Do not waste your money on the Litter Free Self Washing litterbox. It is not worth the hassle!!
When my boyfriend and I bought our first house together this past March I decided my housewarming present would be a litter free since I didn't want the stink of dirty litter permeating our new house. I had a hard time finding any reviews online...and the ones I did read were either biased toward the company (paid responses) or seemed jaded and skeptical against the product so I decided to do my own research and invest the money.
I believe we picked ours up at Petsmart if I remember correctly, and the package contained everything we needed to get started. It wasn't difficult to hook it up. We placed it in our laundry room across from our washer and dryer since it needed access to a water line and a disposal line. I was a bit surprised at the look of the "litter". It basically has no function other than tricking your cat into thinking they're burying their waste. That being said, we had little blue and white plastic beads all over the house within minutes of opening the package, definitely not a plus.
My biggest concern came when we opened the cleaning fluid. It was blue in appearance like windshield washing fluid, but I wish I could tell you it smelled even that good. The odor turned my stomach before we had even put the box into action so I was definitely having second thoughts.
Before we could allow our cats to use it we were advised by the directions to run the cycle at least once to make sure everything was properly working. It sounded like the washing machine as it was filling up with water and that was probably the quietest step! As the machine began rinsing the beads it sounded like a jet plane taking off in our laundry room. Best part was it needed to run at least 15 minutes to clean and dry the beads properly. We close the laundry room door and waited out the process.
Our cats, Cali and Chase, took to using the litterbox easily enough. I didn't follow the directions that suggest mixing your cats regular litter with some of the training beads to get them used to the texture. I just took their old box away completely and forced them to use the Litterfree (I'm impatient hehe What can I say?).
Once the Litterfree began it's first official duty things got pretty disgusting. I'll spare you all of the graphic details, but suffice it to say, having your cat's feces mixed with a nasty smelling cleanser and swished around for 15 minutes is not something you want to be privy too. Even worse than that, the beads were not completely clean before the drying process began so I'm sure you can imagine just how fragrant cat waste gets as it's essentially being heated with a blow dryer.
Refusing to give up, we tried using it for about 2 days before I just couldn't stand the smell anymore. The beads were becoming increasingly dirty and it really didn't seem to be working as well as their advertisements claimed. At that point I would have jumped at the chance to have a stinky litterbox to replace it.
Being the conscientious consumers that we are, we went through the process of cleaning everything (beads, box, you name it) so that we could package it up and get our refund. It was quite embarrassing trying to explain not just to the cashier, but to the manager, why we weren't satisfied the product. They seemed to want details hehe and I just wanted to dump that thing off.
Rather than taking a full cash refund, we exchanged the Litterfree for a Littermaid and Littermaid carpet and within minutes of getting it home I could tell we were going to be thrilled with it. It requires much less work than the old standard litterbox but worked a hundred times better than the litterfree. I would much rather empty the litter receptacle2x a week than endure the smell and sounds of the "first ever cat toilet". I think it's a great concept but it definitely needs some more improvements before I'll even consider giving it a second try.
But that's just my two cents
PS...It wasn't more than 2 weeks later that my boyfriend and I were in a different Petsmart location and we saw a litterfree on display. My guess is, we weren't the only ones that were less than thrilled with it's performance and someone else's return had received new life as a display model :P