Automatic Litterboxes? Opinions? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Automatic Litterboxes? Opinions?

I am considering getting one of those automatic litter boxes for Kitty. Does anyone here have one? Any opinions?

The reason I am considering one, is because Kitty is VERY picky about her box. After she uses it once or twice, she starts peeing on the floor or on things on the floor (rugs, etc). She has been vet checked several times and health problems ruled out.

I find when I scoop several times a day, she uses the box like she should. She kicked a small pile of litter out on the floor once, and when the box was no longer to her liking, she used the pile on the floor.

Since school has started back, I am not able to scoop near as often and she has gone back to peeing on the floor again. I have a friend that had an automatic litter box for her two cats, and she swore by it. Others I've talked to weren't as impressed.

Because of her problem, Kitty must stay in my room while no one is home. There is really no where else in the house to put another box, so the one in my room is the only one she has. But the house isn't all that big either, and if we don't want the animals in a certain room, the door stays closed.

So a few questions I'm curious about:
1.) Are they a good investment?
2.) Any particular brand I should look into/stay away from?
3.) Do cats generally take well to them?
4.) What kind of maintenence do they require?


Thanks so much!
MunchkinMama is offline  
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 04:46 PM
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If Kitty is "picky" about her litter box, you should know that buying one is a risk. And they are expensive. If she doesn't want to use it, you're out your money. There's no way to tell ahead of time whether or not she'll use it.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 05:24 PM
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Well, it sounds more like Kitty has a problem with the cleanliness of her litterbox, not the location/size/shape/etc of it.

In which case, an automatic litterbox might really help save your house and give Kitty more freedom. Here's what's out there:

Litter-Robot: $300 - Works pretty good, but some cats refuse to go in the weird shape. Also, it's $$$ expensive.

Littermaid: $150 - Works pretty good, but some people have had issues with the rake being stuck, etc. I like mine just fine and thought it was worth it. Some cats are afraid of the noise, motion, etc. It looks...not so pretty compared to others.

Purrforma: $180 - Looks great, works bad. They pulled it last fall from Petsmart shelves (too many defective returns). They're reworking it and I think it's back out on shelves. But I don't know if they really fixed it or not.

Littersweep Ultra by Stylette: $80 - Looks okay to me. It's brand new on the market. It has some issues...but I checked it out and haven't heard anything really bad about it yet.

Those are the only automatic litterboxes that I am aware of. For more opinions on litterboxes, check out this forum:

http://www.litterbox-central.com/forum/
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Well, it sounds more like Kitty has a problem with the cleanliness of her litterbox, not the location/size/shape/etc of it.
Yes, thank you. She doesn't seem to care about location, or type of box. She just really likes a very clean box. Due to my schedule at school, I'm not able to give it to her

I scoop twice a day, but that isn't enough. When I've been able to scoop three or more times a day, that is sufficient. Gotta love the divas!

Thank both for your replies.

Thanks Kitty's mom, for the great information. I will certainly check that out!
MunchkinMama is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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I have one of those, and its broken. I took it apart once and fixed it, and haven't taken it apart again. I didn't pay for it, so its not a waste of money for me, but I would never buy one. I think the name of this thing is litter maid.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 10:44 PM
 
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We have owned two Littermaids in the past year and both broke mechanically and were not repairable. We had two cats using it.

Its also a pain to clean when you need to switch out the litter. Its so bulky and stuff gets stuck to the bottom of it.

I sympathize with you, my friends cat has gone in her bed and her other one will go on the floor in front of the box if its not clean to their needs.

Its very frustrating!

I wonder if trying a covered box might help....she can't push litter out of it?
I don't know just an idea....
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 01:03 AM
 
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just a thought... if you do plan on purchasing an automatic litterbox, do so from Petsmart or somewhere else where you can return it within 30 days if you find that your cat freaks out b/c of the sound or rake. they don't give you any problems if it's already opened, been used etc.

also, littermaid does have a warranty policy... and they actually made good on a littermaid that malfunctioned on me. all you have to do is email them and tell them the date of purchase -- they'll send you a new one if you've bought it within the year, all you have to do is send a check for $10 to cover the shipping.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 02:16 AM
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In regards to the LitterMaids that EllyBelly mentioned... Yep, the first one was replaced on warranty. The second one broke about a month after I recieved it. At that point I decided to cut my losses and head back to a traditional box.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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I've gone through 2 littermaids. One broke straight away and the other broke about 2 months ago. They get clogged really easy (also considering my litterboxes are heavily used) and can be pretty noisy. My declawed cat at the time wouldn't even go near it.

If your cat is really picky and you'll be gone for school, I'd actually suggest getting a second litterbox for the time being to give her an alternative!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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I have have three kittens so the litter box is a hot spot in my house. When we first got the stupid thing it was on sale and for the box, litter and replacement containers wespent over $200. and that was when we only had one cat. i supose i should be happy to have it otherwise i would never be able to put the scoop down the way these guys go but it is always getting cloged and jamed its loud and at night when it is in your room the last theing you want to hear as your dozzing off is the grinding of gears. trust me there are other alternatives. why dont you try to teach your cat how to use the toilet?
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