Automatic Litter Boxes: Is the Convenience Worth the Expense?

Automatic litter boxes can help with keeping your house from smelling like cats

Cats are pretty awesome for a lot of reasons, but one of them is their stalwart dedication to waste containment. You don’t see cat owners walking around the backyard looking for poop to scoop. Nope, cats visit their litter box, scratch around, relieve themselves, and then cover it up. Sure, they might have accidents occasionally, or passive aggressively suggest that you get up and clean their box tout suite. But overall they are perfect participants in the bathroom department.

All this leads us to wonder if automatic litter boxes are really worth the hype. When a product is designed to eliminate (or reduce) your chores, is it too good to be true? There’s a few strong contenders out there, it just depends on what’s right for your cat, and your wallet.

If It Ain’t Broke

Many cat owners are content to manually scoop the litter box at least once a day, and don’t see the need to change things up. There are definite arguments for automatic litter boxes, though, including:

  • Owners that aren’t at home for numerous consecutive hours at a time
  • Cats that must have an impeccable box every time they use it
  • Pregnant cat owners that want to avoid the possibility of the toxoplasma gondii bacteria that causes toxoplasmosis
  • People with mobility or lifting issues that cannot get into position to clean the box
  • Families that are concerned with litter box smells
  • Households with more than one cat
  • Newly adopted cats in the household that haven’t grown attached to the standard box situation

If cost is not an issue, it might be worthwhile to experiment with the different automatic litter boxes currently on the market. They can be costly, though, with expenses that go far beyond the initial purchase.

Think About Size

Automatic litter boxes come equipped with various machine components, so the actual chamber for litter is relatively small. In households with multiple cats, having the largest possible model might be an asset. With prices hovering between $100-$450, it’s pretty important to get the right-sized container for your cat(s).

Other Considerations

When you’re going through the specs for automatic litter boxes, we recommend weighing the pros and cons for the following:

  • Noise
  • Processing features (how quickly and how effective)
  • Total amount of waste storage before removal
  • How easy it is to clean out and restock

Depending on which product you go for, it’s worth noting that you might be shelling out more per litter refill than common cat litter. You can subscribe to mail order services to have the right product at regular intervals.

Also, manufacturers of automatic litter boxes can be measured by their reviews. Check out what other cat owners are saying about customer service, malfunction reports, warranties, and replacement parts.

Automatic Litter Boxes

Before you make the switch to automatic litter boxes, give your cat some time to acclimate. They don’t typically like change, but some cats take to all that robot-boxes have to offer. Keep the standard box around to avoid any missteps and watch for any changes in behavior.  

The bottom line is that automatic litter boxes can be a great household item, but they aren’t for every cat or owner. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

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