PetSafe ScoopFree is an automatic self-cleaning cat litter box designed to provide your pets with fresh and clean litter at all times while eliminating the need for scooping on a daily basis. PetSafe was founded in 1991 and is currently owned by Radio Systems Corporation, a well-known company that features many other brands, including Invisible Fence, SportDog, Drinkwell, Innotek, and others.
Apart from conducting rigorous in-home testing, PetSafe follows the ISO-9001 and ISO-22000 standards for product development, manufacturing, testing, and inspection. This includes testing and certification for lead-free products as well. Finally, the company’s team of consultants includes the world’s top veterinarians, trainers, and behaviorists.
If you are interested in learning how to provide your pets with a fresh-smelling and clean litter box while enjoying a completely odor-free home, read the rest of our PetSafe ScoopFree review.
PetSafe ScoopFree Components
PetSafe ScoopeFree litter box might seem complicated at first, but it is actually quite simple to set up and operate once you are familiar with all of its features. In order to see how it works, we first have to list all its moving parts.
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box includes the following parts:
- Litter box frame – This is the main part of the box that sits on the disposable litter tray and houses the automatic rake and LED light indicator.
- Waste trap cover – This part is located on the very front of the box frame and utilizes magnets in order to open the waste trap and hide/contain solid waste.
- Stainless steel rake – The automatic rake is located at the back of the box frame and, once activated, it sweeps solid waste into its designated trap. It also levels the litter while returning to its home position.
- Detection sensors – These sensitive sensors are designed to register when your cat enters the litter box and activate the cleaning cycle once he or she leaves. The cleaning cycle will run automatically 20 minutes after your pet leaves the box.
- Litter tray – This is a disposable cardboard base located under the frame designed to hold the crystal litter in place and house the waste trap.
- Waste trap – This is a compartment on the very front of the disposable litter tray that seals the solid waste after the cleaning cycle is completed. The waste trap cover opens automatically during the cleaning cycle and the rake pushes the solid waste from the crystal litter into the trap.
Control Panel Guide
The Original PetSafe ScopFree litter box has an LED indicator light and a manual rake button that allows you to override the automatic functionality and initiate the cleaning cycle manually.
It is very important to understand the behavior of the LED light indicator, so let’s see what its flashing frequency actually means:
- Solid green – Power is connected and the box is on; the automatic rake is in the home position.
- Flashes green 4 times per second – Your cat has triggered the detection sensors; the automatic rake is in the home position.
- Flashes green 1 time per second – Your cat has left the box/rake timer countdown complete; rake timer countdown is activated/cleaning cycle in progress.
- Flashes green 8 times per second – Obstruction or error.
The manual rake button works as follows:
- Push it once to initiate the cleaning cycle manually.
- Push it again if you wish to stop the automatic rake from moving.
- Push it again to return the rake to its home position.
How To Set Up PetSafe ScoopFree
To ensure maximized performance, there are only a couple of simple steps you should follow in order to set up your PetSafe ScoopFree litter box properly.
Preparing The Box
The box is packaged for optimal protection during shipping. Once it arrives at your address, remove the packaging material carefully. Note that the powering adapter is shipped inside the packaging material. Do not discard the packaging until you complete the setup.
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box should be placed in a clean, dry, and level location with a standard power outlet nearby. The power connection is located on the back of the litter box frame. If the rake is not in the home position, it will automatically move there once power is connected. Once the rake locks, the LED light indicator will light up with solid green.
Litter Tray Installation
You should only use PetSafe ScoopFree disposable crystal litter and corresponding trays with this self-cleaning box. The crystal litter is specifically designed and pre-measured for maximum performance. Using a different type of litter can cause the box to multifunction while using a different tray may void the warranty.
The litter tray setup includes the following steps:
- Place the lid under the tray as an extra barrier against leaks. Record the installation and change the dates on the waste trap accordingly.
- Lift the box frame from the waste trap until it is standing on its back end. Place the tray under the frame until the waste trap and the waste trap cover align. Slide the litter tray in until it hits the back of the litter box.
- Lower the litter box onto the litter tray.
- You should hear a distinct click, which will confirm the magnets on the litter tray have connected to the magnets on the waste trap cover. The litter box should be leveled and sitting directly over the litter tray.
- Tear the corner notch on the provided crystal litter bag and pour litter into the tray. Spread it out evenly and make sure to sprinkle a handful of crystal litter under the waste trap for optimal results. Make sure the LED light indicator is a solid green. If it is flashing, you should level the litter crystals better so they do not block the detection sensors. Once the light is solid green, your PetSafe ScoopFree litter box is ready for use.
How PetSafe ScoopFree Works
One of the best things about PetSafe ScoopFree litter box is the fact that you can leave it unsupervised for weeks at a time and it will still keep your cat’s litter perfectly clean and fresh. Its cleaning cycle includes the following steps:
- The box’s sensitive motion sensors will detect your cat inside the litter box. Once he or she leaves, the timer will start an automatic 20-minute countdown and the green light indicator will blink 4 times per second.
- If your cat returns to the box during this countdown, the timer will stop. Once he or she leaves again, the 20-minute countdown will start again.
- Once set in motion, the automatic rake will go through the litter and push the solid waste into the covered waste trap.
- You can always initiate the cleaning process yourself by pushing the manual rake button.
As we already mentioned in this PetSafe ScoopFree review, it is very important that you use only PetSafe ScoopFree disposable crystal litter trays. The crystal litter will absorb urine and dehydrate solid waste in order to remove unpleasant odors.
PetSafe ScoopFree crystal litter will not stick to your cat’s paws, which ensures less litter tracking. The lining on the plastic tray forms a potent extra barrier that protects the litter box against leakage. The crystals also reduce the amount of dust in the box by up to 99%.
Depending on numerous factors, one litter tray can last up to 30 days. Keeping it inside the device longer than one month will make it oversaturated with waste materials and could potentially compromise the integrity of the litter box itself. When the time comes, simply remove the tray, cover it with the provided lid, and throw it away.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Thanks to its revolutionary design, PetSafe ScoopeFree does not have to be cleaned as often as other litter boxes. Surfaces that are regularly soiled are all discarded with the disposable litter tray. However, you may choose to occasionally clean the box thoroughly.
To clean the box:
- Unplug the power adapter from the wall outlet and disconnect it from the litter box.
- Lift and remove the top frame from the crystal litter tray.
- Remove the waste trap cover by tilting it outwards until the side posts fall out of their designated slots on the front of the frame.
- Wipe all surfaces with a sponge or soft cloth using water and mild soap. Wipe the automatic rake with a soft brush or sponge. Never use bleach or similar chemicals for cleaning as they will act as repellents for your cat.
- Clean the detection sensors with a dry soft cloth to make sure they are not blocked.
- Dry all the parts thoroughly before reassembling the box.
Note that you should never submerge or expose the electrical parts to water or any cleaning solutions.
To reassemble the box, simply return the waste trap cover into place by sliding the posts on the side of the cover into their designated slots on the front of the frame. Then, simply install the new litter tray following the instructions listed above.
Changing The Litter Tray
PetSafe recommends using one self-cleaning litter box per cat. However, PetSafe ScoopFree can also serve multiple cats in a pinch, which will reduce the lifespan of your replaceable litter tray. The recommended litter tray replacement chart goes as follows:
- 1 cat – 20-30 days
- 2 cats – 10-15 days
- 3+ cats – 7-10 days
The general rule of thumb when it comes to replacing the litter tray is that you should monitor whether or not the solid waste is collecting outside the waste trap. If it is, it is time to change the tray. In order to replace the crystal litter tray, you should:
- Jiggle the box to reduce the amount of litter accumulated behind the automatic rake. This will also reduce litter spillage that can occur when you lift the litter box. Lift the box until it is standing on its end and slide the litter tray out.
- Remove the lid from under the tray and cover the top. You can secure it with duct tape or place it in a regular drawstring garbage bag.
- Dispose of the used litter tray.
- Install a new tray following the instructions above.
Maximizing Litter Tray Duration
As mentioned in this PetSafe ScoopFree review, ScoopFree litter trays have a limited lifespan and can offer only so much freshness without scooping. However, there are some things you can do to make your trays last a bit longer:
- One litter box per cat – Many animal experts recommend using one or two litter box per cat. As indicated, multiple cats can use the same PetSafe ScoopFree litter box, but you will have to replace the trays more often.
- Using the blue premium litter crystals – PetSafe ScoopFree litter boxes come with a bag of premium blue litter, which offers more odor control than the company’s dye-free regular crystals. The litter crystals do not clump, which makes them infinitely superior to your traditional clumping litter or clay.
- Keeping fresh litter out of the waste trap – You should avoid putting any litter underneath the waste trap lid when you refill the tray with fresh litter.
- Mixing the crystal letter – You should do this once a week, especially if your cat has a high urine output, is sick, always pees in the same spot or simply does not cover his or her waste. Be sure to cover the crystals along the side of the box and behind the rake as well. Do not mix the litter found in the waste trap.
- Feeding your cat premium food – Lower quality options usually contain fillers like ash, crude fiber, and unhealthy byproducts that can increase your pet’s visits to the toilet.
- Removing extra waste in the trap – If there is no more room in the waste trap but the litter is still good, you can simply dump the waste and replace the tray without changing the litter crystals.
Finally, humidity will not only compromise the electrical components of the box but also shorten the lifespan of the crystal litter and disposable trays. Therefore, you should not place the box in basements or bathrooms. Ideally, place the box in a room with moving air that will pull away moisture.
PetSafe ScoopFree Design & Dimensions
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box was designed for optimal comfort and utility. Its minimalistic construction features a modern design with smooth lines and a colored waste trap cover. The colored crystal litter also contributes to its exotic appearance.
The litter box measures:
19.1″ in width
27.6″ in length
6.4″ in height
The litter area roughly measures 14″ x 14″. When it comes to different color combinations, the housing of the box only comes in white, but the waste trap cover can be ordered in purple or taupe.
The box does not come with a hood, so you should place the box out of the reach of little children and your other pets.
PetSafe ScoopFree Highlights
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box is designed to eliminate manual scooping by automating the entire cleaning process and provide your pets with a perpetually clean toilet.
Let’s go over some other advantages offered by PetSafe ScoopFree litter box:
Some self-cleaning litter boxes include a rather complicated setup process before they can be used properly. Luckily, ScoopFree is not one of them.
Easy To Use
Technically, you’re not really “using” PetSafe ScoopFree litter box since it does all the cleaning for you. You can activate the cleaning cycle manually if you so choose, but most of the time, you can simply sit back and relax.
Motorized Self-Cleaning Cycle
The box’s sensitive motion sensors will detect when your cat enters the litter box and start the 20-minute countdown once he or she leaves. After 20 minutes, the automatic cleaning cycle will begin and your pet will have a perfectly clean litter in mere seconds.
Litter Crystals Absorb Liquid & Dehydrate Solid Waste
High-quality litter crystals are superior to any clumping litter or clay thanks to their ability to absorb urine and dehydrate cat poo before being sealed inside the waste trap.
Perfect Odor Control
The litter crystals do not just absorb urine, they seal all the unpleasant odors, preventing them from spreading around your home.
Since the litter crystals will not stick to your pet’s paws, the amount of litter tracking will be greatly reduced or even eliminated completely.
99% Less Dust
The litter crystals are pretty hard, so they will not disintegrate during the cleaning cycle or when your pets try to cover their poop. This will reduce the amount of dust coming from the litter box by 99%.
Disposable litter trays are a strong barrier against any type of leaks that usually occur with similar products.
Disposable Litter Trays
Once the litter tray is full, simply pull it out, put it in a regular trash bag, and dump it in the trash.
Is PetSafe ScoopFree Right For My Cat(s)?
While PetSafe claims its self-cleaning litter box can serve up to two larger cats, we do not quite agree with this statement. Namely, the official user manual states that the maximum weight of the cat should not be more than 15lbs. Finally, keeping in mind that the size of the litter area is 14″ x 14″, this box is definitely not ideal for larger breeds.
We recommend using PetSafe ScoopFree only for smaller and medium cats. Kittens under 6 months of age can also use it, but their poop tends to be more liquid, which will decrease the lifespan of your litter tray. Bottom line, all cats can use PetSafe ScoopFree, except for the largest of breeds.
Is PetSafe ScoopFree Safe For My Cat(s)?
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box has been thoroughly tested by the company, performing more than 10,000 cleaning cycles without any problems. The detection sensors are extremely sensitive and will never activate the 20-minute timer while your cat is still in the box. If they detect the presence of a foreign object inside the box while the timer is counting down, the timer will stop and start over once the box is empty.
Additionally, the automatic rake is unique in the sense that it does not feature any dangerous spikes or sharp surfaces. It is a well-rounded and smooth piece of wire that is strong enough to sift through the crystal litter and push the solid waste into the waste trap while being perfectly harmless for your pets.
Finally, the litter box does not have any overly sharp corners or protruding elements that could injure your cats.
PetSafe ScoopFree Training Tips
As with any motorized self-cleaning litter box, most cats will easily adapt to PetSafe ScoopFree. However, some may need a short adjustment period to acclimate to their new toilet. Here are a few simple steps to help your cat with the transition:
- Place PetSafe ScoopFree next to your old litter box. Allow your cat access to both boxes for at least a week. This period will vary, depending on the temperament of your pet.
- Add a couple of handfuls of your old litter to the crystal litter tray. You can also mix it up by adding a couple of handfuls of the crystal litter to your old box.
- Stop cleaning the old litter box. Since cats prefer clean litter, the shallow and odor-intense litter in the old box will make PetSafe ScoopFree much more appealing.
- Once your pet has fully transitioned to the ScoopFree litter box, remove the old box from the area.
For Kittens Under 6 Months Of Age
First of all, make sure your PetSafe ScoopFree unit remains unplugged until your kitten is at least 6 months old. This means you will have to scoop the waste manually since the motor will probably scare him or her away. This will also allow you to remove the waste trap cover on the front of the box to make it easier for the kitten to go in and out of the box.
Here are some useful PetSafe ScoopFree litter box tips for kittens:
- Small kittens possess a natural reflex to go to the bathroom after playing, eating or napping. It is a good idea to place them in their litter box after these activities to help them associate the reflex with the litter tray.
- In the wild, cats tend to use the bathroom away from their eating and drinking places as a defense mechanism against predators, so you should place the box away from their food and water bowls.
- Kittens do not have great bladder control, so it is crucial that you position their litter box in a location that is very easy to find. For example, having to go down a flight of stairs or all the way across the house might result in unwanted accidents.
- The litter box should be placed in a safe and quiet place, so your kitten does not get distracted or startled by loud noises or other pets.
- Kittens will use the litter box much more often than adult cats, so you should stir litter crystals at least once a week to move the saturated ones out of the way and better accommodate high urine outputs.
Cost & Returns
PetSafe ScoopFree litter box costs $129.95. You can opt to bundle your litter box with an anti-tracking litter mat ($140.94 total) or a 3-pack of crystal litter refills ($174.90 total). As a product designed and manufactured under the corporate umbrella of the Radio Systems Corporation, PetSafe ScoopFree litter box is covered by the company’s 1-year non-transferable limited warranty.
The warranty covers any labor and/or parts for the first year of ownership. The warranty will not cover any damage or defects caused by animals, events, and situations that go beyond normal residential conditions, including misuse, commercial use, abuse, improper installation, neglect, use of non-PetSafe accessories, acts of God, impacts of foreign objects, improper storage, attempted repairs, improper or abnormal use, alterations, and more.
To obtain warranty coverage, you have to register your product on the official PetSafe website within 30 days of purchase. Note that you will need a sales receipt as well.
To make a warranty claim, call the PetSafe Customer Care center (the US and Canada – 1-800-732-2677; Australia – 1800 786 608; New Zealand – 0800 543 054).
Does PetSafe ScoopFree Live Up To Expectations?
According to thousands of user reviews found online, customers who bought ScoopFree litter box were extremely happy with the product, especially the fact that they did not have to do any manual scooping. Users were also pleased by the sudden lack of any unpleasant odors in their homes.
Yes, some users did complain about the litter crystals releasing odors when shuffled around, but they admitted this only happened when the litter tray was oversaturated with liquid. We saw numerous complaints regarding the price of the litter tray replacements, so some users bought permanent trays in order to save some extra cash.
As for the crystal litter, users said it was much better than regular clumping litter or clay, reducing not just odors but dust as well.