Automatic Litter Boxes make the daily the tiresome job of cleaning out of your cats litter tray a thing of the past.
Self cleaning litter trays can change your life if you live in an area where it’s neither safe nor possible for your cat to go outdoors.
There are a great range of high-tech litter boxes available which will clean your cat’s poop away and seal it up so that no nasty smells will escape and fill your home anymore, read our reviews of the best ones below:
Table of the Best Self Cleaning Litter Trays & Litter Boxes
|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.|
If you are not sure what to look out for when buying a self cleaning litter box have a read of our guide.
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 ever used it. And with good reason, it includes a huge range of features that will upgrade your cat’s toilet from a port-a-loo to a 5 star, fully serviced, Ritz hotel bathroom experience!
Unique Rotating Litter Filtration System
Onto the details; the Litter Robot 3 removes cat poop with a rotating filter system which is completely unique to the self cleaning litter tray world and really sets this product apart from it’s competitors.
The rotating filtration system operates in a way which looks similar to a very slow moving cement mixer, with the entire circular unit slowly spinning around as it sifts through the litter to remove any waste.
One of 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.
The Litter Robot 3 filtration system is so efficient that it saves users an average of 50% on kitty litter!
The Litter Robot 3 is big, very big! So while it’s probably not going to hide neatly behind your pot plants it is great for big cats or homes with multiple 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.
Due to it’s size it can comfortably handle up to three cats without trouble, however you will have to empty it far more frequently if you have multiple cats using it. With one cat it will typically only require emptying once a week, with three cats it will require emptying every other day (still much less frequent than with a traditional litter tray though!).
Automated Night Light
As well as being great for big cats and multiple cat households this litter tray also caters for older cats that struggle with poor eye-site. It has an automated night light system which illuminates the litter tray in the dark making it easy for your cat to see where the entrance is and 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. This is particularly handy for cats who may be scared by the machine’s movements it is also useful for cats who are in the habit of quickly returning to the litter box immediately after using it as it allows them some time to do all of this before the box is cleaned – having said this the litter tray is aware of when a cat is in it and will not operate when a cat is detected but will wait for it to leave.
Battery Backup System
Another handy feature is that it also has battery backup so if you live in an area where you get occasional power cuts you won’t be burdened with the added concern of dealing with an uncleaned litter tray. The battery will provide up to 48 hours of backup power so more than enough to cover all but the worst of power cuts!
Litter Robot 3 Customer Feedback
We sought out a few customers who had a few years experience using the Litter Robot 3 to get a bit of user feedback on it, here’s what one of them had to say:
We asked another experienced Litter Robot 3 user how the Litter Robot 3 compared to other models on the market and this is what they had to say:
There are significantly more features included with this litter tray details of which can be found on the Litter Robot website, but we hope we’ve given you at least a taster of what this litter tray offers.
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.
- Very efficient sifting system which doesn’t get clogged up.
- Saves 50% of cat litter compared to a normal litter tray.
- Charcoal filter and ventilation system for excellent odour management.
What We Don’t Like About The Litter Robot 3:
- It’s very big.
The PetSafe Self Cleaning Litter Box Review
The Petsafe Cat Litter System is a great litter tray which, while much more basic than the Litter Robot 3, really packs a considerable punch for it’s price and is well deserving of its second place position in our list.
Highly Absorbent Crystals
Like most automatic litter tray it is comprised of a flat tray system with automated rake. Where it differs however is in it’s use of it’s own brand of highly absorbent crystals which absorb all liquid waste and dry out solid waste. While this may sound like a bit of a gimmick to make you spend more money with PetSafe it is worth noting that the crystals are so efficient that you will use an average of around 7 times less crystals than you would if you were using normal cat litter.
While there is no denying that the crystals are significantly more expensive than traditional cat litter they are certainly not 7 times more expensive, so they could save you money.
How the PetSafe Works
Twenty minutes after your cat has deposited its 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.
One of the stand out features of this automatic litterbox is the incredible amount of time it can function for without requiring emptying, this is due to its super absorbent crystals which control both odour and bacteria allowing it to outperform all of it’s competitors in this area.
It only requires emptying every 20-30 days (for one cat), 10-15 days (2 cats) or 7-10 days (3 cats)! Obviously the longer you leave it the more poop you will have to deal with but doing this is a fairly clean and simple process;
You simply lift up the litter tray mechanism to 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.
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 (with one cat)
What We Don’t Like About The PetSafe:
- Expensive refill trays
The Omega Roll n’ Clean Review
The Canadian built Omega Roll’n’Clean litter tray is, strictly speaking, not a self cleaning nor automatic in anyway so I apologize to purists for including it in my list however it is a worthy addition because it significantly minimizes the amount of work required to keep your cats litter tray clean and tidy and also this product is much cheaper than the fully automated ones.
The Omega Roll’n’Clean’s clever design makes the process of removing cat waste much quicker, simpler and cleaner and doesn’t require you to go manually scoop out any 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 because it has none.
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.
How to Use the Omega Roll’n’Clean
Start by opening the litter tray, do this by sliding the two tabs on the front (these hold it together and keep it sealed to that nothing escapes when you are rolling it), this will allow you to remove the top of the litter box. Then fill the litter box with any type of clumping litter you choose, the inventor suggest filling it up to roughly 5 centimeters deep however users say that this is too much as you often end up with litter in the waste tray so we recommend that you fill it no deeper than 4 centimeters maximum to prevent this from happening.
No litter bags are required with this litter tray so you are now good to close the box and let your cat use it.
Once your cat has used it take the litter box and roll it in a smooth controlled fashion all the way until it is upside down on its back and then roll it back into its normal standing position with a small counter roll (where you tip it slightly beyond its normal standing position) to level the cat litter.
Having done this you can then pull out the tray and you will find that your cats poop and any cat litter which has clumped due to urine will be in there ready to be disposed of.
What We Like About The Omega Roll n’Clean:
- Simple and effective.
- A big improvement on standard litter trays without costing much more.
- 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.
Watch the video below for a live action demo of how the LitterMaid works:
*Warning – video contains real life poop*
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, so make sure you invest in the best cat litter available.
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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