6 Best Automatic Cat Litter Boxes With Our 2019 Budget-Friendly Pick

Automatic cat litter boxes are a popular essential for many pet parents. Not only do they make litter box maintenance a lot less stressful, but they are also a great option for cat parents who travel frequently or work long days. The last thing you want to do is scoop poop after a stressful day at the office!

While there are a variety of automatic litter boxes and accompanying features to choose from, we’ve done the research to break down which box may be best for your situation. In this article we highlight the benefits of investing in an automatic litter box, as well as components to consider when picking out the best one for your kitty.

5 Benefits of Using an Automatic Cat Litter Box

Automatic cat litter boxes offer several benefits other than ease of maintenance. We list the most notable benefits below:

  1. More efficient cleaning: Automatic cat litter boxes are a huge time saver for pet parents. You can forget about daily scooping if your kitty’s box, because all of the work is done for you! Not only will you save time and energy, but an automatic litter box will also clean itself efficiently around the clock.
  2. Healthier for your cat: A clean cat litter box means a healthier experience for your feline friend. If your cat is using a box that isn’t cleaned regular, it can pose a health risk. Automatic cat litter boxes are constantly being raked clean, eliminating risk of lingering bacteria and other health related concerns.
  3. Better odor control: When a litter box sits with waste in it, odors will fester and linger. Automatic cat litter boxes are constantly discarding your cat’s waste, so the likelihood of lingering odors is much less.
  4. Less wasted litter: Automatic cat litter boxes only discard litter that has been soiled. This helps prevent litter from being wasted.
  5. Generally more eco-friendly: Working off of our last point, the less excess litter than ends up in our environment, the better! Using less litter means a healthier planet.

Where should you place the automatic litter box?

Placement is especially important when choosing to use an automatic litter box.
Self-cleaning litter boxes will require a nearby electrical outlet at the very least. One of the automatic litter boxes on our list also needs a water hookup. Many cat parents place the litter box in a laundry room or bathroom since there will be easily accessible power outlets.

Refrain from keeping your cat’s automatic litter box in a damp space, as the litter box could become a breeding ground for bacteria if kept in a humid area. You’ll also want to be sure that the litter box is in a quiet, low traffic area of your home. Your feline friend may be hesitant to use their box if they are consistently interrupted while trying to do their business.

6 Components to Look for in an Automatic Cat Litter Box

While automatic cat litter boxes generally sift through the box to discard waste, different setups have unique features and components to consider. We highlight some of the important ones here:

  1. Size: Cats can vary greatly in size, so one size litter box may not be appropriate for all kitties. You will want to purchase an automatic cat litter box that gives your kitty plenty of space to comfortably do their business.
  2. Design and openings: Some self-cleaning litter boxes have privacy covers, while others are completely open. Covered boxes may have a front or top entry. The design that you purchase should be based off of your cat’s preferences.
  3. Cleaning intervals: Automatic litter boxes typically have one specific cleaning timer (say, every 20 minutes) but you can purchase a system that offers custom raking intervals.
  4. Special features: Each automatic cat litter box tends to have their own special features which makes the system unique. These can include a health counter, disposal of waste via plumbing, or a silent motor. The need for these types of features come down to every cat parent’s preferences.
  5. Type of suitable litter: Some of the best automatic cat litter boxes only use specific types of cat litter, such as crystal granules. Others can accommodate all types of litter, including pellets. This is a major factor to consider when choosing an automatic cat litter box.
  6. Additional necessary accessories: There are a few self-cleaning cat litter boxes that require refills on additional accessories to work properly. Examples of these accessories include disposable cat litter trays, waste bags or sanitation solution. Additional necessary components will be a regular cost that you’ll need to consider.

Overall Best Automatic Cat Litter Boxes

ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Cat Litter Box

Key Benefits:

  • Has 3 timing options for automatic cleaning
  • Uses 5-10 times less litter than clay
  • Uses disposable litter trays
  • Optional privacy hood

Overall Best Automatic Cat Litter Box – The most reliable automatic cat litter box is this one from ScoopFree. Not only does it come highly rated by other pet parents, but the litter box system has gone through rigorous testing to ensure the very best cleaning process possible. This self-cleaning litter box uses a rake system to clean the box in 5, 10 or 20 minute intervals – the choice is yours. Waste is then discarded into a separate covered container to ensure that odors stay controlled.

The ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Cat Litter Box uses crystal litter, which traps and controls odors more effectively than traditional clay. The litter trays are disposable for easy maintenance. This automatic box uses a whopping 5-10 times less litter than clay or clumping litters! We like that the ScoopFree Ultra self-cleaning litter box has an optional privacy hood, so you can take it off or leave it on depending on your cat’s preferences. This innovative litter box also has a health counter which allows you to keep track of how often your cat is using the box – a helpful feature to detect changes in your cat’s elimination routine.

Pros:

  • Soiled litter trays only need to be replaced every 2-3 weeks (more frequently with multiple cats)
  • Your kitty can use the box covered or uncovered
  • Crystal cat litter is highly absorbent for superior cleanliness
  • 3 cleaning interval options
  • Safety stop to detect if your cat is using the box

Cons:

  • Cost of replacement trays may be higher than standard litter options

CatGenie Self-Flushing Cat Box

Key Benefits:

  • Works like a toilet to flush and cleaning the box
  • Uses washable litter granules
  • Sanitizes the box automatically
  • Ability to choose when the box operates

Runner-Up Best Automatic Cat Litter Box – This automatic cat litter box literally does it all. The CatGenie scoops and flushes your cat’s waste out of your home, then it cleans and sanitizes the box. The CatGenie does require an electrical outlet as well as a water, drain or toilet hookup. Most pet parents hook it up in a bathroom or laundry room, since those two rooms in your home are the most likely to have appropriate water lines present.

The CatGenie self-cleaning litter box can be set up to flush and clean on several different time intervals. How often it cleans it completely up to you. The box itself uses washable litter granules, which the CatGenie will clean and leave warm after the disposal and sanitization period. The CatGenie is best for only one or two cats. You will need multiple CatGenies for large feline families.  To get you started, the CatGenie comes with everything you need to last you three months for one cat, or two months for two kitties.

Pros:

  • Does all the disposal, cleaning and sanitization for you
  • Uses washable granules, which is better for the environment
  • Customize cleaning intervals
  • Save time and energy by never having to clean your cat’s litter box
  • Can be used with a sewer or septic system

Cons:

  • Washable litter granules and SaniSolution refills will be an extra cost
  • Requires a water hookup plus electrical outlet

PetSafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box

Key Benefits:

  • Works with any clumping, scoopable cat litter
  • Built to be extremely quiet
  • Discards waste into a receptacle which can be lined with a standard plastic shopping bag
  • Doesn’t require any special bags, trays or bins

Best Budget-Friendly Automatic Cat Litter Box – A quality automatic cat litter box doesn’t have to break the bank. This PetSafe litter box is available for under $75! This box will be great for kitties who prefer will appreciate a virtually silent environment when they do their business. The simple design rotates every hour to consistently scoop the litter and discard it into a waste bin.

Pet parents can use any scoopable, clumping litter in the PetSafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box. You don’t need any special trays or cleaners, which means a less expensive litter box experience all around. The waste receptacle can be lined with a standard recyclable plastic bag, so even the maintenance is cheaper than other boxes. This is truly an affordable automatic litter box, but it’s also highly recommended by fellow cat parents.

Pros:

  • Less expensive to maintain than other automatic litter boxes
  • Virtually silent, with no visible moving parts
  • Waste discards into a waste bin which can be lined with a plastic bag
  • No additional cleaners or accessories necessary
  • Consistently scoops litter without a timer

Cons:

  • Somewhat obtrusive design, which some kitties may not like

3 More Top Automatic Cat Litter Boxes

ScoopFree Original Automatic Cat Litter Box

This is the original automatic cat litter box that can be left alone for weeks without any maintenance. This self-cleaning box uses disposable litter trays to make every pet parent’s life easier. The crystal litter is absorbent and excellent at controlling odors. The ScoopFree Original Automatic Cat Litter Box will scoop on 20 minute intervals. Our top pick, the ScoopFree Ultra, offers a variety of cleaning interval options, as well as a privacy hood and health counter.

Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Cat Litter Box.

The Pet Zone automatic litter box is built with a simple rake system to grab clumps and dispose of them in a waste compartment. It’s constructed with a quiet motor and a carbon filter to help neutralize unpleasant odors. Cat parents can use any type of clumping litter in this box, including pellet-size granules. The box will clean every 15 minutes based on a sensor which activates the cycle. This automatic cat litter box doesn’t require any additional accessories, and it comes with six waste bags to get you started.

ScoopFree Top-Entry Ultra Automatic Cat Litter Box

For kitties who prefer a super private area for their litter box use, we suggest this option from ScoopFree. The top entry design allows your cat to jump into the box and be uninterrupted when they do their business. The top of the box even has a grated surface to further eliminate tracking of litter. This ScoopFree box is like the others, as it uses disposable litter trays with crystal granules. It absorbs liquid and dehydrates solid waste, then it’s raked to a covered compartment. Don’t worry about refilling litter for weeks with the ScoopFree Top-Entry self-cleaning litter box.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of litter should I use for an automatic litter box? Many automatic cat litter boxes require a very specific type of litter. Read the label on the packing of your new litter box to determine which litter type will be appropriate. Some automatic cat litter boxes may require disposable litter trays. If you use a litter that is not suitable for your automatic litter box, it could impair the function.

Where should I put the automatic litter box in my home? Most cats prefer to do their business in a quiet, low traffic, dry area of the home. Make sure you place it in a space with an available electrical outlet. The litter box should be placed on a flat surface. Avoid placing the automatic cat litter box in a damp place, such as a basement, where bacteria can more easily grow.

How does an automatic cat litter box work? Automatic cat litter boxes are built to discard your cat’s solid and liquid waste into a built-in receptacle. They are usually constructed with a sort of rake system which sifts the waste into the attached bin. Your cat’s elimination is stored in the covered waste bin until you empty it.

Conclusion

Automatic cat litter boxes make your life easier, and they are the best choice for keeping a consistently clean private space for your kitty. A clean box means a healthier cat, and the humans in your home will also appreciate the constant odor control. Remember to keep packaging and proof of purchase when you buy your automatic cat litter box for warranty and return purposes.

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