Cats are, for the most part, hassle free. They eat when they need to, don't require much attention and can act well on its own. However, the biggest annoyance of owning a cat is the maintenance required with a cat litter box. You must scoop out their droppings everyday and replace the litter every so often to prevent the spread of bacteria, as well as minimizing the odor of the litter. Fortunately, you can reduce the hassle by using an automatic cat litter box.

Why You Should Own One

Obviously, the major benefit of an automatic cat litter box is that it reduces the amount of time and effort required to clean the litter daily. A person can spend about 30 hours over a one year span tending to their cat's litter box. Also, some cat owners with physical impairments will find it easier to not have to constantly bend down and clean out cat feces all the time. All that is needed is to clean out the receptacle once in a while.

Another advantage is for people who are not home much of the time or must travel away for long trips with no one to watch the cat. Many advanced models have timers that will automatically scoop the poop out daily. Others have weight sensors that can tell when the cat goes in and does its business.

Common Problems

The first problem is that automatic cat litter boxes need clumping litter. For those not familiar with that, clumping litter will break apart with water (or urine) and form a mushy paste, that when dry will form a clump. It makes it easier to clean and also prevents urine from lying stagnant in the litter. While more convenient, it usually costs significantly more than conventional clay litter.

Also, there are quite a few models that are built very poorly. Most of the time, it is because of a flawed design that does not properly clear out the poop and causes it to get stuck in the parts and making a mess. Or it doesn't even pick up anything. Or it does a horrible job of purging the odor. You would think that you get what you pay for, but these are common complaints even with some of the more expensive models. You really need to research the different models available before purchasing an automatic litter box.

They can also be noisy, which is can be very annoying, especially during sleep. This could also frighten your cats, possibly to the point of them being afraid to use it. Be sure to shop for a quiet model just in case.

Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box

Litter LRII RobotThis one has to be considered to be the favorite and best reviewed litter box among cat owners. This model is shaped like a basketball that rotates around completely when your cat goes potty. Weight sensors detect when your cat uses it, and rotate and sift out the poop and dispenses it in a little trash drawer. Because it does not rely on rakes, it is rare that anything will get clogged or jammed. It also does a great job of containing odors. Overall, this is widely recognized as the most reliable automatic cat litter box.

The only downside is the price (over $300!) and its size and weight. However, this machine is great at doing all the dirty work for you, and the time you save dealing with litter boxes is well worth the price.

Cat Genie

This really takes "automatic" to a new level. This cat litter box will do everything itself. It will drain urine out of it, scoop out, liquefy and flush out any poop there is, and then it will clean and sanitize the reusable cat litter crystals with a solution, and finally, it even dries off the crystals. When set up, you will not have to do a single thing. This machine was built with convenience in mind.

However, if sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And unfortunately, the convenience of the CatGenie comes at the price of reliability. The system relies on liquefying and flushing the poop that is scooped - the problem is if it doesn't actually liquefy, it will clog and you are in for a real mess. The scooper isn't perfect, and any poop that is not picked up will be washed with the washable cat litter crystals, which is gross, to say the least. It also has