Self-cleaning litter is one of the most effective solutions you can find to mitigate your cat’s unpleasant odors. When it is not possible to place the litter outside for reasons of space or you simply do not want to make your cat suffer from the cold in winter, you can buy a closed litter, perfumed sand or a self-cleaning litter.
The latter type of litter is more expensive than traditional ones, because, automatically or semi-automatically, it gets rid of feces and urine balls, keeping them in a drawer. Cat owners tend to consider this extra expense very useful, as it keeps the house free of strong smells and the animals seem happy to have a cleaner space.
The most important things in a nutshell
- Self-cleaning bedding usually has two different types of mechanisms. There are the semi-automatic ones, which work with human intervention, activating some type of lever. And then there are the automatic ones, which work through electricity or batteries, to perform their function without you having to activate them.
- A self-cleaning litter, together with a quality, clumping or perfumed sand, will help you avoid the bad smells that a cat can leave at home.
- Cats are very clean animals and dirt irritates them. A litter of this type will not only benefit you, but also your cat, who will be much more comfortable and happy.
The best self-cleaning bedding on the market: our selection
Bedding is an essential complement for domestic cats. These animals love cleaning and appreciate that their droppings are collected. But, although bedding is a very useful product, it is an outbreak of germs and bacteria. The self-cleaning ones are of great help to keep the house odor-free and not only. To choose the one that best suits you, we present this list:
The SmartSift produced by Catit is 67.6x49x47 cm large, and the self-cleaning function must be activated manually through a handle on the side: the agglomerated sand will thus be separated from the rest, ending up directly in an envelope placed in the removable drawer on the bottom.
Most buyers are enthusiastic about the product and how easy it is to use. Being able to collect waste directly in the trash bags is a great convenience, and the package already includes 4. The entrance is located at the top and can be inconvenient for some cats, especially for the little ones. Every now and then it must be sanitized and it takes some time to dismantle it and then reassemble it.
Stefanplast Furba Chic
Furba Chic litter is made up of two interchangeable collecting trays and a sieving machine. Externally it measures about 60 × 40 cm at the base, while the overall height reaches up to 22 cm. It has recessed edges and is spacious enough to accommodate cats of any breed.
The reviews are generally positive and agree in defining the practical and functional Furba Chic; the materials are also robust and quality, despite a very low price. Occasionally the sand can get caught in the crevices of the sieve, but it must be cleaned sooner or later. The hooks seem reliable, even if the operation is not intuitive.
The PetSafe proposal features an electronic self-cleaning system, composed of sensors that detect the movements of the cat and a rake that activates a few minutes after its exit, collecting the agglomerated organic waste in a removable tray. The internal area measures 35.5 × 35.5 cm, and uses a bedding based on anti-odor agglomerating crystals.
The product fully satisfies users, proving useful and reliable. The materials used are of excellent quality and automated waste collection is a great luxury. The only problem highlighted by users is the considerable cost of the product, to which is added that of silicon crystals and spare trays.
The litter in question provides an easy cleaning system that requires the upper section to swing backwards, allowing the sand to penetrate into the sieve container that will retain the agglomerated sand, which can be removed via a side drawer. It is suitable for cats of any size and up to about 6.8 kg in weight.
The article seems to work very well and has no obvious defects, ensuring simple, quick and efficient sand cleaning. Being elevated, smaller cats may have some difficulty climbing, but adults have no problem.
Stefanplast Furba Top Chic
The Furba Top Chic is a 58.5 × 39.4 × 42.7 cm large bedding, with a collection system consisting of two trays and a sieve. It has a transparent tilting door and two hooks that keep the litter box closed.
The trays are deep and the litter box is spacious, so cats settle quickly. The product works very well and saves time and sand, however cleaning the sieve can become tedious because grains often get stuck in it. The door closes well and does not let odors escape, but the safety handles are released too easily.
Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about self-cleaning litter
A cat is a very pleasant company. And it requires less effort than other animals, because it usually does not have to be taken away from home. With the right accessories inside the home, a cat will have everything he needs. In particular, he will need a litter for manure, which must always be cleaned for convenience and for hygienic reasons. Below we will explain what you need to know about the type called ‘self-cleaning’.
You must place the litter box in the most comfortable place for your pet.
(Source: Elnur Amikishiyev: 113119016 / 123rf.com)
What is a self-cleaning cat litter?
They are litters that have a system that allows your cat’s personal toilet to always clean itself. Do not forget that a litter box is essential, in a house where cats live, because they offer the animal a space of its own where to make needs, gathering them in one place. Cats are clean animals and they love it in the toilet too.
Self-cleaning litters are a particularly useful product for those people who spend a lot of time away from home and, in general, for all people and cats who like to live in a clean and odor-free environment. As we will see below, there are several ways in which a litter box can clean itself.
Remember that, to perform their function, they must always be equipped with sand.
Where does the dirty sand of a self-cleaning litter go?
Normally, automatic or semi-automatic litters transfer solid excrements from the tray where the cat makes its needs to another or to a bag, which will then be closed with some system to prevent the smell from escaping. In this way, the cat owner can subsequently collect that bag or tray and empty its contents in the trash.
Some cats don’t use traditional bedding when they are dirty.
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Even if I have a self-cleaning litter box, do I have to wash it from time to time?
Yes. In the basin where feces and urine are collected and in which the sand is found, remains of the manure, with the relative bacteria, can remain. Therefore, from time to time you have to change the sand and it is advisable to wash all the litter, using a disinfectant or detergent that is not toxic to the cat. Bleach can also be used to clean it well.
It is very important that a self-cleaning litter box is of adequate size for your cat to feel comfortable.
Can my cat bother the fact that the litter can clean itself?
Taking into account the fact that cats are very demanding animals who love to have everything around them under control, seeing their private space change without being able to foresee it could irritate them. It may happen that at first the cat does not want to use the litter for fear that it will clean itself without him knowing that it is going to happen.
But if this happens, all you have to do is get your cat used to the thing and inspire confidence in his litter box.
Most likely, as time goes by he will have a lot of fun seeing the various parts that move by dragging the sand to clean it, or at least that’s what many cat owners tell. In general, cats end up accepting litter boxes.
How to teach a cat to use its self-cleaning litter?
Cats are intuitive and intelligent animals who have no major problems learning. When he is a puppy, if you see that he does not understand that the litter is for him, you can remove the clean sand under his eyes, or, if you catch him urinating or defecating out of his space, bring him quickly to the litter. So he will understand that it is the place destined to collect his dejections.
If you notice that he doesn’t use his litter box, annoyed by the self-cleaning system, give him some time to get used to it. These animals are lovers of routine and changes can upset them. If your pet previously used traditional litter and now refuses automatic litter, it is only a matter of time. If you find that he is not used to it, you will have to buy one that he likes best.
We recommend cleaning the litter tray occasionally, regardless of whether it is automatic or not.
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Why doesn’t my cat use his self-cleaning litter box?
There are several reasons why your pet may not want to use his litter box. It may be due to the litter itself, which is not pleasing to the cat. Or it may be due to some health problem that the animal may suffer from. Below we will analyze the different and most common reasons why a cat does not urinate where it must:
- It is not well cleaned. If its litter tray smells strong and unpleasant, or is not perfectly clean, your cat will not want to use it. Wash it with soap. Avoid ammonia.
- He has health problems. Cats with kidney problems experience a lot of pain when urinating. This causes them to begin to see the litter box as an unpleasant place, because they associate it with their malaise. Check your cat’s behavior when urinating and find out if he is experiencing pain. If the answer is yes, take it to the vet.
- The litter box is small. If the size of the litter is not adequate, your cat will be uncomfortable to use it. Even more when we talk about bedding with a lid, the most common on the market among those that clean themselves.
- He doesn’t like to share it. If you have more than one cat in the house and one or all of them avoid the litter box, it’s because they don’t want to share it. It is a common problem. Simply buy multiple bedding so everyone has their own space.
- There is little sand. Always keep, at a minimum, 3 or 4 centimeters thick. If there is little sand, your cat will not like the litter box.
- It’s located in a place he doesn’t like. If you have placed the litter box in a part of the house that your cat doesn’t like, there is a possibility that he will ignore it. Try changing places and watch the cat’s reaction.
- He doesn’t like sand. There are mainly four types of sand, although each has many variations. If you notice that the cat avoids the litter box, he may not like the material you have chosen. Try to change the sand to see if the cat will begin to appreciate his personal bathroom.
- He wants to mark the territory. Both males and unsterilized females may want to mark their territory. And they will do it with urine in different places in the house.
- Suffering from stress. For some reason, your cat is anxious. And, in these cases, cats don’t behave normally. If you see him doing strange things like avoiding the litter box, he may be suffering from some ailment.
When you need to buy a self-cleaning litter box, you don’t just have to focus on your needs and preferences, but you also need to respect your cat’s tastes. Here we present a selection of the most important aspects to consider when buying one of these products for your cat’s needs.
- Cleaning system
- With lid or without
Self-cleaning cat litters can use different systems to perform their function. Compared to those with semi-automatic systems that require manual intervention, those with automatic systems connected to electricity stand out. Thanks to the following table you can understand the two forms of cleaning, according to their respective characteristics.
|Advantages||They are programmed to clean themselves, so they require less effort.You will only have to occasionally empty the drawer and clean the litter from time to time, but in everyday life you can feel comfortable.If you have to leave for a few days, they will clean themselves.||They don’t use electricity, so they are more environmentally friendly.They require minimal daily intervention.|
|Disadvantages||They consume more: both in electricity and in batteries.They are usually more expensive: by offering better services and cleaning systems, they also provide a higher cost.||They require more effort than automatic ones, because to remove the manure it is necessary for a human to move the lever.If you have to leave and leave the cat at home, you will need someone to walk over to clean the litter box. Even just by activating the lever, so that no solid excrement remains in the sand.|
The self-cleaning litter you choose will need to be appropriate for your cat’s length and weight. And it won’t even be too small or too big. Feline experts recommend that the cat’s length be one and a half times long. If you have limited space in the house, you can look for a triangular-shaped litter that can be stuck in a corner.
The point is that the cat not only needs to be able to get into his litter box, but must also be able to turn around to bury the stool comfortably. Another aspect to take into consideration regarding the size is that it must not be too tall, if you have a puppy or elderly cat. In this case, accessing the animal would be complicated and this could lead him to refuse the litter.
Teach your kitty that the litter box will be the place for its manure.
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With lid or without
There are litters that are uncovered at the top and others with a lid. The self-cleaning ones usually have a lid, but they can also be found without it. To find out which product can be more useful for you and your cat, below we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of the different models on the market:
|With lid||Without cover|
|Advantages||Friends who want their privacy will appreciate this model very much.They prevent odors from escaping.They prevent sand from spilling onto the floor.||If your cat is wary or overly curious, he will prefer to check his surroundings when urinating, so he will prefer an open litter box.Cheaper.They take up less space.|
|Disadvantages||They take up more space.Suspicious cats can feel uncomfortable by not having control over all the space surrounding their litter box while making needs.They are more expensive.||They let out the smells.You will have to be very careful with the sand you use and put more effort into cleaning to avoid bad smell.|
A good litter box will help keep your house clean and avoid bad urine and cat stool odors. And if you integrate this with other accessories, the cleaning will be optimal. In the following table we present a summary of the existing accessories, which you will have to choose according to what you want to improve:
|If you want||Buy||Reasons|
|Avoid dirty sand or excrement on the ground||A mat||Once you have finished using the litter box, the cat will have to go over the mat, thus cleaning its paws, which will not carry the sand around.If your cat mixes the sand a lot and it comes out of the litter box, it will end up collected on the mat.|
|Avoid bad smell||Litter deodorantScented sandActivated carbon filter||Deodorants are designed to neutralize unpleasant and strong odors.Scented sand will give off a pleasant aroma in the room.Activated carbon filters work by absorbing the excrement molecules that cause the bad smell.|
|That the manure remains isolated from the litter||Sanitary bags||Many litters are equipped with a second tray where a hygienic bag must be placed to collect the manure. In other cases this is not the case, but you can still buy a bag separately and thus avoid the remains of feces and urine remaining in that part of the litter.|
|That the litter box is as environmentally friendly as possible||Natural or biodegradable sand||In addition to being able to buy a litter box made from recycled materials, you can also buy ecological sand, which can be thrown into the toilet, as it respects the water and the environment.|
|Let the litter not move||Rubber mat or supports||Sometimes when the cat shakes the sand to hide the manure, it moves the litter box. You can place rubber pads under the base or place the litter box on an always rubber mat to prevent it from moving.|
|Sepiolite sand||It is the most common and simple sandSepiolite is a mineral||economicIt is found everywhereIt raises a lot of dustPoor absorptionIt can be perfumedYou cannot throw it in the toilet because it is not biodegradable|
|Ecological||A product made from pine wood, corn cobs or other vegetable fibers||Poor absorptionIt does not raise dustIt gives the room a natural smellIt is biodegradable and when it is dirty you can throw it in the toilet|
|clumping||Liquid manure is collected in solid lumps, so as to gather all the dirty partsIt is made from a clay called bentonite||He manages to hide the smellIt is biodegradableIt raises dustIt is absorbent and easy to clean, because the excrements all pile up togetherMore expensive product than the others|
|Silica gel||Small semitransparent stonesIt is an artificial product and made with sodium silicate||It does not raise dustIt is very absorbentEasy to clean: the stones turn yellow when they are impregnated with urineIt is not biodegradableNeutralizes the smellIt can be annoying for some cats’ legs|
A cat is an animal that requires little effort. It does not need to be washed, because it cleans itself every day, avoiding the release of bad smells. And it is very independent and intelligent in carrying out its activities without controlling it. To make this possible, you will need to offer him the necessary tools. One of the main ones is the litter box.
Self-cleaning litters make life a lot easier. They avoid having to collect excrements every time your pet does its needs. There are some that work automatically and require almost no effort, and others where you only need to turn a lever. Your biggest weekly effort will be to empty the bag with the manure.
We hope to have solved many of your doubts about how to have a cat at home and keep it clean. If you liked the article, share it.
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