Project image
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$45,770
pledged of $ 50,000pledged of $ 50,000 goal
215
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, February 6 2016 3:31 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated February 5, 2018

Litter Loo

A large, open, self cleaning litter box for your cat that really works!!!!

Litter Loo

A large, open, self cleaning litter box for your cat that really works!!!!

$45,770
pledged of $ 50,000pledged of $ 50,000 goal
215
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, February 6 2016 3:31 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated February 5, 2018

About

The Litter Loo is the first and only open, automatic, self-cleaning, sifting litter box.

**** Open design ****

**** Sifting ****

**** Non-stick ****

**** Sealed waste receptacle ****

**** Use any inexpensive clumping litter ****

Today you can do something really special  for your cat.  

Have you ever noticed that shortly after you clean the litter box your cat jumps in to use it.   That's because your cat has been waiting for you to clean the litter box. Cats don't like to go into a dirty litter box. It's disgusting.  You may have seen the refrigerator magnet that reads, “The only self-cleaning thing in this house is the cat.” Felines have a well-earned reputation as immaculate creatures.  Imagine how happy your cat would be if every time he/she had to use the litter box it was clean.

My wife and I are ailurophiles.  We have two indoor cats.  They never leave our home. They must have a litter box where they can do their business. Every couple of days my wife would don rubber gloves and a mask and spend about 15 minutes scooping the litterbox. It was a job that she dreaded more than any other.  Is there such a thing as a cat owner who does not dread cleaning the litter box?

Over the years we looked at everything that was available, and we could not find what we needed. We have bought and tried half a dozen litter box ideas (the Littermaid® self cleaning litter box, litter sifing nets, the Omega Paw Roll and Clean, Litter Robot™, Scoop Away®, etc. They all seemed like good ideas but for one reason or another they simply never worked for us or for our cats. They all ended up either returned or in the trash. After I retired I even tried to build my own gravity sifting litter box. Then one day I saw a YouTube video that changed everything.

Invented by Jerry Horanoff and patented in 2010, the Litter Loo is a simple and elegant solution to an age old problem.   It uses gravity to separate the clumps and waste from the clean litter, dumps the waste into a drawer, and returns the clean litter to the litter box.   It works with any type of clumping litter.

If you have ever scooped a litter box you will immediately understand how it works and why it works.   See the animation below and also the Lexan video with the blue litter further down the page. The animation is very rapid but the Litter Loo takes a little over two minutes to clean the litter and return to the home position. 

I think this is the closest thing to "indoor plumbing" for cats (that does not require actual plumbing or training your cat to use a toilet).   The secret to the Litter Loo is that when a cat urinates the pee never reaches the sides or the bottom of the litter box.   So when the machine cycles to sift the litter, the clumps simply tumble down the chute and nothing sticks. 

Your cat(s) will love it because it cleans itself a few minutes after each time they use it. Kind of like how humans flush the toilet after they use it. Your cat(s) will never again have to step into a dirty litter box. You will love it because all you have to do is empty the drawer every few days and add some fresh litter. No more cleaning the litter box. There will be almost no odor because the Litter Loo cleans itself within minutes after your cat uses it, and the waste is stored in a sealed drawer. My cats like to use the litter box in the middle of the night. Shortly after they use it, all the smelly stuff is in the drawer and the sand box is clean again. Can you imagine never having to scoop a litter box again?! And you don't have to order any special supplies for the Litter Loo. Any brand of clumping litter and standard plastic bags for the drawer is all you will need.

Here is a video of our cat, Dusty (about 12 lbs), in the prototype at our home.

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Product Improvements  

The prototype that you see above will be improved to incorporate many of the suggestions that we have received. 

1. The waste drawer will be larger so that it will need to be emptied less often.  In addition, the waste drawer will be designed to hold a plastic bag to catch the waste so that you don't have to carry the drawer to dump into a garbage can. You will be able to remove the plastic bag containing the waste and then just insert a new plastic bag. We will make the final Litter Loo about 1 1/2" to 2" taller than the prototype machine to make the waste drawer larger and deeper. 

2. Waste drawer full light. The final product will have a sensor and a light which will indicate to the owner that the waste drawer is full and needs to be emptied.

3. Any cat owner knows that litter sticks to your cats paws and that cat's often kick litter out of the litter box.  Many cat owners have a mat where their cat enters and exits the litter box to avoid the litter from their paws being dragged all over the house. The Litter Loo will have an optional removable fence to help eliminate any kick out and to encourage your cat to enter and exit at the same point. We will also offer an optional step or a ramp that will attach to the base of the Litter Loo so that kittens and older cats will be able to enter and exit the litter box without having to jump. 

4. During field testing we discovered that some cats will face away from the sifting tower when they do their business. The final product will have a drip cap along the base of the sifting tower to prevent sticking on that side. When the Litter Loo cycles to clean itself, this part of the drip cap will lift up and out of the way so that the clumps can pass under it. 

5. The final product will have three buttons and four lights. You will be able to adjust the timer delay to 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, or 15 minutes. Depending upon the type of litter you use, it might need more or less time for the clumps to set. 

6. You will also be able to adjust the leveling mechanism to accommodate different types of litter with different frictional properties. We want the litter to be level when a cycle ends. 

7. The fence and the drip cap will be easily removable for cleaning.

8. We are planning to offer a Wi-Fi attachment for the Litter Loo.  It will enable you to check the status of your Litter Loo from anywhere.   Details have not yet been worked out.  It probably will not be available with initial shipments, but they will be able to accept the attachment at a later time.

Check out our Facebook page to see concept renderings from our industrial designer.

Click on the image to link to the Litter Loo Facebook page
Click on the image to link to the Litter Loo Facebook page

This Kickstarter campaign is my plan to raise money for this venture and to find out if other cat owners are as excited about the Litter Loo as I am. Here is how I became involved with the Litter Loo.

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Jerry's famous YouTube video

Here is a copy of Jerry's video that he posted in 2012. It has had over 160,000 views....    500 thumbs up,  10 thumbs down.   This is how I found out about the LItter Loo. 

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I have already committed $100,000 of my money to develop this product. I have created a company, Mount Kisco Products, LLC, to manufacture and market the Litter Loo.  I have hired Creative Engineering in Bronxville, NY to do the Industrial Design and engineering to create a working prototype and design files that can be used to manufacture the product. 

My business plan is to manufacture this item and sell it directly to the consumer. This product is far superior to anything that is on the market, and will be very competitively priced. It will be the "iphone" of automatic litter boxes. I plan to sell it directly to the public via my website, Amazon, EBay, and perhaps other web marketplaces.

Here is how the idea evolved:

An early sketch of the Litter Loo concept:

One of the first working prototypes. 


 

One prototype was built out of Lexan and filled with blue litter so that you could see how it works.

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The next generation... 

Here we are getting closer to the final prototype.  It still needs a drip cap and the ramp will be angled to move the waste material toward the center of the drawer.

The final two prototypes made of PVC, ready to go.....   This is the one that was posted to YouTube. 

This is a video that Jerry produced but never posted on Youtube.  It discusses the safety features of the Litter Loo, and it demonstrates how much thought and "cat psychology" went into it. 

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Today there are only two Litter Loos in the world. Jerry has one, and I have the other. They were built by hand, and the final product will surely look different and use different materials.   These prototypes were built to simply to test the concept and to sell the idea to the world. 

This is not rocket science.  The entire top part (Litter pan/Sifting tower with removable drip cap and removable screen) can be lifted off and taken outdoors to be hosed off for cleaning.   All the electrical stuff is In the bottom part.  It consists of a simple motor and gears, a couple of circuit boards, and a proprietary motion sensing device conceived by Jerry Horanoff that determines when a cat is using the litter box or if an obstruction is blocking the motion of the Litter Loo.   That's all there is to it. 

The next step is to build one of these prototypes as a virtual prototype in a computer. 

Engineering:  This new design will be created as a virtual Litter Loo in a computer using a program like SolidWorks or Pro/Engineer.  Each plastic part of the Litter Loo must be engineered to be injection molded.   Motor and gears are checked for reliability and performance, and the electronics and programming (which were done by Jerry, who is a programmer) will be reviewed and tested. 

Once that process is complete the next step is to build a fully working prototype Litter Loo.   The cost of one of these "rapid prototypes" is about $12,000.00.   If every part of the rapid prototype works as planned, then we can have molds made for each of the parts that will be injection molded.  These molds will be expensive (about $180,000), but once they are made it will be possible to mass produce many thousands of Litter Loos relatively inexpensively.

Here is the estimated time frame.

     Industrial Design     October  2015     $14,000

     Gearbox design and motor specification December 2015 $15,000

     Engineering        December 2015 through February 2016    $50,000

     Rapid prototype      March 2016      $10,000 - $15,000

     Order tooling        April  2016     $180-$200,000

     Tooling ready        July  2016

     Test and modify tooling    August 2016

     First run of 3000 Litterloos     September 2016

     Second run of 5000 Litterloos   October  2016.

If you think this is a good idea please help out by sending a link to this project to anyone you know who has a cat or cats.  Share this on Facebook, and visit our Facebook page.

The ASPCA estimates that there are between 74 million and 96 million cats in the USA.   They estimate that between 30 and 37 percent of American homes have a cat for a pet.   If we can get enough cat owners to view this product I'm confident we will reach our goal and then some.

We are doing this to free all cat owners (cat lovers) from the dreaded task of cleaning the litter box, by far the biggest negative that comes with adopting and living with a cat.  We also doing this for the cats who will use it every day and will never again have to jump into a dirty litter box.

Jerry and I are committed to manufacturing this automatic litter box that works so well and that cats will actually use. Please help us make this product a reality by clicking on the 'Back This Project' button."

Our Team:

Les Vissers -  retired business man, entrepreneur, cat lover, computer programmer, cabinet maker, golfer, and tennis player.

Jerry Horanoff -  Engineer, programmer, inventor, visionary. 

Creative Engineering,   Bronxville NY.    Creative Engineering LLC was founded in 1995 to provide a superior product development service blending creative innovation with design for manufacture. The result is a fluid development process free from traditional bottlenecks. They have invented, designed, developed and engineered a wide variety of products including consumer products, toys, medical devices, government, and industrial products. 

www.creativeengineering.com

Risks and challenges

MANUFACTURING: Creating the tooling to manufacture a product of this size is expensive and requires expert knowledge to get it right. There is typically a 60 day lead time to create the molds for a product of this size and this is where delays could occur. To minimize that possibility we will only work with tooling manufacturers with a track record for prompt quality. Our plan is to have the tooling manufactured overseas (because is is much less expensive), and then ship the tooling to the US for mass manufacturing. We want the Litter Loo to be "Made in USA". Our associates at Creative Engineering will help us find a reliable manufacturer to make our molds.

PRODUCT ADJUSTMENTS: As the Litter Loo goes through the industrial design process and engineering, there will surely be some adjustments to improve the final product. We are already committed to several important changes that were discussed above. We are considering a Wi-Fi attachment that would enable you to check the status of the Litter Loo from your phone.

FULFILLMENT: Sometimes things go awry that can’t be planned for: a supplier misses a deadline, a machine breaks down, or a shipment gets lost. Those things could cause a delay. We think we have come up with an optimistic but realistic schedule. We will be working with manufacturers who have years of experience delivering excellent products in tremendous quantities. There will no doubt be some surprises along the road, but any obstacle will be addressed by combining our internal knowledge with external expertise, and an overall goal of making the best possible product for you, our customer.

Any pledge amount brings us one step closer to our goal. Help us make the Litter Loo a reality by clicking the ‘Back This Project’ button at the top of the page, or by helping us spread the word by sharing our page with anyone you might know who has a cat or cats.

THANK YOU for your help!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Join our team and back this product. Tell us that you think this is a good idea. We will send you a "thank you" and we will keep you updated on our progress. For every $225.00 in one dollar rewards we will donate one Litter Loo to a local animal shelter in October 2016.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    We will send you a thank you, we will post your name on our website (if you wish), and we will keep you updated with our progress. For every $225.00 in ten dollar rewards we will donate one Litter Loo to a local animal shelter in October 2016.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    We will send you a thank you. We will display your name (if you wish) and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress. For every $225.00 in twenty dollar rewards we will donate one Litter Loo to a local animal shelter in October 2016.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    We will send you a thank you. We will display your name (if you wish), one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, a "My Cat Loves Me" Tee shirt and we will keep you updated with our progress. Free shipping in USA, $5.00 international shipping.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Early bird Special. One Litter Loo from the first batch produced. A $99 discount from the projected retail price and free shipping in the United States. ($40 International shipping). A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    One Litter Loo from the second batch produced. A $99 discount from the projected retail price. $15.00 US shipping, $40.00 International. A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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    Pledge US$ 235 or more About US$ 235

    One Litter Loo from the third batch produced. A $64 discount from the projected retail price. $15.00 US shipping, $40.00 International shipping. A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Two Litter Loos from the first batch produced. A $198 discount from the projected retail price. Free US Shipping, $60.00 International shipping. A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    Three Litter Loos from the first batch produced. A $297 discount from the projected retail price. Free US Shipping, $80.00 International shipping. A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Ten Litter Loos from the first batch produced. A $990 discount from the projected retail price. Free US Shipping, $300.00 International shipping. A thank you, your name and one picture of your cat or cats (you will have to send or upload the picture) on our website, and we will keep you updated with our progress.

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Funding period

- (31 days)