PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box Review

The ScoopFree litter box combines the long-lasting odor control of crystal cat litter with an automatic raking mechanism.

The result is an almost touch-free litter box system that cleans itself, allowing you to go for up to 30 days without discarding waste. Because silica gel crystal cat litter is extremely absorbent and is made to neutralize odors up to 5x more efficiently than clay litter, liquid waste can remain in the litter tray for up to 30 days without becoming saturated or malodorous.

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Each time your cat uses the litter box, the ScoopFree starts a countdown timer. After 5, 10, or 20 minutes, a stainless steel rake will travel across the litter bed, stirring the litter to encourage urine absorption and catching any solid waste. The solid waste is pushed into an odor-controlled absorbent hopper, where it’s stored until you’re ready to toss it out.

This video shows the ScoopFree in action:

What are the differences between the ScoopFree Ultra and the ScoopFree Original?

There are currently two models of the PetSafe ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box on the market. Both follow the same fundamental principle. They feature disposable trays filled with super-absorbent silica gel crystal cat litter and use a raking mechanism to drag solid waste into an odor-neutralizing compartment.

The ScoopFree Original sticks to the basics.

It’s an open litter tray that plugs into a power outlet and rakes away solid waste 20 minutes after each use. The unit measures 27.4 x 19 x 7 inches, with a litter bed measuring just 14 x 14 inches.

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For $30 more than the Original ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box, the Ultra model gives you several additional features.

The ScoopFree Ultra counts litter box uses, helping you to monitor your cat’s health and evaluate the litter’s longevity. Considering that waste-eliminating functionality of the ScoopFree would otherwise leave you in the dark about your cat’s litter box habits, this feature alone may justify the added cost.

Secondly, the Ultra model gives you more timing options. You can set it to comb through the litter 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat uses the litter box.

The ScoopFree Ultra also comes with a privacy hood, which helps to prevent the spread of odors and disguises the litter bed from view. It’s available in purple and taupe colors and is slightly larger than the original model at 27.5 x 19 x 16 inches. The litter bed is still relatively small at just 14 x 14 inches.

How does the PetSafe ScoopFree compare to the LitterMaid?

The PetSafe ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box is frequently compared to the LitterMaid, which employs a similar raking mechanism, but uses clumping clay litter instead of silica gel crystals.

Because the rake of the ScoopFree reaches all the way to the bottom of the litter tray, it cleans completely. In contrast, the LitterMaid rake doesn’t reach the bottom of the box. Because the LitterMaid deals with large clumps of urine-soaked clay, the rake is prone to jamming and clogging.

The ScoopFree’s use of super-absorbent silica gel crystal cat litter ensures that the litter box stays fresher for a longer period of time.

Overall, the PetSafe ScoopFree is a more expensive but more reliable automatic litter box.

How much does the PetSafe ScoopFree cost?

On Chewy, the ScoopFree Original costs $129.99, while the Ultra model will set you back $159.95. Compared to other automatic litter boxes, this price is about average. But the cost of the unit isn’t what should give you sticker shock.

If anything is going to sap your wallet, it’s buying replacement litter cartridges. A 6-pack of these disposable litter trays costs $86.95. For just one cat, this might be reasonable, but as your cat family grows and replacement frequency increases, the costs start to look extreme.

A two-cat home might require litter replacement every 15 days. That’s almost $30 in litter expenses each month. If you have three cats, the monthly litter cost goes up to over $43 or $516 annually.

Because the cost of disposable litter trays is so high, it’s a good idea to consider using a reusable tray instead. The tray and included pre-measured bag of silica gel litter costs $49.95 to start, but enable you to pair the ScoopFree box with any affordable crystal cat litter.

The ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box is covered by a 1 year limited warranty.

What do real customers think of the PetSafe ScoopFree?

To understand how people feel about the PetSafe ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box, let’s see what they’re saying about the ScoopFree Ultra, the best-selling ScoopFree unit.

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On Chewy, this product has a 4.3 out of 5 star rating based on 117 reviews. 91% of reviewers say they’d recommend it. The ScoopFree’s Amazon listing has 1,388 customer reviews and a 3.6 out of 5 star rating.

What are real customers saying about the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra self-cleaning litter box?

About half of all customers give the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra glowing reviews, saying that it worked well and spared them from the daily struggle of cleaning out the litter box. The dissatisfied customer contingent expressed a variety of complaints, but the problem most frequently discussed was the cost of replacing the disposable litter trays.

Chewy user Jayce describes this self-cleaning box as the “answer to my prayers”.

“Honey yes. This right here is a sanity saver. We have 2 cats, and we’d tried so many different brands/types of cat litter to find something that would contain the smell and never could. We absolutely hate cleaning the litter box, but now we barely have to do anything to it. The crystals soak up the urine and the rake takes care of the poop.We ended up buying the reusable tray, so we will have to deal with cleaning a little more, but I’m a-okay with that now.”

Anastasia wasn’t so impressed, saying that the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra isn’t worth the expense.

“I have had this litter box for about a year now and I’m beginning to look for a new system. I have two adult cats. This thing basically just compartmentalizes poop into a cardboard section. Nothing fancy at all. It still smells. The crystals are not that amazing. I do not recommend this because it’s way to expensive for a poop organizer and trapper.”

Click here to read more PetSafe ScoopFree reviews on Chewy.

What’s great about the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box?

It’s low-maintenance.

This is what the ScoopFree was made for – because the litter box essentially scoops itself, this machine frees you from the daily tedium of cleaning out your cat’s litter box. If you’re someone who hates hunching over the box for minutes every day, the ScoopFree is an appealingly hands-off litter box solution.

It’s probably a more diligent litter box cleaner than you’ll ever be.

Whether you’re at home or a thousand miles away, the ScoopFree will clean out the litter box 5-20 minutes after your cat uses it. In theory, this means that your cat will finally have the constantly clean box they deserve.

Silica gel crystal litter is low-dust.

Unlike clay litter, which produces crystalline silica dust and could irritate people and cats with respiratory issues, crystal litter is virtually dust-free.

It’s quiet and quick.

At around 1 minute and 10 seconds, the ScoopFree’s cleaning cycle is one of the shortest in the automatic litter box world. It’s also whisper-quiet, meaning that it won’t upset you or your cats.

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What’s not great about the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box?

It can be extremely expensive.

The PetSafe ScoopFree litter box is probably not worth it for multiple cat homes.

The usual recommendation of one litter box for each cat plus one additional box spells not just multiplied costs upfront, but multiplying replacement costs as your feline household grows. The PetSafe ScoopFree system involves expensive replacement litter cartridges.

To cut back on replacement costs, opt for a reusable plastic tray instead.

If your cat has loose or large stools, they could stick to the rake.

Like other automatic litter boxes with raking mechanisms, the ScoopFree is prone to sticking and jamming. In theory, the silica gel litter dehydrates solid waste before the rake starts its journey across the litter bed, but this doesn’t always happen. Large, soft feces, especially if left uncovered, could stick to the stainless steel rake, creating a smelly situation.

Cats often don’t like silica gel crystal litter.

Silica gel crystal litter is among the least popular types in cat preference tests. The hard particles may be uncomfortable under your cat’s paws, discouraging them from using the box. It’s a good idea to introduce your cat to silica gel crystal litter before using the ScoopFree box. If your cat doesn’t like the crystals, they won’t like the ScoopFree. The machine is not compatible with clumping clay or any other type of cat litter.

The automatic cleaning mechanism is reliant on a power source.

In order for the litter box to work automatically, you’ll need to plug it into a power outlet. This can restrict your placement options and may necessitate the use of an extension cord. Unlike some other automatic litter boxes, the ScoopFree doesn’t use backup batteries.

The Final Verdict – Is the PetSafe ScoopFree worth it?

The PetSafe ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box is a good choice if you…

  • Have one or two cats
  • Have cats who like using silica gel crystal litter
  • Hate cleaning out the litter box
  • Are often away from home and unable to keep the box clean

The PetSafe ScoopFree is an effective, reliable machine that seldom jams, clogs, or has malfunctions. It features a simple design that desiccates waste, saves you from daily scooping, and makes disposal easy.

If you have multiple cats or a cat who urinates more than most – think cats with diabetes and kidney disease – the cost of replacement litter trays will probably make the ScoopFree an impractical option.

Where can you buy the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box?

The PetSafe ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box is available both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. PetSafe cautions shoppers to avoid unauthorized online retailers, who may sell defective or stolen units. Click here to view their list of authorized resellers.

Click here to shop for the ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box on Chewy.

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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