Cleaning your cat’s litter box can be very cumbersome. Fortunately, you no longer have to sweat to clean your cat’s toilet as long as you have a fully automatic and efficient cat litter box
However, like all products, not all self-cleaning cat boxes will give you the performance you are looking for. It’s crucial to keep an eye out for those
telltale signs of mediocre quality build, design, and functionality so that
you only get the best for your kitty. Our list of the 6 best self-cleaning trash boxes
should get you started.
Automatic Cat Litter Box: Buying Guide
An automatic cat litter box can be a wonderful gadget for your feline friend. It simplifies the management of your pet’s waste, freeing him from constant and frequent cleaning of his mess. This also allows you to use the time you saved from cleaning to do other important tasks around the home.
But the real problem is that, like all other devices today, you have to choose one that is right for you. If in case you do not know where to start, we have prepared a buying guide for your consumption. Hopefully, you will be able to use the information we have gathered to help you make the right decision on which feline waste management device is best for your pet.
How does a self-cleaning cat litter box work?
Before we start choosing a litter box for self-collection, it is essential that we understand what we buy first.
An automatic cat litter box is a pet accessory that makes cleaning up your cat’s feces and urine a lot easier. Just think of it as an ordinary litter box with a built-in mechanism to separate and collect your feline friend’s droppings. The mechanism can be fully automatic or manual.
Let’s try to analyze how an automatic cat litter box works
1. Your pet defecates or urinates.
Any substance that your cat doesn’t need will eventually end up in his urine or feces. In the wild, cats can eliminate literally anywhere. But there is a very particular behavior that is inherent in felines: they tend to cover their droppings and drips in the sand to help mask the smell , and perhaps because they are very annoying creatures.
This is why some pet owners simply let their felines run their business outside of their homes, as these furry creatures can easily tend to their needs. For many, however, getting a dedicated box that handles their pet’s waste is a better solution , as it is a more socially responsible way to have a pet. You don’t have to worry about neighbors getting itchy because your pet considers their backyard to be their favorite toilet.
So, your feline pet poops and urinates in this gadget called a litter box.
2. Waste can be grouped
Depending on the type of sand you put inside the box, the debris clumps into balls, which makes it much easier to collect or dispose of it. This is where the choice of sand type comes into play. Manufacturers of self-cleaning litter boxes often have recommendations on the type of litter that can be used. Ideally , however, fragrance-free lumpy sand made from bentonite should be preferred , although it is not uncommon to see crushed walnut shells, ground wheat, pine granules and pavers and recycled paper granules. It is often best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Why is this important? Well, if the urine doesn’t form in clumps, it will drain directly to the bottom of the box, making the rest of the trash dirty. In which case, you will need to remove and replace the entire bed. This is not really a practical thing to do. Bundling allows you to easily pick up waste material and dump it in your garbage disposal unit.
This is also important for self-cleaning cat box units. Because the garbage has been grouped together, it is much easier to separate from the clean ones.
Fully automated devices come with a sensor and a timer. Once it detects that your feline pet has urinated or defecated in the cage, it automatically starts the timer, usually within the 7-10 minute range, although you can easily program the timer delay on many models. If it detects that your cat is still in the cage, it will not start the timer . The timer reflects how long the litter would have already formed into a ball, making it easy to remove.
On the other hand, self-cleaning litter boxes don’t come with a timer feature. Instead, you should check for yourself if there are already lumps inside the box. If there is, then you can proceed to the next step.
3. The debris is separated from the clean sand
As already described above, the grouping of the litter forms a larger mass that effectively allows it to be mechanically removed with ease.
Fully automated systems have a rake-like contraption that activates instantly once the timer has reached its predetermined time. The rake drags the large group of debris into its waste collection compartment and leaves the clean debris in the box. Some manufacturers add a variety of treatments to the collected waste to eliminate the odor.
Manually operated devices will have to be tilted or turned to sift trash through the small slots. Only clean trash passes through these slots and collects in a compartment. The remaining clumps or masses are then moved to another compartment for disposal.
4. Segregated waste is disposed of properly
Whether it is automatic or manual, you will be the one to remove the collected debris from the device compartment. You will then dispose of these in the right way.
What type of litter box should I buy?
As you may have already noticed in the previous discussion, there are two fundamental types of self-cleaning cat box devices: automatic and manual. The type of litter box you should get is technically a matter of preference, although the following tips can help you choose the right litter box for your feline friend.
- Improve your knowledge of the different types of sandboxes
Apart from self-cleaning cat box units, there are other types of excreta boxes specially designed for our feline friends. These may include the more traditional open top, the more discreet cover type, the discreet stash variety, and a screening litter box.
As the name suggests, an open top clutter box appears as a common box that has four walls and a bottom floor, but has no roof or cover. It is very inexpensive and you can make one for your pet out of a simple cardboard box. It is also very easy to clean, as you have unlimited access to the materials contained in the box.
Some commercially available open-top products come with a rim that serves as an anchor for a liner. The liner serves as a protective cover for the internal surfaces of the case, preventing leakage to the exterior. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the odor from penetrating the entire room, so frequent cleaning is necessary.
A covered type of litter box is like an open lid but with a roof or cover, obviously. There is an opening in the front, which serves as an entrance and exit for your pet. It gives your cat some “privacy” that it needs to do its job.
This type is preferred because its covered nature helps to keep the odor within the inner walls of the box. However, there is a problem. Cleaning can be quite tricky as you don’t have instant access to the trash; Unless of course you have a device that has a lid that can be easily opened.
We would like to see hidden litter boxes as a novelty, as these do not usually conform to the conventional idea of the object. These can be in the form of a planter or even other pieces of furniture in your home that you would hardly consider a litter box. The advantage of these types is that they can be easily placed almost anywhere in and around your home. These are not sore eyes and can be a great way to add some aesthetic to your interior. This can be easily cleaned or not, depending on the design, whether open or closed.
- Be aware of your cat’s correct box size requirements.
Choosing the right litter box for your cat depends on the size of your pet. Manufacturers offer different sizes of each of their products so you can choose the right one for your furry friend.
If you have kittens or even small breeds of felines, a small box works best. However, you should also make sure that the height of your sides makes it easy to climb. If your kitty is having a difficult time climbing into the cage, she may not use it at all.
Medium-sized boxes are perfect for standard-sized kitties, while large ones can really benefit from a larger-sized box. If you have a breed that can be gigantic or oversized, then going big should help.
As a general rule of thumb, the internal dimensions of the box should be as wide as the length of your kitty. Also, its internal length dimensions should not be less than 1.5 times the length of your kitten. Taking these “rules,” if you have a kitten that is about 12 inches long, then your litter box should be at least 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. It may be large, you might think, but it does give your kitty plenty of room to scratch, bury, and cover her droppings.
- Evaluate the ease of operation of the product.
It should be understood that most of these devices, especially the fully automated ones, come with state-of-the-art systems that allow for super convenient operation. If you don’t like the idea of constantly having to check the box for urine and feces build-up, then you’d better get something that’s completely automatic. As we already presented, all you need to do is empty the contents into suitable disposal bags.
There are also manual screening devices that are easy to operate. However, instead of a fully automatic raking system, you will be the one to manually “sift” the excreta without ever touching it.
- Evaluate the ease of cleaning and maintenance of the device.
Another important consideration is the ease of maintenance and cleaning of the device. Here’s a tip: the more complex the device design, the higher the maintenance requirements. While you can always keep this in mind, you should also know that today’s technology is continually evolving.
There are many products that come with maintenance-free solutions, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of the device without having to worry about maintenance. With that said, you can also look for devices that have built-in features to simplify, if not totally eliminate, the cleaning and maintenance process.
Where should I put the cat litter box?
Knowing where to put your litter box is just as important as selecting the right one for your little furry friend. As much as possible, you may want to place it in an area free of obstacles or even clutter. There should also be no distractions such as loud noises or other forms of annoyance. Like you, if your kitty wants to do her business, she wants to do it quietly and privately.
It is also important to place it as far away as possible from your feline’s food bowl and drinking water source . Cats are fastidious creatures and they like their things to be neat and clean. If it is a place where they eat or drink, they do not want to defecate or urinate anywhere nearby.
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