Cats! Independent yet affectionate. Fluffy and cuddly, they can be an awesome medicine after a rough day at work. A team of researchers in Vienna, Austria concluded that the feline-human bond is similar to other forms of human relationships. So, if you are mulling over the idea of getting a cat for your home, then don’t hesitate any further. Cats are the perfect pets for your family and can really enrich your life. Some benefits of owning a cat are:
1) You get quality companionship
If you don’t have a cat in your life yet, it will be surprising to know that keeping a cat is perfect for companionship. In fact, contrary to popular belief, a cat is as good a companion as a dog. A study conducted in Austria in 2003 highlighted that if you are a woman, having a cat around you brings you similar benefits as that of having a romantic partner. Cats are great to spend time with if you have to spend a weekend alone.
2) A cat can help you deal with stress
Spending 20 to 30 minutes of play time with your cat will calm your nerves, boost your mood, and reduce stress levels. Spending time with your cat increases the production of serotonin which enhances your feelings of well-being. At the same time, the levels of cortisol in your body go down. Stress is one of the direct reasons of high blood pressure and can lead to hypertension and high cholesterol. Spend some time with your cat and keep the blood pressure pills away!
3) You’ll get therapeutic benefits
Having a cat in your home has a calming effect on your mind and body. People going through mourning or grief have reported that talking to their cat helped them emotionally. In fact, cats are low-maintenance, and a petting session can help relax their owners and make them feel better. Just being around a cat brings about the release of oxytocin, a hormone which helps induce feelings of trust and love. You’ll be better placed to face the struggles of life if you know that you have a loving cat to go back and cuddle with at home.
4) You’ll have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease
If you own a cat, your chance of developing heart disease goes down. The University of Minnesota published a study highlighting that non-cat owners were around 30% to 40% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease as compared to cat owners. This protective effect might be due to cats bringing down your stress levels. Not only will your quality of life improve, but you are also likely to live longer as well.
5) You’ll get better sleep
Studies in the UK have highlighted the fact that women get better sleep on sleeping with their cats as compared to sleeping with their partners. The Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine published a recent study stating that as much as 41% of people said they slept better because of their cat. Now, we are not suggesting you banish your husband or your boyfriend to the living room couch. But, if you live alone, owning a cat will most likely ensure you get better sleep at night.
6) Increase your sociability
If you are a cat owner, then you’ve got a topic to speak about during social occasions. Your ability to socialize will improve as talking about your cat is a great conversation starter. In fact, if you are a man take note. A study concluded that women are attracted towards men who own cats. The reason being cat ownership portrays intelligence and sensitivity. Not to mention that owning a cat will definitely bring out your sensitive side.
7) Your cat can help detect health hazards
Yes, it’s true. You can train your cat to detect different types of health hazards ranging from seizures to food allergies to low blood glucose. In fact, Nathan Cooper’s life was actually saved by his cat Lily in 2011. Nathan lives in Bournemouth, UK and suffers from weekly epileptic fits. After one particular severe fit, Nathan stopped breathing completely. Lily started licking his mouth, and he started breathing again! Experts have said that a cat’s keen sense of smell helps them to detect chemical changes in a human’s body before a fit.
8) Owning a cat might mean lesser allergies for your child
If you are pregnant, then you should definitely get a cat. The National Institutes of Health published a study in 2002 which stated that children under the age of 1 year benefited by having a cat at home. They were lesser likely to develop pet allergies and also allergies to mites, dust, grass and ragweed. The immunity levels of babies and young children who live with cats are higher than those who don’t.
9) Cats help you deal with depression
If you are clinically depressed, then having a cat helps in managing the condition. While owning a cat might not cure your depression, you will be able to focus on something else. Interacting with your cat will help you feel better. It will also aid in taking your mind off your own problems. The love and affection that your cat gives you will have a soothing effect on you. While we do not recommend you stop your anti-depressant medication, having a cat around you will definitely help you combat your battle against depression.
10) You’ll get psychological benefits
If you are suffering from severe anxiety or low self-esteem, owning a cat can really help. Cats have a calming presence which will help you replicate the same in your demeanor. Actively taking care of your cat has a positive effect on your health. It helps you get a different perspective on your problems. Taking your cat out for a walk or playing with them for some time will bring about feelings of well-being. Seeing your cat chase a butterfly, or frolic around after a ball of cotton wool will always bring a smile on your face.
Cats can help fill that hole in your life which you cannot fill with possessions or money. You’ll get friendship, faithfulness and unconditional love from a cat. Even though you’re likely to outlive your cat and will face unbearable pain when they leave you, the quality time you spend with your cat will be definitely worth it.
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.