Sunday, 19 February 2012

Auto litter boxes: helpful or hostile?

Hello Kittens,
This week, I’m doing something a little different. My mother’s birthday is coming up, and seeing as she is a major Katzendame like me, I’m considering a cat-related gift.
Upon searching, I came across a self-cleaning litterbox. Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever seen one of these things in action, but it’s a pretty neat concept. There seem to be a few different models, each baring a different pricetag. 

Cat Genie - $250 to $340
Litter Robot - $280 to $340
Scoop Free - $130 to $180 ($60 manual model as well)
Simply Clean -  $99
Smart Scoop - $129
Litter Maid - $99 to $200
Litterloo - Still in demo process

In a purrrrrfect world, this mechanical miracle would do exactly what it claims and leave you with one less chore to do, right?

Potentially yes... or, you could encounter something like this.

But aside from the fact that there seem to be homemade videos of each of these models failing miserably, my concern is more to do with the cats themselves. In my search for truth and knowledge of these robo-rakers, I came across multiple videos of cats freaking out over these intruders.

I find the idea of making my cat uncomfortable far more troublesome than the price tag on these things, but in understand that many people are squeamish and would do practically anything to eliminate the whole procedure from their lives. My questions is this though: should we invest so much money in a thing that has our cats on edge, just because we want one less thing to do? Or should we accept that scooping is part of the responsibility of having a cat, and allow them to continue pooping freely without the fear of their litter box eating them? I understand that some cats warm up to the box and it is not an issue, but why should we even put them through that process? Cats don't ask for much in this world, just food in the bowl and litter in the box and a trip to the vet should they require it, and after all the love and joy they bring to our lives, isn't scooping a little poop the least we can do?

I'm curious to know your thoughts!

Until next time, purr on kittens.



  1. I have to say that after catsitting for a week, I would be willing to pay $340 to avoid cleaning the litter box.

  2. Can we teach the cat to use the toilet?

    1. hahaha Justin, my buddy actually did that! Worked for a bit... then the kitty decided it was too much effort.


    I love my cat. When I move out, she's coming with me no matter what. But cleaning a litter box is just revolting to me. I can't stand the smell!!

    I can think of a lot easier ways to clean a litter box though. For example, why use crazy robotics (like the LitterLoo) when you could probably just invest in multiple sheets of tight-knit chicken wire, which when placed under the litter can skim through the litter and remove the waste (like the sandbox toys!). Just put 10 or so under the litter, and viola, you've got at least 10 days that you don't need to dig in the sand.

    BUT now that I know these things exist, I think I'm seriously going to look into getting one. The video you have posted of the cat attacking the litter box reminds me of my cat, except she would find it fun, not scary. Although, that noise is irritating...

    Great post Laurel!!

  4. I seriously considered this- -for my dog... but then I realized that his emotional trauma would probably be more severe than my moment of gross-out.
    So I say no to this crazy robo-scooper.

  5. That video is priceless! I love when pets discover something new and don't know how to handle it. I put a Buddha statue up in my backyard and my dog bark at it for hours!