siberian cat inside Litter-Robot 4 automatic cat litter box next to Litter-Robot 3 Connect
Share
Facebook Pinterest Twitter

Finding The Best Automatic Litter Box - 7 Must-Have Features

Est. read time: 11 min.

When you welcome a cat into your home, one of the most important things you should consider is what kind of litter box you’ll provide. While there are many options to choose from, one of the easiest litter boxes to maintain is an automatic litter box. 

Most cat parents will agree that scooping cat litter can be unpleasant and time-consuming. There are many advantages to an automatic cat litter box, especially when compared to a traditional scoop litter box. Let’s explore these benefits! 

How does an automatic cat litter box work?

how litter robot works

When you have a traditional scoop litter box, it is up to you to check the status of the litter, clean the box, and maintain it all on your own. However, when your cat has an automatic litter box, it is no longer your responsibility to scoop litter.

An automatic litter box can detect when your cat has used the bathroom. It will then scoop, or cycle, the waste into a receptacle, which is typically stored underneath the litter box itself. Once your cat uses it, the automatic litter box will sift the soiled litter from the clean litter. 

All waste will be deposited into the waste drawer underneath the litter box. Depending on the type of automatic litter box you choose, you may even receive notifications when the waste drawer is full and needs to be emptied. This process is a major time saver! 

Is an automatic litter box worth it?

No matter how much we love our pets, we can all agree that no one enjoys cleaning the litter box. Not only can an automatic cat litter box help eliminate odors and time spent scooping, but it can also help you save money on cat litter. 

are automatic litter boxes worth it

Most automatic litter boxes are also aesthetically pleasing compared to an open litter box, where you can always see the litter exposed. These devices are undoubtedly among the best cat accessories. Let’s explore what makes an ideal automatic litter box below. 

What makes a good automatic litter box?

So, what exactly makes for a good automatic cat litter box? We suggest looking for the following main features. 

Rotation sifting instead of a raking system

Prefer self-cleaning litter boxes that feature a rotating motion to dispose of the waste over rake mechanisms. “Raking” automatic litter boxes often jam or clog and nobody wants to have to scrub poop out from the rake when it gets stuck there. Yuck. Opt for a sifting rotational system instead.

Smart insights

You may not consider litter boxes as state-of-the-art technology. However, most automatic litter boxes feature advanced technology that is up-to-date, user-friendly, and convenient. WiFi connectivity is a feature that most automatic cat litter boxes come with because it allows you to connect your litter box to an app and receive push notifications when it’s time to empty the waste drawer.  

Some automatic litter boxes, like Litter-Robot 4, will notify you via the app on your phone when it needs to be emptied. You can even receive smart insights into your cat's weight and litter box usage, plus view litter levels in real time, all in the palm of your hands.

Multi-cat recognition is also a must for any multi-cat household. A good self-cleaning litter box should have this feature so you can better track each cat's habits and identify odd behavior as soon as possible. 

For instance, if you notice a dramatic spike in litter box usage, it might be a sign of a cat UTI that requires a quick trip to the vet—just as these pet parents did when the Whisker app started notifying them every 10 minutes. Hear their story below:

Odor control

air filter in Litter-Robot 4

Most cat parents are acclimated to smelly litter boxes that are out in the open. This can be quite embarrassing when guests come over. A main benefit of a self-cleaning litter box is its ability to quickly sift, remove, and store waste. They also have odor control features in place, which help reduce odors quickly and consistently, unlike traditional litter boxes.

However, many self-cleaning litter boxes only store the cat waste in a small enclosed compartment that doesn't fully lock odors away. Look for an automatic litter box that has a tightly sealed waste drawer like Litter-Robot 4. 

The best self-cleaning litter box for odor control should also feature carbon filters or a way to add a litter box odor eliminator

Large drawer size

What's the point of a self-cleaning litter box if you have to empty the waste drawer just as often as you had to scoop? 

Many automatic litter boxes only feature a small waste compartment that won't hold more than a few days' worth of use, even less if you have multiple cats. 

Look for an automatic litter box with a large waste compartment.

Larger opening

Larger cats, including large cat breeds, don’t fit comfortably in regular litter boxes and need more space to move around. In fact, studies show that a larger litter box receives 55% more usage than a standard-sized litter box. 

While space might be a constraint, especially in a small apartment or house, aim for a litter box that has a similar footprint as a standard litter box but that has a larger opening.

Quiet operation

Litter-Robot 4 QuietSift operation while installed in a bedroom

Your automatic litter box should not wake you up at night. That's just a hard requirement. But some of these machines can be pretty noisy, especially if located in or near the bedroom and your cat uses it at night. No, thank you. 

Instead, look for a unit that either operates quietly or has a sleep mode and won't make a ruckus while everyone is asleep. 

Product warranty

As cat parents, we know that litter boxes are used every day. Because of this frequency of use, it is important to make sure your automatic cat litter box will stand the test of time. 

Most, if not all, automatic litter boxes come with a product warranty or guarantee. This can offer consumers peace of mind because they’ll know that they can rely on good customer service if they have issues with their litter box.

Additionally, a self-cleaning litter box that is easy to repair will be much better for the environment (no products will end up in landfills) and, of course, better for your wallet!

Best automatic litter box options: Litter-Robot

Want to stop scooping, drastically reduce odors, and give your cat a clean place to go every time? A great option for an automatic cat litter box is Litter-Robot. 

Siberian cat inside Litter-Robot 4

Litter-Robot 4

Overview

Never scoop again with Litter-Robot 4, the newest automatic litter box by Whisker. Litter-Robot 4 has a sleek, modern design and is full of new, exciting features—making it quieter, easier, and smarter than ever before.

Litter-Robot 4’s automatic sifting process quietly separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter, depositing the clumps into a tightly sealed drawer that drastically reduces odors. This means you’ll spend zero time scooping litter and a lot less time worrying about whether the litter box is clean enough for your cat. In short, Litter-Robot 4 is an excellent time saver. 

It’s also a great automatic litter box for multi-cat homes. After any one of your cats uses the litter box, Litter-Robot 4 will get to work by filtering out the clumps and moving them into the waste drawer, leaving nothing but clean litter for the other cats to use. 

Litter-Robot 4 is WiFi-enabled, which means you can track litter and waste drawer levels in real time, and monitor your cats' litter box activity and weights—right from the Whisker app.

Litter-Robot 4 starts at $699 and includes a 90-day in-home trial and WhiskerCare™ 1-Year Warranty.

Features and benefits

Let’s review some of the special features of Litter-Robot 4! 

  • Self-cleaning: The automatic sifting process separates waste from the clean litter so you never have to scoop again.
  • Odor control: The tightly sealed waste drawer and optional OdorTrap™ system drastically reduces stubborn litter box odors.
  • Real-time insights: Laser and weight sensor technology tracks litter box activity, litter and waste levels, and cat weight.
  • Multiple cats: Our sleek, compact design provides a comfortable space for cats of all sizes, suitable for up to 4 cats.
  • Reduced tracking: A cleaner place for your cat’s paws along with the included fence and step results in minimal litter tracking.
  • Enhanced safety: The integrated SafeCat System features laser and weight sensor technology that detects cats weighing 3+ lbs.
  • Quiet cleaning: Discreet cleaning cycles benefit skittish kitties. 
  • Enlarged waste drawer: The industry-leading waste drawer size means you have to empty the drawer less often.

Disadvantages

There can always be disadvantages to using new products. Luckily, with Litter-Robot 4, there aren’t many. The only potential disadvantages are the price and the size of the litter box. 

  • Price: While the initial cost may seem expensive, Litter-Robot 4 will more than make up for the cost by saving you time and money (by using less litter) in the long run. 
  • Size: Litter-Robot 4 is about the size of a nightstand. If you’re accustomed to a small, traditional litter box, it may come as a surprise to see Litter-Robot 4 in person. However, the 22’’ x 27’’ footprint is similar to a traditional large litter pan.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Overview 

With 10,000+ 5-star reviews, Litter-Robot 3 Connect is a highly rated automatic litter box. Like all Litter-Robot models, the patented sifting process automatically separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter, depositing the clumps into a drawer below the unit that helps reduce odors. You simply empty the waste drawer when indicated and add litter as needed.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect was also the first WiFi-enabled automatic litter box on the market. You can monitor and control the litter box right from your phone via the Whisker app.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect starts at $549 and includes a 90-day in-home trial and WhiskerCare™ 1-Year Warranty.

Features and benefits

Special features of Litter-Robot 3 Connect include: 

  • Self-cleaning: Litter-Robot is fully automatic, using a patented sifting process that begins just minutes after your cat exits the unit.
  • Odor control: Litter-Robot sifts waste promptly, and the carbon-filtered, fully enclosed waste drawer is designed to greatly reduce unpleasant odors.
  • Cleaner paws: Say goodbye to dirty paws that track litter all over your house. Litter-Robot provides your cat with a clean bed of litter every time.
  • Multiple cats: One Litter-Robot is perfectly suited for up to four cats. A consistently clean bed of litter is great for even the most territorial felines.
  • WiFi connectivity: View waste drawer level, get notifications, troubleshoot, and see recent usage history for insights into your cat's health. 

Disadvantages

Litter-Robot 3 Connect is an all-around fantastic automatic litter box. However, it lacks a few of the features that Litter-Robot 4 has: You can’t track your cat’s weight or litter levels in real time, the waste drawer is slightly smaller with slightly less odor control, cleaning cycles are not as quiet, and the globe opening isn’t as wide.    

Litter-Robot 3

Litter-Robot 3

Litter-Robot 3 is the same automatic litter box as Litter-Robot 3 Connect, except it is not WiFi-enabled. You will not be notified when to empty the waste drawer via the app or be able to track your cat’s litter box activity. However, the control panel lights will alert you when the drawer needs to be emptied or if other issues arise.  

Litter-Robot 3 starts at $499 and includes a 90-day in-home trial and WhiskerCare™ 1-Year Warranty.

Litter-Robot 3 Connect reconditioned

Reconditioned Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Overview 

The reconditioned Litter-Robot 3 Connect is the same great automatic litter box, just gently used! These units were sold as new and then returned during the 90-day in-home trial. Our reconditioned products offer great value since you'll receive a manufacturer-approved product at a lower price. These tend to sell out quickly, but are often restocked. 

A reconditioned Litter-Robot 3 Connect starts at $449 and includes a 90-day in-home trial.

Why Litter-Robot is the best choice

Automatic cat litter boxes can be a great choice for busy cat parents who only want the best for their pets. Litter-Robot is a fantastic option when it comes to automatic litter boxes. 

With its user-friendly, state-of-the-art technology and safety-first design, Litter-Robot is the best choice for saving time, spending less money, and maintaining overall cleanliness. Its ability to help eliminate odors even with multiple pets makes it a great choice for multi-pet homes, too! 

bengal cat in beige Litter-Robot 3 Connect - which automatic cat litter box is best?