I’ve been manually scooping the litter box for about four years now. Okay I’m lying – my son does it… but he hates doing it. Therefore, I’ve been on the hunt. It has taken me two years, but I finally had the opportunity to test a self-cleaning litter box. It may be one of the best out there might I add. Smarty Pear is confident in their product and sent a Leo’s Loo Too over for my two cats to try out.
Introducing the cats
When the device shows up at my door, I am a bit surprised at its size. Well kind of surprised anyways – I did some reading in advance, and I knew it was going to be on the large side. It measures in at 24 x 22 x 27.5 inches. However, it is packaged brilliantly. The litter box is pre-built, I simply cut some tape and it slides out of the box ready to go. A handy guide is included that tells me how to get it set up. This is where I make my first mistake.
I bring one of my cats down to the basement to “help” set it up. It was the timid one of the two cats – my female kitty, Clementine. I plug in the device and keep it the needed distance from the wall. I am so excited about not scooping that I just want to introduce her to it quickly. It spins the moment it turns on. Clementine was curious, but now she does not like it AT ALL. She’s initially pretty terrified actually.
Why am I so dumb? In hindsight, I should have set it up with litter and let her see it and explore prior to her seeing it spin. This is what I accidentally did right with the male – her brother, Chester. He comes wandering in later (after it has litter), hops in, does his business, and he’s off.
Smarty Pear tells me this in the instructions – kind of. They suggest keeping the device in manual mode to let cats adjust, but I didn’t realize it would spin the first moment I turn it on. I’m really hoping this works out and Clementine will overcome her unnecessary traumatizing first impression.
Thankfully it does. It takes a few days, (and a few messes) but I slowly coax Clementine into the Loo by keeping it manual mode. I give her treats several times a day near it, and I use my indoor Blink camera to see if she starts going in on her own. Success. She does and now she loves it without issue. Chester never had an issue. He just does his thing and gets out. I think it would have gone the same way with Clementine had I introduced her properly.
Smarter than you know
The design of the Leo Loo Too litter box is fantastic. The aforementioned “spinning” is what allows the box to discard litter into a waste drawer underneath. Some of you might wonder – could it spin with the cat inside? The short answer is no. Smarty Pear uses safety technology that stops moving parts whenever a cat is nearby. This includes a radar system that knows if a cat is nearby, four weight sensors detect when a cat is inside, and “an aerospace-grade anti-pinch sensor at the top of the waste drawer.” In other words, our cats’ safety is their number one priority.
I tested out the Loo in both manual and automatic settings. I start in manual mode just to keep my cats using it and getting comfortable. When the litter box is connected to my network I can control cleanings through the expertly designed Smarty Pear app. I can simply go into the app and press clean (whether I’m at home or somewhere else). What’s best is setting the device to automatically clean so you don’t forget (and the cats continuously have fresh litter). In this mode, Leo’s Loo Too detects when my cat is finished doing its business and empties itself. I can even set how much time should pass after kitty leaves before it starts cleaning!
I left the cats home alone for four days this past week and got an alert each time they used the box. The app was so helpful. I quickly hop into it and see their weights in the log, and if I feel it’s necessary, I can adjust the UV light cleaning times (yes it has a UV light to kill bacteria and help reduce odor).
I have my UV light cleaning happen several times throughout each day, and I set my cleanings to happen about 8 minutes after a cat uses it. Coming home has never felt better. The litter box was clean! The odor was minimal, and all I have to do is open the large bin (a drawer) at the bottom, pull out the liner bag of dirty litter, and replace it. It’s “literally” that simple. What an upgrade from scooping tons of litter and dealing with a house that stinks when I come back from a brief vacation.
Leo’s Loo Too is almost perfect. Almost. There are a few things I want to see them improve. The first being a larger step for my kitty to get in and out of the box. My cats love to take a flying leap out of it. This scatters litter all over my bathroom every single time they go. Smarty Pear sells mats that help collect some of this, and I’m not sure if a larger step will help, but I’m hoping they think of something to help avoid this nuisance.
Additionally, I’m not completely convinced of the UV light’s effectiveness. I do know having the litter in a drawer masks the smell significantly. It probably is the combination of the drawer and light that reduces the stink. When I left for the four days and changed out the liner, I didn’t notice the smell until I pulled out the drawer. It was very full (again two cats are using it), and the smell of ammonia was overwhelming. It is obvious that the smell is significantly reduced compared to an open litter box.
Leo’s Loo Too is a phenomenal product. It comes in multiple color options for those with décor preferences. If scooping litter is a chore, too difficult for you, or just a plain annoyance – this self-cleaning smart litter box is a wonderful tool to have. My cats adjusted to it wonderfully, and I imagine had I kept them away during setup, I would not have had any issues. The large waste drawer, well-designed and easy to use app, UV light, and overall functionality are tops. To those who value these features, it will definitely be worth your investment.