How to Select The Best Automatic Litter Box: Solutions for Your Nose
Cats provide us with endless entertainment, plenty of love and affection (on their terms of course) and lots of exercise as we clean up after they’ve knocked over the vase (again), removed some ornaments from the Christmas tree, or jumped onto the counter looking for their favorite treat. Aside from all of these advantages, there is one major disadvantage – cleaning out the litter box! If your house is anything like mine, no one volunteers for that particular chore.
Luckily, there are plenty of cat lovers who are also experts in technology and innovation; hence, the automatic cat litter system! An automatic system can save you time and effort; and more importantly,your nose will thank you!
**Below, you'll find more detailed review, but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Why Go Automatic?
There are several benefits to investing in an automatic litter box. The most obvious benefit is that you won’t have to scoop the poop! If that wasn’t enough incentive for ya, here are some more benefits to consider:
1. Quick and easy
Cleaning out your litter box will be as easy as taking out your garbage – just lift itout and take it to the curb.
2. You’ll save money
With traditional litter boxes, you end up scooping a fair amount of unused litter, thus making you spend money more often on litter.
3. You’ll save time
No more arguing with your family members about who is going to do this nasty chore; and no more time wasted actually doing it!
4. No kids or other pets playing in the waste
Does your dog like to play in the litter box? Does your toddler want to build sandcastles in there? With an automatic system, this problem is eliminated.
5. No more odor
Let’s face it; we love our cats, but not their litter box odor. An automatic system keeps the smell to a minimum, if not eliminating it altogether.
Features to Look for In an Automatic Litter Box
Here are some features to look for in an automatic litter box:
- Make sure the opening is big enough for your cat to get through. Your cat may be a kitten now, but he will get bigger and you don’t want to have to buy another one for your adult cat. They are a creature of habit, and may not appreciate having to get used to another box.
- You want minimal contact with waste. The whole purpose of an automatic system is so that you don’t have to touch the waste, right? So make sure the system you choose allows for this.
- If you have more than one cat, you’ll want to choose a system that accommodates multiple cats.
- Many automatic litter systems have the option of not having to clean or empty trays for 3-4 days. If you go away a lot, or you are a busy person, this option is ideal.
The features that you ultimately choose are going to depend on your lifestyle, number of cats in your home and of course your budget.
What You Feed Your Cat Affects the Litter Box
Just as with humans, what you put on the inside will affect what you extract outside; that is, if you feed your cat a healthy diet, their waste will not be nearly as toxic smelling! Remember that cats are carnivores; these natural hunters need to eat meat.
So why do most commercial brands of cat food list soy, corn or vegetables in their ingredient list?Because these are fillers that make cat food cheaper. You may want to save money in the short term,but you will pay for it in the long term because your beloved cat will be susceptible to illness and disease.
A general rule of thumb: make sure meat is the first ingredient listed in the cat food you choose. If you’re worried about your cat eating too much, consider investing in an automatic cat feeder with a slow release feature.
A healthy diet will help cut down on odor when your cat uses his litter box.
Where to put it?
Cats are notorious for using their litter right after they eat. Does that mean the litter should be right beside their food dish? Would you like your kitchen table right beside your toilet? Eewww, no. But it should be in close proximity.
Try placing it at the other end of the room, or in the next room, but be careful to not place it too far away. And remember that cats like their privacy when they go, so don’t put it in a high-traffic area.
The 5 Best Automatic Litter Box Choices on the Market
There are several brands and automatic litter systems on the market. Here are 5 that we think are among the best of the bunch:
This is one of the more popular self-cleaning litter box systems on the market today because it is both effective and economical. To use, simply load the disposable litter tray with the Blue Crystal litter. The litter immediately absorbs urine and eliminates odor. About 20 minutes after your cat has used the litter, an automatic rake sweeps the waste into a covered compartment.
- This self-cleaning system allows for a hands-off approach for weeks. That means no refilling, scooping or cleaning, which is ideal for those who really hate to get their hands dirty!
- The crystal litter dehydrates waste and absorbs urine, making for a virtually odorless litter box, and more importantly a fresher smelling home.
- The unit features a covered trap locks away odor and solid waste so you don’t have to see any waste.This also ensures complete privacy for kitty while he’s doing his business.
- This system also features a completely disposable litter tray, making cleanup a snap!
- It is one of the more economical choices.
- For best results and to get the maximum benefit out of the litter system, you’ll need to purchase the Premium Blue Crystal litter.
- You also will need to buy replacement trays every few weeks.
This cat litter system is the closest you’re going to get to actually potty-training your cat! In fact, it maybe even more hygienic than your own bathroom! Not only does it flush away waste, it cleans itself on a schedule of your choosing. Now if only your toilet could do that!
The secret to this system is the absence of cat litter – instead, it uses litter-like granules that arewashable. You don’t ever have
- Ideal for up to 3 adult cats of average size (up to about 12 pounds)
- Easy DIY setup with instruction manual
- The system uses permanent litter-like granules that never need to be changed. It is 100% dust free, washable and reusable.
- It is safe for septic systems
- Self-cleaning schedule of your choosing. Simply program it to clean the ‘toilet bowl’ so you never have to worry about doing it yourself.
- Comes with a two-year warranty.
- It can be cost prohibitive for some
- It requires a hook up to your cold water supply and needs an electrical outlet. This means strategic placement, and possibly higher utility bills.
- It is not recommended for cats under 6 months old.
This automatic system is weight activated. When your cat enters the ‘globe’ the system activates, and waits for 7 minutes; then, it starts a clean cycle by rotating the globe in a counter clockwise position.
The rotation works to clump the used litter and separates it from the clean litter. All waste is deposited into a chamber that is lined with a simple kitchen garbage bag. The globe then returns to the ‘home’ position where it’s ready for the next use.
- This is a good option for those who have cats that do not fully cover their waste. The system immediately gets rid of the waste, depositing it into a drawer, where odors are completely eliminated.
- It is suitable for larger cats; even those over 20 pounds!
- You can use your own favorite brand of cat litter
- Doesn’t require expensive accessories; a simple kitchen garbage bag will do to line the drawer that getsrid of the waste
- Not one of the cheaper options
- It is not completely ‘hands off’ – there is some cleaning involved, which means you’ll have to get yourhands dirty every few weeks; however, you’ll find that this is the case with most automatic systems
This fully automatic system comes with a night light and has a large opening for your full-figured feline.It comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and an 18-month warranty on all parts. Like the other systems, it does a great job at eliminating odor and requires very little maintenance. It is made of durable materials and will last for many years.
- Ideal for multiple cats
- Works on a timer basis; once your cat exits, the waste clumps and the cleaning cycle begins. The system uses a globe to clean, rotating and cleaning after each use.
- You can use simple, economical accessories, such as a kitchen garbage bag and a clumping litter of your choice.
- The automatic night light ensures that your cat can navigate safely to and from the box. It also ensures that everyone in your household can navigate safely around the box in the middle of the night.
- You can choose the cleaning schedule; 3, 7 or 15 minutes after your cat uses the system
- Features an 8-hour sleep mode; this allows for cleaning only when you press the button manually; usethis feature to prevent disturbances
- Reputable brand that is known for developing innovation, quality products
- Easily one of the most expensive choices, so may not be ideal for those on a budget
- Not recommended for kittens under 5 pounds
Once your cat has used and exited the box, this system uses a sifting process to separate the waste from the clean litter and depositing the waste into the drawer below. This helps eliminate odor and keep your home clean and fresh smelling. The bubble shaped window allows natural light to enter the globe, and increases the interior space by about 3 inches.
- There are no expensive accessories to purchase; a kitchen garbage bag for the waste, and clumping cat litter is all you need in order to run this system smoothly.
- It is ideal for larger cats, up to 20 pounds
- Comes with an 18-month warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee
- Backed by a reputable brand known for quality products
- Ideal for multiple cats
- It is not recommended for kittens less than 6 pounds
- It is one of the more expensive options on the market
- While you don’t have to scoop the litter out of the box, you do have to remove and replace the bag every few days, so it’s not completely hands-free.
So, is there a clear winner here? While they all certainly have their pros and cons, I like the Litter-Robot III Open-Air Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box. I like that it uses the globe system, as rakes can sometimes jam and become problematic. It is weight activated, and is suitable for multi-cat households.
I also love that it can be used with any brand of clumping cat litter, and is ideal for bigger cats. It is not one of the cheapest options on the market, but once you buy this system, there is no need to buy another one for many years. And the warranty gives us peace of mind, too. No scooping, minimal mess and no contact with cat waste! We think that’s a win-win for everyone.
The goal of owning a pet is to keep them happy, healthy and comfortable. Having an automatic cat litter box is the first step to making sure that your cat is all three of the above. Traditional litter boxes require constant maintenance; let’s face it, we’re busy people and that box may not get cleaned out every day,no matter how good our intentions are. An automatic system keeps everyone happy and healthy!
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