A self-cleaning cat litter box is one of the many marvels of household technology that you can opt to purchase for your cat, especially if you don’t often have enough time to do the chore yourself. But while it is easy to hop on the bandwagon, it’s important to consider whether a litter box of this variety is really the best option for you. Should you spend more on a self-cleaning cat litter box?

Automatic litter boxes have a fairly simple operation. They run on a motor and run on an electric power socket, and usually make use of a rake or similar device that scoops and sifts through the litter to clean out clumps of waste into a separate area in a corner of the box for throwing out later.

Most boxes contain a sensor that automatically detects when a cat gets into and climbs out of it, and will begin operation after a set amount of time has passed since a cat has left the box. They usually also contain a kind of failsafe that will detect when a cat remains in the box so that the rake does not start up until the cat leaves.

Benefits of a Self Cleaning Litter Box

  1. Decreased Cleaning Time. The most obvious of the benefits is that you will spend less time cleaning out your cat’s litter box. This is a great option for those who are regularly busy throughout the day and don’t have the time to fully clean a normal litter box daily.


  1. Less Smell. The wafting odor of cat waste that hits you in the face after a long day of work can be the least warm welcome. With a litter box that regularly cleans itself and scrapes off the waste into a closed off receptacle, the stench will be contained and you won’t feel embarrassed by an unexpected guest catching a whiff of the box.


  1. It’s Great for Longer Absences. Cats are pretty independent, but what if you have to go on a trip for a few days and have no one to care for your pets? Self-loading food bowls are easy to get, but many overlook the possibility of an automatic litter box that can better tide a cat over till you come home.


Potential Downsides of a Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

While there are no real downsides to a self-cleaning cat litter box, there are some things you will have to consider.

  1. Acclimation. Virtually no automatic litter box is quiet when in operation. Whether the noise is a silent humming or a louder chugging as the motor starts, a cat may be frightened by the sounds and refuse to use the box at first. As such, you will have to slowly and gradually acclimate your cat to the box before they can use it without feeling scared or nervous.


  1. It’s Not Fully Self-Cleaning. No automatic product can run completely on its own. Most automatic litter boxes still need some daily maintenance. You will have to clean out the waste area of the litter box, occasionally level the litter inside, and sometimes rake through extra clumps that are left behind.

Should you buy a self-cleaning cat litter box?

Only you know best whether your lifestyle truly requires an automatic litter box. If you’re busy often and find that waste is piling up by the time you get the chance to clean out your cat’s litter box, it may be the right choice. Either way, make sure you purchase a box that has the features you need and works with the type of litter you prefer to use!