Are you wondering if ScoopFree reusable cat litter tray is worth it?


Then you’ve come to the right place.

Here I look at whether you should go for a disposable or reusable tray and how to make the most of your choice.

Just keep reading.

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

ScoopFree Reusable Cat Litter Tray

PetSafe ScoopFree Reusable Tray for Cat Litter Boxes

ScoopFree Self-Cleaning litter box is one of the best self-cleaning litter boxes due to its simple design, quick maintenance, and quiet operation.

PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Second Generation

However, once you start using ScoopFree, you realize that purchasing a disposable tray every couple of weeks can be too expensive.

So, what is ScoopFree’s reusable cat litter tray, and is it worth investing in one? The reusable box functions in the same way the disposable crystal litter tray does, but you can use it over and over again.

First, let’s talk about how the ScoopFree self-cleaning box works and how much disposable litter trays will cost you.

Related: Are Self Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth it?

How Does ScoopFree Work?

PetSafe ScoopFree Reusable Tray for Cat Litter Boxes

ScoopFree Original Self-Cleaning Litter box consists of a raking mechanism and a cardboard tray with a built-in waste compartment, which helps reduce the hassle of scooping.

Unlike traditional boxes, this automatic cat litter box works only with crystals instead of regular cat litter

The working mechanism is simple.

  • You fill the disposable tray with crystals, attach the built-in rake, and fit the waste cover. Then you plug the toilet box in.
  • A sensor detects the cat’s presence inside the toilet box and engages the rake after 20 minutes.
  • The automatic rake moves over the litter tray to pick up the solid waste and dispose of it inside a built-in waste trap. This saves you from having to always use a litter scoop.

Check this video to see ScoopFree in action.

As such, your cat has clean crystal litter to use during their next bathroom visit without you lifting a finger to scoop the mess. That makes it also one of the best cat toilet boxes for odor control.

So, what’s the deal with the disposable litter tray?

As I already said, the original item you get is made of heavy-duty cardboard, which will get dirtier and dirtier as your cat uses the toilet box. You will end up having more cat litter mess to deal with than when using the sturdy plastic tray.

And while crystals are excellent at absorbing urine and dehydrating solid waste, they have a saturation threshold, after which you need to replace them with fresh ones.

CHECK: What Kind of Litter for Litter Robot?

How Often Do You Need to Change the Disposable Litter Tray?

PetSafe ScoopFree Reusable Tray for Cat Litter Boxes

In general, the manufacturer recommends “changing the tray every 20-30 days if you have one cat, every two weeks for two cats, and every 7-10 days for three cats.” (1)

However, the disposable tray doesn’t last as long as the manufacturer promises. As this reviewer says, “The litter box stayed dry for between a week and 9 days between my two cats.” (2)

As such, you need 2-3 trays on average per month, which increases the overall costs of maintaining your ScoopFree. And here’s where the reusable trays come into the picture.

What Are ScoopFree Reusable Tray Features?

ScoopFree’s reusable litter pan is made from durable plastic with a leak-proof design to ensure cat urine won’t leak through the floor.

More importantly, the tray has an antimicrobial additive to keep unwanted smells from stinking up the house and prevent bacterial growth.

It also has magnets to secure the waste shield over the waste compartment for superior odor control.

And the tray is easy to clean and maintain because it has rounded corners which means it doesn’t have nooks where bacteria, urine, or feces can accumulate or get trapped. 

Check this video to see the ScoopFree reusable tray in action.

ScoopFree Disposable Tray vs. ScoopFree Reusable Cat Litter Tray

To help you figure out which tray is best for you, I will compare both products that you can use in this automatic litter box and discuss their press and cons.

#1 Cost

As I already said, you need 2-3 disposable trays per month for a multi-cat household. These disposable trays have a high price tag because they come with crystals.

You can expect to pay $23 per tray, which means you need to invest up to $70 per month or over $800 a year for multiple cats! That’s a small fortune to spend on disposable trays and cat litter. 

On the other hand, ScoopFree reusable trays cost up to $60, so it’s a much cheaper option. However, the reusable tray comes with only one bag of crystals. And here’s where it gets tricky.

Unlike traditional clumping litter, crystal brands are quite expensive – you can expect to pay around $12 per 4.5-bag or $70 for a 40-pound one. Which is much more expensive than other types of litter, such as clay litter.

You need one 4.5-pound bag of ScoopFree’s premium crystal litter per cat with your ScrooFree self-cleaning box. That’s an additional $12 every month for one cat or $33 for three cats.

So, if you have one cat, you’ll pay $276 per year if you use one disposable tray per month while using a plastic one will cost around $200 a year ($60 for the tray and $140 for litter).

Looking at the price comparison, it’s cheaper to invest in a plastic tray, especially when you have multiple cats because disposable ones won’t last much in a multi-pet household. 

And you can save a bit of money by subscribing and having the product delivered every month.

#2 Maintenance

When we consider maintenance, disposable litter boxes have all the advantages because all you have to do is remove the tray and replace it with another one.

And as you can see from this video, changing the cardboard litter tray doesn’t make you more than a couple of minutes before the toilet is ready for your cat to use.

There’s no need to pour in the clean litter, use a litter scoop to remove stuck crystals from the bottom or wash the tray to remove the unpleasant smell of cat waste.

Using reusable plastic trays means you’ll have to dispose of the saturated crystals and pour new ones instead of getting rid of the entire tray.

And while crystals don’t generate as much dust as clay, you still have to deal with a little bit of dust when pouring the litter inside the tray.

Vet Info states that “silica gel litter crystals don’t throw up dust the way that traditional clay litters do, so they may be more suitable for cats and owners with respiratory problems.”

Moreover, you’ll need to wash and clean the tray and the covered waste trap in the same way you care for a traditional litter box to remove waste buildup and unpleasant smells.

#3 Odor Control

As I already mentioned, ScoopFree reusable sturdy plastic tray has an antimicrobial surface to prevent bacterial growth and provide better odor control. This is great if you want a clean, fresh-smelling litter box.

So, it’s much more effective in controlling unpleasant scents than a disposable cardboard tray. Not to mention that urine cat soak through the cardboard if you don’t change it in time.

Still, it’s easy for cats to scratch the tray’s surface when they’re digging in the box, and bacteria can accumulate in these scratches.

So, it’s likely you’ll have to replace the reusable litter tray in a couple of years once it starts to smell bad or gets too damaged.

#4 Convenience

You never know when your cat will make a mess, and you’ll have to replace your disposable tray. Imagine what would happen if you didn’t have one available!

That’s not something to worry about when you’re using a reusable tray. You just clean and replace the crystals, and the toilet box is ready for use.

#5 Durability

As I already mentioned, ScoopFree reusable tray is made from cardboard boxes. Owners with enthusiastic diggers can see the problem with a cardboard tray – it’s easy for cats to rip it.

Disposable trays can also leak if there is too much liquid waste build-up before you can change them.

While cats can also scratch the plastic surface of the reusable tray, they won’t be able to destroy it so quickly. This increases the litter tray life span.

Also Check: Litter-robot 3 Core Bundle by Whisker

What ScoopFree Reusable Alternative Are There?

Besides ScoopFree reusable cat litter tray, you’ve got two more options that you can use with your ultra self-cleaning litter boxes.

Forever Litter Tray

forever litter tray

The Forever tray is similar in design to the original and can work with first and second-generation ScoopFree toilet boxes, including the “smart” version.

The main pro of Forever Litter Tray is that it’s cheaper than ScoopFree’s version because it doesn’t come with litter and features an anti-scratch surface. Making it an excellent product.

Moreover, Forever Tray also has an antimicrobial plastic surface for ultimate odor control, curved inner corners for easy maintenance, and a stain-resistant surface.

Customers are also pleased with this durable plastic tray and its clean design. As one Reddit user says, “I broke down and purchased the Forever Tray and have never been happier.” (3)

It is easy to install. See how it’s done in this video.

Forever Litter Tray. The Original Permanent Reusable Replacement Tray for ScoopFree Disposables Since 2006. Fits All PetSafe ScoopFree Machines
  • PRECISION FIT with all Scoopfree machines -- 1st & 2nd generation and "Smart" machines
  • HIGH QUALITY NON-POROUS PLASTIC, for easy cleaning and superior odor control when following simple video instructions in the FAQ section at our website. Beige in color.
  • DURABLE, QUALITY CONSTRUCTION and intelligent design will last for many years.
  • SAVE MONEY with the original ScoopFree reusable replacement tray, first introduced in 2005.
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT. Problem? Question? Contact us directly via the Support link at our Forever Litter Trays website for speedy personal customer care.

The Litter-Bagger

litter bagger

Litter-Bagger is another excellent alternative you can use instead of the ScoopFree reusable tray. It’s a bagging system that allows you to scoop the dirty crystals into a bag under the automatic toilet box.

You don’t need to change the tray at all or move it. But the unit requires some assembly, and it’s more expensive than other options.

The Litter-Bagger® for Scoopfree® Litter Boxes. Replaces Disposable Crystal Litter Trays, Bags Litter Waste for You.
  • An automated waste bagging system for your Scoopfree!
  • Reduces odor as waste is dumped into bag under the machine
  • Keeps waste collection area almost totally clean
  • Litter changing is easy and more sanitary, just dump soiled litter into the liner!
  • Unit is UNFINISHED birch plywood. Assembly Required. (We recommend sealing/painting)

ScoopFree Reusable Cat Litter Tray: FAQs


ScoopFree self-cleaning toilet box is an excellent choice for maintaining your house clean, reducing unpleasant odors, and saving time on scooping.

And ScoopFree reusable litter tray can cut down your expenses in the long run since it’s durable, easy to maintain, and convenient. This type of litter box is great for cat parents that are short on time.

Yody Blass, a companion animal behavior expert, says that cat parents “working long hours or overnight shifts, or for those with an illness or disability, a self-cleaning litter box can be very helpful.”

cat inside a high-side litter box with scoopfree reusable cat litter tray

What do you think about the ScoopFree reusable cat litter tray? Do you use one, and are you happy with its performance? Please share your experience with us in the comment section. 


  • 1.“Support & Manuals: ScoopFreeTM Original Self-Cleaning Litter Box – PetSafe® UK.”, Accessed 7 Apr. 2022.
  • 2. Cats, All About. “Unbiased PetSafe ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box Review 2022.” All about Cats, Accessed 7 Apr. 2022.
  • 3. “R/CatAdvice – New Litter Box Help.” Reddit, 2019, Accessed 7 Apr. 2022.
  • 4. “The Benefits and Drawbacks of Litter Crystals.” VetInfo, Accessed 7 Apr. 2022.
  • 5. “Is a Self-Cleaning Litter Box Really Less Work?”,
Grigorina S
Grigorina S

I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.

I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.

Find her on Instagram. Read her latest articles..

Learn more about Grigorina here

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API