- Ease of Cleaning – 7/10
- Odor Control – 8.5/10
- Appearance – 8/10
- Construction – 8.5/10
- Price – 9/10
Overall Score: 8.2/10
The LitterMaid is one of the most popular and best-known automatic litter boxes you can buy, but is it worth it?
After hours researching the automatic litter box market, learning about the LitterMaid, reading customer reviews, and testing it out with my two cats, we’re bringing you the facts about this ever-popular self-cleaning litter box.
Read our LitterMaid review to find out how well this system works, whether or not it locks in odors, and what my cats thought of this contraption.
Let’s Start With Some Background on What the LitterMaid Is and How It Works.
In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the LitterMaid Multi-Cat, which is a little bit larger than the original LitterMaid.
The LitterMaid is a rectangular, low-slung litter box with a sensor that detects a cat’s presence and, after a waiting period of 10 minutes, tells the built-in rake to start moving across the litter bed. That rake then scrapes waste into a storage receptacle, where it sits until you remove and replace it.
The LitterMaid’s raking design is compatible with virtually any type of litter and, at just under $80, it’s one of the cheapest automatic litter boxes on the market. Its price and versatility make it an accessible introduction for those who want to try a self-cleaning box for the first time.
LitterMaid Self-Cleaning Litter Box YouTube Video Review
Before We Talk About How Well the LitterMaid Works, Let’s Talk About What You Get in the Box.
When you pull the LitterMaid out of its box, your first impression might be that it’s a bit overwhelming. In addition to the main body of the LitterMaid, you’ll get a stack of plastic waste receptacles and lids, a bag of carbon filters, a litter scoop, a litter ramp with a honeycombed rubber mat, and an AC adapter with a cord for plugging it into your wall outlet.
The waste receptacle slips into the front of the litter box, then connects with the waste trap cover. With a snap, the ramp slips into place at the front of the LitterMaid. This ramp helps to make the LitterMaid accessible and limits tracking and scatter.
Once you’ve snapped the pieces into place, you’ll pour in your cat litter. The LitterMaid works best with a hard-clumping litter. I used it with Fresh Step litter, which is a clumping clay product that I’ve successfully used in the Litter-Robot, another automatic litter box that works best with hard-clumping litter.
Once I’d Set up the LitterMaid, It Was Time To Start Evaluating Its Performance.
My cats used their new box almost immediately. The sensor detected the presence of a cat and initiated a raking cycle. The raking process was a little bit on the louder side, making a higher-pitched whirr and clunking as the rake moved along its track.
Compared to the ScoopFree litter box, for example, it’s one of the noisier automatic litter boxes you can buy.
The LitterMaid’s Rake Didn’t Do the Best Job of Collecting or Depositing Waste.
I found that the LitterMaid’s rake cleaned the litter unevenly, passing over some areas and scraping through others. Several hotspots started to accumulate waste, forming large clumps that the rake missed again and again. Besides raking unevenly, the LitterMaid failed to clean thoroughly. Some particles slipped between the tines of the rake and sometimes clumps stuck to the tines, not dropping into the waste receptacle at all.
Of course, the LitterMaid comes with a scoop designed to scrape clumped litter off of the tines of the rake. While this accessory is helpful, the amount of time you’d spend scraping the rake is similar to the amount you’d spend scooping the litter box.
It did a fair job of handling odors once they were in the waste receptacle, but again—a lot of the waste wasn’t making it that far.
The LitterMaid’s waste receptacle may look flimsy, but it locks in odors. Once litter was boxed up in there, I didn’t catch a whiff of it again.
How Well Does the LitterMaid Control Litter Scatter?
Even though this litter box has a mat and ramp, there was a lot of litter flying out the front of it and collecting around the ramp. Part of this is the fault of the litter I was using, which was a relatively lightweight product, but the relatively small size and design of the litter box likely also played a part.
You’ll Have To Throw Away the LitterMaid Receptacle About Once a Week, but Disposal Is Sometimes Messy.
When it’s time to remove the tray—that happens about once a week for one cat and every few days for a 2-cat household like mine—you detach the plastic receptacle from the waste trap and then slide the tray out from underneath. Because I had so much litter scatter and leakage from where my cat, Wessie, had urinated on the waste trap lid, this process felt dirty and unsanitary.
What Did The Cats Think?
Even though this automatic litter box is intended for multiple-cat homes and is larger than the single-cat LitterMaid, it may be too small for medium-sized or large cats. The litter bed measures 16 x 14 inches, which is less space than we’d recommend for the average cat.
The narrow design of the LitterMaid forced Wessie to squat with his body parallel to the sides of the litter box, poking his bum over the front of the waste receptacle lid. From that position, urine ended up leaking onto the receptacle and creating a mess.
Again, the LitterMaid isn’t particularly small, but I’d prefer a roomier box for my cats.
How Much Does the LitterMaid Cost?
At $79.99, the LitterMaid Multi-Cat is one of the cheapest automatic litter boxes on the market. In addition to the cost of the unit, the LitterMaid comes with a couple of recurring expenses. Every few months, you’ll have to replace the disposable receptacles and carbon filters.
If you’re discarding waste traps and carbon filters once a week, that’ll add up to about $5.16 per month. If you want to reduce your costs, you can also try lining the receptacle with a plastic bag, which will help you to get a lot more life out of each tray.
Overall, Is the LitterMaid a Practical Choice?
Between its uneven scooping, tendency to let particles slip between the rake’s tines, messy waste receptacle, and the fact that my cat, Wessie, tended to urinate over the waste trap door, the LitterMaid was more of a frustration than a solution.
Ultimately, I spent more time cleaning up after the LitterMaid than I would if using a regular litter box. If budget is your top priority, your cats are relatively small, and you’re willing to do some maintenance to keep your automatic box from jamming, you might want to try the LitterMaid.
Overall, though, we don’t recommend this automatic litter box.