If there’s something out there that claims to pick up the slack when it comes to maintaining the litter box we’re all ears. As fellow cat owners over here, we’re sure you’re just as interested as we are to take a deep dive into the world of automatic litter boxes.
Automatic litter boxes are designed to make life easier for fur families while improving your cat’s health and wellbeing. However, they don’t come all too cheap. Considering the significant price difference, how do automatic litter boxes stack up against the traditional trays?
Check out our top three differences separating an automatic litter box from a traditional one. Daily Scooping vs. No Scooping?
We’ve yet to meet a cat owner who enjoys the process of scooping! Moreover, nowadays, most owners are juggling all sorts of responsibilities in the home and with work in addition to trying to incorporate pet care.
With traditional litter trays, you often need to scoop at least once a day (more if you have multiple cats at home). Manual litter maintenance just adds another task to your endless to-do list throughout the week.
However, automatic litter boxes lessen your load (pun intended) by keeping your cat’s litter box squeaky clean nearly 24/7. They do this by self-cleaning each time your feline uses the litter box.
Most units like this use precise weight sensors to detect your cat’s presence and, therefore, know when your cat is in the box and when they have left it. The AutoEgg waits 5 minutes after your cat is gone (for safety reasons) before initiating a self-cleaning cycle.
Superficial Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning
With manual scooping, it can be challenging to sift through the litter without experiencing breakage or smearing. You may be able to remove the larger lumps in a traditional litter tray, no problem. Still, some dirty litter and its bacteria will often remain, making the clean granules somewhat unhygienic and difficult to remove.
The cleaning systems in automatic litter boxes are much more effective and give a deeper and more thorough clean all around. However, not all self-cleaning litter units are created equal, as they use different cleaning mechanisms.
We find the most effective system is the horizontal raking system which both the AutoEgg and the ScoopFree use. This system’s intelligent design means the rake can catch even the smallest grains of waste. Plus, these automatic litter boxes feature a germ-resistant, non-stick shell to reduce your cat’s exposure to toxins as well as prevent debris from sticking to the side panels.
A Foul-Smelling House vs. An Odor-Free Home
Another key comparison between automatic litter boxes and traditional litter trays is the amount of odor they release. The box’s design makes a big difference with odor control. For example, hooded boxes prevent odors from seeping out more than open-style trays by containing dust and debris during bathroom trips.
However, the biggest reason why unwanted smells spread around the house is that the poop sits in the tray for quite some time. While this is a problem with traditional litter boxes, the prompt and frequent self-cleaning of automatic units eliminate any lingering odors and trap waste into concealed compartments.
Automatic litter boxes that utilize rotating and raking systems have a waste compartment where the dirty litter deposits. These compartments are sealed so tightly that no odors can leak out. Some self-cleaning litter trays like the Aimicat use carbon filters to neutralize the scents too.
Less Dust & Litter Tracking
Traditional litter boxes are poorly designed for retaining litter particles and preventing a mess. Many standard trays are uncovered and have low sides, allowing your fur baby to kick out their litter while they engage in burying behaviors (totally natural).
As well as using innovative technology, automatic litter boxes have caught traction using innovative design techniques. Many of these high-tech units not only have a hood, but the sides are fully enclosed, with the entryway being the only open part of the unit. Therefore, there are no gaps in the box’s sides or back to let dust and litter granules escape the unit.
Some models like automatic litter boxes also feature a tracking step at the entryway. This catches litter particles from your kitty’s paws to prevent litter tracking around the house.
Health Tracking Capabilities
A unique selling point of automatic litter boxes is the capability to log data and use it to monitor your cat’s health metrics. How is this possible? The health tracker in most automatic units records the date and time of each litter box visit as well as body and waste weight metrics.
Monitoring your cat’s litter box usage in this way lets the system understand your kitty’s everyday habits and alert owners of abnormalities during bathroom trips.
With traditional litter boxes, you can easily get through a bag of litter every other week with your cat. If you have multiple kitties, you probably feel like you’re constantly running out. Additionally, litter is quite heavy and hard to transport (even across the living room if you’ve got a bad back like me), so it’s not the easiest to pick up during a weekly trip to the grocery store.
An automatic litter box is an ideal choice for cat owners who hate all things litter! As well as taking over scooping duties, self-cleaning litter units are inherently designed to preserve as much clean litter as possible.
Traditional litter boxes use up to 4 times the amount of cat litter compared to the automatic versions. This is due to the more effective cleaning as well as the design features that limit tracking mishaps.
A Litter Box With Style
Let’s be honest; most traditional litter boxes are big, bulky, and stick out like a sore thumb (at least mine do). No one wants their guests to spot their cat’s litter tray, especially if it’s not clean! So we’re often tasked with hiding them in less than convenient spaces such as the basement or the laundry room. Automatic litter boxes look so sleek and modern that you won’t feel the need to hide them whenever someone might be stopping over. Some have unique, futuristic looks, while others are compact and minimalistic to blend in with any home decor.
So Let’s Discuss
When you consider the factors above, you can see there are quite a few advantages that automatic units seem to offer over traditional litter trays.
The high-tech units may be pricier, but the investment feels like a sound shift for anyone in the market for a new pet gadget that can, quite literally, “lighten the load”.
Happy hunting for your new favorite cat product!