The automatic cat litter box is an incredible invention. Who isn't tired of manually cleaning the cat's litter box every day? Cleaning up the smelly messes that your cat leaves for you is probably the last thing you want to go home to at night or get up to in the morning. Even the easily scoopable clumping litter is still a bit of a hassle. Is a self-cleaning litter box the right solution for you?
In order to answer that question, there are a few things to consider. One is price. The cost of an automatic cat litter box can range from under one hundred dollars up to several hundred dollars. Decide on a budget before you begin to shop.
A second consideration is available space. Where will the litter box be kept? You need to make that decision so you know how large the area is and therefore what the dimensions of the new litter box can be. There are several different models of automated litter boxes in varying sizes.
Does the automatic cat litter box you're interested in need to be near a water source or power supply? The Cat Genie, for example, needs to be near a water source. However, the Omega Paw Litter Box does not require electricity or expensive filters!
What type of litter does the automatic kitty litter box use? The Littermaid lm500 works well with ordinary clay clumping litter while the Scoop Free Automatic Box uses Fresh Step Cat Litter.
Some types of automated litter boxes necessitate the purchase of disposable trays while others only need trash bags which are used to line the tray where the waste is collected.
These various options can make a big difference in the total cost of using an automatic cat litter box.
All automatic cat litter pans are not created equally. They all have their own particular mechanism of action. ScoopMaid by LitterMaid Self Cleaning Litter Box uses trays illed with crystal litter. You can slide these trays in quite easily. Fecal balls are removed by an automatic rake.
The CatGenie 120 is quite different and has a much higher price tag to go wih it. However, there are savings involved. The CatGenie doesn't use litter. It is designed for use with dust-free (there's a great advantage), permanent (another!), granules. They are washable and do not ever require replacement. And as if that wasn't enough, it's safe for your septic system. Not to mention the decrease in pollution for our landfills. Solid waste is liquified and liquids drain from the granules. The liquid waste is safe to flush down the toilet. Then the CatGenie cleans the granules for reuse.
The entire cleaning cycle is automated, activated either by you or by a timer. The only disadvantage I see is the price and the length of time of the cleaning cycle - approximately 1/2 hour. I also have always worried that a cat would be startled by cleaning and develop a litter box aversion. However, I have many clients who swear by the CatGenie and it certainly makes life easy!
There are other options. The LitterMaid Elite Mega is one of them. If you have large cats or many cats, this may be for you. It is also self-cleaning. There is a sensor that detects when cat waste is present and the box waits for 10 minutes after the cat exits the litter box to rake the waste away. And yes, there's built-in safety for your cat to prevent being harmed or startled during the cleaning cycle. Your cat's waste material is raked into a container for you to dispose of when full.
This automatic cat litter box actually has an ionizing air cleaner built right into the unit itself to control odor between cleaning cycles. One obvious disadvantage over the CatGenie is the necessity of buying new containers as you dispose of the used ones.
The Litter Robot is yet another type of Automatic Cat Litter Box. Waste is separated from litter and there is little maintenance.
There are other types. Undoubtedly, if you are interested in an Automatic Cat Litter Box, there is one that will suit your needs. My best suggestion is to see them in person at one of the pet supply stores and/or write to the manufacturer for information. You can also find videos on YouTube that demonstrate the use of many of them.
If you ultimately decide that an automatic cat litter box is not right for you, though, whether it is due to the expense, the size of your cat, lack of reasonable options for where to put it, or any other number of reasons, there are options available to elegantly disguise cat litter boxes. Litter box covers may not scoop the litter for you, but at least they make the box more attractive!