Over 63% of Americans have cats who are entirely indoors so litter boxes are a must, and with the extensive range of choices on the market, it can be challenging to know which one to choose.
Should you grab a standard plastic tray and a suitable litter, or will investing in an automated self-scooping box be more advantageous? While the appeal of a robotic box that requires less attention and offers the promise of less odor may be tempting, the price tag might put you off. At the same time, it might seem like an expensive and frivolous accessory, but robotic cat litter boxes offer more benefits for cat owners than they may realize.
Safety and Health
Robotic litter boxes automate the cleaning process, minimizing the need for manual poop scooping and reducing direct contact with cat waste. This feature helps lower the risk of spreading pathogens, such as toxoplasmosis parasites which can be transmitted via contact with feces. It can be harmful to pregnant women and those with reduced immune systems.
Regarding your cat's health, many robotic litter boxes feature enclosed chambers, preventing litter tracking and accidental spills, which could otherwise lead to ingestion, minimizing health hazards. It will also save cleanup from litter being tracked through your flooring.
Environmentally Friendly and Cost Effective
These smart boxes utilize sensors and automation to detect usage and cleaning as needed. This efficient approach reduces litter consumption, which is better for the environment. Some robotic litter boxes even use washable granules or reusable litter pellets, eliminating the need for disposable clay or clumping litter and reducing landfill waste.
The initial investment may save you not only time and unpleasant smells but money on cat litter in the long term. Some automated systems, such as the Whisker's Litter-Robot 4, feature a sensor that detects cat movement and rotates to sift waste into a separate drawer. Whereas the Cat Genie A.I. connects to your laundry or bathroom outlet, eliminating the need for manual scooping by flushing waste. This system has the added benefit of using washable granules, which means that in a one-cat household, you only need to replace them every six months.
Robotic litter boxes are designed to be durable and long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent replacements, which can save money in the long run.
Many automated devices can monitor your pet's bathroom habits — how regularly they're going and if their habits have drastically changed. An excellent robotic unit can recommend settings that will optimize the unit's performance. However, it also has the added benefit of alerting you to changes in your cat's litter habits which could save dollars on vet bills and your kitty's life if you can detect a condition early enough.
Besides the cost, cat owners face one issue: whether their cat will adapt to this new style of litter box. Several factors can put felines off, including entering the box, which can be higher from the ground than a standard tray, and dealing with the noise created by the automation process.
The good news is that both the Cat Genie A.I and the Whisker's Litter-Robot 4 have a 90-day guarantee. So if your new companion can't adjust, you can return the box and get your money back. These two units are the most popular on the market today.
Most systems offer tips on how to get your kitty acclimatized to their new box and report a 90% success rate.
Robotic Litter Box Comparisons
The Cat Genie A.I. starts at $499 and requires access to a power outlet, a drain, and a faucet. You can easily attach it to your laundry facilities or the toilet faucet via a t-adapter. They have simple-to-follow videos on their website. The replacement washable granules cost $24.95 and only need to be replaced every six months — more frequently if more than one cat uses the unit.
The Whisker's Litter-Robot 4 can be set up in any room of the house as long as it's near a power outlet. Its base price is $699, and you can use your choice of litter. You must still remove and empty the waste tray at least once weekly for a one-cat household; therefore, you would spend more money on litter than with the Cat Genie, but still less than a standard litter tray. This unit has been updated, so the motor isn't as noisy as previous models.
One of the cheaper options in the robotic market is the PetSafe ScoopFree which utilizes disposable litter trays with pre-portioned crystal litter, effectively absorbing moisture and controlling odors. It's priced at $169, and the litter trays can last weeks. Three disposable trays will set you back $64.95, and replacement crystal litter will cost $24.95.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
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