Since I sure we have a few cat owners here I thought I'd do a quick little write up on it.
I was sitting here after just getting home from being stuck at work 'til 12 AM and realized I was lazy with cleaning the litterboxes and that smell that owners of indoor cats are all too familiar with was starting to make itself known.
So on a whim I decided to look up prices of automated cat litter boxes and ask a couple friends with the Littermaid model what they thought. A few of them said it was a little flimsy but a few others liked it - the ones in favor were one-cat households though IIRC.
Well I looked online a bit more and I decided to order a model called the Purrforma Petmate Jumbo.
I actually ended up purchasing it from http://petsafestore.com/
. The litter box (which comes with everything you need to get it started) is $190 with free shipping. I got a couple extra thing like Liners, bags, and filters so that I won't have to order anything for a few months and it came out to about $220. Replacement items are priced very nicely and if I broke it down, I'm sure I'll end up even in the end with the little amount of litter I'll be throwing out every month or so.
It comes Fully assembled so the box is huge (in case it's a problem with delivery) and it needs to be: It easily takes up the same space my previous 2 litter boxes took up. And it's easy to see why: This model has a decent sized litter pan and waste "containment" basket not to mention the space for the motor.
Here's a picture of with it's lower cover on:
The lower cover is locked in place by blue tabs on the center of each side. They slide out and the cover comes off if cleaning is necessary.
Here's a close-up of the "sifter":
It's actually pretty sturdy but I'm not sure if it's stainless. I imagine it's treated for some form of corrosion since I've seen what cat urine can do to a generic metal scoop. Removing is quite easy as it just slides up and out and in just easy with rubber mounting points. Takes 5 seconds literally.
Here is the waste "trap" in action.
That metal bar you see if actually the sifter on an angle so the teeth aren't visible. Basically when the cycle starts, the sifter creeps forward gathering everything in it wake. As it nears the front, tracks (not seen) actually go up a ramp which at the same time open the cover to the waste bin which is covered in an easy-to-remove bag. Then waits for a few seconds, then retracts back to it's resting position and the cover to the waste closes the same way it opens.
Here is one of it fully assembled and a large box of the premium clumping stuff (which they recommend) for size comparison:
The blue visor is the only thing you need to remove to get to the waste basket for cleanup which is nice. It's simple held in place by 3 tabs so it comes off easy.
The blue cover on the back part of the cover is a charcoal and some-other-compound odor neutralizer that just slides in there. The other blue compartment is just a loose fitting cover for a place to store extra bags and filters and what not.
Finally, a "front entrance" image:
So far I'm pretty happy with it. The carpeted matt traps most of the litter quite well and is held on by 4 loops to the back of the ramp so it can be tossed in the laundry machine for easy cleaning.
I've only had it for a few days and it's been a little frustrating to get the bastards to use it. I took one of the litter boxes away and kept the other one just outside for them to use in the meantime. The manufacturer recommends not cleaning the old litter box so they're discouraged from using it and sort of forced to the use new one - which can take anywhere from 2-10 days. Mine are just skiddish of the noise (not loud at all mind you) that the cleaning cycle makes. So I leave it unplugged so they use it, then plug it in to let it cycle if I've noticed they used it. When I see they start to use it more and more, I'll leave it plugged in.
It has 4 electronic eyes for saftey and 3 timing cycle when it detects it was used: 10, 15, and 20 minutes. And then it automatically cycle every 4 hours regardless of use. I un/plug it because as of now, it's in my utility closet where the previous litter boxes were and the power switch, at the back of the machine, is a pain to get to. It also has the option to run on something like 6 9-Volt batteries but I don't see me using that.
So far so good! I'm pretty happy with it but time will tell I suppose! Hope this helps out the fellow feline owners on the board who might be thinking about it.
And no..... I will not post this in the Pussy Posse forums. Bastards.