Litter-Robot on MSNBC

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Cat owners have long sought alternatives to the traditional kitty litter. It’s a daily job many wish they didn’t have to do as often.

That’s where Litter-Robot ($329) can help (www.litter-robot.com). This 1950s, space-age looking device is in an enclosed globe with a little step leading into it, and it helps keep the smell and kitty litter from being tracked all over the house.

It works by rotating the globe around after the cat has done its business, and dropping the clumped waste into a drawer that’s built into the base.

No more scooping, no more chance of a rake breaking and getting caught in the stuff — and no more daily emptying. Litter-Robot president Brad Baxter, whose company is based in Pontiac, Mich., came up with the idea almost a decade ago.

“I had inherited a couple of cats and I had difficulty with one of the cats that didn’t use it — cat litter — frequently,” he said. “I thought about making it more automated.”

He knows some people might balk at paying so much for something that really doesn’t take much to do every day. But he says, people said the same thing about washing machines when they first came out — who thought they’d be paying that much money to wash clothes?

“Once you’ve experienced efficiency of an appliance that really works, it makes a lot of sense to switch to that,” Baxter said.