Published on April 18th, 2011 | by Ruth0
Hammacher Schlemmer’s Beautiful Litter Box
Where to put a cat litter box has always been a bit of a quandary for us. No matter how you slice it, they are simply not attractive. Our office cats are also a bit finicky about conditions. They want an opening that is easily accessible, and vocally demand daily cleaning, making a hidden away corner untenable. We were thrilled, then, to try out the Catbox Concealing Cabinet from Hammacher Schlemmer. This mahogany veneer cabinet looks like a nice side table, or an entertainment center (Though our cats would probably balk at too much noise directly above them.). It looks so nice, in fact, that a few visitors have been startled to see a cat emerging out of a hole in the side. The wood finish is lovely and smooth, and the front doors open to make litter box cleansing simple. It even comes with a storage drawer for supplies.
A while back we tried out a litter box at the opposite end of the spectrum.The litterbox robot looked like something from an 80s movie about the future, while our catbox cabinet looks like something out of a period film set in the british countryside. As much as we like robots, we have to say the wood finish is a bit more attractive day-to-day. All good things have a price, and this one is fairly hefty, at almost $300. It also requires a bit of a time investment- not too much more than setting up IKEA furniture (about 1/2 hour), but a few more tools.
The only major complaint (from both us and our feline testers) is the smell. The product website mentions that the cupboard “contains odors and the strewn granules that sometimes surround a box.” This is absolutely correct, and fantastic when it comes to the nasty gritty litter bits that we’ve battled in the past. (Finding litter bits on the bottom of socks is so icky.) However, the smell doesn’t just go away- opening the doors to clean out the litter box inside, the smell hits in an almost physical wave. We’re contemplating trying out some interior air fresheners, or the like. In the meanwhile, however, we’re happy that at least the smell is thoroughly contained. If you’re planning on purchasing the cabinet, keep in mind that you’ll need to provide the litter box pan- this is just the attractive camouflaging housing for it.
We also tried out Hammacher Schlemmer’s Dog Escape Preventer.Though we are lacking in office dogs (the cats hold a strict policy on this topic), the resident cats are practiced escape artists. The retractable vinyl screen mounts to a door frame, then has an additional latch to put on the edge of the door. It’s basically like one of the 70s roll-up window shades, turned sideways. We were mixed in our feelings about it. It does lessen escapes caused by unwitting visitors opening the door for a bit too long, but it also adds another step to getting in and out the door (unless you have very long legs and can keep stepping over something tall enough to block a golden retriever). At $70, we don’t think it’s quite worth it- but apparently others did, because it is now listed as out of stock, and representatives let us know that it will not be re-stocked.