If you’re familiar with the Neater brand, you probably know about the Neater Feeder, a mess-free solution for feeding your four legged friends. But that’s not all that the company does. The Neater Scooper is one of those As Seen on TV products, and who doesn’t love seeing how well those work?!
Now, this isn’t my first cat litter solution. The Litter Genie is a better idea in theory, requiring frequent bag changes and not being as sanitary as I’d like all together. Because I frequently run out of the actual bags, I just stick plastic shopping bags in there, which isn’t as effective.
So is the Neater Scooper any better?
The device combines a regular litter scooper with a container that holds a specially-sized bag. The handle is curved so there’s a small one-way flap/door that opens. When you tip the scooper up, your litter falls back into the bag. The door closes, and you can continue scooping without litter sliding back out.
Now, does it really work?
The container on the Neater Scooper has a slot to hold all the bags, which are folded into a tiny box. You can simply pull one out, take off the scooper part and place the bag inside the container, which never gets dirty itself. The bags fit tights, so you can slide the scooper back on. A tight fit also ensures that the door has room to move.
Obviously, the container makes it a bit more unwieldy but not nearly as much as I was expecting. If you have one of those mini litter boxes, like the type you’d use for a kitten, the Neater Scooper just isn’t going to work out well. However, you can always detach the scooper to use to to clean around the edges of the box so you can scoop from the center.
The scooper itself works well, with slots big enough to let clean litter quickly fall through but not so large that chunks also slip through. It might not work with litters that aren’t clay-based, however, because the pellets are so much larger. It takes less effort to clear out the box than the scooper that came with the Litter Genie. You wouldn’t think this would be noticeable, but it is.
The first time I used the Neater Scooper, I hadn’t cleaned the litter box for two days. I actually went through two and a half bags, roughly. This might be a better option for people who have smaller or fewer cats. If I scoop every day, it’s not a big deal, but you might want to consider your cat’s waste.
Really large clumps aren’t going to work well with the trap door. Furthermore, the door becomes unable to close before the bag is full because of this design. I wind up detaching the scooper and adding a bit more to the bag before disposing of it. The handles are easy to tie closed. The bags are designed to eliminate odor even if you toss them in the trash, which I’ve been doing. It seems to work pretty well!
After you’re doing using it, you can place the scooper into the container part. I always put a new bag in when I’m done so the container remains clean. The scooper could fall out if your pets bump into it, and you could just store it with the scooper facing upward if you’d like.
Obviously, there’s a delicate balance between the size of the bag — and the container by association — and maneuverability. I think the Neater Scooper has done it pretty well, but it’s not perfect. It won’t work in every situation, especially with smaller litter boxes, small spaces or with cats who have large clumps.