Best Self Cleaning Litter Boxes

LAST UPDATED 2 OCTOBER 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr. Jacqui Victor BVSc MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats)

Self-cleaning litter boxes are a convenient way for you to save time whilst ensuring a consistently clean environment for your feline friend. They come equipped with sensors triggered by your cat's weight to automatically remove waste once your cat leaves, eliminating the need for manual daily scooping - meaning less frequent litter changes compared to regular litter boxes. They also help with odour control, and many also assist in health monitoring by tracking your cat's toileting habits. When buying a self-cleaning litter box, it's crucial to factor in the size of both the box and your cat companion to ensure a comfortable fit, and make sure to check the type of litter the box requires.

Before purchasing a self-cleaning litter box, it is important to know that they aren't ideal for all cats. Larger cats may not comfortably fit in them, and they are not recommended for kittens under 6 months of age as they are too small to be detected by the safety sensors. They also may not be suitable for older, arthritic cats who experience difficulties getting in and out of trays. Be mindful that it can take some time for your cat to adapt to a self-cleaning litter box, and unfortunately some cats may never adjust to one as they may not like the appearance or noise of the machinery. Even when using a self-cleaning litter tray, to help decrease stress and prevent urinary issues, the general rule is provide the same number of litter trays as you have cats, plus one extra (eg if you have 2 cats, then you should provide 3 litter trays) - they can either be additional self-cleaning litter boxes or regular litter trays.

Four factors to consider when choosing a litter box for your cat are:
  1. Preference of litter box style: Each cat will have their own preference over the type of litter box they wish to use - whether it's hooded, open, extra-spacious (for larger cats), lower lipped (easy entry for older, arthritic cats) or self-cleaning. So keep in mind, not all cats will welcome a self-cleaning litter box with open paws.
  2. Preference of litter type: Each cat will also have their own preference of litter type (such as clay, crystal, tofu, corn, wood) so it's important to choose a litter box that is compatible with your cat's preferred litter substrate. Ensuring your cat has it's preference of litter box and litter type helps promote regular toileting habits, decreases stress and prevents the development of urinary issues.
  3. Accessibility: It's important that you place your cat's litter trays in easily accessible, quiet locations in your home (away from any loud noise like a washing machine) with two-way access, away from their food and water bowls. This will help improve comfort and decrease stress, and encourage your cat to use their litter box.
  4. Hygiene: Cats are very clean creatures, and so it's important to ensure their litter box is always kept clean to avoid them searching for other inappropriate areas in your home to do their business. This is where self-cleaning litter boxes thrive as they ensure your cat's litter box is kept meticulous at all times.

Results:

  1. Best Overall: Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Luxury Pro Litter Box
  2. Best Value: Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Litter Box Young
  3. Best Open Design: Petsafe Scoopfree Self-Cleaning Litter Box
  4. Best for Style: Smarty Pear Leo's Loo Too Self-Cleaning Litter Box
  5. Best for Apartments: Petkit Pura X Automated Self Clean Litter Box

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Top Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes for Cats:

Best Overall: Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Luxury Pro Litter Box

Pros

  • Remote app control and Alexa voice control compatible - receive notifications to your phone as well as real-time 24/7 monitoring of your cat's litter volume and frequency.
  • Multi-cat recognition.
  • Provides individualised health reports including litter volume, frequency and weight monitoring for each of your cats.
  • Large 13L waste box means it lasts 21 days before full litter change is required (based on usage of 1 cat).
  • Larger entry hole (33cm wide x 27cm high).
  • UV sterilisation inhibits breeding of bacteria, viruses, molds and other microorganisms.
  • Features an anti-fall triangular design.
  • Panel lock feature allows you to securely lock it in place, making it safe for kids.
  • Four modes: auto mode, manual mode, timer mode and empty mode.

Cons

  • Not suitable for kittens less than 1.5kg or under 6 months old.
  • Only compatible with bentonite clay cat litter.
  • Maintenance: Filter cleaning recommended monthly, and filter replacement recommended every 3 months.
  • Cost: More expensive than regular litter trays.
  • May not be suitable for older, arthritic cats as they may have difficulty getting into the the high entry hole (however stairs are available and sold separately).
  • Some cats may find it too enclosed or unappealing and may not adapt to it.

The Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Luxury Pro Litter Box is the ultimate in feline convenience. It detects your cat's movements using gravity sensors to ensure the clean is done straight after your cat finishes their business (not whilst your cat is inside, nor when your cat approaches!). This litter box has remote app control, so you receive notifications and real-time monitoring of your cat's daily toileting habits. It has multi-cat recognition and provides 24 hour individual cat health reports so you can keep track of your cat's litter volume and frequency - great for keeping an eye on those cats prone to urinary issues!

What our customers say: "I have back problems and multiple cats, and keeping the litter clean was an everyday pain (literally!). So, I decided to take the leap and buy the self clean litter and I couldn't be happier. Installation was super easy and connecting to the wi-fi. App is pretty straightforward, and I'm looking forward to buying the other products, so I can keep an eye on my cats' health all the time. Fast delivery from Pet Circle."

What our vets say: "This handy automatic cleaning litter tray ensures that there is always a clean tray for your cat to toilet in to help prevent toileting accidents. It only cleans once your cat has safely left the tray and can even monitor the cat litter volume and frequency of use by your cat! This can all be monitored through an app and has both automatic and manual control options. Other top features include multi-cat recognition and screw-less design making it simple and easy to clean!" - Dr. Angie

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Best Value: Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Litter Box Young

Pros

  • Large 13L waste box means it lasts 21 days before full litter change is required (based on usage of 1 cat).
  • Features a deodorizer to eliminate odours.
  • Larger entry hole (33cm wide x 27cm high).
  • Features an anti-fall pyramid design.
  • Panel lock feature allows you to securely lock it in place, making it safe for kids.
  • Cost: Although more expensive than a standard litter tray, it is less expensive than most other self-cleaners on the market.

Cons

  • Not suitable for kittens less than 1.5kg or under 6 months old.
  • Only compatible with bentonite clay cat litter.
  • No app compatibility.
  • Does not monitor your cat's toileting habits.
  • Only features two modes: auto and manual mode.
  • Maintenance: Filter cleaning recommended monthly, and filter replacement recommended every 3 months.
  • May not be suitable for older, arthritic cats as they may have difficulty getting into the the high entry hole (however stairs are available and sold separately).
  • Some cats may find it too enclosed or unappealing and may adapt to it.

The Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Litter Box Young automatically cleans after each use, and detects your cat's movements using gravity sensors to ensure the clean is done straight afterwards (not whilst your cat is inside, nor when your cat approaches!). This litter box has the added benefit of featuring a deodorizer that eliminates all smells and odours, to ensure your cat's environment is fresh and clean at all times! This self-cleaning litter box is the way to go if you're looking for a sturdy, automatic cleaning box without the bells and whistles (and added cost) of the app features of the Catlink Luxury Pro version.

What our customers say: "It's been a game changer in providing a clean bed of litter for my cats EACH time they use the box. Love it!"

What our vets say: "I love that this automatic litter tray is quiet when cleaning and runs after every use ensuring your cat always has fresh litter. The waste tray is a good capacity and locks in any unpleasant odours." - Dr. Belinda

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Best Open Design: Petsafe Scoopfree Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Pros

  • Open style litter box without a hood makes it less claustrophic and daunting for some cats.
  • Lasts 20-30 days before litter change (new disposable tray) is required (based on usage of 1 cat).
  • Disposable trays are pre-filled with crystal litter for quick and easy litter changing.
  • Crystal litter has high odour control and is dust free.
  • Cost: More affordable than high-tech self-cleaning litter boxes.
  • Health counter and motion sensors keep track of how many times your cat uses the box.

Cons

  • Not suitable for cats over 6.8kg, or kittens under 6 months old.
  • Only compatible with crystal cat litter.
  • No app compatibility - only monitors frequency of toilet trips, not volume or other trends.
  • Crystal litter is less environmentally friendly compared to other litter types.

After your cat has finished toileting, this open-style automatic litter box uses sensors to automatically rake wastes away into a covered trap which locks away smells. It also features a health counter and motion sensors to track how many times your cat uses the box. This litter box is perfect if you are on the fence about taking the leap into the self-cleaning realm, as it's much less of an adjustment for your cat due to it's open style, and will leave less of a dent in your wallet compared to other higher-tech enclosed styles!

What our customers say: "I first purchased this product some years ago, it is the best thing I purchased and my cat has used it since I installed it. Worth purchasing especially for anyone who has an indoor cat"

What our vets say: "A self-cleaning litter box is a must for busy pet parents. Cats love a clean toilet and some will refuse to go even if it's only been used once! The Petsafe ScoopFree Cleaning Litter Box helps to keep things fresh, it only activates after your kitty has finished their business (no disruptions), and uses highly absorbent crystal litter (great for odour control inside the house) in a disposable tray for convenience and easy removal. It also comes with a health monitor to track your cat's toileting frequency - a very handy observation tool for cats with urinary tract issues." - Dr. Michelle

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Best for Style: Smarty Pear Leo's Loo Too Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Pros

  • Modern and sleek design available in a variety of colours to suit your home decor - avocado green, grey, pretty pink and baby blue.
  • Remote app control and Alexa voice control compatible - provides activity reports of your cat's toileting habits.
  • Programmable UV light helps to eliminate bacteria, parasites and viruses.
  • Whisper-quiet motor.

Cons

  • Not suitable for kittens less than 500g or under 6 months old.
  • Only compatible with bentonite clay cat litter.
  • Full litter change recommended every 7-10 days (based on usage of 1 cat) due to 9L waste box.
  • Maintenance: Filter cleaning recommended monthly, and filter replacement recommended every 1-3 months.
  • No individualised health report trends for your cats (daily activity calendar only logs time of use and weight of cat).
  • Smaller entry hole of 21cm diameter - may be more suited for smaller cats.
  • Cost: More expensive than regular litter trays.
  • May not be suitable for older, arthritic cats as they may have difficulty getting into the the high entry hole.
  • Some cats may find it too enclosed or unappealing and may not adapt to it.

The Smarty Pear Leo's Loo Too Self-Cleaning Litter Box is a great stylish option for those looking for a more modern design in a fun colour to suit your home. This self-cleaning litter tray automatically removes wastes after your cat has used it, to ensure your home always smells fresh and clean. This litter box has remote app control, so you can keep track of your cat's daily toileting habits and trends - a great feature if your cat is prone to urinary issues!

What our customers say: "Got to admit, it's HUGE, like really big litter box. I got the litter (Clay clumping) , added it. Cats spent the night looking at it and wondering WTF. Anyway, the next morning, i scooped up some of their "doings" from their other litter box and added it, BAM, they went in. Now they wait for each other to finish and go themselves and they look to see what is taking their "Doings". They love it, waiting for the next sales and i will get a 2nd one. Cons - the bottom tray needs to be cleaned. thats it, nothing else, 5* devices , easy to connect to WiFi and to connect to Google assistance."

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Best for Apartments: Petkit Pura X Automated Self Clean Litter Box

Pros

  • Minimalistic, modern design.
  • Can be controlled remotely via an app - providing real-time notifications on your cat's litter tray use.
  • Multi-cat recognition to ensure individualised health reports.
  • Compatible with a wider range of litter types (those with granules smaller than 12mm) including tofu litter , corn litter, clay litter or mixed (tofu & clay) litters.
  • Features a slightly smaller footprint and flat upper cover to allow your cat to nap on top if they wish, making it ideal for apartments.
  • Releases a fresh fragrance once your cat has left the box to improve odour control.

Cons

  • Not suitable for kittens less than 1.5kg or under 6 months old.
  • Smaller entry hole of 22cm wide - may be more suitable for smaller cats.
  • Full litter change recommended weekly (based on usage of 1 cat).
  • Maintenance: Filter cleaning recommended every 2-4 weeks.
  • Smaller waste box of 7L.
  • Cost: More expensive than regular litter trays.
  • May not be suitable for older, arthritic cats as they may have difficulty getting into the the high entry hole.
  • Some cats may find it too enclosed or unappealing and not adapt to it.

The Petkit Pura X Automated Self Clean Litter Box features a minimalistic design and is great for keeping your home odour free at all times, as the automatic odour removal function sprays immediately after your kitty has finished their business. This litter box has remote app control, so you receive notifications and real-time monitoring of your cat's daily toileting habits, making it a good choice for those kitties prone to urinary issues. The added bonus of a flat upper covers allows your cat to nap on top if they wish, perfect for space-saving in apartments.

What our customers say: "Really love this litter box and thankfully so does my cat. Has made life a lot easier. I don't have to worry about cleaning his litter box every two days. Does need an occasional deep clean when changing the litter each month though."

What our vets say: "The Petkit Pura X Automated Self Clean Cat Litter Box would be my top recommendation for an automatic litter box. If you're tired of cleaning cat litter, this product is for you! Allowing you to 'set and forget' with a sleek design that will quickly blend in to any home, its built in sensors ensure a high level of safety and the associated app makes monitoring your kitty's toileting habits easier than ever. As an added bonus it has built-in odour control in the form of a subtle burst of fresh fragrance each time your cat leaves the box." - Dr. Katelyn

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What to look for in a Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Functions

Have a think about which functions are important to you - do you want simple and more affordable, or are you tech-savvy and want app compatibility so you can keep an eye on your cat's toileting habits? If you have more than one cat, then have a look at one of our self-cleaning litter boxes that has multi-cat recognition and provides individualised health reports such as the Catlink Scooper Self-Clean Luxury Pro Litter Box and Petkit Pura X Automated Self Clean Litter Box.

Frequency of Cleaning

Each self-cleaning litter box will vary in their recommended frequency of full litter changes, due to their differing capacity and waste box size. For those which use filters, keep in mind their recommended frequency of filter cleaning and replacement. For open-style litter boxes like the Petsafe Scoopfree Self-Cleaning Litter Box, disposable trays are used and should be factored into your decision.

Type of Litter

Each self-cleaning litter box model will have it's own specific litter type that it is designed to work with, such as clay, crystal, tofu, corn or mixed (tofu & clay). It's important that you take this into consideration when choosing the best litter box for your cat, as it is best to choose one that utilises your cat's existing litter type to help ease their transition to the new box.

Covered vs Uncovered

Each cat will have their own preference over the type of litter box they wish to use - some will prefer the privacy of a covered tray, whilst others will prefer an open, uncovered tray. Keep your feline friend's individual preference in mind when selecting a new self-cleaning litter box.

Further Reading

Complete Guide to Cat Litter

How to Reduce Litter Tracking

How to Toilet Train Your Kitten

Best Cat Litter Boxes

How To Stop Your Cat Litter From Smelling

Best Dry Kitten Food

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