What are Self-cleaning Litter Boxes?
Automatic litter boxes use electronic sensors to detect when your cat has used their litter box and then clean and sift the dirty litter. Self-cleaning litter boxes have become more popular in recent years and can be a great option if you are looking to save time and labor keeping kitty’s litter box clean.
Self-cleaning automatic litter boxes come at a variety of price points to fit your budget and kitty’s preferences (though some cats do not like them at all). In addition to eliminating your least favorite chore as a cat parent, your furry friend will get to enjoy a fresh experience every time they visit their litter box - without you lifting a finger.
If you are looking to adopt a cat, getting an automatic litter box at the same time can help your cat get used to the box from the beginning. Follow these tips for setting a litter box up for success if you’re introducing a new self-cleaning litter box to your home and cat family.
Can I Use Regular Litter In My Automatic Litter Box?
There are some kitty litters that function best with self-cleaning litter box systems. We recommend using a clumping litter with small particles to get the best performance from your automatic litter box. You can use a lightweight or a regular clumping cat litter in an automatic litter box and choose from scented or unscented litters as well.
If you have already made the switch to an automatic litter box and you’re not fully satisfied with the box’s performance, your litter may be to blame. Your favorite litter for a traditional litter box may have served you well before, but there are changes you can make to your litter to work best with your self-cleaning litter box.
Although cats can be apprehensive about changes to their litter or litter boxes, with a few tips and tricks you can transition your cat to a new litter that you, your cat and your new litter box will love.
What Type of Litter is Best for a Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The best type of litter you can use for an automatic litter box is clumping cat litter. Clumping litter creates tight clusters out of your cat’s waste, allowing the automatic litter box to sift the waste from clean litter. Harder clumps stay together better while the self-cleaning litter box operates and help keep the leftover litter cleaner for longer since the waste is isolated.
The smaller the litter particles, the more easily they will sift through the screens and mechanism of an automatic litter box. Smaller particles can also mean lighter weight and harder clumps of urine, which also assist self-cleaning litter box operation.
Smaller litter particles can be more easily tracked inside your home on your cat’s paws, but there are things you can do to reduce litter tracking so you can have the best litter experience possible.
When choosing a cat litter for your automatic litter box, also consider odor control. Although a self-cleaning litter box sifts the clumps of urine and feces out of the litter, you still need to empty the container of waste clumps from the litter pan regularly. Choosing a cat litter that completely covers and compresses the urine and seals in odors can help reduce that pungent cat pee smell.
ARM & HAMMER™ Multi-Cat Strength Clumping Cat Litter has instant odor destroyers and extra ammonia blockers to control odors, and some litters such as HardBall™ Clumping Litter controlling odor for up to 14 days, even with multiple cats.
Can You Use Pine Litter in an Automatic Litter Box?
You cannot use pine or wood pellet litters in automatic litter boxes, so it is best to avoid those litter types if you’re switching to a self-cleaning litter box. Pine and wood pellets are too large to sift through the automatic litter box’s sifters which will jam the cleaning system. Clumping litter works easiest with automatic sifters since they condense the amount of waste into a clump while the rest of the litter has a smaller grain that can fit through the sifter.
Try These ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litters!
ARM & HAMMER™ has a variety of clumping litters to match your automatic litter box and lifestyle. ARM & HAMMER™ kitty litters are also made to be low-dust to help keep litter from kicking up while your automatic litter box sifts litter for you.
Discover your next clumping litter that is best suited for the self-cleaning litter box in your home from our top options below!
Option 1: Slide™ Easy Clean-Up Clumping Litter
Say goodbye to scraping or scrubbing the inside of the litter box - Slide™ Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter uses a non-stick formula that keeps litter from sticking to the box, making it quicker and easier than ever to change and refresh your cat’s litter box. Slide™ is also 99.9% dust free and low tracking to reduce litter carried into the home.
Option 2: HardBall™ Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
If you prefer using a lightweight clumping litter for your automatic litter box, HardBall™ Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter has a fast-forming, hard clump formula to shrink waste and odors while also being 50% lighter than our regular clumping cat litter. Hardball™ is easy to pour, and easy to sift thanks to the ultra-compact clumps.
Option 3: Forever Fresh™ Clumping Litter
Your third option, Forever Fresh™, is a pet-friendly litter formulated with essential oils for long-lasting odor control and long-lasting calming freshness. Forever Fresh™ is also a clumping litter so it will function well in your self-cleaning litter box’s system. Forever Fresh™ is great for multi-cat households and the 99% dust-free formula makes it ideal to help keep your litter box and your home looking and smelling clean.