Cracking Litter Box DRM

DRM on a specific brand of cat litter box has been cracked. In other news, DRM on cat litter boxes exists.

[Jorge] moved into a new apartment with a feline companion and wanted one of those fancy, auto-cleaning litter boxes. Apparently only one such device exists, the CatGenie. This ‘Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes’ uses little pieces of plastic granules as ‘functional medium’ that are scooped up, cleaned, and returned to use. These granules are washed with a cartridge full of fresh-smelling cleaning solution that comes in a container with an RFID tag. Yep, DRM’ed cat boxes. Welcome to the future.

After cruising around the Internet, [Jorge] found a CatGenie community that has released open source firmware for a litter box and something called a CartridgeGenius, a drop-in replacement for the cartridge tag reader in the litter box. It simulates both the RFID tag and its reader, allowing any robotic litter box owner to select between 120 cycle cartridges, 60 cycle cartridges, a maintenance cartridge, and set the fill level of those cartridges.

Previously, [Jorge] was spending about $350 a year on the solution to clean these plastic granules, so in a few months this CartridgeGenius has already paid for itself.

120 thoughts on “Cracking Litter Box DRM

  1. “It simulates bot the RFID tag its reader, allowing any robotic litter box owner to select between 120 cycle cartridges, 60 cycle cartridges, a maintenance cartridge, and set the fill level of those cartridge”

    Err grammar?

      1. There’s also the use of “between” when “among” is needed.

        Unfortunately, proficiency in spelling and grammar no longer seem to be deemed a requirement to be a writer. Site editors commonly claim it’s important when advertising for writers, but often in a post that is itself riddled with errors.

        1. Reg,
          So…. people who are not as good at spelling and grammar as you…. ummm…._shouldn’t_ write about their experiences? This attitude just pisses me off….. I’m not gonna search, but, what cool things have _YOU_ published, on the web or elsewhere? Just because you feel that you are superior to others, you can piss on their efforts to share what they have done? It’s people like you who make me afraid to expose who I really am, for fear of ridicule for sharing things that illiterate people like me think are cool…. And technically, really are pretty neat. I guess I should take comfort that you actually bothered to read all of the article, just so you could make fun of it and make yourself feel superior. Part of me wants to ask “So why did you waste your time actually reading it?”

          1. So, you would rather avoid sharing your thoughts, for fear of being ridiculed, than simply learn how to write properly? And somehow that’s Reg’s fault?
            You completely missed his point, anyway. He wasn’t critiquing “a guy who wanted to share what he’d done”, he was critiquing “a guy who gets paid to write professionally about what other people have done”.
            Sure, the writers here take a little flak for their all-too-frequent grammar gaffes, but that doesn’t make them give up writing up cool hacks for us to read about, and it shouldn’t stop you from writing down your thoughts, either.
            On the other hand, it would be nice if people could just take a little constructive criticism, and stop shouting “go away, grammar nazi!” in an attempt to excuse sloppiness and, in some cases, plain ignorance. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing correctly ;)

          2. Woot! +100. The strange bit is how often this occurs in these threads… it’s like people got nothing better to do…
            Or maybe they had really strict knuckle-rulering teachers in their life and are pissed they can’t dismiss that part of their life as just a cruel moment from their past. OTOH, consistent misuse of “their” “they’re” and “there” still gets on my nerves a *little* bit (Thank you Mrs. ‘Jackoffb**ch’), and “u” and “ur” is just downright disrespectful, as far as I’m concerned. You seem well-beyond either of those, so don’t be afraid to write.

          3. RunnerPack,
            Seriously “a little flak” is a major understatement. Fine, paid writers should probably be decent at writing… we (readers) get it. They, most-certainly, got it 4000 posts prior to this one. At some point it almost seems like this whole thing’s just an attempt to make it look like, on the outside, that there’re more project-interested-commenters, on HaD, than there actually are. It ain’t constructive-criticism, either… if it was, there’d be *one* comment on the matter and it’d be over. No one else would have the need to jump in. Or, heck, there could be a friggin’ “check yo’ grammah” button… yahknow, if there was any valid reason to try to keep comments even remotely-related to the project…

          4. I’m going to finish off this comment chain by suggesting something.

            Posts here can be judged as failures or successes. This can be done in a number of ways, either through how the writer feels about the post, the number of views, or the number of comments.

            If the number of comments in a thread is a metric, and there is a portion of the audience who cares enough to comment about typos and grammar, then typos or bad grammar are incentivized.

            If a writer is smart enough to pick up on this, the logical thing to do would be to introduce typos and errors in grammar. They could be subtle enough that most readers wouldn’t even notice, and after the initial few comments, the errors could be corrected. In this way, the Hackaday audience, themselves, are hacked.

            Your welcome.

          5. @RunnerPack: NO! As this is a technical forum spelling and grammar is of very low priority, as long as the sense is comprehensible.
            This is not the forum of “the English teachers association”.

          6. The comment about the misspellings could be a simple “this was misspelled” and left at that or an ongoing rant. So the perception and reception by the author and reader are all dependent upon the delivery by the commentator.

            I like Brian’s comment as I see come “commercial truth” in intentional misspellings to drive the number of comments up knowing that people will be people and there will ALWAYS be at least one heckler in the audience.

            Steve, I learned a long time ago that you can NEVER please everyone. I also learned long ago that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, only to my self. If some one nitpicks on insignificant things and/or “flames” something you wrote (invested energy into), it is most often due to their own ego compensation issues, thus they own those issues, not you. Therefore, its not your responsibility to absorb negative emotional energy from someone else, only what belongs to you. Personally, I encourage you to write and share as we are ALL unique and I enjoy seeing how some one creates something, even if its useless and impractical.

            Thank you HaD authors for creating a space where all these types of “personal creations” can be collected, organized and shared globally. Misspellings or not, keep up the great work!

            Peace and blessings.

        2. I enjoyed the article and paid nothing for it and free stuff has to allow some leeway. Instead of critisizing it, and contributing nothing yourself, you might be grateful enough to thank the author for writing the article and maybe next time, contribute something we actually care to read yourself.

        3. If you are going to criticize grammar and diction, at least be correct. No, his use of the word “between” is correct diction. In a set of 2, one chooses between them. Among is appropriate to describe group membership, where the cardinality of the group is generally more than two and often not stated. One chooses BETWEEN the chicken and the steak when they are the ONLY choices. One chooses AMONG them when there are additional choices (“among the chicken, steak, and wide variety of seafood on the menu, John ordered the steak”).

          1. Yup, nobody says that open source has to be equal to for free. It just means free of restrictions. But open source that can be paid for can be great for the lots of people that are not ready to do any effort whatsoever, otherwise they could do it themselves. Sometimes people also don’t have the technical expertise and the universal rule in anything says: if you don’t know it yourself or are too lazy to learn, then you have to pay somebody else to do it for you.

        1. The article doesn’t make it super clear, but it’s talking about two separate things (authored by the same person). The first is CatGenius, which is a full replacement firmware for the box. You flash the box and the new firmware ignores the rfid tags altogether. It also has some improvements over the stock firmware. This requires no permanent hardware addition, just one-time use of a PIC programmer. The downside is that it’s a one-way street. Since there is no way to read the original firmware off first, you can never go back to stock if you wanted to.

          The second is the CartidgeGenius. This is a piece of hardware that connects in place of the rfid tag reader, emulating the reader and whichever tag you select. This requires some hardware, but is completely reversible by unplugging the board and replugging the rfid reader. The stock firmware is never modified.

          The replacement firmware is open source and free to download. The hardware cartridge emulator is not open source and $100 to buy.

  2. The mere fact this litterbox costs hundreds is the proof that DRM existence has absolutely nothing to do with making business with consumables after selling devices at a loss. This thing although being an interesting an useful device contains less technology and parts than the cheapest label printer out there but costs like 10x or more. They would make a ton of money just by selling the device at the same price and letting owners recharge the solution, still they spent money to develop some DRM to make even more money. Because they can, that’s the sole motivation.

    It’s not just DRM practice to be fought against but also its acceptance by the uninformed people.

    1. I don’t like DRM, but what a bunch of rot by yet another geek who doesn’t understand what he/she doesn’t understand.

      “The mere fact this litterbox costs hundreds is the proof that DRM existence has absolutely nothing to do with making business with consumables after selling devices at a loss.”

      You may feel confident in making statements like this, but I’m pretty confident that you don’t have any idea what their actual costs are, as evidenced by this:

      “This thing although being an interesting an useful device contains less technology and parts than the cheapest label printer out there but costs like 10x or more.”

      What, pray tell, do you think technology is? Electronics? Those are just parts, and those parts are made from materials, which are made my processing raw materials. Now, clearly, the plastics, metals, semiconductors, etc have a cost beyond the oil, ore, and sand that went into producing them. So wouldn’t it make sense that a product should have a cost greater than the cost of the parts it is made from?

      That cost of the finished product is supported, in part, by the value that the consumer gains from the product. That value is created in many ways beyond the cost of the parts. Importantly, it is created in the design. The difference between a good automatic cat box and a worthless one is largely in the design, though that design might include specifying better quality parts, one can create a lousy design and use excellent parts, and still have a crappy product.

      Of course, none of the good design and good parts do anyone any good if the people who have the problem the product solves don’t know that the product solves the problem. This is generally addressed by what geeks deride as marketing. A lot of marketing is truly risible, but that doesn’t mean that some amount of the right sort of marketing isn’t worthwhile, or even necessary, and that marketing itself has a cost.

      As for your label printer example, you seem to be missing something important. A label printer can be smaller than a cat and still do its job. A litter box has to be larger than a cat to be effective. The result, the litter-box requires more plastic, so, even if it was reasonable to think that products should be priced based on the cost of their parts, there is an explanation for why an automatic litter-box should be more expensive than a label printer.

      “They would make a ton of money just by selling the device at the same price and letting owners recharge the solution, still they spent money to develop some DRM to make even more money. Because they can, that’s the sole motivation.”

      Again, you are making ill-informed assertions about cost, revenue and motivation. You also happen are missing that there might be some value to consumers in DRM. Outrageous, I know, but in this case, while it might support a larger markup then they’d have to pay if they tracked down the right chemicals on their own, they can be reasonably confident that what they bought will indeed work with their litterbox.

      This isn’t a small thing. I recently purchased a refilled toner cartridge for my laser printer. I did my research and picked what I though was a reputable source. The result is something that prints about 50% as well as the old, OEM cartridge. I regret buying it, and will probably go to the trouble of trying to return it and replace it with a new OEM cartridge.

      I don’t know about you, but I think that the downsides of a bad 3rd-party toner cartridge are less than the downsides of a malfunctioning litter box.

      “It’s not just DRM practice to be fought against but also its acceptance by the uninformed people.”

      Yes, I agree with you, well, I I might if I could be sure I understood you: uninformed people should be opposed, not accepted. Nasty things.

        1. Well, yeah, and so does EVERY OTHER PRODUCER OF ANY PLASTIC PRODUCT and they do manage. I would not cry a tear about the poor industrialists that are barely scraping by, have to put up with a terribly small profit margin that only allows their president to have one yacht, instead of two ;-)
          I love how big business and their helpers (what is their motivation) inflates all prices and makes even the most mundane production process something very difficult to setup and well, almost a work of magic to justify high prices ;-) *grin*

        2. They are not bigger than the ones for a cheap plastic chair. In the end it is all question of calculation. As a consumer I still do not like this drm-cartrige business model. And I would avoid it if possible. In the end you pay much more than a fair price.

      1. You’re posing rather a false dichotomy here. The only options are not “official refills with DRM” and “sourcing your own chemicals” – the manufacturer could have provided refills without DRM. Customers who have your concerns could still buy official refill kits, without being prevented from sourcing their own or third-party products if they desire.

        1. Why would the manufacturer want to provide without DRM, though? How does it change the customer’s experience either way? The customer was going to buy the refills anyway, and the DRM doesn’t interfere (if it works right), so there’s no loss to the customer. However, when a potential competitor comes in, then the DRM matters, and that’s where the manufacturer is protecting their interests and investments. It’s no different from a patent, really. Companies are under no obligation to open up their products to competitors or make their products open source/hardware.

          1. “Why would the manufacturer want to provide without DRM, though?”

            If you’re asking why a manufacturer would forgo the opportunity to artificially restrict the product to using their own brand consumables, I didn’t think that was the question at issue – the question was, is it right (ethically or by some other measure) to apply DRM in the first place. You were claiming that DRM in this situation is a benefit for consumers, and I don’t think that’s true – forcing the consumer to use own-brand consumables is a detriment to consumers.

          2. It’s not the same as a patent, either – patents are a government granted IP right, while TPMs attempt to create a monopoly artificially with no corresponding IP right.

          3. If the manufacturer enforces a monopoly on consumables with DRM then he can (and will) sell them overpriced. If the brand refills are really better then the customer would by them also without DRM.

      2. “…while it might support a larger markup then they’d have to pay if they tracked down the right chemicals on their own, they can be reasonably confident that what they bought will indeed work with their litterbox.”

        The problem in this case is that the provided replacement *didn’t* work with their litter box. It made the pellets sticky and they got tracked everywhere. “Reasonably confident” means nothing when there’s no choice to be confident about.

        The consumer ought to be allowed the freedom to track down their own chemicals, if they so choose. Most won’t, of course, but the opportunity is there. True, a lot of work went into the design and development of the litter box and its cleaning solution. But that’s no excuse to put an artificial lockdown in place to prevent others from trying to develop their own refill. Of course the consumer might break something, but isn’t that what warranty get-out clauses are for? The consumer knows they are accepting a risk in using a non-sanctioned refill, and the company can laugh and say “I told you so” if it goes wrong, but that should still be the consumer’s choice to make.

        I don’t see how a malfunctioning litter box could be so terrible. Worst-case scenario, it makes a mess and you have to clean it up. Then you pull the plug and it becomes a normal, inert, scoopable analog litter box like cats used in the old days. As a bonus, you could use whatever the heck kind of litter you wanted to!

        1. Depends on which side of cash register you are :)
          Good for producers of the litterbox, bad for users.

          Same as inkjet catrtidges. Ain’t it funny, that cartidges cost the same as new printer?

    2. I actually have this litter box and have used both the cartridge emulator and the replacement firmware.

      Yes, it was a bit pricey. However, after taking the thing completely apart to clean it (annual thing) I must say this: This is amazingly well engineered. There are so many custom parts that all work together very well. The water level sensor by itself is genius. (It’s a shame that I can’t say the same about the stock firmware.) Anyhow, after really investigating the internals, I don’t think $250 is unreasonable at all. If anything, they’re probably not making much from the box (+ warranty, which I’ve used) to begin with. The cleaning solution may be required to maintain the business. I’ve paid for cartridges for at least a couple of years, so I don’t feel bad for leaving them behind now.

    3. It IS at a loss. All the circuits in this automated cat litter dispenser barely make a profit after selling at hundreds of dollars. Possibly it only breaks even, or even is sold at a loss. Whatever the case, the real big profits for the company DO come from selling the consumables.

    1. Nope since the loving people behind said litter box went out of their way to RFID tag their cartridges and from the sound of it the litter box writes to the cartridges RFID chip as it is used. So once the cartridge is empty even if you refill it (unless you reset the RFID chip) it will still read as empty.

      1. Actually the chip also detects the conductivity of the solution, that’s how it knows how much is left. Tap water is not very conductive. The cleaning solution it uses is conductive. So is salt water. If you want to refill it, you will need to use a conductive solution such as salt water.

          1. hahaha, thats funny! its almost like shes saying ‘im doing it right.. right? its just what the humans do… i think!’

            i would link you mine (to satisfy your need to see more peoples cats pooping in toliets) but she is better trained and doesnt ‘paw’ or attempt to cover ;)

          1. IIRC, didn’t there used to be just a setup that trained your cat to do just that? Granted, this was back in the days of Ronco, but still..It had a tray that inserted into the bow with a little bit of litter to train them to go there, and an extension to the flush handle that they could more easily bat at to flush.

      1. Yes, that’s of course the way to go: make the poop a problem of somebody else (the one who steps in it on the pavement). – I know SOME people clean up after their dogs.

        But seriously: I just don’t like dogs, I love cats. So your suggestion is no option. I still use an ordinary litterbox and estimated to carry about 500kg of cat litter/year, a bag every week.

  3. I swear there was a time, in my own short life-span, when most of these supplies could be bought in bulk… I distinctly remember picking up a folded paper-bag for coffee-grounds, certainly remember bringing back empty-bottles and pressing a plunger on a gigantic barrel full of soap, and I’m pretty sure I even remember seeing ink in containers like bleach.

  4. Nice hack. However, running it with no disinfectant seems a bad idea to me as there’s some really nasty stuff in cat piss like toxoplasma gondii. I’d be refilling those bottles with dilute benzalkonium chloride, which can be found cheaply in laundry treatments like Canesten and anti-microbial treatments for pools.

    If you’re less technologically minded, you can use horse-feed pellets as cat litter and just flush the soiled stuff down the toilet. No loading your bins up with cat shit to ripen for a week until the garbos come!

    1. While you COULD run with no disinfectant, most hackers refill the cartridge when they are actually empty. Alternatively, you could go all-in on a bulk solution by increasing the pouch capacity to 2 liters and just dumping in ‘Simple Green’ or your choice of disinfectant.

      1. Since it will run without the cartridge (and thus no chip), the simplest solution is to rip the chip out of the cartridge and refill the cartridge with plain water. No chip to read, and it thinks there’s no cartridge in it.

    2. The best hack here would be to euthanize the cat… Unless you live on a farm there is no reason to have these filthy parasite ridden animals. All these “cat” people have no effing clue what toxoplasma gondii is or that it WILL infect your mind. I steer clear of “cat” people completely understanding they are already fucked in the head.

      Other options include letting your cat outside, so when it comes in my yard my dog can kill it.

      Dogs don’t carry parasites when properly taken care of another reason they are simply better.

      1. Cats don’t carry parasites when properly taken care of, another reason why they are simply better.

        Here is what the CDC has to say on the matter:
        “A single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii causes a disease known as toxoplasmosis. While the parasite is found throughout the world, more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite. Of those who are infected, very few have symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.”

        Much the same as any other pathogen we run into on a daily basis.

        Obviously you are just a paranoid idiot who doesn’t mind stepping in fecal matter all of the time.

        1. He said dog kill not eat.Many dogs will kill but not eat their kill. I have never seen a rat terrier eat a rat it killed. I have known cats that would kill a mouse not eat it. Not my cat I once had once went out on the porch to see her feeding on the opossum she killed.

      2. I am so glad that rational, sane, clear-thinking people like you are allowed to own dogs, go out in public, post on the internet, drive cars, post on the internet, etc. What a horror life would be otherwise.

      3. From the sounds of it, if there *is* some sort of mind-altering toxic effect, you already have it, and might potentially give it to the poor cats.
        Keep in mind that the average human is just as parasite-ridden as any domestic animal.

  5. I thought there was a C&D over this work-around board. $30 for 50c worth of Quaternary Ammonia! It’s used in every sani-rinse third sink in restaurants everywhere. Beware it’s a head killer to beer!
    There was a project to make a ‘duino run the entire toilet getting rid of all DRM and give the user more options, easier use, and a real time clock. I have worked on a friends CG. I peeled the “sticker” off one of the solution carts and stuck it on the corner of my monitor as a reminder to look into this. Now it’s time.

    1. There’s no need to use an Arduino, if you follow the link in the article there is already a replacement firmware you can program onto the PIC that runs the box, which eliminates the DRM issue and give a lot more options. The CartridgeGenius is just the safer option if you want something you can remove when you need to claim on the litter boxes warranty.

    1. Will not happen:

      If it’s my own toilet, I would rip out the DRM crap and flush it down. If it’s somebody else’ toilet, I just used, it’s somebody else’ problem if it does not flush.

  6. DRM.. Really?

    DRM is *Digital* Rights Management, designed to protect the rights of the originator of digital content. Games, Music, Software etc. It often manifests its self as a lock over *Digital* content to prevent copying.

    This is not DRM, this is keying the product to prevent 3rd party supplies. same as printer cartridges etc.

    Not the same.

    The linked article only mentioned DRM twice, one in the title and once in the Text. Either the author does not know what he is talking about or it is click bait. Poor show HAD eds for propagating miss use of terminology.

      1. I really don’t think it is, although reading the posts here I’m clearly in the minority.

        Manufacturers have keyed consumables for their products for decades to increase profit margins. This isn’t DRM.

        What *digital* rights does the cat litter tray manufacturer have over the cat litter?

        To me it is just the wrong term. I have a kitchen cellophane dispenser that uses refills that are just a little different from off the shelf rolls of cellophane, ties me in to their expensive refills.. To me this hack is just the same as if i modified the dispenser to use off the shelf rolls. Just because Cat litter tray manufacturer used electronics to provide the keying does not make it DRM.

    1. Not to mention…from the sounds of it, the RFID is less a ‘DRM’ thing than it is a content monitoring thing, similar to the bit in a printer cartridge that reports ink levels, except that this doesn’t need exposed contacts in an environment where they’ll get corroded easily (between the cat piss and the cleaner, contacts wouldn’t last long….)

      1. A contactless optical or capacitve sensor for the liquid level in the fixed part of the cat toilet would be the user friendly way to go. No disposable chip, the consumer has to pay.

  7. I recently bought a CatGenie. It’s a great product, and the main deciding factor that made me buy it was finding out someone had already developed a hacked firmware for it. I’m just waiting for my warranty to be up.
    I’m not sure how the guy was getting through $350 of solution a year though, I have 3 cats and have only got through a quarter of the cartridge in a month.

  8. Umm there are multiple auto-cleaning cat boxes. The one that is by far cheaper, more popular and more reliable is the one that litter mate sells. It’s about 150 bucks, and it uses regular cat litter. The waste is automatically scooped into a disposable receptacle. These containers are about 20 dollars for a 20 pack and would last a week or more with a normal sized cat. So 48 bucks a year not to play in poop… well worth it.

    I’ve got to think that using plastic pellets that you never throw away is quite unsanitary, even if you do wash them.

    1. Its no more unsanitary than having a cat box you never throw away, just wash. Or a toilet you never throw away. You are disinfecting them.
      A disposable receptacle still needs to be handled and disposed of, in my book it getting flushed is far superior. One of the main factors that made me interested in a CatGenie was getting rid of “regular” cat litter, which absorbs waste and breaks up as it is tracked around the house by the cats.
      The pellets obviously don’t last forever, over a long period time the level will drop and they will need to be topped up, with some getting flushed and others vacuumed up as they are tracked by the cats; but as they are non absorbent and don,t break up tracking is less of an issue, as is the smell.

    2. Of all the auto-cleaning boxes, this is the only one I know of that actually disposes of the waste down a drain, instead into some container to be emptied by you later. You literally have to do nothing but add litter when it gets low and swap out a cartridge every now and again.

      This is both more expansive to buy and to operate than other boxes, but it does what other boxes do not. It’s totally worth it to me.

      I should point out that the pellets are not plastic, but some kind of biodegradable material, making them septic/sewer safe. You do throw them away since they get scooped out over time and also your cats will track them out of the box EVERYWHERE. They are also sanitized by the solution, it’s not just a simple water rinse.

  9. What is really needed, is someone to come up with (or help me do so) a system for creating a self cleaning litter box, built at home. Basically a sensor (to know when a cat has been in there), a timer, and a motor connected to some sort of rake / scoop.

      1. Issue is, I have a specific sized space to do this in, and I would like to actually build something out, just for the giggles. I have a pet door from my laundry room to a space in my garage that is wall on 3 sides and I have added a cabinet door on the 4th side and a plywood shelf as the roof, thus keeping the cats from getting into the actual garage, and keeping the litter box out of the house. I would much rather clean the box 1-2x / week with something automatic in-between, but again, I have a finite amount of space to do it in, and that cant change due to the hole already in my wall! Plus I would like to add to it. I have a bathroom exhaust fan that I am going to install into the “roof” of the litterbox area, which ideally I would control with the same system. Something like cat enters and trips sensor, fan comes on when sensor tripped, stays on for 20 mins, 10 min after sensor trip, box cleans (or possibly a 2 sensor system one that senses the cat coming in, turns on fan, one senses the cat leaving, triggers cleaning cycle, in sensor halts cleaning if tripped during clean process from one of the other cats going in.)

        I know there are off the shelf options, but they arent going to trigger the fan for me, and most of them wont fit in the space available (like the litter robot).

        And again, I just think it would be a fun project. I have never done anything with audrino or any PLCs. I do some light coding in my ITSec job, so I have some of the foundation to do it, and I would need to learn some, which is always fun.

        Where I struggle in the project, is how to actually build out the apparatus to run the rake to clean it. Ive also thought about other ways, but I just havent been able to come up with anything short of the auto rake system, which like I said, I need assistance on.

  10. I had a Littermate box – was great until the point

    a) The cat had a dose of the poops on a day I was out of the house and filled the poop container and then ended up with the next time she went getting raked onto the floor

    b) The cat decided to play “catch” with the rake – the mechanism is nylon gears and not very robust – result was the cat managed to kill the rake.

    I have an Omega Paw Roll’n’clean now – it’s just a cleverly designed cat tray you fill with clumping litter, then once a day you roll it to the right, then roll it to the left again and empty the drawer where all the waste will accumulate – no consumables whatever, the cats will use it and nothing to break.

    1. Great idea….but wont fit in the area of the garage where my litter box is, as it is a closed in area with a pet door through the wall of the laundry room so that the smell / litter is in the garage, but the cats cant actually get INTO the garage. But I really need to finalize the whole setup with some sort of automated cleaning system, or at least an easier system than standard….

    1. Sadly, there are many customers that are dumb as a brick and companies know that. These people don’t even know what the letters DRM mean, and they often seem to have more money than IQ. They don’t deserve any better than to be exploited this way. *grin*

  11. Wow, I wish they would use RFTags, that high tech for something else than trying to squeeze money out of me as a customer, I wish they would invest that money (from the RF reader) into making the product better (or cheaper), instead of making my life difficult as a customer, as I will find a way to use the product in any way I see fit anyway (when I own it, I call the shots and it will serve me 100%, not some profit making goal of the producer company)
    It is just silly considering buying a product that will make my life harder trying to make it work in a cost effective efficient way. If a company would offer the same product without DRM, I would be ready to pay more for that, just for not having to break out of a cage or prison that a company has worked so hard to build for me and that just insults my intelligence ;-)

  12. What concentration of benzalkonium chloride (bzk) should we put in our refill cartridges? Or more importantly, how much solution is injected during a water filling?

    I’m buying 50% bzk for other applications, but that concentration can form large crystals and clog the cartridge, so 50% is way too strong to be stable in a cartridge. A 0.13% dilution is a good topical disinfectant (bactine uses .13%). But for just keeping things sanitary, a lower centration is probably called for in the wash water. I’ll add some surfactant as well, sodium laurel sulfate or other skin safe detergent/soap. Hospital cleaners final dilutions go .03 to .2 depending on how scared you are when mixing a batch. So I’m leaning for a water fill dilution in the .03% bzk range, but I thought it would be worth seeing what others insights others might share

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