Automatic litter boxes can definitely make life easier. I’ve always been a fan of them. While you still have to change the bag every other day or so, they alleviate the daily scooping of a dirty box and allow your cats to always have a clean area to do their business. Not just easy to clean, they save on litter costs as well.
They can be especially helpful with kitties who are picky about having a clean litter box. Then again, can you blame them? Would YOU want to step into a box with feces and urine clumps trying to delicately step AROUND the land mines? No thanks!
I keep this in mind when I think about my own cats. I like to scoop plain boxes twice a day which for two cats is sufficient but I know most folks simply don’t have the time or energy to clean their boxes this often… to be honest, I usually don’t have the time or energy either… which is why I’m about to let you in on my own secret weapon –The Litter Robot!
The Litter Robot is an automatic litter box which cleans itself a few minutes after your cat does his or her business. Your cat enters the box, uses the bathroom and a few minutes after exiting, the Litter Robot rotates itself allowing clean litter to fall through a patented sifter. Used litter is deposited into the base of the unit. As the rotation is complete, your clean litter is then sifted back into the box area. Click HERE to check out a video on how it works.
So why am I talking up the Litter Robot compared to all the other automatic litter boxes out there? Because the Litter Robot is truly worth its weight in gold. I couldn’t live without mine.
I’ve owned quite a few automatic litter boxes and being a pet sitter with over 700 clients, I think I have experienced every kind of automatic litter box out there. They usually last a few years (or one)..until some small part breaks off or I get annoyed with the design which is never really that great. I often end up tossing them in the trash and purchasing a newer model or a different brand in the hopes that this one will be just right. It wasn’t until I found the Litter Robot that I knew I had found what I had been looking for.
One major issue I’ve had with other units aside from the small parts that eventually break off (most of which I have actually tried and failed to fix or get replacement parts for) is the design. Many have a rake type apparatus that is drug through the litter once the cat exits the box. It attempts to push the clumps into a box at the end of the unit but usually fails miserably. No matter what type of litter I’ve used, the clumps often break apart, leaving some remnants of urine or feces in the box or… and even more disgusting….the clumps get stuck on the rake (much like they do on the grooves of litter scoops) causing me to have to dismantle and clean the unit more often than I’d like. If you happen to overfill these boxes with clean litter, you can be sure you will be cleaning up a mess once the box pushes the excess litter to the box at the end of the unit which quickly overflows onto your floor… hooray for the automatic litter box… but hey, they are better than having to manually scoop twice a day.
When my last auto box bit the dust, I was determined to find a box that was unique, well made, clean, would save me money in litter and bags while most importantly – one that I wouldn’t have to replace in a year. I debated for quite awhile when it came to the Litter Robot, mostly because of the price. New units cost around $450 which made me hesitate as they are on the upper end of the price range for automatic boxes (they do however offer reconditioned units for cheaper). Knowing what I know now, I can tell you they are worth EVERY PENNY.
I couldn’t have been happier when my Litter Robot whom I’ve named Lily (yes, I named her) arrived at the house. The box on the porch was heavy duty and big – a sign to me that the unit was already assembled and that this company cared enough about their product to really protect it during shipping.
Upon opening the box I was immediately impressed with how well packaged the unit was and how detailed the literature was inside. Instructions were given on how to put the two pieces together (very simple), tips on getting my kitties accustomed to the step up instead of step in design, and return instructions if for any reason I wasn’t happy with the unit. Wow, a company that would take it back if I or my cats didn’t like it! I started to breathe a little easier…
I had the unit assembled in minutes and was really amazed at the construction. This litter box is the real deal. It’s a serious piece of machinery and one I’m really proud to own. The craftsmanship is evident and I just knew this box wasn’t going to fall apart on me. I kept saying to myself, “well, you get what you pay for”. This box is money well spent.
After assembly, I plugged the unit in, followed some of the tip instructions and waited for my kitties to fall in love with Lily as quickly as I had. To my dismay, they wanted no parts of her. How could this be!? Did they not see the amazing construction? The extra bubble piece that would allow them to turn around easily while inside? Did they not love the color and the quiet test I had run to ensure the unit was put together properly? How could they not be as excited as I was?
It took two weeks for one of my kitties to finally decide she was going to claim Lily, the Litter Robot, as her own. My male cat was content in the plain box that I keep scooped by hand. Apparently he was still attached to the old automatic box we had and he was not about to give Lily a chance.
I contacted the rep, Shirley at The Litter Robot a number of times asking for additional ideas on how to get my male cat to accept Lily into our family. Shirley was wonderful to work with, always patient with my questions, always offering advice and suggestions, and always reminding me not to worry.. if things didn’t work out, I could return the Litter Robot within 90 days . 90 days! That was plenty of time to get my kitty to see the light! It was here that I also found out that Litter Robot stands behind an 18 month full warranty. I’ve had plenty of litter boxes that couldn’t come close to lasting that long! I also liked the fact that Shirley wasn’t trying to push that the Litter Robot was right for my cat. In fact, they state that every cat may not be a good candidate for their box.
After 45 days, I was resigned to the fact that my male kitty was going to be a scoopable cat. I figured he had given up on the Litter Robot. I was however happy to have one kitty who used Lily religiously, greatly reducing my need to scoop the plain box…until ….. at about the 47th day, I heard scratching in the robot but realized my little girl kitty was sleeping soundly in my lap. I turned my head to see my male cat inside the Litter Robot, acting as if he had been using the unit all along!
Since that day, both cats used the Litter Robot. At this point, I still had a plain box out in case one is busy with Lily and the other can’t wait but my scooping was now to a real minimum. All I had to do now is replace the bag every other day. It didn’t take long before I purchased a second Litter Robot and said goodbye to the box forever.
A few additional things I love about the Litter Robot:
It takes plain small kitchen trash bags! No need to buy special bags (Litter Robot does sell special bags if you want them) I purchased a roll of fifteen 13 gallon trash bags for a buck from the dollar store and they work great. I change the bag every other day so my cost in bags is $1 a month! I’ve had automatic boxes that require me to purchase special plastic containers in which the used litter is deposited. What a waste of money. Plus I had to buy these containers directly from the company that made the box if my local pet store was out of them. If the company went out of business, the litter box was pretty much trash.
It doesn’t waste litter. Because the Litter Robot doesn’t use a rake design to drag or push clumps into the used litter receptacle I don’t have to empty out the entire box for cleaning, wasting expensive litter. I use FAR less litter than I used to which I know saves me money.
I love the extra features. My box has the “bubble” feature which allows my cats to see out the back of the box and gives the cats a little bit more room to move around. It also allows light in which I think helped them accept the box (they can also see if the dog is coming!)
My box also has the Lip Extender which stops litter from potentially falling out when the box is rotating. I LOVE the lip extender and would definitely recommend you purchase this feature. It’s really wonderful and I no longer have a dust pan and brush next to the box.
If you want to hide the unit, they have great cabinets on their accessories page too!
My kitties always have a clean litter box to step into!
The newer Litter Robots even come with a handy app for your smartphone that let you know when the box is full and needs changing.
I’ve been using the Litter Robot for years now and have never had a problem with either unit. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the market for an automatic box.