September 6, 2018
Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital Staff
Ah, the joys of cat ownership! Purrs and head bumps at the end of a long day, endless lap snuggles, watching their graceful movements, and…picking up their poop? While certainly not the most glamorous part of life with a cat, keeping a clean litter box is essential to their health and comfort. Self cleaning litter boxes can help with this unsavory job, but are these high-tech gadgets really worth the money?
How it Works
Self cleaning litter boxes typically include the following components:
A raking mechanism that sifts litter and collects waste
A receptacle where waste is deposited
A sensor that notes when a cat enters and exits the box (after a certain amount of time, the rake will remove waste unless another cat has entered the box)
Is a Self Cleaning Litter Box Right for You?
Although the idea of not having to clean out kitty’s litter box every day is certainly tempting, self cleaning litter boxes aren’t the right fit for every cat.
Self cleaning litter boxes contain a motor (powered either by battery, electricity, or both), which can startle or frighten some cats. They may refuse to use the litter box altogether or may need an adjustment period.
Depending on the brand, a specific type of cat litter may be required for optimal performance. Always read the directions, and make sure you understand what’s needed before use.
Some self cleaning boxes are prone to clogging, which can lead to a buildup of waste in the box or receptacle.
A high-tech litter box that runs on electricity alone may not be suitable in areas with frequent power outages.
Anything electronic is not foolproof. If your cat is regularly left alone for long periods of time, make sure to provide them with a backup litter box, just in case.
Electronic litter boxes tend to be significantly more expensive than traditional models.
Choosing the right litter box for your cat is as much about their comfort and convenience as it is about yours. Whether you go with a high or low-tech box, make sure to select one that’s big enough for your cat to stand up in and turn around. Some cats prefer walls and a hood for privacy, while others feel that’s too restrictive for their needs. In multi-cat homes, we recommend one litter box per cat, plus one extra.