should you get a self cleaning litter box?
There are some parts of pet ownership which we look forward to and enjoy—snuggles and cuddles, whiskery kisses, cute Instagram pictures, and the joy of a furry friend at the end of a long day.
With these pleasures, however, comes responsibilities and the not-so-glam tasks, including flea and worm treatments, vet visits, and, of course, the dreaded litter box. It is part of the daily routine of cat care which can quickly wear thin and has to be tackled with a reluctant grimace.
There is, however, an alternative. In recent years, self-cleaning litter boxes have increased in popularity and are becoming more common every day; you can read about the best automatic litter boxes, or you can skip to our top rated Litter Robot review.
This option reduces the need for regular scooping and helps to free you up from the day-to-day tasks of litter box maintenance. It can also be cleaner, more hygienic, and even work out cheaper!
how do self cleaning litter boxes work?
Self-cleaning litter boxes work by doing the scooping and storing for you. Most of them will contain some sort of scoop or rake which moves through and across the cat litter like the Cat Genie, which will sift and remove the waste. This waste is then deposited into a receptacle which sits at one end of the box. It is an enclosed space, helping to reduce unpleasant odors, and keeping the rest of the litter clean and fresh. The waste can then be removed easily at regular intervals. Check out our in-depth article on how self cleaning litter boxes work.
Most options will have a sensor which can sense when your cat enters or leaves the box, and will clean up after them automatically after a specific time has passed. This sensor also incorporates a safety feature to ensure that your cat is not caught by the rake and injured.
why should you get an automatic litter box?
It seems like the answer to all your prayers—a self-cleaning box means you are free from the regular scooping, and there is no need to get quite so up close and personal with your cats waste. There is a range of pet owners who would see significant benefits from such as device, including:
those who work long shifts or overnight shifts
If you are involved in a career which requires overnight stays or very long shifts, then chances are that your cat will already be used to this. You can help them to be more comfortable and relaxed by investing in a self-cleaning box.
This has two benefits. First, you can focus on work and not have to worry that your cat will refuse to use a soiled box or be distressed if it hasn't been scooped in a while.
You know the automatic cleaner will take care of that. Secondly, you won’t come home from a long shift to a dirty and smelly box—not what you want to be faced with when you just want to fall into bed!
those with mobility issues
If mobility is a problem for you, then a self-cleaning box can make a real difference to your quality of life. It will reduce the need for you to get up and down several times a day, bending and straightening to clean out the box.
Instead, you will have to make fewer journeys, and this can make it a more manageable task.
you have an extremely fussy cat
All cats are famous for their fussiness, but a select few will always take it to the next level. While some cats will sniff and strop about a slightly dirty box, there are some who will refuse to do their business unless the entire space is sparkling clean.
If you don’t get there fast enough, they may go somewhere unwanted—such as your carpet—or hold it in, which can cause damage to their health. A self-cleaning box will be able to tell when they have used it, and so react straight away to keep the area fresh throughout the day.
you don't have much time
Working long shifts is a good reason to switch to self-clean, but other commitments can also work to fill up your day quickly and leave you with precious little free time. Families, friends, hobbies and day-to-day chores can all mean that you feel you are continually playing catch-up, and struggling to keep up with excessive housework and cleaning.
While a self-cleaning tray does need to be emptied regularly, it reduces the need to be scooping and cleaning several times a day, and you may be surprised at how fast those few extra minutes here and there add up.
you want to be more hands on
The most obvious reason for changing to a self-cleaning box is that it limits the interaction you need to have with your cats waste. It can reduce unpleasant odors, require a lower amount of hands-on maintenance, and offers an easy solution to your cat’s toileting needs.
All good reasons to make the change!
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.