The Scoop On Poop
Let’s talk about litter boxes! Pet parents often ask me what the best litter box is, and that’s a loaded question. No matter what, litter boxes are messy and smelly, but there are a few options that mitigate some of the typical litter box issues. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution.
If you’re going to scoop the poop yourself, there’s nothing wrong with a plain old litter pan. They can be messy though as it’s easier for the cat to kick the litter out of the box. If you’re going to use a pan, try the Arm & Hammer sifting pan.
If you want to minimize litter on the floor, try the Iris top entry litter box. Some picky cats won’t enter a top entry box that has poop in it. One of my cats actually stands on the lid as if perched on a toilet and pees into it. He’s my cat that won’t enter to poop if it’s not perfectly clean.. then he poops right next to the box. In general though, these work well and the only real downside is you have to remove the lid to scoop the box, making it feel a little more involved.
To save yourself scooping time, I LOVE the omega paw rolling litter box. The downside to this one include that it can get messy (a disaster if your cat has loose poop) and it needs to be hosed and scrubbed at least weekly. It definitely saves valuable time on scooping though. It doesn’t seem super well made, the clips break and fall off easily, and the pieces don’t fit well together. Love the concept though!
If you want to spend $500-$600 on an electric box, there’s the Litter Robot and the PuraX. I have had several of each of these and am not super impressed by either. It still has ended up being worth it for me, but both options need major improvements. The litter robot has a bunch of sensors, all of which malfunction constantly on all 4 Litter Robots I’ve had. There’s nothing like coming home to a robot that paused mid spin and your cat’s been without a functioning litter box all day. Or the box just hasn’t cycled all day and is full of poop. Many of these sensors- like the ones located IN the waste bin, are extremely sensitive to… litter. Yep, as litter dust lands near the sensors, your robot malfunctions, and they’re hard to get to to clean. The troubleshooting of the error lights is extensive and there’s a very long list of things that can and do go wrong. The poop bins stink and I recommend dumping the collection bin contents daily or every other day. I prefer the Litter Robot to the PuraX, and the customer service and warranty are definitely superior with the Litter Robot. My first PuraX completely stopped working soon after purchase and customer support was non-existent, so I was just out the money. It just spun in circles dumping all the clean litter out. It was incredibly messy, and was much worse than anything the Litter Robot has ever done. The PuraX is also harder to clean and seems much smaller on the inside. The Litter Robot’s collection bin is enclosed within the base, the PuraX is not, so if the bin on the PuraX gets too full, as you pull the drawer out, poop will be scraped off the top and onto your floor. This has happened to me countless times but cannot happen with the Litter Robot.
As far as litter goes, I use clay litter in my electric boxes, but I really like Dr. Elsey’s natural litter options. Crystal litter is also good. I currently use pellet litter in all my litter pans because it is cost effective, but the downside to that is you have to pick the poop out- the pellets are too big to pass through a scoop.