Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Take the “Ick” Out of Cleaning the Cat Box

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If you’re ready to move from an old-fashioned litter box to one that employs automatic scooping technology, keep all of these points in mind.

✔️ Size: Two factors need to be considered here: the size of the box itself (footprint and height) and the size of your cat. A larger cat needs a larger box so they can easily turn around. Measure your space to be sure that your chosen litter box will fit.

✔️ Litter: Most self-cleaning litter boxes require clumping litter, and none that we know of can handle paper or pellet litter. If your cat is used to something other than sandy, clumping litter, it’s important that you give your pet time to adjust to something new. Keep your old litter box for a bit, and mix some of the old litter with the new clumping litter in the old box, to help your kitty adjust. Gradually replace the old litter with clumping litter, then introduce the new self-cleaning box.

✔️ Adjustment period: The manufacturers of self-cleaning litter boxes know how finicky cats are. Each suggests you leave your old litter box out while introducing the new one. Read the instructions carefully for great tips on how to get a nervous cat used to the new machine. Many, for instance, suggest you actually keep the self-cleaning litter box turned off for a few days, and scoop it like a normal box, before you turn on the cleaning function and let your cat get used to it.

✔️ Money-back guarantee: Self-cleaning litter boxes generally aren’t cheap and if you miscalculated how well it would fit in your home or aren’t happy with how well it works, it’s reassuring to know you can usually return the item within a certain window. Keep all the packaging to make that easier.

✔️ App-based notifications: If you prefer to have an app to tell you when to empty the waste receptacle or when to top up the litter, look out for those models which have WiFi connectivity — they are generally more expensive than app-free models, but they give you a lot of information.

✔️ Monitoring capabilities: A pet’s bathroom habits reveal a lot about their well-being. The automatic cat litter boxes that connect to an app can often record the visits of each cat, based on each one’s weight, so you can see if someone is making a lot of trips to the bathroom. Another vote for perhaps spending a bit more for app connectivity!

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