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There is a variety of automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes available, that can do the work for you! That means you should never have to scoop a litter box again.
The LitterMaid and ScoopFree are both simple designs with very similar and impressive features.
In this guide, we’ll explore the details of both litter boxes and what makes them unique. You’ll learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision between the two options.
Head To Head Comparison
|Number of Reviews
Reviews averaged and content pulled from company websites as well as third-party e-commerce sites.
|Made in the USA
You should know where your pet appliances are made.
|Headquarters are in Earth City, MO. Manufacturing done in the US, Mexico, Taiwan, China, and the Philippines||Made in China|
|Years in Business
Is the product manufactured by a longstanding, successful company?
Your investment should be backed by a full-service warranty.
|12-month warranty||1-year limited warranty|
Buy with confidence knowing you can get a refund if unsatisfied.
|90-day money-back guarantee||45-day money-back guarantee (must pay return shipping)|
Can you “buy now, pay later” with stress-free financing plans?
Smart pet appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled through the app.
|None||Scoopfree Smart is WiFi-enabled; remotely monitor a unit with My PetSafe app|
What makes this pet appliance self-cleaning?
|Cleaning rake with automatic sensors||Cleaning rake with automatic sensors|
The appliance should be designed with both pets and pet parents in mind.
|Open litter tray design||Open litter tray design|
Background On The LitterMaid
- Ease of Cleaning – 7/10
- Odor Control – 8.5/10
- Appearance – 8/10
- Construction – 8.5/10
- Price – 9/10
Overall Score: 8.2/10
LitterMaid is owned by Spectrum Brands and was founded in 1997 under the name Windmere. The LitterMaid is a completely automatic, self-cleaning litter box and is currently on its third edition.
The LitterMaid is an open style litter box designed similarly to a traditional litter pan. It measures 16.9 inches wide by 28 inches long and 7.6 inches high. It uses a plastic rake that sweeps across the litter bed, and transfers used litter into a waste receptacle in the front of the box.
This litter box operates automatically, and initiates a cleaning cycle 10 minutes after the sensor is blocked for a period of 10 seconds or more.
The LitterMaid deposits require disposable plastic receptacles that are sold separately. This is where the waste or used litter is deposited after the rake system is activated. There are also carbon filters that fit into the receptacle to help combat litter box odor, and those are also sold separately.
Mallory Crusta, our Head of Content, tested the Litter Maid Self-Cleaning Litter Box last August of 2020. Check out her in-depth video review of the Litter Maid on the Cats.com YouTube channel.
Background On The Petsafe ScoopFree Litter Box
- Ease of Cleaning – 8/10
- Odor Control – 7/10
- Appearance – 9/10
- Construction – 10/10
- Price – 6/10
Overall Score: 8/10
The PetSafe ScoopFree is a self-cleaning litter box that also looks like a traditional litter pan. However, it is specifically designed to be used with crystal cat litter but it will work with comparable litter brands.
The PetSafe ScoopFree features a hidden, angled rake that moves across the litter bed, sweeping waste into a hidden compartment. The entire unit measures about 19 inches wide by 27.5 long by 6.5 inches tall.
Crystal cat litter does assist in the overall function of this automatic litter box. It absorbs more ammonia smells than clay litter and dries solid waste, which means a longer-lasting litter with less odor.
Mallory Crusta, our Head of Content, tested the PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box for 2 months. Check out her in-depth video review of the ScoopFree on the Cats.com YouTube channel.
Let’s Take A Look At How The Littermaid Compares To The Scoopfree
Both the LitterMaid and the ScoopFree are fully automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes. Their purpose is to remove the hassle of scooping, via a raking system that scrapes the waste from the litter and drops it into a compartment.
To compare and contrast these two litter boxes, we’ll take a closer look at the following categories:
Let’s dive into the details in each of these categories.
1. Size And Setup
Both the LitterMaid and ScoopFree take up a little more space than a typical litter pan. The ScoopFree is a little bit smaller in comparison. The LitterMaid is designed with high walls to help keep as much litter inside the box as possible. That makes it only a little over an inch higher than the ScoopFree but may be helpful if you have messy cats.
The footprint of the LitterMaid is 16.9 inches wide by 28 inches long and 7.6 tall. ScoopFree is a tiny bit smaller at 19 × 27.5 × 6.5 inches. Both are rectangular devices that sit on the floor like a typical litter pan.
In terms of setup, the LitterMaid comes almost fully assembled as-is, so all you really have to do is put in the waste receptacle or litter tray. The box includes 4 waste receptacles; 4 carbon filters; a scoop and rake; an AC adapter; and one backup battery compartment. Basically, plug it in and it’s ready to go.
The PetSafe ScoopFree does come with a little more packaging to unpack when setting up. You will first have to unbox it then open the included bag of crystal cat litter pouring it into the cardboard tray. Then you need to lower the plastic housing over it and then plug it in.
Size and Setup Winner: LitterMaid
2. Operation And Performance
While both LitterMaid and ScoopFree are automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes, and rake system technology, the ScoopFree rake has an angled design. The angeled rake works more efficiently when depositing clumps and also had large tines which prevent jamming.
The LitterMaid uses a plastic rake to separate the clean litter from the dirty. As the rake moves across the litter bed, it collects clumps and places them in a covered waste container before moving back into place. LitterMaid does use a visual sensor and the cleaning automatically initiates after 10 minutes of use.
ScoopFree uses a similar raking system. It uses a metal rake that moves across the length of the litter box after your cat uses it. It does offer an adjustable cleaning cycle delay period of 5, 10, or 20 minutes. It also collects clumps but magnets in the cardboard tray raise the lid so that the used litter is pushed into the waste container. Also if your cat enters the box during a cleaning cycle, the unit will stop and wait.
Now that you understand the basics of each model’s performance, let’s take a look at how well they actually work.
The LitterMaid’s raking system was a little disappointing because it allowed smaller particles to slip through the tines of the rake and certain parts of the litter bed accumulated waste. In the event of loose stools, the rake also became quite dirty.
PetSafe ScoopFree tends to leave behind small bits of waste or clumps during the cleaning cycle, but other than that there were not any serious issues. However, this could mean you may need to do some scooping by hand in between the times you empty the waste tray.
You may have to take into consideration that performance for both of these litter boxes may depend somewhat on the type of litter you use. A clumping litter can be used in both, but ScoopFree is designed to work with crystal litter.
Operation and Performance Winner: ScoopFree
3. Odor Control And Tracking
To manage litter box odor regular scooping is necessary. With these litter boxes odor can build up between cleaning cycles, especially if your cat doesn’t use it often.
Because the LitterMaid isn’t completely effective in removing all the waste clumps, this litter box may accrue odor faster than ScoopFree.
However, the PetSafe ScoopFree uses crystal litter which is known to develop a strong urine smell due to saturation. Also the waste drawer lid tends to not close all the way if full which allows the odor to escape. Once the crystal litter becomes saturated, you may also notice a strong urine odor developing.
The LitterMaid may do better with tracking due to its ramp and mat that are designed to collect litter. While the mat works to collect some stray litter the open box design means litter can get kicked out of the sides.
The PetSafe ScoopFree doesn’t seem to have as many issues with tracking due to crystal litter having a larger granule size. Also your cat has to step up when exiting the litter box.
Odor Control and Tracking Winner: LitterMaid
Automatic litter boxes may do the scooping for you but there is some regular maintenance that has to be done. Both litter boxes do most of the scooping for you, but some hand scooping maybe needed to remove the smaller particles.
The LitterMaid has a tendency to leave some dirty litter behind, and soiled waste tends to get stuck on the rake and to the sides of the box. If you do need to thoroughly clean the unit, the LitterMaid’s waste receptacles are pretty simple to empty .
You may need to empty the waste compartment more often with the ScoopFree if you have more than one cat. The tray is not big enough to last the manufacturers suggested 20 days before the litter becomes saturated with urine.
Both units use disposable waste receptacles you can toss into the trash when full.
Maintenance Winner: ScoopFree
5. Overall Impression
If you’re looking for an automatic, self-cleaning litter box, both the LitterMaid and ScoopFree are good choices. However there are a few between the two as far as performance.
Both models give you the freedom to choose your litter, but ScoopFree was designed to work with crystal litter. This makes maintenance costs a little higher when using the ScoopFree and the cost of the initial investment is slightly higher than the LitterMaid.
The PetSafe ScoopFree is larger than a typical litter pan, but the litter bed only measures about 14×14 inches which is on the small side. Also the litter tray itself is not very deep, so if your cat likes to dig this may not be the best choice.
Tracking is more likely to be an issue with the ScoopFree if not using crystal litter, but less than with traditional litter boxes because the cat must step out when exiting.
Overall, in terms of performance, both units worked very well. Neither had issues with jamming but the Littermaid is likely to get blocked by large clumps when the raking system is cleaning. Also, the Scoopfree allows for programmable cleaning times while the LitterMaid only offers a 10 minute wait time by default. The one difference is the Littermaid does tend to be a little louder when the cleaning cycle is running which could be problematic for some cats.
How Do They Compare In Cost?
An self cleaning litter box is going to be more expensive than a traditional litter pan. Automatic litter boxes typically cost several hundred dollars, and the LitterMaid is he cheapest option between the two.
The LitterMaid starts around $100, depending where you buy it. The PetSafe ScoopFree sells for $149.95 on the PetSafe website and also comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. The LitterMaid only comes with a 12-month warranty and the return period may vary depending on where you purchase it.
Maintenance costs are similar since either works well with clumping cat litter. The main difference is if you choose to use crystal litter in the ScoopFree which does cost more than typical clumping litter.
PetSafe disposable trays will cost $20.95 each, but you can save with a 3-pack or a subscription. You can always purchase the PetSafe ScoopFree Reusable Tray for around $79 on Amazon. This is a little more than the price of the disposable waste receptacles for the LitterMaid which cost around $15 on Amazon.
Which Option Is Right For You?
Having thoroughly tested both the LitterMaid and the PetSafe ScoopFree, we have come to a tie in the 4 categories.
That being said, there are certain cases in which one option might be more appropriate than the other.
The LitterMaid Might Be Right For You If…
- You are not ready to make an investment over $150.
- You want an automatic litter box with a simple and straightforward design.
- Your cat is not bothered by noises.
- You prefer the convenience of disposable waste receptacles.
The Petsafe Scoopfree Might Be Right For You If…
- If your cat does not urinate too much or too often.
- You want to streamline maintenance with easy replacement trays.
- You don’t mind spending a little more on supplies.
- You prefer crystal cat litter to clumping clay litter.
The LitterMaid and ScoopFree are both self-cleaning litter boxes, and tied in the four categories. However, the LitterMaid does have a large number of negative customer reviews regarding issues with the unit.
Still not sure which option is right for you? You’ll find more in-depth information about these two litter boxes in our written and video reviews.
Check out our top picks for the best sifting litter boxes here.