Your bond with your favorite feline makes him feel like a part of your family. This furry family member comes with some unique upkeep, including a litter box. Automatic litter boxes are a game-changer for many households. Gone are the days of sifting through cat litter with a scoop, choking on dust laden with things you’d rather not think about. Depending on the design, automatic litter boxes take care of sifting, scooping, and storing your cat’s waste. You get to enjoy more of the things you love about your cat and less of the work you don’t.
We reviewed dozens of automatic litter boxes to find the best of the best. Automatic litter boxes range in design and features. Some have nightlights, while others have hoods or disposable trays. Multi-cat homes have some automatic options, too. We’ve also included a few semi-automatic and sifting models that reduce your work but don’t require batteries or an electrical outlet.
PetSafe leads the way in automatic litter boxes. The 2nd generation of the ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box cleans the litter box in seconds. Once it’s a new tray is loaded, you can leave it for weeks before you need to replace the litter. Even then, all you have to do remove and replace the disposable tray. It requires crystal litter, but you’ll enjoy less dust and litter outside the box.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Automatic Litter Boxes
|Best Automatic Litter Box Overall||PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box||3.9|
|Best Hooded Automatic Litter Box||PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box||3.9|
|Best Budget Automatic Litter Box||Omega Pet EL-RA20-1 Roll N Clean Litter Box||3.7|
|Best Multi-Cat Automatic Litter Box||LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box||3.0|
|Best Semi-Automatic Litter Box||Le You Pet Semi-Automatic Quick Cleaning Litter Box||3.4|
* Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Automatic Litter Box Overall: PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box – 2nd Generation
The PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box leaves no stone, or should we say litter, unturned. From the cleaning to the changing of the litter, everything about this model is fast, simple, and less work than the average litter box. While loading litter isn’t a hard job, it can be messy. This model comes with pre-portioned packages of crystal litter. You simply open the package, empty it into a new tray, and slide it into the litter box. There’s no dust or litter falling on the floor, cutting down on your coughing and clean-up time.
If you’ve never used crystal litter, get ready for something a little different. It absorbs odors, virtually eliminates dust, and is less likely to track through your house. When cleaned properly, crystal litter can last for several weeks. The PetSafe 2nd Generation has an automatic sensor that turns on the cleaning cycle 20 minutes after the litter box’s last use. A wire rake works through the litter, pushing waste into a covered trap, where it’s stored out of sight (and smell).
This model also has a health tracker that tells you how many times your cat has used the litter box. That gives you an idea of when it’s time to change the litter and lets you know if there’s a change in your cat’s normal behavior. It’s a simple system that runs itself without your constant supervision or scooping.
PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box – 2nd Generation Key Features:
- Pre-portioned packages of crystal cat litter
- Disposable trays
- Trap holds waste until disposal
- Health tracker monitors how often the litter box gets used
- Motion sensor activated
Best Hooded Automatic Litter Box: PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box takes everything we love about PetSafe’s litter boxes and adds a hood to keep everything about your cat’s business undercover. The Ultra Hooded comes with pre-packaged crystal litter that perfectly fills the disposable tray. Crystal litter has impressive benefits for you and your cat. It absorbs moisture and odors better than traditional cat litter, and there’s no dusty residue floating through your house. Changing the litter is as easy as taking out the tray, putting on the lid, and sliding a new tray with fresh litter into the litter box. It’s designed to be non-sticky, so less of it travels with your cat out of the litter box. When it’s combined with Ultra Hooded’s self-scooping design, the crystal litter can last several weeks before you need to change it.
And, speaking of self scooping, the Ultra Hooded has a motion-activated wire rake that turns on 20 minutes after the litter box’s last use. It works its way through the crystal litter, pushing waste into a trap that holds it until it’s time to empty the tray. The system also includes a health counter, so you can track how many times your cat has used the litter and will let you know if there’s a change in your cat’s normal routine. We like the added privacy and odor control of the hooded model. The crystals do an excellent job of absorbing odors, but the hood keeps the smell in until the crystals can do their job.
PetSafe Scoopfree Ultra Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box Key Features:
- Hood keeps odors in and gives cat privacy
- Disposable trays
- Pre-packaged crystal litter
- Trap automatically opens and stores waste
- Motion sensor activated
- Health tracker lets you know when it’s time to change the litter
Best Budget Automatic Litter Box: Omega Paw EL-RA20-1 Roll N Clean Litter Box
The Omega Paw EL-RA20-1 Roll N Clean Litter Box isn’t quite as automatic as some of the other models on our list. However, it’s simple cleaning method still keeps you far away from anything you’d rather not touch. The Omega Paw’s hooded design does more than keep odors in. The hood allows you to clean the entire litter box by rolling it on the rounded edge. As the litter box rolls, the cat’s waste slides into a trap. A handle of the front of the trap allows you to pull it out and empty it without scooping the waste yourself.
This model uses standard clumping litter. There’s a fill line, so you don’t under or overfill the litter box. The Omega Paw is semi-automatic, which we like for families that would rather not have another electrical device in the house. For example, if you have young children or your cat chews cords, a semi-automatic design might be a better choice. You don’t have to touch your cat’s waste, and the simple cleaning and disposal make it one of our favorites. Plus, the price is nearly half of a standard automatic litter box.
Omega Paw EL-RA20-1 Roll N Clean Litter Box Key Features:
- Self-cleaning design
- Removable waste trap
- Litter fill line
- Removable hood
Best Semi-Automatic Litter Box: Le You Pet Semi-Automatic Litter Box
The Le You Pet Semi-Automatic Litter Box makes clean up a breeze and provides plenty of space for your cat to find the perfect spot. Some cats prefer a raised litter box. If that’s your cat, you’ve found the perfect model. The Le You Pet has a quick, seven-second cleaning system. To use it, first, you tip the litter box backward, which pushes the litter through a grated door. Next, the reset bar is opened, and you tip the litter box forward. This allows the litter to pass back through the grate, putting litter back where your cat can use it and trapping the waste in a removable drawer. Then, you lift the box and lock the reset bar. Once you’re all done, pull out the trap drawer and get rid of the waste.
This model is large enough for use by larger cats or multi-cat homes. We also like that it’s easy to assembly. Everything snaps into place within a few minutes, and you’re ready to go. The high-capacity trap reduces the frequency with which you need to clean the litter box. And, while the Le You Pet doesn’t completely lock in odors, it keeps them hidden away until it’s time to empty the trap.
Le You Pet Semi-Automatic Litter Box Key Features:
- Above ground litter box
- Rolling, self-cleaning design
- Large trap drawer
- High-capacity litter box and trap
Best Multi-Cat Automatic Litter Box: LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box takes on the job of multiple cats over 15 pounds. Its heavy-duty design can hold more litter and waste before you need to empty the trap and change the litter. Like other automatic designs, the LitterMaid has a wire rake that pulls waste into a trap. Once the trap is full, you remove the disposable tray and throw it all away. Disposable trays make clean-up so easy. You don’t have to wash, dry, or sanitize. It’s a matter of replacing the tray, and you’re ready to go. You can run the LitterMaid so that it automatically cleans after your cat has done his business. Or, if he’s shy, you can manually turn it on when he’s well outside the room and turn it off again once it’s scooped waste into the tray.
There are a couple of extra features that make the LitterMaid work for multiple cats. First, if your cat gets a little vigorous when he buries his waste, the LitterMaid is more likely to keep it contained with its high walls. Second, with multiple cats, you’ll be dealing with more odor than normal. The trap door has carbon filters that prevent odor from making its way from the litter box to the rest of your house. Finally, the LitterMaid has a cleaning ramp that removes litter as your cat leaves the box.
Overall, the capacity and features make the LitterMaid ideal for multi-cat homes. Everyone—your cats and family members—will appreciate the cleaner litter box.
LitterMaid Multi-Cat Self-Cleaning Litter Box Key Features:
- Tall sides keep litter contained
- Carbon filters reduce odor
- Wire rake self-scoops after each use
- Disposable trays for easy cleaning
- Paw cleaning ramp
Who Should Buy an Automatic Litter Box
Scooping clumps out of a litter box isn’t exactly how most people would like to spend their Saturday morning. Automatic litter boxes take some of the smelly grunt work out of cat ownership. If you’d like to keep odors down without having to scoop every day, these litter boxes often contain and neutralize odors better than a regular litter box. Some can be used with regular, clumping cat litter, while others require specialized litter like the crystal variety. For the best results, use the type of litter recommended by the manufacturer.
They’re also a great solution for multi-cat homes. Automatic litter boxes typically turn on within 15 to 20 minutes of the last use, so no matter how many cats you have, there’s fresh litter available. Models that come with disposable trays make clean-up even easier. Some models have a disposable trap tray that holds waste. Once it’s full, throw away and replace the tray. Other designs use a disposable tray that holds the litter on one side and waste on the other. Once the litter has become saturated, you throw away both the litter and waste and replace it with a clean tray.
Important Features to Consider
An automatic litter box should have a few key features and do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting:
- The number of cats. How many cats is the litter box designed to accommodate? Don’t assume that a single cat litter box can handle the waste from two or more cats. Models designed for multiple cats may have a heavier build, larger frame, and higher litter capacity. After all, they have to run two or three times more than a model used in a single cat home.
- Litter box type and design. There are automatic, semi-automatic, and sifting litter boxes. The latter two are not strictly automatic, but still do much of the cleaning for you. Automatic models cost the most. And, because they have automated parts, they may wear out faster than some of the semi-automatic or sifting litter boxes. If you’re gone for long periods of time and you want a completely hands-off solution, a fully automatic model is your best choice. However, if you want to save a few dollars, semi-automatic and sifting litter boxes can reduce your workload.
- Ease of waste disposal. Disposable trays, waste traps, and waste collection drawers are all features that help you keep the litter box clean. Disposable trays are probably the easiest to clean and may even come with pre-packaged portions of cat litter. But, they add to the overall price of the litter box. Models with waste traps and waste collection drawers are more cost-effective, but the traps and drawers are made of plastic and will need to be washed periodically.
- Extra features. Some automatic litter boxes come with some fancy features like nightlights and health counters that track how often your cat uses the litter box. Most have a motion-activated sensor that turns on the cleaning rake 15 to 20 minutes after the last use. The same sensor will turn off the cleaning mechanism if your cat enters the litter box while it’s running.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an automatic litter box, and how does it work?
Automatic litter boxes are designed to remove your cat’s waste from the litter box. Most fully automatic models have a wire rake that slowly moves through the litter, pushing waste into a trap or bin. They also have motion sensors that detect movement. If your cat decides to get in the litter box while it’s running, the rake automatically shuts off. The sensor also turns on the cleaning process after a set amount of time has passed after the last use. Automatic models need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, and some may be battery-powered or have a battery backup.
Is an automatic litter box worth it?
For the right home, an automatic litter box is definitely worth it. They make cleaning the litter box a one or two-minute job rather than a smelly 15 to 20-minute time investment. With some models, all you have to do is throw away the disposable tray. For others, there’s a plastic drawer or trap that you pull out and empty via a handle. You don’t have to sift through the litter with any of these models. It’s a matter of throwing away the already collected waste. On the downside, the automated parts do eventually begin to break down, so you may have to replace an automatic model sooner than a regular litter box.
Can you use regular cat litter in an automatic litter box?
It depends on the model. Some automatic litter boxes work with regular clumping cat litter, while others require specialized crystal litter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Using the wrong kind of litter may ruin the litter box or cause it to malfunction.
How do I keep the litter box from smelling in my house?
The surest way to prevent odors from permeating your house is to remove cat waste as soon as possible. Automatic litter boxes can help with this problem. Many of them scoop the waste out of the litter soon after the last use. They, then, contain it and the odors until you empty the litter box. Litter boxes with carbon filters over their traps tend to contain odors better than those without filters. For models with plastic trays or bins, you’ll need to periodically wash them with soap and water to remove any waste that’s remained.
Other Automatic Litter Boxes We Reviewed
We looked at 21 other automatic and semi-automatic litter boxes. These models didn’t make our 5 best automatic litter boxes list, but they’re still some of the best models on the market. We’ve broken them into categories and provided information to help you compare.
- Self-Scooping Litter Boxes
- Hooded Automatic Litter Boxes
- Semi-Automatic Litter Boxes
- Multi-Cat Litter Boxes
Self-Scooping Litter Boxes
The CatGenie looks like a miniaturized version of a regular toilet and functions like one too. It attaches to a cold water supply line and drains into a regular toilet or the laundry waste drain.
- Uses washable granules that are safe for septic systems
- Requires hookup to cold water
- Includes a water supply hose and drain hose
This design’s high sides and front cleaning ramp keeps litter contained. A carbon-filtered waste bin holds odors and waste until cleaning time.
- Front paw cleaning ramp
- Carbon-filtered waste bin
- Works with clumping litter
Technology goes the extra mile with this model that sends you notifications if there’s a change in your cat’s litter box habits.
- Connects via IntelligentPetLink app
- Sensor starts automatic rake 15 minutes after last use
- Carbon filter contains odors
This older version of our overall top pick contains odors and is easy to clean.
- Uses pre-packaged crystal litter
- Requires disposable trays
- Motion sensor turns on cleaning rake 20 minutes after last use
The rotating bowl of the PetSafe Simply Clean removes your cat’s waste and keeps your home odor-free. It’s also one of the more energy-efficient models on the market.
- Moves one 360-degree rotation per hour
- Fits cats up to 15 pounds
- Includes six-foot cord
A sensor stays on top of cleaning and keeps the litter fresh and ready for use.
- Rake drops waste into a collection bin
- Sensor turns on the rake 15 minutes after last use
- Plastic bag lines the waste big for easy disposal
A plastic liner in the waste tray means odors stay contained, and you don’t have touch waste when it’s time for cleaning.
- Carbon filters in the waste container keep odors in
- Works with standard clumping litter
- Sensor activates cleaning rake
Hooded Automatic Litter Boxes
Never scoop litter again with the Litter-Robot 3 Connect, a WiFi-enabled, automatic, self-cleaning litter box for cats.
- Provides a clean bed of litter every time
- Helps reduce litter box odors
- Remotely monitor litter box usage with app
This space-age looking litter box keeps waste and odors contained and tracks everything, including your cat’s weight.
- Digital display
- Four (4) modes of operation
- Rotating shovel cleans litter
This model has an 80-second cleaning cycle, quickly ridding your home of odors.
- Only works with high absorption litters like bentonite and tofu sand
- Gravity sensor detects cat’s use of the litter box
- Power automatically shuts off upon lid removal
Semi-Automatic and Sifting Litter Boxes
If you don’t want another cord in your home, this litter box does the sifting for you with a simple mechanical lever and cleaning system.
- No motor or sensors
- Large enough to hold waste for up to two weeks for one cat
- Holds waste in a disposable bag
A simple spin pours litter through a grate that separates waste and deposits it into a waste bin. The hooded design also keeps odors from permeating your home.
- Uses clumping cat litter
- Five (5) colors: black, neon green, gray, white, purple
- Easy pull handle to remove waste bin
When you roll this litter box on its side, the waste falls through a grate and into the waste bin. Simple and effective, it saves money and keeps your hands out of the litter.
- Best for small to medium cats
- Thumb tab on handle makes waste removal easier
- Includes litter fill line in the bottom section
There’s no cords or sensors with this model, only muscle power. But, it’s fast, and all you have to do is give the sifting pan a few shakes to remove waste.
- Lift and shake design
- Includes two (2) litter boxes and one (1) sifting box
- Large enough for multiple cats
This litter box tucks away into corners. Your cat will get some privacy, and you’ll get easy cleaning.
- Includes two (2) litter boxes and one (1) sifting pan
- Low front entry for kittens and older cats
- Corner design saves space
Give it a spin, and waste disappears into a removable bin.
- Hooded design contains litter
- No electrical cords or components
- Easy to empty waste bin
The SpeedySift uses disposable plastic liners to sift out waste. You can install up to 15 liners for quick replacement.
- Includes 56 disposable liners
- Large size fits big or multiple cats
- For use with clumping litter
Van Ness utilizes a three pan system for removing cat waste.
- Includes two (2) litter box bottoms, one (1) sifting pan, and one (1) lid
- Hood contains odors
- Designed for large cats or multi-cat homes
This three pan system makes quick work of waste removal.
- Includes two (2) litter boxes and one (1) sifting box
- Reinforced bottom holds extra litter
- Low front entry for kittens or arthritic cats
Multi-Cat Litter Boxes
This extra-large box makes room for several cats. Three modes give you some extra control over cleaning, too.
- LED nightlight
- Foot cleaning pad
- Removable rake
The smart sensor triggers the cleaning cycle 15 minutes after the last use. With the carbon filters, you won’t be smelling anything from this litter box.
- Uses No-Touch Waste Bags for easy waste disposal
- Can be used for single or multi-cat homes
- Works with clumping cat litter