My boyfriend and I have tried all sorts of gadgets and techniques where our kitties and pottying are concerned. After we gave up toilet training and returned our litter free self-washing box, we picked up a Littermaid Deluxe and we haven't looked back! It may not be an absolutely flawless system but it is leaps and bounds above scooping litter every day. I have come to find a few tricks to using the product: 1)Use premium litter . Tidy Scoops is good but I prefer Tidy Scoops for Multiple Cats with Immediate Odor control. My bf made the mistake of bringing home just the regular Tidy scoops for multiple cats and the litter smelled day and night. Something about the Immediate Odor Control causes the litter to clump almost immediately (which prevents it from sticking to the rake, definitely a bonus) and it keeps the dirty litter in the recepticle from stinking while it's waiting to be emptied 2)Don't bother buying those expensive recepticles. I read online just to use plastic grocery bags and although I was skeptical I gave it a whirl. Through trial and error I have found that layering the bags inside an empty recepticle not only saves money but it makes the cleaning process faster because I can simply go in, lift the bag out, tie the handles together, and toss it in the trash. It's actually easier than taking out the entire recepticle and replacing it with a fresh one each time. 3)Do not overfill. This is a big one and I still get carried away every once in awhile hehe Nothing is more annoying than listening to the littermaid run for 15 minutes straight because it can't get through a mountain of litter that's in it's way. I have spent many a time scooping out perfectly good litter just so the rake could make it's journey to the end of the box and back. Using just the right amount of litter is something I'm still learning how to do hehe. 4)Do not underfill. Underfilling is just as bad as overfilling because it can make the litterbox and rake disgusting. If there isn't enough litter to properly cover the waste it will stick to the rake as it moves through it and thats just gross. Make sure you use enough litter or you'll be taking the whole box apart to clean all it's little bits and pieces. 5)A lesson my bf learned (even though I had already warned him about it): When you clean the box, make sure that you disconnect all of the electric parts. There are two handles on the side that make it easy to empty the box of all it's litter when the rake has left too many little clumps behind. If the rake is dirty (which happens to everyone) use a screwdriver to remove just the rake and you will be able to clean every little nook and cranny without much trouble. DO NOT and I repeat for any stubborn guys out there, DO NOT hose the entire unit down and think that if you try to avoid the motor compartment you'll be all set. You will burn the motor out. You will clean the litter box by hand until You replace the littermaid! hehe
Other than that it should be smooth sailing!