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If you dread cleaning your cat’s litter box, you might consider a fully automated litter box that cleans itself. There are a lot of products on the market to help you with this task, and they’re especially useful if you have more than one cat. They make it so much easier to take care of your furry friends, leaving you extra time for snuggles.
Because cleaning your cat’s litter box takes so much time and can be physically taxing, it’s important to take a look at some alternative options to all that work, saving you time and money, and making your cats feel cleaner and more comfortable.
If you’re in the market to fully automate your home, or at least automate your litter box chores, take a look at our reviews of the Litter Robot 3 and the ScoopFree Ultra. Both are great options with a lot of features to make cleaning your cat’s litter box much easier than it used to be. Read on and see for yourself.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Litter Robot 3
- 2 PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra
- 3 Comparison Chart
- 4 Final Thoughts
Litter Robot 3
The Litter Robot is an automatic, self-cleaning litter box that has been around for over fifteen years. This is the third generation of the product, and it has seen many improvements over the course of development, often taking into consideration the feedback and suggestions of customers like you.
It helps limit the contact you have with your cat’s waste so you can avoid the possible health issues that come along with it. It can also keep your children out of the dirty litter and keep them safe from the toxoplasmosis infections that cause harm to unborn children.
This clever automatic litter box eliminates your need to scoop up waste with an ingenious design that eliminates odors and cleans itself. You can leave your cats home alone for several days and not worry about their bathroom habits. You won’t have to clean out the unit, and it will save you money because it uses 30-50% less cat litter than traditional boxes.
The futuristic bubble capsule includes steps to make it easy for your cat to climb in and out, reducing the risk of him tracking litter across the floor. It contains simple buttons on the side for manual operation as well as a pack of liners to get you started.
This design allows for a spacious area where your cat can feel comfortable doing his business. The dome is tall, and the entrance is comfortable and easy to move in and out, eliminating the intimidation that shy cats may feel or the discomfort that large cats may experience. The night light is also a great feature for elderly or timid cats who are scared of entering the unit in the dark.
Once you install the modern-looking and reliable machine, you can sit back and watch your cat enjoy a clean toilet space, which we all know they love. You cats can feel comfortable using it all the time and keep up their hygiene while you don’t have to lift a finger.
Litter Robot 3 has a weight sensor, so it knows when a cat enters and exits. You can choose your own settings to indicate when you want it to clean, and the machine will stick to this schedule, with the exception of when a cat is inside. You can set this time for 3, 5, or 7 minutes after your cat leaves to start the cleaning process.
The cleaning mechanism sifts clumped litter from the bubble and deposits it into the receptacle drawer, where you will place the liners for easy emptying later. Quick tip: you can also use a garbage bag instead of the liners provided to save money on expensive products that are unnecessarily fancy.
Because the time it takes for the litter to get clumpy depends on what kind you use, you can set the timer accordingly for these cleaning cycles. When it does clean, the Litter Robot 3 uses a carbon filter to eliminate odors emitted by the receptacle and helps to keep it not only clean but smelling fresh.
During cleaning, your Litter Robot 3 will rotate closed so your cat cannot use it while it’s cleaning. After the Litter Robot 3 is done cleaning, the bubble rotates back to its original position and will be ready for use again.
The Litter Robot 3 will also alert you when you need to change the bag in the trash receptacle. The blue light indicator will switch on, and it will make an unobtrusive buzzing sound. Just pull the drawer out, remove the bag, throw it away, and replace it with a new one. It’s fast and easy, and it’s all the contact you need to have with your cat’s waste.
The control panels come with a lock feature so keep curious cats and kids away from it. Once you configure your Litter Robot 3, lock the buttons so no one can change your settings unless they know how to unlock it again.
With the rotating mechanism makes a small noise while it cleans, the unit has an 8-hour sleep mode option, so you can switch the litter box off while you sleep if needed. You can also turn the cleaning mechanism yourself for manual cleaning if you need to shut the unit off for any other reason.
Parts and Accessories
Litter Robot 3 comes with everything you need to set it up. It comes with steps and extra liners to get you started. You can purchase extra accessories online or simply use your own garbage bags you buy at the grocery store.
Battery backups are available for purchase separately, allowing you to take the litter box with you if you travel a lot. These also come in handy if you experience a power outage. This batter can give your unit 48 hours of continuous operation for two cats, and even longer if you only have one cat.
The Litter Robot 3 comes pre-assembled, so there’s no need for you to do anything. Simply unbox the unit, line the tray with a bag, and plug it in. Make sure you place the unit on a stable, flat surface, put litter in the bubble, adjust the cleaning cycle timer, and you’re good to go.
It is important to remember that the Litter Robot 3 uses 30-50% less litter than a traditional box, so overloading it could cause it to malfunction or clean at a subpar level. The manufacturer recommends using litter crystals or clumping clay.
It’s also important to note that the Litter Robot 3 is compatible with cats from 5 to 20 pounds, but if your cat weighs less than 5 pounds, the weight sensor will not register any activity and will not clean afterward. If your cat is heavier than 20 pounds, the unit is not designed to handle that amount of waste.
While the scooping, sifting, and cleaning are all automated, you will still have to replace the liners or garbage bags in the receptacle when the unit indicates it’s time. If you happen to miss the indicator light or the sound it makes, or you’re not home at the time, the unit will pause all cleaning until the waste is emptied. That way, you avoid an overflow or malfunction.
You still need to clean the inside of the dome and the waste tray periodically to ensure it’s hygienic and clean, but disinfectant spray and a damp cloth should do the trick. Don’t submerge the entire unit in water, or it won’t work properly.
Litter Robot 3 Pros:
Large entrance and litter area
Uses less litter and regular garbage bags instead of expensive liners
Works for more than one cat, 5-20 pounds
Safe for cats and babies
Automatic night light
8-hour sleep mode
Cleaning indicator for full waste tray
Litter Robot 3 Cons:
Makes noise while cleaning
Doesn’t work for cats smaller than 5 pounds or larger than 20 pounds
Litter Robot 3 Verdict
While the Litter Robot 3 is one of the more expensive products on the market, it has a lot of useful features to make your cats more comfortable and make the work easier for you. It’s a sanitary solution for cleaning your cat’s waste, and it helps to eliminate the odor associated with a litter box. It also comes with a 90-day warranty if you or your cats don’t like it.
How does Litter Robot 3 compare to other automatic litter boxes, like the LitterMaid? Read here!
PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra litter box is another automated litter box from a reliable manufacturer of pet products. It requires very little interaction after you set it up and plug it in. You can even leave it for a few weeks before you have to touch it.
It can also sense when a cat uses it and then automatically clean after a number of minutes. It’s easy to replace the waste tray every few weeks, making your life simpler and more automated.
The ScoopFree Ultra features a more boxy design than the futuristic Litter Robot 3. However, it has an easily accessible entrance that is low enough to the ground that it accommodates cats of all sizes. The lip on the entrance prevents your cat from tracking litter throughout the house, too.
Purple and black color options allow you to choose what fits best in your home, and the buttons on the back are hidden out of sight so cats and kids alike won’t be tempted to play with them. The control panel includes a rake timer, a health counter, and a manual rake button.
The hood helps control odor, keeps litter in the box, and gives your cat privacy, which we all know is something they are finicky about. The covered waste trap is conveniently located on the front of the unit, making it easy for you to empty and clean.
Instead of a weight based sensor, the ScoopFree Ultra has a heat sensor which detects the presence of a cat inside the unit. You can automatically configure the box to clean 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat leaves so the noise of the raking mechanism won’t bother them.
Using PetSafe’s absorbent crystals in the bottom of the unit will absorb urine while the rake takes care of solid waste, scooping it into the waste tray. The tray is compatible with PetSafe liners that make it easy for you to clean and replace every few weeks. The crystals help control litter that makes it outside of the box, but if you do find that you walk on litter that made its way out, the blue tint makes them easy to find and pick up.
If you would like to manually clean the tray at custom intervals, the control panel on the back of the unit contains a rake button that you can push to initiate a cleaning. The control panel also has a health counter to help you keep track of your cat’s usage frequency.
Parts and Accessories
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra comes with a waste tray attached to the front of the box and a cord to plug it in. The hood is sold separately but is a worthwhile purchase to keep dust and litter inside the box and reduce odor. You can also purchase litter crystals and liners separately when you need to refill or replace them in the box.
The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra comes already assembled, so you just need to unbox it, place the hood on top if you purchased it separately, and plug it in. Next, configure your cleaning times, fill it with litter, place a bag in the waste tray, and let it go to work.
Maintenance is the primary reason we consider getting an automated litter box. Cleaning traditional litter boxes is a pain, so the ScoopFree Ultra attempts to make your job easier. It requires very little care. The self-cleaning eliminates your need to scoop litter every day, and you can leave the ScoopFree litter box alone for up to two weeks without emptying the waste tray.
When it comes time to clean it, all you need to do is pull the tray out, throw the used liner away, replace it with a new liner, and insert the tray back in the unit. You may occasionally need to give it a quick wipe-down with sanitary spray and a damp cloth or press the rake button to take care of more frequent visits, but other than that, you can let it sit.
ScoopFree Ultra Pros:
Customizable cleaning cycle
Eliminates dust and odor
Safe for cats and babies
Easy entrance and exit
Large litter area
Simple setup and maintenance
ScoopFree Ultra Cons:
Lack of advanced features
Expensive disposable trays
Only compatible with litter crystals
ScoopFree Ultra Verdict
You can set and forget the ScoopFree Ultra litter box for up to two weeks. If you have more than one cat, it may require more frequent cleanings, but it’s quiet, efficient, and customizable. The price is something else you may find attractive because it’s much cheaper than many others. It may not come with a lot of fancy features, but maintenance and operations are simple and convenient.
3, 5, or 7 minutes
5, 10, or 20 minutes
Control Panel Lock
Manual Cleaning Button
Both the Litter Robot 3 and the ScoopFree Ultra are great options for automated litter box solutions. They offer a hands-free approach to your cat’s waste that is easier, less frequent, and much more sanitary. They are both easy to set up and maintain, leaving you more time to snuggle with your pet.
The Litter Robot 3 is much more expensive, but if you’re in the market for an automated litter box that has a lot of fancy bells and whistles, this is the one for you. It works well for older cats or shy cats because it has a night light. The ScoopFree Ultra is much cheaper but doesn’t offer an 8-hour sleep mode, a control panel lock, or some of the other conveniences you may find attractive. However, it’s a simpler solution with basic and reliable operations.
These automatic litter boxes come from trusted manufacturers and are easy to use. If you are looking for something to automate the cleaning of your cat’s waste, either one is a solid option. Now you have to decide which one will work best for you.