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Size: 14" Wide X 17" Long|Change
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on March 5, 2011
So far I am very happy with this model of Littermaid!

I owned an LM 500 for about 5 years. I am handicapped to start with and 5 years ago, I broke my wrist, which left a dear friend coming over every night to clean the litter box. I had and still do have 2 cats. A week in, it occured to me that the Littermaid might be worth a try to keep her visits to a minimun.

My LM 500 died a few weeks ago, after 5 years. I was very reluctant to replace it with the "Mega" 9000,or whatever it may be called, based on very bad reviews on Amazon.

Then I found that there was an LM 980, which is very similar to the older models and had great ratings. It is a tiny bit longer and a tiny bit wider than my old LM 500..but still not humungous like the Mega 9000.

As I said I am disabled and have many limitations. The week that I spent waiting for the new LM 980 was hell on my body. But I have now had the LM 980 about 2 weeks and I am very happy.

I will give some advice as a long time Littermaid owner.

1. Use World's Best (Regular Formula) Cat Litter (or the more expensive "improved version" which costs a bit more and has a strange aroma. ) No other clumping litter is better than this for a Littermaid. It is not a bit sticky and not a bit messy. Its made totally out of dried and pulverized whole corn kernels. Trust me its great. It may cost more and you may need to go to a pet store (in my case I go to PetPals, which is a discount Pet store), but since you use so much less, it lasts a very long time. I have to admit that it is not the best for covering up ca ca odor, but given the fact that it is not sticky and difficult to remove, it is worth the trade off. After a smelly ca ca, I use a spritz of PureAyre Pet Odor Eliminator, which eats right into the odor. I spray it right on to the offending culprit (not the cat, the clump) and into the air around it. If its already in the receptacle, I also spray it into the receptacle. It may sound like extra work, but it only takes a minute and can be done at anytime. I find that I do not have this issue with urine. The World's best seems to absorb that odor very well.

2. Always keep the litter somewhere between the 2 red lines indicated on the side. Too much and your Littermaid will possibly go nuts moving the rake back and forth, non stop, as it will be collecting large amounts of litter at the back of the box. Too little litter and it won't clean properly.

3. When you first get it, and whenever you take it apart to clean, spay either Pam cooking spray or silicone spray, lightly on the bottom of the pan and rake. It helps to keep the liiter from sticking.

4. My personal way to use it, is with a brand new litter receptacle for each change, which you can find well priced on Amazon in a box of 18 and ships free if you add something else that you need for a total of at least $[...]. Some people line the plastic receptacles with plastic bags and reuse them. I've never done it. It sounds very sloppy and I have hand function problems, plus I have a cat who would probably chew the exposed part of the plastic bag. I prefer to change them and dump the old one into a medium weight plastic bag which I can tie and dispose of.

5. The plastic resepectacles that come with lids and are shipped with the littter box are a heavier weight than the replacement ones that you buy, so don't be surprised.

6. The plastic lids that come with the receptacles fall off after a few passes. My old way of dealing with that was to not use them and to instead tape the holes on both sides with clear packing tape.
I just discovered a permanmet lid made of arcylic that can be installed instead. I just received it and installed it today. It's also sold on Amazon. It's called a Perma lid or just a permanet lid for Littermaid.... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003JU6YOE and is sold seperate of a system that includes another item that seemed like a bad idea and was not well rated. The Permanent Lid alone costs roughly $[...] plus shipping here on Amazon. Its a bit ackward to install and should be done with the recpetacle removed and the machine turned off. (Remember thought that 1. I have hand function problems and 2. I installed the screws in the opposite direction of the way it was recommended, so maybe it is not all that difficult to install. I wore disposable latex gloves to turn the plastic washers since my fingers are weak and that helped a lot.)

7. I am sure that the ramp is great, but I have never used it. It just juts out too far for where I have it in my bathroom. I have a Dustbuister right near the litter box and use that instead.

8. I like to use Disposable Disinfecting wipes to keep the parts clean. Lets face it. Cats are cats and sometimes they get some not so lovely stuff stuck on the litter box. So, I think its a good idea to also keep those handy.

9. I say forget it to using the tiny odor eliminator packets that are suppose to be stuck via self tape to the back of the lid. They always fall off and do nothing IMO.

I am hoping that the LM 980 lasts at least as long as my previous Littermaid. I also hope that my suggestions have been helpful. Oh and another thing, this newer model is a lot quieter than my old one, so that's another plus. If I find I am unhappy with this model I will revise my review, but so far I am very pleased and so are Teddy and Precious!

PS: I know I have mentioned a lot of maintenance items, but most of it is NOT done on a daily basis. However,you should not expect this to be labor free. It takes a little work, but compared to scooping several times a day, it is well worth it IMO! Well worth it!
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on May 9, 2011
This is my 5th or 6th Littermaid. They normally last me anywhere from 2-4 years before they have some issue that causes them to be replaced. My last unit, the Mega lasted less than 2 years before the sensor stopped working. I tried to work around this by adding a lamp timer to cycle the rake every 1/2 hour, but that didn't work very well, as the clumps got too hard or not hard enough, so it didn't work properly in the end.
Ordered the "New" LM980 from Amazon. It arrived as expected and I swapped the old unit for the 980. First thing I noticed was it is slightly longer and wider. The length is maybe 1 inch longer than past models. The width is maybe 1/2 an inch. This impacts our litter box hiding cabinet, as the doors do not close fully. Modifications will be needed on the backside of my cabinet to allow for the doors to fully close. Not a huge deal, but be fore warned.
This unit didn't last a week. It started getting stuck after a day and within a few days couldn't pull through the entire cycle before becoming stuck. Sounded liked a stripped gear or something. Got an RMA # from amazon and ordered another right away. That one arrived quickly and has been working without any issues for the last week.
What's changed:
Rake removes easily with the push of 2 buttons.
Box is longer,wider & deeper. I think it's an improvement over the older units because there's a bit more litter depth, which was always an issue with past units in that you MUST never overfill litter, and the amount that I found best was just a the lower fill line. The new unit seems to hold much more litter and thus putting it 1/2 way between the two lines results in lots of litter in the box and the unit still operates without trouble (older units wouldn't work well with litter filled to the full line).
Sound is about the same as prior units. Normally they are quite in the beginning and then get a bit louder as time goes by. You don't want this in your main TV viewing room or a bedroom. It's what I would call noisy.
Power supply has a straight plug instead of the 90 degree bent plug on my prior unit. Keeping the old plug since it saves space in our cabinet.

Overall, I love my littermaids. I keep buying them because I don't see anything that works much better. Prices are creeping up, I bought my last one for nearly 50% of the cost of this one. Still worth it. There are other units out there, but I don't have any way of using the one that uses water & a waste drain/toilet to "flush" (although a friend LOVES his). The wife rejected the big ball one, and it's expensive and looks like it will have its own issues in the future - as do all mechanical things. So we will contiue with the Littermaids unless this new unit dies before its 2nd anniversary. If it doesn't last, then we will need to start looking at other products/options - the big ball? :0

Hints:
Spray the rake, bottom and lower sides with non-stick cooking oil spray. It will make everything move more easily and not stick to your LM. You will need to do this about once every other month or more depending on how clean you are - and how fussy your cats are.
Don't over-fill the box with litter. Keep it well below the full line. It can be hard to determine how much litter is. Shake the box a bit to level it out.
Empty the waste disposal catches -- don't toss them. Keep re-using them until they crack. I've had them last many months before needing to be replaced.
Take a few minutes every month to clean your box well and re-spray the non-stick oil - makes the quick empty the catch/refill the litter easier and faster in the long run. Cats are happier too.

*** UPDATE***12/01/2014 ***
This LM has continued to work without any real issues. We only have one cat now, but she continues to use the LM. Overall, this unit seems to be the most robust of all my Littermaids. I can recommend this LM.
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on March 13, 2011
I have four cats, with four cats you need more than one litter box. I already have the LM980 Mega and the 9000MB Elite Mega Ultimate Edition. This purchse was made to replace the 9000MB Elite Mega. In my opinion the LM980 more than does the job, the rake on the machine may not be easly removed but it has better scoping ability. The unit is easy to clean and maintain I found that the box material itself is better than the 9000MB. Make sure not to get the sensor eye wet it can damage the machine. I have one cat that had stood on the side of the box and urinated hitting the sensor eye which affected the operation of the machine and I had to replace the machine. I am more than pleased with this product have used it for four years. Have found it is important to use good clumping litter and not to over fill the box. Over filling puts a strain on the rake and motor. The rake doesn't always pick up every thing but I feel it is still healther for my Gar, Sissy, Moe and PB. My cats don't use the ramp so I just took off, thus taking up less space.I always get a raised eyebrow from company when they first hear the noise, but like anything else you get used to it. It can get costly replacing the litter recepticals all the time so I line the receptical with a plastic shopping bags, Littermaid LM980 Mega Self-Cleaning Litter Boxbut you need to make sure that the receptical fit exactly under the lip. It would be nice if the cost of the product was cheaper but I have found for me it is worth the cost.
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on August 4, 2015
I tried to like it, I tried to make it work, really, but sadly, no, just.. no...

The first one I had lasted around 4 months, then the inner gears failed. So reluctantly, I decided to buy a replacement. Lo and behold, the moment I turned it on, I heard the same dreaded clicking and popping with a rake that wouldn't move. Fed up, I decided to open the drive unit and see what the problem was. Inside I found the main gear missing a tooth, or rather it wasn't missing, just "relocated" to somewhere it shouldn't be. The pop is when the motor gear runs over a jammed trough, and the stick is when it can't catch the missing tooth. What was jamming the trough? Why the broken tooth of course. AND THIS WAS ON A BRAND-NEW, FRESH OUT OF BOX UNIT!

Don't buy this garbage, they use cheap plastic gears that wear out far too prematurely and cannot handle the stresses placed on them by their environment, and when the gear knocks off one tooth, it'll be sure to jam up the rest of the machinery real good...

Congratulations Littermaid, you saved a whole $0.02 using plastic over metal for the main gear. I hope the damage to your reputation was worth it when a $0.01 gear destroys a $100 product.
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on August 9, 2015
My Littermaid box arrived inoperable with used litter and waste matter that included feces. A plastic home garbage bag had been placed over the litter box, starting at the on/off button end. It only partially covered the box, which was apparently shipped full of used litter which went throughout everything and then spilled out over my counter and floor when I opened the box. Large urine clumps were stuck in the rake. The motor was burned out and the rake didn't move. There was a card in the box from the previous owner asking for a refund. Amazon’s response was horrible. They said they would issue a refund and I needed to return it. I stood my ground and refused to return a broken product with toxic contaminants back to them.

The “condition” the product was in created some unusual issues since I’m a leukemia patient and needed follow up medical support from the inhalation of toxic waste materials while opening the box.

I’ve purchased Littermaid boxes since the Infomercial days and have seen a very steep decline in quality. This box was ordered to replace one that only lasted eight months which had replaced one that only lasted a year. The poor quality of these boxes alone is a good reason to avoid them. Getting unexpected “extras” is an additional problem no customer should ever face.
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on May 31, 2015
This most recent version is less expensive than our last one and quieter.
The key to lengthening the life of the Littermaid is in the litter used, if the litter is too fine then it puts extra stress on the motor and gears.
With our 3 cats, Tidy Cat litter works very well.

Before the old Littermaid broke (teeth on broke on one of the gears) we had 1 issue twice, but it was an easy fix.
While the rake is advancing and near the end, if you hear a loud POP and the rake fails to move after turn it off and on again then it is probably the power connection to the motor. The power to the motor is supplied by a thin tape type cable that can sometimes get caught and pulls loose. The POPing sound is from the piece of adhesive tape that holds it in place. Remove the litter pan, Unscrew the side that the power button is on (if I remember correctly) and simply reconnect the cable and tape that secures it making sure that it will not bind when fully extended. Don't worry about voiding the warranty Littermaid they don't want the entire box back when requesting a replacement, the only want the battery door and AC Adapter plug.

Bagging Made Cheap, Clean and Easy (see photos for clarification)
What you need: Cheap roll of 8-Gallon twist tie trash bags, 1 Littermaid Waste Receptacle (no top), 2 binder clips.
-Open up the trash bag and fold about 3 inches of the bag over the front edge (flat side) of the waste receptacle. This will hold that side of the bag in place once the waste receptacle is inserted.
-Insert the waste receptacle into the Littermaid. Then push the excess bag into the receptacle, except for the edge of the bag.
-Pull the edge of the bag towards the front and close the lid.
-Fold about 2 inches of the bag edge over the holes in the lid and secure with the binder clips. Open the lid about 90 degrees to made sure the bag is not pulling or catching.

The waste receptacle can hold quite a bit if you gently compact the waste by pressing on the lid when it starts to get full. With 3 cats I normally change the bag every 3-4 days.

To remove waste:
-Remove binder clips and open lid.
-Take the clean side edges of the bag and pull around the front corners of the waste receptacle. This should allow the tucked front edge of the bag to easily come free.
-Pull the bag straight out making sure not to get it caught on the back edge of the lid.
-Remove the now empty waste receptacle and reset for the next round of kitty mess.
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on September 6, 2013
I HAVE HAD LITTERMAIDS LITTERBOX FOR 15 YEARS AND HAVE LOVED THEM. I HAVE NOW GONE THROUGH "5" SINCE DECEMBER 2012, WITH RETURNS AND NEW ONES BEING SHIPPED. EVERYONE HAS BROKEN JUST AFTER 1 MONTH OF ARRIVAL. WHICH CANCELS THE RETURN POLICY. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER LITTERMAID EVER AGAIN AND TELL EVERYONE IF IT BREAKS KEEP IT AND TAKE THE RAKES OUT AND JUST SCOOP INTO THE CONTAINER EVERY DAY. AT LEAST THERE IS A CONTAINER FOR YOUR POO RIGHT THERE.THERE IS NO OTHER GOOD OPTION. SOO SO DISAPPOINTED IN LITTERMAID. AMAZON SAYS TO SHIP BACK BUT IT YOU BUY DIRECTLY FROM LITTERMAID, ALL THEY WANT BACK IS THE BATTERY COVER AND PASS CODE, THEN YOU KEEP THE LITTERBOX AND REMOVE THE RAKES. AND YOU GET A FULL REFUND.
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on April 30, 2011
Within a week of having this litterbox, it ceased to function. This one was a replacement for the "Elite" Littermaid litter box which ceased to work within 36 hours. (Another waste of money). Nothing elite about it. I previously had a different Littermaid litter box, which lasted me around 8-10 yrs. I guess they don't make things like they use to. Everything is expendable or, perhaps, it keeps the jobs of those who make these products. I've gone back to the "clean it yourself" litter box. I know that I won't break within a short time.
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on May 6, 2011
I had purchased one of the original Littermaid Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes when they were first introduced and still being manufactured in the United States (it is now "imported"). It was excellent and survived two cats for about 7 years. It was convenient and allowed me to go away for the weekend without worrying about asking someone to empty the boys' box. I frequently recommended the Littermaid to other cat owners and raved about the convenience for me AND the cats.

I was confused when friends tried it and told me they had returned the Littermaid, that it didn't work well for them. When the original Littermaid died, I knew that I would replace it with the "newer, improved" model. I suddenly understood why friends to whom I had recommended the Littermaid had returned the ones they purchased. What a waste of money!

The new Littermaid was different right out of the package. The construction is lighter weight and flimsy. The motor was louder and seemed to strain going through the litter. The rake has been redesigned and not only does not clean as well, but allows material to get stuck on the rake. Within six months of use from the two cats that used the same previous model for seven years, the new one died. I was able to recycle it through an e-waste pickup in my neighborhood.

I am back to a traditional cat box and traditional litter. Not as convenient, but also not as frustrating!

I would not recommend this product to any cat owner!
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on November 7, 2012
It quit after 2 weeks. I am trying to return it. It shipped directly from vendor. Vendor said call maker. . .? This is the fourth Littermaid that we have owned. This is a newer model. Old style would last one to two years.
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