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Opinions on self-cleaning litter boxes, please.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I want to get a self-cleaning litter box and have looked at several online. I would appreciate any feedback from those who have one.
post #2 of 12
I'll move this to care and grooming
post #3 of 12
I never was interested in them - no big deal to scoop for me. When they first came out I heard a lot of people say their cats were afraid of the moving thing. But sounds like they may have improved things.
post #4 of 12
I used to have a Littermaid. I found it to be more trouble than it was worth. It seemed like the little rake was always getting clogged with poop, which meant I had to clean it for it to work properly. I'd rather scoop!
post #5 of 12
I'm getting a Litter-Robot - everyone who has one gave it rave reviews
post #6 of 12
I had a litter robot. While I was in love with the thing, my kitty HATED it. She was scared to death of it and did not like climbing up into it. She started peeing around the house. Luckily their customer service is great, so I was able to wash it and send it back. I was only out $60 for shipping. I gave her back her stupid littermaid and she hasn't peed on the carpet since. Go figure.Oh, and the couple of times that she did use the litter robot, she wasn't all the way in the box. Her tail and rear hung out, because the entrance dips way down. The cat actually has to turn so their fanny is either to the side, or to the back of the box. When she peed, it ran down out of the box, the step, and all over the floor. I understand that alot of cats use them just fine, but my cat hated it. The littermaid does get clogged once in awhile, but it's still better than scooping all of the time, and it works rather well if you only have one cat. Just my two cents.
post #7 of 12
First of all, good luck on your hunt. Hope you find something you like.

Anyways, we have regular litter boxes, a Litter Maid Ultra, and a Petmate Purrforma. My mom is always getting the new automatic ones to try to save time.

In my opinion, the Litter Maid works fairly well. It's pretty easy to clean out (just open the lid, remove the plastic tray, and dump out the waste), usually doesn't jam, and our cats use it a lot. All you really have to worry about is emptying the tray and putting in a new one once and awhile because it gets dirty. You may have to fix some occasional jams, unclog the rake, etc, but for the most part it works fairly well.

The Petmate Purrforma is definitely not as easy to work with as the Litter Maid. To clean out the container, you have to first take apart the lid and then remove it. Then you have to take this casement off surrounding the actual litter box. Finally, with the other casement off, you lift the lid, and take out the waste container (which is a plastic bag). The whole process of cleaning out the box is definitely more time consuming and involved then would be with a Litter Maid. The rake tends to get stuck a lot more than does the rake on the Litter Maid as well, and it's usually much easier to access a jammed rake on a Litter Maid (Petmate involves taking off the lid and etc). One nice feature of the Petmate is that it comes with a shag carpet ramp and helps track litter better. The rake also can be removed to clean off if desired, whereas a Litter Maid rake is pretty much attached.

Imo, the Litter Maid is a good choice (even though I still sort of prefer the regular litter boxes over anything). Hope this was somewhat helpful.
post #8 of 12
We've been LOVIN' our Litter Robot for 11 months now. It's great, and we haven't had one single problem. The resident cats at the time, and two new kittens since have accepted the robot immediately. It's wonderful and I'll never be without one (unless someone figures out how to stop cats from peeing and pooing.! )

Good luck with your decision.
post #9 of 12
I don't remember what brand (rather cheap) but it was a bit of a pain. Clogged up, missed stuff, had to be rinsed out constantly, and generally required even more cleaning than if I'd done it by hand. There are probably more expensive brands that work better but most don't really seem large enough for my cats anyway. They'd end up going off the edge of the box or refusing to go in it if it had a top. Right now I'm also using litter that does not clump well and would not work with an automatic box but it's extremely cheap, not dusty, and the cats like it so I'm not interested in spending 4 times as much on litter just to save a few minutes of scooping.
post #10 of 12
Some of it will really depend on your cat. I had a Littermaid and in the beginning it was great, but very quickly, he started to like to dig deep to bury his business, which meant that no matter what I did, he was blocking the sweeper from sweeping because he was tossing all the litter to the back. So I tried shutting it off and running it a few times a day instead, but found myself bending and sweeping the litter even manually to get it to run. Then with that, the pee clump was getting stuck to the floor and not sweeping properly. I gave up after about a year, got him a Booda Dome and that satisfies his digging and is far easier to clean because it's so deep, nothing gets stuck.

Maybe there's another brand out there that is deeper for cats like mine, but I wasn't willing to shell out another chunk of money to try. It seems I do less work with the old fashioned box than I had with the automatic, but I hope it works out for you
post #11 of 12
Here is a great place to read about and research automatic litterboxes:

We got a reconditioned Litter Robot, and we do adore ours. It's easy, no special bags (uses kitchen trash bags), easy to dump and filll when it's time to change all the litter (flip a switch and push a button, pour litter in the top or pull the bag out, and that's it ). And you can take the dome off and hose it out if you need too, lol or just use bathroom wipes on it for touchups. I have also read that they have great customer service, and I believe it comes with an 18 month warranty.

I have one who tends to pee over the rubber lip, but that was cured with a piece of tape and plastic- there are other solutions at Litterbox Central to fix that problem too . I have one who doesn't like it, but it took her 7 years to walk through the den without acting like she was in Hitchock's "The Birds" , so she isn't a good example of a typical cat. I imagine that if I shut her in the bathroom for the day or so and did the acclimation process with it she would be fine, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I am thinking of getting another one to replace our other "main" litterbox, but I will have to try to acclimate her to it first.

Good luck in your search- there are more of them out there than I imagined, so it seems that there is something for everyone!
post #12 of 12
I have had two automatic litter boxes and neither of them worked very well. At the moment I have the LitterMaid and it works ok but the biggest thing to remember is just because it is self-cleaning does not mean it doesn't need assistance. I find I have to clean it as often as I would a regular litter box. So that is my 2 cents, no matter what you get remember you still have to clean it like a regular one or it will still pile up and get gross.
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