How Automated Litter Boxes Can Be a Godsend for Cat Owners with Handicaps
I pride myself on having an open mind. However, as many of you may recall, I didn’t really have much of one with automated litter boxes. I thought they were rather absurd – and thought people were lazy that didn’t want to scoop their litterboxes.
So, when Litter Robot approached me to review their automated cat litter box, I was reluctant. However, I ultimately agreed because I was curious and also many readers had asked me about recommendations for automatic litterboxes.
While I was waiting for the Litter-Robot to arrive for our product review (as mentioned in our review video I have posted again below), I serendipitously had an Uber ride with a firefighter, who asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I had a website about cats and reviewed cat products. His first question was whether or not I had reviewed an automated litter box. I told him that I was ironically waiting to receive one, but wondered why he asked. He said that he had a cat and that he can be gone on a shift for 48 hours – and he hated that he couldn’t scoop her litter box while he was gone. It was then that I realized how close-minded and judgmental I had been towards automated litter boxes.
Since posting our review, however, I have come to realize that it can help more than just cat owners who are gone for 48 hour shifts.
Here is a quick list of reasons how automated litter boxes have helped other cat owners:
Cat owners in wheel chairs because of paralysis
Blind or visually impaired cat owners
Cat owners who have had back, hip, knee, etc. surgeries that restrict movements like bending
Cat owners who are pregnant and fear toxoplasmosis
Cat owners who have asthma
Cat owners who have allergies
Cat owners who have arthritis
Cat owners with increased sensitivity to smell (generally caused by medical treatments, trauma, etc)
So, I owe a big apology to automatic litter boxes – as at the time, I did not realize how helpful they can truly be to so many different cat owners and the cats that love them.
Do you have a Litter Robot or another automated litter box? What do you like it for?
How to buy the Litter-Robot III Open Air Automatic Litter Box
Love it. You hit all the important things and covered the “black thing” too. With that in the slot, you won’t ‘leave’ any of those big clumps needing extra cycles to clear. Being male, I usually give the globe a good hosing and forgo the rag. Remember, I’m not a good poop handler. I know I could spend more time cleaning behind that shield. As a side note, the bubble model cleans up just as good and slightly easier as there’s no band covering the globe. But there are no convenient hand holds to carry the base so it’s usually carried out in two pieces. Hence, two trips. Having both models, I can give a short review of the bubble model. I actually have 3, two bubbles and the open air. I bought the first bubble model and both cats took to it easily. We travel with our 5th wheel and have two floor house, so one up and one down would be ok. My real reason was the fact the first one performed so well, and I was able to easily keep up with it and not gag, that I wanted a ‘spare’ just in case. I don’t ever want to go back to a box again if I don’t have to. The smell being so reduced is amazing. The third unit came along just to see if the company actually improved the unit. I think they did. There is a tell-tale smell indicator when either type is starting to get full. It’s not as objectionable or strong as a regular box, but it’s more the smell of the litter itself. It’s an early warning system for me. The Open air actually has a “full indicator” when it senses needing changed. When changing the bag out you can tell the robot has been working hard to contain the smell. It’s nothing compared to a regular cat box though. To wrap up, the big differences wouldn’t be too noticeable if you just had one or the other. Very similar in performance. Both use less litter than keeping up with a box. The smell being so reduced is amazing. Almost a week between emptying is awesome. (2 cats) If you have the bubble style, (smaller) and then get the Open Air model, I can almost bet the cats will quit using the smaller unit. Mine did fine when just the bubble style was in the house, and occasionally will use it for their convenience, but their preference is the Open Air unit. I personally think they will stop marketing the bubble unit eventually. The price is right up there with an automobile in my thinking, but for them to ‘start up’, get it to market and have it be all they say it is, is worth it in my thinking. I mean, battery back up for power failures? Who’d a thunk it 😉
“There is a tell-tale smell indicator when either type is starting to get full. It’s not as objectionable or strong as a regular box, but it’s more the smell of the litter itself.” – Yes, I agree.
What breed of cats do you have? Every time I look at the Bubble ones I think they would be too small for Ragdolls.
Interesting that your cats prefer the Open Air.
I have two set up at the moment, one the bubble LR2, and then an Open Air. Both cats were happy with the original bubble model and doing fine, but as soon as the open air model came along, they ignored the bubble unit for the most part. Not immediately, slowly. Changing periodicity was noticed between the two units. Occasionally one or the other will use the one upstairs (bubble) as would any of us run to the closer “john” if we pushed the envelope and needed to. My cats are “abandoned rescues”, both as terribly young, needing assistance to survive type. One more so than the other. Cody would be considered Burmese or Siamese and whatever. Has the attitude and talks as one. Temperment being as such also. The other (Cricket) is a medium hair grey “cat”. Neither likes change, but the mix Siamese or whatever is a freak about it. As far as the size of your cats and the bubble, I’d almost agree with you. I am fairly certain your cats would use the bubble, but it would be very close quarters and there is an issue with them wanting to pee in one position and poo in another……. what that boils down to is it’s possible to get pee outside the unit if it’s too small for them. They seem to want to face in different directions depending on what they need to do. I’ve never had that problem, and yes, they’ve supplied devices in the front (guards) (extentions) to prevent that, but on occasion, mine seem to pee awful close to the front. That’s not a written rule either because there are many times the ‘clump’ is at the back and it’s all pee. I know they are pricey, but the units perform just like the folks that made it said it would. Been very happy with it and won’t be without one.
cool – love the feedback – thank you for sharing the differences between the Litter-Robot Open Air and the Bubble LR2.
Yes, that’s crazy they didn’t catch that. Tells me they didn’t watch it. That “shield” on the inside is the culprit. If the knob or arm in the back is in the pocket it fits in, the shield will open up full width of the hole and not trap the waste as it did in your video. It’s other purpose is to keep the parts of the tumbler that might get a little dirty, shielded from the cat. . I have two of the bubble style and one of the open air. They’re very rugged as far as durability. Makes cleaning a lot more tolerable for me. I’m not a good poop handler. I’ll shoot ya photo if this isn’t clear. Good luck with it.
no, it’s clear, as i have done a cleaning video and found the black “key” at the back – but had no idea when i was taking footage for the first review that there was anything messed up.
If you’re game – I would love a write-up comparison between the LR 2 (Bubble Style) and Open Airs.
You didn’t have the robot set up properly. You should mention that. The “pee clump” should have easily fallen into that hole. The “sanitary cover” deal is supposed to rotate out of the way to stop that from happening. You need to insert the piece in the back of the robot, into the slot made for it. That takes care of the proper rotation of the cover that stopped the pee clump from falling. It actually rotates out of the way at the end of the dump cycle to expose the full hole. Hope I made that clear.
Thank you for letting me know – I will add that to the video! It’s funny because Litter Robot saw that video and never commented on it being set up wrong….
Lovely post, Jenny! I truly think The Litter Robot is an amazing product and well worth the investment. Sounds like the company has great customer service for any issues or questions you may have about operations, troubleshooting and replacement of damaged or worn parts. Really a genius design and concept. Although I don’t have one and doubt I ever will unless we get a bigger place and my disposable income grows, I can definitely see the advantage in owning one of these.
Thank you for your thoroughness and objectivity in all your reviews, too. (Just think you need to hear that once in awhile because YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!)
Big hugs & lots of love!
Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3