All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
As much as we’d like it to be, caring for cats isn’t all snuggles and chin scritches—there are some dirty jobs that come with those adorable little felines! And perhaps the most dreaded cat-care task of all is tending to your cat’s litter box.
No one enjoys scooping poop, but pet parents should be cleaning their cats’ litter boxes at least once per day, ideally after every time the cat uses it. While a clean litter box is certainly a priority in my house, I don’t sit next to the box all day waiting for my kitties to go. After 24 hours and two cats, those litter boxes can get pretty funky.
If only there were a way to automate this task, perhaps a robot that could take care of the messiest parts of cat ownership? Luckily, we are living in an age of incredible innovation, and such a wonderful robot exists! Thanks to the Whisker company, with the Litter-Robot at your side, you may never have to scoop litter again!
I was lucky enough to put the Litter-Robot 3 Connect automatic litter box to the test, to see for myself how it handled the less savory aspects of pet parenthood. Here’s what I learned.
Shop now and save $25 off your Litter-Robot purchase
What Is the Litter-Robot?
The origins of the Litter-Robot can be traced back to 1999, when Brad Baxter, the device’s inventor, inherited two cats. He didn’t enjoy the process of scooping out the litter box (welcome to the club) and decided to do something about it. And thus the Litter-Robot, an automatic, self-cleaning litter box, was born.
Now, Baxter oversees Whisker as CEO and continues to redefine the litter box landscape–as well as feeding time–by developing and building functional, easy-to-use products for pet parents.
Today, the Litter-Robot 3 Connect is the highest-rated automatic litter box on the market and there have been more than 700,000 units sold all over the world. But the Whisker company didn’t just stop there. The brand has continued to innovate, and recently debuted the upgraded Litter-Robot 4 with even more features.
The Litter-Robot 4 is scheduled to start shipping out this summer. But you can reserve your upgraded model now, using this link below.
Shop now and save $25 off any Litter-Robot purchase
How Does Litter-Robot Work?
So how does the Litter-Robot help you avoid the dreaded chore of scooping poop every day? It’s actually pretty cool. First, you fill the Robot with clumping cat litter. It has to be clumping litter, and here’s why: The entire inside of the device rotates, sending its contents into a separate compartment. As the device continues to rotate, that compartment becomes separated from the main chamber of the litter box by what could best be described as a screen. Any solids, whether they be poop or clumps of urine, are trapped, while the loose, clean litter slides back out through the screen. The waste is dropped into a drawer under the main chamber and only clean litter remains—absolutely zero scooping involved.
The Litter-Robot goes through this cleaning “cycle” every time it’s used. Sensors can tell when a cat leaves the box, and then it automatically will start the cycle. You can also start a cycle manually by pressing a button on the device.
Depending on how many cats are using the Litter-Robot, you may only need to empty that drawer once per week. The Litter-Robot comes equipped with drawer liners, so all you need to do once the drawer is full is pull out the old one and replace it with a new one.
There are currently two types of Litter-Robots available from Whisker. The one I tested, the Litter-Robot 3 Connect, costs $549. The newly upgraded Litter-Robot 4 model that just debuted this summer costs $649. But, for a limited time, you can save $25 off that price when you purchase using this link.
Both Litter -Robot models are WiFi-connected so you can track how often your cat is using the litter box and get a better idea of how often you need to clean it without checking the drawer. The Litter-Robot 3 Connect is available in gray or beige and the Litter-Robot 4 comes in black or white.
So what’s the difference between the Litter-Robot 3 Connect vs Litter-Robot 4? The Litter-Robot 4 has all the core features of the Connect, like the patented sifting system, odor management, multi-cat design, and cat safety features, but they are enhanced with the latest technology. For example, the newest model uses laser and weight sensor technology to provide real-time litter and waste drawer levels and individual cat recognition. Other new features include reduced cycling noise as it sifts, an enlarged waste drawer, and a wider opening for increased cat comfort.
Putting the Litter-Robot to the Test
Out of the box, the Litter-Robot was extremely easy to set up. Literally, all I had to do was remove the packaging, add some litter, and plug it in. But then the challenging part began. Despite the use of treats, litter attractant, catnip, and even soiled litter from their previous litter box, two of our cats were not interested in using the Litter-Robot. I do not blame the Litter-Robot for this. One of our cats is a big girl, about 14 pounds. We think the Litter-Robot was a bit too small for her, as she prefers a roomy litter box. The other kitty is very particular and does not handle change well, even for a cat.
Shop now and save $25 off any Litter-Robot purchase
After a week of zero interest in the Litter-Robot, we decided to bring in a ringer—we have a third cat who lives separately from the other two. She took to the Litter-Robot after a few days and so far, everything is going very well. The automatic function is quiet; you really can’t hear it unless you’re in the same room. There hasn’t been a need to clean it beyond emptying the drawer, which took approximately six days to fill. The immediate storage of waste keeps things smelling pretty fresh overall, but I will note that changing out the liner in the drawer is a pretty unpleasant task.
Things We Like About the Litter-Robot
- Ease of set-up
- Quiet cleaning cycle
- Reduces odors
- Looks cool (not an eyesore like many litter boxes)
- Easy to empty
- You can use the Whisker app to check the waste drawer level, monitor activity, and control settings, but the unit functions with or without the app.
Things to Consider
- The main “globe” is fairly small, so bigger cats might not be able to use it
- The litter level should be kept at, or just below, the raised fill line. People generally add more litter when they empty the waste drawer, but if you have cat that is finicky about litter levels (like ours), you might choose to top it off more frequently.
- A lot of litter gets outside the box; you need a mat to catch it.
Is the Litter-Robot Worth It? Our Verdict
I would say that overall, the Litter-Robot 3 Connect is worth the investment. It won’t eliminate the need to clean your litter box entirely, but it significantly decreases the amount of time you spend directly dealing with your cat’s poop, which is a win.
While I haven’t had a chance to test-drive the Litter-Robot 4 yet, I’m very eager to check it out. Even though the price is a bit higher, the added functionality is designed to make this model even more hands-off. This model uses advanced laser and weight sensor technology to analyze four safety zones within the unit, to make absolutely sure your cat is always safe. Plus, those sensors provide real-time litter and waste levels, so you always know when it’s time to change the litter or empty the waste drawer.
Other new features include a WhisperQuiet cleaning cycle, an enlarged waste drawer, a wider opening for cats to climb into, and an optional system to neutralize litter box odors. That’s a lot more bang for your buck. And, considering just how much most pet parents dread litter box chores, that’s worth a lot.
Whether you choose the Litter-Robot 3 Connect or the Litter-Robot 4, the most critical factor to consider is your cat’s personality. If you know that your cat hates change, don’t try to force her to use the Litter-Robot. Even if you hate scooping your old litter box, it’s still preferable to cleaning up after your cat decides to pee or poop somewhere she’s not supposed to.
Luckily, if you find that your cat refuses to adapt to the Litter-Robot, Whisker has a generous return policy. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the Litter-Robot, you can return it within 90 days for a full refund.