automatic litter box

enatashadunnSeptember 2, 2007

I am in the process of looking for a new litter box. I have some concerns and questions when it comes to choosing the right one, since my cat has only had one litter box in the past.

1st of all, how easily do cats take to new litter boxes?

2nd are any automatic boxes better than the other?

3rd can I continue using my same litter (made from wheat)?

I know there are several kinds but do not know anyone that has one, so I need lots of advice. The one that most interest me is called the Litter-Robot, although it is rather expensive, but if it is easy to use then I would think it is worth it. Here is the web-site for those who have not heard of it....

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To answer your questions:

1) If your cats aren't currently using an automatic litter box, I would caution you about buying one. I bought one, set it up, and one of my cats went pee in it -- as soon as it began doing its "automated" thing, it freaked the hell out of the cats, and they wouldn't go near it again. So...if you do buy one, make sure you keep all packaging, in case you need to return it or resell it.

2) I'm not sure if any are better than others -- other people may be able to answer that better than me. The one I bought was a Littermaid Mega, which was highly recommended at the time.

3) The Littermaid box required that you use clumping kitty litter; I believe that may be true of all the automated kitty boxes (it says on the Litter-Robot page that you linked to, for example, that you have to use clumping kitty litter).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 12:36PM
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I do want to add, the box you're looking at does appear to be highly reviewed at epinions. Check out the reviews below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epinions

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 12:39PM
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Thanks for the link. I had read several of the comments on their web-site and everyone loved it, but I wanted to read the opinions of others that were not related to the products web-site.

I think this is the litter box for us & hopefully Lucy ( our cat) will take to it!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 1:45PM
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When my DD moved into a studio apartment with her two old cats I bought her a Litterrobot. Both her cats were over 13 at the time and took to it quickly. So then I decided to get one for myself (I have 3 cats). 2 of my cats took to it right away but the youngest saw it in motion and freaked but has now finally settled into using it. I don't have it on automatic yet because of this. Instead I turn it on manually whenever I'm in the bathroom and it looks dirty and of course I make sure no kitties are around to see it move. It is so easy to use. Eventually I will put it on automatic. My sister has had the rake kinds which she doesn't recommend.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 11:54AM
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thanks again - I had decided to order a Litter Robot from Ebay and had the winning bid but because my address is Canadian the seller took my name off the list - even though I have a verified Georgia address through PayPal! It was VERY FRUSTRATING as the price was a lot less expensive than from the Litter Robot web-site.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 6:18PM
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I thought they all used the 'rake'. For the one mentioned that does not, how does it operate?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 8:22AM
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The litter robot looks to be much better than the littermaid. I had a litter maid and it was more hassle than a normal litter box. Sometimes the rake would get stuck and at 2 am we would hear it go back and forth, back and forth trying to either get unstuck, or get out whatever clump it couldn't.

And litter always got stuck in the track, so the rake would stop working. Not to mention because it's an open litter box, all the parts were gross looking because they were covered in urine, litter and stuck on pieces of cat poop. Not attractive for people to look at.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 12:06PM
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I tried an automatic litter box about 10 years ago, but it scared my cats and they decided to use the floor, any floor, instead. It wasn't real expensive, so I threw it away. I have since used every type of litter that exists, from cedar to newspaper to non-clumping to clumping. I think I have found the "perfect" litter. It's called Ever Clean. I have been using it since May. I scoop the litterbox faithfully every day and it has remained clean and odor-free. The downside is that it's expensive, like $9 for 16 lbs or $20 for 25 lbs. Just my experience.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 1:43PM
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It's hard to describe how the litter robot works. The top which holds the litter rolls 180 degrees and then back sifting the clumped litter and depositing it into the drawer below. No rakes are used. Before the robot I had a similar set up that you did manually. To keep from scaring the kitties I press the button myself instead of using the timer.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 2:02PM
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trekaren ~
I posted the web-site. It shows a demonstration of how the cleaner works. I have only heard wonderful things about it so far, and tons of negative from the littermaid. I am hoping my cat takes to it & does not use the floor like jannie's cats!

Here is a link that might be useful: litter robot

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 8:33PM
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My Mom bought the Litter-Robot just last month when she moved into a senior citizen apartment with her 2 adult cats.
We decided to order a "reconditioned" one from Litter-Robot web site thus saving about $70.00 as opposed to ordering a new one.
The reconditioned ones may simply be new ones that were returned by cat owners whose cats wouldn't take to it.
Mom's kitties LOVE it, and Mom does too, because there is far less stink, and cleaning is a breeze...just open the drawer, and take out the poop which is deposited in a plastic garbage bag, and put in a fresh bag.

We did as the mfg. said...left it unplugged next to their litter box for a couple days. Then we put in the litter, and added a cup of litter from their original box to it so they could get the smell and the idea.

The female cat took to it right away. The boy cat, a fairly good sized fellow was reluctant at first. He peeked in, and I tried to give him a boost to get inside, but that wasn't a good idea on my part. He went in on his own later that same day, and there was no turning back. We removed the original litter pan, and all is well!!!

It says cats bigger than 15 pounds may not do well. I think our big cat is about 13 pounds, and while he takes up more room in it than little kitty does, he manages to hop in, turn around so his head peeks out (so cute) and gives the funniest expression when he is doing his business!!! Sort of a cross between relief and ecstacy!!!!

They do have a 60 day return time frame, so that is plenty of time to see if cat will adjust. I heartily recommend it, to minimize smell, and constant litter box sifting by hand.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:06AM
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Acey -
Thanks for the info! I have been actively bidding on the Litter Robot on eBay but the prices are almost as much as from the manufacturer. I think I am going to go ahead & call them. It was great to know you had a good experience with a "reconditioned" one as that is what I wanted to order.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 1:29AM
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Hi enatashadunn,

Yes, I saw them on ebay too, but you get a better return policy to just order direct, methinks.

We were very comfortable ordering the reconditioned one. It looks brand new..there wasn't a spec of previous litter in it. Maybe they didn't like the look or thought it too big. It is a pretty big machine, but it fits nicely in the corner of my Mom's apartment bathroom, which isn't a very big room! Don't be shocked by the size of the box it comes in!!!!

Do let us know if you get one, and if your kittie likes it!!! I am still totally entertained whenever I am at Mom's and see it do it's rotation!!!

Also, you can email them with questions, and they are pretty good at answering you back.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:34AM
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One thing I should mention... I find that 8 gallon plastic garbage bags fit real well, but my grocery only sells 13 gallon size. Like for your kitchen garbage can. Anyhow, I found that the dollar store sells the 8 gallon size, and so does Home Depot, but I got a lot of them at the dollar store real cheap ($1 each ;) no surprise. Perfect size and price.

I will also say that my Mom changes the bag every other day with 2 cats. I find that I can begin to smell the ammonia, she can't! But I don't live there and the apartment is small, so I just am more aware of "it's time to change the bag" than she is. That change schedule is good for her and for visitors like me!!! No muss no fuss!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 8:24AM
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acey - thanks for all the info!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 6:31AM
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ok, so I finally purchased the Litter Robot and have been using it now for about a month. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this product!! My cat took to it right away & I have had no problems with it. I only clean it out every 3-4 days as I only have one cat, and I had no issues with smell. I am completely satisfied!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Funny I checked the pet forum today and here you have posted about your purchase! Did you get the reconditioned one?
So glad your cat took to it! Mom still loves hers!
Since she has owned it since early September with 2 cats, we have done the "complete empty and clean it out" twice. After a few months, it does need to be totally emptied and washed out. That is a bit cumbersome to do since we have to do it in her shower....but it does get the "crustees" off that will eventually accumulate (dried litter with pee!)

Glad you are happy!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 6:24PM
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Yes, we purchased the reconditioned one & have no regrets. I did try to buy one on E-bay orginally but then thought about it & decided to buy the unit from the distributor as so I can have the warrenty. By the way thanks for the tip about washing it out - I had never heard that.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 3:35PM
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Does the LR also minimize litter scattered all over the floor? That is the most annoying part of litter box maintenance to me.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 8:44AM
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stir fryi: yes it does. There is a step with a grate that catches the litter before they step down. I also keep a small rug in front that takes care of anything else - but it rarely gets anything on it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 4:31PM
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I've been thinking of trying this litter box & was just wondering if everyone is still happy with theirs?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 12:49AM
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I have now had the Litter- Robot for almost 1 year & so it has been FABULOUS!!! I have loved the this litter box & our cat Lucy has had no problems using. It was funny when we first set it up Lucy would watch it go around and then walk over to it and give it a quick bat with her paw. It was like she wanted it to know she was in control.

Again ~ I know everyone has different experiences but from what I read and then our experience, I believe it is a great product! By the way I only empty it about every other week - NO SMELL!!! :) Also I am not sure if the new Litter-Robot comes with "filters" but I opted to order a set, which was not expensive & I have noticed it does help even more with the smell.

Well, good luck I hope this helps & if you have any question, please drop me a line

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 3:53PM
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