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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2016, 01:15 PM
email68 email68 is offline
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Automating your cats?

Looking at my repetitive chores to see what can be automated, I'm looking at the cat feeder and the litter box.

Are any of those self-cleaning litter boxes worth a look at? Would pay more for something that works good.

How about a cat feeder. Something that can starve them if a zwave update breaks a link. 😜
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2016, 01:18 PM
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I had a self cleaning litter box. It was junk. The house always smelled like cat waste. For the record, my house it tighter than average so smells tend to linger.

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Cats are IAQ problems and you'd have to pass them through the HRV to solve that problem. But they're not really a cat anymore after that.
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Old April 4th, 2016, 02:10 PM
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I had a CatGenie at one point. it worked well except that when it clogged it was the worst ever job to clean. also one of my cats didn't like it and would pee in it then poop on the floor next to it.

for the cat food i am planning on doing a food level sensor but thats about it.
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  #4  
Old April 4th, 2016, 06:47 PM
email68 email68 is offline
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I suspected the auto litter boxes were not quite ready for prime time.


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  #5  
Old April 4th, 2016, 07:43 PM
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jrfuda jrfuda is offline
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Pillar automatic pet feeder is great. We've had ours for 7 years. Paid for itself during our first long vacation. No cat sitter needed. We use it everyday and do no have to refill very often.

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Old April 4th, 2016, 10:32 PM
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I purchased a Litter Robot "Bubble" Model 7 or 8 years ago. It's worked flawlessly since I purchased it. I empty the the wast drawer once a week and add one scoop of litter.

Only problem I ever had was when I let the drawer get too full. Had to clean the drum cogs. I just noticed there newest model added a "full drawer" indicator.

I rank it in my top 10 items that make my home life easier. Although it seem expensive at 4 bills, it has been worth every penny!

Forrest
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  #7  
Old April 4th, 2016, 11:21 PM
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kesterf kesterf is offline
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I forgot to mention, I haven't automated it yet, but I've thought about a couple of things I could do by plugging it into an "energy meter" outlet:
- Turn on a Z-Wave switch for the exhaust fan that's in the laundry room that the litter box is located in.
- Count the number of times it activates to give me a notice of when the drawer is full. I currently empty it every 7 days but it could go longer. Each cat uses it twice a day, so I could set up a temporary event to notify me at 32 activation's and then in increments of 4 until I determine the max activation's for the waste drawer to be full. Then the permanent event would trigger after XX activation's

Forrest
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  #8  
Old April 4th, 2016, 11:23 PM
email68 email68 is offline
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Wow. That's some machine.
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  #9  
Old April 5th, 2016, 02:45 AM
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IanIreland IanIreland is offline
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I have an easier solution - a cat flap, Cat poops in neighbours garden!
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  #10  
Old April 5th, 2016, 10:35 AM
Automated Automated is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanIreland View Post
I have an easier solution - a cat flap, Cat poops in neighbours garden!
That's a good way to lose your cat. It's also illegal in plenty of places. Would you like it if your neighbor threw his poop in your yard? I hope you were just joking. Sure, some of it probably can't be avoided with cats, thus the term, "as difficult as herding cats," but I think it's wrong to make it your go to solution.
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  #11  
Old April 5th, 2016, 11:13 AM
email68 email68 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanIreland View Post
I have an easier solution - a cat flap, Cat poops in neighbours garden!
You do that, then I have to do this. It gets ugly
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  #12  
Old April 5th, 2016, 11:38 AM
email68 email68 is offline
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What's a good feeder? Food and water? Besides my 10 y/o I mean...
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  #13  
Old April 5th, 2016, 12:17 PM
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jrfuda jrfuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by email68 View Post
What's a good feeder? Food and water? Besides my 10 y/o I mean...
The pillar pet feeder http://www.perfectpetfeeder.com/ I mentioned earlier is top of the line. It was expensive when we got it 7 years ago, but - as we were leaving for a week with nobody to watch our cats, paid for itself that week in what we saved in kenneling costs. We've used it every day since then and it only needs refilling every few weeks. It also lets you program up to 6 feed times per day, which is a good way to keep a cat or dog from eating too much in one sitting (one of our cats would eat until he got sick if allowed to, resulting in a big mess). It has a battery backup as well.

For water, a simple gravity feed watering bowl is great. The one we have is just a 1 quart or so bottle inverted in a bowl like a water cooler. Cost maybe $5. It gets refilled about once a week and is far superior to the electronic "filtering/waterfall" models we tried in the past - much cheaper too.
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  #14  
Old April 5th, 2016, 12:37 PM
Conrad_Turbo Conrad_Turbo is offline
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The secret is to toilet train your cat... We were going to do that with our kitten at our old house, although it's really hard to do when you only have one bathroom and it would have been horrible to have a litter box in there during the training period.

There are some crazy cat people out there, and it'd be super cool to have a toilet trained cat...also you never have to leave the lid down like your wife always asks.
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  #15  
Old April 5th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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TeleFragger TeleFragger is offline
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how many cats? RF tag them then you can know which is using the litter box the most... have a cool gauge for it too.

also have them access doors around the house.. lock them out of some during certain times.
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  #16  
Old April 5th, 2016, 01:52 PM
AgileHumor AgileHumor is offline
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This is my "cat automation" allowing us to take trips for a weekend without a sitter (could go for probably 2+ weeks if our cat wouldn't get depressed):

Core

Water Fountain (Ceramic is best):
http://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Drinkw.../dp/B00BD3UN8C

10lb Feeder:
http://www.amazon.com/Aspen-Pet-LeBi.../dp/B000TZ7022

ScoopFree Crystal Automated Litterbox:
http://www.amazon.com/ScoopFree-Ultr.../dp/B000XSC8R2

The Litter-Bagger® for Scoopfree® litter boxes. Replaces disposable crystal litter trays, bags litter waste for you
http://www.amazon.com/Litter-Bagger%.../dp/B00AG0C066

Consumables:

Just the Crystals® Premium Crystal Cat Litter -- Fragrance Free with TWO Pre-Measured 4.4 Pound Bags
http://www.amazon.com/Just-Crystals%...dp/B002PBCQDG/

LitterWorks liner refill
http://www.amazon.com/LitterWorks-li...dp/B003K1BR1C/
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  #17  
Old May 18th, 2018, 04:52 AM
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ugeddow ugeddow is offline
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I know that this topic is very old, but maybe my answer will help someone in the future since I spent a lot of time to find the right information.I have had a Littermaid for about 3 years now. You are correct that the box does not turn on & clean out the clumps until long after the cat leaves the box. My 2 cats appeared to be a big freaked out by it the first day or so that we had it, but the calmed down & got used to it pretty quickly. Neither of them has ever been afraid to use it or anything. We have one Litter Maid https://petapproves.com/best-self-cleaning-litter-box/ & one standard litter box.

Overall I like the Litter Maid because I H-A-T-E cleaning out litter boxes (this, IMO, is the ONLY downside to owning a cat), so it's nice that it scoops out the clumps into the recepticle & closes it off so that I can empty it every few days or so.

The only complaint I have is that my Litter Maid is not exactly maintenance-free. No matter what brand of clumping litter I buy, the rake often seems to get stuck at clumps that are stuck to the bottom of the box. It tries a few times to get through the clump, & eventually it gives up & stops with the rake halfway down the box until I come reset it & manually scoop the clump. It also has a tendancy to scoop the litter up on one end or into a corner occasionally, which also causes the rake to get stuck (even if there are no actual clumps in it, just loose litter piled up too high for the rake to get through).
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  #18  
Old May 18th, 2018, 11:40 AM
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tome10 tome10 is offline
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I have a couple of LItter Robot Open Air’s. They work great. I had large chests made to house them as litter gets thrown everywhere when the cats leave. I empty them once a week mainly to keep the odor down.
I also have a pillar pet feeder. It’s like 12 years old but still works flawlessly. I’m not sure if you can buy them anymore. I kept looking in their website for the new model that’s been coming out for like 10 years now. I haven’t been to their website in a while though.
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