Littermaid killed my cat

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Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Howard » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:01 pm

I purchased the "mega" version of the littermaid because it was supposedly the biggest one.

The "box" was too small for an 8lb cat. She barely had enough room to get in all the way. The noise the motor makes is very loud. I liken it to the high pitched whine of a radio control car.

My cat heard the box start 3 rooms away. When she came in to investigate and saw it running she ran in terror. After that she refused to use the littermaid. I replaced it with her old litterbox but she refused to use ANY litterbox. She began to use the bathmat,hamper,bed, clothes basket that had just had clean clothes put in it, the back of the closet, behind the fridge/stove you name it. Anywhere but a litterbox. She also associated her fear of the littermaid with the litter. She would run in fear if she heard me pouring the litter or if she smelled it.

I worked with several Vets to try and reverse the psychological damage and bad behavior the littermaid caused but it never worked. After 2 years my vet advised me to have the cat put down.

The "no kill" shelters refused to accept a cat that went outside the box. I advertised at several veterinary offices for someone to adopt her but no one wants a cat that will ruin their home with cat urine. She could not be a "farm" cat as she was declawed when I rescued her nearly 10 years ago. My vet advised me that if I were to bring her to a shelter for adoption she would be immediately put down for "behavioral problems" and if I lied and didn't tell them she won't use a box then the person who did adopt her might not be as kind to her as I was and might punish or abuse her for going out of the box.

So I had her put down and I am devastated. I feel like I killed my cat because I was too lazy to use a regular litter box. But I am disabled and the littermaid looked as if it might help me have a less painful experience when I cleaned the box.

About the device itself. It is too small for a cat larger than a 6 month kitten. The sides of the motorized top will get stained with stuck on feces as the cat can barely fit in the tray or the feces will completely miss the box and drop on the floor.

The sweeping device only catches large pieces. Smaller ones just slip through the rake.

The clumping litter that is required will clump and collect on the rake requiring continuous cleaning.

The VERY shallow tray causes "clumped" litter to stick to the bottom of the tray stopping the rake dead in it's tracks.

Along with the "clumps" the rake pushes "good" litter into the disposal bin requiring replacement or emptying every day. A one month bucket of clumping litter will disappear in a week. VERY EXPENSIVE.

The box begins to stink quickly and it stays that way no matter how often you replace the disposal tray. The $150 littermaid smells 10 times worse than a $4 litter pan that hasn't been changed in 2 weeks. You have to completely dissassemble the littermaid and clean each piece being very careful not to get the motor wet.

Kinda defeats the purpose of a no mess no fuss device like the littermaid now doesn't it? And you feel like a fool because you just spent $150 on a non refundable item. I challenge you to find a store that will take back a "used" litterbox even though you tell them you cleaned it.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby FurryOne » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:49 pm

Howard wrote:I purchased the "mega" version of the littermaid because it was supposedly the biggest one.


The "Elite" Mega seems a bit bigger than the "regular" Mega.

Howard wrote:The "box" was too small for an 8lb cat. She barely had enough room to get in all the way.


I've got 10 cats that use both types of Megas every day who would dispute that opinion. While the LitterMaids are a bit noisy, it sounds to me like your cat was traumatized before, and the sound may have triggered old fears. We've never had a cat refuse to use the LitterMaids.

Sorry for your loss. Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do to reverse what's happened to a cat before you had them.

Howard wrote:About the device itself. It is too small for a cat larger than a 6 month kitten. The sides of the motorized top will get stained with stuck on feces as the cat can barely fit in the tray or the feces will completely miss the box and drop on the floor.


Bunk! I've got quite a range of cats, from petite to large, and they all hit the box. Only messes are when they occasionally get loose stools, and then you've got a mess no matter what box you have - it's time to clean'em up!

Howard wrote:The sweeping device only catches large pieces. Smaller ones just slip through the rake. The clumping litter that is required will clump and collect on the rake requiring continuous cleaning.


The "Elite" model has more problems with breaking up clumps than the regular one. And all rakes get dirty, period.

Howard wrote:Along with the "clumps" the rake pushes "good" litter into the disposal bin requiring replacement or emptying every day. A one month bucket of clumping litter will disappear in a week. VERY EXPENSIVE.


While the "Elite" model does push a bit more clean litter into the tray than the "regular" model, it's not all that much compared to the amount of litter in the "clumps". I shell out between $30 and $50 a month for litter (Fresh Step Scoop) each month with 10 cats and 2 Megas, so i've got a good handle on how much litter is used/wasted, and you're way off the mark.

Howard wrote:The box begins to stink quickly and it stays that way no matter how often you replace the disposal tray. The $150 littermaid smells 10 times worse than a $4 litter pan that hasn't been changed in 2 weeks. You have to completely dissassemble the littermaid and clean each piece being very careful not to get the motor wet.


Are you a "Troll" for some other box Manufacturer? Almost everything you've said has been either FUD, or way off the mark.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Cecilia » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:14 pm

that is just plain CRUEL!

I have a 12-pounder who would disagree with you many times over. He's used several different Littermaid versions in his life, as well as a litter Robot.

I also have an elderly cat with kidney disease and she pees all over the house, although she tries to use the litterbox. She can't help it, she is sick. Do I put her to sleep? No! I am just very careful in watching what she does and clean up after her very fastidiously.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Pomicio » Fri May 02, 2008 4:09 pm

Your full of crap. There was something wrong with your cat before. You just had a bad experience and now want to make others not buy the unit and you have crap to talk about the company. Keep your insanity to yourself.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Howard » Mon May 12, 2008 12:51 am

Everything I have stated is true as I experienced it. I am not a troll whatever that may be other than the type that live under bridges. I expected this. Disagree with the fans and get branded part of the "vast right wing conspiracy" of the littermaid world.

Responding to cecilia. Putting my cat down was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life How dare you call me cruel. I have rescued all of my pets at least 12 cats and 2 dogs over a 40 year period and I never had a cat live less than 20 years. I spent thousands on 2 hip surgeries for my dog and bringing him in for hydration twice a week to treat HIS kidney failure at $100 a pop. I don't know about you but I own my home (the bank owns most of it though) but I am poor due to living on disability thanks to a brain tumor. I have denied myself medical treatment to pay for the treatment of my pets. I haven't been to a dentist in 10 years but my pets are up on all there shots and get monthly heartworm and flea treatments. Hell, they even eat better than me. Gourmet food from petsmart.

Once cat urine soaks into the subfloor or hardwood you have to replace it or sand the whole thing down costing thousands. I love my cats but a cat is an animal not a person. Not to say you love them any less but there comes a point where you have to ask yourself is this "pet" worth ruining my 100K house? I have a responsibility to my family to make sure this home is in good shape for them to live in when this tumor finally kills me and I'm no longer around!

I tried for YEARS to fix her fear of the litterbox. But in the end I could not stand the smell in the house, reaching into the dresser for clothes and finding them soaked with urine, making a painful climb into the couch or chair only to find myself sitting in a cold puddle of urine, tearing up my carpeting then tearing up the new carpeting once it was urine soaked. Paying cleaners hundreds to try and save the carpeting, paying carpenters an ungodly amount to replace hardwood and subfloors. Embarrassed to have anyone in my home because of the smell or the chance that they may accidentally sit in a freshly urine soaked spot of the couch. I replaced 3 couches by the way.

It's good that you can clean up your multitude of messes immediately. Try finding the messes with 20/100 vision and then try cleaning it from a wheelchair. Oh and make sure you tape your legs together and tape one arm and hand until it's a useless lump (don't want any cheating now.... :lol: ) So you will excuse me if I don't live up to your "fastidious" standards. :evil:

response to Pomico. My cat was rescued from a shelter at 8 weeks. No problems at all till the littermaid. Just a very happy well adjusted cat. The motor is as I said. Sounds just like a radio control truck running full speed untill the clumping litter stuck to the bottom of the pan stops it dead. Could hear the thing running from the other end of the house.

Response to Furryone. Thanks. You're the only person to show any sympathy for my loss or for the cat. All I've seen are insults so far. Kinda gives me a feel for the "empathy" or rather lack of it, for the people on this board. Oh and as far as the fresh step litter...littermaid tells you not to use regular clumping litter. Tyey tell you to use only the real expensive stuff and only a small amount that is not enough.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby mskitty666 » Wed May 14, 2008 8:51 am

Howard, when I first read your post, I was shocked. How could someone put down a cat for something they caused i thought. But, I continued to read. I have six cats now and lost one two years ago due to acute renal failure. I'm sorry for your loss and applaud the commitment you've shown to animals throughout your life. That said, I feel you made your decision because you did not have a quality vet or other support to help you through this problem. A few months after my Karina died, I was under the mistaken impression that our five cats were ready for a new kitten. We adopted Benson Floyd just before Christmas 2006. That's when all hell broke loose!

Most of my cats began to adjust to having him but two of my cats started urinating outside the litter box. Thor would pee on the floor right outside the boxes and someone else peed on piles of dirty laundry. Then my husband deployed and it got worse. That's when I saw it. Kali, chased by Benson, letting loose with urine everywhere. My apartment reeked! I was disgusted, depressed and it was hurting my relationship with my cat. I found myself not wanting to have anything to do with him. Armed with the knowledge that if my cats are behaving badly, it is my fault and my excellent veterinary staff, we tackled the problem. I took in my cats for urinalysis and examination to rule out health problems. Both Thor and Kali received behavior consultations. Kali, the sprayer, was put on Amitriptyline. My vet also consulted with behavior experts who recommended the correct cleaning products and techniques. Even though they had two litter robots, I followed their advice and placed additional three litter boxes in our apartment. I spent the $50 per gallon and bought Anti Icky Poo, and started cleaning everything.

Things improved and Thor stopped urinating on the floor. Kali stopped spraying. I had planned to start weaning Kali off the medication by this summer, but he got sick a few weeks ago and we had to stop the Amitriptyline as it was contraindicated with his other meds. My vet advised once he was all better, that if he began to get stressed out again, it was safe to start him back on the medication. Thankfully that has not been necessary! He is much more assertive with Benson and usually doesn't run away from him any more. Even when Benson has chased him, he has not sprayed. Your vet should have had the knowledge to help you get your problem under control and manage it better than putting your cat to sleep. If they were not able to help,they should have consulted a specialist or referred you to one. In my opinion, your vet is incompetent, get a new one.

Until it happens to you, noone can understand the devastating emotional impact that this problem causes. It becomes unbearable. I felt like I was drowning in depression. That is when it is most important to commit to finding a resolution. If you don't get results following the advice of your vet, get another, consult with a specialist, it makes a difference. I still have one issue left to work on. Someone, on several occasions, urinated on my bed! The cats have been banned ever since the last incidents. I did my research online and requested dye strips from my vet. By administering them to one cat at a time, I will definitively be able to tell who is responsible for peeing on my bed. I have also discussed setting up video surveillance with my vet and my husband. Both have reccomended this as the most effective means of determining who is doing this and under what circumstance. Once I have those tools in place, I will tackle this final problem and eventually remedy the situation. Before anyone even thinks about putting an animal to sleep over a behavior problem, exhaust all other options and consult with dedicated professionals. My vet put a lot of time into researching and consulting with other vets. Putting my cat down was never an option for her or for us and now all of our dedication and hard work is getting us the results we need.
Cats are people too!
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Howard » Sat May 17, 2008 3:48 am

Thanks misskitty. I felt horrible and severely depressed as well. I tried to and continue to try to give my pets the best possible care and I have switched vets. I felt really bad at the thought of sending her to a shelter but even the no kill shelter refused because of the "behavior problem" and the humane society told me flat out they would put her down. And my vet advised that putting her down was the "humane" thing to do.

I can't do half the things I used to since becoming disabled. For physical reasons as well as the lack of money. I lost my job after becoming disabled and my wife lost hers recently due to a stroke. So I can't afford "specialists" but I was never offered any to begin with. They also tried to convince me that all my cats had diabetes and tried to push the dvm food I think it's called and insulin shots. I smelled a scam and switched vets and was informed that a cat's sugar level can rise as much as 100 points due to the stress of just going to the vet. I also had another vet try to tell me my cat was peeing out of the box because her "biorhythms" were off and that she sold "pet relaxation" tapes and aroma candles on the side for very reasonable prices...yadda yadda yadda.......PFFT!!

I too set up a camcorder because at first we didn't know 100% which cat was doing it or if it was both as they were both petrified of the littermaid. I also tried multiple boxes (3) but that just made the cats scared to go near the rooms they were in. On there way through a room they would watch the boxes in terror and run past them to the next room so I had to take them away.

My vet never mentioned amitryptline but My wife uses it to relieve the burning nerve pain from her stroke and I use it as a sleep aid. It's amazing that a 50 year old depression medication has been found to have so many other uses than what it was intended for. The only problem we have with it is it knocks us for a loop and make us very dopey. Like how you feel just after surgery and you still have the anesthesia working on you. Hope it didn't bother you cat that way. But then a cat's favorite hobby is sleeping is it not? :)

My new vet is the only other one in my area and they seem good so far except they just doubled their office fee and got rid of their multiple pet discounts. I feel even worse now for taking the advice of the "professionals". But the bottom line is that the littermaid just scared the life out of my cats. She had no prevoius behavior problems and was never "skiddish". She was very outgoing and feared nothing and got along with the other cat just fine. In fact they used to sleep together in the same basket or in a ball on the couch and would even wash each other. We lived in the same house not moving around, which can be very stressful to a pet. Absolutely nothing changed in their environment except the introduction of the littermaid.

In my opinion Littermaid and any other motorized litterbox or pet device by any maker that uses an electric motor should put a warning on the box stating that this type of reaction to the motor might occur. Why they use such a loud motor is beyond me. It's louder than the motor on my hoveround chair! Which by the way all my pets seem to love sitting in with me for free "rides" around the house.

Littermaid refused to speak to me but their parent company contacted me and have been VERY kind and sympathetic to me in their letters. Littermaid could at least have acknowledged my existence instead of passing the buck. But I am very pleased with the person who did contact me and is a cat lover who will not use a littermaid for some reason. I also found dozens of other letters form people who have had the same problems as I've had. Both with the device and the reaction it caused in their pet with a simple google search. As far as the smell of the box. Everyone seems to say "well you just have to clean it often". Well it's supposed to be a "self cleaning" box and frequent cleaning defeats it's only purpose.

But thank You for your nice letter mskitty. I'm very happy you were able to get your problems resolved. I wish I had access to the resources you had or that I could afford them. I bet they cost a pretty penny. Sucks trying to live on $25 a day with a mortgage. Thank god I have a 2 family home or we would have lost it a long time ago if not for the $400 rent coming in......Always be thankful for your health and never take it for granted. You can lose everything in the blink of an eye so enjoy every moment of it.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby mskitty666 » Sat May 17, 2008 7:22 am

It must be very difficult living on such a tight income, but the behavior specialist never cost me anything. My vet just made a few calls to some colleagues and searched that special veterinary database. The amitriptyline was wonderful and it did make Kali spacey. He started just laying around in places he never lay before, like the hallway. It was a bit weird, but as soon as I would engage him, he'd come right to life. The meds just took the edge off enough for him to calm down and not work himself up into a frenzy. My vet and I had even discussed what our next step would be if that drug didn't work. I just wanted others who might read this later to know, that if their vet gives them the advice yours did, RUN!
Cats are people too!
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Howard » Fri May 23, 2008 12:28 am

Just like to add that it wasn't just 1 vet. It was a practice of 6 vets. All gave me the same advice as well as the local humane society and all the shelters in my area who all refused to take in a cat with "behavior" issues.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby tmn » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:28 pm

Well, I am no Littermaid fan but it was YOU that killed your cat not Littermaid. There are solutions to inappropriate urination, starting with confining your cat to one room or a cage for some time with her own litter box, all the way up to medication.

Also you should never just introduce an automated litter box with the power on - the instructions say to allow the cat to get used to it with power OFF and manually clean for a while.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby Zanira » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:01 am

Hi Howard,

I'm very sorry for your loss and the events that culminated to that decision, which may have been just as stressful and for a prolonged period of time.

I love my cats and they are very spoiled. Though I'm not a rescuer like you, I did go through a traumatic time when we first got them when they had health issues that took some time (and money) to resolve. The first vet said to put them down... and this wasn't even cause they had "behavioral" problems, but because they had diarrhea!

In the end, pets are pets and they're suppose to be a source of love. They can help you relax and decrease your stress levels. I'm sure that you did the everything to the best of your ability and resources, and the fact that you're sharing your experience in a forum like this shows that it's not something that was lightly experienced. There's not a lot of people that could have taken care of kitty, though this forum has a great concentration of cat lovers across the country who would go the extra mile as well. I hope that those that read this thread in the future and are experiencing such a problem will use Litterbox Central as a resource to, at the very least, find a new home for their cat.

I know that your current kitty and any future kitties you adopt will benefit from your experience and love.

Aloha,
Z
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby mxz-rxp » Mon May 18, 2009 1:03 am

sorry to hear about your loss.

and while the new littermaids suck I am not sure you can blame them for the cats death. Littermaid did not kill the cat you (the vet) did!

clearly a cat that was that tramatized by noise had other issues... that is an abnormal reaction...

I think killing the cat was another abnormal-reaction amazing!
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby LitterWorks » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:25 am

Tragic, tragic, tragic....

I'll just leave this here:
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby gardingh » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:08 pm

One of my cats refused to use the box for #2 and not #1 for some reason and decided that the carpet on the stairs was suitable enough. I could not determine which one it was so they both spent two nights in the laundry room with food, water and the littermaid right next to them. It was two nights of protesting, spilling the water dish and tossing the food dish around but they got used to the box and haven't had any accidents since. One other thing I would add is I cycled the box every time I went in to the room to feed them or change the water which I think reassured them that it was no more of a threat than the Roomba.
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Re: Littermaid killed my cat

Postby boldspirit » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:24 pm

Always have a traditional litter box also so your cats will have a "safe" place to go until they get used to the LitterMaid. It's best to have a litter box for each cat you have. Some are very finicky about where they go. I've never had a cat that afraid of a LitterMaid, but they distrust them for a while. They usually have to watch them cycle several times before they are comfortable enough to use them.
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