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3 Best Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Boxes
No more scooping!
Yes, there are easier ways to deal with your litter box! The modern clumping cat litters that you scoop out have advantages, but they're also a lot of work.
It's true that scooping is lighter work in some ways than hauling out a heavy load of clay litter a couple of times a week (and trying to find someplace to dump it!) On the other hand, you have to bend over face down in the potty, breathing perfumed, poopy dust while you dig around and stir. There has to be a way to spend more time enjoying your cats and less time contemplating their end products.
Here's some of the alternatives I found, starting off with the one I chose.
1. Omega Paw Litter Box - Roll it over, in the clover
This is the box that I chose as representing the best combination of convenience and price. It's not an automatic cleaner, but is designed so you can clean the litter without touching or seeing it. We've had the box several days, and after a bit of practice I'm able to clean it quickly.
With the Omega Paw, you roll the entire box to the right onto its top, so that the clumps fall into the lid and the loose litter goes through a plastic grid into a compartment. Then you tip it back upright, and the clumps fall into the scoop. Finally, you tilt it a bit left, so the loose litter all comes back through the grid into the bottom.
It sounds complicated, but is easy once you try a time or two. I find when I tilt the box right, shaking it a little helps to get all the clumps into place. You do still have to bend over to move the box, but it takes a lot less time then digging around with the scoop. All the loose litter is sifted, stirred, and aerated each time you clean, but you're exposed to less dust.
The system is on the whole easier and cleans more efficiently than scooping, so I'm glad we got it. Thumbs up on the Omega Paw!
2. Litter Robot II - All ur cat poop r belong to us!
Now this is my dream litter box, the one I'll buy one day when I can afford it. The Litter Robot rotates like the Omega Paw, but is electric powered and automatic. It looks rather like a starship equipped with anti-grav, and you aren't going to slip this one discreetly into a little corner. (Though you can also get a very nice concealer cabinet to turn it into an end table.)
Why am I so sure I'll like it? Well, the reviews are hugely, enthusiastically positive. People wax far more lyrical than one usually sees over litter boxes. The Litter Robot cleans itself automatically and apparently quite efficiently, dumping the waste into a large compartment that you can line with any 'ol plastic bag. The cleaning mode activates every time a cat exits, which the robot detects by a sensor that you can adjust for the cat's weight. Waste storage is roomy enough that several reviewers claim you can go a week before emptying it, though they also point out that you'll be sorry if you wait too long. (Which is only to be expected, at least until they find a way to beam it into an alternate universe.)
This clever concealer cabinet lets you disguise the odd-shaped Litter Robot as an ordinary piece of furniture. Also gives you a handy top for stacking stuff!
3. ScoopFree Litter Box - Crystal clean and clear
This is the litter box I'll get if the aliens come back and take their Litter Robot away. It's almost as highly rated and seems to be a sturdy, efficient self-cleaner.
The Scoop Free is designed for crystal litter, which you can purchase pre-measured in disposable trays, or else buy in bulk and pour into a permanent tray. I like the crystal kind, as it doesn't track much and the smell is far less offensive than the sweet perfume of many clumping litters.
A sensor automatically starts raking the litter a few minutes after your cat exits. It deposits the waste in a receptacle at the front. According to the manufacturer, you can go as long as 30 days with one cat before replacing or refilling the litter tray. (I presume you have to empty the waste more often.)
© 2014 Valerie Proctor Davis