NATURE'S MIRACLE™ Odor Control Automatic Cat Litter Box
Lasted four months!
Bought in February 2014, came off track and jammed in June 2014.
June 18, 2014
Worked for a year...
This product worked well for close to a year but slowly started to deteriorate. I wish I had read these reviews as well. I would not recommend it to anyone that is looking for an automatic litter box.
May 10, 2014
A great idea, on paper
If you're like me, you probably considered your busy schedule and wanted to spend as little time as possible on litter duty. I'd purchased this litter box before adopting the cat, so I didn't really know any better. For the couple days, it seemed that I'd achieved my goal -- but over several weeks I had become aware of the serious design issues with this litter box. Some are with the box itself, and some are with the accessories. This ended up being a foolish purchase that I now regret, but I should explain why.
The first and most serious problem is the litter itself. As I had read reviews of the box before purchasing (and for some reason took the plunge in spite of the 3 star average at the time) I was aware that I needed to use Nature's Miracle brand litter. So I grabbed what was next to the unit in the store. The problem with the litter is that it doesn't clump easily enough for the unit itself. Your cat will only cover the top of their refuse (number two), while no pressure is really applied to the bottom of the refuse and it isn't truly covered. When the rake pushes it into the receptacle, the refuse will usually be partially exposed and will sit in the container for days before you swap it out.
This uncovered refuse creates its own problems. First is the smell -- the carbon filters that you get with the unit do nothing, and aren't included with future receptacle packs you purchased anyway. The litter itself doesn't have odor control. Rarely, the receptacle will be stuck open for hours, i.e. some clump didn't make it all the way in. It often just doesn't close all the way with no visible blockage at all. With this all in mind, the room with this unit will stink. The second, and more serious problem is that this exposed refuse eventually becomes a flies nest. It took about three weeks for me to notice it and not long after for it to get very bad. I'm still trying to get rid of it -- luckily the apple cider vinegar/dish liquid trick has worked pretty well, and my cat doesn't like to drink the solution.
About four weeks in, I changed the litter. A bit late in retrospect. Replacing the litter is extremely time consuming. It is very difficult to remove the receptacle cover once it is installed, and that cover makes it difficult to just dump the old litter into a trash bag before doing more intense cleaning. I ended up scooping out the old litter in groups with a disposable cup. No matter how long or short the interval between full litter replacement, there will be caked-on material. The rake is annoying to clean but it can be removed which does make it easier. What's hardest to fix are the little shafts that the machine traverses through as it pushes the litter into the receptacle. Stuff gets caked in those over time and is extremely time consuming to remove. I spent about 70 minutes replacing the litter, and I only halfheartedly worked on those shafts. Contrast with a standard litter box.
If you think you'll make up for this time by only replacing the receptacles once a week or something, think again. My little 6 month old fills them up in under three days. So much for leaving kitty alone for a week with this thing.
Finally, I'd like to talk about cats who prefer one side of the litter box. This causes several problems. It causes minor self-fixing jams in the rake where material gets crammed into the shaft. It also shortens the life of your receptacle since half isn't being used. Occasionally this has even caused refuse to not make it all the way into the receptacle even though my cat's preferred side isn't full, and instead it sits out there stinking up the place and attracting flies -- occasionally I had to go and remove it myself.
There are positives to this box, but they don't outweigh the negatives. It's more of a time sink than a time saver and it does nothing about the smell. Just get a large litter box with fairly high walls along with litter with odor control and scoop daily. It's easy to clean and there won't be any accidents or refuse crammed against the walls of the box.
May 2, 2014
I bought this litter box because I have a cat that does not like to use used cat litter. I thought this would be the perfect solution. It would have been if this worked. When I first got it, there was not a plug close and the extension cord was in the way. I finally got to rearrange a few things and plugged it in. The lids don't stay in the cover so I had to remove it. When it started, the rake would not return so I turned it off. Turned it back on. It came back fine and started again. Again it got stuck at the top. Repeated a couple of times. I have unplugged it and started it again. Same problem. Now the only way to make it work is to do it manually. That defeats the purpose. I travel for a living so this isn't going to work out.
March 25, 2014