Why Automatic Cat Litter Box Isn't A Good Idea?

 Automatic cat litter box

What Is An Automatic Cat Litter Box?

Also referred to as a self-cleaning litter box or robot litter box, this litter box is connected to a phone app. With this, you never have to manually scoop your cat’s waste again because it automatically does the work for you. Most automatic litter boxes work with only one kind of litter which typically the sand type.

How Does it Work?

An automatic cat litter box is equipped with a detecting mechanism triggered by weight or motion that knows when your cat is inside the litter box. Once your cat gets out of it, the automatic litter box rakes the litter, gets the clumps, then transfers and stores the waste in a dedicated compartment. Some specific models will rotate the waste to another side of the litter box, but all are designed to transfer the clumps to enclosed storage to control the smell.


You might gladly purchase an automatic litter box to save time and effort. With it, there’s no need to scoop your cat’s waste manually.  No doubt, it looks good too. You only need to empty the waste compartment at least once per week if you only have one cat, then do a full cleaning once every 1-3 months. There are no immediate actions required unless you need to refill the litter, which you can do once a week.


Unfriendly closed design

As much as cats want their litter boxes clean, they prefer an open space when doing their business. Most automatic cat litter boxes are enclosed, and covered boxes don’t work well with cats.

Noisy mechanism

Sensitive and timid cats are easily frightened. They will not appreciate the noise that an automatic cat litter box generates when raking the waste. This might discourage your cat from going near the automatic litter box and they will litter outside the litter box. 

Not for all cats

Automatic cat litter boxes work well with cats who bury or cover their waste like a pro—but not all cats do this. If your cat doesn’t bury its waste, then you might have an additional job cut out for you, and that is cleaning the rake of your automated cat litter box.

automatic cat litter box

Limited space

Even if the entire automatic cat litter box is big, the size of the actual and usable space is really small. You also can’t expect the automatic scooper to be able to cover and clean the corners of the litter box, not to mention scrape the bottom of the box where some clumps get stuck. This is a no go for cats who share. 

Hard to clean

It certainly looks nice, but it is also difficult to clean. Because it is an electric device, you will have to disassemble many parts to clean it, and some parts may not be reachable or prohibited to be in contact with water. While the automatic litter box is made of plastic, cat urine is strong enough to seep through it and eventually result in a stinky litter bomb.

No local warranty

There’s no guarantee that your cat will appreciate or even use this automatic litter box once it’s there. Know that these self-cleaning litter boxes are expensive buys. Furthermore, the majority of automatic cat litter is imported without a local warranty. This is a problem because it will be impossible to repair or replace the parts if it breaks down.

The Verdict

Most cat parents might be better off sticking with a simple cat litter box. Yes, there is scooping involved, but consider it an act of love for your cat. That is why we created PottyBox, an open stainless steel litter box that works well with both cats and cat parents while also standing the test of time.


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