Scoop Free Self Cleaning Litter Box – Full Review
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Scoop Free Self Cleaning Litter Box – Full Review

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We all love our feline friends, but we can’t stand taking care of the litter box! Instead of going the grin and bear it route, why not try a self-cleaning litter box? The ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box does a good job of clearing up waste after each use. The process begins with absorbent crystal kitty litter that dehydrates waste and removes odor. After the dehydration process is complete, a metal rake gently transfers the waste into a chamber hidden near the main litterbox. Waste collects there until you remove it.

When it’s finally time to clean up, you simply remove the waste tray, put the lid on it, and drop it into the trash. There is no scooping involved, and your cat benefits by having a consistently clean litter box.

The ScoopFree self-cleaning litterbox works for days to weeks depending on how many cats are using it, how large they are, and how often they eliminate. The crystal litter is about 5 times as effective at reducing odors as clay or clumping litter is, and the ScoopFree offers the advantage of using between five and ten times less litter than other boxes. The crystals are low-tracking, and since they’re 99 percent dust free, there’s less general cleanup to accomplish.

Our cats acclimated to the ScoopFree litter system quickly, and they appreciated the fact that the rake never went into action while they were inside the litter box. The cleaning rake activates 20 minutes after the cat leaves the box, giving him or her plenty of time to take care of business in peace and quiet, and allowing the crystal litter to absorb moisture and odor before sweeping waste into the chamber for storage.

The ScoopFree system comes with just one waste removal box, meaning it’s up to you to purchase a few extra ones so you’ll be ready when it’s time to clean up. It would be nice if the manufacturer increased the amount of disposal boxes that come with the unit, however they – and the crystal litter – last a long time so the cost isn’t a big deal.

While the ScoopFree works automatically, you have the option of turning it off and then activating it manually as needed, or just scooping solid waste out of the top of the box instead of using the hidden chamber. While this kind of defeats the purpose of the automatic litter box, it’s recommended by the manufacturer for small kittens and for older cats who are becoming acclimated to the litter box. The company offers quite a few recommendations, so it’s a good idea to read everything before getting started.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning the ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box.

Quick and Easy Cleanup

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The best thing about the ScoopFree system? It’s convenient! If you’re as busy as we are, then you are going to appreciate the automated cleanup process. The manufacturer says that you can go for weeks without getting rid of stored waste and replacing the tray, but with multiple cats, you’re going to find yourself maintaining it more frequently – perhaps once a week, depending on the number of cats and the amount of waste they produce each day. The manufacturer recommends switching your cats to a diet without fillers and byproducts to cut back on the amount of waste produced, and that seems to be a sensible, healthy recommendation.

 

Minimal Odor and Dust

One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional cat boxes is odor. It can be a huge problem even if you use premium kitty litter and scoop more than once a day. The ScoopFree does a great job of getting rid of odor, and since it uses absorbent crystals, it also eliminates the problem of dust.

This being said, there are a couple of drawbacks to the crystal system. First, the crystals are pretty pricey, even if you purchase the generic brand from a big box store. Second, if you live in an area where there’s high humidity, your crystals aren’t going to last as long. Luckily, there is a solution for the moisture problem. Keep a humidifier nearby, and don’t put your cat’s litter box in a place that’s higher in moisture than other spaces – so bathrooms and basements are pretty much out if you’re going to use this litter box. Once you’ve got the moisture thing figured out, you’ll discover that you are paying about the same amount for litter as you were before, and you get the added convenience of no scooping.

 

Durable Design with Available Extras

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The Scoop Free self cleaning litterbox is made of durable plastic, the liners are thick cardboard, and the moving parts are metal. Other reviewers report that years have gone by before the metal parts have rusted, meaning that this litterbox is in it for the long haul. The ScoopFree comes without a privacy hood, but you can purchase one separately. You can also get a cute matching litter mat, and there are different options for refill trays including one that you can clean out after each use. The Forever tray is a more eco-friendly alternative since no cardboard is thrown away; the tradeoff is that there’s a little bit more work involved on your end. The choice is up to you. We felt it was pretty nice to be able to toss the whole thing and pop a new one into place!

 

Accommodates Large Cats

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With a footprint of 27.4” x 19”, the ScoopFree litterbox does a good job of accommodating large cats. The only drawback to its size is that it takes up more space than a smaller standard litterbox. If you like, you can put it into a specially designed privacy cupboard that hides the whole unit and gives cats even more peace and quiet while they do their business.  Just be sure that you have a spot with an electric outlet nearby, or as an alternative, safely use an extension cord to plug it in.

 

Works with Any Crystal Cat Litter

If you get the Forever Tray, you can save a little bit of money by using any brand of crystal cat litter instead of going with the prefilled trays. As long as you can keep this litter in a dry, well-ventilated place, it will last for quite some time before replacement is required.

 

Economical

The ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box costs a little less upfront than some other boxes we tried. Given the convenience of use and the fact that the litter lasts a long time, you’ll find that this is a fairly economical choice. If time is money to you, then this is definitely a winner.

 

Time Delay

Some automatic litter boxes start their cleanup cycles before the cat inside the box is finished. This is a problem in more ways than one; if your cat is scared while he’s using the litter box, he is likely to look for a different place to go. The ScoopFree gives cats 20 minutes to take care of things before going through the cleaning cycle. In our house, where one cat tends to go right after the other one, this is a good thing. The lengthy delay also gives waste time to dehydrate before it is transferred to the covered chamber.

 

User-Friendly

Scooping the litter box is one of those jobs no one really likes to do! Like the other automatic cat litter boxes we reviewed, the ScoopFree does a good job of keeping your pet’s waste hidden and preventing unpleasant odors from drifting through your home. You’ll need to clean up periodically, but the process is so easy that you won’t feel a sense of dread when it’s time to take care of the task. Best of all? No scooping.

 

Works in Multiple Cat Households

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If you have more than one cat, you’ll find that the ScoopFree self cleaning litter box keeps your pets happy. You’ll have to clean it more frequently though, just like with other litter boxes. The manufacturer recommends replacing the tray every 20-30 days for one cat, every 10-15 days in households with two cats, and every 7-10 days for three cats. If you have more than two cats, it’s always a good idea to get multiple litterboxes. This piece of advice goes for all types.

FAQs

“Where does the waste go?”

The urine is absorbed by the crystals, which will change color over time. The crystals also absorb moisture from the fecal matter, and once dried, this waste is stored in a hidden chamber that prevents odor from escaping.

“Do you take the litter box apart to clean it?”

Yes. The process is quick and easy. If you have the hood, you’ll need to take that off, Next, just lift the top portion of the box off and then put the lid onto the waste box before discarding it. Last, just put a fresh litter pack into place.

“Can I use scoopable cat litter?”

No. Scoopable cat litter is not recommended for use with the ScoopFree, since the clumps that form will prevent the mechanism from working correctly. While acclimating your cat to the new litter box, you can add a little bit of his usual brand so that the litter has a similar odor, but mix it together with the crystals to keep it from clumping. Once your cat is accustomed to the new litter box, you can switch to 100 percent crystals.

“Will this litterbox work for a kitten?”

Yes. The manufacturer recommends that you scoop the litter box rather than using the motion activated feature until the kitten is a little older. This will prevent the kitten from being accidentally frightened while exploring areas around the box. Scooping once or twice per day should be enough until your kitten is litter trained.

“What are the crystals made of?”

The crystals in crystal cat litter are made of non-toxic silica gel. It’s a naturally occurring mineral that is purified before being processed into the crystal form. The blue fresh scent and purple lavender scent crystals have a little bit of coloring and fragrance in them.

“Do I have to buy the disposable trays that go with the ScoopFree or is there another option?”

You can buy an accessory called the Forever Tray instead of using the disposable trays, if you like. The Forever tray has to be emptied by hand, but there’s still no scooping involved. The main advantage of the Forever tray is that you’ll spend a bit less on supplies over time.

Conclusion

The Scoop Free self cleaning litter box takes all of the work and odor out of maintaining your cat’s restroom. It gives your cat plenty of time to use the litterbox in peace, and it does a good job of eliminating smelly waste. Cleanup is very easy, making this a highly convenient system for anyone who is busy. The only minor drawback to this litter box is the same thing that makes it so great – the disposable trays cost a bit of money. Luckily, there’s a solution. The Forever tray does mean a little bit more work on your part, but you’ll save money by choosing an inexpensive brand of crystal litter to refill it with. The ScoopFree system gets almost all positive reviews from users, many who have been enjoying it for years. It’s a good, solid product with minimal drawbacks. You can find the ScoopFree self-cleaning litter box for sale at online retailers including Amazon.

Anne Kennedy

Hi! I’m Anne Kennedy, a nonfiction author, dedicated foodie, and contributor to Top 5 Reviews. I started contributing to this site in 2015 with the goal of helping others select quality home goods that help make busy lives easier. It’s interesting – and a lot of fun – to test things like bread machines, juicers, and of course coffee makers, learn what different models have to offer, and see how they compare with one another before passing my findings about the best ones on to you. Happy hunting!
Scoop Free Self Cleaning Litter Box – Full Review
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