Cats prefer to use a constantly clean litter box to eliminate in. To prevent your cat from eliminating outside of its litter box, you need to scoop its box at least twice a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Instead of having to scoop the box yourself, purchase a self-cleaning litter box to do it for you.
Purchase a self-cleaning litter box based on your cat's litter preference. For those who prefer clay, wheat or corn-based clumping cat litter, some boxes use clumping cat litter. The LitterMaid litter box (littermaid.com) uses scooping litter and has two sensors on each side of the box that detect when a cat uses the box. After 10 minutes, a rake automatically scoops clumps of solid and liquid waste into a disposable container at the end of the box. The CrystalMaid litter box, also made by LitterMaid, and the ScoopFree litter box (scoopfree.com) both use pre-filled litter trays containing crystal-based cat litter. These boxes work in a similar fashion to the LitterMaid box and scoop away solid waste 10 minutes after your cat uses the box. The litter crystals absorb the liquid waste and remain in the box. Cats already used to crystal litter may prefer these types of boxes.
Depending on the size of your cat, purchase a box that accommodates it. Purchase a box that your cat can comfortably turn around in and that can handle your cat's weight. The LitterMaid litter box comes in more than one size, including the Elite Basic model and the Elite Mega model. The Elite Mega is 3 inches longer than the basic model, giving a larger cat more room to bury its waste. The smaller PetSafe Simply Clean automatic litter box (petsafe.net) uses clumping litter like the LitterMaid and constantly rotates at a slow rate to scoop away waste on a conveyor belt into a waste container. This box has less space for your cat and only accommodates cats up to 12 pounds.
Most automatic litter boxes on the market use some form of electrical power to monitor and scoop after your cat uses the box. These boxes require a nearby electrical outlet to plug into so they can function. Some boxes, such as the LitterMaid, allow you to substitute battery power for electrical power if you do not have an outlet conveniently near the litter box location. Certain boxes, such as the CatGenie (catgenie.com), use washable litter granules, which it rinses with a special solution at various intervals during the day. These types of boxes require a special hook-up to your bathroom or laundry room plumbing and drain to turn on the water required to run the machine and flush the waste away.
When choosing the best self-cleaning litter box for your cat, remember that you still need to keep the box clean. While automatic litter boxes keep themselves much cleaner than traditional ones, they still require routine maintenance to keep them sanitary. Boxes require regular washing and litter replacement. Check them regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly, and you may need to scoop any waste the rake or other cleaning system missed. Skittish cats can become scared of the noise from the self-cleaning box, so give them time to adjust to it. Leave a traditional box available for your cat during the transition to an automatic one. When the regular box becomes dirty, your cat should begin to use the self-cleaning one.