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If you are not a fan of cleaning the litter box but like a clean house, you are probably familiar with automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes. These types of litter boxes not only save you from the hassle of scooping but they can keep things clean.
There are plenty of options in the self-cleaning litter box market and some come with better features and price tags.
So which automatic litter box is best? In this review, we will take a side-by-side look at two popular models: the Litter-Robot III Connect and the Petkit Pura X.
Head to Head Comparison
|Number of Reviews
Reviews averaged and content pulled from company websites as well as third-party e-commerce sites
|Where it is Made
You should know where your pet appliances are made
|Made in the USA||Made in China|
|Years in Business
Is the product manufactured by a longstanding, successful company?
Your investment should be backed by a full-service warranty
|18-month full-coverage warranty
3-year warranty available
|1-year limited warranty|
Buy with confidence knowing you can get a refund if unsatisfied
|90-day in-home trial + money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee|
Can you “buy now, pay later” with stress-free financing plans?
|3, 6, 12-month plans are available with Affirm||Paypal payment plans|
Smart pet appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled through the app
|The first self-cleaning litter box with WiFi capabilities; get notifications and monitor litter box habits with the Whisker app (no cat-by-cat breakdown as of May 2022)||Pairs with the Petkit app to remotely control and monitor litter box activity, gives cat-specific readouts for multi-cat homes|
What makes this pet appliance self-cleaning?
|Original patented gravity-driven litter-sifting technology||Gravity-driven litter-sifting technology|
The appliance should be designed with both pets and pet parents in mind
|Orbital design with large entry||Square, boxy body with an inner globe and small entry|
Background on the Litter-Robot III Connect
- Ease of Cleaning – 10/10
- Odor Control – 10/10
- Appearance – 9.5/10
- Construction – 9/10
- Price – 7/10
Overall Score: 9.1/10
The Litter-Robot III Connect is a WiFi-enabled, innovative sifting system, and self-cleaning litter box. The Litter-Robot offers a mobile app that allows you to see real-time status updates, allows you to control the cleaning schedule, and monitor your cat’s litter box usage.
The Litter-Robot III is a large size litter box that features a globe-like shape with an elliptical opening. The Litter Box III has a large opening and measures 30x25x27 inches, being larger than your typical litter pan.
The Litter-Robot III is fully automatic in the sense that it automatically initiates a cleaning cycle after your cat does his business. The cleaning cycle uses a rotating drum to sift out clumps from the used litter leaving clean litter behind. This leaves fresh litter at the base of the box for your cat to use again. The clumps go into a waste receptacle for easy disposal.
When litter levels get too low, you can add more. Litter Robot does have their own waste bags but you can also use grocery bags to save money. You will need to purchase your own litter and a clumping litter works best with this unit.
Mallory Crusta, our Head of Content, tested the Litter-Robot III in mid-2020 and I tested it myself earlier that year. Check out Mallory’s in-depth video review of the Litter-Robot III on the Cats.com YouTube channel.
Background on the Pura X Litter Box
- Ease of Cleaning – 8/10
- Odor Control – 8/10
- Appearance – 9/10
- Construction – 7/10
- Price – 6/10
Overall Score: 7.3/10
The Petkit Pura X Litter Box is a self-cleaning litter box that is cube-shaped and takes up a little less space than the Litter Robot III. It comes with many features, including an app that provides real-time notifications regarding your cat’s weight, multiple sensors, as well as a rotating inner globe that cleans quietly and effectively.
The Pura X has a weight sensor with a readout screen that integrates with the Petkit Pura X app. The app allows you to control cycles, track activity, and several other features that this type of litter box offers.
The Petkit Pura X has a built-in sifting system that automatically separates the clumping litter and dumps it into the drawer underneath to easily dispose of it by emptying the drawer. This entire unit measures 19 x 21 x 25 inches with an opening that is about 12 inches from the ground.
The Petkit Pura X Litter Box works with any type of litter but they do offer their own litter which is a mixture of clay and soy. Any clumping litter will work though.
Mallory Crusta, our Head of Content, tested the Petkit Pura X last May of 2022. Check out her in-depth video review of the Petkit Pura X on the Cats.com YouTube channel.
Now, Let’s Take a Look at How the Litter-Robot III Compares With the Petkit Pura X.
Automatic litter boxes are built to save you from having to scoop the litter box and they usually offer a plethora of features like sensors, odor control and limited tracking.
When it comes to the Litter-Robot III and the Petkit Pura X, there are a few differences in how they accomplish these goals.
To compare and contrast these two litter boxes, we’ll take a closer look at the following categories:
Let’s dive into the details for each category.
1. Size and Setup
Both the Litter-Robot III and the Pura X are noticeably larger than a traditional litter pan. However, the Pura X is smaller in size, making it a better option for rooms with limited space.
The footprint of the Litter Robot 30 x 25 x 27 inches while the Pura X measures 19 x 21 x 25 inches. The Litter Robot III takes up quite a bit of vertical space and could be hard to place in corners. The Pura X has a modern and sleek design that does not stand out as a little box.
In terms of setup, the Litter-Robot is quite simple. It comes completely assembled and all you need to do is plug it in, put the mat on the step opening, and fill the globe with litter. A plastic bag or a Litter-Robot waste drawer liner should be put in the drawer for easy clean up.
The Pura X does not come completely assembled so you will need to attach the globe, put the unit in the desired location and plug it in. A liner or bag should be placed in the drawer then slid into place at the bottom of the unit. The mat should be placed at the opening of the unit and you can add the liquid deodorizer if you want to use it. After adding your choice of litter, you simply lower the plastic housing over it and you’re ready to go.
Unless you run into some kind of unexpected problem, setting up either of these automatic litter boxes shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.
Size And Setup Winner: Litter Robot III
2. Operation and Performance
The Litter Robot III works similarly to the Petkit Pura X . Both work using an inside drum that makes a full rotation and sifts out the used litter from fresh litter. The clumps are dropped into a tray while the fresh liter is left behind.
The Litter-Robot III is basically a self-cleaning, sifting litter box. It contains a weight sensor that detects your cat’s presence in the litter bed and triggers a cleaning cycle after your cat has exited. The drum rotates, and the used clumps catch on the grates and are deposited in the waste compartment. The clean litter passes through, returning the clean litter to the bed.
The Petkit Pura X also uses a rotating drum. It uses a slotted scooping grate to separate clumped cat waste from the litter. The clumps are then dropped into the drawer underneath.
The Litter-Robot has the option to choose from different timing delays and you can program the waiting period between 3 and 15 minutes. The Pura X will automatically cycle after a minute or two but can be delayed anywhere from 1 to 60 minutes.
As far as how long the cleaning cycle actually takes, these two units are pretty similar. The Litter-Robot’s cleaning cycle takes about 3 minutes and the Pura X about the same. However, both will stop cycling if your cat decides to enter the litter box during the cleaning cycle.
This brings us to the question of how well both of these litter boxes actually work.
The Litter-Robot III is designed to be used with hard-clumping clay litter. The grate system will not be as effective if you use a non clumping litter. Also, the litter will all end up in the waste compartment every time a cleaning cycle completes.
Petkit Pura X Litter Box can be used with any type of litter and you can even purchase their own litter which is a combination of soy and clay. Any clumping litter will work though.
Both the Litter-Robot III and Pura X did leave behind small bits of waste or clumps after the cleaning cycle ran but did a good enough job overall. If too much is left behind you may want to scoop out the smaller pieces.
Operation And Performance Winner: Litter Robot III
3. Odor Control and Tracking
When it comes to odor control and tracking, there are a few small differences between the Litter-Robot III and the Pura X. Both do well in the odor control department but the Pura X performs a little better in tracking.
The Litter-Robot III and Pura X are both covered litter boxes that help control odor. Both offer a waste compartment that traps odors well. However, the Litter Robot II has charcoal filters while the Pura X has filters as well as a built-in odor removal spray that shoots a fine mist of liquid at the end of a cleaning cycle.
Unfortunately, the Pura X has a relatively small waste tray, which fills up at least once a week if you have one cat. This can be an issue in a multi-cat household and the best solution is to change the litter trays more often.
The Litter-Robot does well with tracking but it can depend on the type of litter you use. Smaller granules are more likely to stick in your cat’s paws to be tracked out. The Litter-Robot does have a built-in litter catcher, but placing a litter mat under the unit may be more effective for tracking.
The Pura X does a little better in this area because of the large mat placed at the opening which tends to catch even the smaller granules when your cat exits the litter box.
Odor Control And Tracking Winner: Pura X
When it comes to maintaining the Litter-Robot III and the Petkit Pura X, the time and process are fairly similar. For both, you will not have to do much more than empty the waste compartment and add litter to the tray on a regular basis.
With the Litter-Robot III, you can just pull out the waste drawer and remove the liner or plastic bag to throw away the dirty litter. Then you can just replace the liner and add more litter to the recommended line.
With Pura X, you may need to empty the waste compartment more often if you have more than one cat using it. However, the process is the same as far as opening the drawer and removing the liner or bag with the dirty litter.
While both litter boxes do most of the scooping for you, you may have to do some manual scooping to get the small particles removed. Both may need to be wiped down inside if your cat sprays or makes messes.
Maintenance Winner:Litter Robot III
5. Overall Impressions
As far as cat-friendliness, there are a few things to consider.
The Litter-Robot is a decent size, but the actual litter bed only measures about 14×14 inches which are not ideal if you have larger cats. The litter tray is also fairly shallow, making it less ideal for cats who want to dig while doing their business. The Petkit Pura X is designed for cats under 18 pounds and the litter bed measures about 18 x 16 inches.
The Litter-Robot is a big round globe and may not be something a cat is willing to get in. The Petkit Pura X Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box is cube-shaped with an opening of 8.6 inches and that opening is 12 inches from the ground.
When comparing odor control the Litter-Robot III and Pura X are close. If you have a cat who sprays and makes messes, the Litter Robot III may be tougher to clean inside the globe. The Pura X does offer the deodorizer spray but it doesn’t always cover the smell. Also tracking is more common with the Litter-Robot III, while the Pura X offers a large mat to catch granules.
As far as performance both litter boxes worked very well. Neither had issues with jamming and both were easy enough to set up as well as maintain.
Both the Litter-Robot III and Pura X offer an app that allows you to operate them remotely. Both apps allow you to check the waste drawer level and track your cat’s litter box usage, as well as weight. You can also set custom cleaning schedules, adjust the delay timer, and manually initiate a cleaning cycle. However, the Petkit Pura X does offer a display screen on the front of the litter box which makes it easy to check status and data.
Overall Winner: Litter Robot III
How Do They Compare in Cost?
Both the Litter-Robot III and Petkit Pura X are two of the most popular automatic litter boxes on the market today. However, there are some differences in terms of price point and the best option will come down to your preferences and needs.
The Litter Robot III retails for $549 on their website and comes in both gray and beige colors. You can double your warranty for an additional $50 which gives you three full years of coverage. Additional items such as an OdorTrap Pod for $20 or a roll of 50 waste drawer liners can be purchased for $32.99.
The Petkit Pura X sells for $599.00 on the Petkit website. You can also purchase flushable cat litter for $19.99, tray liner refills for $9.99, and purifying refills for $19.99. They do offer a Pura Max self-cleaning litter box for $569.90 which offers a few less features than the Pura X.
One thing to keep in mind when comparing these two litter boxes is the cleaning maintenance.
The Litter-Robot III can be used with any clumping clay litter which means you can control the cost. It is in your best interest to use clumping litter to avoid wasting it.
The Pura X litter waste tray fills up quickly due to its small size which means emptying it more often. The grates in the sifter are largely spaced which allows smaller clumps to end up back in the litter tray.
When it comes to cleaning the Litter Robot III it can be a little more difficult and time-consuming. When cleaning the Litter Robot III you need to unplug the machine, empty the litter, take off the top portion, detach the inner globe, dump the waste drawer, and hand wash all the parts before reassembling.
However, cleaning the Pura X is uncomplicated and you can simply push the “Empty Litter Button” to release the remaining litter into the waste drawer. Then you remove the outer portion to get to the inner drum, which pulls out easily. Next, remove the sifter and hand wash parts by hand.
With these factors in mind, it is difficult to say which litter box has better features, is cost-effective, and is the most time-saving. If you have a larger cat and want to go longer between emptying the tray the Litter Robot III may be the one for you. If you want less overall cleaning maintenance and don’t mind spending a little more then the Pura X may be your best choice.
Which Option Is Right for You?
After testing both the Litter-Robot III and the Pura X, we can honestly recommend either one. However, there are certain occasions where one choice may be more fitting than the other.
The Pura X Might Be Right for You If…
- You prefer a digital readout on the front of the unit as well as an app.
- You prefer less scattering and tracking to odor control.
- You own a smaller (under 18 pound) cat and/or one cat.
The Litter-Robot III Connect Might Be Right for You If…
- You want your litter box to be simple to set up.
- You want to choose your color.
- You prefer odor control over reduced tracking and scatter.
- You have the space for the size of this litter box.
- Your cat needs an easier entry.
Self-cleaning litter boxes are not an inexpensive option but offer the convenience of doing the scooping for you as well as controlling odor and app monitoring abilities.
Both the Litter-Robot III and Petkit Pura X offer some exclusive features, but there are other litter boxes on the market that may be a better fit for you. If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly that can do the work for you, consider the Petsafe Scoopfree Self Cleaning Litter Box or the PetSafe Simply Clean Automatic Litter Box.