Are you thinking of upgrading your cat’s traditional litter box to a high-tech self-cleaning one? If so, I’m sure you’re wondering if automatic litter boxes are actually worth the hype. There’s a lot of momentum and excitement behind newer models on the market, but are the benefits worth those hefty price tags?
When investing in any home appliance, it’s best to do your research first so that you can make a confident and informed decision. We’re here to help you do just that. Read on to discover the benefits of upgrading to an automatic litter box and whether or not it’s worth it for your home!
What is an automatic litter box?
An automatic litter box self cleans and removes your cat’s waste after each use, putting an end to manual scooping. The majority of automatic litter boxes work by separating the soiled litter from the clean litter. The waste then gets dumped into a separate compartment that traps all odors. This method varies quite a bit in terms of functionality. There are horizontal raking systems like the AutoEgg by ChillX or a rotating mechanism like that of Aimicat.
The benefits of upgrading to an automatic litter box
There’s no denying that introducing an automatic litter box into your home will bring some massive benefits for both you and your kitty. Here are the top 6 benefits that we enjoy from self-cleaning units.
1. They save you time
One of the most time-consuming parts of your cat’s maintenance is keeping their litter box clean. Depending on your cat’s regularity, cleaning litter can take up more time than you might think. This is especially true for kittens who tend to poop multiple times a day and are more likely to suffer from diarrhea or digestive irregularities. Moreover, if you have multiple fur babies, the litter tray fills up very quickly.
If you’re like me you’ve got a busy day to day schedule that can make it difficult to find the time or energy to tend to your cat’s litter. If you’re out of the house most of the day, it’s likely you come home to a heavily soiled litter box. Not exactly a pleasant welcome! In these cases, an automatic litter box can be a lifesaver as many will reduce your kitty’s litter maintenance time by more than half.
2. They prevent foul odors
One disadvantage of manual scooping is the spread of foul smells around the house. Unless you scoop straight after your cat does their business, those smells can really waft through the room.
A significant benefit of automatic litter trays is the ability to eliminate odors. There are two ways they do this. First, the precise weight sensors sense when your cat is in the litter box and when they have vacated. The system then initiates cleaning around 5 to 10 minutes after they have left, preventing the smell from sticking around for too long. Secondly, the waste gets trapped in a tightly concealed compartment that prevents any odor from escaping.
3. They are more hygienic
If you’re manually scooping, you’re most likely scooping once or twice a day to keep that litter looking fresh. Automatic litter boxes clean after every use to ensure the tray is spotless for the next visit. Several systems will also schedule routine cleanings throughout the day to circulate the litter and ensure a clean space at all times.
4. Less cat litter is needed
Sifting waste from clean litter is not the most straightforward task, and many times large amounts of clean litter will get discarded through the process. Therefore, manual scooping does tend to hit where it hurts both in terms of effort and waste.
The smart design of a self-cleaning system used in automatic litter boxes means that sifting is much more efficient. It retains most of the clean litter, saving you between 5 to 10 times the amount lost from manual scooping after each use.
5. They can monitor your cat’s health
Some automatic litter boxes feature a health log and alert system. This intelligent system tracks each time your kitty uses the bathroom and records the frequency of visits and the weight of the waste eliminated. This data is used to monitor your cat’s health and flag any abnormalities that could be cause for concern.
The immaculate environment will improve your cat’s wellbeing and happiness. Simultaneously, the health log will keep an eye out for any potential health issues such as diarrhea, constipation, or even a feline UTI.
6. They could improve your health too
As well as taking care of your kitty’s health, an automatic litter box could be beneficial for yours as well. Many cat owners experience back pain or discomfort caused by bending over to tend to the litter box regularly. With a self-cleaning litter box, you’ll no longer need to *literally* put your back into it.
Easing up on the constant need to scoop can be beneficial for everyone’s health. Cat feces can be harmful to humans, as each time you scoop, you may be breathing in toxic bacteria and ammonia. An automatic litter box keeps contact with feline waste to a minimum. This is an incredibly worthwhile option for those who are hoping to avoid any of the “dirty work” when it comes to cat care.
What are the downsides to automatic litter boxes?
There are two potential downsides to introducing your cat to an automatic litter box that we think are worth mentioning before your buy.
- Some automatic litter boxes operate quite loudly. This can be alarming to your kitty. It can also be inconvenient for you, especially if you live in a smaller apartment or home where you cannot keep the unit far away from where you sleep. Luckily some models that use horizontal raking systems operate at near silence.
- As with all electronic appliances, there is always the risk of it breaking down. This should not be a concern, though, as all the best automatic litter boxes will provide a 1-year warranty should anything go wrong with the unit. Most also provide generous return windows if it’s not the right fit for your fur family!
Is an automatic litter box worth the investment?
A lot of cat owners seem weary of shifting to an automatic litter box due to the high price tags. These high-tech units are indeed costly compared to the traditional alternatives. Still, it will save you money in the long run by easing up on the amount of litter used but also allotting for additional free time in your day.
There are undoubtedly some brilliant benefits to owning an automatic litter box. Consider the information above to decide if a self-cleaning litter system is the best choice for you and your precious kitty.