After months of in-home testing with my two cats, Wessie and Forest, the Litter-Robot 4 has proven its worth as a high-performing, more cat-friendly improvement on the previous Litter-Robot 3. During testing, I took notes on how my cats responded to the design, how well the new sensor system worked, and how effectively it sifted.
In this review, I’ll share the details of the Litter-Robot 4, including my experience and analysis of whether or not the newest automatic litter box from Whisker is worth the almost-$700 price tag.
- Ease of Cleaning – 10/10
- Odor Control – 10/10
- Appearance – 10/10
- Construction – 10/10
- Price – 6/10
Overall Score: 9.2/10
Litter Robot 4 Video Review
Why Trust Cats.com
Over the last three years, the Cats.com team has spent countless hours testing automatic litter boxes of every kind. Whether they spin, scrape, or flush, we’ve evaluated these automatic litter boxes’ performance in all key areas, including cat-friendliness, cleaning efficiency, odor control, affordability, and more.
In order to review the Litter-Robot 4, we spent hours researching the Litter-Robot brand and their newest automatic litter box model. And because hands-on testing is essential to fully understand how any product works, we also received a beta unit and spent over a month trying it in-home with two feline testers.
Since then, we’ve updated this review with additional observations and recent pricing information. Keep reading to get the details on the Litter-Robot 4 and find out whether or not I think it’s a smart choice.
Litter-Robot 4 and Whisker Overview
Originally launched in 2000 under the name Auto Pets, the maker of the Litter-Robot series has since been renamed Whisker. After the original Litter-Robot, the company created several subsequent models, including the Litter-Robot 2, Litter-Robot 3 Open Air, and eventually, the Litter-Robot 3 Open Air Connect, which added Wi-Fi and app integration to the system.
The company started developing its latest design in 2018, and after four years of development, the Litter-Robot 4 was announced on May 10th, 2022. Units began shipping in July of 2022 and there have already been several updates to the Litter-Robot 4’s design and technology.
With a larger entryway, additional sensors that make it accessible to cats of all ages and sizes, and an improved app interface that gives you real-time updates on your litter and waste drawer level, the most significant changes to the fourth iteration of the Litter-Robots design revolve around cat-friendliness and ease of use.
Considering that these changes solve some of the most common complaints about the older model, this release demonstrates Whisker’s commitment to innovation and meeting users’ needs.
Litter-Robot 4 Features
The Litter-Robot 4 builds upon the basic rotate-sift functionality of the original Litter-Robot and the Wi-Fi integration of the Litter-Robot 3 Connect with several cat-friendly and human-friendly improvements.
Here’s a summary of the most significant ones.
|Litter-Robot 3||Litter-Robot 4|
|Footprint||24.25″ x 27″||22’’ x 27’’|
|Inside Globe Size||15″-17″ H (depending on litter level) x 20″ W x 20″ D||15″-17″ H (depending on litter level) x 19″ W x 18″ D|
|Litter Bed Size||14” x 14”||14” x 14”|
|Entryway Size||10.25″ x 15.25″||15.75’’ x 15.75”|
|Waste Drawer Size||5.00” H x 12.50” W x 16.00” D||5.50” H x 13.50” W x 9.25” D|
|Unit Weight||24 lbs||24 lbs|
|Minimum Cat User Weight||5 lbs||3 lbs|
|Maximum Cat User Weight||None||None|
|Sifting System||Rotating sifting system||Rotating sifting system|
|Cat Sensor System||Weight-based cat sensor||Laser-based cat sensor, weight-based cat sensor|
|Safety Features||Pinch sensor, weight-based cat sensor||Pinch sensor, laser-based cat sensor|
|Odor Control System||Carbon filter in front of waste drawer||Carbon filter on top of waste drawer, option to use OdorTrap|
|Cycling Noise Level||35 – 45 dB||25 – 35 dB|
|Cycle Timer Duration||3 – 15 minutes||3 – 30 minutes|
|Weight Tracking in App?||No||Yes|
|Litter Level Readouts in App?||No||Yes|
|Waste Drawer Fullness Readouts in App?||Only full alerts||Percentage full readout plus full alerts|
The new Litter-Robot has a larger circular opening, measuring 15” in diameter, giving your cat more room to enter than the previous model’s oblong 15.5” x 10.25” opening. The globe is roughly an inch smaller on the inside but the litter bed still measures about 14” in diameter.
With the buttons shifted to the top of the unit and the labels removed, the control panel takes on a sleeker, more modern appearance and no longer distracts from the space-age sleekness of the Robot’s front.
Upgraded Sensor System
While the previous Litter-Robot model relied on mechanical sensors, the new Litter-Robot 4 uses a combination of mechanical and laser sensors as part of what they call the OmniSense™ detection system.
With the new sensor system, the Robot is able to detect cats entering the litter box whether they’ve activated the weight sensor or not. No longer activated by cats weighing 5 lbs or more, it’s a safe option for adults and kittens alike.
When a cat enters the litter box, regardless of weight, it will start a timer if not already cycling. If it’s already cycling, the Litter-Robot will automatically stop and ensure that the cat isn’t caught. In addition to this sensor, the mechanical pinch detection system remains in place as a final safeguard for cats who might enter a cycling Litter-Robot.
Additionally, the Robot has integrated a new DFI sensor system, which enables reporting of small changes in the waste drawer’s fullness. In the app, this translates to a percentage-based readout that tells you exactly how full the waste drawer is at any time.
More Information in the App
On top of additional insights into the fullness of the waste drawer, the new Whisker app gives you more information on what’s happening in the litter box and how your cat is using it.
Perhaps the most noticeable improvement is the addition of weight readouts, which help you to identify which cat has used the litter box. You can also monitor the litter level inside of the globe, adjust the night light’s brightness level, and control all of the settings you’re used to changing in the Litter-Robot app.
Improved Odor Control
While the previous model of the Litter-Robot featured a carbon filter set in a grated area at the front of the waste drawer, the Litter-Robot 4 places the odor filter at the bottom of the globe, sitting right above the drawer. The carbon filter is encased in a simple plastic cage that can also contain Whisker’s OdorTrap™ packets if desired.
By sealing off the front of the drawer and positioning this odor control system overhead, the Litter-Robot 4 promises to keep waste drawer smells trapped.
With an average noise level of about 37 decibels while cycling, the new Litter-Robot 4 is about as subtle as a whisper, with most of the sound coming from the shuffling of litter rather than any motor noise.
It’s, on average, 10 decibels quieter than the Litter-Robot 3, presenting a significant improvement for those who were disturbed by cycling during the night. The quieter operation may help shy cats to feel more comfortable around their new Robot as well.
What We Like
- It runs reliably and performs consistently to keep the litter box clean and nearly odor-free.
- The Litter-Robot 4 has a sleeker, more open design than the previous model for improved cat comfort.
- It’s engineered for strong odor control with a sealed waste drawer, a carbon filter, and optional OdorTrap packets.
- The Whisker app has been improved to deliver detailed insights into your cat’s litter box activity in addition to monitoring waste drawer and litter levels.
- It’s one of the quietest automatic litter boxes on the market, operating at an average noise level of just 37 decibels while cycling.
- The Litter-Robot 4 is compatible with any hard-clumping cat litter, though clay litter tends to work best.
What We Dislike
- It’s one of the most expensive automatic litter boxes on the market, priced around $700.
- The interior may be too small for larger cats to feel comfortable—the litter bed is still only 14” in diameter.
- Though smaller than the Litter-Robot 3, it still takes up a great deal of floor space.
- May still require occasional disassembly for deep cleaning to ensure optimal performance.
What Did Our Test Cats Think?
While we normally independently purchase products for review, Whisker offered a free Litter-Robot 4 beta unit for testing about a month prior to the launch, giving us the ability to try the Robot before it became available for purchase. Since the launch, several other members of the Cats.com team have tested the Litter-Robot 4 in their own homes.
Like the Litter-Robot III, the Litter-Robot 4 arrived assembled and—almost—ready for use. With its open front, the design of the Litter-Robot 4 is more cat-friendly than the previous model, but it’s not perfect. The litter bed’s 14” diameter is still small, and the interior of the globe doesn’t provide much space for larger cats or any cat who doesn’t like feeling confined.
Only my smaller cat, Forest, was willing to use the Litter-Robot 4, while my larger cat preferred to use his regular open box. Most cats will prefer to use a basic open pan, but those like Forest—cats who don’t mind enclosed spaces and love having a perfectly-cleaned litter box at all times—may appreciate the constant clean of the Litter-Robot 4.
I found that the Litter-Robot 4 worked well, sifting the clumps from clean litter without a lot of residue or sticking. Unlike other automatic litter boxes that use a raking mechanism to remove waste, the Litter-Robot’s rotating, sifting mechanism doesn’t tend to jam, and there’s not a lot of accumulation.
As with the Litter-Robot 3, I was impressed with the Litter-Robot 4’s ability to control odor. I also appreciated the improvements to the Whisker app. Overall, I found that the updated app was far more functional, consistent, and easier to use than the older version.
What Do Customers Think of the Litter-Robot 4?
Though still relatively new in comparison to the Litter-Robot III, the Litter-Robot 4 is similarly well-liked by customers. With over 4,500 reviews on the Litter-Robot site, this model has a 4.3-star rating out of 5 stars.
“My first litter robot lasted 5 years and worked great. Litter Robot 4 is SO quiet, and the WiFi was easy to set up. My girls started using the new LR right away. Expensive, but so worth it.” – Linda M, Litter-Robot.com on November 12th, 2023
“My cat loves the bigger opening. It is very quiet and the litter drawer is deeper, which allows the waste to drop down better. It is worth the extra money. Litter robot 3 was good, but 4 is supreme!” – Ingrid B, Litter-Robot.com on November 12th, 2023
Nearly 70% of the reviews on Litter-Robot.com are 5-star reviews and many come from cat owners who have also owned a Litter-Robot 3. Customers are largely pleased with the Litter-Robot 4’s performance and odor control. Many are impressed with how easy it is to set up and how quickly their cats took to the new open-front design.
“It is FAR from odor free. It does not handle loose stools well. Clumps often get stuck in places where it doesn’t belong. Exterior is so big and bulky, but the interior is too small for my regular sized cat who often emerges with litter all over his head and back.” – Edj, Litter-Robot.com on September 28th, 2023
“Our Litter robot worked well for a month, then started glitching. We rebooted, restarted, unplugged and just dealt with the glitch for 2 more months. Then it just turned off and would not turn back on.” – Ryan, Litter-Robot.com on August 29th, 2023
As with the previous model, the Litter-Robot 4 has its share of dissatisfied customers. Negative reviews often mention cycling errors and glitches that persisted despite troubleshooting and customer service assistance. Some customers remain displeased with the limited interior space and others found the odor control insufficient.
How Much Does the Litter-Robot 4 Cost?
The Litter-Robot 4 costs $699 on the Litter-Robot site. It comes with a 90-day in-home trial as well as a standard 1-year warranty. For an additional $100, you can extend your warranty to 3 years. Shipping is free in the contiguous United States.
As with previous models, Whisker offers reconditioned Litter-Robot 4s at a discount but availability is limited. If you want to purchase accessories, you can do so separately or as part of several bundles. Whisker also offers a few options in furniture to house the Litter-Robot 4.
The Litter-Robot 4 comes in black or white at the original price, but you can customize the color for an additional $60 or $70 fee.
Looking for other products similar to the Litter-Robot III Connect? Check out some of our other automatic litter box reviews.
- Litter-Robot III Connect Review
- PetSafe ScoopFree Complete Plus Review
- CatGenie Self-Washing Self-Flushing Cat Box Review