Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Vs. Regular Litter Boxes

Cleaning out the litter tray is one of the few downsides of owning a cat.

 Though a necessity, this is an unpleasant task which most of us will try and outsource whenever possible!

In recent years, there has been an innovation which claims to solve this problem once and for all— self-cleaning litter boxes. You can check out these self-cleaning litter box reviews for the best models on the market today. You read this Litter Robot review if you'd just like to read about the top pick.

These may seem the answer to your prayers, but are they really the wonder product they claim to be?

Let’s see if they can hold their own against a regular box, shall we?


Self Cleaning Litter Box Benefits

A self-cleaning box uses a sifting, sweeping, or brushing motion to eliminate waste as soon as your cat has used the tray, moving it into a sealed compartment and leaving the tray usable and clean for the next time your cat pays a visit.

reduce odor

A self-cleaning box will offer a less smelly option than a traditional box, as the waste is automatically transferred into a sealed unit which helps to contain and control the smell.

save money

A self-cleaning box may seem like an expensive option, but it can work out to be far cheaper in the long run. You will have to use and purchase far lower quantities of litter than their traditional counterparts, and this can add up to a considerable saving over the years.

After the initial payout, you may be surprised at how much you can save!

more efficient

A self-cleaning litter box will generally be more efficient, removing only the waste and leaving untouched litter behind.

More hygienic

The most obvious advantage of a self-cleaning box is that it means the owner has less contact and handling of the waste, making this a more hygienic and appealing option.


some maintenance

You may have visions of investing in a self-cleaning box and never having to dirty your hands again, but the truth is a little different if you use one like the one in our Cat Genie review. While self-cleaning removes a large amount of the work, it is not a totally ‘hands-off’ option.

You will still need to empty the tray or compartment which holds the waste, as well as top up cat litter regularly, and troubleshoot any issues which occur.

they can be expensive

It is true that over the long-term, a self-cleaning box can save you some serious cash, but there is nevertheless a hefty investment required to begin with.

These devices can also be expensive to replace if they break down, meaning you could face a large repair bill or the prospect of replacing the entire unit at no small cost.

your cat may not like it

Cats are famously finicky creatures, and when push comes to shove your cat may simply not appreciate the effort you have made. While self-cleaning boxes are quiet and functional, some may let out noises or movements which unsettle your cat and make them reluctant to use the tray. No matter how much you spend or how fancy the box, there will always be a feline who turns up their nose.

Regular Litter Box Benefits

check for health issues

A regular box will help you to see your cat waste more clearly, and you will be able to detect any changes or concerns very quickly. A self-cleaning box needs emptying less often, so it may be a few days before you become aware of any changes which could indicate an issue.

some cats prefer these

For some cats, old-fashioned is the way to go. They will prefer the simplicity of a basic box, and this will help to reassure them and keep them calm and comfortable, as well as happy and healthy.


less Hygienic

The most obvious downside is that you will be required to get more hands-on with the waste and carry out regular scooping and cleaning of the box. No matter how much you adore your cat, this is never anyone's favorite task. It can also be smellier, particularly if you pick one without a hood.

Verdict: Self-cleaning Litter Box vs. Regular

verdict: self-cleaning litter box vs. regular

As you can see, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, many of which apply to every cat and owner differently. As a result, it’s hard to pick a clear winner—we call it a tie, and a recommendation to experiment a bit—see what works best in your house.