Cleaning out your cats box is one of the few jobs that dampens the joy of owning a cat.
Most cats will happily do their business outside, however for those of you that live in an area where it’s neither safe nor possible for your cat to go outdoors then your cat’s pungent bowel movements can have more of an impact on your life that you would like.
If you live in a small flat not only do you have the issue of your cat not be able to go out to contend with but also, if you cat has been eating something particularly odorous, their faeces can stink up your entire flat which is not nice for you, your cat or any potential visitors to your home.
Thankfully the future seems to have finally arrived in the world of cat litter trays; there are now a fantastic range of high-tech litter boxes available which will clean your cat’s poop away and seal it up so that no nasty odours will escape and fill your home, your flat wont stink and you wont have to handle your cat’s faeces on a daily basis anymore!
If you are not sure what to look out for when buying a self cleaning litter box have a read of our guide.
- Table of the Best Self Cleaning Litter Trays
- The Litter-Robot 3 Self Cleaning Litter Box Review
- The PetSafe Self Cleaning Litter Box Review
- The Omega Roll n’ Clean Review
- The LitterMaid Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Tray Review
- Nature’s Miracle Self Cleaning Litter Tray Review
- The Catit SmartSift Litter Box Review
- Our Guide to Buying a Self Cleaning Litter Box
Table of the Best Self Cleaning Litter Trays
|Litter Box||Our Score||Best Feature|
|The Litter Robot 3 - Editor's Choice||9/10||Rotating filtration system.|
PetSafe Self Cleaning Litter Box - Editor's Choice
|8/10||Only need crystal litter replacing every 20-30 days.|
|The Omega||7/10||Very simple to setup and use.|
|The LitterMaid||7/10||Extremely durable - they're known for lasting for years.|
|The Nature's Miracle Litter Box||8/10||Anti bacteria system.|
|The Catit SmartSift||7/10||Simple and affordable alternative to motorised litter boxes.|
The Litter-Robot 3 Self Cleaning Litter Box Review
We had to include the Litter Robot 3 because it is undoubtedly the Bentley of the automatic cat waste disposal world. No expense is spared and it has every conceivable feature you could ever dream up for an automatic self cleaning litter tray.
The Litter Robot 3 seems to be well loved by everyone who has every used it. I must confess I myself have not used this litter tray (nor has my cat!), however I did consult several people who have purchased it. Here’s what one of them had to say about it:
Another experienced automatic litter tray user said this to me, when I asked how it compared to other models on the market:
These words obviously aren’t mine but were put to members of a popular cat forum, you can clearly see how highly they rate the Litter Robot 3.
Onto the details; the Litter Robot 3 removes cat poop with a rotating filter system which filters the clumps of waste out of the litter, it operates in a way which looks similar to a very slow moving cement mixer, with the entire circular unit slowly spinning around. The great thing about this system is that it works perfectly with any type of clumping litter providing it is relatively fine, this means that over time this self cleaning litter tray system will work out cheaper than the PetSafe version as you don’t have to spend extra money on any special absorbent crystals.
This self cleaning litter tray is big, very big! So while it’s probably not going to hide neatly behind your pot plants it is great for big cats. Measuring 75 cm tall, 32 cm wide and 70 cm deep it will comfortably accommodate even the biggest of cats. It also boasts a very large opening so any cat can easily get into it without trouble.
As well as being great for big cats this litter tray also caters for older cats that may be struggling with poor eye-site as it has a great automated night light system which illuminates the litter tray in the dark making it easy for your cat to see where the entrance is, it also looks pretty cool!
It features a cleaning cycle timer which can be set to operate three, seven or fifteen minutes after your cat has vacated the tray. Another handy feature is that it also has battery backup so if you live in an area where you get occasional power cuts you wont be burdened with the added concern of dealing with a load of cat litter. The battery will provide up to 48 hours of backup power so more than enough to cover all but the worst of power cuts!
What We Like About The Litter Robot 3:
- Does everything you could ever need an self cleaning litter tray to do and more.
- Works fine with any kitty litter.
- Extremely efficient, so you need to use far less litter than with it’s competitors.
What We Don’t Like About The Litter Robot 3:
- It’s very big.
- It’s not the cheapest (see the price on Amazon).
The PetSafe Self Cleaning Litter Box Review
The Petsafe Cat Litter System removes the need for arduous daily scooping and requires very little human intervention. It is filled with highly absorbent crystals which absorb all liquid waste and dry out solid waste – before you make a decision on which litter box to buy it is worth noting the crystal refills for this litter tray are quite expensive, however you the manufacturer states that you will require 5 to 10 times less of it than you would use normal clumping litter.
Twenty minutes after your cat has deposited it’s business in the box (when it has had time to dry out) an automatic rake combs through the crystals and pushes the cat poop into a sealed covered compartment which traps the smell and waste.
It only requires emptying every 20-30 days (for one cat), 10-15 days (2 cats) or 7-10 days (3 cats), doing this is a clean and simple process. You simply lift up the litter tray mechanism which will reveal the throwaway tray underneath, this can be covered with a lid and then thrown out, so your hands never have to get near touching any of the waste or litter. A replacement tray complete with crystal is slotted back in. The length of time that this model can go without requiring the tray changing is one of the best things about this product as most of it’s competitors typically will require new litter at least every two weeks.
There are two models available of the PetSafe Litter Box, the Original and the Ultra. The Ultra adds a few extra features to the original, including a cover and an adjustable rake delay timer which allows you to set the rake to work five, ten or twenty minutes after the tray has been used by your cat. The Ultra also has the ability to track the number of times you cat uses the tray. Both models have been tested by the PetSafe team and have been put through over 100,000 cycles without clogging up or the mechanisms wearing out, so that’s a whole lot of cat poop that these can get through before you’ll need a replacement!
What We Like About The PetSafe:
- It’s extremely simple to setup and go & only requires a new tray every 20-30 days (if only one cat is using it).
What We Don’t Like About The PetSafe:
- One common complaint about this automatic litter tray is that the refills are quite expensive probably due to the fact that it uses their own special absorbent crystals.
The Omega Roll n’ Clean Review
This is a bit of a different self cleaning litter tray to some of the other ones in here, it’s not really self cleaning in anyway as all of the cleaning is done by you, however it is very cleverly designed to make the process of removing cat waste much cleaner and it doesn’t require you to go scooping out cat poop.
To use the Omega Roll n’Clean you simply roll the litter box around, this causes the litter to filter through to a separate compartment (as shown in the image above) and the cat poo will be left in the tray insert which will then be pulled out and swiftly disposed of. Although it doesn’t physically clean the cat waste up for you as such it does turn the arduous, thankless and fairly stinky job of scraping out a litter tray into a fast, efficient and clean process.
This litter box is great for any cat who is wary of moving parts.
It requires no batteries and works fine with any litter that will fit through the filter (most cat litter will fit quite easily). The fact that it has no moving parts or electronic elements could be a big plus as most of the more advanced self cleaning litter trays will eventually (after some years of use) wear themselves out and will need to be replaced.
What We Like About The Omega Roll n’Clean:
- Simple and effective.
- Cheap (see price here).
What We Don’t Like About The Omega Roll n’Clean:
- It doesn’t really self clean, it just makes the cleaning process simpler and faster.
- You will still have to roll over every time your cat uses it to get the waste into the waste compartment.
The LitterMaid Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Tray Review
The LitterMaid works with a basic rake mechanism which combs over the litter ten minutes after your cat has used it, pushing the waste into a storage box. There is also a foot pedal which can be pressed to clean up the waste immediately after your cat has used it.
This litter-box is really only designed for one cat to use but can manage two cats quite happily without too much trouble. The waste is stored in a disposable waste container, which are cheap to buy, so you don’t need to handle the waste at all you just put a lid on the container and throw it out. The litter storage compartment is sufficiently big enough that it can easily be left for over a week without needing to be emptied, thus saving you loads of cat poop scooping time each and every week!
One thing to be aware of with this litter tray, as well as with all mechanised litter trays, is to make sure that you buy good quality litter. Poor quality litter will be harder work for the motor to rake through and it will also clog the machine up thus requiring much more maintenance and meaning that the motor will burn out far more quickly.
LitterMaids have been on the market for a while and have a reputation for lasting for years and years with some lasting for as long as 15 years so you will certainly get your time and money back from a LitterMaid litter box.
What We Like About The LitterMaid:
- Reliable and long lasting.
- Can easily last a week without needing to be emptied.
- Cheap replacement waste containers (see here).
What We Don’t Like About The LitterMaid:
- Fairly noisy when raking.
- Doesn’t cope well with poor quality cat litter.
Watch the video below for a live action demo of how the LitterMaid works:
*Warning – video contains real life poop*
Nature’s Miracle Self Cleaning Litter Tray Review
The Nature’s Miracle litter tray rakes out your cats litter 20 minutes after it has been used, the waste is pushed int a plastic waste storage box which features a carbon filter to prevent bad smells escaping. This litter box can be put into sleep mode for 9 hours so that it won’t start cleaning in the middle of the night and wake you up (it is fairly noisy).
It also features high walls and a ramp to help prevent litter being kicked out of the tray or being bought out on your cat’s feet.
The Nature’s Miracle Self Cleaning Litter Box is one of the more pricey automatic litter trays on the market but it does include some top rate features which you don’t see in every litter box.
These features include anti-microbe protection which helps to prevent bacteria multiplying in the tray – this can be a big problem particularly if a tray is routinely left for a week or so before being cleaned so this is a very valuable feature.
It also features a flashing light which will come on to alert you that the waste tray needs emptying, so there is no danger of it becoming overfilled.
What We Like About The Nature’s Miracle:
- Simple to setup.
- Anti bacteria buildup function.
What We Don’t Like About The Nature’s Miracle:
- Quite noisy.
- Cat’s can easily kick litter over the high walls.
The Catit SmartSift Litter Box Review
Okay hands up so we admit it this is another “automatic” litter tray which isn’t automatic in any way whatsoever. Much like the Omega it simply makes the process of cleaning and managing your cat’s waste much easier, however it has no mechanical or electronic parts so all of the automation is done by you.
The beauty of the Catit SmartSift lies in its simplicity, it features a simple handle which you pull to filter the waste out of the litter – for optimum performance pull the lever fairly slowly to prevent clean litter falling into the waste box.
The Catit SmartSift if a good sized litter tray which has plenty of room for bigger cats and can comfortably last a full week before it requires emptying out, it also works very well with even the cheapest of clumping litter so no need to buy premium fine litter.
It is worth being aware that even though the box is huge the space for your cat to do their business inside the box is actually quite small in comparison. It is also worth noting that the Catit liner is quite thin and not particularly great, you are better off using a black bin liner instead as this is far more durable and hopefully wont be as easily filled with holes.
Also this product operates best if you don’t fill the litter up to the max litter line but rather fill it about 2cm below that line.
What We Like About The Catit SmartSift:
- Simple to setup and use.
- No motorised or electronic parts so should last a long time.
What We Don’t Like About The Catit SmartSift:
- Requires sifting after every cat use.
- Is quite fiddly to take apart for washing.
Our Guide to Buying a Self Cleaning Litter Box
What You Need to Know
Self cleaning litter boxes are great, but there are a few key things which you need to consider in order to get one which fulfils the requirements of both you and your cat.
It is also important to be aware that because cats are highly unpredictable by nature there is never a 100% success rate guarantee with any self cleaning litter box and there will always be some element of human intervention which is required. Bags and litter trays will still need emptying (though much less frequently than with a standard litter tray) and the whole unit will also need cleaning and disinfecting every few months.
How Your Cat Uses a Tray
If your cat is quick vigorous in the way it covers up its poop then a low sided litter box will be no good as your cat will easily kick the litter all over the place. The same also goes for cats who like to urinate at funny angles, urine can easily end up outside the box on a low sided litter tray. If your cat falls into either of these two categories it would be worth considering a fully boxed in litter tray.
If your cat is a creature of habit and likes to poop in exactly the same spot in it’s litter box every single time then this can cause issues with self cleaning litter boxes that use a rake system as one particular part of the rake will always be getting used and may therefore quickly get clogged up. If your cat is like this then a device such as the Litter Robot 3 would be best as it rotates rather than rakes, therefore avoiding clogging.
If you have more than one cat it is very important that you invest in a box which is capable of catering for multiple cats as a lot of litter boxes are built for just one cat to use. A bigger unit like the Litter Robot 3 would be worth considering for more than one cat.
Ongoing Litter Box Costs
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