Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
LitterMaid litter box is a dump.
on May 7, 2010
I had one of the earliest versions of this years ago. It worked okay, but the motor was weak and jammed easily. It was a nuisance to clean. When it broke within a year I didn't replace it, as my indoor cats had since found a way outside and quit using it.
When I recently moved and was able to bring them back indoors (yay!) I saw LitterMaid had made improvements, surely significant ones, and decided to give it another go.
* They have changed the way the rake tracks so that loose litter doesn't jam it any more.
* They've increased the number of tries the rake makes before giving up. Good in theory.
* They've made the rake easy to remove and clean.
* They've added a function where you can tell it not to run for 10 hours, so you don't have to listen to it while you sleep.
* The motor seems to be more powerful.
* It's still a larger space so fits my 16 pound cat better than a standard box.
Now the bads.
* The depth of litter is still shallow, so the cat digs around more than in. This means they frequently make a nice little mountain when they're done. The rake can't get through, even with the extra tries, and it jams.
* The shallow means that the urine clump has a lot of surface area to stick to the bottom of the box. The motor is not powerful enough to unstick it, and it jams.
* It's still noisy. I can hear it two floors up (I have an open loft). But using the sleep timer means it's often jammed in the mornings from multiple uses during the night.
* The idea of the little ramp to catch litter sounds good, but the fact is without a cover (which my cats don't like) there is a mess around the outside.
* Taking it apart so you can wash the bottom is still bulky and messy.
* You need to use fingernails to get the litter catcher out from under the flanges that seal the gap between the box and the catcher. Yuck. Otherwise, the rake can push clean, loose litter all the way up to the litter catcher, it falls through the gap and you get a pile on the floor underneath. I put a mat under there and just dump the clean litter back in. But I shouldn't have to do this.
In other words, I have to manually clean the thing once or twice a day anyway. So much for convenient.
I finally bought one of those deep boxes with the built-in sieve and trays that you alternate between, which make it very easy to clean. Tight space for my big boy, by my smaller cat finds is satisfactory and uses it, which means a little less frustration with the LitterMaid. And for about $15 at Target, a good value.
I'm sorry I paid $100 to try an "improved" version. I wish it would break so I could give up on it without feeling guilty about having spent so much money. I wish I would have returned it while I could, but I hate to return bad products to Amazon when it's not their fault, and it was large and would have been bulky and expensive to mail back.
I see that other negative reviews have popped up since I bought mine, and if I'd had those to read I would not have gotten it. When it breaks I'm going to get another sieve one and my big boy is just going to have to deal with it.
Do not spend money on this. And if someone offers you there old one for free, think multiple times before investing time in trying it. You're welcome.