Everything you need to know about self-cleaning litter boxes


A cat is a pleasant company. Another benefit is that you have a lot less work on them than with other pets. With the right items at home, a cat will quickly feel comfortable. One of the indispensable tools for cat owners is a litter box that feels clean and comfortable. If you’re short on time or fancy keeping up with this, a self-cleaning litter box is for you. Below you will find the most frequently asked questions about self-cleaning litter boxes.

What exactly is a self-cleaning litter box?

A self-cleaning litter box is, quite logically, a litter box that cleans itself. If you have a cat, a litter box is an indispensable tool, as it provides a space for the animal to meet its needs and collect all the waste in one place. Cats are clean animals and like their toilet to be clean.

Self-cleaning litter boxes are a great alternative for people who spend a lot of time outdoors and, in general, for any person and cat who likes to have a clean and odorless environment. There are several ways a litter box can clean itself, as you’ll see later in this shopping guide.

Remember that self-cleaning litter boxes must always be filled with the correct filling to do their job.

Where is the dirt from a self-cleaning cat litter stored?

Normally, automatic or semi-automatic litter boxes take the cat’s feces out of the litter box by dropping them into another bin or bag, which is then covered with a system to prevent the odor from escaping. This way, as an owner, you only have to remove the bin or bag from the bin once in a while and throw the contents into the trash.

In the trays where the stool and urine are stored and where the grit remains, bacteria can collect. It is therefore advisable to occasionally wash the entire bowl with a disinfectant that is not harmful to the cat. You can even use bleach if you rinse it well. Also, replace the cat litter regularly.

It is very important to choose a self-cleaning litter box with the correct dimensions so that your cat feels comfortable quickly.

Can it be annoying for my cat that his litter box cleans itself?

Considering cats are animals that like to control everything around them, it might be annoying for them to see their private space being adapted without being able to predict it for themselves. Initially, the cat may not even want to use the litter box for fear of cleaning it without knowing when it will happen.

If that is the case, you need to communicate this with the cat and instill confidence in the litter box.

Generally, cats accept self-cleaning litter boxes fairly quickly.

Why doesn’t my cat use the self-cleaning litter box?

There are several reasons why your pet does not want to use his litter box. It may have to do with the litter box itself, making the animal uncomfortable. Or it could be due to a health problem the pet is suffering from. Below are the most common reasons why a cat does not use its litter box:

  • The litter box is not clean. If the litter box emits strong and unpleasant odors or is not completely clean, a cat will not want to use it. Clean the litter box with soap, but avoid ammonia.
  • The cat has health problems. Cats with kidney problems feel a lot of pain when they urinate. That makes them start to see the litter box as an unpleasant place because they associate it with the pain. Watch the cat’s behavior while urinating and see if he seems to be in pain. If that’s the case, we recommend taking the bug to the vet as soon as possible.
  • The litter box is too small. If the dimensions of the litter box are not large enough, the cat will not use it. This is especially true for litter boxes with lids, the most common type in the case of self-cleaning litter boxes.
  • The cat does not want to share the litter box. If you have more than one cat at home, and one of the pets avoids the litter box, it could be because they don’t want to share the litter box. You can easily solve this by purchasing multiple litter boxes.
  • You use too little cat litter. The filling should always be at least 3 or 4 centimeters thick. If there is not enough filling in the litter box, the cat will not consider the box a comfortable place.
  • The litter box is in a place he doesn’t like. If you have placed the litter box in a part of the house where your cat is uncomfortable, he may be ignoring the litter box. You can test this by changing the position of the litter box and paying close attention to the response of the bug.
  • The cat does not like cat litter. There are mainly 4 types of filling. The cat may not be a fan of the type of filling you have chosen. Switch to a different type of litter to see if your cat is using the litter box.
  • The cat wants to mark the territory. Both males and females that have not been neutered often want to mark their territory. They do this by urinating in different places in the house.
  • The animal suffers from stress. Your cat may suffer from a certain fear. In these cases, cats often behave differently. If you see the animal doing strange things, where avoiding a litter box is an example, it may feel restless.

What should you pay attention to with your purchase?

If you want to buy a self-cleaning litter box, it is important to consider not only your own needs and preferences but especially the taste of your pet. Below is a selection of the most important purchase criteria to consider when buying a self-cleaning litter box so that you can find the model that best suits you and your cat:

  • Cleaning system
  • Format
  • With or without lid

Cleaning system

Self-cleaning litter boxes can have different systems for cleaning the litter box. The sandboxes with automatic systems that are connected to electricity differ from those with semiautomatic systems that are partially activated manually. In the table below you will find the differences between both systems:

Automatically Semi-automatic
Benefits They are programmed to clean completely independently and thus require less human intervention.

You only have to empty the box occasionally and clean the drawer from time to time, but you don’t have to think about the litter box from day today.

Handy if you are traveling for a few days or weeks.

They do not use electricity and are therefore better for the environment.

They require minimal daily intervention.

Cons They use more electricity, whether they run on electricity or batteries.

They are usually more expensive. Offering better services and cleaning systems also makes them more expensive.

They require more work than the automatic models. For example, to remove stool, you need to move a lever.

When you travel and leave your cat at home, you need someone to visit your home to keep the sandbox clean. Even if it is only to activate the lever so that odors are masked.


One of the most important purchase criteria when choosing a litter box is the size, which should be based on the height and weight of your cat. The tray should not be too small or large. Cat experts recommend looking for a tray whose drawer is 1.5 times the length of the cat. If you’re short on space at home, look for an automatic litter box that you can easily angle and use less space.

It is important to remember that the cat must not only fit in the litter box but must also be able to turn to bury the feces. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the box is not too high if you have a kitten or an older cat. Otherwise, the cat may find it difficult to enter the box, which can lead to the bug refusing the box.

With or without lid

Below we summarize the main advantages and disadvantages of the litter boxes with and without lid:

With a lid Without lid
Benefits Cats who like privacy will appreciate a litter box with lid.

Nasty odors will not escape quickly.

If your cat is suspicious or overly curious, he prefers to control the environment while using the litter box and will prefer an open one.


Cons Take up more space. Let unpleasant odors escape faster.


If you have a cat at home, a good litter box is an indispensable tool for keeping the pet’s needs in one place. Cats find it very important to have a clean toilet. If you’re short on time and often away from home, a self-cleaning litter box is a perfect invention for you.

A self-cleaning litter box is a litter box that cleans itself. Sometimes human intervention is needed, but sometimes it is not. This all depends on the model. Either way, in the end, a self-cleaning litter box will always help keep your home free from unpleasant odors and your pet happy. If you want to buy a self-cleaning litter box, it is especially important to pay attention to the size, cleaning system, and lid.

Did you find our self-cleaning litter box guide interesting? Leave your comment below or share the article with your friends and family on social media. We are curious about your own experiences!

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Written by Big Buzz theory


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