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Automatic Litter Boxes

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by mkrosal, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. mkrosal

    mkrosal Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jun 24, 2008
    I have a 6 month old cat and we've tried 3 different kinds of litters and nothing seems to keep the smell down. I'm interested in purchasing an automatic litter box. Is this a good idea? If so, are there any particular ones that you recommend?

  2. anmccleod

    anmccleod TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jul 17, 2007
    I have a littermaid and it stinks a lot more than the normal covered boxes that we have.

  3. pee-cleaner

    pee-cleaner TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jan 6, 2006
    Litter Robot!!!

  4. enuja

    enuja TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jul 20, 2006
    I'm assuming you scoop the box at least once a day.

    What stink bothers you?

    If it's the smell of feces, all litters are about the same. This depends more on what the cat eats and how well the cat covers than on what the cat covers the feces in.

    Some unsoiled litters have smells that some people find objectionable.

    And, of course, the most common problem is the smell of stale urine.

    What types of cat litters have you tried?

    Clumping clay litters (the most common approach) scooped twice daily and changed entirely (throw out all litter, wash box) once a week is about as scent-free as a litter box can be.

    If your problem is the smell of stale urine, an automatic box will not help you, because the automatic boxes are more likely to break up clumps and result in a not completely clean litter box than you are. It's possible that you will prefer an automatic litter box if it is the feces smell that bothers you. On the whole, though, most people who choose and like automatic boxes do so because they don't like the act of scooping.

  5. laureen227

    laureen227 Terrific Tuxie Trio Top Cat

    Sep 3, 2003
    Arlington TX
    i have 4 littermaids. i live along [except for the cats [​IMG]] & this way i don't come home from work & have to scoop immediately.
    that said - i do usually do some scooping every day, even w/the automated boxes. for 1 thing, Chip has a tendency to pee right in front of the rake. this means when the box cycles, the pee clump often gets stuck on the rake & must be removed by a human. [​IMG]
    i think when i need to replace one [or more] of the boxes, i'm going to try out the litter-robot. i don't think it has many of the issues that the littermaid does.

  6. bella713

    bella713 TCS Member Top Cat

    We have a litter robot, but our kitten is obsessed with it, he keeps going in it and kicking litter out of it[​IMG] And going in there when it starts to move, it's been an adventure to say the least[​IMG] But other than the kitten, it's been a great litter box[​IMG]

  7. catsallover

    catsallover TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 23, 2006
    I have to third (?) the Litter Robot. We've had ours over a year now. Mine doesn't smell except immediately after the, er, really stinky ones (if someone has a cure for that in any litterbox, let me know! lol) and when I forget to empty the drawer after a week or so [​IMG] . Otherwise, it's been great, and I don't smell it (even though it is sitting next to a floor air vent). It also only uses kitchen trash bags, no trays, etc. that you have to buy. And, you can buy a reconditioned unit (with the same warranty as new) for a little less. www.litter-robot.com Good luck!

  8. renovia

    renovia TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 26, 2006
    wow, I figured when I came in here everyone would be saying that cats get spooked and steer clear. At least that's usually what's said. It's great that there are so many owners who have positive experiences with the litter robot. I may look into it.

  9. pee-cleaner

    pee-cleaner TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jan 6, 2006
    Spooked? HA HA HA!!! Mine made a beeline for it and haven't stopped yet![​IMG]

  10. hwc

    hwc TCS Member Adult Cat

    Aug 16, 2008
    New England
    Poor Man's Liter Robot:


    Video demonstration:


    This thing really works. I have two kitties, two boxes -- one in the basement and one (unfortunately) still in the hall next to my kitchen -- ready for round two of trying to move both boxes downstairs. They use the upstairs box two to one over the downstairs.

    I roll the upstairs box once a day, every other day for the downstairs box. The only time I smell it is if I walk by immediately after a poo.

    Same basic sifting mechanism as the Liter-Robot, but in an inexpensive manual configuration.

  11. catsallover

    catsallover TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 23, 2006
    The Litter Robot website has strategies for getting your cats used to using it (including cutting holes in the shipping box and putting it over the litterbox so they don't see it moving and it looks more like a "regular" litterbox) and turning it on manually when the cats aren't around until your cats are fully ingrained in using it.

    I did have one (out of 4) who (oops) saw it rotating and used one of the "emergency" litterboxes for 6 months after that, but the others were fine with it after the initial "what the..." looks, haha (they really like having a totally "landmine free" box to use everytime, lol). Even my "scared of her own shadow" kitty finally started using the Litter Robot again [​IMG] . Plus, there is a 60 day "you and your cat love it or return it" guarantee- I think you just pay the shipping (?) and get your money back.

    I think the key is following the instructions about getting started-while I know it won't work for everyone, it worked for us [​IMG] .

  12. artgecko

    artgecko TCS Member Super Cat

    Feb 28, 2007
    I don't have an automatic box *yet* Still trying to decide whether to go for the LR or a really nice cat tree...

    But, I agree on the questions others have asked...which smell bothers you? Which litters have you tried? and how often do you scoop the box?

    I scoop my box once a day (covered box) roll my omega paw roll-away box once a day, and shake my feline pine sifting box once a day.... The only time I smell anything is right after a poop or from the covered trash can I keep the poo/pee clumps in (I change the bag out every other day). I use world's best cat litter...which is good at urine odor control in the box...but, it does smell "corny".

    You might want to try the omega paw box..the LARGE version....If you dislike scooping, it's nice to just roll the box, tap, tap, roll it back and tip to the right again to redistribute the litter...then you just remove the drawer and dump the clumps... That said, I do stll scoop it once a week with a fine scoop to catch the little pieces the grid doesn't pick up.

    One thing you need to consider with the automatic boxes...some can end up being more trouble to maintain than you bargained for and getting them fixed isn't as easy as, say, replacing a standard box.


  13. usameisje

    usameisje TCS Member Young Cat

    Dec 14, 2007
    pacific northwest USA
    I can't smell the pee at all if I stir the crystals daily, and change out the tray every two weeks. When I fed only dry food, it went a month between changes. Now I feed wet food mostly- so more pee. I only have one kitty though. She is not picky about her box whatsoever- I could use anything I wanted in the box and she would use it! I change every two weeks because that's when the litter doesn't look brand new fresh. It does end up costing more than regular boxes, but the benefits outweigh the cost for me. I use a Forever tray I bought from ebay, and buy Fresh step crystal litter when it's on sale at Target. If I buy when on sale, I save a lot.

    Kitty loved Feline Pine, but I couldn't stand it. The entire house stunk like uncleaned barnyard even if I sifted urine and scooped poop multiple times a day. And I completely scrubbed the box once a week. The fact that you have to put only an inch of pellets in the box means the poop is not covered well and your house WILL stink of poop until you scoop it. Imagine coming home from work after 12 hours and the entire house stinks of cat crap. (kitty only poops once a day and it's healthy cat poo according to vet and the tests done on the poo) Others love pine pellets, so maybe its the way my cat digs in the pellets that affects poo coverage!

    The automatic box with crystal litter worked so well for me I couldn't believe it.

    The kitten may have some worms, or parasites like Giardia or Coccidia that make the poo extra super smelly. If the cat isn't getting enough water the pee can stink extra too. Of course kittens always seem to pee and poo more and the volume of waste isn't as bad after they finish growing.

  14. angelyco

    angelyco TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jan 28, 2008
    Yonkers, NY

    I recommend this to EVERY person who I know has a cat, and also when people stop me in Walmart to ask me about litter (you'd be surprised how many times that happens--apparently I just look like I know cat stuff?).

    It was the best $300 I ever spent. I've had it about 8 months now and no problems so far. As someone said before you get a 2 month money-back deal if your cat just won't use it, and it also has an 18-month warranty, which you'd never get with a Littermaid. What I've heard so far is that Littermaids usually last between 1 year to 18 months before dying completely. Litter Robots have a reputation of lasting 3-4 years at least.

    I have 5 cats using one Litter Robot, no backup boxes. When I first got it, I had 3 cats, and 2 of them used it right away, it took less than a week to get the third one to use it. The two cats I've gotten since then had no problems using it the first time in the house. I only have to change the bag 2-3 times a week, and the only problems I ever have with it are my own doing, when I forget to change the bag in time and a little bit of poop smears around the globe, but I'd still much rather wipe a little bit of poo off the side once in a while than scoop scoop scoop.

    I could rant all day about this thing [​IMG]

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