Self-cleaning Cat Litter Box: Which is The Best of 2021?

A litter box is very necessary and useful when you have a cat at home and it helps you keep your pet’s urine and feces in one place. But it can also give off many unpleasant odors. There are different formulas that can be carried out to mitigate this. You can buy a closed tray, scented litter, or a self-cleaning litter box.

These are more expensive products than traditional trays, since they automatically or semi-automatically dispose of feces and urine balls and store them in a bag. But cat owners see this extra expense as very useful, since they keep their homes free of strong odors and the animals are happy to have a cleaner space.

The most important

  • Self-cleaning sandboxes usually have two types of mechanism. There are the semi-automatic, which works with human intervention, activating some lever. And there are the automatic ones that use electricity or batteries to perform their function without you having to activate it.
  • A self-cleaning litter box, along with some quality and clumping or perfumed litter, will help you avoid the bad smells that a cat can leave in a house.
  • Cats are very neat animals and dirt makes them uncomfortable. A litter box of this style will not only benefit you, but your pet will be much more comfortable and happy.

The best self-cleaning litter boxes for cats on the market: our recommendations

Litter boxes are an essential accessory for house cats. These animals love cleaning and having their stools collected. And, although it is a very useful product, it is a source of germs and bacteria. Self-cleaning sandboxes are a great help to keep your home odor-free. For you to choose the product that best suits you, we present this list:

  • The most functional self-cleaning litter box for cats
  • The best litter box for cats with a self-cleaning system without shovels
  • The best self-cleaning litter box for large cats
  • The best self-cleaning litter box for cats with deposition detector
  • The most ecological self-cleaning litter box for cats

The most functional self-cleaning litter box for cats

This Catit Smartsift self-cleaning litter tray is a semi-automatic product. It has a lid so that odors do not escape and, when you turn a lever on the outer side of the drawer, the sand is separated from the solid or agglomerated stools and these fall into a plastic bag located at the bottom that you must throw away to the trash.

Buyers say it offers ample space for cats. The problem may be buying replacement bags, which are not always available. Although there are people who say they put any other bag. It is made of a durable plastic that washes and dries easily. Some buyers find disassembly to wash the litter box difficult.

The best litter box for cats with a self-cleaning system without shovels

This sandpit comes in two models: with and without a lid. It is capable of cleaning itself automatically. This PetSafe tray can be programmed to activate its rake whenever you choose. Thus, according to the programming and automatically, the litter box will move the excrement to a compartment out of reach of the animal. It works thanks to a motor.

You hardly have to pay attention to it: at most occasionally remove the stool from the drawer to avoid the smell and occasionally remove the sand if it is very yellow. They recommend using the manufacturer’s sand (which are pebbles), but there are buyers who say that clumping sand can be used. The tank can be emptied every three days or so.

The best self-cleaning litter box for large cats

When the cat does its business, the owner of the animal can turn a lever, which will clean the litter and leave the solid waste in a tray that is emptied in the trash. It is a semi-automatic sandbox. It is recommended to use it with clumping sand, although there are buyers who claim that even the cheapest sand on the market will work with this system.

It weighs about three kilograms. It is very easy to use and it does not have complicated processes nor does it require connection to electricity. It is simple to assemble and disassemble for a total cleaning. From time to time it can be fully opened to clean it thoroughly. It is closed so that the smell does not come out. There is only one model available, in black and gray.

The best self-cleaning litter box for cats with deposition detector

This is an automatic sandbox that measures 70 x 45 x 25 centimeters. It works at 230 Watts or with 4 AA batteries, which are not included. It detects when the jack enters and is quiet when operating, although there are buyers who say that it makes some noise. It weighs 6 kilograms. The tank is closed once the waste has been introduced and has anti-odor bags.

It also has a ramp to clean the cat’s paws, so that they do not leave traces of sand on the ground. This is how the house is kept clean. The product is ideal for use with clumping sand, as this also removes urine. It has a ramp and also includes a trowel to clean the rake and deposits.

The most ecological self-cleaning litter box for cats

The tray is filled with cat litter in the recommended amount and when your pet uses it, a lever is turned. The waste is separated in a drawer that is easy to empty. It is semi-automatic, so it does not need batteries, plugs or cables. It has been manufactured in the United States with durable and recycled polypropylene and all its material is 100% recycled.

Buyers believe that it is not recommended for large cats. If you have a pet that weighs more than nine kilograms, it does not work for you. Manufacturers say that turning the lever once a day maintains cleanliness and the sand remains residue-free. Assembles quickly with the help of a screwdriver. The curved part allows the sand to be stored inside.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About A Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

A cat is a very pleasant company. And they are much less work than other pets because, as a general rule, they do not ask to leave the house. With good accessories in a home, a cat will have its needs covered. Among them, you need a litter box where the kitten can make its stools and this has to be kept clean for comfort and health.

What is a self-cleaning cat litter box?

These are some types of litter boxes that have a system for your cat’s particular toilet to clean itself. Do not forget that a litter box is essential for houses where cats live, since it offers the animal its own space to relieve itself and collects all waste in one place. Cats are neat animals and they like it that way.

They are a great alternative for those people who spend a lot of time away from home because of their obligations and, in general, for any person and cat that loves to have their environment clean and without odors. There are different ways a litter box can clean itself, as we’ll see below.

Where does the dirty litter from a self-cleaning cat litter go?

Normally, automatic or semi-automatic litter boxes pass solid waste from the tray in which your cat performs its needs to another tray or a bag, which will later be covered with a system to prevent the smell from escaping. In this way, the cat owner can later pick up that bag or tray and dump its contents in the trash.

Even if I have a self-cleaning cat litter box, should I wash it occasionally?

Yes. In the trays where feces and urine are stored and where the sand is, remains of these depositions with their bacteria can remain. For this reason, once every so often the litter changes and it is advisable to wash the entire tray and use a disinfectant or soap that is not harmful to the cat. You can even use bleach as long as you rinse it well.

Can it be annoying for my cat that his litter box is cleaning itself?

Considering that cats are very maniacal animals that like to have everything around them under control, it could be annoying for them to see their private space change without their being able to predict it. It may happen that at first even the cat does not want to use their litter box for fear that it will go on to clean itself without them knowing that this is going to happen.

Most likely, as time goes by, you will have a lot of fun watching the parts moving and dragging the litter for cleaning, as many cat owners claim does. In general, cats tend to accept their litter boxes.

How to train a cat to use its self-cleaning litter box?

Cats are intuitive and intelligent animals that don’t have much trouble learning. When he is a puppy, if you see that he does not understand that the sandbox is for him, you can stir the clean sand in front of his eyes or, if you see him urinating or defecating outside the space, quickly take him to his sandbox. There you will understand that this is the place to collect your stools.

If you see that he does not use his sandbox, annoyed by the self-cleaning system, give him some time until he gets used to it. These animals are characterized by being lovers of routine and changes can disrupt them. If your pet used his previous simple litter box and now rejects the automatic, it is a matter of time. If you see that it is not done to him, you should buy one that he likes more.

Why is my cat not using his self-cleaning litter box?

There are different reasons why your pet may not want to use his litter box. These may be related to the tray itself, which is not to the liking of the animal. Or it may be related to a health problem that your pet may be suffering from. Next we will see the different most common reasons why a cat does not urinate where it should:

  • It is not well clean. If your tray emits strong and unpleasant odors, or is not completely clean, your cat will not want to use it. Clean it with soap. Avoid ammonia.
  • You have health problems. Cats with kidney problems have a lot of pain when urinating. That makes them begin to see the sandbox as an unpleasant place because they associate it with their discomfort. Notice your cat’s behavior when urinating and see if it is in pain while doing so. If the answer is yes, take him to the vet.
  • The sandbox is small. If the dimensions of the litter box are not adequate, your cat will be uncomfortable using it. Moreover, when we talk about litter boxes with a lid, the most common in the market for trays that clean themselves.
  • He does not like to share. If you have more than one cat at home, and one or all of them avoid their litter box, it is because they do not want to share it. It is common. You just buy more trays to get them to use your space.
  • It has little sand. Always be at least 3 or 4 centimeters thick. If there is little litter, your cat will not like his tray.
  • It is situated in a place that you dislike. If you have placed the tray in a part of the house that your cat does not like, it is possible that he will ignore his litter box. Try moving the utensil around and see their reaction.
  • He does not like sand. There are mainly four types of sand, although each with many variations. If you see what happens from his sandbox it may happen that he does not like the material you have chosen. Switch to another litter to see if your cat uses her private bathroom.
  • He wants to mark the territory. Both males and females that are uncastrated may want to mark their territory. And they will do it with your urine in different places at home.
  • You suffer from stress. For whatever reason, your cat has some kind of anxiety. And in these cases, the kittens do not behave in a common way. If you see him doing weird things like avoiding his litter box, he might have a mess.

Purchase criteria

When you have to buy a self-cleaning litter box, we should not only look at our needs and preferences, but we must respect the tastes of our pet. Here we make a selection for you with the most important aspects that you should observe when you go to buy one of these products for your cat to relieve itself.

  • Cleaning system
  • Size
  • With lid or without lid
  • Accessories

Cleaning system
Self-cleaning litter boxes for cats can have different systems to carry out their function. Sandboxes with automatic systems and connected to electricity stand out compared to those with semi-automatic systems and must be supported manually. In the following table you can understand both ways of cleaning, according to their characteristics.

The self-cleaning litter box you choose has to be based on the length and weight of your cat. And it should be neither too small nor too big. Feline experts recommend that the drawer be 1.5 times the length of the feline. If you have little space at home, you can look for a triangular-shaped sandbox that fits in a corner and takes up less.

And it is that the cat does not only need to fit in its tray, it also has to be able to turn to bury its feces comfortably. Another aspect that you should observe in terms of size is that the tray is not too high if you have a baby or elderly cat. In that case, its access would be difficult for your pet and that could lead him to reject his litter box.

With lid or without lid
There are sandboxes that are uncovered at the top and others have a lid. It agrees that the self-cleaning ones usually come with a lid, but you can also find them without it. To find out which product may be more useful for you and your pet.

A good litter box will help keep your home clean and prevent bad odors from your cat’s urine or feces. And if you complement it with other utensils created as accessories, the cleaning will be optimal. In the following table we will give you a summary of the existing tools.


A cat is an animal that gives very little work as a pet. He does not need you to wash it, since he only preps daily avoiding bad odors from his skin. And they are very independent and intelligent to carry out their activities without you being on top. To make this possible, you will need to give him the necessary tools. And one of the most basic in a sandbox.

Self-cleaning sandboxes make your life much easier. They prevent you from having to collect feces every time your pet defecates. There are those that work in an automatic way that give you almost zero work. And there are those that you yourself will have to help maintain, turning a lever. Your biggest weekly job will be to empty the bag where the garbage is kept.