LEGO Brand Retail
May 282008

Littermaid vs SmartScoop – it is the self-scooping litter box wars I’m talking about not a review of the expensive cat boxes. (But if you want my opinion the SmartScoop wins the review hands down so lets hope they win the legal battle too.)

For a quick run down OurPets, a company that makes great pet products introduced a self-scooping litter box, the SmartScoop last year and the makers of the Littermaid box, Salton, Inc. felt the need to squash any competition before word got out that they don’t really care about pets they just want your money over and over again.

OurPet’s was founded in 1995 by Dr. Steve Tsengas with the goal of promoting pet health, well-being and owner & pet interaction. [taken from]

While Salton, Inc. and its subsidiaries are leading marketers and distributors of a broad range of branded small household appliances. Salton markets and distributes small kitchen and home appliances, pet and pest products, and personal care products. [take from Salton’s website]

Which of these companies do you think has your cat’s best interests in mind and which one do you think is only out to make a quick buck? If the company’s mission statements alone don’t convince you maybe you need to take a look at the products themselves.

SmartScoopThe SmartScoop as a large litter area it is two inches longer than the Littermaid’s usable area, which is rather important if you have a huge cat like mine. The SmartScoop is also a little higher, which can reduce the litter scattering from your cat’s digging.

The SmartScoop has a much less expensive waste bag to replace over the Littermaids plastic containers. Which raises the whole environmental issue. SmartScoops bags are biodegradable Littermaids are not (nor are they recyclable, but who would want to clean them out to recycle them any way?).

The most noticeable differences lie in the motor and the fact that it is outside of the box and removable on the SmartScoop not on the Littermaid. Which one do you think is easier to clean? I’ll tell you from experience, the SmartScoop! Since the motor is removable it is also replaceable too. That’s right if the motor goes bad you can replace just that part not the entire box.

OurPets stands behind their products, does Salton? I don’t think so. A friend of mine had gone through 2 Littermaid boxes in two years yet she could not get them repaired or replaced through the company. She finally gave up on self-scooping boxes as her experience with the Littermaid has soured her to any automatic box even one of superior quality like the SmartScoop.

This brings me to the costs. These boxes are not cheap, especially when you have to replace the entire box a $200 a pop. The SmartScoop retails for around $150 and the replacement costs are much less than that. Supplies for the SmartScoop are much more cost effective too.

As you can see the SmartScoop wins that battle but can it win the war? Maybe with our help the little guy can come out on top. Spread the word, let your congressman know how you feel about the waste of money and resources this type of litigation can be, above all else express your opinion to Salton and ask them why they are so afraid of a little market place competition. If they are as good as they think they are they should welcome some competition.

Besides I thought a person or company could improve on a current invention or patent and then claim the patent on the new and improved item (at least that’s what the infomercials tell me). So how can they really claim an infringement unless the product is exactly the same? Personally, I think they are over reacting and should go sell George Foreman Grills and forget the lawsuit, which will cost them more then if they simply welcomed the competition. Perhaps someone in their corporate offices did not do the math right or maybe they can simply throw away 1.5 million in the hopes of saving a half million dollars from a little healthy competition. Heck, if they have that much money why not throw some my way? Or better yet replace my friend’s boxes!

Boris says: What’s All The Fuss Over A Place to Poop any way?

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