Cats are rather intelligent and sensitive. In most cases, your cat will not have an issue acclimatizing to a new litter box. Of course, in many of those cases you will see a bit of resistance at first, but that’s just your cat trying to decide whether or not they need that kind of change in their lives at the moment. Sooner rather than later, they take to the new litter box with minimal fuss. However, when it comes to a technologically advanced litter box like the Litter Robot Open Air, there may be more than just a little resistance involved. You might have to employ different strategies to get them used to the sound as well as the environment that comes with this new device.
Why you need the Litter Robot Open Air
Many people will tell you that you need to get this new, automatic self-cleaning litter box because it’s where technology is headed. We all want to own state-of-the-art devices that make our lives easier (and in some cases, because the guy down the street has one and he won’t stop rubbing it in your face). But the truth of the matter is that, you should get the new Litter Robot because it involves no more scooping.
Yes you read that right. You no longer have to scoop out your cats litter box in order to clean it. The Litter Robot is self-cleaning and makes a lot more sense for those of us who are way too busy or squeamish about scooping cat poop from the litter boxes. No more scooping – that is a benefit that cannot be beat.
How do I get my cat to use the Litter-Robot?
Of course, what is convenient for you won’t necessarily be convenient for your kitty. She might have her own idea of what she thinks is convenient. What you need to do is give her time to see that the new litter box is hers and that she will be more comfortable using it. Like all children, they never really know that what we do is for their own good in the end.
Strategies to get your cat to use the Litter-Robot:
Bait and switch
This is a trick that works well every time. The one thing you do not want to do is to completely switch out the old litter box for the new one without warning or gradual progress. The best approach would be to introduce the new litter robot slowly into your cat’s life. Place it next to his/her old litter box and let them get acquainted. Rig the odds in favor of the new litter robot by luring your cat with treats and such. Also, gradually make the old litter box less attractive by letting it get full and not cleaned. Soon your cat, since they are choosy creatures, will begin to sort out the new, cleaner litter box.
The folly of switching out the litter boxes abruptly is that it may cause your cat to stage a boycott of the entire process. In the absence of their old litter box, they might choose to relieve themselves on your furniture or carpet as opposed to this new, imposing device that is the Litter Robot. Before you know it, they will be more scooping in your life as opposed to ‘no more scooping’.
First impressions matter
Because the litter-robot features a gentle rotation when it is sifting and self-cleaning, your cat might not be exactly too eager to jump into it while it is still spinning. In fact, almost no cat will be quick to enter a newly introduced device that has electrical movements they cannot control (self-preservation and what not). So the idea here is to introduce your cat to the device WITHOUT the spinning at first.
Make sure your kitty knows that this is their new litter box and let them approach it as they would any other litter box. The only difference would be that this one is slightly taller and a little sleeker than their average litter box. Throughout this time, turn on the litter-robot once the cat is done using it. Let them see that process in play, they will become accustomed to the movement and the sound. They will also get to see that it is not a dangerous device. After he/she gets used to going to the new litter box, you can slowly introduce the auto-clean feature. Even though there will be a little apprehension at first, soon enough, he/she will become intrigued by the movement.
Play mind games with your cat
Apart from luring them in with treats and promises of a clean litter box, you can simply cover the new litter robot in something that cats seem to love for reasons we may never understand – cardboard boxes. The Litter Robot comes with a cardboard box that fits it perfectly. All you have to do now is cut out holes for the entry and the waste tray. Instead of looking at the new device as imposing and weird, your cat might just see it as another play thing made out of a cardboard box.
Can large/small/old cats use the Litter-Robot?
This is the best part of this new technology; the Litter-Robot is built to accommodate cats of all sizes. So, if you have a fussy cat that doesn’t like to change its posture or squeeze into unnecessarily smaller spaces, you will not have any issue with this automated litter box in that regards. Cats of all ages prefer a clean litter box, no matter the shape, over one that is smelly and dirty. Even kittens under five pounds can use it, but you will have to manually activate the cleaning cycle since cats must weigh at least five pounds for the cat sensor to activate once a cat has completed doing his/her business and exited the Litter Robot.
Will my cat use the Litter Robot?
Yes, your cat will use the Litter Robot. Of course, it might take a few tries and a bit of time depending on how you approach the whole concept and how fussy your cat can be. A little persistence and a great deal of bribing as well as a few underhanded tactics like letting the old litter box get full without cleaning it will get your cat to use the new Litter Robot. The best part of it all is that once you have the Litter Robot, you shall have been set free. There will be no more scooping. Now you can have as much fun with your kitty as you desire without worrying about all that scooping when the inevitable time comes.
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Automated Pet Care Products sent us their latest model, the Open-Air. The kitties love their Litter-Robot II bubble unit, but it is kinda a tight fit for Zeus. A few months ago Zeus left me a present outside of the Litter-Robot II indicating his displeasure squeezing into it. He has to exit to turn around and go back in to bury his treasure. The Open-Air model has so many cool features. The globe is very roomy, even for an 18+ pound cat like Zeus. He is so happy now and uses the Open-Air model like clock work. It is very quiet; I’ve heard can openers that are louder than it. The step below the opening has a flexible plastic mat that is a catch-all for litter and liquids. The mat simply lifts out for cleaning and has a slot below it to contain liquids. As you can see in the photo to the left, the controls are placed to the side and not underneath the opening as on the LRII.
All the kitties love it, even tiny Athena. She just doesn’t like flash photography while doing her business, such cattitude on her tiny face. Another nice feature is the bonnet that encloses the globe. The globe is on a track that keeps it turning smoothly. In the photo to the left, you can see a couple small plastic knobs attached to the bonnet at 11 and 1 which helps to keep the globe aligned properly while turning. One of the best features is the Drawer Full Indicator. On the LRII if you forget to empty the drawer once it is full, the waste continues to fill up until it comes in contact with the globe. As the globe turns on the LRII, waste is smeared on the globe. With the Open-Air model this won’t be a problem as the Drawer Full Indicator will prevent the globe from turning. You will know when the drawer is full because the control panel will display a blue flashing light. On the Open-Air model the cat sensor has been moved from the step to the globe. The sensor is weight sensitive and detects cats weighing five pounds or more. This sensor activates the cleaning cycle after a predetermined amount of time. Once a cat leaves the globe, the count down begins, but will reset if a cat enters the globe. Another nice feature of the Open-Air is a choice of three time settings: 3 minutes; 7 minutes; and 15 minutes.
Another really cool feature is the Automatic Night Light. If you don’t want it on, the night light can be turned off. The light turns on once it detects no source of ambient light. I have been sitting in the dark at the computer when suddenly I heard a very faint sound. I was able to see that the sound was the Open Air starting a cleaning cycle only because of the night light. Last night this happened three times in a row over the course of an hour as different cats used it. One other feature some people will enjoy is the 8 hour sleep mode. This allows one to prevent the Open-Air from starting a cleaning cycle where the sound of it may wake up light sleepers. The start of the 8 hour period is determined when the mode was initially set. The sleep mode will activate every 24 hours so setting it right before bed time will ensure a quiet night every night. We are very happy and satisfied with our Litter-Robot Open-Air. We highly recommend it to anyone who hates scooping and their cats who hate using a dirty litter box. The savings in litter costs alone makes it worth the initial purchase price.
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Click below to watch our video review of the Open-Air model.