Automatic Litter Boxes: An Answer to a Cat Guardian’s Prayers?

Whenever I am chatting with friends who are as equally passionate about cats as I am, I find that after the kitty “bragging” discussions are all said and done our conversations invariably turn into those about the pros and cons of the brands and different types of litter boxes which will keep our kitties healthy and happy.

Automatic litter box

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And once we get into it, deeply delving into this topic, it’s darned easy to spend hours on end exploring the optimal size and shape of the perfect litter box. Most of the questions that get the fur flying are if the box should be covered or left uncovered and, of course, scooped manually or automatically, or the ideal location for the boxes to be place in order to prevent “accidents”. Of course, just how many boxes are necessary to keep the cats happy is the one that generally receives high priority.

When the litter box talkathon has temporarily run its course, it is often followed with a philosophical discussion on the merits of clumping litter vs. non-clumping, scented or odorless, manufactured out of clay, corn, cedar chips, or any other material. I gotta tell you when it comes to the topic of litter and litter boxes, cat people really do have very strong opinions. And with the huge variety of these essential feline sanitary “toilet” necessities available on the market today; it can become truly overwhelming when kitty servants are trying to make decisions about what products are the most appropriate.

Even though cleaning litter boxes may not generally be one of the top-ten in the “hit parade” of beloved kitty keeping chores, I cannot for the life of me understand why some folks prefer using self-cleaning and self-flushing automatic litter boxes. In this cat servant’s opinion, it’s just as important to be able to monitor kitty’s output as it is to stay on top of their food and water intake. Although there are some cat guardians that prefer the convenience of an automatic litter box, I am not at all convinced that automatic litter boxes are as appropriate as those we manually scoop. As far as I am concerned, “power” boxes prevent guardians from being aware of any serious medical issues that may be lurking.

One of the most common gripes I hear from cat keepers is that their cats are energetic “diggers” and make a huge mess by scattering litter all over the floor. And then there are those cats that prefer to pee standing up and leave puddles outside the box.

We have a “macho” kitty who stands up when he pees. He used to make a huge mess with litter and urine on the floor outside the box which drove me up the wall in frustration. However, after doing some research we were finally able to remedy the majority of these problems. Clevercat litter boxes to the rescue! The high box sides prevent spillage and the specially designed cover traps most of the litter kicked outside the box. Following the equation of one litter box per cat –plus one- we have three cats and four boxes. To keep the cats happy, two are covered and two left uncovered. Our “Macho” kitty is very happy and so am I.

“Scented” litter only benefits the owners, not the cats. Most cats abhor scented litter because their own “scent” is preferable and this attracts them to the box. Preventing nasty odors from accumulating can easily be accomplished by keeping the litter boxes clean and fresh.

What type of litter box, and litter do your kitties prefer? Tell us in a comment.

Associated page: What size should your litter box be? And what about a popular page on Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter, which is dangerous?

Photo credit: Automatic litter box- found on the Internet.

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5 thoughts on “Automatic Litter Boxes: An Answer to a Cat Guardian’s Prayers?”

  1. As I am a person who tends to think outside the box, I look to repurpose items built for other things that will work nicely for something else too. In DIY home supply stores like Home Depot and Lowes, they sell thick plastic concrete mixing tubs that are sturdy of course, but are roomy and deep as well. I used two of these side by side under a big table in my garage when I had 14 cats at a time. They’ve worked great and are easy to clean. 3’x2’x8″. Even when heavy with litter (my cats have liked 4″) they slide easily on concrete, but grab by the corners to avoid splitting the upper side rail.

    • Fantastic Idea!!! My older cat prefers to perch on the edge to relieve himself. This box is perfect for that. Thank you!! I wish I had known about them when I was looking for an alternative to the traditional litter box. I ended up using a storage box with a moat-type well around the bottom at the walls which makes it a little difficult to clean if urine ends up there.

  2. We use standard litter boxes of varying sizes, with clumping clay unscented litter, cats’ preferred type of substrate. Two of the boxes are extra-large and extra-tall, because there have been some in our furmily who love to “stand and deliver”. All of the boxes are uncovered, except one, because sometimes, some cats like a little bit of privacy.

  3. I have 6 cats and 6 boxes. I use non-scented clumping litter. I also make my own litter boxes and the cats seem to prefer them to the one lonely remaining store bought box (which I have now removed and replaced with a homemade box). The boxes are huge, with a low step to get into the box. That is for my older kitties who have a bit of trouble lifting a leg to get into the box. They are also covered, so a kitty can lay on top and survey his or her domain. I’ve found that they don’t kick out as much litter and have plenty of room to turn around and since the sides are clear, they can observe if anyone is trying to sneak up and try to scare the pants of the one in the litter. Since I’ve done that, I have had NO outside the box accidents. And I use less litter.


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