I became a big fan of electric litter boxes ever since I started writing this column and got the chance to review models like SmartScoop and the Litter Robot. The Smart Scoop automatic box cleans the litter with a rake, while the Litter Robot puts an interesting spin, literally, on the cleaning process.
I like both of those litter boxes, and so do my cats, but they need to be near an electrical outlet. The Litter Spinner litter box has many of their advantages, but you don't need a power source.
Easy to Assemble
The Litter Spinner Automatic Litter Box is easy to assemble, at least according to my husband, since I recruited him for the task. All of the necessary parts are included in the box, along with a simple instruction sheet. As we laid everything out, the cats stopped by to conduct an inspection.
A Phillips screwdriver is the only tool you'll need. The Litter Spinner was fully assembled and functioning within ten minutes. Once you put it together, just move it to its new home, add your favorite brand of clumping cat litter, and it's all ready to go.
Acclimating Your Kitties
Depending on your cats, it might take some time for them to get used to the Litter Spinner if they've never used an enclosed litter box before. It's also somewhat small if you have monster-sized cats like I do. One, SkeiKra, is normal size, but my other three are all pushing 20 pounds, so I wasn't sure if the "big boys" would give the Litter Spinner a try. I figured SheiKra would use it, since he loved the Litter Robot.
You can remove your other litter boxes if you want to encourage your cats to use the Litter Spinner, but that wasn't necessary in my household. To my surprise, Farquaad was the first cat to investigate. He climbed in and scoped out the box thoroughly, although he didn't use it. It was a tight fit, but his whole bulky body managed to fit inside the compartment.
SheiKra followed shortly thereafter, and not even half an hour after its assembly and placement, our Litter Spinner was christened. Normally, SheiKra likes perching on the edge of the box, but he actually stayed inside the Litter Spinner.
Using the Litter Spinner
My favorite feature of the Litter Spinner is that it gives you a similar cleaning motion to that of the Litter Robot, but without having to plug it in. It's also more compact, so I was able to fit it into our powder room without taking up all the floor space. Once your cat uses the box, you simply rotate it in the direction indicated by the big arrow on top. The used clump of litter drops into a container that you slide out and empty into the garbage without ever closely handling the mess.
I learned to tap the door a few times before sliding out the collection drawer to avoid spilling any litter, since a small amount of clean litter tends to gather on the top. It's easy to dump the waste out of the drawer. If you happen to spin the box right after your cat makes an especially large mess, and it's still moist, a little might stick to the tines of the drawer and need to be cleaned off. Of course, cleaning is needed occasionally for any automatic box.
Easier Than Scooping
While I like the fact that electric litter boxes take care of the scooping or rolling for you, you still have to eventually empty them out. I didn't find it too difficult to remember to roll the Litter Spinner. The instructions say to do that once a day, but I generally roll it and empty it when I use the powder room myself. The ease of cleaning helps me avoid any odors in the box.
This box is great for people who have problems bending down and scooping a litter box due to physical problems. Rolling the box and pulling the drawer is very easily accomplished. I've seen one other non-electric self cleaning litter box, which my neighbors use for their cat, and the sifting method was awkward compared to the Litter Spinner.
The only downside to this box is the same I've found with other litter boxes: litter tracking. It's a fact of life with just about every model, other than something with extremely high sides, like the Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box. I just put a litter mat in front of the box, which takes care of most of the problem.
SheiKra is using the Litter Spinner regularly, and I suspect that at least one of the big cats is using it, too. I haven't been able to catch the jumbo cats in the act, but my suspicions are fueled by the giant clumps I remove from the drawer.