Litter Robot 4 Review: The Ultimate Litter Box of All Litter Boxes (We Tried It!)

Updated: Jun. 28, 2024

Is the Litter Robot 4 truly the answer to every cat owner's prayers?

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Common kitty wisdom states that you should own one litter box for every cat in your family, plus one extra to give your most discerning feline friends some variety when doing their business. But what to do when you don’t have the space for multiple litter boxes? Stand by the box at attention, ready to scoop their poop the moment it happens? As the mom of four fur babies, I simply do not have the time to provide that sort of white-gloved service. Could the Litter Robot 4 be the answer to my prayers?

What is the Litter Robot 4?

The Litter Robot 4 is commonly considered to be the self-cleaning litter box to end all self-cleaning litter boxes—the Rolls Royce of automated cat toilets, if you will. And it certainly doesn’t look like any litter box you’ve seen before! Litter Robot has completely reimagined the kitty litter experience, forgoing the traditional sandbox design in lieu of a circular, pod-like design.

The inside of the Litter Robot is a rubber-lined rotating drum; once kitty is done doing their business, it slowly spins to sift away the clean litter, then dumps the clumps and cat poop into a sealed waste compartment at the bottom of the unit. It then rotates in the opposite direction, filtering the clean litter back into the main chamber. The Litter Robot has a built-in charcoal filter to help eliminate odors, too, so your cats will always feel like they’re using a litter box meant exclusively for them.

What truly sets the Litter Robot 4 apart from the rest of the pack is its integrated technology. This self-cleaning litter box connects to your Wi-Fi network, letting you know when your cat has done their business, how full the waste bin is and whether or not you need to add more cat litter. It also records the weight of whichever cat is using the box, so you can keep track of their bathroom habits and notice any changes (i.e., things your cat wishes they could tell you), which could signal health issues.

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Litter Robot 4 Product Features

I must confess, this isn’t my first dalliance with the Litter Robot 4—I had purchased their original model waaaaaay back in 2005, and my cats at the time did not take very kindly to it. The first Litter Robot was quite noisy, which frequently startled them, making them think it was something more in line with killer robot or diabolical cat trap than litter box. But nearly two decades of redesigns and improvements on the initial idea have completely changed everything, making the Litter Robot 4 feel like something light years ahead of the original. Here are some of the next gen features that make this high-tech pet gadget a game changer.

Wi-Fi and App Connectivity

Litter Robot 4 Whisker App Screenshotsvia iphone (3)

You’ll always know the state of your litter box—and your kitty cat’s health—thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity of the Litter Robot 4. Once you’ve downloaded the company’s Whisker app to your smart phone, you’ll receive regular updates on how often your cats are using the litter box, their current weight and how full the waste tray is. The app records and stores usage information so you can see your cat’s litter box habits over time, which can help you catch health problems at their onset.

You can customize many of the Litter Robot 4’s functions by using the app, like how quickly the clean cycle activates after your cat leaves the robot (between 3 and 30 minutes), motion-sensitive light settings, sleep mode and to lock the manual control panel on the robot.

Whisper-Quiet Clean Cycles

Unlike the original Litter Robot, the Litter Robot 4 is so quiet, you might not even know when it’s running. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact one of my cats (for some reason) likes making an absolute racket every time he uses the litter box, I would have no idea the Litter Robot 4 was doing its job.

Odor Control

With four cats, I’m constantly fighting litter box odor, and odor control was the most important selling point when I was considering the Litter Robot 4. Spoiler alert: Its odor controlling capabilities are excellent! I have mine set to cycle three minutes after any of my boys are done doing their business, which dumps all the clumps and poops into a sealed chamber below. The Litter Robot 4 also comes with a charcoal filter to keep smells at bay.

Cat Detection

There’s no need to worry about your cat getting trapped in an actively-rotating litter box, thanks to the Litter Robot 4’s cat detection sensors that activate the moment they place a paw on the step. As long as it senses weight anywhere a cat might be stepping, the Litter Robot stays put, and will not run a clean cycle until at least three minutes after they leave the area. If a curious kitty tries to peek in on the action while a cleaning cycle is running, the system will stop operations immediately and wait until the coast is clear. The detectors also record your cat’s weight, which is extra helpful in multi-cat households so you can monitor who is using the litter box and when.

One additional added perk? The Litter Robot features a night light that you can set to on, off or automatic.

Litter Robot 4Allison Robicelli for Family Handyman

How We Tested It

The first order of business with the Litter Robot 4 is figuring out where you’re going to put it, which is trickier than it sounds. Though its size is clearly advertised on its website (29-1/2 inches tall and 22 inches wide, to be exact), you won’t fully appreciate how massive the Litter Robot 4 is until an intimidatingly-large box arrives at your doorstep. Though difficult to lift and carry, there are two significant positives: The box is gargantuan because the Litter Robot 4 arrives fully assembled, and its presence will keep your kitties fully occupied while you set up their new litter box.

I’ve always kept my litter boxes in the bathroom, but the Litter Robot is too large to fit in mine. I ended up setting mine up in the corner of my living room, where my cats spend the majority of their days sleeping and scratching themselves. I’m not thrilled with the situation, but things like this are par for the course when you’re a city apartment dweller. Fortunately, the Litter Robot 4 is—dare I say it?— good looking, with a sleek modernist design that helps distract you from the fact you have a toilet in your living room.

I fully expected the set-up of a space-age litter box to be confusing, which is why I was extra grateful for the helpful instructional videos accessible via QR code. After plugging it in I downloaded the Whisker App and synced my litter box to my phone, which is something I never imagined doing, but we live in remarkable times.

After filling the Litter Robot 4 with my favorite litter (we swear by Naturally Fresh!), I sat back patiently waiting for my cat children to check it out, praying that they wouldn’t find it too ominous or intimidating. Many pet experts recommend a number of steps to help acclimate cats to a new litter box, but fortunately, all four of my boys ended up taking to it immediately. Within a week, my cats stopped using one of their traditional litter boxes entirely, preferring the constant cleanliness of the Litter Robot 4 to a litter box staffed by measly, fallible humans.

Daily Use and Maintenance

The primary goal of a self-cleaning litter box like the Litter Robot 4 is to eliminate the hassle of scooping and daily maintenance, and boy oh boy does it succeed. There are only two issues I need to deal with on a day-to-day basis. One is sweeping the floor outside the opening, as someone (who shall remain nameless) loves kicking litter out of the box after using it while screaming loudly for no good reason.

The second: I press a button to manually force a cycle before I go to bed at night, just to make sure there’s no wet litter that’s gotten stuck to the bottom. If there is, I use a standard litter box scoop to knock it loose midcycle so that it falls through the trap door into the waste chamber below. The Litter Robot 4 does all the rest!

With four cats, I need to empty the waste tray every three days or so. Though Litter Robot sells special odor-proof bags you can use to line the drawer, I use standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags, which fit perfectly. All I need to do to clean is pull out the drawer, cinch up the bag and toss it in the trash. Easy peasy.

Pros

  • Truly self-cleaning
  • Good for pregnant people who should avoid cat litter, or those with accessibility issues
  • Whisper-quiet
  • Excellent odor control
  • Comes pre-assembled
  • Easy setup
  • Cat detector technology for safety
  • Integrated app for monitoring bathroom usage, litter box capacity and nighttime activity
  • Customizable settings for single or multi-cat households
  • Aesthetic design

Cons

  • Quite large
  • Some cats may take time to get used to it
  • Still requires a little cleaning for certain messes
  • Not for kittens under 3 pounds
  • Warranty limited to 1 year
  • This high tech gadget comes with a hefty price tag of $700

Litter Robot 3 vs. 4

Rd Ecomm Litter Robot 3 Vs 4via merchant

If you’re debating between purchasing the Litter Robot 3 or Litter Robot 4, or wondering how the 3 stacks up to the new-and-improved Litter Robot 4, here’s a quick overview of what’s changed. (You can check out the full comparison on the Whisker website):

  • Wider opening for easier cat access
  • Sleeker design that disguises the fact that it’s literally a toilet
  • Better odor control thanks to deeper waster drawer with tighter-fitting seal
  • LowDust screen reduces amount of dust
  • Enhanced sensors to detect and provide real-time litter and waste levels
  • Quieter (practically silent!)
  • Five cycle delay settings (set timer to clean 3, 7, 15, 25 or 30 minutes after cat has exited)
  • New color options include black or white (previously gray or beige)
  • Lower weight threshold means cats as small as 3 pounds can now use the Robot

Final Verdict

Is the Litter Robot 4 a splurge? Absolutely. This self-cleaning litter box is not cheap, and it’s hard to spend that sort of money on something unless you’re absolutely, positively sure that it works. And after over two months of use, I can confidently say that the Litter Robot 4 not only works, but exceeds expectations. If you’re a single cat household, it might be more of a luxury purchase, unless you really, really hate scooping litter. But for a multi-cat household like mine, it’s an absolute godsend.

Where to Buy the Litter Robot 4

Litter Robot 4via merchant

Purchase the Litter Robot 4 from the Whisker website or Chewy. We think the this product is purrr-fect for almost any kind of cat owner.

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