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Is the Litter-Robot Worth It?

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Litter Robot and orange cat

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

The automatic, self-cleaning Litter-Robot saves you the hassle of daily scooping and keeps the litter box fresh for your cat’s every visit. But such convenience comes at a cost. Is it worth the price?

The first Litter-Robot was launched by AutoPets (now Whisker) in 2000. Designed and assembled in the United States, the original Litter-Robot was the product of years of market research and development. With a $349 price tag at its launch, it was one of the most expensive litter boxes on the market at the time.

Over the past 23 years, Whisker has fine-tuned the Litter-Robot’s design, taking consumer feedback into account and upgrading it with the latest technology. Customer satisfaction rose with each interaction, but so did the price tag.

In this article, we’ll explore the Litter-Robot’s pricing and the features that make it worth the cost.

How Does the Litter-Robot Work?

The Litter-Robot is a rotating automatic litter box equipped with an integrated sifting system that separates clumps and waste from clean litter.

When your cat steps up into the litter bed, a collection of sensors detects their presence. Once your cat leaves the litter box, a cleaning cycle initiates automatically. Powered by gravity, the rotating globe sifts the contents of the litter box. Clean litter is collected and held while clumps and waste tumble into a waste drawer in the base of the unit.

At the end of the cleaning cycle, the globe rotates back into place. Clean litter is returned to the litter bed and the waste compartment is sealed, locking away odor. If at any point during the cycle, your cat enters the litter box, the cycle stops automatically to prevent injury.

What Makes the Litter-Robot Unique?

Self-cleaning litter boxes have been on the market for decades. Most incorporate one of two technologies—a mechanical rake or a sifting mechanism.

Automatic litter boxes with raking technology typically have an open design. Similar to a traditional litter pan, your cat steps into the box to do their business. After your cat leaves, a mechanical rake moves across the litter bed, sweeping clumps and poop into a separate compartment.

Sifting automatic litter boxes like the one innovated by Litter-Robot often have a covered design. The main body of the litter box rotates or tilts to sift the entire contents of the litter box. These models are usually pricier than raking models, but they often come with certain benefits—more complete separation of waste, better odor control, and more advanced tech. The Litter-Robot, in particular, exemplifies these benefits.

Careful calibration ensures that, during each cleaning cycle, the Litter-Robot rotates far enough to completely empty the litter bed through the sifter. Clumps and waste are deposited into a tightly sealed compartment which contains the odors and makes litter box maintenance easy. But it’s the arsenal of technological features that has always distinguished the Litter-Robot from similar products on the market.

Advanced Technology Defines the Litter-Robot

Litter robot 4 app

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

The Litter-Robot relies on an array of sensors to detect your cat’s presence in the litter box. They also collect real-time information that can be viewed in the Whisker app.

While early models relied on mechanical sensors, the latest iteration, Litter-Robot 4, utilizes a combination of laser and weight sensors called the OmniSense system. This system not only detects your cat’s presence to start and stop the cleaning cycle, but it monitors litter and waste drawer levels as well.

The Whisker app allows you to monitor Litter-Robot remotely via your mobile device. You can check litter and waste drawer levels, track your cat’s litter box usage, and even purchase supplies directly through the app.

Litter-Robot is also equipped with advanced safety and odor-control technology. The OmniSense system automatically stops rotation if a cat is detected in or near the litter box while it’s moving. A carbon filter positioned directly above the waste drawer combines with a tight seal to effectively contain odor.

How Much Does It Cost?

One of the most advanced automatic litter boxes on the market, the Litter-Robot is also one of the most expensive. Litter-Robot 4 is priced starting at $699 with available bundles ranging from $784 to over $1,000.

Litter-Robot 3—WiFi-enabled—sells for $549 with bundle pricing ranging from $664 to over $800. Litter box furniture is also available for both models, separately and bundled.

Though Litter-Robot represents a significant upfront investment, routine maintenance costs are not significantly different from a traditional litter box. There’s the—minor—added cost of electrical usage but the Litter-Robot can be used with any clumping clay cat litter. You can control litter costs by shopping sales or buying in bulk.

Both Litter-Robot models include a 90-day, in-home trial and a 1-year warranty. For $100, you can purchase WhiskerCare to extend the warranty to 3 years. Shipping is free on orders over $49 in the contiguous United States with flat-rate shipping fees to Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. territories.

Is It Worth It?

how the Litter Robot 4 works

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

When considering any significant financial investment, the decision often comes down to a matter of cost versus benefit. Is the time and effort you’ll save by upgrading to an automatic, self-cleaning litter box worth $700 to you? Here’s how to decide.

The Litter-Robot might be worth it for you if…

  • You want to eliminate the task of scooping the litter box.
  • Your cat is very fastidious and requires a constantly clean box.
  • You prefer not to handle dirty litter.
  • You want to be able to track your cat’s litter box usage remotely via a smartphone app.
  • You prefer to use clay-clumping litter (not natural or alternative litter products).
  • You want to get notifications to your phone when waste needs to be emptied or litter needs to be refilled.
  • Your cat adapts to new things easily or you’re willing to take the time to get your cat acclimated properly.
  • You’re willing to accept the risk of occasional glitches or eventual mechanical failure.
  • You want an automatic litter box with easy setup and minimal maintenance.

The Litter-Robot might not be worth it for you if…

  • You prefer to use non-clumping, natural, or alternative litter products.
  • Your cat is uncomfortable in enclosed litter boxes.
  • Your cat or kitten has trouble climbing steps to get into the litter box.
  • You aren’t willing to sacrifice a significant amount of floor space to a litter box.
  • Your cat is skittish or doesn’t adapt well to unfamiliar things.

Take Advantage of Bundle Deals

If you’re still on the fence about Litter-Robot, the right discount might sway your decision. Even if you’ve already decided to take the leap, there’s no reason not to save a few dollars if you can. That’s where Litter-Robot bundle deals come in.

Pair Litter-Robot 3 or 4 with essentials like cleaning supplies, waste drawer liners, and carbon filters. Other bundles include add-ons like a litter mat or a set of steps to make Litter-Robot easier to access. Pricing varies but you can save as much as $75 on the bundle of your choice with seasonal sales.

If you order directly from Whisker, you can secure additional savings on monthly subscriptions of clumping clay cat litter, waste drawer liners, and cleaning essentials.

Visit the Litter-Robot site to view the entire collection of litter boxes and bundles.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a writer with over twelve years of experience in the pet industry. She is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach and has completed coursework in therapeutic nutrition, raw feeding, and the formulation of homemade diets for pets at an accredited university. Kate enjoys cooking, reading, and doing DIY projects around the house. She has three cats, Bagel, Munchkin, and Biscuit.