Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (2024)

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (1)

Behind every fluffy, cuddly, Instagram-worthy kitty there's a litter box with poop in it. It's a universal truth of cat ownership: Cleaning out litter boxes every single day (sometimes twice a day) sucks. That's why when Litter-Robot introduced the world's first self-cleaning litter box in 2000, cat owners everywhere were united by a collective gasp. It seemed too good to be true! Could there really be a product that reduced the workload of this grotesque chore to a mere fraction of what it once was?

The answer is yes, and 24 years later, the innovative product has gone through several versions. Released in 2022, the Litter-Robot 4 is the brand's most optimized iteration, though the beloved Litter-Robot 3 Connect is still on the market. The product is such a huge success that the company rebranded to Whisker in 2021 and began releasing non-poop related products, like the Feeder-Robot. Naturally, our Country Living Pet Lab had to put the automatic litter box to the test.

The litter box is about the size of a large bedside table and features a dryer-like barrel that rolls waste into a hidden drawer. Unlike other self-cleaning boxes on the market, the opening is large enough for even the chunkiest cats — and as the proud owner of a 14-pound Siberian mix, I would know. But does it deliver on Whisker's promise to "never scoop again"?

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (4)

The fully installed Litter-Robot 4 in my home.

When I recently tested the most popular automatic cat litter boxes for Country Living, checking out the Litter-Robot 4 was my top priority. It was, after all, the first mainstream automatic box and the one with the most name recognition. Like the others, it arrived in a gigantic box. One might imagine it would come entirely disassembled, a jumble of bits and pieces à la a child's dollhouse, but it was pretty much entirely intact.

The toughest part was figuring out where to put this 24-pound behemoth so that our cat, Murphy, would have access, but we wouldn't be staring at a moderately sized appliance in our living room. We decided on a corner of the bedroom where we previously had a hidden litter box, hoping that Murphy would be familiar enough with the location to immediately start using the new box.

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (6)

A screenshot of the Litter-Robot 4’s app interface.

Setup was easy — Whisker has an excellent support page and a detailed assembly video — but connecting to the app was a little tricky. I needed to unplug and plug the box into the wall a couple times before our Litter-Robot 4 would connect. Once it did, I was impressed with all the bells and whistles! The app allowed me to input Murphy's breed, size, and health issues so the box could monitor his output levels and any changes in weight via the SmartScale feature. That's definitely not something our old plastic tub could do. As cool as the app is, I did notice that it would sometimes miscalculate Murphy's weight.

How I Tested the Litter-Robot 4

Murphy is a champion at tracking litter all over the house — blame the long fur between his toes and his inherent desire for chaos — so I wanted to set him up for success by using Whisker's own litter, GreatLitter, and the brand's LitterTrap Mat. (Technically, you can use any type of clumping litter and if you have a tidy kitty, you might not need the mat.)

When I tell you this cat used the box immediately, I mean the last kernel of GreatLitter had barely settled when Murphy crawled into the globe and marked his new property. Once he'd exited, the Litter-Robot 4 waited seven minutes until it rotated to dispose of the clump into the waste drawer. You can change the amount of time between when the Litter-Robot 4 senses the cat has left and when the barrel starts moving, but seven minutes is the factory setting, as it's the average time for clumps to set. The pee clump landed in the drawer and my app let me know that the cycle ran. Huzzah!

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (8)

The Litter-Robot 4 waste bin after completing a cleaning cycle.

We've been using the Litter-Robot 4 for three months now and while it works exactly as advertised, Murphy still prefers a manual litter box. Full disclosure, he has feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) so removing his regular box entirely wouldn't be the best move for us. For healthy cats, the Litter-Robot 4 could absolutely serve as the primary or sole litter box in the household. Users only need to empty the tray once a week and clean the barrel monthly.

Litter-Robot 4 Pros

  • Flawless cleaning
  • Informative app
  • Good for multiple cats
  • Odor control
  • Excellent customer service

Litter-Robot 4 Cons

  • Price
  • Large footprint
  • Cat might not like it

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (10)

Control panel on the Litter-Robot 4.

What to Consider Before Buying a Litter-Robot 4

The Litter-Robot 4 starts at $699 and the price goes up depending on your choice of bezel color. Before you shell out, here's what to think about.

  • Where will you put the Litter-Robot 4? As stated, the product is pretty big. It also has to be placed a few inches from a wall and will need to be plugged in. Make sure you have a space in mind before you order.
  • Do you want to invest in the extras? In addition to GreatLitter and the LitterTrap, Whisker also sells waste drawer liners, OdorTrap Packs, and Carbon Filters. You can get off-brand versions of all of these on Amazon, but it's hard to beat products made by Whisker specifically for the Litter-Robot 4.
  • What's your color scheme? The Litter-Robot 4 comes in black or white as a base color, then you can chose a color for the bezel part: black, white, lilac, fuchsia, mint, marble, woodgrain, or grey stone.
  • Do your cats have health problems? If your kitty has urinary issues that might affect their ability or willingness to use a self-cleaning litter box, consult your veterinarian before purchasing the Litter-Robot 4. While the brand offers a free 90-day in-home trial period and a one-year warranty, it might not be worth putting your cat through the stress of getting used to an unfamiliar bathroom situation.
Whisker Products

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (12)

Whisker Litter-Robot 4

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (13)

Whisker GreatLitter

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (14)

Whisker Waste Drawer Liners

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (15)

Maggie Panos

Freelancer Writer

After over a decade as a digital editor, Maggie Panos is navigating freelance writing and full-time parenting. She covered entertainment for POPSUGAR from New York and San Francisco before setting down roots in tree-covered Portland and focusing on local journalism. A self-proclaimed "okay baker", Maggie is interested in all things lifestyle — especially if those things involve Bravolebrities.

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It (2024)

FAQs

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth It? We Had the Messiest Cat Test It? ›

The answer is yes, and 24 years later, the innovative product has gone through several versions. Released in 2022, the Litter-Robot 4 is the brand's most optimized iteration, though the beloved Litter-Robot 3 Connect is still on the market.

Is Litter-Robot 4 worth upgrade? ›

In a word: Yes. There's a $150 difference between the two models, but I think the upgrade is worth it. With the Litter-Robot 4, you get better odor control, a bigger waste drawer and an overall smaller footprint (with a more aesthetically pleasing design).

Can Litter-Robot 4 detect different cats? ›

You can connect the Litter-Robot 4 to the Whisker app and track your cats' usage. The sensor will recognize each cat by weight, and you can follow how often each cat visits the box and watch for trends in usage and any changes to your cat's weight. (Always share any alarming changes with your vet!)

How often should I clean the litter on my robot 4? ›

Cleaning your Litter-Robot

Cleaning or soaking the globe thoroughly every 3 months will help prevent any excess weight from accumulating within the globe. Never submerge, spray, or soak the base or control panel as they contain sensors and electronics.

Do you save money with Litter-Robot? ›

Litter-Robot's patented sifting system is more efficient and saves money by using up to 50% less litter. That means more pocket money to spend on your furry family members!

Which is best Litter Robot 3 or 4? ›

While Litter-Robot 3 offers a slightly lower price, Litter-Robot 4's upgrades, including multi-cat recognition, QuietSift® cleaning cycles, and enhanced SafeCat technology, make the upgrade worth it.

Why is my Litter-Robot 4 not detecting my cat? ›

If your Litter-Robot 4 is not accurately detecting your cat's weight, this is typically an issue with the placement of your robot. The cat sensor weight scale may also record a partial measurement when a curious kitty puts weight on the step without completely entering the unit.

How much litter to put in Litter-Robot 4? ›

Fill the Globe through the circular opening with clumping litter until it meets the raised MAX Fill Line when spread flat—approximately 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.5 kg) by weight or 1 gallon (4L) by volume. Be careful not to overfill the Globe. The Litter-Robot litter sifting system requires clumping litter to work properly.

How does Litter-Robot know which cat? ›

The SmartScale® system distinguishes between multiple cats by tracking their weight.

Can you use crystal litter in Litter-Robot 4? ›

Not recommended for Litter-Robot 4: Translucent or white-colored litter (most often seen in crystal litter) may impact the litter level and Drawer Full Indicator (DFI) accuracy.

How many cats can Litter-Robot 4 handle? ›

We recommend up to 4 indoor cats per single Litter-Robot; however, we do have customers with more cats using a single unit. As a rule of thumb, one cat using Litter-Robot 3 requires that the drawer be emptied once per week; two cats, twice per week; three cats, every other day, and so on.

Can I use pine pellets in a Litter-Robot? ›

The only litter that won't work with the Litter-Robot 4 is anything strictly absorbent, non-clumping or loose-clumping. Common examples include wood pellet litter and pine-based litters. Then comes the tricky part: getting your cats to actually use the litter box.

What litter is best in robot? ›

5 Best Litters for Your Litter Robot
  • Fresh Step Febreze Freshness. Fresh Step Febreze Freshness is on a different level of litter. ...
  • Fresh Step Simply Unscented. ...
  • Purina Tidy Cats Unscented Litter. ...
  • Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal.

What happens if you put too much litter in Litter-Robot? ›

If there is too much litter in the globe, it can cause cycling issues (getting stuck during a cycle).

Does Litter-Robot 4 need special litter? ›

No, Litter-Robot 4 does not require special litter. Litter-Robot works well with almost any clumping or scoopable litter. Litter beads and crystals that are small enough to pass through the screen will also work.

What are the benefits of Litter-Robot 4? ›

Enhanced litter-sifting technology limits dust and ensures a clean place for kitty's paws, while the complimentary fence and step greatly reduce litter tracking out of the box. QuietSift™ self-cleaning cycles benefit skittish kitties.

How often should I change the filter in Litter-Robot 4? ›

Open the filter cover and replace the carbon filter as needed. (Under normal use, 1 filter should last approximately 1 month.)

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 6253

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.