As a cat owner, making the right decision regarding the best automatic litter box model to buy can be a very demanding task. With so many different models out there with all sort of functions and utilities, it’s no wonder that many people feel discouraged and would rather stick with the classical litter box that doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of their cat. And even if the cat is satisfied with the classic litter box, just think of how much time and unpleasant experiences you could save by making the right purchase.
And now you’re not all alone in the task of making the right decision regarding the make and model, we will assist with the perfect buying guide so that you choose the best self-cleaning litter box out there. Let’s start by enlisting some of the most frequent questions that may arise when shopping for a scoop free litter box.
How Can Automatic Litter Boxes Help?
You must have asked yourself this question a lot of time. And it’s natural for any cat owner to first consider the actual improvements such a litter box will bring before making the investment. It’s true that a good automatic litter box can really make things simpler for you and for your cat, but you need to stop and think about what is it exactly that you need.
If it’s the smell that bothers you, make sure to go for a model that is exceptional at neutralizing it through the use of several active substances that break down the bacteria in it. If on the other hand, you’re bothered by the time-consuming activity of having to clean-up after your cat and replacing the litter afterwards, you should go for a complete litter box, one that only requires some litter fill-up every now and then. You will be able to filter your searches in order to find the automatic litter box with exactly the specifications that are perfect for your situation and your cat.
It’s only natural that you want to make sure you really need such a product before buying it but if any of the above points are really concerning you, then the answer is right in front of you. The truth is that no matter how many reviews you read on the internet, you’ll never get the full experience with a product or a device before you try it out for yourself. So, if you’re not absolutely sure an automatic litter box is right for you, make sure to buy one that has a 30 or 90-day money back guarantee, like the Litter-Robot III Open-Air, for example. This way, you have the chance to test the product, check if your cat gets accustomed to it and, if anything goes wrong you can still return it and get your money back. Make sure to keep the original packaging along with any warranty or paperwork you received when buying the device.
Choosing Good-sized Cat Litter Box
Once you’ve passed the stage in which you still consider if you really need an electric litter box and you came up with a positive answer, you may start to think you’re out of the woods. But the truth is that’s not true at all as all the ‘fun’ is just beginning. For starters, before even considering other technical aspects and specifications, you need to decide on the size of your next automatic litter box.
In making this choice you have to review some things that will definitely help you along the process. Start with how many cats you have. Even though it’s very unlikely that two cats will use the box at the same time since we know how delicate and privacy-freaks cats are, a bigger litter box is always better when you have more than one cat simply because that means a bigger waste recovery compartment, so you won’t have to empty it too often. The other aspect is related to the race of your cat and how big it will get when it grows-up.
Perks of Large Cat Litter Box
Being specially designed for large cats, such a litter box will give you the best value for your money. Buying a large box will ensure that your cat feels comfortable while using it and doesn’t have a hard time sitting there. It’s true, all cats love boxes no matter how small they are, but it’s a totally different story when it comes to litter boxes. You might have noticed that, while using the classical litter box that you own now, the cat often goes in and out of it several times trying to find the perfect position. Well, just imagine how hard it would be for her if the litter box isn’t enough for her to fit. To sum things up, buying a large cat litter box will allow you to rest assured that your cat will use it without difficulties, and the cleaning operations will be further apart due to the volume of its waste container. If you’re worried about space, you shouldn’t because even the largest automatic litter box will fit perfectly in your bathroom or closet.
Perks of Kitty Litter Box
The opposite of a large cat box, the kitty litter box is perfect for when your cat is a junior or doesn’t get too big even when it reaches adulthood. The perks of such a litter box are that it doesn’t take up a lot of space, making it perfect for small bathrooms and another advantage is that it will be a lot more silent than a large one, the motor having to deal with a smaller quantity of litter. Another perk of buying a kitty litter box is that you’ll spend less on it, allowing you to buy the high-end products.
Types of Auto Litter Boxes
We’ve already established that there are almost unlimited types of litter boxes available in profile shops all over the internet. The trick when choosing the right box for your cat is defining its needs and how much manual interaction you still want to have.
Best High-Sided Litter Box
When opting for a high-sided litter box the trick is to establish just how enthusiastic your cat gets when it comes to covering up the poo. We’ve all seen cats that are really dedicated to this task and if you don’t have high enough walls to your litter box, the litter gets spread everywhere in the bathroom or even the entire house. In general, a litter box with high walls is great for any type of cat, you just have to be careful not to get one that makes it hard for the cat to jump into. With any model you choose, the complete dimensions of the product are displayed so you can make the right decision accordingly.
Top Entry Litter Box
You love your cat, so you want to get her the best possible product, especially when it comes to such an important aspect of their hygiene and comfort. The top entry litter boxes are the most common since it’s the natural positioning cats use in their natural environment. Going for a top entry letterbox, even though you’ll have to take more money out of your pocket, will ensure the perfect conditions for your cat. If you’re worried about making a big investment, just think about it this way. Why buy a cheaper litter box only to figure out it’s not doing a proper job and then having to buy an expensive one afterwards. The combined cost will get you even higher than just going for the top entry one right from the beginning.
Rotating Automatic Litter Boxes
Rotating litter boxes are considered to be a bit more efficient than the other models simply because the whole tray of litter rotates which allows the scooper in the back of the box to gather all waste in a more efficient manner. At the same time, they might be a little noisier due to the fact that the motor has to be larger in order to rotate the entire tray plus the litter and poo in it. But even the noisiest models aren’t that bothering, so you don’t have to worry about it too much.
Scoopfree Litter Box
Any automatic litter box you choose can be considered a scoop free litter box due to the fact that you don’t have to manually scoop the waste manually. But, of course, there are certain models that perform this task better than others. Let’s take the PetSafe Scoopfree model, for example, it’s one of the best scoop free litter boxes you can buy with years of perfecting the scooping process alone. Even so, there are users that found ways to improve the scooping process even further, like attaching some rubber padding on the scooping device so that waste doesn’t stick.
Covered Litter Box
A covered litter box is a way to go if you have an adventurous cat. Well, you might say that all cats are adventurous and curious by nature but when it comes to covered litter boxes, some of them might get scared and refuse to use it. Such a model has its advantages, especially the fact that no litter will ever escape it and it does a great job of keeping the odor inside. A covered litter box is also your best bet if you’re not such a fan of cat litter in your bathroom.
Multi Cat Litter Box
Just as the name suggests, going for a multi-cat litter box makes perfect sense if you own several cats. But that’s not the only situation it can prove to be very useful. It suits perfectly if you own a large cat that needs a lot of room. It is frequent among cat owners to question of a multi-cat litter box is a better idea than buying one individual automatic litter box for each cat they own. And the truth is that, even if you’d get more quality out of several litter boxes, a multi-cat box means less work for you and that’s the whole point.
Different Power Sources
If you’re concerned about how to connect your self-cleaning litter box to electricity, you should know that the models available on the market work just as fine with alternative or continuous current as well. Any wall socket in the house will provide just enough power for them to work properly. It’s recommended that the power source is located in the same room as the litter box in order to avoid having cables all over the place. Also, the shortest the power cord the better. Since we all know how cats love to play with everything they can get their paws on and you’d want to avoid any accidents.
Since we’re on the matter of power sources, a very useful hint found all over the internet is that you could connect the litter box to electricity through a programmable socket. That way, especially for the models that work through continuously cleansing, you can limit the usage of the motor and litter consumption, making your litter box even more efficient and durable. Of course, this method works if you only have one cat since owning several felines might lead to a waste pile-up and you really don’t want to come home and be welcomed by the scent of cat poo.
Where to Put the Cat Litter Box?
An automatic litter box can be placed almost anywhere around the house since they don’t take up a lot of space and are very clean. Most of the users prefer to place the litter boxes in their bathroom since it kind of makes sense that the cat should go do her business the same place you do. But there are a lot of people that are against this idea for sanitary reasons. Well, that’s exactly why a self-cleaning litter box is a perfect approach as it gathers the waste as soon as your cat makes it and stores it in a sealed container thus preventing the spread of germs and bacteria all over the bathroom.
Some cat owners keep their litter boxes in the bathtub in order to prevent litter being spread all around the bathroom or further in the house. Again, getting a good electrical litter box will also mean you don’t have to worry about this aspect anymore. Take the Littermaid LM980 for example, besides having walls high enough to ensure no litter goes out of the tray, it also comes with an abrasive mat that goes in front of the tray. That way, when the cat exits the litter box, it is forced to step on this mat that will take away any litter that sticks to its paws.
Do’s and Don’ts of An Automatic Litter Box
There little you can do to an automatic litter box that could be considered a “don’t” but just to be on the safe side, you might want to keep on reading this part at least for amusement purposes. So, things you should always avoid when using an automatic litter box. You should never wash it with water when still connected to the power source. Even after you unplug it, take into consideration that there are some electrical components that might get ruined so always read the instructions manual. Before performing monthly maintenance make sure to first remove all the litter and waste and never operate it while still being plugged in. Also, you should never try to interfere in its process of self-cleaning, that can lead to a serious malfunction and not even the warranty will cover it.
The “Do’s” can consist in common sense things like making sure it’s always connected to electricity, you place it properly in your bathroom or preferred depositing area, replacing any consumables that may need refilling, make sure to add litter if that’s the case. And the list could go on but as mentioned, is mostly a thing of common sense and following the instructions that come with the device.
Oh, almost forgot about one “don’t” that you should always keep in mind. No matter how desperate the situation gets when you have to use the bathroom and you live in a one-bathroom apartment, never consider using the cat litter box. It’s called a CAT litter box for a good reason, you might have very different results if you do so. Of course, this is something to make you laugh a bit, there’s no record of something like this actually happening.
Cat Litter Box Training
No matter if we’re talking about classic litter boxes or the automatic, self-cleaning ones, cats are very sensitive pets and need everything to be perfectly set-up in order to feel comfortable enough to use them. Remember, cats are very hygienic and self-aware pets, so they won’t go anywhere around the house if there’s nothing wrong with the litter box you placed for them.
Surprising Reasons Why Your Cat Is Peeing Everywhere
Most of the issues come from the location of the litter box. Cats love privacy so make sure to place the litter box somewhere quiet where they are not disturbed too often. The presence of other pets in the area where you set up the litter box can influence them a great deal as well. Also, never think about placing the litter box anywhere close to where they sleep or eat. You wouldn’t want to sleep or eat in the bathroom, wouldn’t you?
Another possible reason why your cat chooses to do her business elsewhere around the house is a wrong choice of the litter box. This isn’t a problem for small cats and kittens, but big cats will need a toilet to match them. If a cat won’t fit properly in the litter box, it will usually pick another quiet place in the house to go to the toilet. You might get mad at them for that but never realize it’s your own fault the cat acted that way. If the litter box is too small, you will see cats hanging over the edge or not covering their poop as they can’t stand being over it to do so.
Your Cat Uses the House as His Litter Box
If you’re sure the litter size and location are perfect for your cat, but it still uses the house as a big litter box, you should consider a different approach. There are a lot of factors that can determine cats to pee or poop elsewhere than the litter box, so you have to go through them and eliminate every single one until the wanted behavior is obtained.
If you moved recently, that could be the cause right there. The cat is confused about the new house and will try to mark it with her own scent. A good workaround for this is keeping her confined in one room until she feels safe enough and then place the litter box in that room for her to use.
This shouldn’t be the case with self-cleaning litter boxes but another reason your cat is refusing to use the litter box is that it isn’t clean enough. In such conditions check the litter box to make sure it’s functioning properly and, if needed, perform a total change of litter. Speaking of litter, this might be another reason why your cat refuses to use the litter box. There are certain types of litter that simply irritate them so go with a trial and error approach and test what your cat likes and what not.
Litter Box Maintenance: A Step-by-step Guide
Performing maintenance for an automatic litter box is quite an easy task as there’s not much you have to do in order to keep it running in good conditions. Depending on the litter box model you went for, you will eventually have to change the bags for the waste compartment, add litter to reach the optimized level, fill-up the special cleaning solution chamber or perform some minor maintenance on the moving parts of the box.
Before starting to perform maintenance on your self-cleaning litter box, make sure it is unplugged from the power source. Afterwards, consult the manual to see how to properly dismantle the litter box so that you don’t lose warranty. Then proceed with the required maintenance that, besides the reasons mentioned earlier, can mean cleaning the water sensor, or simply cleaning the conveyor belt for some models.
No matter the type of maintenance you perform, always make sure you always follow the instruction that comes with the device and never go on if anything looks not right or something doesn’t come off easily enough.