Smart Cat Box Update

Sat, Nov 15, 2008

Litter & Hygiene

I’ve had my Smart Cat Box in use for about a week now and I’m happy to report that I am very pleased with it. There were several questions from readers, so I will try to address as many as I can.

First, they have been using it! At least Flora has. I’ve seen her several times, but she has only been peeing in it. The reservoir is incredibly easy to empty and very stable when moving it to the toilet. I do have mine set-up right next to the toilet, so that makes it easier, but the container is sealed quite well with a lid that has a pour spout at one corner. Just pour through the spout and you’re good. I haven’t really noticed much odor, but I’ve been emptying it right away because I’m so excited every time she uses it. I have to say, if I needed to test the urine (and could isolate exactly whose urine I had) this would be a godsend! It would make it incredibly easy and sanitary.

NEWS FLASH! Sophie, my senior floor-peer, just used the Smart Cat Box last night! Up until now she has just been peeing on the bath mat right next to the box, but last night I heard someone in there and I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was Sophie! She peed and then hopped out and went to the kitchen for a bite to eat. Five minutes later she came back a pooed in the Smart Cat Box — the first one! Yea Sophie!

Some people asked about how well the safflower seed litter covers solids and conceals odor. I’d have to say probably no better or worse than any other natural litter. If you scoop right away and use some Odorzout it helps. But not having to dig around, breaking up the clumps of pee and making a horrible mess like with other litters, that is a huge improvement! Separating solid from liquid is a great idea.

Does the seed litter track? Yes, a fair amount. It seems to get stuck in their toes but they don’t get very far with it and if you step on it, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as stepping on the pine pellets.

Since I’ve only had it in use for a week, I haven’t yet had to worry about extensive cleaning, but the instructions say, to refresh the seeds, spray lightly with Clorox Anywhere (apparently it has a small amount of bleach and is considered non-toxic) and allow to dry. For more extensive cleaning, remove the litter, clean and dry the box thoroughly, then replace the seeds. Apparently, one 5 lb bag of seed litter can last weeks or months, depending on how many cats are using the box. You really only loose a few seeds each time you scoop, if the solids are well-formed, because the seeds do not really stick to the solids.

The winner of the Smat Cat Box giveaway will be announced later today, so stay tuned!

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13 Responses to “Smart Cat Box Update”

  1. 1
    Stephanie S.

    can’t wait! Even if I don’t win, I’m going to buy one!

  2. 2

    I’m so excited to see a review of the Smart Box! I’ve wanted one for such a long time- now I know it actually could be a great investment for my kitties. Thanks so much

  3. 3
    Kitty L.

    Do you know of anyone who has used this litter box with a “digger” and a “flinger”? I like this idea, but the sides look very shallow and I’m sure that one of my cats would just fling the litter everywhere.

  4. 4

    I bought The Smart Cat Box three weeks ago using the coupon from this site. All I can say is I love it! I will never go back to traditional litter boxes and litter. The amount of time I clean the litter box has been cut down to a quarter of the time. My cats no longer have clumps of litter stuck to their paws nor are they covered in dust from the litter. My apartment isn’t covered in dust now either. Also – I’m saving money by not having to buy a box of litter every two weeks. One of the best things – everything is flushed down the toilet. I no longer have to make trips to the dumpster with bags of poop – which really is a pain during the winter in Chicago.
    I love this product so much I’m thinking about buying one for my parents and their two indoor cats.
    Thank you so much for writing an article about this litter box and for putting a coupon on here. I hope one day this product is available in stores.

  5. 5

    Hi…This litterbox sounds great and I am thinking of getting one for my two Himalayans but am wondering about tracking, especially with long haired kittys. Can anyone comment on how messy this is, outside of the litterbox? I’m currently using a version of the non-clumping Feline Pine and I find the intact pellets don’t track much at all, although the pee-ed on pellets that turn to sawdust do track a fair bit. Just wondering if anyone has used both and can comment on which tracks the least? thanks! Kelly

  6. 6

    A tip for switching to a new box. Put the old one next to it and (his is the tough part) ONLY clean the NEW one. (I said it was tough) You only have to do it for about a week MAX for the majority of cats. And if the box has a motor or weird top try going without at first until they are using it WELL and THEN gradually add those pieces into the system. (turn it on periodically etc) For a new litter, just do like for changing food, a little of the new added when you scoop out the old til the old is no more! Cats can get weird, but it’s like if someone came in uninvited and remodeled your favorite bathroom while you were away! Kinda weirds ya out!

  7. 7

    My four cats have used Feline Pine for most of their lives. They are all big cats and between the ages of 11 and 13 years. The lightest one weighs about 15 pounds and the other three weigh about 18 lbs. I started them out on Feline Pine but every now and then, would try something new, then go back to the FP again. They have large litter boxes with very high sides on them because the male likes to stand up to urinate, with his hands on the wall, just like a male. Also the oldest female has a tendency to stand too. I just fill the boxes with a little FP and when the majority turns to sawdust, dump it out and fill it again, using just enough to cover the bottom about 2 oe 3 FP pellets deep.

    However, I’m always intrigued with new cat products and that includes the Smart Cat Box which I found an ad for when I googled, large cat box. Needless to say, I purchased one immediately and was anxious to try it out. I moved the one FP litter box from the half bathroom into the laundry room and set up the Smart Cat Box in its place. BTW, it does have a large side insert that you can purchase for the ‘standers’ in your family. Of course, I had to have that or I wouldn’t have bought it. After having moved the box containing FP, and getting the Smart Box set up in the half bathroom, three of my cats kept walking in and looking at it, trying to figure out what it is, I suppose. After about 2 hours of ‘looking’, 18 pound baby, KatyKatt walked through the crowd of gawkers, up into the litter box and peed. You could almost see the others gasp, like ‘look what she’s doing’! About and hour later, Simba, my only male, decided that if KatyKatt can do it, so can he. That was about the only activity in that litter box for a day or two. Finally the other 2 decided that they would use it too.

    Now after about a month, I’ve changed the Feline Pine boxes at least twice a week if not more and spray the Smart Box with the Clorox stuff and rinsed out the urine tray daily but am on this website now to see how to give it a more thorough cleaning because it’s really starting to smell like urine. Luckily I purchased a few months supply of the seeds but I’m wondering how to take that LARGE box apart and clean it thoroughly. It looks like it might be difficult to empty and clean since I’m almost 70 and can’t lift heavy things.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  8. 8

    I was just wondering if you still use the smart cat box and if you still like it? Does the urine tank get smelly? How do you clean the urine tank? Lastly, I would assume that feces pieces stick to the safflower litter, and understand that urine does go through it, doesn’t the litter itself get gross fairly quickly? How often do you change the litter and wash the box?

    Looking for the ultimate, world’s best litter box ever made!

  9. 9

    I’ve owned the Smart Cat Box since some time in January. I have a very acute sense of smell, and the smell of urine and ammonia from the standard clay litter required a complete litter change at least every week–and I only own one cat. The weight of the clay litter was also an issue since I am smaller than average and getting older, and I was also concerned about all the trash I was generating through clay litter double or triple-wrapped in plastic.

    In desperation for something better, I tried the Smart box system. The draining of the urine sounded like a great idea. So now with the new box, I just dump the urine reservoir into the toilet every other day or so, rinse with a little water, and off we go. I also scoop the solids into the toilet. We have septic, and I’m not sure how fast the safflower decomposes, but I know that it’ll be infinitely faster than clay litter.

    Regarding cleaning the urine tank, I did notice that after a couple months of use (and particularly after I got busy and didn’t empty the tank for 4 or 5 days), urine crystals seemed to have dried in the reservoir. These crystals were giving off a urine odor even after emptying the liquids. Rinsing with plain water didn’t work to remove them.

    Regular white vinegar poured into the reservoir and left there for five minutes dissolved the crystals. In the future I might dilute it with a little warm water and it’ll probably work just as well. I dumped that mix into the toilet after it had done its work and went on my way.

    The litter doesn’t really “get gross” quickly, though there is a bit of an off odor in the first couple weeks after it is put into use. I found that when removing feces, it’s better to let them have dried off well and remove them complete with any safflower seeds still sticking to them. Once I’ve removed all the feces, I sprinkle a loose handful (tablespoon or two) of baking soda onto the top of the litter, and then do a few squirts of a dilute bleach water solution.

    I’ve tried several systems, including the prohibitively expensive “self-cleaning” box with the crystal litter–but that one had so many crevasses that it was impossible to clean effectively, and wire rake started to rust, and soon the entire box stunk of urine.

    I’m thoroughly satisfied with the “Smart Cat” box. Barring some utterly unforeseeable revolution in litter boxes, this will be the one I use the rest of my days. No more lugging heavy litter (I’ve actually pulled a muscle before lifting clay litter in those economy buckets!) No more ammonia stink. No more clay dust, and no more weekly dragging heavy spent clay litter to my trash can. I actually splurged and bought what’ll likely be almost a five-year supply of “Super Saff” since I could save on some of the shipping costs that way. Sixty-four pounds of safflower seeds versus a couple pallet-loads of clay litter over the course of five years? Not a difficult decision.

  10. 10

    I have had the smart cat box for over a year. At first I loved it. Today I said oh my god that’s where the smell is coming from!
    I have 3 siblings that will be 2 years old in August 2011. Ever since I have had these cats I have been on a litter and litter box war with them. If one will use a certain box the others wont, and if one likes a certain litter the others don’t. I thought I had hit gold with this box. All the cats will pee in it, and just one will not poop in it but she will poop beside it.
    Today I was going to change the seeds because the whole house smelled like cat pee. I have noticed the seeds turn a dark brown when they are too used, and I would just take the really dark ones out. I found safflower seeds for birds at walmart. I refuse to buy litter online and pay ridiculous shipping. I bought two bags.
    Today I was also going to configure the old litter maid to work in conjunction with the smart cat box. So much cat urine had congealed the entire service of the urine tray. I decided right then and there to elevate the back end so that the urine drains better. I am determined to get all three cats to use one box and one litter, and after the tray that I washed dries, I am going to drill a few holes in the bottom of my litter maid, remove the walls on the smart cat box, and put the seeds in the litter maid still using the collection tray part.
    My beginning goal was to teach these cats to use the toilet, but with 3 different personalities, that dream is dying. Would I recommend this box? No probably not.
    The seeds are hard to find, and the smell is the worst it has ever been. Easy? Yes. Better? Yes. Still needs research? YES!
    I actually landed on this site to see if any one else has had this problem or has decided to do what I am going to do. I strongly suggest that this smart box company redesign the collection tray so the urine only can be sifted into one or two areas and not the entire length. It was so gross I took it out doors and hosed it off. . I am discarding the collection tray to redesign how the litter drains into the collection box with the litter maid.
    Partly my fault for not doing this sooner? Yes. Something I want to more regularly? NO!

  11. 11

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the smart cat box if there was not an empty box cleaning for a year! Any litter box needs to have the litter removed and the box thoroughly disinfected regularly, at least every 4-6 wks.

    I’d love to know how the dust is with the saff seeds. Every litter I’ve tried has created dust, including feline pine & swheatscoop. Since the seeds track, I would be very pleased if it at least did not create dust. And the entrance to the box seems too high for smaller senior cats or kittens.

    I am very tempted to try this but I’ve had a few expensive failures (littermaid, etc) and do not want another. This system is reasonably priced if it works for the long term. The eco-friendly litter is a huge plus but there has to be a way to *clean* the seeds without using chlorine bleach. Hopefully something much more safe and green, like hydrogen peroxide, would work as well.

    I’m looking for the ultimate litter box & litter too, but would be very happy to find a system that’s noticeably better than everything else I’ve tried!

  12. 12

    @Justine I agree, all boxes must be dumped and thoroughly cleaned at least once a month. With multiple cats, I have to do it weekly. It’s some work, but it’s just part of having cats.

    The Smart Cat Box is really one of my favorite litter boxes, but you absolutely have to deep clean it regularly. If you do, there is very little odor and, best of all, absolutely no dust, which you can’t say about any clumping litter. Sometimes the cats track a few seeds out of the box, but that’s much easier to clean-up that all the dust and tracked litter.

  13. 13

    I bought the Smart Cat Box, and could not be happier! I do only have one cat, but she’s diabetic, and trying to keep her old litter box clean was a losing proposition. In the first 2 days, any smell of cat urine that had been in my basement, regardless of how often I cleaned her litter box, was gone! She took to it right away. I actually found out about it when looking for a simple way to collect a urine specimin from a cat. While the price, with shipping, seemed high, if I factor in the usual price of litter, and the cost of having my vet try to collect her urine, it’s paid for itself the first month! While I do monitor my cats blood sugar with blood testing, this lets me dipstick her urine as well, so I can monitor her without the stress of pricking her ear. With a diabetic dog at home as well, any help in these areas is greatly appreciated! I only regret that I didn’t know about this great product when my late cat was dealing with renal failure for the last 3-4 years of her life. It would have no doubt been better for all of us. I suppose, like people, all cats are individuals, and some may not be comforable with the change of box type and litter, but I recommend patience. It’s so worth it!

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