Top positive review
296 people found this helpful
So far so good! Previously had an older model for 5 years.
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!