Monday, March 8, 2010

Scoop Free Litter Box Review

I have four cats. Brujita is the oldest, a very temperamental tortie who doesn't get along with any of the boys at all. Being a senior cat, she is starting to develop some health issues, and stays under the dining room table most of the time as she prefers to be unsociable. (plus she's a bit upset that my dad's cat came and took over her spot on the bed...she was the dominant one for many years and that changed within the last year.)

Shadow is disabled...he was mistreated when he was a tiny kitten and ended up having tremors, and he walks kind of funny (I've compared him to a few drunks I've seen walking down the street and its a close match) He's a happy go lucky fellow that likes to hog the food and doesn't always make it to the litterbox. (close, but no cigar!)

Tippy is the outdoor kitty, he's always had a wild streak in him-and he tends to go outside and guard the yard while staking out his territory. He is pretty much a loner, and is good at tearing garbage bags apart :)

Finally there is Stubby, the cat I got from my dad. Since he grew up with a dog, he THINKS he's a dog. Things disappear with him around, and I can usually find them hidden around the house. Currently my USB cord is on that missing list... playing fetch with him is one of his favorite games, and if I ask him to speak, he does. Now I just need to get him to give me his paw...

Three cats use the indoor litter box. Which I have to admit, at times smells not too sweet. I was thrilled when I found out I'd won a Scoop Free Litter box awhile back. Last night, hubby and I set it up for the first time. The cats, being curious, just had to check it out. The shipping box was huge, and they LOVED playing in it. The litter box was pretty neat as well. The model I got came with a privacy cover too, which is similar to the covered regular box they already had. There is a counter that actually tells you how many times your cat is using the litter box, perfect if you have a cat with health issues and you want to monitor frequency.

I set the litter box down in their corner and Stubby cautiously peered in. Because he thinks that he's a dog, I told him to "Go Pee Pee" and sure enough, within seconds he'd christened the new box. I was pretty proud of myself, and actually got up through the night to check on how many times the box had seen usage. When I left at 7 am it was registering 4 times, but I hadn't seen any solids yet, so was a bit curious as to how that would work. The rakes are set on a timer, and I had it set to 20 minutes so I decided about 5 minutes would work great and adjusted the time before I left.

When I came home at lunch, I was greeted to a putrid smell. Apparently one of the cats was a bit freaked out about the moving rakes, and decided to leave me a gift on my hallway floor to voice their displeasure with me. Hubby and I were guessing it was Stubby, since hubby saw him earlier peering through the doorway as the rake was moving in the litter box. It appears a bit more training is necessary, and I didn't follow the instructions completely, since I had removed their old litter box and should have left it there until they could get used to their new fancy box slowly.

My opinion: This really is a great litter box. I hate the chore of cleaning the litter box, and this makes it super easy to deal with something I dislike. Plus, the bathroom is pretty much litter box odor free. If you have a cat with health problems, the monitor can be of benefit. For me, it was nice to know how many times the cats had been in it so I could see if they were getting used to it. The rake action is pretty quiet, and the crystals are dust-free and do an excellent job of absorbing the urine. One thing I did notice was that the rake can get dirty if the solids are not completely solid-but as it makes its way back to its position the rake actually flips over, and the not-so-solids come off pretty well.

The downside is that these refills don't come cheap. I've seen them priced at $14.99 per tray and up. A 3 pack can cost $40+, so you ARE paying a price for convenience. With one cat, they say it will last a month or so. I have three cats, and the refill life is 7-10 days, a bit pricey for me. It appears others also love this litter box, but don't like the pricing of the refills. After searching on Amazon, I found a reusable plastic bottom called the Forever Tray and crystals litter at an affordable price. You can also get refills from the manufacturer, and set yourself up on an automatic plan which gives you a discount on your first order and free shipping on following orders.

I am going to expect a few accidents as the cats are still getting used to things. It's quite a change from the usual litter box and the cats are still dealing with something new. I also noticed that you can win one of these litter boxes here until March 13th, so if you'd love to try one out for your feline friend head on over and enter to win!

Disclaimer: The opinions are my own. This is a review of a prize that I won in a giveaway, and to show my appreciation I am providing you with my honest opinion of the product.

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