One of the best automatic cat litter boxes available today is the Litter-Robot. The Litter-Robot consists of a removable globe that sits atop a base containing a large waste drawer. The globe contains a heavy duty rubber coated screen for sifting litter. Seven minutes after the cat leaves the Litter-Robot, the globe begins to rotate. The litter is sifted by the screen. Clumps are separated and dropped into the waste drawer through a trap door.
Litter-Robot has many advantages. First, the globe shape minimizes the cat's ability to kick litter out. Second, it requires no special receptacles or bags. Any type of bag may be used in the waste drawer. Bags are held by rubber grips. Third, any type of clumping cat litter can be used. Other brands, such as Littermaid or ScoopFree use a rake to sift the litter. The rake has a tendency to become clogged. It has been reported by users that more expensive brands of cat litter will improve the performance of rake-style automatic and self-cleaning cat litter boxes. On the other hand, Litter-Robot can use the least expensive brand of cat litter, which saves money in the long run.
Additional advantages of the Litter-Robot include a 60 day money back guarantee, an 18 month warranty and it is very easy to maintain. The removable globe just lifts off the base. It has no electronics in it, so if it needs to be cleaned, it is very easy to do. First the remaining litter is emptied into the drawer by pressing the "Empty" button. Then the globe can be lifted off and hosed down with a garden hose. A scent-free mild soap and deodorizer can be used, if desired. Scent-free products should be used so unusual smells will not deter the cat from using the Litter-Robot. Similarly, the drawer contains no electronics and can be cleaned in the same manner as the globe.
The currently available Litter-Robot is Litter-Robot II. The original Litter-Robot has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Although occasionally it can be found on eBay. The original Litter-Robot (let's just call it Litter-Robot I), had a few differences than the new Litter-Robot II. First, Litter-Robot I had a smaller waste drawer. In addition, its motor was much louder. Third, it did not have any odor control features.
Litter-Robot II has a much larger waste drawer than Litter-Robot I. The motor is also much quieter. Recently, Litter-Robot II was improved further with odor control features. There is a soft breathable ring between the base and the globe to trap odors in the drawer. The drawer has an odor-neutralizing carbon filter that destroys the odor as it escapes through the drawer's ventilation holes. Since many of the early Litter-Robot II's do not have odor control, the manufacturer sells an upgrade kit so users may add it themselves. In addition, the manufacturer sells replacement carbon filters.
Overall, Litter-Robot II has improved dramatically vs. Litter-Robot I. The odor control features work extremely well. The larger sized waste drawer makes travel very convenient. With an automatic pet feeder, a pet waterer and the Litter-Robot, it's very easy to justify firing the pet sitter. If you travel a lot, these products pay for themselves.
Gail Jones is a staff writer and expert in home automation products. She works for Paradise Robotics, a Chicago Area company that specializes in products that make life better. Gail may be reached at "firstname.lastname@example.org".