Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Purrsonal Review of the Smart Scoop Litter Box!

As promised, here is our review of the Smart Scoop Litter Box, that we were testing out for The Happy Litter Box, an informative, helpful blog that talks all about litter box issues with cats and ways to try and resolve them.

As many of our followers know, Teri used to breed Cornish Rex and part of her contract was that she would take one of the kitties she bred back for any reason if someone wanted to give it up. She did that with 6 or 8 kitties and most often because of urinating outside the litter box. It is the most common reason cats are surrendered to shelters or dumped outside.

Teri has tried almost every box on the market, from various Booda Boxes (round is hard to scoop!) to plastic tubs used to make concrete in (that was suggested to her by a rescue group) and we still have one down in the basement and it's nice and large but Teri wished they came in some other color than black, hahameow! We probably use that box more than any other one in the house!

When Disco began peeing in the bathroom sink, she bought all new open litter boxes, as the behaviorists recommend. She didn't realize one of the good side effects of having open boxes was that they were faster to scoop, with no lids to fiddle with. Her (and our) favorite for the past 4 years has been a Rubbermaid High Sided Litter pan but it's no longer being made.

Having used a Litter Maid a number of years ago and not being pleased with how cumbersome it was; how hard it was to clean with all the 'tracks' and gears that collected litter, we thought the Smart Scoop looked simpler in that respect, but am not sure we would have sent Teri out to buy one without hearing from other cats and humans about what they thought about it.

The Smart Scoop was pretty easy to set up and Teri liked the fact that disposing of the 'waste' looked simple and efficient and didn't mean tossing out a plastic tray each time--wasteful and not good for the landfills, either.

The behaviorists recommend having one more litterbox than number of cats, but we have 5 boxes for 5 cats and Teri scoops them an average of 3 x a day. As you can see from the photo below, she set up The Smart Scoop right across from one of our usual boxes and she used the same litter as in all the other boxes,
Cats Pride Natural Clumping Litter.

At first, we cats were more interested in the 'mechanics' of the box, as you will see in the video below. But it only took us a day or so to start using both boxes, although we still might use the regular box a little more often.

Disco has a habit of peeing right at the end of the old style boxes (next to the lower lip or 'exit) which is harder to scoop without the clump crumbling a little. Funny, but in the Smart Scoop, he pees on the side closest to the 'mat' and the scooping tines have the same problem as Teri does when manually scooping, hahameow!

The Smart Scoop did a good job of scooping otherwise and as the scooping doesn't happen for 15 minutes after a cat 'leaves a deposit', Teri often missed the scooping action. But she did catch it a few times and while the motor sounds like it's carrying a heavy load, it never had a problem with being unable to scoop or stop running or any problems like that.

She remembered when she used the Litter Maid, that some of us where having diarrhea issues at the time and the wide plastic tines of the Litter Maid model at that time caused her to cuss and complain about how hard it was to clean. Even though we are all 'firm' now, she thinks the Smart Scoop would be a lot easier to clean if problems like that showed up again...

Would she buy 4 more of these boxes? Maybe one at a time, as they are a little spendy. But she can say for certain, she would not buy another Litter Maid. Teri said she did like the fact that she knew that one box was always free of clumps and it might make a kitty who didn't like to use a box with another cats 'leavings' in it happier, too. Fortunately, that isn't an issue with our current household of cats...

So, we would give The Smart Scoop a score of 5 out of 5--it's open, no cover; it's easy to maintain (according to Teri); us cats used it as much as our regular box next to it; it 'accepted' the litter us cats were used to, and it freed Teri up to pay more attention to us! What's not to like?! We hope our review was helpful and informative!


  1. We like the look of those tines better too. If we ever give up our Breeze Litter box, we'd have to consider that one.

  2. litterbox, schmitterbox! I SAW that Mancat RUN out to say hello and I SAW him stretch that gorgeous lithe body AND I HEARD him calling out to me and then??? THE VIDEO ENDED!!!!!

    no wonder the word verif. is BUTBO!

    (the cheated)
    Ms. Stella O'Houligan

    That Woman said she enjoyed seeing the catmats out and is hoping allkitties still play with them :)


  3. Thanks fur sharing this review with us. As a multiple cat household, we are always on the lookout fur stuff that makes mom's life easier. xoxo

  4. My human got all excited about this litter box review! I couldn't care less, as I use the old-fashioned kind, but my roommates use a very clunky electronic one, and the Smart Scoop looks WAY more streamlined. I liked seeing it in action, and I bet it would keep Boodie occupied for hours (she is the electronic litter box watcher in our family).

  5. Cathy from Whisspy blog has some newfangled litter box that works well too. I always suspect that "missing" the box is a sign of stress but yes, it could just be a cat with a botty that's too big :-) Good post.

  6. hmmm... i've never used a mechanical litter box before. they've always been well out of my price range... this one seems interesting, though. thanks for sharing. :)

  7. great review! Mom would like to have one of these, but the humans are a little hard up for cash at the moment..

    Ps Mom is weird, she though the poo being scooped up by this "robot" looked funny!

  8. something to think about. Mom is just afraid the noise might be too much for Spud & Junior.....

  9. Great review! Our litter box is in our little warm room where Mommy and Dady has baths. It gots put there when HO Licorice gots sick and it is still there cuz it gets cleaned more often than when the box was in the basement.
    Our new puppy has developed a fondness for Poopsicles and Mommy is thinking this would be a good box for downstairs. Where the puppy can't go. She is going to have a look at them.
    Thanks for your review and video!

  10. I fink I'll keep my open box that I have had forever. (hard to find one that they haven't fancied up).

  11. LOL, my boys are side peeing cats too...whats with that?!?!

  12. Thank you for this review it is good to know about all the different boxes.

  13. Im liking this review.Thanks for sharing.The very first pic of the kitty who has to pee is on my fridge to funny Terri!lol.

  14. Teri, While this box looks very nice I have a big problem with scoopable litter. When it first came out I used it for my cat and my vet told me to stop using it, the sand is too fine and it ends up in the cats paws and they eat it when they clean, not good. I use old fashion clay litter and yes, you have to change the box more and yes, it would not work in this smart box, but I thought you and others here should know about the dangers of scoopable litter.


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