It’s all fun and games until somebody has to clean the litter box. For ALL pet owners, nobody likes to be in charge of scooping duty.
Well, we've got just the right solution for you.
Say goodbye to scooping, constant checking, and cleaning the waste drawer of your furry friend with these best SELF-CLEANING LITTER BOXES!
By the end of this article, expect to find the perfect litter box for you and your cat.
8 Best Self Cleaning Litter Boxes in 2021
We’ve looked at DOZENS of automatic litter boxes. After days and long hours of reviewing multiple self-cleaning cat litter boxes, we’ve finally come up with 8 noteworthy options.
You can say goodbye to scooping - forever!
1. Circle Zero Self Cleaning Litter Box (Best Overall)
Great for: Pet owners looking for a quality investment and reliable self-cleaning litter robot. It’s also compatible with those who have multiple feline companions!
Hands down to the Circle Zero Cat Litter Box! It has all the features you'll ever need.
First off, we like this product because it is equipped with a sensor that will automatically clean the litter box in 7 minutes after each poop.
This means you won’t have to guess or keep on checking if the waste receptacles need to be emptied.
Making the most of gravity, the design of the Circle Zero litter robot ensures no clumping litter, which is the most common issue in automatic litter boxes. The scoop will rotate twice and the litter and clumps will be moved and filtered into the waste bin at the back.
We also liked the Open Air design of the unit. The wide opening makes it easier for chubbier or big cats to go inside and relieve themselves, but still small enough for them to have privacy. If your concern is the odor, the Circle Zero Litter Robot does a good job containing the smell since it cleans up after your cat constantly.
Assembly is easy as pie - you won’t need rocket science to assemble the Circle Zero cat self-cleaning litter box. Simply stack the top and bottom anchor units, plug it, and you’re good to go!
Lastly, it's a COST EFFICIENT litter robot! You won’t have to spend on special waste bags or fancy clumping litter. Your regular garbage bags at home and regular litter for the devices should suffice.
- Automatically sifts wastes to the waste drawer
- Scoop free and zero clumping litter
- 360-degree rotation litter robot
- LED indicator lights
- Easy assembly
- 7-minute cleaning cycle
- Not the best cat box for those looking for a more budget-friendly option
2. PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box (Best Value)
Great for: those looking for a simple, fuss-free, reliable litter box for single-cat owner
This model has a self-timed cleaning mechanism using rakes which starts the process 20 minutes after your cat leaves the box.
This box uses silica gel crystal litter. For those new to the world of automatic litter boxes, crystal cat litter is great for ALL types of cat waste, especially liquid waste.
Once it comes in contact with urine, it absorbs the liquid, preventing clumping litter or sludging. For solid wastes, the gels desiccate and cover the waste while “neutralizing” the odor in the process. We know it doesn’t sound good, but that’s basically how silica gels have changed the game.
Many reviews have raved about the Blue Crystals, as it delivers its promise of odor control. What we also found interesting about the Petsafe ScoopFree is it also has a counter for tracking.
For conscious pet owners, this minor but useful feature would be able to give you a figure of how “healthy” the bowel movement of your cat is.
- Self-cleaning cat litter box
- Automatic rake system
- Low maintenance - can function for weeks with no emptying or refilling (one month)
- Silica gel of the unit creates a low-maintenance litter box solution
- 20-minute cleaning cycle
- Disposable litter trays and replacement litters are sold separately
- Not all cats are comfortable with silica gel
- No battery backup
3. PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box (Best Budget Pick)
Great for: Pet owners who do not want to break the bank for an automatic litter box
Everything is done automatically with the ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box from PetSafae. Neither your cat nor will need to lift a finger.
There is tracking and odor control that completely minimizes the mess. Your cat won't track litter all over the house and the crystals will successfully remove smelly odors.
The mess stays in the box thanks to the leakproof design. The self-cleaning litter box stays true to being budget-friendly.
The only thing you will need to do is remove the tray and empty the litter. You can also keep a close eye on your cat's health as the automatic self-cleaning litter box has a health counter, which allows you to see how often your cat does its business.
- Budget-friendly option
- Eliminates cat waste and scooping effectively
- Leakproof litter tray
- No more tracking
- Easy to clean
- Requires emptying
Great for: Multiple-cat owners who are looking for a manually operated self-cleaning litter box
The entire process is automatic! You won't need to refill or worry about your cat's litter box for weeks. The hooded Petsafe automatic litter box will take care of odor control, with crystal litter that successfully absorbs waste.
Cat litter crystals also mean less of a mess. The crystals won't stick onto your cat's paws or track paw prints and waste all over your home. The plastic lining will also prevent any leaking from happening. All you need to do is take the disposable tray out and empty it when it's full.
A true PetSafe design, the litter box also has a health counter that will help you understand your cat's bathroom habits.
- Manually operated cleaning cat litter box that is easy to use and durable
- Removes scooping duties
- Odor and dust-containing litter box
- No more tracking
- Cat health counter
- Might be too big for kitty owners with only one or small cat
5. CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box (Best Water Operated Litter Box)
Great for: Owners who want a self-cleaning litter box with the same cleaning operation as a human-sized toilet
Honestly, we were surprised when we first saw this cat-sized toilet. It's the only self-flushing cat box in the market. The CatGenie will surely level up the whole experience of your cats!
You’d love this CatGenie litter box as it functions just like any other toilet. You can easily connect this to your water line.Once assembled, the self-flushing cat box flushes water around the toilet and brings the excretions directly to your plumbing.
You really won’t have to scoop or replace disposable trays as the cleaning system takes care of everything. After your cat uses the CatGenie, the toilet sensors will automatically release water.
The water flushed around the toilet is mixed with CatGenie sani-solution. After washing away the plastic litter granules, the motor emits hot air and agitation to dry out the toilet. This is critical in keeping it clean, dry, sanitary, and ready for the next use.
With this revolutionary design, you won't have to worry about your cat's waste. No tray replacements, no litter refilling with this one.
Any Drawbacks to Watch Out For?
In exchange for getting rid of waste removal days, you would have to set up the litter robot first BEFORE it's good to use. This may be a drawback for some, especially if the plumbing or water lines are not easy to get into. For those renting or homeowners with old water tubes, this might be a big issue.
In addition to less than easy assembly process, the overall lifetime cost of this litter robot would also be significantly higher than regular automatic self-cleaning litter boxes.
The proprietary granules plus non-refillable sani-solution cartridges would be costs you would have to bear for litter boxes every year.
- The litter robot is a self-flushing water toilet
- Say goodbye to dealing with waste directly or indirectly!
- Can control odor effectively
- No risk of clumping or jamming
- The worth of convenience: not a plug and play unit
- Granules and cartridges for the unit are sold separately
6. Nature's Miracle Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Best for Multiple Cats)
Great for: Multiple cat homes. Our most reliable and cost-efficient automatic litter box option for owners with many cats at home
Like the ScoopFree litter box, this Nature Miracle model is designed with an automatic, censored-run rake that cleans up the litter 10 minutes after your pet leaves the box.
We like this multi-cat self-cleaning option because you can opt to use ANY clumping litter of your choice.
Depending on which one you prefer or what your cat is comfortable with, you can fill the litter tray box with any litter you wish to use - silica, biodegradable, or clumping clay litter.
One tip: Although this automatic litter box is compatible with any litter, if you wish to minimize clumping or jamming, it’s best to use hard-clumping, fast-acting litter in this unit.
The reason behind this has something to do with the rake in the litter box.If the litter CANNOT process the waste properly before the rake starts its cleaning process, clumps or glob will stick on the rake.
Once this happens, the waste and litter would create a buildup, thereby decreasing the effectiveness of the cleaning system.
Others found a way to work around this minor issue. Some users spray cooking oil or non-stick oil on the rake. One other option is to use baking soda. Both options worked, and the litter box stayed clump-free!
- Multi-cat self-cleaning - excellent for households with multiple cats
- Easy to use, fuss-free option
- Compatible with any clumping cat litter. You won’t have to buy special gels!
- Reasonably priced and quality option
- For liquid or less solid waste, rake and disposal bin might get clogged
- In contrast to the ScoopFree, removal, and refilling might be required every one to two weeks
7. PetSafe ScoopFree Smart Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box - Smart Phone App Connected Automatic System
What if you could control everything instead of relying on the litter box to live up to your expectations? Oh wait, you can! PetSafe creates one smart self-cleaning cat litter box that can stay connected to your app. This allows you to monitor your cat's health easily.
You won't need to replace the litter for weeks as the cats litter box is designed to rake through the litter 20 minutes after your cat leaves the area. You won't ever need to soil your hands again. Owning a kitty cat means litter cleanup, but not if you use a self-cleaning litter box. The leakproof tray is completely disposable for your convenience.
- Links to an app
- Very easy to use
- Cat health tracker
- Automatic cleaning
- Get notifications straight to your phone
- Not suitable for kittens
8. PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box, Includes Disposable Trays With Crystal Litter
Great for: Techy pet owners who wish to have the most advanced kitty litter box for their furry pet
Lastly, we have another rake model that makes your litter box-cleaning life infinitely easier. There is no more scooping for you, and the rake can help sift through clumps of crystal and keep your cat's litter box perpetually clean.
As we have mentioned, crystal litter is excellent for preventing odors, and tracking messes overall. You won't be seeing footprints all over your house or an explosion of cat litter around the box. Cleaning up after your cat will be reduced to throwing away and emptying the leakproof tray. It's also a budget-friendly option since the litter box won't need to be cleared for weeks.
Don't worry about your cat's safety, there are safety sensors that won't engage the litter box until your cats are out of the vicinity.
- No scooping; Say goodbye to clumping
- Can support multiple cats
- Leak protection
- Very easy cleanup and use
- No more smells!
- Not suitable for smaller cats
What to Look For in Best Self Cleaning Litter Boxes
Fast Cleaning Action With Minimal Human Intervention
The main benefit of automatic litter boxes would be eliminating the scooping of wastes.
Clumping cat litter should be cleared in less than half an hour for automatic self-cleaning units to be considered quick action. The automatic litter box system should be generally easy to use, assemble, and clean.
Disposal of the wastes collected in the litter tray would be the only clean-up you’d ever have to do. For those who want utter convenience - NO cleaning, disposing, or emptying - you can go for the CatGenie as it operates as a normal toilet.
Even if it may be the coolest or sleekest-looking litter box, the automatic litter box also needs to function seamlessly.
The grills or rakes, or whatever the cleaning mechanism of your preferred litter box is, should be able to avoid clumping, clogging, or jamming.
Effective Odor Control
Best automatic litter boxes should be able to minimize and combat odor.
This would depend on the litter and the carbon filters and litter of the units. The first thing you should check is the litter tray's design or odor-fighting filters because this is where clumps are collected.
Carbon filters are the best odor-controlling filters. As for the litter kind, silica is the top choice for containing the odor of cat waste. It effectively absorbs any smell, even for a long period of time.
Ultimately, the best self-cleaning litter box is the one that your cats are comfortable with.
It may take a few days or weeks before they can fully get used to the idea of a cat self-cleaning litter. But based on multiple reviews, crystal litter or silica gels might take some more time before getting used to them.
Our tip: If your cat box can handle ANY litter, you can try mixing in a small percentage of silica gel in the regular litter.
Increase volume of silica gradually to make the transition easier, compared to abruptly introducing cats to silica gel.
Don’t let your money go to waste - in this case, the wrong cat waste collector.
The best automatic litter box for you should be able to fit your budget comfortably. Needless to say, more complex and complete self-cleaning litter boxes would cost more. However, the cat litter options listed above are reasonably priced investments!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Boxes Really Work?
Yes, self-cleaning litter boxes eliminate the need for “scooping” and disposing of the waste regularly.
Apart from design, litter boxes differ mainly in the cleaning mechanism of the unit. The type of litter you use should also be odor-containing.
Which Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box Is the Best?
The best self-cleaning litter box depends on your preference, the number of cats (single or multiple cats), and your budget.
The CatGenie Self-Washing Litter Box tops our list as it ticks all the essentials in our checklist.
What Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Use Regular Litter?
4 out of 8 automatic cat litter boxes in our list are compatible with any litter of your choice. These are:
- PetSafe Simply Clean
- LitterMaid Multi-Cat
Are Automatic Litter Boxes Better Than Manual Ones?
Both self-cleaning litter boxes eliminate scooping duty.
However, the main difference between the two is the manual cat's litter box does not require electricity for it to function.
The only downside is, you would have to manually operate the disposal of the clumps - from the box to the litter collector of the unit.
A Recap of the Top Picks
PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Automatic Litter Box: Best Budget Pick
Our budget-friendly pick comes in at just shy of a hundred dollars.
For that price, you get a hassle-free, simple, and quality automatic litter box that can do its job.
Coming in second: The ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is a crowd favorite and one of ours too! The excellent value for money of this automatic cat litter box inevitably made its way to our top 2 spot.
For less than $200, you can get an automatic self-cleaning waste box for your cats! Don't worry as the price doesn't compromise the features.
Circle Zero Self-Cleaning Litter Box: Best Overall
Putting this litter robot as the top option is a no-brainer. The design, features, ease of use and quality are unbeatable by the other options in the market. Shifting to an automatic litter box has never been easier!
If you don’t have the time or dread every single second of the clean-up session, the best solution for you would be a self-cleaning litter box.
It’s fuss-free, convenient, hygienic, and the best part, of course, you won’t have to deal with your cat’s processed byproducts. The litter box will change not only your cats' life, but yours too. These innovative units have definitely made our lives much easier.
Do check the compatibility of the self-cleaning unit with your litter, your home, and ultimately, with your cat. We hope you find the purr-fect one for your furry friend!
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