The best self-cleaning litter boxes to save you from scooping

The benefits of automatic litter boxes include reduced odor, a litter box that’s always clean, and you not having to get down and dirty to scoop cat poop.

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Having a cat (or a few) is great. They’re soft, cute, cuddly, and make for amazing internet content. But there’s one thing about owning a cat that universally sucks: scooping and cleaning the cat litter box. This unpleasant and smelly task often takes more time and effort than we want it to. And if you get lazy, even for a moment — say after a long, bad day at the office — your cat thanks you by going outside its litter box. (Great, now you’ve got two stinky messes to clean up — definitely not worth it). 

Thankfully, automatic cat litter boxes exist to help take some of the work out of looking after your cat. 

How do automatic litter boxes work?

An automatic litter box can detect when your cat has soiled the litter and then it rakes the waste into a separate compartment. You won’t have to individually scoop each clump — you just need to empty out the waste bin regularly. It works similarly to a robot vacuum with a self-emptying base: You don’t have to clean anything each time it runs, but you do have to empty the base when it’s full.

This ensures your cat has a clean litter box every time it needs to relieve itself, which can help the cat actually go in its box instead of on the floor. So, an automatic cat box is a great investment for finicky cats that need a pristine litter box every time they go. Most automatic litter boxes are meant for adult cats, and are not suitable for kittens less than 5 pounds.

OK, but do automatic litter boxes actually work?

Yep, they really do. Not only does an automatic litter box do the scooping for you, it also keeps odor at bay. You’ll no longer have cat poop and pee just literally sitting out in the open in your house. It’ll be swept into a sealed chamber to help repress the smell.

Be aware though, a lot of self-cleaning litter boxes are enclosed, which not every cat will like. If your cat doesn’t regularly like a covered box, opt for one that’s open. Automatic litter boxes also make noise while they’re cleaning themselves, which could scare timid cats. There are quieter options out there for cats who get spooked easily.

Benefits of using a self-cleaning litter box

I mean, it’s right there in the name. It’s self-cleaning. AKA, you don’t have to hunch over and tediously scoop kitty litter, which is objectively the worst household chore. And, like we mentioned, the litter box will smell less and a clean box will encourage your cat to actually use it. Plus, it’s more hygienic for both of you because you won’t have dirty paws tracking bacteria and litter all over the house.

All that said, here are our top picks for the best automatic litter boxes.

Cleans after each use • Multi-cat friendly • Quiet • Allows monitoring of litter box usage through an app • Reminds you to change waste drawer • Reduces litter usage • No special bags or liners needed
Large, bulky size • Heavy (weighs 24 pounds) • Pricey • Not suitable for kittens under 5 pounds
If you never want to scoop again and could use a reminder of when it’s time to dump litter before things get stinky, this is the automatic choice for you — that is, if the price is within your budget.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect

The app-connected Litter-Robot 3 Connect is a high-tech choice for a home that’s cat odor-free.

  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 24.25 x 27 inches
  • Power:
  • Litter Compatibility:
    Works with any clumping or scoopable litter, as well as small litter beats and crystals. Doesn’t work with litters that are strictly absorbent, non-clumping, newspaper-based or wood-based.
Say hello to the litter box of the future: the Litter-Robot 3 Connect. This fully automated, relatively quiet apparatus takes care of all of the dirty work as soon as your cat makes a stop. By rotating the sphere-shaped litter chamber, it filters out any clumps into a waste compartment and recycles the clean, unused litter back into the chamber, giving your cat a genuinely clean box every time. This makes it ideal for multi-cat households — even homes with territorial cats.
The litter box waste reservoir is big enough so that, if you have only one cat, you probably only need to dump it once a week. But even if you have multiple cats, thanks to the Wifi-connected app, there’s no guesswork when it comes to knowing when it’s time to empty. The app alerts you when it’s time to clean it, plus gives you other helpful insights about your cat’s health or other issues that could come up. (There’s also a version that doesn’t connect to WiFi and is cheaper.) The litter-box sifting process also helps you cut back on how much litter you go through, with Litter-Robot claiming that it could reduce your litter usage by up to 50%.
Most importantly, the design is built with your cat’s safety in mind. Unlike many of the other litter boxes on the market, It doesn’t rake the litter or have any other mechanisms on which your cat could get caught. It has a weight sensor to make sure it knows when your cat is inside (as long kitty weighs at least 5 pounds) and won’t begin the cleaning cycle until your kitty is out. It is sensitive enough to also stop mid-cycle if your cat tries to climb back in. In addition, you can also program how long it waits (three, seven, or 15 minutes) before going into a cleaning cycle so if you have a skittish cat, you can make sure it doesn’t get scared away.

Self-washing • Never touch, scoop or buy traditional cat litter again • Sanitary • Green • Suitable for single, multiple or large cats
Requires cold water supply line and drain hookup • Professional installation may be required • Not suitable for cats under 6 months • Looks gross connected to your toilet
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to never touching cat litter again and have the space in your bathroom or laundry room, the CatGenie Self-Washing Cat Box is the obvious choice.

CatGenie Self-Washing Cat Box

The CatGenie Self-Washing Cat Box is less a litter box and more a cat toilet that actually flushes.

  • Dimensions:
    19 x 16 x 17 inches
  • Power:
    Plug-in to electrical outlet (also requires drain and waterline hookup)
  • Litter Compatibility:
    Doesn’t use litter at all. Instead, uses washable granules
If you’re looking for the ultimate self-cleaning litter box, look no further than the CatGenie Self-Washing Cat Box. Sure, it looks like a mini-toilet for your cat, but that’s because it pretty much is. It’s a cat-toilet that scoops, breaks up, liquefies and flushes cat waste out of your home without you ever having to see or touch it. Yes, seriously. (Plus, If you really don’t like the toilet look, there is a Genie Dome you can purchase separately, giving you and your cats some privacy in the bathroom.)
CatGenie swaps kitty litter for washable granules so that your cat can still dig and cover their waste. Then, once your cat makes a stop and the CatGenie scoops and flushes, it uses cold water and biodegradable SaniSolution to sanitize the bowl and the granules, before drying them and getting them ready for reuse. This means that you’ll never scoop or buy traditional cat litter again (in fact, trying to use traditional cat litter on this can damage the CatGenie.)
But, of course, for it to do all this, you’ll need to hook it up to a cold water line and a drain in your bathroom or laundry room. You’ll also eventually need to refill the SaniSolution and washable granules every two to three months. 

Special odor-reducing crystal litter • Uses less litter than clay or clumping litter • Low litter tracking • Privacy hood • Health counter
Requires the purchase of litter tray refills or purchase of reusable forever tray • Crystal litter is more granular so not all cats like it • Must be kept away from areas of high humidity such as bathrooms or basements • Requires upkeep to keep running
With disposable trays of crystal litter that trap odors better than conventional litter, PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box is a great choice to keep your home smelling nice.
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box looks just like a traditional litter box, complete with a privacy hood. It might look traditional, but this litter box does the scooping for you, thanks to sensors that indicate when your cat has left, prompting it to rake waste into a closed compartment for easy disposal. The litter box also has a health counter to let you know how many times your cat has used it — which is beneficial in helping you be aware of early signs of health issues. 
This box is designed to work with disposable litter trays of crystal cat litter, a type of kitty litter that controls odors better than traditional litter because it is better at absorbing and locking in moisture.
However, because crystal cat litter is so sensitive to moisture, it’s best not to keep your litter box in high-humidity areas of your house — such as the bathroom or basement. In addition, while these litter trays use less litter than clumping or clay litter, they can get pricey: a pack of six trays on Amazon costs $99.95. And, according to some reviewers, certain cats do not like the feel of crystal litter. 

Quiet • Reasonably priced • No touch waste bag for easy disposal • Works with most clumping litters • Easy to assemble
No privacy cover • Requires some basic maintenance to keep running
If you live in a small apartment, or are sensitive to noise, the SmartScoop Basic Green Self-Scooping Cat Litter Box is one of the quietest on the market.

Pet Zone SmartScoop automatic litter box

An impressively quiet self-cleaning litter box that works with your favorite litter brand.

  • Dimensions:
    25.5 x 18.25 x 7.5 inches
  • Power:
  • Litter Compatibility:
    Works with clumping cat litter
Want an automatic litter box that doesn’t keep you awake at night with the sounds of raking litter? Then this is the one for you. Said to be quieter than the competition, the SmartScoop cat litter box is clean, easy to use, and works with your favorite clumping cat litter — no need to invest in an expensive brand. 
It’s similar in style to standard litter boxes and has high walls for picky cats that tend to make messes. The automatic rake comes through 30 minutes after your cat has gone and it draws any waste into the waste bin.

Works with most litters • Antimicrobial protection controls odors • Easy to operate • Cleans up after each use
Noisy • Gears can wear down after a few years of use • Rake doesn’t scoop all the way to the bottom of the box
This easy to use, simple automatic cat litter box is a great choice if you want to stay with your cat litter brand.

Known for their pet cleaning products, this Nature’s Miracle automatic cat litter box is designed to be an easy-to-use option that cleans up after your cat following each use. It also a great choice for cats that are picky about their litter because it works with almost all kinds. Plus the box is deep enough to help eliminate litter spillage. 
It’s meant for cats 15 pounds and under and includes a night light so your cat can see its litter box even when all the lights are off. There’s also a paw cleaning ramp that allows your cat to clean off its paws before tramping about the house after using the bathroom.

Great odor-control • Cheaper than ultra model • Isn’t an eyesore
Not as effective at odor control because of its open design • Some cats might not like the crystal litter
The PetSafe Original looks great and saves you some extra cash in comparison to the Ultra version, as long as you’re willing to part with the extra features.

PetSafe ScoopFree Original Self-Cleaning Litter Box

The PetSafe Original is effective and you can save some extra cash if you’re willing to sacrifice the perks of the Ultra model.

  • Dimensions:
    27.4 x 19 x 7 inches
  • Power:
  • Litter Compatibility:
    Crystal litter

This is a better budget pick for fans of the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra that’s higher up on our list — it does all the same basics as the Ultra, but strips off a few of the bells and whistles in exchange for some extra cash savings.
Not appearing on the PetSafe ScoopFree Original model is Ultra’s added built-in health counter, timer options, and privacy hood. That’s it — so if you (and your cat) can live without those things, go for this one. 
The Original still has decent odor control, a self-sensing cleaning period (20 minutes after your cat leaves the litter box), non-tracking litter crystals, and easy disposal. The whole shebang.  

Eco-friendly • Scoop-free
Requires more work than an automatic model
Save energy without sacrificing easy cleanup using the Omega Paw’s simple tilt-and-collect process.
While the Omega Paw isn’t battery powered like most of the others in our roundup, it still doesn’t require you to scoop up any of the dirty debris that your kitty leaves behind. 
The simple “roll ‘n clean” design of the Omega Paw will make you wonder why you even considered wasting precious electricity in the first place. After your cat does their business, just tilt the box on its side, and it’ll sift out the dirty litter into the removable waste tray. Then, just dump the clumps out and you’re good to go. It even has a built-in litter step that will catch any extra gunk that your furry friend’s paws would otherwise track onto your floors. 
Not only does its manual nature keep your utility bill a bit lower you also aren’t confined to having to place the Omega Paw near an outlet — put it wherever your cat feels most comfortable. The lid also comes off if you want, but it doesn’t seem necessary.

Extreme simplicity • Built-in carbon filter
Lever can act janky at times • Pricey for what it does
Great for those who don’t want to drop hundreds and are OK with a manual, self-cleaning litter box — just pull the lever, and you’re set.

Catit Design SmartSift Cat Pan

It’s quiet, simple to use, eco-friendly, and helps with odor-control.

  • Dimensions:
    26 x 19 x 24.8 inches
  • Power:
  • Litter Compatibility:
    Works with clumping cat litter
The Catit SmartSift litter pan is hard to pass up due to its low price point and super simple design. It’s literally just a lever, which saves on energy too — how fun! 
Once your cat (or cats — it’s big enough for multiple) does the deed inside of this litter box, all you have to do is pull the built-in handle and the nasty bits will be sifted into the waste bin below, which you can empty after without ever touching a litter scooper. There’s also a carbon filter at the top of the box, keeping the smell of fresh cat pee to a minimum at all times. The added benefits of silent operation and the removable swinging door are nice, too. 

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