The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
* INFO - WHY DID I BUY? *
Let me start out this review by explaining about my cat's needs. She is very old and has issues with her back legs due to having metal pins inserted many moons ago following a road accident she had before I re-homed her. The issues with her hind legs mean that she cannot 'step' over things properly, the way that younger, more agile cats could.
When it came to researching a new litter tray for her then, I had to make sure that it covered a few criteria; I wanted it to have a hood, thus helping to avoid any loose bits of cat litter (which are treacherous when stood on with bare feet of a morning - ouch!), as well as offering my puss a bit more privacy for doing her business. With this in mind, I began scouring websites and online pet stores to see what was on offer but most of the 'hooded' litter trays I could find all had one significant problem that deemed them unsuitable for my puss - they all had quite a high front 'step' at the entrance of the litter tray. I was reluctant to shell out the sum of money required for such a tray (anywhere from £30 - £60) in case my girl struggled to use it due to being unsuitable.
Eventually, I found a compromise.
* ARISTO HOODED CAT LITTER TRAY *
Scouring hooded cat loos on the 'Pets At Home' website, I came across the 'Aristo Hooded Cat Tray'. It seemed to offer what I was looking for, in terms of having a hood that could be removed easily to allow for sufficient cleaning to be carried out, as well as having a sort of 'flap' door on the front to allow my puss to enter/exit the litter tray FAIRLY easily while managing to keep most of the litter inside the box during her using the tray as well as when she was leaving the tray.... She IS a messy mog, it has to be said!
Perhaps most importantly, the 'step' at the front of the box (directly under the little flap door) looked to be slightly lower than other, similar hooded cat trays I had seen already. With that, my partner and I made the journey to our local pet-care supermarket and inspected the Aristo Cat Tray in more detail.
The Pets at Home website currently offers the Aristo cat tray in a variety of colours, however when we visited our local store there were only two colours available, a deep red and a navy blue colour. I should point out too that all colour varieties of the litter tray have the same colour 'hood' which is a sort of white-with-little-grey-flecks combo. The colour is only in relation to the 'tray' part of the two-piece litter tray.
We decided to 'dismantle' the litter tray while still in the shop to make sure it was fairly easy to utilise when we were cleaning and filling the tray at home. Plus, I was concerned about the weight of the two separate parts to the tray given that I have mobility problems.
We were satisfied that my puss would be able to step in and out of the tray with a little time and practice, and that it was not too high a step for her to use altogether, as had most definitely been the case with some earlier offerings we had found. Furthermore, I was happy that the Aristo Cat Litter Tray was going to be significantly cheaper than some of the other trays I had been looking at, and was only going to cost us around £24, NOT in the region of £50, which was the cost of the other main contender in our choice of purchase.
The Aristo Cat Litter tray came with a couple of things in a small bag, contained within the box. The first item was a small scoop (for poop!) which is made of the same durable plastic as the hood of the box. The second item was an oblong piece of a grey-coloured foam type substance, and I could see immediately that this was the same size and width as the 'filter space' on top of the hood.
We made our purchase and set up the litter box at home, which was fairly easy to do. The box comes in two parts as I said, and so after filling the bottom part of the litter tray with my usual brand of cat litter, I allowed my girl to use this by itself for a few days, without the hood just so she could get used to the smell and size of the new box. After this time, I retrieved the large hood and placed the foam filter into the space at the top of the hood. This was very easy to do, and only took a couple of seconds.
Secondly, I placed the hood itself on top of the litter tray, and found that the 'rim' of the tray fits neatly into the 'rim' at the bottom of the hood. The two pieces of the cat box - both the hood and the tray itself - can be secured by using the two heavy-duty clips, which are on either side of the hood.
The clips, once closed, make a loud 'clicking' noise and thus, I know the hood is secured to the litter tray.
All of this assembly took a mere moment, and I find that the hood is easy to remove for cleaning. One thing I do find though is that the large hood can be quite cumbersome when I am cleaning out the cat loo. To be fair, I have a very narrow bathroom and so am fairly short of space in there anyway, but I simply do not have anywhere to store such a large hood when I am cleaning out the tray and so have found that it is easier to just put it in the hallway until I am finished. Even though this is slightly inconvenient for me, I wouldn't change the size of the hood due to my puss being so comfortable whilst using her loo. Any cat owners will know how much cats like to scrabble around their trays before and after going to the toilet, and I feel that the large capacity of the hood of the Aristo tray doesn't impede upon my puss's space in the slightest.
I think it is worth mentioning that I haven't noticed much difference in the Aristo tray's performance in dealing with those nasty whiffs that all cat owners are sure to be familiar with. There is, as I previously mentioned, a filter situated in top of the hood of the litter tray which is supposed to help with this, but to be fair I do use a specific (and very expensive) cat litter which is supposed to help eliminate smells so I am not sure if we are the best consumers to comment on the performance of said filter. Also, I am really particular about washing out my mog's litter tray anyway, and this is done regularly to avoid nasty smells, so again, I'm not sure how much benefit from the filter we are getting personally.
The dimensions of the Aristo litter tray are 39 x 50 x 39cm, which is worth noting if you are thinking of making this purchase and have a significant lack of space. I really feel the litter tray is big, but for my girl's comfort I am happy to put up with this.
We have had our Aristo tray for almost a year and a half now and in that time it has served us well. It has coped well with regular use from my girl and its regular washing routine too, and in fact there is very little in the way of wear and tear evident.
I think therefore that the tray is very robust and sturdy and it is a worthwhile purchase, in my opinion.
Overall, I would recommend the Aristo litter tray. I paid around £25 over a year ago from Pets At Home, but I am aware that there are other pet stores and independent suppliers close to where I live that also stock this brand of cat litter trays and so it may be worthwhile shopping around ,as in my personal experience, the Pets at Home shop can be more expensive than other stores.
The Price of the tray from Pets At Home as @ April 2012 is £23, you can purchase instore or order online at www.petsathome.com, where delivery charges apply.