One of the essential items you’ll ever own for your cat is a litter box. And while most owners purchase a litter box without a great deal of thought, there are a number of factors that can affect just how satisfied you and your cat will end up being.
If you think litter boxes are just simple designs that you can get at a very low cost, think again. The gamut of litter boxes runs from the most basic to the luxurious. While the most simple litter boxes require daily maintenance on your part, more advanced technology now incorporates self-cleaning techniques so you’ll barely have to lift a finger.
But the costs can be astounding.
Take the Litter Robot: at a stunning five hundred dollar price point, it promises to do all the cleaning for you by using robotic sensors to identify the presence of the cat, then sets off timer to automatically clean the box seven minutes after the cat’s departure.
But impressive as this technology might be, it certainly comes at a hefty cost.
That’s where the Luup Litter Box comes in. While not as technologically advanced as the Little Robot, it is also far more affordable and a well-designed option.
But just how good is the Luup Litter Box? Is there anything special about it? And why should you even care what kind of litter box you get?
All of your questions will be answered in our easy FAQ and review guide to the Luup Litter Box.
Table of Contents
Do cats prefer a particular type of litter box, especially when it comes to open versus closed litter boxes?
The type of litter box matters to depends on who you ask. Some argue that cats cannot tell the difference between litter boxes, and you could also argue that, since the main purpose of the litter box is for cats, it shouldn’t matter what kind you purchase. This sort of reasoning goes that, as cats use litter boxes to eliminate, there is little reason to think they would have a huge opinion.
However, different litter boxes do provide a slightly different experience, even for your cat. Larger litter boxes are more comfortable even for smaller cats, and a good design litter box may overall be more comfortable.
One of the largest debates, however, centers around closed versus open litter boxes. This is such a large debate that the question was investigated through a study published by The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. While it was a relatively small study, with just under thirty cats, the results were decisive.
All of the cats were given free access to either the open or closed litter boxes and had no prior history of issues with litter boxes. Of those cats, an astonishing seventy percent of cats had no preference at all. Only eight cats had a preference, and that preference was evenly divided between open and closed litter boxes.
If open or closed litter boxes don’t matter for most cats, what does?
When it comes to litter box preferences, open and closed concepts may not matter so much to cats, other factors might. Undoubtedly the size matters: without ample room, your cat may feel crowded or uncomfortable. Another factor? They are keeping that litter box clean.
For most cats, the most important factors to a cat litter box are relatively simple: a clean, spacious place to eliminate, that’s sturdy enough it won’t shake or splinter after prolonged use. Keeping a litter box clean is very important also for your cat’s health.
Then why invest in a fancier litter box?
The truth of the matter is that, while litter boxes do need to be designed with cats in mind, many are actually more developed for the humans that have to clean them. Self-cleaning litter boxes require much less maintenance. While closed concept litter boxes might seem to protect against leaking odors, they are also a good more pungent when you go to clean them, because there is not much of an opportunity for air to escape.
Litter boxes that are not self-cleaning can be messy and complicated to use, but they are also a good deal more budget friendly. What it comes down to is this: your litter box should be a comfortable space for your cat, and it also should be a box that is easy to use and clean.
If you spend a little extra, litter boxes tend to be made with better and more durable materials, as well as easier to clean, and require less maintenance in general. Easier to clean litter boxes aren’t just a matter of convenience, though; if they are easier to clean, it’s more likely that they will be cleaned to the optimal level–which is important for both your cat’s comfort and well being.
What does a self-cleaning litter box mean?
A self-cleaning litter box is exactly, or more or less, how it sounds: it is meant to clean the litter for you automatically.
In a traditional litter box, you have to use a scoop to clean out the soiled litter, then manually replace it with new, fresh litter. It’s up to you to refresh it regularly and keep it well maintained. The Humane Society of the United States recommends cleaning your litter box at least twice a week for optimal well being; with a self-cleaning machine, that process is automated. In very advanced self-cleaning machines, like the above-mentioned robot, sensor technology is used to anticipate the correct time to clean, regularly.
Are there any downsides to a self-cleaning litter box?
Self-cleaning litter boxes are by no means the be all, end all. While self-cleaning boxes may seem like the answer to anyone who loves cats but hates maintaining a litter box, self-cleaning boxes may seem like the answer to messy, smelly litter.
But there are some downsides.
For one, self-cleaning litter boxes are not always perfect, and there is always a possibility of them wearing out or malfunctioning with use. Then there’s cost: at a few hundred dollars or more, many self-cleaning litter boxes may prove prohibitive to cat owners with smaller budgets.
But the biggest problem comes to how cats react to self-cleaning litter boxes. While some cats adjust or even like them, self-cleaning litter boxes have in fact been known to scare cats off, especially if they are already used to using a traditional litter box. If your cat has used a traditional litter box for some time, there’s a reason for caution when it comes to self-cleaning litter boxes.
Is there an option in between a traditional and self-cleaning litter box?
If you want something that’s easier to keep clean and perhaps a bit more well designed than many traditional boxes, but you are wary of self-cleaning litter boxes, there is, in fact, an option in between, and one example of this hybrid model is the Luup Litter Box.
The Luup Litter box is designed to make cleaning and use more intuitive, but it does not have the cost of a self-cleaning litter box, nor does it have some of the features or technology that may scare a traditionally trained cat away.
What’s so different about the Luup Litter Box?
The Luup Litter Box is purposely designed to make cleaning easier, with a deceptively simple design that most traditional litter boxes lack. The main focus is making cleaning efficient, easy and a mess-free process:
- Three tray system
- Stackable design
- Filter System
- Scoop and Liner-Free System
The system works with three stackable layers that help to separate soiled litter from clean litter easily. With no scoops or liners, the process is easier, cleaner, and more precise: by using a shifting technique, you won’t lose clean litter like you would with a traditional scooping system.
A top tray is filled with the litter; each tray then works as a sieve to filter out the old litter from a fresh litter. A quick process will result in a tray of clean litter, and litter you discard.
Does the Luup Litter Box Work Only for Smaller Cats?
According to the company’s site, Luup recently formulated its litter box to work with small and large cats alike. However, it is one size fits all, with no custom sizing currently available. The dimensions are around fifteen and a half inches by twenty inches by five inches. It also includes a seven and a half inch spill guard, which helps prevent further spills.
What materials are used in a Luup Litter Box?
The material of your cat’s litter box can tell you a lot in terms of quality, durability, and comfort. The Luup Litter Box is made with what they claim are “durable and pet safe” materials. The litter box is also non-stick and anti macrobiotic. However, it is rather difficult to discern what the Luup Litter Box is made out of. If this is something that’s important to you, you’ll likely need to contact the company itself. The materials need to be durable, and there’s an added benefit if they’re also scratch resistant. These questions should be addressed, so this is a weaker area in terms of transparency on Luup’s part, but not necessarily a red flag.
Is there a type of litter that should be used with Luup Litter Boxes?
You may think that any type of litter could be used in Luup Litter Boxes, but per their FAQs, they do recommend certain types of litter. Clumping and crystal litter are the two preferred types of litter to be used in the litter boxes. Wheat pine and walnut based litter, according to customer feedback, did not do well because they can congeal to the box itself and do not clump as well. Brands that they do suggest for litter include Arm and Hammer Slide, Pretty Litter, World’s Best Cat Litter, and Mimi Litter.
The amount of litter is important, too. Fifteen pounds of litter for clumping litter, of eight pounds of crystal litter, is the ideal amount to both catch litter and prevent leaking. Much less or more and the litter box will not work as efficiently, no matter what kind of litter you use.
What kind of maintenance is involved?
While certainly less maintenance is involved with a Luup Litter Box than your typical, traditional scoop litter box, you do have to maintain in. As with any traditional litter box, you should clean it at least twice a week. For best results, you should also briefly sift the litter once a day per cat. And of course, you should make sure after sifting that you have to sift most efficiently. It’s certainly more work than a self-cleaning litter box, but the beauty of the design is that you’ll be doing less cleanup and you’ll, at least in theory, do it more efficiently.
How expensive is the Luup Litter Box? And how does that price compare with other litter boxes?
Per the company website, the Luup Litter Box costs sixty-five dollars, with free shipping within the United States and Canada. There’s also a limited time promotion where you can slash thirty percent off the price when you purchase two litter boxes–though for many that won’t be a great deal. Compared to most traditional litter boxes, this is certainly more expensive, which is not all that surprising. You can buy traditional litter boxes for as little as under five dollars, though most run around ten to twenty or thirty.
It is, however, also much more affordable than self-cleaning litter boxes. Self-cleaning litter boxes run anywhere from around one hundred and fifty to a few hundred dollars. In this way, the price more or less seems to make sense, if it is slightly on the higher end. It depends on how much you think the filter system is worth it.
Is there a return policy?
Of course, one negative about purchasing a more expensive litter box, and online, is that there is a little bit more financial risk involved than there would be had you found a cheaper litter box at a store. However, Luup does have a return policy. You can return it for thirty days, though you will be responsible for additional shipping and handling fees. There is also a twenty-four seven customer support line, as well as a direct contact email.
In order to return the litter box, you will be required to log in to receive a Return Merchandise Authorization. A number will be emailed to you within one business day. Using that order number, you will have to ship to the specified address; refunds will be issued within ten to fourteen business days.
To get your full refund, however, it is imperative that all working parts are shipped back and in like new condition.
How does payment work?
Secure payment is available upon checkout. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express cards, as well as Apple Pay, are all acceptable methods of payment. You should receive your order within twenty-four hours. Payment is a one-time payment, with no additional payment plans offered.
What do the reviews say about the Luup Litter Box?
Paying heed to box customer reviews and professional ratings are critical to determining if a litter box is the best fit for you and your cat. And while there are testimonies and customer reviews on their actual site, the best policy is to look outside of the company’s site for the most authentic and nuanced way to understand if a product is or isn’t worth the cost.
Luup does not at this time appear to be accredited through the Better Business Bureau, nor does it have an official page. Because it is not listed on Amazon officially (you are directed to purchase on their website), there are no customer reviews available there.
It is very difficult to find any external customer reviews in general, at least through typical consumer review aggregate sites and markets.
In order to get any external reviews, you’ve to rely on personal blogs, which is not ideal. In general, users seem to indicate that cleaning is easier, but a large disadvantage is that the litter box does not eliminate odors as good as one may think. There is also a confirmation that it is important to stick with the litter they suggest.
Overall, reviews are mixed, with more points for efficiency and less for the overall price and odor control.
Is the Luup Litter Box right for my cat and me?
With all of this in mind, only you can decide whether the Luup Litter Box is the best litter box for you and your cat. But to recap, here are the main advantages and disadvantages to the Luup Litter Box:
- Easy cleanup
- Stackable design
- Less mess
- Less litter wasted
- Free shipping plus thirty-day returns
- Cost (more expensive than traditional litter boxes)
- Odor control–less so than other models
- Still requires a decent amount of maintenance
- Lack of external consumer reviews