Where to start… I’ve been traveling. We headed to Italy to visit my daughter. Absolutely amazing trip, but of course had to deal with the hassle of pet care while I was away. Cali to a friend, and a pet sitter to the house.
I still love my Catlink automatic litter boxes, but learning to live with them is definitely a learning experience, traveling definitely added to the learning curve.
A friend took Cali for me, so that was easy. I prep her food in individual containers to make it super easy, no measuring! Just add a little water and Cali is fed.
The rest of the crew, Hector, cats, and dragon, stayed home to be checked on daily by a pet sitter. As usual, very detailed instructions were left, but I hadn’t traveled since we got the new automatic litter boxes. I figured it would be super easy! I taught the pet sitter how to change the bags in the bottom every few days and I figured all was good. I even left extra litter in case the boxes ran low. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about power outages because we have a generator, but there are still short power outages as the electricity goes out and the generator comes on.
The problem is that the new litter boxes are pretty picky about the power supply, and with the power flickers we had from a storm, the litter box goes went into some kind of LaLa land and didn’t auto clean.
Well, we came back from being away and found both of the automatic litter boxes had not been cleaning themselves. The poor cats clearly tried to use the dirty boxes, but picked our living room as their new “Box” when they couldn’t stand the mess anymore. They made a lovely poop circle all around the living room rug. Thankfully, they mostly peed in the boxes, but there were a couple of spots that I’m still trying to remove the smell.
I had to figure out why the boxes weren’t automatically cleaning anymore, and customer service at CatLink was excellent. I used their chat feature in the CatLink App and someone helped me right away. They emailed me directions on recalibrating the boxes which took a couple of tries, but now they are working perfectly again.
Lesson learned. We bought battery back-ups for both litter boxes to help eliminate the power flickers. I’ll also leave better notes for the pet sitter about checking and cleaning the “automatic” boxes if necessary.
Hector D. Byrd hatched 30 years ago today! I feel so lucky to have her in my life. Her cage is in the center of our living space, halfway between the kitchen and my desk space, so I spend a lot of time with her every day. She’s sort of become my therapist. She’s always there for me to talk to, and she’s a great listener. She’s not a cuddly bird, but she loves to whistle, destroy anything made out of cardboard, and eat nuts! Her happy chirps and whistles have become part of our home. Love my red tailed Jungle Chicken!
My Logan girl has had a rough couple of weeks. About two weeks ago, she jumped on the back of the couch and peed a couple of drops, yikes! The boy cats had been chasing her, so I thought maybe they had just made her really nervous and I didn’t worry too much about it. Then I found a cat bed covered in pee. Hmmmm something wasn’t right. That night, Logan went over to scratching toy, climbed up on it, and peed a couple of drops again. The next morning I took her to the vet. Poor baby has some kind of urinary infection. The good news is that we caught it. A simple antibiotic shot seems to be clearing it right up, and she is back to her old grumpy self.
Since I got the CatLink boxes, I haven’t been using Pretty Litter, but I do have a couple of bags of it. When I had to confine Logan for a couple of days, I used the Pretty Litter in the extra litter box for her. I have to say, the crystals were turning red, a sign of infection. This morning, a couple of days after her antibiotic shot, the crystals are back to normal yellow. I guess they do work!
Speaking of the CatLink boxes. I still love them. It is truly life changing to not worry about cleaning cat boxes all the time! About once every five days, I open up the bottom, take out the waste litter in its easy little bag, throw it out, and put in a new bag, so easy! When I change out the bottom, I usually add some more clumping litter, and that’s it. Worth every single penny we spent on those boxes! With the optional step in front of the box, there is even very little litter tracking. Truly cat owner heaven!
Time to bring Hector more nuts and some new cardboard boxes, a perfect birthday for my feathered friend!
Four cats currently in the house and I no longer need to scoop liter! I was so skeptical that we would ever get to this point, but here we are!
It’s been almost two months of transition. If you are interested in my first impression of the CatLink liter box, check out: https://www.petmomma.co/2022/11/09/its-here-pretty-litter-and-the-new-fountain/
With four cats in the house, I’ve been scooping 5 litter boxes. It wasn’t fun. It was time consuming, and I felt like I was spending half my life scooping cat litter.
I wasn’t convinced a robot litter box would solve my problems. Would my picky, old lady cat Logan use it? Would giant Maine Coon, Bean, fit in it? What about little Puck, would he climb in?
My set up had started with litter boxes downstairs near the garage entrance. I had two nice big boxes down there, and having them near the garage made it easy to get rid of the dirty litter. The boy cats sometimes bully Logan (my old lady cat) a bit, and she wasn’t coming downstairs as much as she used to, so I added a litter box to our laundry room on the top floor of the house. Everyone seemed happy, except me. I was sick of scooping litter all the time.
Different types of boxes, different litters, I tried such a variety of things! The only thing I hadn’t tried was an automatic litter box. Robot litter boxes aren’t cheap, and what if it didn’t work? It just seemed like a big investment because I was feeling lazy about cleaning boxes.
Finally I started researching, different types, styles, and brands of automatic litter boxes. Litter Robot seemed like everyone’s go-to box, but they were super expensive, not readily available, and not everyone loved them. I found a similar style by a brand called Catlink. Honestly, the boxes look very much the same to me, except Catlink boxes are much cheaper. I bought the Catlink Luxury Pro on sale for about half the price of a Litter Robot.
As of yesterday, I have two Catlink boxes set up, upstairs and downstairs. The last regular litter box went out in today’s trash. I made sure to give the cats plenty of time to get used to the new boxes. It was definitely a big change for them. The cats have to climb up into it, and they aren’t the most spacious things, but as you can see in the photo, it works, even for Bean, my big Maine Coon.
My first bit of advice would be to be very patient. Don’t force the new box on your cats. Let them make the choice. I sprayed catnip spray on the litter in the new box, and a calming spray around the base. It was about a week before any of the cats dared to use the new box even once.
Cats are curious creatures, and mine were actually super interested when the box rotated to do its cleaning cycle. It’s too bad I never caught a picture of Marty sitting up on his haunches like a meerkat watching the box rotate!
Slowly, the cats started sticking their heads in, then a paw, and eventually they stepped in and dug around in the litter. Catlink recommends keeping the box in manual mode while the cats are getting used to it so that it doesn’t start cleaning and scare them. At first I only cleaned the box when there weren’t any cats around, but then slowly I started triggering it to clean when the cats were around, but at a distance. They quickly became curious.
As the manufacturer suggested, the old box remained near the new one, but I stopped cleaning it as often. Cats are clean creatures, and they learned to use the new box that was always clean instead of the old one that was definitely dirtier.
We saw a sale on Catlink boxes in early December and decided that things were going well enough that we should purchase a 2nd box. We thought we bought the same box, but it is a slightly different model. I’ll go into that later.
After about a month and a half, the old box was barely being used upstairs, and I took it away. They had another Catlink box downstairs along with one regular box. The transition downstairs went much more quickly since the cats were already used to the Catlink box upstairs.
If I had been asked how I liked my Catlink boxes a month after I got it, I probably would have been hesitant. The switch over definitely took a lot of time and patience, but it is so worth it! No more scooping cat litter!
Odor is almost non-existent, yes, it sometimes smells when the cat does what it needs to do, but within five minutes the box cleans itself and the odor is contained in the sealed waste compartment. The Catlink box does use a custom sized trash bag for the waste compartment, but I’ve just been dumping the waste from the bag into a regular trash bag. I should be able to get many uses out of a single bag that way. I haven’t tried using a standard kitchen trash bag in there yet, but I feel like there might be a way to make that work.
Another bonus is that very little litter gets tracked around. When I bought the first box, I didn’t buy the optional step. It seemed expensive at about $89, and I wasn’t sure a step was worth it. I ended up using a plastic container for the cats to step on to have easier access to the box, and then gave in and bought two steps. My advice: Don’t mess around, just buy the step. It really should just be included with the box and not listed as an option. The step makes it so much easier for the cats to get in and out of the box. It makes the whole thing less scary and more accessible for them. It also keeps litter from spreading around. The top of the step has holes that the litter falls through, so it is collected before the cat even touches the ground.
The step doesn’t attach to the box, but it has rubber feet to hold it right up against the box. I haven’t had any trouble with it slipping away. The step also has a little opening on the back that you can pop open to empty out the litter, super easy and convenient.
The Catlink app is worth mentioning, as it is the easiest way to control the box. You can set the amount of time after the cat uses the box that you want it cleaned, manual or automatic mode, and it can trigger a cleaning. As you can see, the app isn’t very detailed.
The main screen when you open the app shows both of my devices:
I mentioned that I had two different boxes. They are very similar, but do have a couple of differences. One is the “Luxury Pro” version and one is the “Standard Pro.” Both connect to Wifi, and both use the same app to trigger cleaning, access the settings, and to view a log of usage.
You can see that the “Upstairs” box shows there is enough litter, and the “downstairs” box just shows the mode it is in. The Standard Pro doesn’t tell you about litter quantity, or even if you get low on litter.
The Pro version has an interior scale so it can help identify which cat used the box by weight. The Downstairs box tells me when a cat has been there and what they weighed, but doesn’t attach a name like the upstairs box did. I had to input data on each cat for the upstairs box: name, breed, gender, birthday, weight, notes. I can also attach a Catlink Collar for more tracking, and include a picture if I wanted to.
It’s nice knowing that the cats are using the boxes, but I’m not sure there is a lot of value in knowing the exact usage by cat.
Here’s an example of Puck’s day:
The app is a little quirky, but it does what it needs to. It’s nice seeing the log and knowing that the box is being used, and there have been times when I have wanted to manually trigger the box and the app has been helpful.
I think having the Wifi available litter box is worth it. It’s nice to be able to control the box with the app and not have to squat next to the box to figure out the settings and trigger a clean. Both of my boxes work fine, and I really don’t have a preference on the Luxury Pro versus the Standard Pro.
It works well! The box cleans itself after the cat uses it. I really don’t have to do anything other than empty the waste bin once a week, and add some litter every couple of weeks.
I haven’t had any trouble with the mechanics of either box.
The app makes it easy to trigger a cleaning.
The step (optional) helps keep kitty litter well contained.
Any type of scooping cat litter works. No fancy litters to buy.
The company offers a one year guarantee on the boxes and offers a return for any reason. If my cats start hating the box for some unknown reason, I have a year to return it.
The biggest con is the price. These boxes aren’t cheap, but in the long run, I’m convinced it will be worth it.
The app isn’t great. The user interface takes a bit of getting used to. It’s functional, but not pretty.
I think the “optional” step should just be included with the unit. It is a big jump up into the box without having the step, and my cats definitely adjusted better once I had the steps.
I wish the waste bin didn’t require specially sized bags, but so far it hasn’t been an issue dumping the waste into a standard bag and reusing the specialty ones.
The bottom line is that I have four cats in my house and I don’t scoop litter boxes anymore. Litter doesn’t track all over the place, my cats are happy and relaxed, and I’ve removed a big daily chore from my life!
My view this morning, as I’m trying to get some work done, my friends are relaxing and basking in the sunshine, from the bottom, Cali, Marty, and Bean.
I can’t really review the CatLink Automatic box yet. My cats are definitely taking their time getting used to it. I’m trying to be patient, but worrying it might be a failure. I can say it works really well. I’m still using it in manual mode to make sure I don’t accidentally scare the cats, but it cleans itself well. The app is a little quirky, mostly because the English isn’t great, but it works. It notifies me whenever a cat has visited the box, it tracks the weight of each cat, and lets me know if there is enough litter left in the box.
Knowing the weight of the cat that visited the box has been helpful in figuring out usage. I’m pretty sure that Puck and Martin are using the box, not all the time, but visiting it at least. I don’t think Bean or Logan has given it a try yet.
I’m doing what was recommended and spraying the litter in the box with catnip spray, and letting the old box get dirty. Hopefully with patience they will all start using it.
In other news, I’m super proud of Hector today! We have had her for about 9 years now, and bathing her has always been a challenge. I’ve tried all different kinds of containers for her to bathe herself including the shower (with a special bird perch) and the kitchen sink. The only bath she will tolerate is a fine mist spray bottle, and no matter how long I stand there and spray her, it just doesn’t really soak her.
A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning out some pet supplies and came across a small litter box. I honestly don’t remember when I bought it, or what it was for, but it was new with the stickers on it. For some reason I thought it might be an interesting bath tray for Hector.
Two weeks ago I filled the tray with warm water and put it on top of her cage. She tried to spill it, but thankfully it was too heavy. She chewed the edge, then…. she got in! I was shocked. She splashed around a little bit and got out, very proud of herself.
The tray has been offered every few days for the last couple of weeks, and nothing, no interest. She’s chewed the edges, but not taken another bath. I tried again today, and she took a nice, long bath! She flapped around in the box, and spent enough time that her feathers actually look wet. The grey dusty looking coating on the box is feather dust from Hector. Greys make a lot of dust, and it is important for them to bathe and clean it off on a regular basis.
As I’m typing, she is standing on the edge of the tray again! When people say that African Grey parrots are slow to adjust, they aren’t kidding, new toys, new people, new food, everything takes so long for her to accept. Maybe, just maybe she’ll accept more pats and snuggles some day. I can hope, can’t I? I just need to remember to NEVER lose patience with a parrot. They are smart and they learn, but always at their own pace.
My new CatLink Pro arrived yesterday. First impression? It’s BIG! The footprint is probably only 6″ bigger than a “regular” litter box, but it’s tall. Set up was a little finicky. We had to play with it a little to get it on our Wifi, but it wasn’t that bad. I read that any type of clumping litter works in it, but I don’t think the OXO Cat litter that I prefer is going to work out. It seems a little too light weight. The box is supposed to say when the litter is full, but ours kept saying it needed more litter. Eventually I realized I had over filled it, had to empty out some litter, reset it, and eventually we got it set up properly. I think a clay-based scooping litter will work better, and I plan to try that.
It has only been set up for one night. So far the cats haven’t used it. Bean is curious and stuck his head in, but that’s about it so far. I may spray a little catnip spray in there to encourage them. I’ll keep you all posted.
In other news, I’ve been using Pretty Litter for about a month. It definitely different than the traditional clumping litters I have been using.
I like how lightweight it is. Easy to fill and dump the box.
I’m not sure how well the “health monitoring” really works. My litter was just brown/yellow all month, so I guess that means regular healthy cats which is great. I don’t think my cats have any health problems, and nothing showed up with the litter, so I can’t tell you how well the health monitoring works or not, but I like the idea of it.
The cats took to it right away. We went from OXO Cat wood clumping litter to the Pretty Litter in one box. The cats had no hesitation in using it at all. They actually seemed to prefer it. I’ve got two boxes upstairs and tried the Pretty Litter in one box. While they continued to use both boxes, the Pretty Litter box definitely had more frequent visits.
As far as tracking, I do think it tracks less than regular litter, but I think part of that is because it is such tiny grains so it isn’t as noticeable. It did track some for me, but definitely less than my regular clumping litter. There was a little worry about my wood floors. The tiny grains of litter feel really gritty, and I’m not sure if they would actually scratch the floor or not, but I was careful to sweep it up and not find out.
Odor control is good. It dries out the poop quickly so the smell doesn’t last. I definitely noticed when the litter box needed to be changed. Urine should get mixed in when you scoop the poop. Those urine spots dry out when they are mixed in with the litter again.
Pretty Litter lasts like they say it does. I have to say that I was impressed the litter went a full month before I felt like I had to change it. I was using it in one of my four boxes, so I wasn’t sure how long it would last. There wasn’t any doubt when it was time to change the litter box. The Pretty Litter was no longer white, it was yellow, and it started to smell. The urine spots no longer mixed in and they started sticking to the bottom of the box.
Positives – it definitely makes the box easier to clean than regular clumping litter. I only had to scoop the poop, and the litter is small, so I didn’t have to shake out the litter scoop forever. I can honestly say it probably took me less than half the time to clean this box versus regular clumping litter. Other positives, good odor control, less tracking, easy to maintain the box. Another positive is that the cats took to it right away. No transition stress. It’s also lightweight and easy to refill and dump the litter box.
Negatives – it’s gritty. I worry about it scratching wood floors. And my only other negative was the price. Two cats the cost is $44 per month. You can’t buy it on Amazon, and it seems like the only way to buy it is with a recurring subscription.
My take? Overall I like it. If I only had one or two cats, I’d probably keep using it. For me with four cats it isn’t economical. I do have a couple of bags left, so I’ll keep using it in one box, but I can’t use it in my new automatic box because it doesn’t clump. Anyone else tried it? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know.
I finally found a pet fountain that I LOVE! Review soon…