Felines are famous for being very clean animals. Of course, being cats, this also means that they leave their messes for their human slaves to clean up. And as everybody knows, cat waste can be pretty disgusting.
There is now more than one product on the market that seeks to automate litter box chores, of which this one is our favorite based on price, ease of use, and intelligent design. Basically, a motorized rake periodically sweeps solid waste into a covered compartment, where it will be out of sight, mind, and hopefully smell. This will be especially useful in households where one person loves cats whereas others are less enthusiastic.
While the idea of a self-cleaning litter box might sound like something from science fiction, don’t pooh-pooh it. High sidewalls with a downward-facing lip prevent Kitty from scattering litter all over the place with her hind paws while also giving her some privacy. There are sensors to detect whether the cat is actually using the box, nominally waiting 20 minutes before activating the rake. This is obviously a great feature; my lord and meowster would be highly displeased if a demon robot attacked her during a delicate moment.
The manual part of cleaning is quite straightforward: simply slide the disposable tray out from the base, cover it with the provided lid, toss it, and replace it with a new one. This mostly hands-off approach is much more pleasant than using a plastic scoop, and in particular makes it safer for pregnant women to use.
The catch, unfortunately, is that these replacement trays have to be ordered from the manufacturer. They are on the pricey side, but do include a measured quantity of high-quality, moisture-absorbent litter that’s supposed to last one cat for 30 days. However, if you like you can also order a reusable tray and buy whatever brand of litter you prefer, though the manufacturer recommends using only their product. Any crystal-type litter with similarly-sized particles should work, though.
Finally, since many cat owners don’t know this, it’s worth mentioning: many feline bathroom problems can be solved by having a separate litterbox for each of your cats, plus one extra. If you have several little angels with whiskers this might become expensive, but the self-cleaning function does seem to encourage them to share.