One of the essential yet unpleasant responsibilities of being a cat owner is maintaining your pet’s litter box clean. Ideally, you should clean the litter box every time your pet uses them. Or if you can’t, at least twice a day will do. We understand, such a task is time- and energy-consuming. Good thing that nowadays, you can get the best automatic litter box possible for your cat.
How Do They Work?
An automatic litter box, or self-cleaning litter box, is designed to clean the litter box every time your cat uses it. It is usually equipped with a motion or weight sensor that detects the coming and going of your feline. Once it’s done and exited the box, the waste will then be raked to a separate and sealed compartment.
With this mechanism, your task as the owner is simplified and you have to empty the said compartment regularly.
PROs and CONs of Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
- You don’t have to scoop your pet’s waste very often
- Easier waste disposal
- Lessen the bad odor from the litter box
- Your cat may enjoy using its litter box
- Lower litter cost
- The initial cost is higher compared to ordinary litter boxes
- Additional electricity expenses and possible water expenses
- You may have to use a particular type of litter
- A motor malfunction may hurt your cat
- A mechanical jam may cause for inefficient cleaning
- Your cat may be wary of the box’s noise
- You would be less in touch with your cat
Types of Cat Litter
As mentioned, some automatic litter boxes require a particular type of litter for it to function. It is critical that you read the instructions of the litter box before you buy any litter.
Here are the different types of litter that you may encounter.
Clumping litters is said to be the best type for automatic litter boxes. With this type, automatic litter boxes can easily remove cat wastes, especially urine. There are different variants of clumping litters such as those made from grass and clay-based litters.
Proprietary Litters and Solutions
These are the specialized litters manufactured for particular automatic litter boxes. They were chemically engineered to suit the mechanism of its corresponding litter box. As such, this is the type that could be more costly than the others.
If the clumping type is the best for automatic litter boxes, then the non-clumping litters are the most discouraged.
With this type of litter on your automatic litter box, the waste can’t be scooped thoroughly. Also, wet litter may even damage the box’s mechanism.
Training Your Cat to Use the Self-Cleaning Litter Box
Either electricity or battery power automatic litter boxes. This power source runs the motor that controls the rake through the litter and cleans the box. This motor generates noise during the cleaning cycle, which may be upsetting for some types of feline. Some cats may even shun away entirely from the litter box because of the noise.
Because of this, you need to have some patience on your cat as it adjusts with its new litter box. Also, you could train and help familiarize your cat with some simple steps.
First, you may need to show your cat how the automatic litter box works. You may do this by putting a small amount of waste (that you may have taken from another litter box) into the automatic box. As the self-cleaning box runs its mechanism, observe how your cat reacts.
If your cat is immediately frightened, keep the litter box turned off for a day or two until your cat voluntarily enters the box and use it. Once your cat regularly uses the box, then you may turn on the box again and let it perform the cleaning process. This time, if your cat is no longer frightened, then you may leave it on. Otherwise, then you have to go through the process again.
Although automatic litter boxes seem very convenient for you a cat owner, you should think twice before purchasing one. You must be willing to face the possible additional expenses and mechanical jams of the machine. Also, you need to consider your cat’s personality. Will it, later on, learn to use and be comfortable with the noise and the cleaning process? If you are very much confident about these aspects, then go and pick the best automatic litter box for your pet.