LitterMaid Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box Review

LitterMaid LM980

$140
LitterMaid LM980
6.8

Functionality

6/10

Cat-Friendly

9/10

User-Friendly

6/10

Quality / Durability

6/10

Pros

  • Affordable upfront cost
  • Most spacious litter area
  • Easy for cats to adjust to
  • Can use standard clumping litter

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Gets stuck / malfunctions frequently
  • Proprietary waste receptacles are pricey
  • Not fully-automatic

Summary

The LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box is a no-frills product that will save you considerable time scooping the litter box. LitterMaid’s line of products have a number of great features at an affordable price that makes it easy for a lot of cat owners to overlook some of the shortcomings.


Overview

LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning litter boxes were first introduced in the 1980s. The company was bought out in 2010 and there have been some questions as to the quality of workmanship since then. The LitterMaid Product series consists of the Classic (LM580) and the Classic Plus (LM680C) which are designed for single cat homes, and the Mega (LM980 / LM86579), which is designed for Large cats or Multi-Cat households. LitterMaid offers a one-year limited warranty on all of their automatic self-cleaning litter boxes.

This affordable automatic litter box has a lot of great features like high sidewalls to minimize litter tracking, a removable rake to facilitate cleaning, and an entrance ramp for better accessibility.

* Per the Manufacturer, the LitterMaid LM-86579 is the exact same litter box as the LM980. The LM-86579 was originally only sold at Petsmart, and has slightly different packaging.

What You’ll Need:

  • Electrical Connection
  • High-Quality Clumping Litter
  • Proprietary Waste Receptacles ($1.10/each – replace weekly)
  • Carbon Filters (less than $1/each – replace weekly)


How it Works

The LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box uses a plastic rake that glides along a track to scoop clumped litter into a trash receptacle 10 minutes after your cat uses the box. One of the big selling points about this particular automatic litter box is that it can be used with standard clumping litter AND it looks like a regular litter box. That means your cat shouldn’t have any problem acclimating to their new toilet.

The LitterMaid Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box is designed to make your litter scooping duties more manageable. This product isn’t intended to be a completely hands-off litter box as evidenced by the fact that a litter scooper is included with all models.

Pros

  • Affordable upfront cost
  • High Sidewalls Minimize Litter Tracking
  • No assembly required
  • Spacious litter bed (Mega LM980)
  • Can use standard clumping litter
  • Easy for cats to get used to because it looks like a normal litter box
  • Disposable waste receptacles make cleaning very easy
  • Removable Rake for Easy Cleaning
  • Reduces the amount of litter scooping compared to non-automatic litter box
  • Carbon Filter reduces odor

Cons

  • Noisier than other products on the market
  • Proprietary waste receptacles are pricey ($1.10 each) and need to be changed frequently
  • Waste receptacle storage is undersized
  • Rake malfunctions frequently
  • Motor is not powerful enough to handle XL clumps
  • Not a hands-off / fully-automatic litter box – requires some scooping

Summary / Recommendations

The LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box is a great option for cat owners looking for an affordable, timesaving, litter-scooping aid that uses standard clumping litter. While this product is not a completely hands-off litter box, it will definitely save you a lot of time scooping. With its spacious litter bed and open-top design, the LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning litter box is likely to win the approval of your cat. You’ll just have to decide if this semi-automatic litter box meets all of your requirements.

We DO NOT recommend the LitterMaid Automatic Self Cleaning litter box to cat owners who are searching for a fully-automatic, hands-off alternative to manually scooping litter.

Use High-Quality Clumping Litter

The better quality clumping litter that you buy, the better this product will work. Cheaper clumping litter tends to get stuck to the rake or break apart into smaller pieces that aren’t picked up by the rake. Spending a little extra on these top clumping litter products will save you a ton of headaches in the long run.

Line Your Trash Receptacles with Grocery Bags to Extend Their Life

At just over a dollar a receptacle, the cost to maintain this litter box might be higher than you’d think. We recommend lining the receptacles with a grocery bag or plastic liner to extend the life a few uses.

Invest in the Litter-Bagger

The Litter-Bagger by LitterWorks is a nifty 3rd party contraption that eliminates the need for purchasing the disposable waste receptacles and it bags your litter for you. The capacity of the litter bags is far greater than that of the waste receptacles, so you won’t have to throw out the litter nearly as often. This add-on comes at a hefty price of $140. This might seem outrageous, but if you plan on keeping your LitterMaid for at least 5 years, you’ll actually save money by investing in the Litter-Bagger.


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