Home Cat Health Is Litter-Robot 4 Self-Cleaning Box Worth the Cost?

Is Litter-Robot 4 Self-Cleaning Box Worth the Cost?

by Guest Contributor
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You have more important things to do than think about your cat’s litter box. However, because so many cat owners have thought about that necessary but unwelcome household item, there is an active market for automatic-cleaning litter boxes.

One of the most-talked-about models is the Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker. The talk is not just about how well it does its intended job, but also about its relatively hefty price tag. The question about this modern marvel is whether it is a labor-saving device well worth the cost or an expensive toy that is more hype than help.

If you are wondering whether to stick to the old tradition “scoop-as-you-go” litter box or enter the technology age with an automatic litter box like Litter-Robot 4, this guide will provide the information to help you make that decision.

About the Litter-Robot Brand

The Whisker company produces the Litter-Robot 3 Connect, the Litter-Robot 4, and several other accessories for your beloved feline.

Because the Litter-Robot 4 is self-cleaning, it is best for busy cat owners and people who own multiple cats. It is also great for that one stubborn cat who will only use a litter box that is in pristine condition.

If you hate the smell of a dirty litter box (and who doesn’t?), the Litter-Robot 4 could be a desirable choice.

Black Litter-Robot 4 product photo with cat in box and phone displaying app functionsPhoto source: Litter-Robot.com

Getting Started With Litter-Robot 4

The other unique thing that sets the Litter-Robot 4 apart from your standard litter box is its spherical shape, similar to that of a globe. This globe is triggered by the litter box’s OmniSense detection system, which creates a circular motion you can set for between seven minutes and 30 minutes after your cat does its business. You can control this time with the Litter-Robot 3 app (more about that later).

After the machine rotates, it filters out the waste into a bottom drawer and leaves a clean bed of litter so your cat — as a popular toilet paper company says — can “enjoy the go.”

The machine comes fully assembled and ready for use straight out of the box. You can even have it in your favorite color — as long as your favorite color is either black or white.

Does the Litter-Robot 4 Contain Odor?

One of the things you might wonder about is how well the Litter-Robot 4 contains odor. The Litter-Robot 4 comes with a carbon filter for neutralizing the unpleasant smell. This means your litter box will be fresh and clean with no lingering smell from your cat’s last visit.

That being said, some cat parents have complained that their Litter Robot 4 actually smells more than their traditional litter box. However, this is usually only noticed right after the machine goes through its self-cleaning process and if the waste chamber is left too long without being changed.

If you remember to throw out the waste in your waste chamber in a timely manner, the smell likely won’t be an issue to worry about. The machine’s DFI sensor system notifies you of the waste drawer level so you know when it’s time to empty it.

How Often Do You Need to Clean a Whisker Litter-Robot?

For best results, and to avoid an unpleasant smell, it’s recommended to clean out the Litter-Robot waste drawer about once a week. You may want to do this more often if you have multiple cats.

To empty the waste drawer, simply press the “empty” button on the machine and the dirty litter will drop into the waste bin. To clean the waste drawer, open it and throw away the bag.

You should change the entire litter box in about a month, and no longer than three months. Any longer and you, your cat, and your guests won’t be too happy.

To wash the globe, you will remove the bonnet on the litter box, wipe out any traces of cat litter, and clean it with soapy water. Make sure you thoroughly dry the litter box to avoid damage or mold caused by excess moisture.

Do not submerge the device since that could damage the electronic pieces in the machine.

All in all, the Litter-Robot is self-cleaning. Regular, thorough cleaning will ensure that it functions to the best of its ability.

A white Litter-Robot 4 product photoPhoto source: Litter-Robot.com

What Cat Litter Is Best in the Litter-Robot 4?

What kind of cat litter is the most efficient for the Litter-Robot 4? According to LitterRobot.com, “Litter-Robot works well with almost any clumping litter.”

While non-clumping litter is less expensive than clumping litter, with “the cheap stuff” you run the risk of the litter scattering and creating more of a mess and hassle for the cat owner.

Also, be sure to use a litter that is low-dust, low-tracking, and unscented. This will make the litter box much more clean and tidy to prevent your cat from tracking litter around the house. The Litter-Robot 4 has a LowDust screen to address this issue, but it can only do so much to combat the problem.

While scented litter may slightly help the smell of a litter box, sometimes the perfumey smell is more unpleasant than the “natural” odor. It can also possibly trigger allergies for you and your cats if you are sensitive to scents.

Here are some of the best brands of cat litter for Whisker Litter-Robots:

  • Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

  • Tidy Cats Free & Clean Lightweight Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

  • World’s Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

  • Scoop Away Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

  • Fresh Step Odor Shield Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Woman looks at cat getting out of Litter-Robot 4Photo source: Litter-Robot.com

What Types of Cats Are Best/Worst for Auto-Cleaners?

You might be wondering, which cats will adapt best to an auto-cleaning litter box like the Litter-Robot 4? The good news is, most cats adapt very quickly.

That being said, you may have a fickle cat that is not fond of its new litter box or a skittish cat that is scared of the unusual device. The best way to get them acclimated is to only use the cleaning cycle when the cat is away from the machine. This will prevent the sound and movement from startling them. If the cat gets spooked by the new contraption right off the bat, it might take a while for them to accept and use it. The term “fraidy-cat” was coined for a reason.

You will also want to use positive reinforcements for your cat, such as rewarding them with their favorite treat when they successfully use the new litter box. It may be helpful to leave their old, but uncleaned, litter box next to the Litter-Robot 4. Eventually, your cat will most likely choose the cleaner of the two options and adjust to the change. When they do, you can retire the old one.

It seems that in this case, there are no specific breeds that are better candidates for the Litter-Robot 4? It will simply depend on your cat’s individual personality.

How Much Does the Litter-Robot 4 Cost?

Now, for the dreaded question we’ve all been waiting for: How much does the Litter-Robot 4 cost?

The Litter-Robot 4 is currently selling for $649, which is $100 more than the Litter-Robot 3.

Obviously, this is much more expensive than your traditional litter box. The high price is one of the many reasons people hesitate to buy a Litter-Robot. There are a lot of things you can buy with $649, and a litter box usually isn’t at the top of the list.

Connect to the Litter-Robot App

One of the coolest things about Whisker’s Litter-Robots is that they can be controlled with the Whisker app. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. All you need to do is download the Whisker app and connect to the Litter-Robot WiFi.

This will enable you to receive notifications when your waste drawer needs to be emptied, control the cycle timing, activate sleep mode, and turn on the night light. You can even view stats of your cat’s litter box habits, like how often they use the litter box in a given day.

Knowing your cat’s bathroom habits could help you detect possible health issues. For example, if you see that your cat is using the litter box multiple times a day in close increments, they may have an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed.

If you own more than one Litter-Robot device, you can connect multiple Litter-Robot devices to the app. You can also connect other Whisker devices, such as the Feeder-Robot.

Best 5 Automatic Litter Boxes Comparison

Litter-Robot 4 is not the only automatic litter box out there. There are other, less expensive, options available. Here is how five of those alternatives compare to Litter-Robot 4.

1. Whisker Litter-Robot 3

First up is Whisker’s Litter-Robot 3. This automatic, self-cleaning litter box sells for $549. While this is $100 less than the Litter-Robot 4, it’s certainly not cheap by any means.

What makes this litter box different is that it only works with cats who weigh five or more pounds. The Litter-Robot 4 can serve cats as small as three pounds.

It also lacks some features of the Litter-Robot 4, including an LED display, the WhisperQuiet cleaning cycle, cat recognition, litter level readouts, and weight tracking.

The carbon filter is also located on the front of the Litter-Robot 3 and not on top, as it is on the Litter-Robot 4.

Overall, these two litter boxes are very similar. If the lack of those key Litter-Robot 4 features are deal breakers for you, then you’re probably better off spending the extra money for the upgraded model.

2. PetKit Pura X Litter Box

The PetKit Pura X Litter Box is another popular choice among cat parents. Like the Litter-Robots, this litter box also comes with its very own app to monitor your cat’s behavior and control the settings of the litter box.

This litter box comes with a deodorizer, waste liners, a mat, and a power cord, making the set-up process very simple. It is also equipped with a multi-sensor system and automatically cycles 1-2 minutes after your cat uses the box.

If you’re unsure about what litter to use, you can purchase the soy and clay-based PetKit Pura X litter.

The PetKit Pura X is going for $599 at this time, so it’s a bit more expensive than the Litter-Robot 3 but still cheaper than the Litter-Robot 4.

3. CatGenie A.I. Automatic Cat Box

The CatGenie A.I. Automatic Cat Box is a smart choice for those who want to do the least amount of work possible when it comes to their cat’s litter box. That’s because the CatGenie not only self-cleans and sanitizes, but it also flushes waste entirely so it does not have to be emptied by you.

This is possible because CatGenie A.I. uses granules instead of traditional litter. These granules are washed, drained, flushed through your plumbing system, and then dried.

The only negative is that the installation process is a bit tedious. While other machines are pretty much ready to go straight out of the box, this litter box needs to be hooked up to your cold water plumbing line.

You can also download the app to monitor your cat’s behavior and control the settings of this litter box. It is selling for $479, which isn’t bad considering the amount of work this machine will do for you.

4. CATLINK Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

The CatLink Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box might be the closest you will get to the Litter-Robot 4. Price-wise, it’s also very close, ranging from $599 to $649.

The CatLink Self-Cleaning Litter Box comes with a deodorizer, multi-sensors, double UV sterilization, and is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. Like the other boxes, it comes with its own app.

The cleaning process works exactly the same as the Litter-Robot 4. The box will self-clean and empty into a waste drawer at the bottom of the machine which you will clean out once a week.

However, some have commented that the Litter-Robot 4 is easier to clean because clumps of litter will sometimes get stuck in the CatLink Litter Box. That said, the CatLink Litter Box is smaller than the Litter-Robot, making it easier to fit in your home.

To avoid traces of litter getting onto your floor, you can also purchase the CatLink Stairway for $99. This is a little ramp your cat will walk on after exiting the litter box and absorbs excess litter before it reaches your floor.

5. ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

If you’re looking for a much more affordable option, the ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self-Cleaning litter box is the way to go. You can purchase this litter box on Chewy for only $199.95.

Does it work? Most customers say “Yes.”

This litter box uses a rake system to self-clean about 20 minutes after your cat uses the box. It is equipped with rakes that move the cat waste into a separate area after cleaning.

While most automatic litter boxes recommend clay-based litter, the ScoopFree Covered Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box requires crystal litter. This type of litter works better with the box because it is able to absorb the waste quicker and diminish any odor.

Is the Litter-Robot 4 Worth the Cost?

We know buying a Litter-Robot 4 isn’t exactly the cheapest investment, but is it worth the cost? Usually the best way to answer that question — or any question — is to talk to someone who has been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale.

Proponents of the Litter-Robot 4 believe it is worth the cost because it cuts out the time-consuming task of scooping out your litter box every day. They also claim it eliminates their worry that guests will have to deal with the overwhelming whiff of cat litter and cat waste that the owner may have become “nose blind” to.

Another great benefit is the convenience of the Whisker app, especially if you’re a tech-savvy type.

And in this corner, there are those who believe the Litter-Robot 4 is not worth the money because it is too big. Litter-Robots are much larger than standard litter boxes, so they are more difficult to place in your house — especially if you have a smaller home or apartment.

Some also claim the loud noise is too frightening for their cats and that a traditional litter box makes for a calm, less stressful environment.

A white cat exits the black Litter-Robot 4 model in a bedroomPhoto source: Litter-Robot.com

Final Verdict on the Litter-Robot 4

Is the Litter-Robot 4 worth it or overrated? The final answer depends on the person and their feline, but objectively speaking Litter-Robot 4 has received more positive than negative feedback.

One benefit of an article like this is that you have not only received information on one model, but on several similar options that you may want to consider. Review the features and the prices and see which one — if any — you think will work for you, your cat, and your household.

At the end of the day, you will have to look through the information provided and decide if the high cost of the Litter-Robot 4 is worth it and if you think your cat will benefit from its features. If not, there’s nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned litter box — as long as you don’t mind the extra work.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your family, friends, and other cat lovers.

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