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Maintaining a clean litter box is an important part of sharing your home with a cat. Cats are naturally clean animals and are about as fond of clumps of poop and pee as you are. No, really. Leave it too long, and many will find alternative spots in your home to take care of business.
To keep your cat happy, Rover‘s cat behavior expert, Mikel Delgado, recommends scooping every litter box in your home one to two times a day with a full litter change every two to four weeks if you use an unscented clumping litter.
But scooping can be hard if you work long or irregular hours, have a busy schedule or multiple cats. What to do then? Many cat owners have turned to automatic litter boxes for help.
If you’re thinking about converting to an automatic litter box, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Although automatic litter boxes make maintenance easier, they still require your attention and should be checked and cleaned regularly. They’re also not recommended for kittens and should only be used for cats six months or older, according to PetMD.
One last thing: consider your cat’s personality when shopping for a new box. If your cat is spooked by loud noises or moving parts, be sure to pick a quiet litter box that cleans long after your cat has used it.
Ready to remove one more thing from your daily task list? We’ve rounded up the best automatic litter box options below.
This self-cleaning litter box has sensors to detect when your cat has done their business and rakes away the mess. The ScoopFree Ultra comes equipped with disposable litter trays for easy clean-up, but reviewers recommend investing in the reusable tray for a more durable and affordable alternative.
- Adjustable rake delay can be set for five,10 or 20 minutes after your cat last used the litter box
- Uses odor absorbing crystal litter that’s lighter and doesn’t track outside the litter box
- Included health counter tracks how often your pet uses the box so you can keep track of changes
This unique litter box has a patented sifting grate that catches your cat’s waste when you roll it on its top and back again. The sifting grate separates the waste from the litter and places it in a convenient pull out tray.
- Works with your favorite clumping cat litter
- Has line measurements inside for easy use
- Reviewers warn that the sifting grate can sometimes slip out of place
Ever wished your cat could use the toilet? This self-flushing litter box is the next best thing. The CatGenie connects to the cold-water line in your bathroom or laundry room with an included T-Adapter, liquefies your cat’s solids, and disposes of them into your toilet or washing machine’s drain pipe.
- Ideal for one to two but no more than three average-sized cats that are at least 6 months old
- Washes and dries reusable litter granules
- Uses water and a cat safe sanitizer solution to flush waste and wash granules.
- Reviewers warn there can be a dry poop smell after granules have been washed and dried
Another automatic raking litter box, the LitterMaid rakes waste into a carbon filtered disposable waste receptacle until you’re ready to dispose of it. Reviewers recommend putting a plastic bag around the waste receptacle to make it last longer and warn that it’s quite noisy.
- Designed for a single cat under 15 pounds
- Scoop-free for up to 7 days
- Also available in multi-cat
- Paw cleaning ramp helps remove excess litter
This automatic litter box is one of the quietest available and rotates at a rate of one rotation per hour, perfect for cats that are easily spooked. Your cat’s waste is carried up a conveyor belt and into the waste container for easy and economical disposal.
- Use with your favorite clumping litter
- Not recommended for more than two cats
- Can line waste container with a bag for easier disposal
The Litter Spinner’s unique barrel design collects your cat’s waste in a drawer making cleaning a breeze. Simply put litter in the bottom of the Litter Spinner, wait for your cat to use it, then rotate the barrel one full rotation to sift away your cat’s waste.
- Recommended for small cats up to 10 pounds
- Unique design reduces odors and controls dust
- No batteries or power cords needed
The Smart Scoop rakes away your cat’s waste by moving its metal rakes across the unit 15 minutes after your cat has used it. Its rake delay and quiet yet powerful motor make it a good choice for jumpy cats. Reviewers do warn that it’s better at picking up poop than pee.
- Good choice for homes with multiple cats
- Uses any clumping litter
- Waste collection bin is lined with a bag for easy disposal
This semi-automatic shifting litter box tilts to filter out your cat’s waste. Fill with your favorite clumping cat litter, tip the box back so all the litter goes through the grates, flip so clumps go into the tray, and then lower to refill with clean filtered litter.
- Will fit up to an 18-pound adult cat
- Removable tray lets you easily discard waste
- Reviewers warn it doesn’t have the sturdiest base
This multi-pan sifting litter box uses two normal trays and one sifter tray to easily collect your cat’s waste and conserve litter. This option works like a traditional litter box, except that when it’s dirty you sift the waste through the strainer tray into a clean tray to remove waste and get clean litter.
- Good for multiple cat households
- No shaking or scooping
- Works with clumping and non-clumping cat litter
The Litter Robot 3 Connect is a deluxe litter box that automatically sifts and separates your cat’s waste, no manual sifting required. The box is WIFI enabled and comes with a phone app that tracks both the cleanliness of your litter box as well as your cat’s bathroom routine.
- Great for multiple cats
- The waste drawer is fully enclosed, carbon-filtered, and can use any bag
- Has an adjustable cycle timer so you can delay the sifting to best fit your cat’s needs
- Uses any clumping litter
More Tips on Automatic Litter Boxes
Unlike traditional litter boxes, there is a transition period for automatic varieties. To acclimate your cat to their new litter box, put it near your cat’s old litter box. Keep the old litter box a little dirty, and keep the automatic litter box turned off until your cat gets used to it. Once your cat is using the new litter box regularly, turn it on and enjoy a life of significantly less scooping.