Every cat owner knows this situation: the litter box has to be cleaned several times a day. For the owner, this means tedious and time-consuming work to avoid an unpleasant smell throughout the flat. Cleaning also means losing time that could be spent with the beloved pet instead. Self-cleaning litter trays relieve cat owners of this tedious work and always provide the house cat with a clean toilet. We have taken an in-depth look at various models of self-cleaning litter trays and now present our big guide on this topic.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Self-cleaning Cat Litter Box: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for self-cleaning litter trays
- 5 Self-cleaning litter trays: Frequently asked questions and answers
- 6 Conclusion
- Self-cleaning litter trays fulfil every cat owner's desire to make work easier and offer many advantages, such as saving time.
- As with conventional litter boxes, there are different models of self-cleaning litter boxes. Decide in advance whether you want a fully automatic model, a model with a sieve or a lever.
- Before buying, you also need to consider other factors such as size, system (closed or open) and access. Your cat also has certain requirements that you should consider.
The Best Self-cleaning Cat Litter Box: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for self-cleaning litter trays
Before buying a self-cleaning litter tray, it is important to know the preferences of your pet. If you do not know and respect these preferences, it can happen in the worst case that the cat does not want to use the litter tray. If you have decided to buy a self-cleaning litter tray, you should first think about which model (fully automatic, with sieve or with lever) you want to get. These should ideally meet certain purchase and evaluation criteria, so that in the end you find the perfect model for you and your cat.
We will go into more detail about the criteria below.
The design of self-cleaning litter boxes can be very different. Here, your own taste must determine which design you like best. With self-cleaning litter trays, you have the choice between square, round or oval shapes. Square litter trays are suitable for smaller flats, as they are definitely more space-saving.
Litter trays with lids are unsuitable for odour-sensitive cats and can lead to uncleanliness.
Some litter boxes have the option of buying them without a lid. This option makes sense for larger cats, if the litter tray only has a small interior or if the cat is sensitive to odours. There is also a wide choice of colours. Mostly there are grey, white and black. But also bright colours for an eye-catching look are available.
The measurements depend entirely on the height of the pet. You should be able to estimate approximately how much space your cat needs in its litter box. The dimensions of a "standard" litter tray are approximately 52.5 x 39 x 40 cm. There are also special models of self-cleaning litter trays for large cats. The standing height is also an important factor, especially for litter boxes with a bonnet. If the cat cannot stand optimally inside the toilet, it feels uncomfortable, avoids the toilet and does not want to use it. This is not only frustrating for the cat, but also for the owner. Therefore, it is best to measure the cat before buying, so that you can better estimate the ideal size of the toilet later.
The entrance plays an important role as soon as you decide on an enclosed litter tray. Most models of self-cleaning litter boxes have a lid and therefore an entrance. If there is a flap at the entrance, this can irritate many cats and make them feel uncomfortable. It is therefore important to know whether your cats are already familiar with cat flaps. The placement of the entrance also plays an important role. For example, if the entrance is twice as high as in conventional litter boxes, it may be more difficult for small cats to enter the litter box. For older or sick cats, too, special care should be taken to choose a litter tray with a lower entrance.
Fully automatic litter boxes require electricity for the cleaning process. Before buying a litter box, you should make sure that there is a power connection near the place where the litter box is placed. If, for example, there is no electricity connection in the bathroom, you should look for an alternative location or go for a self-cleaning litter tray that does not require an electricity connection. There are now some models that are also cheaper. Although they require more effort, they can be worthwhile in terms of the price-performance ratio.
Self-cleaning litter trays: Frequently asked questions and answers
If you are interested in buying a self-cleaning litter tray and still have some questions, you can browse through our FAQ. Here we answer questions that are frequently asked about self-cleaning litter trays as best we can.
For whom is the self-cleaning litter tray suitable?
A self-cleaning litter tray is also worthwhile for you if you want to save time on tedious cleaning and spend more time with your favourite cat. People or cats who are extremely sensitive to odours should definitely go for a self-cleaning litter tray. With a conventional litter tray, an unpleasant odour spreads quickly if the toilet is not cleaned immediately. The self-cleaning litter tray does this work for you and prevents such an odour from spreading.
What types of self-cleaning litter boxes are there?
|Fully automatic litter tray||Time-saving, Easy to use, Hygienic, Little to no odour nuisance||High initial costs, Electricity required|
|Lever-operated self-cleaning litter tray||Cost-effective, No electricity, Labour-saving, Hygienic||Not fully automatic, Operatelever by hand once a day|
If comfort is important to you, we can only recommend the fully automatic litter tray. You buy the litter tray, make it work and then don't have to worry about anything. The only work you have to do is to change the litter bag. You have to do this once a week, but it can be combined ideally if you also have to dispose of your household waste. A fully automatic litter tray is also visually attractive compared to a conventional litter tray. If you place a lot of value on appearance and design, then the fully automatic version is ideal. However, you should be aware that this variant costs many times more than a normal litter tray. But it's definitely worth it for you if you say that you're into such technological gadgets. Some fully automatic litter boxes come with an app where you can track everything. You can see when and how often your cat goes to the toilet and you can also check if you need to change the litter bin. Sounds tempting, doesn't it?
The variant of the self-cleaning litter tray with lever is worthwhile for you if you say that you don't need any built-in technology in your cat's toilet. Although this variant is not as stylish as the fully automatic one, it is a lot cheaper. In the end, you have to decide how important the design of the litter tray is to you. If this is not your highest priority, then you definitely won't go wrong with the self-cleaning litter tray with lever. The operation here is child's play.
What are the alternatives to self-cleaning litter boxes?
Cat toilet seat
You should check whether your cat is physically fit enough. This alternative is very unsuitable for weaker cats, as they have to adopt a certain posture (and keep their balance) when going to the toilet.
This alternative is clearly the most special way for a cat to go to the toilet. You don't see this very often, so it takes a lot of time to get used to it.
Conventional litter tray
The conventional litter box always serves as the simplest alternative. Cats often have their own will and demands. Often the simplest things are enough for them.
An expensive self-cleaning litter tray with fully automatic cleaning may irritate some cats or make them afraid to use it. Therefore, you should make sure that your cat is not very fearful.
Cat goes to the toilet outside
This alternative is definitely the cheapest. If you have a garden, this is ideal for you.
Your cat goes to the toilet outside and you don't have to worry about cleaning a litter tray. That sounds perfect, doesn't it? But of course, this option is only an option if you also have a garden and your cat is an outdoor cat.
A self-cleaning litter tray is suitable for every cat owner. However, they seem particularly ideal for people who travel a lot for work and are therefore not often at home. This aid can also be extremely practical for people who lack physical strength. In the end, you have to decide for yourself what budget you want to spend, as prices can vary greatly. Self-cleaning litter trays offer many advantages and are also the best choice in terms of hygiene. However, your beloved cat has the final word, because he also has certain demands on his retreat. (Cover photo: Yastremska / 123rf)