Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Does Your Kitty Need a Personal Robot?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in our age of advanced technology, a penchant for electronic gadgets and time saving devices, pet owners increasingly consider technology purchases to help manage their pet’s care.  These items include automated pet food dispensers and electric water fountains with continuous water flow for cooling and oxygenation.  I’ve also seen pet owners employ robot vacuums to make regular carpet sweeps of their homes to collect pet hair and dander.  Depending upon the pet, these robot vacuums may be greeted with curiosity, indifference or outright defiance and revolt.  However, today’s blog post centers on a different sort of robot.  This one is called the Litter Robot.  When I first saw it sitting on the floor in a client’s home recently, I did not know what it was.  My first thought was, “What is R2-D2 doing in this bathroom?” After our initial introduction (no, the Litter Robot does not talk!), I was fascinated.

My client explained how it works.  Despite its odd appearance, it is quite functional and does a thorough job.  The whole idea behind the Litter Robot is it fully automates the cleaning and maintenance of a cat’s litter box.  The cat steps into the robotic chamber, which the manufacturer refers to as the globe.  The globe is filled to a specific height with store-bought litter (no special litter product is required to operate the robot).  The cat does his/her business and then steps out.  The robot waits 7 minutes and then begins a cycle.  The inner globe rotates, turning a complete 360 degrees.  During the rotation, the robot sifts through the litter and separates the waste, which falls into a collection drawer at the base.  Owners can use standard plastic garbage bags to line the drawer.  Depending upon the number of kitties using the chamber, their size and frequency of use, the pet owner should typically empty the drawer once or twice each week (based upon a household with two average sized cats).  The bottom line is the Litter Robot eliminates the need to scoop through a cat’s litter box daily and serves to control the usual litter box odors. 

Please understand that I’m not endorsing the Litter Robot as a must-have for all cat owners.  Like so many pet care products, the Litter Robot appeals to cat owners with certain lifestyles.  It is ideal for those who travel regularly for short periods and those who are not diligent in tidying up their more traditional litter box.

A few parting thoughts about the manufacturer of the Litter Robot: (1) The product is 100% Made in the U.S.A. (Pontiac, MI), which is a major selling point to many Americans these days, and (2) The company’s website provides a wealth of information about the device including instructional videos and tips for transitioning your cat from a traditional litter box to the Litter Robot.  Moreover, YouTube posts videos illustrating the equipment in use. 

Finally, in an attempt to leverage my own prior career skills in Corporate Training & Development, I would be pleased to meet with cats one-on-one or in a classroom setting to deliver a customized PowerPoint presentation called “Why Your Parents are Outsourcing Your Litter Box?”  Hmm?  Is that my phone already ringing?


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