The PetSafe Litter Box is packed full of tricks including an automatic rake to swiftly sweep waste away, and crystal litter that’s five times better at trapping odours than clay, which means you don’t have to put up with unpalatable pongs, and your kitty is happier and cleaner too
Hood minimises clean up
Crystal litter traps nasty odours
Automatic rake sweeps waste away
Pricier than a basic plastic tray
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The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box does exactly what it says on the tin, or box at least. While your average litter tray is probably a simple plastic affair full of soiled gravel-like clay pellets that get unceremoniously flicked everywhere, this swanky option is an altogether more civilized affair.
The smart litter box has a robotic rake to comb through crystal litter and banish smelly solids. It can even keep track of your cat's toilet habits to make sure they are feeling (or should that be feline?) fine.
Plus, the handy hood stops your kitchen floor from being scattered with litter. While it may lack a flush – for polite kitties like Mr Jinx from Meet The Parents – this is one smart techie toilet you never knew you (or your cat) needed.
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The PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box has plenty of tricks beneath its plastic hood, which is designed to give your cat some privacy.
The gadget is simple to set up – just plug it in, install a disposable tray filled with crystal litter and it’s ready to go for weeks without doing anything, according to the manufacturer.
When your kitty does its business, the automatic rake system sweeps waste into a covered compartment five, 10 or 20 minutes after they have relieved themselves. During this time, the crystals work to absorb moisture, dehydrating the waste and banishing nasty odors.
To dispose of a used tray, owners need only cover it with the lid, and throw it away. Obviously, this is incredibly convenient, but it won’t impress environmentalists.
One of the big selling points of crystal litter is that it absorbs five times more odor than conventional litter, cutting your cat’s pong substantially. The crystals are designed not to stick to your cat’s cute little paws and be trodden all over your house.
If that wasn’t enough, the box even monitors your cat’s health – sort of. There’s a motion sensor linked to a counter, so you’ll be able to keep track of the number of times your furry friend uses the loo, so you’ll know if it has a funny tummy.
You might think a product promising so much is too good to be true, and for some users that is the case. Common complaints involve the litter not lasting as long as advertized and the considerable cost of replacing it.
One user said: “The replacement trays are way too expensive and don’t last anywhere near what I was told,” while another said her two cats were getting through a new one every six days (opens in new tab).
There is the option to ditch the pricey refills and use a ‘forever’ plastic tray, but that seems to come with its own pitfalls. “Litter too big doesn't work, too small doesn't work, it is a work in progress for me finding a litter that lasts, is reasonably priced and that my cats like,” one user griped.
A few other owners have done more cleaning than they bargained for, because loose poop can get stuck on the rake itself.
However, owners are almost unanimous in their praise for the smart litter box’s ability to hide away smells. One user said: “I live in a small apartment and so the litter box is essentially in the same room as the kitchen. It's really made my general quality of life go up – if I ever smell poo, it's because he just went, and I can press a button to make it disappear.”
Verdict: Should you buy the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box?
If you’re a house-proud cat owner who really values a clean and fragrant home, then the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box is worth saving for. This gadget is designed to appeal to the cash-rich and time-poor who want to pet, not clean their Persian cats.
So, for value-conscious owners, there may be better alternatives, as the cost of this gadget far exceeds the initial outlay and if you have multiple cats, you might get through one filter a week. In short, it’s a great option for house-proud pet parents or a cat owner who is feline flush (sorry!).
Sarah is a freelance journalist specialising in science and nature. Having spent years in national newspaper newsrooms, she escaped to Cornwall and hopes to explore the beaches with a rescue dog soon.
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