As someone who has had cats her whole life, I know litter boxes. Or at least I know manual litter boxes. With two big cats, I scoop da poop at least twice a day to keep it clean and my small apartment not stanky. Our litter box sits in an open closet right in the living room since it’s really the only place that makes sense. So it HAS to be clean or else we know it.
But scooping certainly isn’t fun. On many on occasion, I’ve heard myself mutter, “there has to be a better way” as if I’m fumbling with spices in an infomercial. But seriously, there HAS to be a better way, right?
I recently got the chance to try out a product I’d been eyeballing FOREVER: a Litter-Robot! Yep, one of those fancy-pants automated litter box cleaning machines. The highest rated one. The one on top of every ratings list. It’s the really nice kind that isn’t cheap and it shows. With all this hype, it’s got to be pretty life-changing, right? I decided to give it a whirl to see if a robo-litter box from the future was the better way I was seeking.
What is this litter robot poop solution?
An automated litter box cleaner can be a number of things, but in this case, it’s a dome-shaped litter box that has a timer to let it cycle around in a big circle, sifting clumps into a sealed drawer, leaving the rest of the clean litter available for use by the cats. You can then pull the drawer out once or twice a week (depending on how many cats you have) and pull out the interior bag o’ clumps. Seal it up, toss it out, and you’ve saved serious time. Or at least I have been so far.
That my cats would be too big for the litter box since they are hefty at 11 and 20(!) lbs each.
That they’d be too scared of the noise (they’re big lions, but cowardly ones).
That it would be more maintenance than a regular litter box — because you never know!
So far so good! So far so amazing, really. The box is far big enough even for my 20-pound dude. It’s really quiet. They were (and still are) a bit scared of the rotating container, but they’re making peace with it. We have total control over when it cycles so we can train them not to hate it with treats and good timing. No worries there. I’ll get to maintenance in a moment.
There’s an app for that: a litter robot hooked up to Skynet!?
…Just kidding, there’s no relation to Terminator… except for terminating the poops! Har har. Anyway, this Litter-Robot actually is wifi-enabled to allow me to monitor usage, change settings, view how full the poop drawer is, and more FROM MY PHONE.
Yep, this litter robot is app-enabled, for both iOS and Android!
I get that you might not need an app for your cat’s dooks, but for me, it’s super useful. One of my cats has diabetes, so monitoring the level of pee is totally useful on a medical level. So that’s a win.
Bonus: there’s a pretty blue night light so that the kitties can pretend they’re in a music video while doing the biz. And this lady looks like she’s emerging from her sleeping pod on a space shuttle.
Maintaining the robo-litter
We have a habit of naming our robo devices. Our robo-vaccum, for instance, is named Rosie (from the Jetsons) and we’ve dubbed this Litter-Robot Bender. Because it bends around? I don’t know. Either way, maintaining Bender has been pretty easy so far. I’ve cleaned the clump drawer many times now with no issues. It slides out, holds regular trash bags (although you can also snag some biodegradable ones that are custom-sized to the shape if you like), and is easy to wipe down for cleaning.
We’ve had a few large clumps get caught in the clean litter (as in, it didn’t fall quite right into the bottom hole), but it ended up going right in when it cycled again. So if you’re leaving overnight, you don’t have to worry about it tossing clumps out or getting caught. At least not that we’ve seen so far. I’m sure it’s capable of happening, but it seems unlikely at least.
My favorite part of the litter robot system is the rubber bottom part that holds the litter. When it goes through it’s circular twirl, the rubber bends down, releasing the clumps, then goes right back into it’s place again once it’s back down.
The bottom (butt) line
While the kitties are still getting used to the scary box they think will teleport them to Narnia, the humans in the apartment are LOVING it. Jumping-for-joy-tossing-poop-bags-into-basketball-hoops loving it. I went from back-hurty digging for treasure twice a day to twice WEEKLY quick cleanup. It’s pretty stellar. We’ll see how it ages as we use it, but for now, it’s the best.
This isn’t an ad, but since I’m digging the Litter-Robot so much, I am able to give you $25 off a new Litter-Robot here (affiliate link), if you too are looking for that elusive better way to scoop. It’s pricier than a regular litter box, for sure, but it’s worth it if you can swing it.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Litter-Robot kindly provided us with a Litter-Robot III Open Air with Connect to review. Our review and opinion are totally our own.