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Bathroom: Our Self Cleaning Litter Tray Design Story


Time to read 5 min

Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype

Self Cleaning Litter Tray Update: March 2024

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Upcoming Self-Cleaning Litter Tray

We're excited to share a sneak peek at Bathroom, our self-cleaning litter tray. It's a labour of love born from a shared frustration with current litter boxes and a deep desire to elevate the design of cat products in your home and help improve their wellbeing. 

The idea for Bathroom sparked from a very personal place – our beloved cats, Kuba & Leia!

Navigating a maze of self-cleaning litter boxes that were either unreliable or looked like they belonged on a spaceship, Bathroom is designed for both performance and good looks.

We also observed that pet products rarely consider aesthetics and how they integrate into the home environment, so we wanted to design something elegant.

Bathroom is the culmination of these desires. It's a self-cleaning litter box that not only provides a clean and comfortable space for your cat but also complements your home's décor.

Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype

A design philosophy centred on three core principles:

One: It's like a normal litter tray.

Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype

Bathroom mimics the look and feel of a traditional litter box. Its spacious and airy interior provides a comfort zone for your cat, allowing them to seamlessly integrate Bathroom into their routine. No need for them to learn a new behaviour!

Two: It has an automatic cleaning system

We understand cats thrive on a clean environment. Bathroom's automatic cleaning system starts automatically after your cat exits. Ensuring a consistently hygienic space. This not only reduces the need for frequent scooping but also minimises the chance of unpleasant odours wafting through your home.

Effortless Cleanup for a Happy Cat! We know keeping your cat's bathroom clean is important. That's why we've designed Bathroom to minimise litter contact, especially used litter. Our innovative drop-down plow on the rake sweeps the tray, transferring waste directly into the bag for a cleaner and more pleasant experience for both you and your feline friend.

Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype

THREE: Sustainability, Usability and Wellbeing is at its heart

We believe in responsible manufacturing. Bathroom utilises premium, non-toxic materials that are not only durable and long-lasting but also environmentally friendly.

The use of sustainable plywood in the main cabin creates a warm and natural aesthetic while minimising our environmental impact. Each Bathroom will be assembled by hand.

We're committed to reducing waste. Our design minimises the use of plastic, with 3D printing technology employed only when necessary. This helps reduce our environmental footprint and also ensures we only make parts we need!

Functionality should never be a barrier. Bathroom's design prioritizes ease of use for everyone, regardless of individual abilities. The removable lid, side panel, and waste compartment make it easy to maintain and clean, even for those with limited mobility.

Bathroom helps monitor one of the most pressing issues surrounding cat welfare - obesity. 

In spring 2022 the BVA asked vets belonging to its Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey panel to identify the three most pressing health and welfare issues they felt were affecting cats in the UK.

Obesity was the number one concern (43% of those surveyed cited this).

That's why we've built a weighing system into our litter box. Discreet sensors hidden in the corners gently track your cat's weight (accurate to within 50 grams). This makes it easier for you to stay informed about your cat's well-being and when to perhaps reduce their calorie intake a little! 

Current Schedule (As of March 2024)

Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype
Kuba & Leia Self Cleaning Litter Tray Prototype

As of the first week of March we have received all the wooden prototype parts from the team in Finland and are now building a full pre-prototype unit. 

We expect to have to make some minor design tweaks and have a few outstanding design items to finalise. This includes the new waste compartment system. We're introducing a frame design that holds a bag in place. We also need to run real-life performance tests on the mechanical system to make sure it still runs perfectly ofter 1000's of cycles. 

As part of this we'll be off to meet our electronics team in Bristol to update the firmware and electronics. We need to calibrate the new load cells (we now have them rated to 40kg per corner, where before it was 20kg per corner). 

We'll also be testing new remote control options - a new addition to the design so that you can run a cleaning cycle from a distance. Our approach here is one of simplicity. We had considered a smart app, but having tested others on the market and seen the false positives and setup challenges that come with them this doesn't fit our design philosophy. 

We expect it will be another two or three months before we're in a position to take pre-orders. If you'd like to make sure you're emailed when we do - please join our community (sign up at the bottom of the page). 

Thanks for reading. 

James and the team! 😻😸 

What type of litter will it use?

Bathroom requires clumping litter. It works best with clay based litters with finer granules, but we've also tested a range of grain and grass based clumping litters that perform well too. 

When will pre-orders start happening?

We are hoping this will be sometime in June 2024. We will be limiting pre-orders to between 50 and 200 units initially (depending on demand), so please sign up to our community if you would like to be notified. 

Customers who pre-order will get Bathroom at a preferential costs, but as we're working through material costs, this price is still to be determined. 

How much will it cost?

Pricing is still to be confirmed. We are working through the cost of each part. We will be operating a transparent pricing policy so once this work is completed we will show how much each unit costs to make, where the materials are sourced from and the mark-up / margin we will apply to each unit that will allow Kuba & Leia to make a fair profit. 

How many units will you be making?

Depending on the level of interest we have, and amount of pre-order deposits we take this will be between 50 and 200 units. 

Please note customers who pre-order will get a preferential price (to be confirmed). 

Is it safe?

Yes. We have designed Bathroom to have a fail safe redundancies. The combination of weight sensors and motion sensors means it will never run a cleaning cycle of your cat, you or any moving object is in or near the cabin environment. Before launch we will share videos showing the safety features. 

Is it noisy?

It's nice and quiet. Never more than 60 decibels which is about the same noise level as having a conversation with another person in a normal sized room.

What finishes will it be available in?

This is to be confirmed. At this point (March 2024) we expect to offer two or three different laminate finishes and two or three block colours for the front, back and tray. 

Where will you ship to?

Broadly we can ship anywhere. Bathroom is designed in the UK and will be assembled in Finland. This means shipping to the EU is easy. We also have shipping arrangements in place for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 

For other countries that don't automatically show up on our website please contact us and we can get a quote for and arrange dedicated shipping to you.