The Best Automatic Litter Boxes for Hassle-Free Cleaning

Often a game-changer for many households, the best automatic litter boxes take some of the smelly grunt work out of cat ownership by handling cat waste on the owner’s behalf.

By Oliver Harriett | Published Nov 18, 2020 4:43 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Automatic Litter Box Options

Photo: amazon.com

Cat ownership entails some unique upkeep, notoriously including the litter box. Scooping clumps out of a litter box isn’t exactly how most people like to spend their time. The best automatic litter boxes help free cat owners from this unpleasant chore. Depending on the design, automatic litter boxes take care of sifting, scooping, and storing a cat’s waste, so you get to enjoy more of the things you love about your cat. Automatic litter boxes range in design and features. Some have nightlights, hoods, or disposable trays. Some are designed for multi-cat homes and regularly self-clean so there’s always fresh litter and some trap waste for easy removal. They may require certain kinds of litter recommended by the manufacturer to work well, but often have special features to help with odor and keep cat owners from constant scooping.

Our Top Picks

We examined factors like ease of waste disposal, design, and any extra features to determine some of the best automatic litter boxes available.

Best Overall

The Best Automatic Litter Box Option PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Photo: amazon.com

The PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box has an automatic sensor that starts a 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. Cleaning and changing the litter is fast, simple, and less work than the average litter box. This model comes with pre-portioned packages of crystal litter, which are simply emptied into a disposable tray that slides into the litter box. The crystal litter absorbs odors, eliminates dust, is less likely to track through the home, and can last for several weeks. A useful feature is the health tracker that records how many times a cat uses the box, allowing owners to track when it’s time to change the litter and or be aware of changes in a cat’s behavior.

Best Hooded

The Best Automatic Litter Box Option: PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self Cleaning Litter Box
Photo: amazon.com

The PetSafe ScoopFree Hooded Litter Box has a motion-activated wire rake that activates 20 minutes after the litter box’s last use, pushing waste into a trap that holds it until it’s time to empty the tray. The system also includes a health counter to track how many times a cat uses the box, letting owners know when it’s time for a litter change or of changes in a cat’s normal routine. A hood adds privacy for a cat, keeps the system less conspicuous in the home, and helps control odor. Pre-packaged crystal litter is included that perfectly fills a disposable tray. Crystal litter has impressive benefits for cats and cat owners, absorbing moisture and odors better than traditional cat litter. It’s also virtually dust-free. It also can last several weeks, and is non-sticky, so less of it travels with your cat out of the litter box.

Best Self-Scooping

The Best Automatic Litter Box Option: CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box
Photo: amazon.com

Once installed with a cold water supply, the CatGenie Self Washing Cat Box does it all—it removes waste, flushes it out (into a toilet or washing machine drain pipe), and even washes and dries the reusable, septic-safe litter with hot air after each cycle. It comes with all the necessary hardware and a supply of veterinarian-approved cleaning solution. A great feature is that the granules are dust-free, help control odor, and don’t to be replaced, ensuring owners won’t have to buy cat litter anymore.

Best Semi-Automatic

The Best Automatic Litter Box Option:Omega Paw NRA15-1 Improved Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box Omega Paw NRA15-1 Improved Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box
Photo: amazon.com

The Omega Paw Improved Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box requires no filters, liners, or electricity. Gravity does the work as it’s rolled upside down, sifting out good litter through a grate and depositing waste in a removable tray. Simple and effective, it’s more cost-effective than other automatic litter boxes and has useful features like strong locking clips, a thumb tab on the waste tray, and a litter fill line on the inside. It’s recommended for small to medium-sized cats.