Automatic Litter Robot for Cats: Pros and Cons

Nothing makes a cat owner panic more than a cat's litter box waiting to get cleaned. Thankfully, the technology has introduced the Litter Robot to the world – an automatic litter box to help you avoid frequent manual scooping of cat litter and maintain a neat and clean litter bed for your cat.

Automatic Litter Robot for Cats: Pros and Cons

For feline lovers, home does not feel like home if it lacks an adorable cat. Reduced maintenance costs, relaxation from the need for formal training, and frequent grooming make them the perfect pets. However, one can't deny that no matter how precious and important cats might be, it is unbearable to stand the unpleasant smell of their waste. Despite their quiet, independent, and hygienic nature, cats, like any other pet, are unable to scoop their litter boxes, assigning this awful responsibility to their owners. Well, technology has discovered the solution to deal with this least amiable task of owning a cat – A “Litter Robot,” that would serve as a robot litter box and will automatically scoop your cat’s waste out of the cat litter; providing the neat litter bed every time your cat visits it.

So, if you are a choosy cat lover, tired of manual scooping of your cat’s waste, this blog will help you save from the hectic job of maintaining a traditional cat litter box as you will get a chance to learn a lot about Litter Robots. Whether you go on a weekend trip or have an unpredictable schedule, a Litter-Robot will relieve you from the stress of cleaning your cat's waste, as the gadget will automatically do it.

What is a Litter Robot? How does it Work?

A Litter Robot is an automatic litter box manufactured by a US-based company named “Whisker” (previously known as AutoPets) – a leading trendsetter in pet technology and accessories. This Litter-Robot helps you avoid frequent manual scooping of cat litter while maintaining a neat and clean litter bed for it. This spaceship-resembled robotic cat toilet is Wi-Fi enabled to connect to your smartphone or smartwatch and sends notifications to keep you informed about every activity happening inside. You will get this robot litter box in completely assembled form. So, no extra effort is required to connect any separate part. Just remove it from the box and plug it in; it is ready to work.

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The main parts of a cat Litter Robot include:

  • Globe: The barrel-shaped part of the Litter Robot has the litter tray for the cat. The sifting process starts in this compartment.
  • Bonnet: The part wrapped around the globe. It is required to complete the electric circuit. The globe will not rotate without it.
  • Base: this is the powerhouse of the Litter Robot, having a motor, control panel, and wiring inside.
  • Waste Drawer: the drawer in the base where all the clumped waste is deposited.

For proper functioning, a Litter-Robot also has inbuilt sensors and carbon filters.

Once your cat enters this robotic toilet and does its business, it does not start the cleaning process promptly but waits until your cat steps out of it. The inbuilt sensors of the Litter Robot record the cat's weight and check the weight difference inside the box to avoid any cat injury. Once it senses that the cat has stepped out of the robot, its timer starts for the dirty litter to get clumped with the cat's waste. You can set this "wait time" based on your preference; however, Whisker suggests seven minutes. After this time, its self-cleaning process starts automatically inside the globe. The globe is just like a cement mixer but filled with cat litter. It is the place where the cat discharges its waste on the litter inside. It rotates and compels the litter to pass through a carbon filter that segregates the cat’s waste from the litter, and the carbon filters also reduce the waste smell. After this sifting process, the wet litter with absorbed poop or pee converts into messy clay. The globe deposits this clumped waste into the waste drawer inside the base. Once the cat's waste is scooped out in the waste drawer below, the globe starts rotating in the opposite direction and places the cleaned litter back in its position for the next visit.

Once the poop drawer is full of waste, the Wi-Fi-enabled cat Litter Robot sends you a notification on your device to get it emptied. Just pull it out and remove the waste. To keep the poop drawer clean, line it with a litter or garbage bag. Just open the drawer, remove the garbage bag, and line the drawer back with a new and clean bag. If you have one cat, the drawer must be voided once a week.

If you are concerned that the cat’s waste, being placed in the drawer for several days until it is full, may cause an unpleasant smell in your home, just relax! The poop drawer of the Litter-Robot is enclosed from all sides. Moreover, it is equipped with an air filter to keep odor under control. However, the only time you may smell litter is while clearing the drawer.

Important Note: If the weight of your kitten is less than 5 pounds (in case of Litter Robot 3) or less than 3 pounds (in case of Litter-Robot 4), deactivate the automatic sifter as it might be difficult for the robot to sense a cat with this little weight and may start the cleaning process while the kitten is inside. However, if you have a young kitten with a lower weight, switch the mode from "Auto" to "Manual." Observe when your cat has discharged its waste and left the Litter Robot; turn it on to start the cleaning process, and turn it off manually once you get the “Cleaning Process Done” notification on your mobile.

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Whisker App: The Litter Robot has a QR code at its back. Synch to the Whisker app using the QR code and download this app on your mobile or smartwatch. This app delivers comprehensive data about the number of times your cats are discharging waste. It seems ridiculous to get this information, but this data might be helpful for your veterinarian if your cat suffers from some health issues. It also notifies when the robot litter box completes the cleaning process and when the waste drawer is full to its capacity with the clumped waste. You can monitor the use of the automatic litter box from your phone and even name your Litter-Robot using this app.

Which is the Best Litter for Litter Robot?

A Litter Robot does not require any special litter. However, Whisker recommends natural, unscented, and low-tracking litter. “Clay-based Clumping Litter” of premium quality is considered the best for a cat Litter Robot; however following types of litter don't work for it:

  • Non-clumping litter
  • Loose-clumping litter
  • Permeable wood pallet litter
  • Paper-based litter

Can You Use “Pretty Litter” in Litter-Robot?

Pretty Litter” is the litter made of high-grade, finest silica gel crystals that feel as if it is sand. The silica gel crystals and beads can also be used as litter for a litter robot if they are fine enough to filter through the screen. User experiences reveal that "Pretty Litter" was not working well for a traditional litter box; however, for a Litter-Robot, it works better. The litter robot reviews further reveal that the cats attract more to the pretty litter and their paws track less of it outside the Litter Robot than the clumping clay litter. However, the only drawback of pretty litter they claim, is you can't monitor your cat's health as you won't be able to observe the color change in the "Pretty Litter."

Important Things to Consider while Handling a Litter Robot

  • Avoid pushing this Litter Robot against the walls.
  • Avoid overfilling the globe with litter. Otherwise, it may fall in the waste drawer during cleaning cycles. Whisker recommends filling the globe just up to its fill line; approximately 8-10 pounds of cat litter is recommended for the globe.
  • Never use bleach when cleaning the litter robot, as it can degrade the plastic.

How to Clean the Litter Robot?

When it comes to cleaning a Litter Robot, a little attention is required as it is more flexible and easier than cleaning a traditional litter box. You neither need to scoop daily (or ever) nor replace the litter frequently. Each part of the system was designed to ensure easy upkeep. Regarding the detailed cleaning of the litter robot, you can go for it every 1-3 months, based on your cat's behavior and your preference. It's better to perform some basic cleaning once a month. Whisker offers you aroma-free and pet-friendly cleaners to sanitize the globe particularly. This cleaner, available in both forms – Spray and Wipes, contains natural and safe ingredients that include:

  • Water
  • Amino acid enzymes
  • Good Bacteria

Clean the globe with wipes or direct spraying on it; be careful to spray or wipe the wires or any electronic component.

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How to Deep Clean the Litter Robot?

The manufacturer “Whisker” recommends to deep clean your Litter Robot about 3 times a year. Let's have a look at the step-by-step guide for deep cleaning:

  • Deposit all the litter from the globe into the waste drawer by pressing the “Empty” button. Wet litter converts into messy clay, and its pieces might get stuck to the walls that are hard to remove. If you notice any leftover litter in the globe, brush it out thoroughly.
  • Press the ON/OFF button to switch off the Litter Robot and unplug it.
  • Now it’s time to disassemble the litter robot and start deep cleaning.
  • Remove and clean the bonnet: For this, press and release the snap tabs on both sides of the bonnet, then lift and tilt the bonnet towards the back, remove it and set it aside. Now clean it with a wet rag and mild soap. Avoid washing it with water as it has some electric components inside.
  • Remove the globe: Grab the globe in both hands, and lift it off the base.
  • Disinfect the globe using Whisker's cleaner (spray/wipes): You can also wash it with water and some gentle soap as it does not have any electronic component inside. If you feel the globe is awfully dirty, you can soak and clean it with the water hose.
  • Dry off the globe thoroughly. Use a dry towel or air dry it if required.
  • Clean the waste drawer: Open it up and untie the garbage bag in which all the clumped waste of the cat is accumulated. Remove and throw it away. Now, pull out the drawer from the base, clean it with soap and water, and dry it off with a rag. Take a new trash bag (8 to 13 gallons capacity) and tie it off inside the waste drawer.
  • Clean the base: Wipe out the outer surface of the base with a wet rag and soap. Never let the base get wet from inside as it has electronic parts, and the water can damage them. Never submerge it in water.
  • After deep cleaning all the components, it’s time to reassemble the Litter Robot.
  • Attach the globe to the base and the bonnet to the globe. Place the waste drawer back inside the base. That’s all!

Pros and Cons of a Litter Robot

A Litter Robot has made the lives of cat owners less stressful. Let’s walk through its positives and negatives when compared with a traditional litter box!

Pros:

  • No Manual Scooping is required.
  • No/Reduced Cat’s poop smell.
  • You can enjoy stress-free weekend trips.
  • You can monitor your cat’s health on your mobile connected to the litter robot through Whisker’s app.

Cons:

  • Comparatively larger in size.
  • The Litter Robot is quite expensive.
  • Being a complex technology, you may encounter a mechanical fault, and the components may need to replace over time.

Thankfully, Whisker, the Litter Robot manufacturer, sells individual components, so you don't have to put any extra effort into finding the component's replacement here and there. As far as the higher cost is concerned, if you compare it with any automated appliance, its price falls in the midrange scale. So, it depends on how you perceive it; either highly overpriced or quite reasonable to get an AI-based technology at home.

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Litter Robot – Available on Amazon

Amazon – the retail giant worldwide, is full of a vast range of innovative products. Some are preferred for their larger footprints while others for less eye-popping prices. Whisker has also maintained inventory for its automatic Litter Robotat Amazon, which is worth your consideration. Though Whisker has introduced the Litter Robot 3 model at Amazon, its latest invention, the Litter-Robot 4, is still awaited by Amazon customers. Let's hope this latest robot to be available on Amazon soon; meanwhile have a look at Litter-Robot 3 iterations available at Amazon!

1. Litter-Robot 3 Connect & Ramp

Check Price

Source: Amazon
Buy from Amazon
Item Dimensions (L x W x H): 27 x 24.25 x 29.5 inches.
Item Weight: 24 Pounds
Material: Plastic

Whisker brings you this self-cleaning automatic cat litter box called “Litter Robot 3 Connect and Ramp" to help you avoid litter scooping. It separates the cat's waste from litter through the patent sifting process discussed above. The waste is dumped into the waste drawer. Upon getting a notification on your mobile, you just have to empty this drawer when it is full. The automatic cleaning process and the odor-inhibiting carbon filters significantly reduce the bad aroma.

This automatic Litter Robot 3 Connect is available at Amazon with a ramp having a textured surface and the steps to help remove litter attached to the cat's paws while coming out from the box to the floor; hence keeps your floor clean from any kind of litter. The ramp stairs also help small cats to step in and out of the litter robot.

2. Litter-Robot 3 Core Bundle

Check Price

Source: Amazon
Buy from Amazon
Item Dimensions (L x W x H): 24 x 24x 34 inches
Weight: 28 Pounds
Material: Plastic

Litter-Robot 3 Core Bundle is another iteration of the Litter Robot; Whisker sells on Amazon. This Litter Robot is the same as Litter Robot 3 Connect, plus it is equipped with some complimentary items. The Core Bundle includes:

  • Automatic Litter box
  • A Ramp (grey)
  • A litter trap Mat (black)
  • Fence (black)
  • Waste drawer liners – 25 (9 to 11 gallons capacity)
  • Carbon Filters – 3

The ramp, fence, and textured trap mat ensure reduced litter tracking as these items catch the litter from the cat paws on their way out.

Important Note for Both Litter Robots:

  1. Amazon ensures customers quick delivery of any Litter Robot and ships it within 6 to 10 days once ordered.
  2. You can instantly get Litter Robot 3 Connect & Ramp from Amazon at $50 off and Litter-Robot 3 Core Bundle for interest-free installments if you have Amazon Rewards Visa Card approval.
  3. Whisker offers you a 90-day home trial option for each Robot Litter box. Buy it and test it for 90 days at your home. Return the Litter Robot if you are not satisfied with the product.
  4. Whisker offers you these Litter Robots with 1-year Warranty.

How to Clean Litter Robot 3?

The cleaning process for the Litter Robot 3 is the same as discussed above.

Litter Robot 4

Source: All About Cats

Whisker has recently introduced another iteration of a Litter Robot – The Litter Robot 4. Launched on 10thMay 2022, this Litter Robot is an inclusive upgrade of Litter Robot 3. It has a round body from the top while square-shaped at the base. Like Litter Robot 3, this Litter Robot also offers a trial period of 3 months. However, Litter-Robot 4 is not available on Amazon by far.

Litter Robot 3 Or Litter Robot 4? Which is the Best Option?

Both iterations have similarities in their basic features. However, Litter Robot 4 has more advanced features. Let's discuss this in detail!

Similarities:

  • The basic cleaning process is the same.
  • Both can detect cat motion in the automatic litter box.
  • Both are Wi-Fi-enabled and get data on their mobile to view the cat's activity on daily, weekly, and monthly basis to recognize any abnormalities in the usage of cat Litter Robot.
  • Both can track real-time waste levels in the poop drawer.

What Makes Litter-Robot 4 Preferable?

  • Sleeker design so occupies less space.
  • More attractive with large opening (16inches wider).
  • OdorTrap System – 100% control over the stinky smell.
  • Waste drawer with larger capacity.
  • Automatic Night Light for older cats with mobility issues.
  • QuietSift technology to reduce the noise and airborne dust during the sifting process.
  • Whisker App informs you about the real-time level of the litter so you can add litter when required.
  • SmartScale app and AI technology to better track and learn about your cat’s health.

What Makes Litter-Robot 3 Preferable?

  • Reduced Price
  • Shorter delivery time as it is shipped within 6 to 10 days once the order is received, whereas it takes 7-9 weeks to ship the Litter-Robot 4. So, you have to wait for a long time to get it received.

The basic features are the same for both iterations of Litter Robot; the Litter Robot 4 has more appealing features making it the best iteration so far. Though the cost is high, its premium user experience justifies its eye-popping price.

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The SprucePETS Findings:

The SprucePETS - an independent research and testing firm that reviews any pet-related product, conducted research and tested several automatic litter boxes to suggest the best one. They evaluated 14 litter boxes, some at their NY lab and others at the home of feline volunteers. They invested hundreds of hours in testing each Litter Robot for every feature, including performance and odor. They shared their gleaned data and findings with the feline lovers. Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker emerged as the clear winner for the SprucePETS. Before this new version, their previous choice was Little-Robot 3 Connect.

Either its Litter Robot 3 or Litter Robot 4, cat owners are loving it based on their preferences. If you are a cat owner, and thinking to let you free from the routine activity of manual scooping of your cat’s waste, but still a bit confused about it, Click Here to glance at Litter Robot Reviews by the actual users.

Wrap-Up

A Litter-Robot is making the lives of feline lovers less stressful. Of all the iterations Whisker introduced, Litter Robot 4 is the best choice. If you are concerned about it being expensive, your peace of mind will definitely be worth the cost once you use a Litter Robot.