What happens when you ask an engineer to scoop the litter box? Brad Baxter, who in the late ’90s was a Michigan-based automotive engineer, had just inherited two cats and suddenly found himself responsible for daily maintenance—including the not-so glamorous job of cleaning the litter box. He immediately determined there had to be a better way to manage pet care.
After a year of developing and testing various prototypes, Baxter had the answer: an automatic self-cleaning litter box that would free cat owners from the daily hassle of litter box scooping. Automated Pet Care Products, Inc., AutoPets for short, opened its doors in 1999, and the Litter-Robot made its debut a few months later.
Since its introduction nearly two decades ago, the Litter-Robot has transformed pet ownership. The Litter-Robot automatically separates the waste from the clean litter, depositing it into a large waste drawer lined with a plastic bag. Cats enjoy a clean litter box each time they wander into the unit. And cat owners avoid the daily drudgery of scooping litter, while reducing the amount of litter used by up to 50%.
The Litter-Robot saves owners both time and money,” says Baxter, president of AutoPets.
Best of all, by completely eliminating this household chore, it gives owners more time to spend with their pets and loved ones without worrying about the litter box.
Called “the Cadillac of waste disposal,”1 the Litter-Robot quickly became a best-selling product. Today, the company has more than 200,000 customers and builds their products here in the U.S. in their 32,000-square-foot facility in Juneau, Wisconsin. AutoPets focuses on new product development, marketing, and customer service at its headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The company has continued to build on its success by introducing more products and services, including Litterbox.com, a premium subscription litter service.
Over the years, a prime focus has been building environmental-friendly products. All of the company’s products use industrial-grade components to ensure they’re built to last. It also sells eco-friendly products such as biodegradable waste drawer liners.
As a lifelong entrepreneur, Baxter says he’s driven by the motto, “Listen, implement, refine, do it again.” To that end, AutoPets prides itself on listening to customers, continually improving its products, and responding quickly to customer inquiries. As Baxter sees it: “It's important that we keep true to our customers and don't stray from our mission, while at the same time have fun doing our work.”
Free from the hassle of scooping litter, Baxter has since dedicated his career to enriching the lives of pets and pet parents with innovative products. The company’s cats, Calico and Todd, roam freely through the AutoPets office, stretching out on employees’ desks. “Pets aren’t just animals; they’re members of our families,” he says. “Our aim is to make life with pets easier and more enjoyable, and that’s a goal that drives everything we do.”
AutoPets began accepting Amazon Pay through their Magento site in June of 2017, letting customers speed through checkout using the payment and shipping information already stored in their Amazon account. To learn more about the Litter-Robot, please visit the company’s website.
1NBC Today, Litter Box Review, Dec. 3, 2002