The Littermaid is broken
August 28, 2006 1:42 PM   Subscribe

My sister just left town after a couple of weeks, taking her kitties with her, and my own kitty's Littermaid self-cleaning litterbox nonfunctional.

It seems to be getting power, but the little comb thing refuses to retract. Am I doomed to scooping or is there something I can do to fix this?
posted by Sara Anne to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
If it's still under warranty, send it in and have it fixed.

If not, buy another one. I've bought three over the years and have found that Target usually has the best price.

However, I will note that my last one broke over a year ago and I haven't bothered to get a new one. Scooping is much less of a bother than you think it is, since you can just flip up the receptacle cover and dump your kitty's leavings in there, rather than having to deal with a little baggie.
posted by kindall at 1:53 PM on August 28, 2006

Ditto to the notion that this convenience device is a bit of a hidden hassle. If you only have one cat its probably not worth getting a new one (unless your cat is really, uh, prolific, or you are pregnant, etc.).
posted by shownomercy at 1:57 PM on August 28, 2006

Best answer: Open it up and give it a good clean.
posted by convex at 2:27 PM on August 28, 2006

I have been through about four so far. When they work well, they are great, which is why I keep replacing them.

I have noticed that sometimes the comb goes off the track. To fix this (after putting on gloves), grab it with both hands and manually move it side to side and up and down until you feel it snap back into place.

This sometimes works. They are, however, notoriously unreliable, and you may have to just replace the entire thing.
posted by Sheppagus at 2:33 PM on August 28, 2006

My experience is similar to Sheppagus (I'm on my 4th in 8ish years), and like kindall I have gone long stretches in between replacements using the box and receptacles with a hand scoop. The bottom line is it's unlikely anyone did anything to break it, they are just short-lived.

Try shaking the comb assembly as recommended above, and then if that doesn't work take the whole thing apart and take the frame/motor/comb assembly outside and give it a few technology taps on the ground to dislodge any litter that might be gumming up the works. Use some cleaner on the motion sensor eye in case it just thinks there's a permacat in the box.

If that doesn't work you can buy a big scoop or replace it and join the club.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:06 PM on August 28, 2006

Check to see if the comb is dragging on the bottom of the tray. You might have to trim the ends of the center comb teeth .
posted by Raybun at 4:53 AM on August 29, 2006

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