Looking For The Best Self-Cleaning Litter Box For Multiple Cats?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box.
Let’s face it—nobody likes to manually clean a litterbox, and most people put it off as long as they can. If you have one cat, you might be able to procrastinate the dirty deed for a while, but multiple cats throw that luxury out the window. If you don’t stay on top of cleaning the litterbox for multiple cats, it’ll be a clumpy minefield every time, and if you wait too long your cats will probably stage a few protests by leaving little presents for you around the house.
Enter the self-cleaning litterbox. It’s a win-win—significantly easier cleanup for you, and a consistently clean place for your cats to do their business. You’ll have fewer cleanups and fewer accidents. Self-cleaning litterboxes will definitely cost more than a simple plastic tub, but if your budget has room for it, I’d highly recommend investing in one.
What to look for in a self-cleaning litterbox
- Lids – lids and covers aren’t necessary, but they do a good job of containing the dust and preventing litter from scattering on the floor when your cat kicks around in the dirt.
- Odor control – all automatic self-cleaning litterboxes should have a sealed waste container. Many of them also use a carbon filter to further contain odors.
- Sensors – automatic self-cleaning litterboxes will have a motion sensor that can tell when your cat is in the bin. When the cat leaves, a timer will trigger the automatic rake anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes later. If another cat enters the litterbox, the timer will reset so that they don’t get caught up in the rake.
- Disposable vs cleanable – Most of the options that we’ll talk about today have a disposable waste bin, so cleanup is as simple as removing the plastic bag or tray. Some of the cheaper options out there will scoop and contain the dirty litter, but you’ll still need to shovel it out of the removable waste bin. Obviously, the disposable options are much easier.
- Disposal frequency – High-end automatic litterboxes may be able to go weeks before you need to change out the disposable tray. Others use a smaller bag or receptacle, so you may need to change them out a couple times each week.
- Bin size – if you have multiple cats, you’ll want a larger litterbox that doesn’t fill up too quickly.
PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, Covered, Automatic with Disposable Tray, 2 Color Options
The ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is the Tesla of litterboxes (I know, terrible analogy, but you get the point). It uses a special crystal litter that absorbs moisture and odors and dehydrates solid waste.
A special sensor notices every time your cats stop by for a visit and triggers the automatic rake to sift through the litter after 20 minutes, pushing the waste into the covered waste trap and locking away any odors. The mechanism will self-clean for several weeks (that’s right, WEEKS), with no manual scooping, cleaning, or refilling. When it’s full, all you have to do is replace the disposable bottom with a new tray.
The self-cleaning system is five-times more effective at reducing fecal and urine odors than clay or traditional clumping litter. A privacy hood keeps the litter contained inside the box, and the overall design looks pretty sleek. You may not want to stick it in the center of the living room, but you won’t have to hide it in the farthest corner of the basement, either. As a bonus, this product also includes a built-in health counter to help identify potential health problems with your cats.
The Nature’s Miracle Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litterbox will automatically clean and scoop after every use. The waste receptacle and carbon filters do a fantastic job of containing odors, and the box has an antimicrobial coating to prevent bacteria growth. It works with any brand of kitty litter, too, so there’s no need to purchase special litter or replacement receptacles. The company backs the product with a limited one-year warranty.
The Pet Zone Smart Scoop Automatic Litter Box is built to be smooth and durable with sturdy metal gears in the drive train and a more powerful motor unit. At the same time, it’s four-times quieter than other leading self-cleaning litterboxes, meaning fewer disruptions for you and your cats. It uses any clumping litter (no need to get special brands or types) and the disposal action is designed to not waste any clean litter, resulting in fewer refills.
The litterbox will automatically clean and scoop 15 minutes after each use, stores the waste in a sealed container, and utilizes a carbon filter to minimize odors. It uses a simple plastic bag setup to store the waste, so cleanup is a piece of cake. Given the size of the bags and how many cats are in your home, you’ll probably need to change out the bag 5 – 6 times a month.
The LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box is another great option that helps you to maintain a clean litter box without the hassle of scooping litter every day. The initial setup is quick and easy, and the self-cleaning technology is fairly straightforward. When your cat blocks the sensor for at least 10 seconds, the litterbox will start a timer.
After 10 minutes of no activity, the cleaning cycle will activate. The automatic rake sifts through the litter and pushes any clumps into the waste receptacle at the front. The waste receptacle is sealed while it’s not in use to help control the odors.
Littermaid manufactures their own litter, waste receptacles, and carbon filters, so it’s easy to reorder supplies when you need them. This particular model has a larger bin, so it’s ideally suited for households with multiple cats.
If you’re on a budget, the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box is definitely the best value on the list. It doesn’t have a motor, rake, or timer—instead, it has a unique patented grill that separates fresh litter from clumped waste. When you roll the litterbox, it takes care of the scooping for you, so all you have to do is empty the pullout tray. As such, I wouldn’t say this one qualifies as an “automatic” litterbox, but the self-filtering system is definitely a lot easier than manually scooping and cleaning.
It has a cover to contain dust and odors, and it can be used with any clumping kitty litter. As you can see by the picture, it’s also relatively large, so it’s a great choice if you have several cats in the house.
If you’ve got some wiggle room in your budget, I’m a huge fan of the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box. It can go weeks without changing the disposable receptacle, and it looks pretty sleek. If you’ve got a moderate budget, I’d personally lean towards the Littermaid LM980 Mega Self-Cleaning Litter Box. At under $99, it’s a great value.