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- 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.
Litter Maid DOESNT WORK. The company promised me a refund. But instead stole my money
I had the same problem! They promised and made me go thru the mill trying to do everything they asked for. Why should a refund be so hard to get?
I have had my littler made for 12 yrs. I love it.
Hello, which version of litter maid do you have and what kind of litter do you use?
I have found the older Litter Maid box is much better than the newest one that I bought.
I’ve tried a couple different automated litter boxes and this one is ok. It does get noisey but you have to wipe the edges where the rake comes across. It’s ok but not the best
Thanks for sharing your experience, Kathy.
I got the 3rd edition single cat and liked the ramp for my tiny kitten. He got in and out easily. It took a full week to fill up the receptacle when he was tiny. When there isn’t enough litter in there or he kicks it all to one side, pee gets to the bottom, clumps and I gotta scrape. Taco is approaching 5 months and he fills up the receptacle in 3 days. He continuously kicks everything to one side so it collects in the receptacle on one side. I have to monkey with it every day or every other day but it still seems less maintenance than an old school sifting 3-tray litter box. Nothing lasts forever so I might try the multi cat 3rd edition unless Taco’s butt gets too big because I’m cleaning clumping pee off the receptacle lid everyday.
We’ve been using Litter Maid boxes for almost 20 years. They tend to wear out in 4 years or so IF you get a good one. Bad ones can break down in a matter of months. But I still use them because I’m disabled and our family has three cats. I really don’t like the newest iteration and am currently researching different ones. The original one was better quality and lasted longer. That said, here’s what I’ve learned in almost two decades of using them.
1) Line the collection cups with a plastic grocery bag. Just be sure each bag doesn’t have any tears or holes in it otherwise they will blow out when you pull them out to change. This way you don’t have to buy more cups – in two decades I’ve never bought additional cups, I’ve just used the ones that come with the product.
2) The carbon inserts are useless. They don’t stop odors and they never stay in place anyway.
3) Definitely use a high quality litter and always keep it at the max level in the box but never over that. I won’t name names but we use one made from corn cobs that is dustless and fragrance-free and and sustainable and flushable (I don’t flush the contents of the bag in the cup, but it’s nice to be able to toss litter scattered on the floor into the toilet. Also we had a cat in the past that would jump in the bath tub after using the box and some litter always took the journey with him.)
4) Clumping on the bottom and the tines of the rake can be reduced (but never really eliminated) by spraying with cooking spray when you completely change out the litter (which I do once a month).
I think I just wrote an entire blog post of my own. 🙂
Marie, these are great tips. I appreciate you sharing these insights based on your experience with the LitterMaid. It’s always interesting to hear from long-term users like you. – Mallory
Wish you had named names of the litter. Would love to try it. I too have used littermaid for over 20 years. My 21 yr old cat died in Nov. she had 2 in her lifetime. No problems. Bought on just before she died and it never once worked. Got stuck on stupid half way through the cycle. I’m here tonight checking reviews to see if the Co has worked out the bugs on this model.
We have been thru 3 units in 2 years. We keep the track clean. Motor keeps going out. we clean the litter box and track every 2 days. These units are expensive and are JUNK
Very frustrating..I have a diabetic kitty that pees a lot. It doesn’t rake evenly or sufficiently enough to clear it. The litter forms mud and is so hard to clean. I’ve tried so many letter types, they all do the same. The rake motor is so weak that even when the box has fresh, practically clump free litter in it, it barely works. I don’t fill past the max line, so I’m not sure why it struggles so bad. It’s almost worse than having a traditional box. It comes off the track too. My overall experience has not been great.
Yes, the LitterMaid is definitely going to be particularly ineffective if you have a diabetic cat who uses it very heavily. The PetSafe ScoopFree would work more effectively, but you’d also be going through a lot of expensive cat litter, so I’m not sure that it would really be worth it.
This was my first automatic litter box and I’m extremely frustrated and disappointed. Everywhere else rates it highly but I’ve had nothing but issues similar to what you’re having. Doesn’t scoop properly or evenly, and I end up having to scoop it anyways. The rake is only good for smearing waste along the bottom that you need to scoop too. The plastic inserts are flimsy and break easily, especially if some clumps manage to make it in (otherwise they stick to the rake, which, SURPRISE you need to scoop off too). I spent more time cleaning this useless box than I do cleaning my regular litter box. Not worth the money at all. I’m so upset I spent so much on this junk box.
Hi my litterbox is making a noise when cleans and it will do a clicking noise and red light will light up. I tried cleaning the whole thing. Putting w44 . Aligning it. But still lights the red light.any ideas?
Hey Blanca, this video might help.
Mines works better than self scooping, I’d rather clean the tray once everyday or every other day than to scoop. I manually scoop what’s left when I empty the tray.
Still better than manually scooping multiple times.
Thanks for sharing your experience.