get on your nerves. Not so with the Pet Zone Smart Scoop Electric Cat Litter Box.
The mechanical construction of the cleaning mechanism is second-to-none and sounds more like automobile engineering than litter box design. A more powerful motor than most types of boxes, metal gears, and a heavy-duty drive train all contribute to this self-cleaning litter box’s ability to quickly and quietly do its job.
Any type of clumping litter is usable in this box, and the cleaning action minimizes clean litter waste. Also, supplies for this box can be noticeably less expensive than those for other models, which means less money out of your pocket in the long run. You can see the full Pet Zone Smartscoop litter box review for more information.
Great for Simplicity
PetSafe Simply Clean Electronic Litter Box System
This design, or one very similar, is what comes to most people’s minds when you mention a self-cleaning litter box. While this may seem like a negative, it’s not. This is a time-tested design for a self-cleaning litter box, and it’s still around because it does its job well.
The PetSafe Simply Clean is very easy to set up, simple to clean and comfortable for your cat to use. The feces or waste receptacle is designed to hold plastic bags (even recycled bags from the store!) for easy clean-up and only needs to be cleaned every two weeks.
One benefit to this classic self cleaning litter box design is that it uses less litter than a traditional litter box, saving money while keeping the mess to a minimum. It’s not flashy, complicated, or awe-inspiring; the PetSafe Simply Clean Cat Litter Box System is a trusty workhorse of an electric litter box. See the full Petsafe Simply Clean automatic litter box here.
Top Rated Monitoring
PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra
Another entry into the range of self-cleaning litter boxes that require little to no attention, the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra litter box offers fantastic odor control thanks to the special crystal cat litter it uses. And yes, it’s almost attention-free for you, with the ability to self-clean for weeks with no cleaning or refilling required.
The unique features of this electronic litter box are in place specifically to look after the health and safety of your cat. The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra tracks how many times your cat uses it, allowing you to notice if something seems to be wrong with him or her. Also, there are safety sensors in place that reset the timer that controls the rake if they enter the box again, preventing accidents for paws as they scratch at the crystals.
The litter tray that collects the waste has a lining that prevents leaks and helps control odor, and it has another surprise in store…the tray is disposable, so there’s no cleaning required. Just remove it, throw it away, replace it, and you’re good for weeks! You can check out the full Petsafe ScoopFree Ultra self cleaning litter box here.
Why A Cat Owner Should Buy An Automatic Litter Box
Below are 3 reasons for why it may be beneficial to own one:
An Electric Litter Box Saves You Time
Let's face it: everyone lives a busy life. Out of every cat owner we have interviewed asking what basic cat-related task they would have automated if given the chance, the majority agreed that it would be cleaning the litter box.
For people who are constantly traveling for work or leisure, working long hours at their job, and committing to a lot of their kid's events, self scooping litter boxes are seen as a gift they can only dream of!
The cat owners who we interviewed before and after they purchased one say that they save a lot of valuable time every day from not having to clean the litter box anymore.
Automatic litter Boxes Are Hygienic For Your Feline
Not only are they much more efficient than regular cat boxes, but electric cat litter boxes are much cleaner for your kitty and for your home in general.
No one is perfect; litter boxes often get more filled with poop than they should, which leads to your feline walking around your home tracking the feces everywhere they walk. Most kitten owners have come home to find their furry friend tracking litter all over the house, which is not a very desirable or hygienic situation to be in.
With a litter box that cleans itself automatically, one never has to worry about that again.
A Self-Cleaning Litter Box Is Comforting For Your Kitty
A big factor in litter training any cat is making them feel comfortable where they are going to the bathroom. Some cat enthusiasts try to train their cat to use an actual toilet when they are litter training their feline.
This can work; however, most cats get frightened by the act of trying to get trained sitting on a toilet set; this leads to a frustrating process for both the pet and the owner!
Most of these self scooping cat boxes are reviewed and designed to allow your kitty to go to the bathroom in peace.
It does a great job hiding the dreaded litter smell
Even when pet owners think that they are on top of cleaning after their furry friend, they'll often find the smell of litter still flow through their home.
Fortunately, the majority of the self washing litter boxes listed above specialize in eliminating and absorbing the bad smell so one no longer has to worry about whether their house smells like cat litter again.
Questions To Think About Before Purchasing An Electric Litter Box
How many pets do you have at home?
If you have a decent amount of cats in your house, an automatic litter box will definitely save you a lot of time, especially if you have two or more cats! It's really amazing how much a cat is able to poop in one day.
Even if you only have one cat living at home, you will still find yourself saving a lot of your time with one of these in place.
are you okay with troubleshooting the self-cleaning litter box if you have to?
Even though the best directions are very user friendly and self explanatory, it may be a little difficult to fix if you find any issues with it if you're not a tech person; however, as long as you follow the reviews and directions while setting it up, you should be more than fine.
Is the convenience worth the price tag?
This is something that has to be weighed out on a case by case basis. You must take into consideration how busy you are on a day to day basis, how much help you have around the house (or lack there of), and your smell tolerance of your cat's litter and poop.
Many owners of these models agree that they are worth the amount they paid because they found manually cleaning litter boxes such a hassle, and that self cleaning litter boxes really work very well when you buy one from a reputable brand.
Do you find yourself always falling behind with cleaning the litter box?
This is perhaps one of the most important questions to ask yourself. If coming home to a smelly litter box is a common occurrence in your household, then an electric litter box should be seriously considered; if you want another alternative, you can check out these Pretty litter reviews.
Having one if your home will give you the peace of mind you deserve when coming home from a long day of work because the majority of the time self cleaning litter boxes are less work for you.
Still have more questions?
Check out these frequently asked questions below:
Automatic Litter Box Reviews FAQs
How does an automatic cat litter box work?
There continue to be innovations in the design of automatic cat boxes, but most operate in the same way.
An electric litter box will usually have a receptacle or tray at one end of the litter box, and a mechanism will automatically sift the waste, sorting it into the receptacle for later clean up.
Most of the best models and brands design the collection area to contain the odors from cat waste until you clean it out.
Let's go into the exact process of how a self cleaning litter box works below:
Your cat urinates or defecates in a location
Like any creature, what goes in must come out. The same is true for cats. Many cats are used to defecating or urinating outside because they are biologically wired to do so. Many of them today still do their business outside if their owners allow them to.
Many pet owners want an indoor cat, so they are often wary of letting their feline wander outside by themselves. This is where litter boxes come in.
The excrement is clumped together
The type of litter used for cats all depends on the preference of the owner, as well as what the manufacturer of the electric litter box recommends. Usually, non-scented types of clumping cat litter is the recommended kind, especially those made with bentonite. It is not uncommon to use pine washable granules, cobbles, pellets, paper granules and crushed walnut shells.
If the urine doesn't clump together, it can ruin the remaining litter by draining to the bottom, which will often have to be replaced. This isn't feasible since that would be a lot of work and would get pretty expensive in the long run.
These self washing litter boxes have a sensor that detects when your cat pees or poops in the cats litter box, and makes sure he or she isn't still in there when it starts cleaning itself. Once your feline is out of the crate, the timer will start, cleaning the unwanted smells right away.
The clean part of the litter separates from the dirty part
Once the dirty litter is clumped together, the fully automated rake becomes active and mechanically separates the clumped litter once the timer reaches a certain time, leaving the clean part of the litter for later use.
If you are manually cleaning litter boxes, you will find yourself sifting through the dirty litter, often missing clumps along the way.
The dirty cat waste is properly removed
Each of these litter box units has a part that stores the waste after the cleaning process is competed. Once it is finished, you can grab the remains of the litter and throw it out in the necessary area.
What type of litter should I pick?
This question does not have one single answer, unfortunately. Each type of self-cleaning litter box will have a recommended type that the device is designed to use according to our reviews.
Some can handle most common clumping types of litter, while others are designed to only use specialized litter crystals which can do a better job of controlling odor, but may not be suitable for some types of electric litter box systems.
Where should I place my automatic machine in my home?
In this review, he ideal location for any litter box is in an area of your home that doesn’t see much traffic and offers your cat some privacy. A self-cleaning litter box is no exception.
For the best results according to our reviews, you should locate your automatic litter box on a hard floor surface, which will make it easier to clean up any litter tracked from the litter box by your cat or cats.
How do I help my cat get used to her new electronic litter box?
Some cats will take to a new litter box almost immediately, but many won’t, especially if it’s their first encounter with a self-cleaning litter box.
It may require a different litter than your cat is used to, and will almost certainly be different than any non-automatic litter box they’ve used before. One simple trick is to move some of your cat’s waste from the old litter box to the automatic litter box; this will help your cat understand what this strange new appliance is for.
A quick tip: leave the cleaning system turned off for the first few days that your cat uses the new automatic litter box, as some can be noisy and disturb your cat.
How do I teach my new kitten or cat to use this fancy toilet?
A brand-new kitten isn’t quite ready for litter box training of any kind, but around the time it’s a month old, it’s time to start litter training your kitten…if their mother hasn’t already done it for you! Like cats of any age, kittens need to be shown where the bathroom is located.
Many times, just a few instances of placing the kitten in the litter box will be all it takes to train your kitten.
Start by figuring out and reviewing when exactly your kitten typically relieves himself. You should notice a pattern after a short amount of time. Some kittens like to go after running around and playing; some like to go after they eat; some like to go when they wake up from a nap.
In addition to when they are likely to eliminate, see if you can pick up on any behaviors that they exhibit right before they are ready. This will help you be prepared when the time comes and make sure your kitty is near its litter box.
Once you’ve figured out the basic routine, try to make the experience more enjoyable for your kitty. When you think it’s about time for kitty to defecate, play with him in the area where the litter box is and review their progress afterwards.
You can use a few toys that he enjoys or just play some fun little games. When it’s time for him to go the litter box will be close at hand and you can just help him get in if need be.
Although it seems to be a natural instinct, you will actually have to teach your kitten how to properly use the it; i.e. how to get inside, how to dig and how to cover its waste. You can accomplish this by acting it out with your own hands. It may take a bit of time for your kitty to pick up on what you’re doing, but eventually he will get it and it will become second nature.
Litter training takes time, patience and understanding so try to go in with a positive attitude and don’t get frustrated if your kitty doesn’t acclimate to the litter box right away. There will be accidents and it may take a while before he figures out when and how to use it. Don’t yell or raise your voice, as that will only make things worse.
It will likely be much easier to train a new cat than a new kitten, as you will likely not have to teach him how to use the litter box, unless he never has. But the other techniques outlined here do apply, so you can employ them with older cats as well.
It’s important to remember to keep the litter box fresh and clean, as both kittens and older cats will be turned off by a smelly, dirty litter box. Self-cleaning litter boxes facilitate this process, which is why they have become so popular in our review in recent years.
What things do felines want in a self-cleaning litter box?
Cats of all ages are most comfortable using an electric cat litter box where they can have a little privacy. They usually prefer litter boxes they must enter through a door, meaning they’re fully enclosed and protected while doing their business.
Keep this in mind when deciding where to place your self-cleaning cat box; much like you, cats don’t like the idea that they can be surprised while relieving themselves.
How many do I need?
That will depend in part on how many cats you have. It may not be necessary to have one cat litter box for each cat or cats in your home, but it’s not a bad idea to have multiple litter box options for a busy cat on the go that needs to pee, especially if other cats could already be using the facilities.
Of course, the more automatic litter boxes you have, the more boxes you’ll have to maintain, making self-cleaning litter boxes something worth taking a look at.
what type should i get?
This is a question that we get quite often, and the answer really depends on your wants and needs. However, there are a few considerations that will help you narrow down your choices.
First, look at all of the different types to decide which automatic litter box most appeals to you. Back in the day, you just had the basic pan or box that you filled up with kitty litter. There were no other options.
Now, you have modified versions of the open air design, as well as closed versions for privacy, manual sifters, scoopers and more elaborate machines that sift, scoop, drain and self-clean. There are also different sizes for kittens, mid-size and large cats. Prices range from under $10 to up to $500.
Some people prefer the traditional models and others want something that does it all so they don’t have to. So, it’s just a matter of figuring out what type of litter box interests you.
Before you make a selection on an electric litter box, however, there are some things to keep in mind besides the budget. Three of the most important are ease of operation, maintenance requirements and product owner reviews and ratings.
As far as ease of operation, try to find out what you’ll need to do to run the unit. Is there extensive set up? Are there any additional power requirements, drainage needs or water line hookups? You might really love one of the multi-tasking automatic cat litter boxes, but the setup may be overly complicated and not worth the investment.
What about maintenance requirements? Does it need to be cleaned often? Are there expensive filters and special litter that need to be replaced on a regular basis? Does it require a lot of electricity? Are there a lot of complex parts? Oftentimes the upkeep is more of a hassle on a more versatile unit, so keep that in mind as you make your decision of the best one.
Definitely read customer reviews of the best automatic cat litter box for cats before you buy one for your cat. This is one of the top ways to determine if you are going to be happy with your purchase. Most of the popular cat litter boxes sold on sites like Amazon have at least a few dozen reviews that you can go through to find the best automatic kitty litter box.
Although with many products it’s usually those with bad experiences that post reviews not the best ones, you’ll find that it’s different with pet products. You get a lot of good along with the bad. See what owners with cats similar to your furry friend’s age, size and temperament have to say about each of the litter boxes you are interested in to find the best automated cat litter box. Then narrow down your choices based on these reviews of the highest rated models. Once you have a few selected think about your needs and your budget and use that to pick one to buy for your home.
Keeping all of this in mind you should be able to find the ideal type for your cat. And make sure you read the section on how to get your cat to use the new litter box so the transition is as seamless as possible for your best rated automatic litter box.