The range of self-cleaning litter boxes on the market is getting a little more diverse. These automatic litter boxes are designed to make your life easier by cutting out the time that you spend scooping up kitty litter. I recently gave the PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box a look to see if it stacked up against my favorite self-cleaning litter box – the litter robot.
My initial thought was that the PetSafe litter box looked much bigger than I expected. And I was initially wary of putting it together but it came with comprehensive instructions. If I was still confused then there was also a good video.
Basically putting it together meant that I first removed the screw from the centre of the litter box and the top of the conveyor belt. Then you need to lift up the conveyor belt and snap the litter guard onto the main litter bowl. You do need to make sure that the litter guard does fit under the conveyor system.
Once you have done that you just lower the conveyor belt back down into the bowl and reattach the screws. Then place the cover on the conveyor belt by snapping it onto three screws. The waste receptacle is then placed into the back of the system. I would advise though placing a grocery bag into the waste receptacle to make clean up easier.
The unit then just needs plugging into the mains electric and switching on. Note you do need access to an electrical socket for this to work.
How Does the PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box Work?
This is where this litter box differs from others on the market. The bowl which holds the litter constantly turns. Now you may wonder if this will scare your cat – will it act like a merry go round and whizz about. But no it takes an hour to do a full 360-degree cycle so it moves slowly enough to make the movement almost imperceptible.
So what happens is that your cat gets into the litter bowl and does their business. The bowl then moves around and the waste is dragged up the conveyor belt and then dumped into the waste receptacle. Your cat then has nice clean litter to use again.
You can then empty out the waste receptacle every few days or when you feel that it gets too dirty. And you can just top up the litter in the bowl to the fill mark.
Because of the way it sifts the litter you do need to use a clumping litter.
My Views On the PetSafe
Now I am a big fan of self-cleaning litter boxes. Mainly because people are busy. I would prefer to spend time playing with my cats when I get home than cleaning out a smelly litter box. But I have two main criteria to measure when I look at a litter box…
Does it make my life easier?
and more importantly,
Does my cat like it?
Personally, it does make my life easier. It is pretty easy to maintain and it is simple to take the waste bag out of the waste receptacle every couple of days and pop in a new bag. Unlike the old sifting machines this also seems to get less poop stuck on it as well. Self-cleaning litter boxes such as the PetSafe are also very good if you are going to be out all day or away overnight. You are guaranteed that your litter box will remain clean and scooped.
My Cats View
But how did my cat fare? Well, I have cats that like to dig so the first issue was that the litter guard was not high enough and litter got flung everywhere. Now you may not have a digging cat so this might not be such an issue. But I did find that litter tracking was higher and I needed to place a litter mat outside it.
My second concern was that the conveyor system takes up quite a bit of space in the bowl. The bowl itself is only about 10 inches long and some cats prefer much more space than this. It seemed too cramped for a cat to get comfortable in. My cat usually digs about in one area and then moves to another to find the best place for them to poop or urinate but there didn’t seem enough space for this to me.
Also if you have a cat who likes to stand upright when they urinate then they might miss the bowl altogether. And there is nothing worse than urine outside the litter box.
My main concern though is that a full cycle of the litter box takes an hour. Therefore, the cat deposit can remain in the box for up to an hour. My cat will not use a litter box if it has previously been used. She usually likes to have a poop about 10 minutes after urinating, by which time her litter robot has done a cycle. Here though the poop is still in the litter box and she does not like that. Which therefore led to her urinating elsewhere (another litter box luckily that I had set up).
Furthermore, if you have multiple cats then because of the hourly cycle the PetSafe might not clean the box regularly enough. Therefore, you might need another litter box (or two) in place. And unless you get another self cleaning litter box then this negates the main reason that you get one of these – ie. never having to scoop!
I must admit though the motor is very quiet on the Simply Clean. Much quieter than the Litter Robot. So it will not startle your cat if they do not like loud noises. So, after all of this what are the pros and cons of the PetSafe Simpy Clean litter box?
- Never have to scoop litter
- Very quiet operation
- Easy to clean and empty
- Simple to set up
- Has a 1 year warranty
- Cleaning cycle takes too long
- Litter box area too small and cramped for some cats
- Litter gets thrown outside the box regularly
- You will need more than one box for multiple cats
Overall, I think this litter box is a good concept but there are definite disadvantages. And the majority of disadvantages would be from my cats point of view. If I had to give it an out of 10 rating, then, it currently would get about a 6/10.
It is simple to use and it does mean that I would not need to scoop. To make the Simply Clean better, though, I would like a bigger litter area and higher sides.
Pro Tip – Place some baking soda in the waste receptacle as this will soak up the nasty smells
However, if you do have just one cat or two less fussy cats then the PetSafe would work very well. It will also work well if your cat does not like to try and dig to another continent when they are in the litter box. I will admit that the cleaning cycle on a litter robot is more advantageous to myself BUT the PetSafe Simply Clean is much much cheaper in price.
If you are interested in seeing more about the PetSafe Simply Clean litter box then you can buy here from Amazon.