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Cat litter boxes: LitterMaid vs Scoop Free vs Litter Robot
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tiger_tim
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:56 am      Reply with quote
Ladies, who here uses the non-scoop automatic litter boxes? Someone did a review on the LitterMaid last year, but I hoping for a comparison of these 3 units.I am really needing feedback on what might be the best unit to get.

I am interested in: durability, noise, monthly upkeep costs. The initial cost does not bother me much, but I absolutely have to get an automatic one to avoid odors since Japanese apartments are not known for having places to put the trays, I have use a corner of the one huge, long room that is the kitchen/dining/living room (of course not at the kitchen end Laughing eeew). The choice is either that or in the bedrooms. Double ewww.

These are the 3 I am looking at:

LitterMaid ( www.littermaid.com ) but there seems to be a lot of complaints on the US consumer site, which makes me a bit hesitant to buy this. Monthly upkeep likely to be pretty expensive with 2 cats seeing as I have to buy both a premium clumping litter and replacement catcher boxes (and also the charcoal filters from time to time).

Scoop-free ( www.scoopfree.com ) seems to get pretty good reviews but the litter cartriges are REALLY expensive (with 2 cats would need 2 per month... meaning about US$27 a month (well more with shipping) ongoing cost.

Litter Robot ( www.litter-robot.com ) more expensive than the other two (and have not found someone who ships to Japan), but has the added benefit of no monthly upkeep besides the litter. Seems to be very sturdy and no chance of the rake getting clumpy. How is this for noise? With two cats how often does it need emptying?

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:31 am      Reply with quote
I haven't tried any of your suggestions, but I'm going to tell what I use anyway. Laughing

I use an ordinary box (it use to have a top, but my cat got so big I had to remove it) and a really good clumping litter! The clumping litter is in my opinion the most important thing as it should clump well and hold on to the odour. I had a small apparment and had no problem with smell when I used a premium litter. Remember that you only have to throw away the clump, not the unused sand, and refill! The roof and filter I feel made little difference.

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:28 am      Reply with quote
If anyone here wants my cat well she is all yours, warning she's a little b***er Mad Laughing
I have gone through so many different types of cat litter in the last month, a while ago I kept suffering from what I thought was an ear infection and blocked sinuses, it turned out that the cat litter was seriously effecting my allergies.
We are now on the cheapo paper stuff and mix with clumping litter.
she used to be an outdoor cat and it is a bit of a novelty for her to have her own 'delux' indoor toilet and her favourite trick is to wait until it has all been cleaned then have a huge dump then run around the house yawing for half an hour.

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:18 am      Reply with quote
Another tip is to beware what you feed your cat! What goes in must ccome out... Laughing

Cats have sensitive digestive systems so stay away from cheap cat food, milk etc if you want non-smelly poop. Buy quality cat food, no milk (or give special cat milk if you have to) and most human foods. Wrong food for your cat = smelly litterbox!

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scalawaggirl
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:13 am      Reply with quote
Tiger, I use the Litter Robot and the new model (replaced the old one, I liked it so much) is much more comprehensive. The drawer is deeper, there's now a switch on the unit to turn it off, the bag holders are easier to use, etc. I replace the bag once a week with two cats so it's ultra-convenient and makes my cat sitter's job even easier. Smile

It is expensive (around $300) but I have to say worth every penny. I do not have much storage - in fact no where to put a litter box - and I travel a lot. The only room I have is a corner in my DINING ROOM so I have a screen there and the robot is behind it. There is no smell at all either in that room or my apartment, which was a requirement and it's worked wonderfully.

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tiger_tim
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:20 am      Reply with quote
scalawaggirl wrote:
Tiger, I use the Litter Robot and the new model (replaced the old one, I liked it so much) is much more comprehensive. The drawer is deeper, there's now a switch on the unit to turn it off, the bag holders are easier to use, etc. I replace the bag once a week with two cats so it's ultra-convenient and makes my cat sitter's job even easier. Smile

It is expensive (around $300) but I have to say worth every penny. I do not have much storage - in fact no where to put a litter box - and I travel a lot. The only room I have is a corner in my DINING ROOM so I have a screen there and the robot is behind it. There is no smell at all either in that room or my apartment, which was a requirement and it's worked wonderfully.


YAY! A L-R user... have you ever had problems with "poopy explosions"? One thing I was reading about this is that if the box gets a bit full, then poopy gets squished between the two layers as it rolls... also some people said that the kitty pee can get down between the walls if kitty is not a good shot Laughing

Is it easy to clean? easy to pull apart?

After I posted this, I found a website (forum) that is 100% devoted to cat litter boxes rofl
http://www.litterbox-central.com/forum/

Before I had found that forum I was pretty swayed toward litter robot, but looking at the feedback on there the scoop free seemed to get rave reviews (and crafty members who have worked out ways to avod the costly tray replacement!)

Now you haev me back to square one.. Laughing I wonder if they are talking about Version 1 of litter robot?

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Moonstarr
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:52 am      Reply with quote
I had bought the Littermaid about a year ago and had to return it. I have three kitties and one of them (who is a complete scaredy cat) decided it was too frightening to use and just went beside the box and not in! Shock We tried to get them used to it as well ... first had them use it just as a regular box (without the electronic scooping) and then gradually started running it. But no luck ... he was just too afraid. And it seemed like it would have been so perfect! I hate scooping litter! Anyway, we've gone back to our regular litter box and they all seem happy about it. There is a girl I work with though that only has one cat and she's been using the Littermaid for years and no problems. The good thing is I bought it from a place that accepts returns on products your pets aren't satisfied with. I hope you find one that works for you ... they do seem like a great idea and better for your pets since they keep the litter box clean.
guapagirl
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:12 pm      Reply with quote
rosebud wrote:
If anyone here wants my cat well she is all yours, warning she's a little b***er Mad Laughing
I have gone through so many different types of cat litter in the last month, a while ago I kept suffering from what I thought was an ear infection and blocked sinuses, it turned out that the cat litter was seriously effecting my allergies.
We are now on the cheapo paper stuff and mix with clumping litter.
she used to be an outdoor cat and it is a bit of a novelty for her to have her own 'delux' indoor toilet and her favourite trick is to wait until it has all been cleaned then have a huge dump then run around the house yawing for half an hour.


Is she big enough to make a hat out of? Neutral

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:21 pm      Reply with quote
My roommate ended up buying the Litter Robot after getting fed up with changing out the litter so often (she has a sensitive nose). It is rather noisy, but the two cats got used to it within two weeks. One of them is brave and began using it right away (he would even "play" with it--stopping it when it started rotating, running away, running back, etc. but got bored of this after a few weeks). The other one is rather skittish, but began using it without any problems within the two weeks.

It's a huge convenience, as you only have to change out the plastic liner bag once or twice a week, depending.

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:09 pm      Reply with quote
guapagirl wrote:
rosebud wrote:
If anyone here wants my cat well she is all yours, warning she's a little b***er Mad

Is she big enough to make a hat out of? Neutral

LOL..i have a hat (synthetic) that has spots on it and when people who haven't seen it before comment on it I always says that I got fed up of my cat (who is a Bengal). Smile
wildflower
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:14 pm      Reply with quote
I was thinking of getting one of those automatic litters but for now I have a standard lid top box. I'm using "The World's Greatest Cat Litter" (Yup that's the name) and it really is the best one I've tried. It's an all natural corn based cat litter and it really lasts a long, long time. I was actually quite surprised at how good it was - way better than Swheat. I'm not very fond of clumping litters because they are usually packed with chemicals which can be very harmful to your kitties and very bad for their respiratory system. The other great thing about the corn based cat litter is that it's flushable so you don't have to have a stinky bag lying around while you wait for the trash pickup.

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:19 pm      Reply with quote
wildflower, thanks for the head up on corn based cat litter. I always wondered if they would work better. Well...more natural per say.

I would love to buy a Litter Robot for my cat but we just don't have enough space now for her to get used to and experiment with it. It is also an expensive product. But, I promised my cat I will get her one when we get a bigger place. Also bigger bed for her too Smile

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:49 pm      Reply with quote
Tiger,
I saw this title & was about to post about litterbox-central.com, when I saw that you had already found it! Can you believe a whole forum devoted to cat boxes & litter? But it's a great site to find out the scoop (pun intended Laughing ) on all the automatic boxes.

BTW - I've used a Littermaid for years (same box too!) and love it. It used to be my only box with 3 cats with no problem, but when I was down to the 2 witchy females, they both had litterbox "issues" (they wouldn't share or even use one in the same area), so I had to add boxes. Now I'm down to one kitty Sad , and she's using the Littermaid again...

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tiger_tim
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:25 pm      Reply with quote
the two big things for us with litter boxes will be SMELL and NOISE.. oh and ease of cleaning. Japanese apartments are not in general pet friendly and there is no laundry or area like that i which to put the litter box. In our current apartment it will end up under a desk in our study and if we move it could even end up behind a screen in the corner of the living room - hence the noise and smell concerns. Laughing

we plan to use the silica litter, which I have heard so many good things about. I would love to go "natural", but our living environment is such that I need to just go with the easiest solution.

- will be 2 cats using the box (I would love to just have to change it once a week)
- litter robot I have heard is a bit noisy and also is HELL to try and clean out inside the ball/dome thingy
- scoop free seems to be my favorite thus far but the replacement trays are prohibitively expensive
- littermaid seems to be a love/hate kinda thing with people and also would have the expense of the replacement boxes
- there is another one called "PetSafe Simply Clean" which seems pretty cool and not too many complaints
- I also have to consider that I wont have the luxury of being able to return the box if I dont like it or if it breaks, since I have to bring it in from USA. Sad

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