Cats bring so much joy to our lives. From soothing purrs to crazy kitten hijinks, cat ownership is rewarding—not to mention entertaining.
That is, until it’s time to scoop the litter box. And if you have several cats, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Trying to keep the box (or boxes) clean enough for all your kitties is no easy feat, and it can quickly become an unpleasant chore.
Luckily, there are modern solutions to this problem. An automatic, self-cleaning litter box makes life so much better for you and your feline friends. But sorting through all the options can be overwhelming for pet parents.
That’s why we rounded up the best automatic litter boxes for multiple cats. Read on to find the perfect fit for your furry friends.
Do Automatic Cat Litter Boxes Smell Less?
Yes, automatic litter boxes smell less. All waste is scooped up during the cleaning cycle, once your cat leaves. With a traditional litter box, it might be hours before you can clean up after kitty and that causes yucky smells for hours, too. An automatic, self-cleaning litter box prevents this problem.
Imagine how quickly the self-cleaning litter box pays for itself—no more shelling out for air freshener every month!
Thinking this sounds too good to be true? You’ll be happy to know we personally researched and tested these automatic cat litter boxes with our own feline friends.
And we’re continually surprised every time we get home from a long day, walk through the front door, and can’t smell the litter box at all. Even now, nearly a full year after permanently upgrading to an automatic version, the difference is truly night and day.
Are Automatic Cat Litter Boxes Safe?
Yes, according to research, feline experts, and our own experiences while testing, automatic cat litter boxes are generally safe.
You see, almost all automatic options come standard with safety sensors and timers. This makes it extremely unlikely that your pet will hurt itself. Every brand is designed a little differently, but your cat’s safety is paramount across the board.
If you have young, curious children at home, it’ll be easiest to place the litter box somewhere that’s typically within an adult’s line of sight. This is the best way to prevent potential injuries.
To be clear, there’s currently no research or data suggesting that automatic litter boxes are more dangerous—to pets or people—than a traditional version.
But as a parent, you’re keenly aware of just how easy it can be for a toddler’s finger to get pinched. Use the same level of caution here as you would with cabinet doors, electrical outlets, and other household items that require childproofing.
Do Cats Like Automatic Litter Boxes?
Yes, cat experts suggest that the vast majority of cats—over 90% of them—like automatic litter boxes. According to a 2013 study, there are two key details: make sure it has a cover and don’t rush the transition from the old litter box.
An easier way to understand this is to think about the drawbacks of a traditional litter box. As a cat owner, odds are that at least once in your feline’s life, they’ll protest the dirty state of their box by urinating somewhere else.
Cats may choose to potty outside of the litter box for a slew of other reasons, too. Maybe one cat leaves the box a stinky mess or treats it as their ‘territory,’ thus preventing the other cat from using it.
In all three of these examples, an automatic litter box can seriously simplify the problem. As soon as one cat has finished their business and left the loo, the box gets straight to work so every cat always gets a clean bathroom.
Thinking about it from your pet’s perspective, it’s no wonder most cats quickly adapt to automatic litter boxes.
How to Get Your Cat to Use an Automatic Litter Box
When your new automatic litter box arrives, you’ll want to put it to work immediately. Who doesn’t love the idea of never having to scoop litter again? But for the sake of your cats, don’t turn it on just yet.
Most kitties need an adjustment period to adapt to new things—especially when it affects their bathroom. To help your cats adjust, make sure to use the same brand of litter in your new box.
Leave it unplugged for the first week or so, until your fur babies are comfortable with the new arrangement. Then plug it in and turn it on so your cats get familiar with the new sound of an electric litter box.
Once that doesn’t faze them, you can start enjoying the no-mess, no-stress life with your automatic, self-cleaning litter box.
But our experience has shown you really have to keep your cats’ personalities in mind while navigating this transitional period. For example, one of our cats is a two-year-old male who’s very social and eager. But his sister is a nine-year-old female, and she’s always been a skittish, persnickety kitty.
By the second week, our younger cat had zero qualms about using an automatic cat litter box. But our older girl bounced between the old traditional litter box and the automatic for a couple of months before she was fully comfortable.
Our other cats between these ages all did fine with every automatic cat litter box we tried. So, based on our independent testing, it’s true that most cats adapt without any issue or delay.
The bottom line is, if you have a senior kitty with special needs or a skittish feline, know this process could last beyond a few weeks.
What if My Cat Refuses to Use an Automatic Litter Box?
Don’t worry if your kitty just won’t adapt to their new automatic litter box, because most options on the market also include a trial period.
This means you’ll have anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (depending on which litter box you buy) to see if it’s a good fit. If your cats tend to be skittish or struggle with changes, you may want to opt for a brand that offers a longer trial period.
If your felines just aren’t willing to make the change, you’d then clean, box up, and return the litter box, usually via mail. Some brands also charge a restocking fee or make you pay the return shipping.
Of course, this outcome isn’t ideal. But now that we’ve experienced the scoop-free life, we believe the risk is well worth the potential reward!
What Are the Best Automatic Cat Litter Boxes?
Leo’s Loo Too Starter Bundle—Leo’s Loo Too is the newest addition to the Smarty Pear family. This version has been improved over its predecessor in just about every way, thanks to highly advanced features like Alexa and Google voice controls, a mobile app that connects to your smart home, triple-layer safety protection, a programmable bacteria-eliminating UV light, and a larger waste drawer. All in all, it’s a huge step forward in automatic litter box technology for multiple cat households.
Leo’s Loo too is available in four unique colors to suit any home decor, which is another nice detail. As for the motor? It’s genuinely whisper-quiet in our experience, coming in at just 30 decibels. That’s as loud as a quiet library—which is to say, we often don’t even notice it’s running.
2. Cat Genie Automatic Litter Box—The Cat Genie is more like a self-cleaning toilet for cats. After your kitty does their business, liquids drain through non-absorbing granules, while clumping litter solids are scooped automatically. Then the Cat Genie flushes it all through your toilet or laundry drain. Finally, it runs a wash and dry cycle.
You have to buy the Cat Genie brand of granules, not just any litter. But with a money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty, this one-of-a-kind self-cleaning litter box is definitely worth a shot. Just make sure you have enough room near your toilet or laundry room since it connects directly to your plumbing.
- Petkit Pura X Automatic Cat Litter Box—This litter box provides the best odor control of any self-cleaning litter boxes we tested. It has all the same bells and whistles as the Litter-Robot, but it’s a smidge cheaper—win-win!
You can customize your cat’s litter box to your heart’s content using the Petkit app, too. Best of all, it’s easily refilled via the litter chute on top. The only downside is that the entry hole is a bit small. Larger cats might struggle to get in and out quickly.
- ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box—Thanks to crystal kitty litter, this litter box is a great odor-buster. Fresh step crystals absorb liquid and yucky smells instead of clumping like traditional litter does.
But some kitties don’t care for crystal cat litter. And swapping both your litter and box at the same time might be too much change for your feline friends.
The footprint of this self-cleaning litter box is a great size, it’s quiet and the app offers remote controls. It’s our favorite choice if your cats are already accustomed to crystal litter.
What Is the Best Automatic Litter Box for Multiple Cats?
Based on our research and testing, the Whisker Litter-Robot WiFi Enabled Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box is the best automatic litter box for multiple cats. It’s the most expensive option on our list, but you really do get what you pay for.
The Litter-Robot 4 is chock full of useful features. It locks in dust and odors—the two biggest complaints with any litter box—and it’s almost 100% silent. You have to sit right next to it to notice the sound.
Up to four cats can share one Litter-Robot, and all you need to do is empty the waste receptacle and refill the litter every so often. Of course, more kitties using the Litter-Robot 4 means you’ll need to do this quick bit of maintenance more often.
When we first unboxed and set up this model, we connected it to the Whisker app—which is 100% free to download and pair, with no hidden fees. Here’s how often we received a push notification alerting us that the waste receptacle needed emptying, on average:
- One cat – Once every two weeks
- Two cats – Once per week
- Three cats – Once every five days
- Four cats – Twice per week
If you have more than four cats, Whisker recommends that you get a second litter box.
Our research and personal experiences found this to be 100% accurate. When you try to get five or more cats to share one box (even if it’s the best automatic litter box on the market), you’re bound to deal with territory squabbles, potential bladder control issues, and needing to empty the waste container almost daily.
We really appreciate that the opening is wider than any previous Litter-Robot, meaning it’s perfect for cats of all sizes. This is a huge plus when you have multiple felines at home!
During our testing, the wider opening proved to be a fantastic size. While none of our cats are purebred, many of them are quite large thanks to some Maine Coon DNA. We’re thrilled to say even our hefty 13-pound male cat uses the Litter-Robot 4 without a single issue.
Before you ask about kitties who love to kick litter around, you’re covered there too. Every Litter-Robot 4 comes with a short gate that sits in the opening, and it’s pleasantly effective for keeping litter in the box.
Another improvement with this iteration is an even larger litter pan than its predecessors, which means you won’t have to top it off more than once or twice a week.
We mentioned the Whisker app above. While this guide is about the best automatic litter boxes for multiple cats, we need to pause and call out its handy features. Connecting to the app lets you track your cats’ usage and tells you when to add litter, in addition to the full waste container alerts.
It even charts your cats’ weight over time. This feature has proven to be surprisingly useful—anytime one of our cats is overeating or losing weight, we notice before it becomes a problem.
The cherry on top? All controls have been moved from the front to the top of the Litter-Robot. Anytime you want to run a cycle or customize the settings, you’re able to do so without bending over or kneeling in front of the machine.
How Much Is an Automatic Cat Litter Box?
An automatic cat litter box costs between $75 and $650, depending on brand and style. That may seem like a wide range but remember there are different types.
An automatic litter box with a cover costs more than one without. The style of scoop factors in, too. Rake-style boxes are more affordable, while the ultra-modern, rotating drum-style (like the Litter-Robot 4), carries a higher price.
The best automatic cat litter box for multiple cats depends on your budget and the size of your kitties. Keep these factors in mind while shopping and you’ll be living the scoop-free life in no time!