Best Cat Litter for Automatic Litter Box

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Your choice of cat litter will determine how well your automatic litter box works – or if it works at all.

The wrong litter could make the machine jam, damage mechanical components, or even render the automatic litter box useless.

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Usually, your automatic litter box will come with litter recommendations, but these can be vague, restrictive, or out of your price range. You’ll eventually have to make your own decisions about the litter that you use.

In general, it’s safe to say that self-cleaning boxes work best with clumping or silica gel crystal cat litter. Most automatic litter boxes have a sifting or raking mechanism that separates soiled litter from clean litter. If you use a strictly absorbent litter, that waste separation mechanism will do nothing to remove urine, allowing the waste to build up as if you’d never cleaned it out.

Things to Consider When Choosing Litter for Your Automatic Litter Box

The best cat litter for automatic litter boxes clumps on contact.

You probably know the feeling of hacking at clods of litter stuck to the bottom of the litter box. That’s one part of litter cleaning that your automatic litter box simply can’t do. Any waste fused to the bottom of the box will stay there until you manually intervene – and doesn’t that defeat the purpose of an automatic litter box? To ensure that your self-cleaning box can do its job, it’s important to choose litter that clumps quickly and never gives waste a chance to soak down to the bottom of the box.

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The best cat litter for automatic litter boxes produces minimal dust.

Because dust can enter the mechanical components of the litter box, it’s a good idea to choose a low-dust litter. Whether you choose a walnut litter, a corn litter, a wheat litter, or good old clay, some dust is inevitable. But not all litter is equally dusty – choosing a low-dust litter will spare your lungs and prolong the life of your automatic litter box.

Can you use natural or biodegradable cat litter with automatic litter boxes?

When it goes into an automatic litter box, natural and biodegradable litter has to play by the same rules everyone else does. It should clump and it should clump well. Also, it has to pass through the sifting or raking mechanism. This means that you can’t use pine pellets or paper pellets in your automatic litter box.

Instead, choose biodegradable litter that clumps hard and clumps quickly, like World’s Best Cat Litter or SmartCat grass litter.

Top 5 Best Cat Litters for Automatic Litter Boxes

All things considered, the following are all-around solid choices for your automatic litter box. Not only are they well-suited to the sifting and raking of a self-cleaning litter box, these litter box fillers perform well anywhere you use them. They control odor well, create minimal dust, and are generally fine examples of what cat litter is made to do.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Multiple Cat

Clumping clay litter ideal for the Litter Robot, PetSafe Simply Clean, and LitterMaid

This clay litter is perfect for any automatic litter box that requires clumping litter.

This all-around winner does everything that cat litter should. It controls odors well, is quick-clumping, produces minimal dust, and it’s low-tracking. It’s free from irritating fragrances, so it’s perfect for sensitive cats.

While it quickly creates solid clumps, which helps out in the sifting and raking process, this litter is heavy and creates hard clumps. This means that if there is any litter fused to the raking mechanism of the LitterMaid or similar self-cleaning boxes, it will likely be difficult to remove. – Buy It

Pros

  • Free from chemical fragrances that might irritate your cat
  • A low-dust, low-tracking litter
  • Quickly creates solid, easy-to-remove clumps

Cons

  • A heavy cat litter
  • Not appropriate for boxes focused on crystal litter

Tidy Cats Scoop 24/7 Performance Continuous Odor Control Cat Litter

Clumping clay litter ideal for the PetSafe Simply Clean, Litter Robot, and LitterMaid

This medium-grained clumping clay litter acts instantly to contain odors and create clumps. Because it clumps rapidly, this litter won’t stick to the bottom of the box – a critical quality when dealing with an automatic litter box.

Although it’s not marketed as a scented litter, this product contains small blue granules with Purina’s Aromaburst Technology, which releases a floral and herbal scent when moistened. These granules are also deodorizing, which gives the litter an odor control boost.

The litter is 99.6% dust-free. – Buy It

Pros

  • Low-dust
  • Doesn’t fuse to the bottom of the box
  • Clumps quickly

Cons

  • Not appropriate for crystal-centric automatic litter boxes
  • Lightly scented

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Cat Litter Review

Ideal for any new automatic litter box compatible with clumping clay litter

It’s natural for your cat to be a little bit uncomfortable with the introduction of a new litter box that moves on its own, makes noise, and doesn’t look the same as a traditional litter pan. If your cat is hesitant to use the new automatic litter box, you may want to use a specially-formulated litter to attract your cat to their new bathroom.

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Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter is infused with a “natural herbal attractant” – rumor has it that catnip is involved- to soothe your cat and encourage them to enter the litter box.

Besides its attractive herbal qualities, this cat litter has fine granules and quickly creates hard clumps, making it a great choice for automatic litter boxes. – Buy It

Pros

  • Quickly creates firm clumps
  • Infused with a natural herbal attractant
  • Fine granule texture is easy on the paws and the litter box
  • 99% dust free
  • Excellent odor control

Cons

  • Not compatible with silica gel litter systems
  • While most accounts describe this litter as a master clumper, some reviews say that it created cement at the bottom of the litter box

World’s Best Cat Litter Multiple Cat Litter Review

Biodegradable corn litter ideal for the LitterMaid, Litter Robot, and PetSafe Simply Clean

If you have an automatic litter box that works with clumping litter, this litter from World’s Best Cat Litter is a good natural and biodegradable choice.

It harnesses the naturally absorbent properties of corn, creates some of the strongest clumps in the biodegradable space, and has good odor control abilities. It’s also exceptionally light, which is always a bonus when your automatic litter box uses a rake mechanism to separate the clean from the dirty litter. – Buy It

Pros

  • Biodegradable litter
  • Quickly creates clumps
  • Lightweight
  • Good odor control ability

Cons

  • Not appropriate for silica gel – centric boxes
  • Relatively dusty
  • Expensive

ScoopFree Sensitive Crystal Cat Litter Review

Silica gel crystal litter ideal for the PetSafe Scoop Free and any automatic litter box that works with crystal litter

Almost all automatic litter boxes work with clumping litter as well as silica gel crystals, so if you have a preference for dust-free, lightweight silica gel litter, this might be a good product to try in your automatic litter box.

This litter is sold by the company behind the Scoop Free automatic litter box and comes in pre-measured bags that are the perfect size for the Scoop Free litter tray. Unlike PetSafe’s other silica gel litter products, which are infused with fragrances and dyes, this litter is dye and fragrance free, making it appropriate for sensitive cats. – Buy It

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free
  • Perfect for litter boxes that use silica gel litter
  • Excellent odor control
  • Subscription ordering is available

Cons

  • Doesn’t clump
  • May be harsh on some cats’ toes
  • More expensive than most clumping litter

Looking for the best litter for a specific litter box?

Here’s some advice to help you find the right litter for your automatic litter box. We’ll cover the top issues and recommendations for the following five top-selling automatic litter boxes:

  • Cat Genie
  • Litter Robot
  • LitterMaid
  • PetSafe Scoop Free Ultra
  • PetSafe Simply Clean

What’s the best cat litter to use with the Cat Genie?

There’s only one litter to use with the Cat Genie – proprietary washable granules made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials. There’s no equal substitute for these beads.

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What’s the best cat litter to use with the Litter Robot?

The company recommends using high-quality clumping cat litter, whether that’s clumping clay or a biodegradable product. They explain that you can also use silica gel crystals, provided that they’re small enough to pass through the litter screen. If you don’t want to spend too much time shopping for the best litter, consider buying from Litterbox.com – this litter is sold by the company behind Litter Robot and is highly compatible with the machine.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter is very popular among Litter Robot customers, who appreciate its quick-clumping action.

What’s the best cat litter to use with the LitterMaid?

World’s Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats has multiple mentions in positive customer reviews of the LitterMaid. LitterMaid also sells its own line of litter, including walnut, corn, and silica gel crystal types.

There’s little consensus on which litter is best for the LitterMaid. Customers agree that sticking is the biggest problem, adding that a litter that clumps too firmly could overburden the machine. Lightweight, low-dust litter helps to keep the LitterMaid working smoothly.

If your cat tends to urinate near the rake, even the best clumping litter can’t help but stick. Some people put baking soda on the rake and other surfaces of the LitterMaid. Others use cooking spray to prevent sticking.

What’s the best cat litter to use with the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra?

This litter box comes with disposable cardboard trays, which are pre-filled with the perfect amount of silica gel crystal litter. Refilling the automatic litter box with these cardboard trays can become costly, so many users opt to cut replacement costs by ditching the cardboard and replacing it with a reusable plastic cartridge. If you choose to stop using the pre-filled cardboard trays, you’re responsible for choosing your own litter.

You can use PetSafe’s own silica gel crystals, which are available in unscented traditional blue, undyed crystals for sensitive cats, and another variety of silica gel litter that has a lavender color and fragrance. What’s great about this litter is the fact that each bag contains just the right amount to fill up your automatic litter box.

But don’t think you’re limited to PetSafe’s silica gel litter. You can use any type of silica gel crystal litter on the market. It’s always best to choose a fine-grained product that’s gentle under your cat’s paws.

What’s the best cat litter for the PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box?

Like most automatic litter boxes, the PetSafe Simply Clean works best with clumping litter.

Tidy Cats appears to be a popular choice among users of this automatic litter box. While some say they only had success with a lightweight litter, Tidy Cats 24/7 cat litter appears to be the crowd favorite.

Dust and slow clumping are the biggest problems for this litter box – you don’t want to use a dusty litter that could damage the mechanical components or a slow-clumping product that forms sludge on the bottom of the tray.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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