LitterMaid Automatic Litter Box Review
In this article I will do detailed LitterMaid automatic litter box review. I will test two of their most popular self cleaning cabinet systems among the pet supply industry.
Those are the Littermaid LM980 Mega Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Classic version) and the LitterMaid LM680C (Elite version).
Just before I do an in depth review, I am going to describe the working process of both those products. It is a similar, innovative process that gets rid of all nasty litter and waste.
LitterMaid Automatic Litter Box Overview
Once your cat defecates or urinates inside the LitterMaid litter box, the motion sensors detect that your cat just left the box.
After certain period of time (depending on the product version), the unit starts it's cleaning process.
There is a special scooping rake that scoops all of the litter. Through this scooping process all of the feces and waste is being thrown in a special thrash bin that opens as soon as the rake comes close.
Once the waste is inside the thrash bin, the waste compartment closes. After the thrash bin is full, you have to dispose all of the waste in the thrash bin. This is how the LitterMaid automatic litter boxes work in brief.
The LitterMaid self cleaning litter box can be powered by low voltage AC Adapter or 8 AA batteries. I recommend you use the AC Adapter, because using batteries (not included in the product package) is pretty expensive and requires replacement of batteries.
However, if you choose to use the AC Adapter, you should place this electronic litter box near an electric outlet. If there isn't any electronic outlet nearby, this is where using batteries comes in handy. This is a completely innovative way of operating that didn't exist before the LitterMaid.
After that, a lot of modern litter box companies started integrating a dual way of operating in their products. You can dislike this unit as much as you want, but you have to respect it.
It was a game changer that made lives of every cat owner more convenient. In this LitterMaid automatic litter box reviews I will go in detail analysis for the most popular LitterMaid models, the LM980 Mega and LM680C Classic.
LitterMaid LM980 Mega Self-Cleaning Litter Box - Complete Review
The main reason why I wrote this detailed LitterMaid automatic litter box review is because it is one of the most popular litter boxes on the market today.
Main reason behind that is the build quality and the affordable price. On top of that, this self cleaning litter box can be used with multiple cats. It looks just like any other non-electronic litter pans.
The simple and effective design of the box is probably the key to it's success. It is a very good thing because cats cannot tell the difference between this automatic litter box and those traditional boxes. This means that the transition from using a manual-scooping litter box to an electronic self-cleaning litter box will be pretty smooth.
The LitterMaid LM980 Mega litter box has high sided walls that prevent litter spillage. Even if your cat kicks litter furiously, this litter box will get you covered. On top of the waste box, there is a anti-litter-tracking ramp that does an excellent job. When cats leave the box with nasty litter "glued" to their paws, the sticky mat on the ramp contains all of it.
This means that this is a perfect self-cleaning box if your cat is litter kicker and tracker. Some electric litter boxes lack heavily in this segment.
Benefits Of Using The LitterMaid LM980 Mega Litter Box
Installing The LitterMaid LM980 Mega Self Cleaning Box
In this LitterMaid automatic litter box review you will learn how to assemble this product. It is very easy to set up.
There are no tools required for the LitterMaid LM980 Mega to get up and running. To be honest with you, the installation manual that LitterMaid provides isn't very clear. I had some difficulty installing this product.
I wasted a whole lot of time before I got this unit up and running. After watching multiple YouTube videos and reading through various cat forums, I finally learned how to assemble this self cleaning litter box.
Follow this 12 step process and your LitterMaid LM980 Mega self cleaning box will be ready in couple of minutes.
These are all the parts that come with the LitterMaid LM980 Mega self cleaning box package:
Carefully remove and discard all of the protective package elements, and take away all of the product parts and elements.
Place all of the product contents on the floor so you will know what to do with each product part.
Cut and remove the white plastic ties located at the upper side of the unit.
There are two ties that are located on the other side of the motor. Carefully loosen up those ties, cut them and discard them.
Take the two waste receptacles compartment supports (marked left and right) and slide them onto the unit's end.
Open the waste receptacle lid, and snap it into place. Then place each pivot point of the lid (one at a time) on the notches of the litter box unit. The waste receptacle compartment lid must be open to install the top of the litter box unit.
Place the unit top facing right-side-up to the bottom unit. Lock the top into position by making sure the 5 "fingers" of the bottom tray are above the rim of the unit top.
Insert the 4 plugs into the 4 depressions on each corner of the top, to secure everything.
Place one waste receptacle plastic unit into space. Press down firmly. It should sit perfectly on the unit top's 5 plastic tabs.
Insert one disposable waste receptacle lid into the waste compartment.
Take one of the odor removing carbon filters and stick it onto the diamond shaped depression in the center of the lid. Close the lid.
Put the litter tracking removing ramp by putting the installation pivot points into place.
Insert the plastic rake into the grooves on the motor housing. Plug the AC Adapter inside the unit.
Pour premium clumping litter so that the unit can work properly. It is critically important to use this kind of litter. Otherwise the unit won't work like it should.
After following each of these installation steps properly, the LitterMaid 980 Mega litter box is ready to be used by your lovely furry friend! Assembling the product should take no longer than 10 minutes.
How Does The LitterMaid 980 Mega Work ?
The integration of sophisticated motion sensors inside the system is what activates the self cleaning mechanism. When your cat leaves the box, the motion sensors activate the rake that scoops all the waste to the waste bin.
After the bin is full with waste, it is time to dispose all of the waste into the thrash bin. The process starts after 10 minutes after cat leaves the box. If your cat actually reenters the box during this 10 minute delay period, the motion sensors set a new 10 minute timer.
LitterMaid was the first company that designed this way of dealing with the waste of the litter box. We should all feel thankful, because this was really a game changer.
How To Use The LitterMaid LM980 Mega The Best Way
I've said before that you must use premium clumping litter for this litter box. If you don't it won't work like it is supposed to, or it can even break the motor and rake completely. I will show you some tips about how to use the LitterMaid litter box and maximize it's high potential.
I Recommend The LitterMaid LM980 Mega To
I Don't Recommend This Box For
LitterMaid 980 Conclusion
The LitterMaid 980 Mega self cleaning litter box will provide you with everything you need in automatic box. The ramp will help arthritic and old cats enter the box without any problem. This makes this a perfect automatic litter box for old cats.
All you have to do is follow the maintenance tips I provided in this LitterMaid automatic litter box review. It also comes at such an affordable price.
If you ask me investing in it would be one of the smartest decisions you can make about the place where you are living, whether you live in a tiny studio apartment, or a huge mansion. I still haven't seen a self cleaning box that takes care of the waste completely on it's own.
But you know what? It isn't that hard to pour the right litter in, and take a look on how the rake pushes the waste daily. If that is something you can't do for your cat, you should give the cat to adoption so both of you would have better lives.
LitterMaid LM680C Classic Self-Cleaning Litter Box - Complete Review
To be brutally honest with you there isn't a lot of difference between the LM680 C Classic and the LM 980 Mega litter box.
The main difference is that the LitterMaid LM680 Classic automatic litter box is designed for single cat households. It can not handle the elimination of two or more cats. This is an upgraded version of the previous model (the LitterMaid LM980).
My advice would be to get a LitterMaid LM680 Classic litter box if you have a single cat, or LitterMaid 980 Mega if you have multiple cats. The working mechanism is almost the same.
Some people say that the motor of the newer (the classic version) is far worse than the Mega version. While I agree that there is a difference, it isn't very much noticeable. It is still an excellent way to control the bad scent in your indoors.
The thing with the motor and the rake is that they probably use improper litter. You should always use premium clumping litter for the LitterMaids. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this upgraded LitterMaid LM680 Classic version.
It does what it should. On top of all of that, it is actually cheaper and narrower box than the LM 980 Mega version. There are even some people who own two or more cats and use this product for their feline family.
Their LitterMaid automatic litter box reviews said that this product (even though it is designed for a single cat use) worked flawlessly. But, they stated that they didn't overfill the litter line and used premium clumping litter.
It is really up to you whether you want to go safe and buy this for your single cat, or get the Mega version for two or more cats.
Benefits Of Using The LitterMaid LM680C Classic Box
How To Assemble The LitterMaid LM680 Classic Box
To be perfectly honest with you, installing the LitterMaid LM680 Classic is almost no different than installing the Mega Version. All of the LitterMaid self cleaning litter boxes are assembled using the same procedure.
The product package comes with the following parts:
If you are having difficulty following the LitterMaid LM680 Classic self cleaning litter box installation manual, then follow the LitterMaid LM980 Mega assembling steps I provided above. It is really nothing different about installing this unit model.
You should know that installing the LitterMaid LM680 Classic is easier and faster than installing the ScoopFree self cleaning box.
How Does The LitterMaid LM680C Classic Work ?
The working mechanism of the LitterMaid LM680C classic litter box is not much different from the Mega version. If you want to know how it operates in detail check the beginning of this LitterMaid automatic litter box review. The main difference is the dimension of the bottom litter pan.
I used a stopwatch to compare the time of the cleaning cycles of both the Mega and Classic version. I've came to a conclusion that the LM680C Classic version did it's raking process faster and smoother.
People say that the rake system of the Classic version is tougher and takes the waste into the waste department smoother and quicker. I agree with this, thanks to my little testing.
But, this shouldn't be a deal breaker for the Mega version. If you hate the noise the rake creates, then you should choose the swifter (and quieter) one, and that is the Classic version.
How To Maximize The Potential Of LitterMaid LM680 CLassic
If you want the LitterMaid LM680 Classic version to function perfectly, you should invest in some fast clumping litter. The best and cheapest one I found is the LitterMaid Special premium clumping litter.
It clumps in less than 5 minutes, so it is completely ready before the box starts it's cleaning process, 10 minutes after the cat leaves the box
LitterMaid LM680 Classic Box Is Recommended For
I Don't Recommend This Box For
LitterMaid 680 Classic Conclusion
If you are looking for an aesthetic and yet functional self cleaning box, that won't hurt your wallet, then the LitterMaid LM680 Classic is right choice for your.
You have to follow all the tips I gave to you. If you don't you will pretty much be set for trouble which will make you write the most critical review about this litter box.
If you know what you are doing, then it will be a durable box that will handle the elimination of your feline family. I still use both versions of the LitterMaid automatic boxes. My household has plenty of cats, so it is a must to have multiple boxes.
Best Litter For LitterMaid Automatic Litter Box
This is one of the most important things you need to know if you want your LitterMaid to function properly.
Using improper litter can exhaust and even break the rake and motor. This is something that you should avoid at all costs. Luckily for you, you are reading the right information.
Once you receive the LitterMaid don't pour in litter immediately. If you throw in some standard litter that you use for your old traditional litter box, you are set for trouble. Instead, I strongly suggest you get some premium clumping litter.
In my experience, the LitterMaid Premium Natural Clumping Cat Litter performed best.
It was created exclusively to be used with the LitterMaid automatic litter boxes. While using this premium clumping litter, the rake was working smooth and didn't make much noise. The motor was also in top performance.
Not only me, but many proud LitterMaid owners recommend using this litter. It is better to invest money for optimal performance, than to waste money ordering some replacement parts. Not only your automatic litter box will work perfectly, but this clumping litter will clump in just 5 minutes, so the rake will push all of the nasty litter with feces, guaranteed.
Other cheap litters cannot dry up enough, so when the box starts working, there is an absolute mess that you must avoid. If your cat jumps in the box while there is mud, your whole household will suffer. You can avoid all of this suffering just by investing in the best litter box for LitterMaid automatic litter box.
Best Litter For LitterMaid Automatic Litter Box
This is the thing I love the most about the LitterMaid automatic litter boxes.
If you happen to use the product improperly, or some product part simply doesn't work anymore, you can buy LitterMaid replacement parts online. You don't have to buy a whole another expensive automatic litter box if your LitterMaid stops functioning properly.
The only thing you need to do is find which part is malfunctioning. After you do, learn from your mistake. Read what you have to do next time, so you won't have to purchase LitterMaid replacement parts every time.
You don't actually need them if you use all of the tips I gave you in the text above. It isn't that complicated. The support team of LitterMaid is excellent.
During the 30 day warranty period you can write an E-Mail that describes what happened to your product. They will reply very fast and provide you with valuable information about what you need to do to prevent unit damaging, or they can simply send you a new part.
I will talk about the parts that have a tendency to malfunction if not used properly. As you can see this is a pretty delicate self cleaning box that must satisfy certain things so that it can function normally.
Let's now talk about the LitterMaid replacement parts that are available to be purchased once if are broken down.
LitterMaid Motor Replacement
I will talk about the part that breaks down first when the litter box is not used properly.
This is the LitterMaid motor. The major cause of motor breakdown is using improper litter. I talked about what is the best litter for the LitterMaid automatic litter box. When more than 4 cats use the LitterMaid, there isn't enough time for the box to rest. It causes motor overheating, which leads to complete motor breakdown.
This is why you must avoid more than 3 cats to use the LitterMaid Mega litter box.
If you happen to use the Classic LitterMaid automatic box with 2 or more cats, be ready to invest in a new LitterMaid motor replacement. Let it serve you as a knowledge.
Probably the main reason why you stumbled across this website is that you made a mistake with the unit, so the motor broke down. If the motor breaks in the first 30 days of use, you must send an e-mail to the support team of LitterMaid, so they will send you a completely new LitterMaid motor replacement part.
Don' be shy. The support team is 24/7 responsive, probably because most of the people don't know how to use this product perfectly. They are so friendly that they will even ask you how you maintain the product, so that they can give you important tips on how to use it to prevent further unit damaging.
LitterMaid AC Adapter Replacement
You will know that your LitterMaid AC Adapter needs replacement when the unit does not operate when the power switch is "ON".
If the batteries are in working condition and the electric outlet is functioning, you should get a new AC Adapter. If the product is in the warranty period, you should ask free for a replacement.
This is how you can know whether the AC Adapter needs replacement. It isn't that difficult.
The LitterMaid AC Adapter replacement is very rare. All of the LitterMaid products are known to have durable and functioning adapters. You really have to be very unlucky for the AC adapter to need replacement.
However, it is not that bad because the support team is very friendly and want to help you for real.
LitterMaid Automatic Litter Box Rake Stuck
There are multiple ways you can deal with this. If you own a LitterMaid automatic cat litter box you must know how to deal with this if it happens. Use this guide if the rake gets stuck in the middle of the cleaning process.
1. Turn the power switch to OFF
2. Then you have to unplug the unit altogether
3. Next, you should remove all batteries
4. Clean the box and check if the box is overfilled with litter (you can do this by looking at the litter overfill line in the product base).
5. Clean the sensors carefully
6. Assemble the product's parts again, plug in the AC Adapter and push the power switch to ON
If you follow these steps properly, there is 90% chance that the product will continue working properly.
If the product doesn't start working normally, then there are high chances that some part needs replacement. It is probably the rake or the motor. Don't panic.
If the product is still in the warranty period, feel free to contact the support team of LitterMaid. They will help you without any problem. LitterMaid automatic litter box rake stuck is probably the most common problem that happens to this unit.
Luckily for all of us, we live in a world in an abundance of information of any kind. All you have to do is write about your issue on Google, and you get all the information and help you need.
LitterMaid vs ScoopFree
There is a great debate about what is the better litter box, the LitterMaid or the ScoopFree automatic litter box.
To tell you the truth, both of them have advantages and disadvantages. It all comes to personal preference and taste.
If you have 3 or more cats that need to use a single automatic cabinet system, I recommend you go with the ScoopFree self cleaning box. The blue crystals can soak urine far better than any litter. They also don't possess any bad scent. It is very revolutionary.
However, the maintenance of the ScoopFree self cleaning litter box is very expensive. You need to constantly buy new cartridges and blue crystals hat cost a lot of money.
Don't get me wrong. The Scoopfree automatic litter box works excellent. But the price tag attached to the box, plus the maintenance costs are simply a deal breaker for some people.
On the other side, the LitterMaid electronic litter box costs far less, and doesn't require that much of an expensive maintenance. However, it has a tendency to break down after a certain period of time if not used properly.
The motor of the ScoopFree electric box is far stronger than the LitterMaid. But if used properly, you won't even have any issue with the motor or the rake of the LitterMaid.
What I am saying is that the LitterMaid requires far more manual maintenance like observing the rake (whether it works smoothly or not). But, the ScoopFree maintenance is constant replacement of expensive cartridges.
I won't talk about design. The designer team of both litter box companies did a very good job. It is a matter of taste here.
LitterMaid vs ScoopFree which is a better performer all around? I'd go with ScoopFree.
Which is more affordable? I'd go with the LitterMaid. Maintaining that unit doesn't require any costs. At the end of the day they working mechanism is almost identical. They both do the job.
LitterMaid vs CatGenie
You can't really compare both of these products. I agree that they are both self-cleaning litter boxes. But the way of operating is completely different.
The Cat Genie automatic litter box is actually a self-flushing box that needs to be installed preferably in the bathroom and works like a toilet.
On the other hand the LitterMaid uses a rake system that gets activated 10 minutes after the cat defecates or urinates in the box. To keep the odor control on an optimal level, I have to go with the Cat Genie. It working mechanism is revolutionary in the pet supply industry. Also minimal litter is wasted during this process.
However, the cleaning cycle takes a lot of time and is pretty noisy. The LitterMaid cleaning cycle is less than 30 seconds and makes zero to none noise. You still have to throw the waste in the thrash bin, once the waste compartment is full with waste.
The Cat Genie works 100% automatic. You won't have to touch or have contact with any litter. You still have to clean both units after a month of use. If you don't, the LitterMaid's rake will stop working properly, and the Cat Genie will get clogged up. This is something you should avoid at all costs.
LitterMaid vs Cat Genie. Which one will I prefer. If you don't want to spend a lot of hard earned money on a product that cat use to urinate and defecate on, I'd go with the LitterMaid. If you have trouble with bad scent occupying your household, and have the adequate budget, I'd go with the Cat Genie.