Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The 6 Best Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes in 2024

comments-icon 56 Comments on The 6 Best Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes in 2024
kate
Updated by  Kate Barrington
Share Email Pinterest Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Best Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

Automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes promise to reduce the work involved in keeping your cat’s litter box clean. Unfortunately, not all of them live up to the hype and some simply aren’t worth the price. Sometimes you can’t tell until you try it for yourself, but luckily you don’t have to!

After weeks of research, months of long-term testing, and many long hours spent scrubbing out and troubleshooting boxes that didn’t make the cut, I’ve narrowed the list down to six units with the potential to save you time and make your cat happy.

While no one automatic litter box is perfect for everyone, the following products met the Cats.com standards for build quality, performance, and overall customer experience. Read on for the details.

At a Glance: Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes to Buy

Clock
704
hours of
research
Eye
32
brands
vetted
Check
6
features
reviewed
Star
6
top
picks

In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 4 people today!

Litter-Robot 4 Automatic Litter Box

  • One of the most reliable automatic litter boxes on the market
  • Good build quality and an effective design
  • Intuitive functionality and easy assembly
$699 on Litter Robot
Budget Option
9.8
Picked by 4 people today!

Litter Robot III Open Air Automatic Litter Box

  • Reliable and consistent performance for most users
  • Costs $150 less than the Litter-Robot 4
  • Easy to assemble and program with the Whisker app
Best Budget
9.8
Picked by 2 people today!

PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litter Box

  • Reliable and not prone to jamming
  • Quiet, quick operation
  • Offers good odor control
Best Self-Flushing
9.6
Picked by 31 people today!

CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box

  • Flushes waste away down the drain or toilet
  • Can be cleaner and less odor-prone than standard litter boxes
  • Has a dedicated following of people who have loved it for years
Most Cat-Friendly
9.5
Picked by 21 people today!

Petkit Pura Max

  • Cat-friendly, accessible design
  • Full-feature app allows you to effectively monitor your cat’s activity
  • Effective sifting captures all the clumps adn doesn’t leave a lot of waste behind
Honorable Mention
9.4
Picked by 18 people today!

Petkit Pura X

  • Sifting functionality worked consistently and thoroughly
  • More affordable than other similar litter boxes
  • Works with any clumping litter

Why Should You Trust Us?

Over the past four years, I’ve personally tested more than a dozen automatic litter boxes with my two cats, Wessie and Forest. Before putting them to the test, I spent hours researching the products to learn how they were designed and manufactured. I also scoured the Internet for customer reviews to identify frequent customer complaints and to get a feel for the general customer experience with each company.

When testing self-cleaning litter boxes, I take notes on everything from how long it took to set up the unit to how often I needed to empty the waste receptacle. I made observations about litter scatter, odor control, and overall performance. My cats, of course, provided their opinions—in some cases by refusing to use certain models at all.

Based on this extensive research and hands-on testing, I’ve selected the following automatic cat litter boxes as the best you can buy.

Top Picks Explained

The Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes: Our Top 6 Recommendations

With a company reputation for quality and a variety of features that outperform the competition, Whisker’s Litter-Robot 4 remains my top pick in 2024. From reliable performance to strong customer service, Whisker and its self-cleaning litter box have a lot to offer.

In addition to this top recommendation, I’ve selected five other automatic litter boxes that offer functional features and customer experience that set them apart from the rest.

Read on to find out which automatic litter box meets your needs.

#1 Overall Best: Litter-Robot 4 Automatic Litter Box

Litter-Robot 4 Automatic Litter Box

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

  • Price: $699.00
  • Dimensions: 27 x 22 x 29.5 inches
  • Works With: Any clumping cat litter
  • Key Strengths: A feature-rich, reliable, WiFi-enabled litter box that works with any clumping cat litter
  • Ideal For: People who want to spend more to get the best performance

In a marketplace dominated by companies that offer minimal customer support, make misleading claims, and seem to have little or no ability to improve their products, Litter-Robot (Whisker) is among the few that seem to stand behind what they sell. One of the pioneers in the self-cleaning litter box space, the company has designed and manufactured its own products for over 22 years. Every Litter-Robot is covered by a 90-day in-home trial and a free 1-year warranty.

Compared to its predecessor, the Litter-Robot 3, the LR4 offers a stronger sensor system, a greater ability to track your cat’s litter box activity, and more potential for future integrations.

Because its rotating design uses gravity to its advantage, the Litter-Robot avoids the jamming and caking issues common among other automatic litter boxes.

The Litter-Robot features a set of intuitive on-unit controls—something many of the litter boxes we tested didn’t have—as well as an app. The Whisker app comes with plenty of helpful features, starting with the ability to trigger a manual cycle. The waste drawer indicator is fairly reliable, though not perfect, and you can also monitor the litter level inside the box. You also get weight monitoring, an activity log, and numerous setting adjustments.

While it’s the most advanced litter box on this list, the Litter-Robot 4 isn’t perfect. In some respects, it’s more frustrating than the Litter-Robot 3.

During our tests, our biggest issue was a leaking problem. A gap between the globe and base allows urine to trickle in between, even with the included fence in place.

Fortunately, the company has done a few things to correct the problem. The current fence is better than the one that was originally launched, and the company has also developed a further-improved fence that is made to stop leaks more.

Besides this design flaw, we’ve read a lot of reports from customers frustrated with sensor issues and malfunctions, though it seems that this has been largely resolved through firmware and app updates. While it’s not perfect, and the Litter-Robot 3 was more consistent, the company seems to be attentive to these issues and further improvements should be on the way.

What We Liked:

  • One of the most reliable automatic litter boxes on the market
  • Good build quality and an effective design
  • Intuitive functionality and easy assembly
  • The waste drawer is secure and odor-tight
  • Replacement parts and DIY guides available online
  • Connects to your iOS or Android device for remote litter box monitoring

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The Litter-Robot litter bed is small and might not accommodate larger cats
  • Great performance comes at a cost – the Litter-Robot currently costs about $700
  • May have launched too soon, leading to a few sensor and design issues

#2 Best For Multiple Cats: Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

  • Price: $549.00
  • Dimensions: 27 x 24.25 x 29.5 inches
  • Works With: Any clumping cat litter
  • Key Strengths: A feature-rich, reliable, WiFi-enabled litter box that works with any clumping cat litter
  • Ideal For: Those who like Litter-Robot but want to save with a cheaper unit

While the Litter-Robot 3 is less advanced than the Litter-Robot 4, with a simpler sensor system and fewer app integrations, it offers reliable performance and is less prone to leaks. As an older model, it also costs about $150 less.

The Litter-Robot 3 uses the same gravity-driven sifting system and features the same globular design. The most noticeable difference in terms of appearance is that it has a vertical, oval-shaped opening in contrast to the Litter-Robot’s much larger round opening. The size of the litter bed inside the unit is the same, measuring about 14”x14”.

This model has a larger waste drawer than the Litter-Robot 4 and still has the same carbon filter to help reduce odor.

Both the Litter-Robot 3 and 4 utilize a weight-based sensor system, but the Litter-Robot 4 has an added laser-based system that enables the unit to detect smaller cats. The Litter-Robot 3 minimum sensing weight is five pounds versus the 4’s three-pound minimum. Additionally, its pinch sensor needs regular maintenance to avoid malfunctions, while the bonnet sensor tends to send false alerts in the app.

Priced at $549, the Litter-Robot 3 is still fairly expensive but, with proper maintenance, we’ve seen these units work well for years. It also helps that Whisker offers replacement parts and DIY repair guides on their website so you can continue to maintain the unit after the warranty has expired.

What We Liked:

  • Reliable and consistent performance for most users
  • Costs $150 less than the Litter-Robot 4
  • Easy to assemble and program with the Whisker app
  • Large waste drawer with carbon filter to prevent odor
  • Replacement parts and DIY guides available online

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Much smaller entryway than the Litter-Robot 4
  • Still expensive, priced around $549

#3 Best Budget: PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litter Box

PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

  • Price: $164.95
  • Dimensions: 5 x 20.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Works With: Crystal cat litter
  • Key Strengths: One of the most reliable automatic litter boxes on the market
  • Ideal For: People who want to spend less money upfront, cats who like crystal cat litter

At well under $200, the PetSafe ScoopFree is one of the lowest-priced automatic litter boxes you can buy. Recurring costs can add up to $60 a month or more, but if your cat is already using a crystal litter, the lower price of the ScoopFree could make it an appealing alternative to more expensive units.

First off, it comes from a reputable brand. A mature and well-established brand, PetSafe offers a wide variety of products, and its customer service is known for being top-notch. The ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box has a reputation for consistent performance, earning a 4.1 out of 5-star rating on Amazon with almost 15,000 reviews.

A combination of a metal rake and crystal cat litter allows the PetSafe ScoopFree to outperform other raking boxes. While other self-cleaning boxes with rakes tended to jam up and miss clumps, the PetSafe ScoopFree worked consistently, scraping up solids and carrying them into a waste compartment. Because crystal cat litter adsorbs liquids, the litter stays dry and manageable without needing the liquid to be removed.

While it uses the same core mechanics as the original ScoopFree we tested a couple of years ago, the newer model incorporates a use counter to help you keep track of your cat’s usage habits. Considering that monitoring your cat’s litter box activity is such an important part of understanding their health, this is a much-appreciated feature.

The downside of crystal cat litter is that urine odor becomes more noticeable over time as the crystals become saturated. While PetSafe claims a single tray will last one cat up to a month, we’ve found they need to be replaced about twice as often. To cut costs, you can purchase PetSafe’s reusable litter tray and buy an alternative crystal litter, but it’ll still be about three times as expensive as using cheap clay litter.

What We Liked:

  • Reliable and not prone to jamming
  • Quiet, quick operation
  • Offers good odor control
  • A good choice for cats who like silica gel litter
  • Features a use counter

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The litter and trays become very expensive over time
  • Not a great choice for cats who dislike silica gel litter
  • When the litter gets saturated, odor control is virtually nonexistent

#4 Best Self-Flushing: CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box

Cat Genie Review

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

  • Price: Out of stock
  • Dimensions: 5 x 19.2 x 21 inches
  • Works With: Proprietary plastic granules
  • Key Strengths: The only flushing litter box on the market
  • Ideal For: People who are interested in a self-flushing box and have the space, time, and patience for a system that connects to their water supply

The CatGenie A.I. is the only automatic litter box that connects directly to your toilet or laundry drain, whisking your cat’s waste away through the plumbing. After each use or according to a schedule of your choice, it will initiate a cycle, first scooping away any solids, then grinding them up and flushing them into your toilet or drain. After the washing cycle, the reusable plastic litter granules are dried, leaving a bed of warm, (hopefully) fresh granules for your cat to use.

While the idea of a self-flushing litter box is appealing, and it works most of the time, we found that it’s a big commitment that requires some special care and consideration.

First off, we found it difficult to find a place where the CatGenie could be connected. In two of the bathrooms we used, the cold water outlet was too far from the nearest power outlet. The CatGenie was also too big to comfortably fit in these spaces. Between these issues, it was difficult to find a spot to put it.

Its core functions can also present some issues. The Genie Hand almost never caught all of our cats’ poop, leaving it to get washed and dried. The heat involved in this cycle means that the poop gets warm and smelly. Similarly, loose stool and diarrhea won’t get scooped and can get baked onto the litter. Deep cleaning involves some water and getting your (gloved, presumably) hands dirty.

Because it requires the use of proprietary granules and non-refillable Sani-Solution cartridges, the CatGenie A.I. has a higher lifetime cost than either a standard litter box or some other automatic litter boxes. And the company is committed to making sure you have to pay for it—the CatGenie won’t work without a Sani-Solution cartridge in place.

Because the CatGenie has more specific installation and maintenance requirements than the other automatic litter boxes on this list, we recommend checking out our full review before making up your mind.

CatGenie has been manufacturing its products for many years, and customer service is available by phone or email seven days a week.

What We Liked:

  • Flushes waste away down the drain or toilet
  • Can be cleaner and less odor-prone than standard litter boxes
  • Has a dedicated following of people who have loved it for years
  • Comes with an app for more control

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly expensive at around $479
  • Requires a water line hookup and drain access
  • Takes up a significant amount of space
  • Maintenance costs can be significant for granules and sani-solution
  • An incomplete clean can create a mess

#5 Most Cat-Friendly: Petkit Pura Max

Petkit Pura Max

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

  • Price: $599.00
  • Dimensions: 18 x 24.4 x 21.73 inches
  • Works With: Any clumping cat litter
  • Key Strengths: Has a low-slung design that cats tend to find comfortable
  • Ideal For: Cats who feel most comfortable in a low, easy-to-access litter box

Petkit is a brand well-known in China for pet technology products, and it’s been making some big steps to move into the U.S. market with a growing line of automatic litter boxes and other higher-tech cat essentials.

The Petkit Pura Max is their newest self-cleaning litter box, employing a rotating mechanism built into a low-slung, easy-access body. The basic sifting functionality is paired with an app that gives you cat identification, a weight log, an activity log, and basic litter box controls.

During our tests, we found that our feline testers took to it quickly, seeming to feel comfortable with the decently-sized, low entryway.

While the cat detection system and cycling worked well, and the unit did a good job of sifting out clumps, it had a significant problem with leaking. Instead of a permanent, built-in liner like most automatic litter boxes have, the Petkit Pura Max features a removable liner that doesn’t create a perfect seal. During my test, I found that urine was able to seep around the edges and drop down into the base below.

The company is aware of the leaking issue, and they created a new drum to address it. However, it hasn’t completely sealed the edges on all sides, so any amount of urination near the edges of the litter bed will get you into the same smelly trouble.

Another frustrating feature of the Pura Max is that it doesn’t automatically empty. You can pour it out through the side door, which makes things a little bit easier than trying to pour out of the entryway, but it’s not as easy as pushing a button to dump it into the waste drawer.

While we had a pretty difficult time with the Pura Max due to the leaking issue and frustrations during cleaning, a lot of commenters on our original YouTube review of the product disagreed, saying that they hadn’t noticed any leaks and loved it. Therefore, we only recommend it to people whose cats “go” in the middle of the litter box.

What We Liked:

  • Cat-friendly, accessible design
  • Full-feature app allows you to effectively monitor your cat’s activity
  • Effective sifting captures all the clumps adn doesn’t leave a lot of waste behind
  • Quiet cycling and unobtrusive design

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Urine and litter tends to get under the globe
  • Deodorizer may spray when a cat is inside of the box

#6 Honorable Mention: Petkit Pura X

Petkit Pura X

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

  • Price: $439.00
  • Dimensions: 84 x 20.94 x 25.42 inches
  • Works With: Any clumping cat litter
  • Key Strengths: Decent sifting performance
  • Ideal For: People who want a rotating sifting litter box but want to spend less on it

Our last recommendation is another Petkit model. While the Pura Max features a low-set drum set in a boxy base with a waste drawer on the side, the Pura X has the drum set higher in a taller boxy body, with its waste drawer positioned below the drum. The entryway is small and high off the ground, making it more difficult for cats to enter.

The rotating and sifting functionality is about the same as that of the Petkit Pura Max, and while it doesn’t have the same removable liner, it’s similarly ill-suited to cats who urinate towards the front edge of the box. There’s a big gap between the drum and housing, allowing liquid and litter to get stuck underneath the globe.

This is Pura X’s biggest flaw. The Petkit app works well, and the unit is relatively affordable compared to the Litter-Robot and even the Petkit Pura Max. If your cat is okay entering a litter globe set high off the ground and uses the middle of the box, rather than the edge, it could be a good self-cleaning solution for you.

What We Liked:

  • Sifting functionality worked consistently and thoroughly
  • More affordable than other similar litter boxes
  • Works with any clumping litter
  • App allows you to differentiate between cats and track activity

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Litter and waste can get stuck under the globe
  • Small, high entry is not very cat-friendly

Automatic Litter Box Comparison

OVERALL BEST
Litter-Robot 4 Automatic Litter Box

Litter-Robot 4 Automatic Litter Box

BEST FOR MULTIPLE CATS
Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Automatic Litter Box

BEST BUDGET
PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litter Box

PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Self-Cleaning Litter Box

BEST SELF-FLUSHING
CatGenie A.I. Self-Washing Self-Flushing Cat Box

CatGenie A.I. Self-Washing Self-Flushing Cat Box

MOST CAT-FRIENDLY
Petkit Pura Max

Petkit Pura Max

HONORABLE MENTION
Petkit Pura X Automatic Litter Box

Petkit Pura X Automatic Litter Box

Number of Reviews
17,000+
Number of Reviews
17,000+
Number of Reviews
6,000+
Number of Reviews
3,000+
Number of Reviews
1,500+
Number of Reviews
1,700+
Country
Designed & assembled in the USA (factory in Juneau, Wisconsin)
Country
Designed & assembled in the USA (factory in Juneau, Wisconsin)
Country
Owned by Radio Systems Corporation, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee
Country
Made in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Country
Made in China
Country
Made in China
Years in Business
23
Years in Business
23
Years in Business
32
Years in Business
17
Years in Business
10
Years in Business
10
Warranty
18-month full-coverage warranty; extended 3-year warranty available
Warranty
18-month full-coverage warranty; extended 3-year warranty available
Warranty
1-year warranty
Warranty
2-year limited warranty
Warranty
None
Warranty
None
Money-Back Guarantee
90-day in-home trial + money-back guarantee (must pay return shipping)
Money-Back Guarantee
90-day in-home trial + money-back guarantee (must pay return shipping)
Money-Back Guarantee
45-day satisfaction guarantee (credit for your purchase minus shipping costs)
Money-Back Guarantee
90-day money-back guarantee (Outgoing shipping costs are non-refundable)
Money-Back Guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
Money-Back Guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
Payment Plan
3-, 6-, & 12-month plans available with Affirm
Payment Plan
3-, 6-, & 12-month plans available with Affirm
Payment Plan
Payment plans may be available through Affirm
Payment Plan
Payment plans may be available through Affirm
Payment Plan
Not available
Payment Plan
Not available
WiFi-Enabled
Get notifications and monitor litter box habits with the Whisker app; individual cat recognition launching 2023
WiFi-Enabled
Get notifications and monitor litter box habits with the Whisker app
WiFi-Enabled
Get notifications and monitor litter box habits with the WiFi-enabled version
WiFi-Enabled
CatGenie A.I provides easy-to-setup WiFi connection. You can start your CatGenie A.I. right from the App
WiFi-Enabled
Yes; works with Petkit app
WiFi-Enabled
Yes; works with Petkit app
Sifting Technology
Original patented gravity-driven litter-sifting technology
Sifting Technology
Original patented gravity-driven litter-sifting technology
Sifting Technology
Automatic rake sifts litter to remove waste
Sifting Technology
Self-flushing, self-washing
Sifting Technology
Rotating gravity-driven sifting system
Sifting Technology
Rotating gravity-driven sifting system
Product Design
Orbital design with large open entry
Product Design
Orbital design with ovular entry
Product Design
Open litter pan with optional covers
Product Design
Open, uncovered circular design with optional hood
Product Design
Covered, low-slung design
Product Design
Covered design with small entry set off the ground

What Should You Look For in an Automatic Litter Box?

cleaning model may be the right choice. But while there’s no shortage of options on the market, some of them simply aren’t up to snuff.

Before you invest several hundred dollars in a high-tech litter box solution, make sure it’s going to deliver on its promises. Here’s what to look for when shopping for an automatic litter box.

An Effective Design

While all automatic litter boxes promise to save time and make your life easier, our tests have found that most of them have design flaws that could make them more time-consuming than a regular box. That’s why it’s important to choose a self-cleaning box with a smart, effective design.

Look for ones that don’t have many open gaps and cracks that can collect waste or allow urine to leak down below the drum or litter pan. If you’re looking for one with a raking mechanism, make sure that the rake is able to reach the bottom of the pan and is strong enough to capture heavier clumps.

The litter box should also work quickly and quietly, ensuring that neither you nor your cat is disturbed when it runs a cycle.

Ease of Cleaning

While you won’t need to scoop an automatic litter box, you will need to clean it out periodically. It should be easy to pour out the litter and spray or wipe out the inside. That’s why we recommend choosing one with an automatic emptying feature and minimal crannies where waste can get stuck.

Cat Activity Tracking

Your cat’s litter box is one of your most valuable windows into their health, which makes scooping time a great opportunity to learn how your cat’s doing. A good self-cleaning litter box incorporates cat activity monitoring features. An app with an activity log, especially one that specifies your cat’s weight as well as how many times they’ve used the box, will help you to keep track of changes in your cat’s habits and flag potential issues sooner.

Fits Your Budget

One of the top questions people ask about automatic litter boxes is “Are they worth it?”.

The answer to that question involves a cost-benefit analysis that only you can perform. It’s a good idea to recognize that the most expensive boxes aren’t always the best. Realize, also, that the long-term cost of the litter box is more than the number in the Chewy checkout.

Like a cheap printer that costs you hundreds of dollars a year in ink, some automatic litter boxes, like the CatGenie, require special supplies that may end up costing a lot more than a regular box full of cheap litter.

On the other hand, some expensive units can save you money over time. The Litter-Robot, for example, is known to keep cat litter cleaner for longer, and it’s compatible with virtually any clumping cat litter. While the upfront cost is high, it may end up helping you save money over time.

Made and Sold by a Reputable Company

With units starting at $150 and going up to $700 or more, a self-cleaning litter box is a major investment. The best ones come from companies that stand behind their products, offering at least a 1-year warranty and responsive customer service.

How to Help Your Cat Start Using a New Automatic Litter Box

Between operating noises and unexpected movements, a self-cleaning litter box may be jarring to your cat. To avoid “protest poops” outside of the box and an unhappy cat, make a gradual transition, gently acclimating your cat to their new box.

First, place the automatic litter box in a familiar, comfortable area where your cat feels safe. Start with the unit turned off to let your cat become comfortable with it. If you start with the litter box turned on, the noise and motion of a cycle could scare them off.

Instead of removing the old litter box immediately, keep it in the same room but stop cleaning it. Help your cat to recognize the new box by transferring a scoop of dirty litter. In time, your cat should choose the cleaner box. Once your cat is using their new automatic litter box, turn it on and let them see it cycling between uses. After a few weeks, your cat should be comfortable with the new box.

Remember that some cats will never love their automatic litter box. In our tests, some cats liked the automatic boxes, and others didn’t. One of our cats consistently used a traditional litter box when given the choice. Forcing your cat to do something they don’t want to do is never a good idea, so we recommend always providing an alternative litter box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do automatic cat litter boxes really work?

It depends on which one you get! A well-made automatic litter box effectively cleans after each use and allows you to skip scooping. However, a lot of automatic litter boxes are more hassle than convenience, so it’s important to pick the right one.

What is the best litter to use for a self-cleaning litter box?

While some self-cleaning litter boxes require special litter, most of them work best with high-quality, hard-clumping litter. Most don’t work well with pellet-style litter, non-clumping litter, or litter that creates soft clumps.

Do self-cleaning litter boxes smell less?

Because a good automatic litter box cleans after each use and stores the waste in a sealed compartment, it will smell less than a regular box. However, our tests have found that a poorly-designed automatic litter box can end up smelling a lot worse than a regular box. Bad automatic litter boxes tend to have nooks and crannies where waste can get stuck, meaning that it’s harder to get them thoroughly clean.

Can you use regular litter in a self-cleaning litter box?

It depends on the self-cleaning litter box. Most are compatible with any type of clumping cat litter, while others only work with crystals. Some automatic litter boxes require proprietary litter only available from the manufacturer.

Do cats prefer clean litter boxes?

Absolutely! Cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and love being clean, so it’s only natural that they prefer clean litter boxes. Compared to inconsistent manual scooping, an automatic litter box can help to create a fresher, more comfortable bathroom for your cat.

Are cats scared of automatic litter boxes?

Some cats are startled by the noise and movement of an automatic litter box. That’s why it’s a good idea to acclimate a cat to their new box before turning it on.

small mallory photo

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

56 thoughts on “The 6 Best Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes in 2024”

+ Add Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mary White

    I bought the I litter robot and thought that it would be more clean but found it to be more disgusting because of the fact that it rotates to dump all that dirtiness and dust from the litter (the urine-soaked litter) go up the wall over the ceiling and dump and then it rotates back down so you still have all that nastiness along the insides of the wall. And if you don’t clean it every time it Cycles that’s just nasty!

    Reply
  2. Brenda Smith

    Litter robot is great for my females but NOT for my male who even though he is neutered tends to spray up and back when he urinates. This means the back is wet when it rotates and the litter clumps on it and gets stuck on the grates. Worse, some of that urine goes out the opening and runs down the sides and collects in the bottom. I didn’t realize this until the stench was overwhelming and I took it apart to figure it out. My solution has been one regular box and one litter robot. The male never liked the litter robot anyway so he uses the regular box. So… I still have to scoop but not as often.

    Reply
  3. Kelly A

    Hi
    I had same problem the litter robot would stop midway at times
    I came home from a 2 day trip to find the worst mess ever
    Also tried Chilx so cheaply maid first 24 hours the item had urine dripping from sides
    Plastic cheaply made
    I had safe LitterMaid with crystal cartridge for years but had to replace every 5 days the smell from the crystals was awful
    I guess I’ll try the LitterMaid for clumping litter

    Reply
  4. Mike Durnen

    looking at the Chillx litter box This looks like a China made product that you can buy on Alibaba for $180 When you buy more they will put your logo on them and get a it a little cheaper

    Reply
  5. Zhen

    was looking at the eversweet review and found a new self clean litter box from petkit.

    any chance we can take a look at this product as well? 🙂 thanks in advance!

    (p.s. own 2 litter robot 3 and both of them are not working as expected, not always detecting my cats and sometime just freeze in middle… had the wifi board installed and was never able to connect so the app is non-exist for me…)

    https://www.amazon.com/PETKIT-Self-Cleaning-xSecure-Automatic-Multiple/dp/B08T9CCP1M?ref_=ast_sto_dp#customerReviews

    Reply
        1. kateKate Barrington

          Hi Micca, Mallory is no longer available to respond to comments but I looked into the Els Pet litter box a little bit. It looks like a promising option, definitely a different design than many models on the market. My main concerns are the size (the opening is a little small) and the raking technology may leave behind pieces of dirty litter (as with the PetSafe ScoopFree).

          I’ll mention it to the editorial team to see if we can review it. In the meantime, let us know if you try it out!

          Reply
    1. bente andrew

      Hi i hve a PetKit litterbox and both our 11 cats and i love it, best thing ever and i also bouth one called MEET Cat toilet witch is also brilliant nut the PetKit one also weighs the cats accuratly ,,you do have to wipe down the insdide once a week but so much better than scooping out the trays ..also no smell as it deodorises so a win win

      Reply
  6. Rebecca

    Hey have you check out this new one on Kickstarter

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/catsonlitterbox/an-affordable-auto-litter-box-that-cares-about-you-and-your?ref=discovery&term=automatic%20litter%20boxes

    I have noticed many automatic type litter boxes lately on my facebook feed – I often wonder if they are any good. Some are a lower price point then the Litter Robot, I currently have the 3 but with 5 Ragdolls another one would be nice if it wasn’t for the price.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Rebecca, we haven’t looked into the Catson litter box yet, but we can certainly consider it for a future review. There are, indeed, quite a lot of automatic litter boxes on the market, with Facebook and other social media outlets being popular advertising platforms. We’d love to review them all!

      Reply
      1. bente andrew

        Hi i have both the PetKit and the MEET cat litter ones and love them both but PetKit also weighs the cats quite accuratly so yes try to test them both out another one that looks good are the PETREE one thinking of ordering that one, always good to try out different ones and they are around $ 500 cheaper than the Litter Robot Cheer from Australia

        Reply
        1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

          Hi there! Hope you’re doing well in Australia—I know things have been pretty crazy down there recently. I’m trying out the Petkit Pura X automatic litter box right now, so I hope to get back to all of you guys with more details soon.

          Reply
          1. Brenda

            I am really looking forward to the review of the Petkit PuraX as I am considering it against litter robot. However, from the research I have done so far I have noticed that acquiring parts for litter robot is very easy from their website and every part seems to be replaceable whereas Petkit on the other hand have no parts for sale on their website.

          2. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

            Yes, that’s true. The other issue with Petkit is that their app is not well-adapted to English and customer support is not as accessible compared to that of the Litter-Robot. Will come back with more details soon!

    2. Jean Cole

      Nothing personal, just a pet peeve. As a former copy editor, I wish reviewers the world over would stop writing “price point” when they simply mean “price,”
      The phrase has become jargon. One could just note that something is cheaper or costlier.
      (I may just need some sleep.)

      Reply
  7. John O Romasanta

    I’ve had the litter robot for years now. It’s been predictable and does a great job at cleaning. Sometimes it will get stuck, but that’s easy to fix. Not to mention the support is very good. Both of my British shorthair doesn’t have any issues using it.

    Reply
  8. Phrannie L

    We’ve had the PetSafe Scoop Free Litter Box for almost 3 years now, and it stopped working completely. My spouse (who knows mechanical engineering) took it apart and found that the rotating gear mechanism for the rake is made of PLASTIC parts, when those parts should be metal. The result is that the gears wear away with time and usage, and the teeth that are supposed to grip are stripped completely. They’re basically smooth now, and the rake won’t move anymore.

    So while this litter box was wonderful while it worked, it is guaranteed to FAIL irreparably in 2-3 years. The inside is designed to NOT last.

    I contacted the company about this and they offered me a 10% off coupon to buy a new one. Sounds like this is their business model.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Phrannie, thank you for sharing. Great observation on the gear mechanism being made of plastic parts that are prone to stripping—I think this observation will help a lot of people to make a more informed decision on whether or not they buy this box.

      Reply
  9. Shaye

    I hated the PetSafe Scoop Free litter box. It was fine when we had just one cat but when we had more than one, it felt like we were replacing the tray every week and it was so pricey. Plus the crystal litter was such a hassle and I felt that because it never clumped urine, the smell was just overbearing, even with stirring it up after any time they peed. It became more of a hassle than a regular box.

    Reply
  10. Nick

    Wondering if you have considered doing a review of the Omega Paw ‘Automatic’ litter box (large) – I know the (affiliated?) site “All About Pets” did a review on it, but it was several years ago.

    Plus, I really value the insight of you and your team here at All About Cats; it would be great to get your take on the Omega Paw as it seems to be a promising middle ground that could speed up the litter cleaning process without the expense of a litterRobot, etc. it would be great to get your take on how it stacks up with the other boxes you’ve tested!

    Thanks for the great site & content!

    Reply
  11. Jenna

    I am curious about how these compare to the Smarty Pear Leo’s Loo Too Cat Litter Box. From reviews on Chewy, it seems to be very good and some people like it better than the Litter Robot 3. I guess the other question will be how both compare to the Litter Robot 4 now that that’s out.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Jenna, the Litter-Robot 4 is worlds ahead of the Leo’s Loo Too. I’ve found the unit to sift ineffectively, and the handle placement made it nearly impossible to carry it around. I don’t consider it to be at all worth the cost. We’ll do an in-depth review of it soon.

      Reply
      1. Christine Leigh Brown-Roberts

        I have a Leo’s Loo and love it. I have never had any problems with it sifting, and I’m not sure why you would need a handle to carry it around? I have 2 cats and they also love it. It is less fancy than the ones that have apps and all that jazz, but it’s simplicity also means it comes at a cheaper price and I don’t worry about it breaking. It also has a very large interior, which I also find useful.

        Reply
  12. Michelle

    Hi. Any chance you will be doing a review of the Instachew Purrclean self-cleaning litter box? I’ve noticed that some reviewers much prefer it to the Litter Robot, so I would love to see a review of it by you. Thank you!

    Reply
      1. Rachel

        I was interested in the Instachew Purrclean too, but it looks just like a couple other units: “Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, Catboat” on Amazon and “Pet Marvel smart intelligent cat litter box toilet APP remote control self cleaning litter box machine with digital display” or “Large Automatic Cat Litter Box Self Cleaning Big Cat Litter Box APP Control Safe Cat Toliet Machine” on Alibaba. So not sure it’s manufactured by a reliable company.

        Reply
        1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

          Good observations—I’ve noticed that as well, and unfortunately, I can’t say for certain whether or not it is a white-labeled product from Alibaba. However, I’ve been testing it out myself, and I’ve had some issues with litter and urine making their way underneath the rotating drum, and the overall performance is not very impressive. I should be able to come back with more details soon.

          Reply
  13. Craig Verret

    Have you reviewed this yet?
    ELS PET Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, No Scooping…
    ELS PET Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, No Scooping Automatic Cat Litter Box, APP Control/Safety/Odorless, 60L Large Smart Cat Litter Box for Multiple Cats

    Reply
  14. Emma

    I have been using the Pet Kit Pura Max for about 2 months and think it is great! I would be interested in seeing what you think about it and how it compares to the Pura X. Thank you for your extensive research done on this it is super helpful!

    Reply
  15. Wendy J Lawrence

    Mallory, Is there a chance you will be reviewing Smarty Pear’s Leo’s Loo Too in the future? We are contemplating this investment late this year, so I’d love to see your opinion, especially compared to the Litter Robot 4. 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Jack

    Interesting comments. We bought the Elspet / Hillpig. We’ve had it for about two months and are quite satisfied with its performance, safety features, cleanliness and reliability. Got quite a good price on Amazon. I’m considering buying a Litter Robot 4 (We Havertown cats!) because of all the great reviews by “professional reviewers” but users seem to be less enthusiastic about it.

    Reply
    1. Bobbie L

      As they disclosed, reviewers take a cut. I’ve seen it elsewhere, maybe youtube. Like 15%? 20%? The litter robot is so pricey and buggy. Outdated product really.

      Reply
  17. Bobbie L

    Nice read. But I’m surprised the Popur X5 was not covered. Extensive research – you bet. I started as a Kickstarter backer and now I have four of them that replaced my old litter robots and petkits. Haha

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hm, you’re right that this is one of the automatic litter boxes that was not tested for this review, but I can assure you that we did the research and testing described in the content of this article. As for the Popur, this review from One Man Five Cats concerned me—seems that the Popur X5 has some safety issues that the company is not acknowledging or correcting, and the functionality is imperfect as well. It didn’t make it into our testing, but I felt comfortable not recommending it based on what I’d seen about it online.

      Reply
      1. Bobbie L

        I’m glad I have my own experience instead of being misled by the so called influencer and the hearsay. I saw that video when someone mentioned it on kickstarter. I’ve to say anyone can make a scene easily by pausing the machine and putting a doll behind the rake purposely. I see it impossible in real life because the gap is so small when I use a normal amount of cat litter. On kickstarter I saw only one complaint about safety in the early days but she clarified that her front guard was missing. That’s the reason. Also I can’t recall when but it was long ago that they changed the software and the rake retracted first before the box returns.

        As disclosed that guy earns commissions from what he recommend, I think his integrity is questionable. After watching the video I chatted with their support and raised my concerns. They said that their boss had a fight with that person and it became real personal. The guy had a pre production prototype that was different from what we backers received. I was told the guy threatened popur company in the first place and even used the F words many times in emails, and they tried to post response on youtube but the comment got removed. Also they told me they had no more intention to respond to that guy directly as they are busy serving the customers and making better products. But in reality they discussed everything during kickstarter updates including the safety issues. I can testify that they are devoted to improving the product and attending their customers. That’s my experience at least. Anyways, their fight is none of my business all I wish is the company will outlast my litter box haha but they seem to be doing pretty well with all the great reviews on amazon. And yay I just bought my second popur on prime day today. But sadly no discount at all…

        Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Richard, I did test out the Leo’s Loo Too but have decided against including it in this review—my experience with it involved poor design and functionality, so I don’t feel comfortable recommending it.

      Reply
  18. Monica

    Hi, do you have an automatic litter box review dedicated to performance using alternate litters? I’ve been considering the PetKit PuraMax, Pura X, or the PetSnowy SNOW+ but I’m concerned about how well they’ll work with wood litter. I use ökocat original and super soft clumping wood litters and while many of the automatic boxes say they work well with *most* clumping litters, I haven’t seen any that actually mention being wood compatible.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hey Monica, that’s a good request, and unfortunately, we have not yet done comprehensive testing with multiple litter types. I do know that Okocat’s wood clumping litter tends to be a little bit softer-clumping, which will be a problem with these automatic litter boxes. Also, these types of litter tend to hold more humidity, which I know can be a problem for the Litter-Robot’s sensors.

      Reply
  19. Roddy

    Hi All and Mallory,
    Does anyone have a link to Litter-Robot where I could potentially save some $$ and you could get some store credit as well? My email address is [email protected].

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Roddy

    Reply
  20. Isabela Arce

    Hi! Have you done a review on the Pet Snowy Snow+ automatic litter box? I am considering between that one and Litter Robot 4, and would love to know your thoughts. Thank you!

    Reply