Automatic Litter Boxes: Pros and Cons

This automatic machine has to be one of the greatest inventions in recent times. Aside from the fact that it saves a lot of time, it’s just so convenient and less messy. Even though cats are really one of the best pets one can have, no matter their size and breed, cleaning the litter box is never a fun task. Before you decide to buy automatic litter boxes, however, there are a few things to ponder. Are they really worth it? What are the pros and cons of using one? All these and many more will be explored further to help you make the right decision.

Are Automatic Litter Boxes Worth It?

This device is a machine designed to electronically and instantly clean itself after use. Sounds amazing right? With automatic litter boxes, you don’t really have to worry about a lot of things.

How It Works

Basically, they work with the help of a sensor that detects weight or motion and can tell when your pet has done his business and left the box. Once your pet is no longer inside it, the box’s in-built mechanism either rotates to sift out the waste or rakes it to separate it from the unused litter. The gathered waste is then dumped into a separate bin that’s lined with a plastic bag, which you can then throw out later.

To decide if you should get one for your cat, you have to consider what you intend to achieve by getting it. Are you pressed for time to clean the regular litter box? Does the smell of the litter box bother you? Or do you want to be able to stay away from home for long periods without coming home to a big mess? All these questions will help you decide if you really need to get automatic litter boxes and also determine the one that will be a good fit for you.

One important thing you should know before getting one is that these automatic litter boxes aren’t for everyone and if you get one that isn’t the right fit for you, it can defeat the purpose of owning one in the first place. So, your actual need will help you decide if you need one.

Even though the device has several benefits, they also have some drawbacks that can make you regret getting one for your cat.

automatic litter boxes

Advantages of Automatic Litter Boxes

  1. They can help reduce your cleaning time

One of the major reasons why any cat owner will consider getting an automatic alternative is to cut down the amount of time spent scooping the box. In some cases, you don’t even have to take out the waste for a whole week as they are automatically stored in a separate bag.

  1. They give you peace of mind when you have to spend a lot of time away from home

Aside from the emotional attachment that one has to a pet, the responsibility of caring for one isn’t something to be taken with levity. Some describe the feeling and responsibility of having children. Some people have had cause to cancel or postpone an outing or travel because of the extended time they would have to be away from home. Having one of these automatic litter boxes will be a lifesaver in this instance. Aside from helping to reduce the mess you come home to, it might also make it easier to find a willing cat-sitter for longer absences.

  1. Odors from the cat will be greatly reduced

If you are the type who has a problem with litter box odor, automatic boxes can help by removing the waste more frequently. However, you should know that the box is only as good as the litter put in it, so it’s advisable to choose a litter that clumps well and traps odors.

  1. The boxes help you save on litter

Generally, some pet owners scoop solid waste once or twice a day, while others do it every couple of days, depending on individual differences. Either way, waste still ends up sitting in the box for a few hours or days. This means that by the time you are ready to take it out, most of the litter would have absorbed it and might need to be thrown out.

However, an automatic box disposes of waste immediately, which means that the litter inside the box will experience less clumping and extended use.

  1. They match your cat’s hygiene habits

Most cat owners understand that cats are clean creatures who like to do their businesses in clean environments. Most cats will take to an automatic cleaning box quickly because of the neatness and they don’t have to dig around in days-old waste to relieve themselves.

Read Also: Why Some Cats Are Always Hungry Yet Gain No Weight

Disadvantages of Automatic Litter Boxes

  1. They can be very expensive

The boxes are generally more expensive than regular plastic litter boxes. So, getting one will mean parting with more money which a lot of people might not want to spend on a cat. Before you think of getting one of these, be sure you want to spend that much on your cat.

  1. One automatic litter box might not be convenient in a household with multiple cats

Considering the amount of time it takes to run a cleaning cycle, an automatic box might not be the best option for households with multiple cats. If you are bent on getting one for your multi-cat household, it might be better to get one for each cat so no cat gets “shut out” during cleaning.

  1. Your cat might get frightened by the box

Many cats are averse to changes so switching from a regular litter box to an automatic one might be frightening for them. They might take a while to adjust, especially if they get scared of the sound and movement of the machine.

  1. Automatic litter boxes also break down like any other machine

Just like most electronic devices, the litter box can suddenly stop working. This can even result in additional expenses for repairs. In all, it can get very expensive to use an automatic litter box.

5. Using automatic litter boxes can impede pet health monitoring

Since your cat’s urine and feces can tell a lot about its health, automatic removal of the waste won’t allow you to see and monitor if something is happening with your pet.

In conclusion, If your aim of getting an automatic litter box is to get out of cleaning the litter box altogether, I’m afraid that it’s not possible. Even an automatic litter box requires a level of maintenance either daily, weekly, or monthly. You will still be required to either empty the waste receptacle, rake the litter to keep it clean, or sometimes take out clogs and clumps from the rake. Before getting one though, be sure you are making your life and your pets easier.

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