Automatic Litter Boxes - Review

Pooper Scooper

Automatic litter boxes seem like the ultimate solution to scooping cat litter.

Cats use the box, they do or don't bury their business, and we must come along regularly to scoop out the waste and maintain a hygienic litter box. The consequences to letting the box get ripe include not only an odorous home, but kitty messes on the floor and other less-than-ideal places.

LitterMaid is a great idea, and saves a lot of people a lot of litter grief. For a one-cat household, it's super. For a multi-cat household, it's ok.

My experience with LitterMaid led me to a few suggestions for use.

  • Unplug it at night. If the motor gets stuck, it will likely wake you and you have to get up to turn it off.
  • If you have more than 2 cats, unplug it unless you are there to turn it on and let it run. Again, the motor sometimes sticks and when the scoop is in the middle of the litter box groaning, the cats won't use it.
  • Pour litter in sparingly. Filling the pan even slightly past the fill line will cause problems.

Overall it really is a nifty gadget. My one hope is that LitterMaid will make a more durable model in the future.

Genie in a Litter Box

There are several good online reviews about the CatGenie litter box. It has reusable litter granules that are washed and redeposited to the litter box. It requires a water hook-up and drain for the washing and disposing of waste.

The Bottom Line

I had a LitterMaid for about a week and was so frustrated with it that instead of returning it I just chucked it. My four cats are pretty hard on litter boxes, and it didn't stand up to them. The concept is there, but the design is flimsy. I haven't tried or seen the CatGenie, but will give it some consideration. For the price, it needs to be well worth it. If anyone has tried it, I'd love to have your comments below!!! Happy cat littering!

This one's for you Earth Angel!

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Comments 17 comments

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

An excellent hub. No cats, dog, rabbits or any thing.

Thank you

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Dearest Kat07!! I am thrilled and delighted at your newest Hub!! Thank you sooooooooooooooo much!! Your insights from experience is greatly appreciated!! I have 3 wonderful kitties, each weighing in at around 21 pounds!! It's a lot of poop-scooping I would rather eliminate!! YOU are a jewel!! Thank you sooooo much!! I will purchase through your Hub, of course!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Great HuB

regards Zsuzsy

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Earth Angel, those are some hefty cats!!! If you get the CatGenie, let me know what you think! I will talk it over with my husband but am not sure we have a good place to hook up something like that.

Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle

We are thinking of getting an automatic one at some point. A friend has one and she loves it. If anyone gets a CatGenie, I would also like to hear a review.

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

We were also looking at the new Breeze cat litter box by Purina last night. It has a tray under the litter that holds a collecting pad for the urine, and the pellets on top do not absorb liquid. It seems, though, that with the number of cats we have, we would be paying out for replacements pads and litter at an alarming rate. If you have a one-cat household, it might be a really nice option.

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

This is the most helpful Hub I've seen in a while. Thanks!

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

You know, my husband got so tired of the cats tracking clay litter through the house that he only uses strips of newspaper in the litter box now. I have to admit that it is surprisingly effective. We just sprinkle a little Arm&Hammer litter box powder on it and the odor control is quite astonishing. And they truly don't track any more litter. The best part is - the box is so light now, that's it's a breeze to change - you just dump it all out and add new strips!

Yell-O-Bug profile image

Yell-O-Bug 8 years ago

WARNING!!! My husband and I have owned the LitterMaid Elite Model LME5500 for a little over a year now (1 year and 11 days to be exact). LitterMaid has replaced the rake three times and the entire unit once. It is now broken again and we are OUT OF WARRANTY!!! DO NOT BUY THE LITTERMAID ELITE! It breaks too easily!

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author


It sounds like they still haven't made their product durable. It's unfortunate that the design just isn't there when the concept is.

KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Our LitterMaid lasted over 2 years, with first four then six cats using it. And that's with a cat who figured out how to jam it up, leaving it running at all hours! I've heard the LitterMaid Mega is better designed for multi-cat households, so am going to get one when I can afford it. Our original one finally burned out the motor, and scooping has become a hated chore again. Even with the problems, I'll still take a LitterMaid of any kind over hand-scooping.

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

I'm so glad someone had relative success with the LitterMaid!  With my husband's newspaper method, we also eliminate scooping - it's just a dump out and refill!

Sheila 8 years ago

I had a Littermaid Basic Mega with 2 and then three cats. I loved it and it lasted over 4 years before it broke. I liked it so much that I bought my elderly mother an Elite Mega. It never worked properly and died within a year, but because I was not nearby at the time I couldn't handle the warranty work for her. So now it is a fancy-looking litter box, but it is scooped by hand like any other box.

I'm looking for a new one now and given that others have had problems with the Elite, too, I think I'll just purchase another Basic Mega.

Carla B. Whaley 7 years ago

I have 4 cat genies, only 1 working. All, with tops--a really big investment. I did run mine multiple times a day because I like them clean and have 4 grown cats--sphynx with no hair. Great idea, super service and replacement parts, and replacement parts, and replacement parts--i don't have time 2 fix them anymore so just scooping and looking for something else.

Litter Box Reviews  5 years ago

Though LitterMaid is a strong name in the litter box world, there are plenty of problems with their products that don’t seem to be getting better with time. Still, there is a reason that they are popular. Their products are fairly simple, and thought the rake gets stuck, is too short at times, etc. it still does a good job of cleaning out the litter box. The price is not bad and all in all there are plenty of good points. The CatGenie is a much more complex product. It is an ingenious idea but the execution of it as expected is not as good as one would hope. The main complaint is that it leaves a horrible smell. Although no waste is left in the box since it is flushed, the smell lingers throughout the plumbing. Since the bowl is blown dry, it sort of warms the waste causing it to smell. However, it saves lots of work and can be a huge help.

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 5 years ago from Florida

Wow! You got some great reviews on your article as well as additional info from your readers. It was overall, quite helpful. I guess we'll stick with the old fashioned method until these companies improve their products. I don't see the point of spending that much money on something that won't last more than 2 years. I have 4 cats too, so I need something with some staying power. Thanks. Peace.

gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 5 years ago from Florida

I love my ScoopFree self cleaning litter box. I always heard mixed reviews about the Littermaid. If I had kittens I'd try out the Cat Genie. That seems like the easiest product. Thanks for sharing the info, the litter box was a topic in our household for a long time.

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