Siamese cat in Litter-Robot 4, the top rated self cleaning litter box
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Are Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth It?

Est. read time: 9 min.

Being a parent to a cat comes with many joys—companionship, laughter, and as many cuddles as your feline will allow. And cats are surprisingly clean! However, their daily grooming is not the be-all end-all when it comes to cleaning. Cat parents still need to stay on top of the litter box.

A self-cleaning litter box can help keep your home tidy and fresh. But does a self-cleaning litter box work? Absolutely! We’ll explore the benefits of using a self-cleaning litter box, along with features you should look for—including being WiFi-enabled and a completely scoopless litter box!

Siamese cat using white Litter-Robot 4 with woman reading in background


How does a self-cleaning litter box work?

how litter robot works

So, how exactly does a self-cleaning litter box work? The simplest answer is that an automatic litter box like Litter-Robot 4 detects when your cat has used the bathroom and cycles the waste into a sealed drawer. It requires zero scooping! 

Here's how Litter-Robot works:

  1. Cat usage. First, following your cat using the automatic cat litter box, the globe starts to slowly rotate after a 3-, 7-, or 15-minute preset delay. 
  2. Cycling. The sifting process separates the clean litter from the clumps. 
  3. Cleaning. All clumps are then deposited into a sealed drawer below to help control odors. 
  4. Repositioning. After deposits are made to the waste drawer, the globe returns to its normal position, leaving a fresh bed of litter for the next use. 
  5. Emptying. Finally, when the waste drawer is full, you simply replace the bag and dispose of the waste.

Are automatic litter boxes worth it?

The higher price point begs the question: are self-cleaning litter boxes really worth the price? You may need to think of it as an investment. Just as you would invest in a good dishwasher to avoid doing the dishes, an automatic litter box takes care of the unpleasant litter scooping chore for you. Here are the main benefits of self-cleaning litter boxes:


If you hate scooping litter and value your time, an automatic cat litter box will pay for itself. The days of scooping the litter box once or multiple times will be no longer. Instead, approximately once a week, you will simply remove the waste drawer, discard the waste, and move on with your day.

Better for your cat

Your cats will also be happier having a clean place to use the bathroom! Not only is frequent litter box cleaning essential to your cat's health, but having a smart litter box enables you to monitor your cat's litter habits and detect early signs of health issues. With Litter-Robot, you get real-time alerts that help you notice overly frequent urination, a potential sign of a cat UTI, and other useful notifications. 

Better for multiple-cat households

A self-cleaning litter box can also help you manage territorial issues between your multiple cats. Compatible for up to 4 cats, Litter-Robot provides a clean bed of litter after each use, helping reduce territorial issues and allowing you to better manage the workload of having multiple cats.

Litter savings

Many cat parents find that they save money by using much less litter than they did with a traditional litter box. In fact, cat parents have reported that Litter-Robot uses up to 50% less cat litter than a regular litter box, thanks to its patented litter-sifting technology.

Litter-Robot vs. traditional litter boxes

standard litter box vs self-cleaning litter boxes pros and cons

The differences are abundant when it comes to comparing Litter-Robot and a traditional litter box. 

First, we’ll start with the most obvious: Scooping is not required with self-cleaning litter boxes. Litter-Robot is an automatic cat litter box that does the cleaning for you. All you have to do is empty the waste drawer when it is full.

Another major difference is odor control. Litter-Robot controls odors by automatically depositing the waste into a drawer below the unit. Litter-Robot 4 uses the combination of a sealed waste drawer and carbon filter to reduce odor, and you can opt to replace the carbon filter with OdorTrap™ Packs to eliminate litter box odors through natural chemistry. Scoop litter boxes do not have substantial odor control unless you manually scoop immediately after your cat leaves their deposits. But who has time for that?

Last but not least, Litter-Robot is fantastic for multiple cats. The quick self-cleaning feature means you only need one litter box in your home. With scoop litter boxes, you likely need multiple boxes strewn around your house. 

Advantages of a self-cleaning litter box

Let’s be honest—no one likes cleaning the litter box, but we do it to keep our felines happy and our home smelling fresh. When you’re ready to change your excrement experience, you’ll find a self-cleaning litter box comes with these fantastic advantages:

  • Cuts down on cleaning time—no scooping necessary
  • Helps reduce odors in your home
  • Great for multi-cat households
  • Possibility to monitor your cat's health
  • Up to 50% litter savings thanks to the litter-sifting technology
  • Keeps dogs from snacking on litter box deposits

Disadvantages of a self-cleaning litter box

With the good comes the downsides. Luckily when it comes to self-cleaning litter boxes like Litter-Robot, they are few and far between.

  • Initial investment is more expensive than a traditional scoop litter box
  • Needs to be plugged in, which may limit location options
  • Although it is estimated that over 96% of cat households successfully make the switch to Litter-Robot, it still might require an adjustment period to get your cat(s) accustomed to using the self-cleaning litter box

Upkeeping an automatic litter box

How often do you empty a self-cleaning litter box?

How often you empty a self-cleaning litter box depends on how many cats are using it. However, a good rule of thumb for one-cat homes is to empty the waste drawer once a week. Because Litter-Robot is WiFi-enabled, the Whisker app will notify you when your waste drawer is ready to be emptied. Litter-Robot 4 even allows you to see litter and waste drawer levels in real time.

Can you use regular cat litter in a self-cleaning litter box?

Self-cleaning litter boxes should be used with clumping litter. A clay-based, high-quality clumping litter is recommended. But if your cat(s) are accustomed to using litter beads, crystals, or plant-based litters, they can also work—as long as they pass through the sifting screen. You might also need to empty the waste drawer more frequently with non-clumping litters.

Are self-cleaning litter boxes loud?

Automatic litter boxes do make some noise—so in comparison to scoop litter boxes, they are “louder” simply because they typically have a motor. However, they are not loud enough to be disturbing during the majority of the day. In fact, Litter-Robot 4 uses QuietSift technology that’s so discreet, you likely won’t notice it at all.

If you have your self-cleaning litter box in the bedroom and find the noise distracting, Litter-Robot has an 8-hour sleep mode option. This deactivates the sensor for 8 hours, allowing you to sleep without disturbance. 

The best self-cleaning litter box 

Siberian cat inside black Litter-Robot 4 next to plant

Both the top-rated Litter-Robot 4 and Litter-Robot 3 Connect are fantastic examples of a smart, self-cleaning cat litter box. Litter-Robot is designed with not only your cat in mind, but also your entire household. It promptly separates your cat’s waste from the clean litter and helps drastically reduce litter box odors. 

Top Litter-Robot features

Keeping odors at bay is just one of the many features that cat parents have come to love with Litter-Robot. They’ve also found these features to be of great benefit:

  • Great for multi-cat households - Litter-Robot is suitable for households with up to 4 cats. The automatic clean cycle means your cats always have a fresh bed of litter, resulting in fewer territorial issues.
  • Up to 50% less litter used - Thanks to the efficient cleaning cycle, pet parents report reducing their litter consumption by up to 50% compared to scoop litter boxes!
  • Smart notifications - You can remotely monitor and control Litter-Robot with the Whisker app. You’ll receive notifications when your litter box is full, track your cat’s litter box usage, and stay ahead of any trends that might signal your cat needs a visit to the vet. 
  • Easy to clean - Maintenance is a breeze with Litter-Robot. You’ll receive a notification (via the app or control panel) when the waste drawer is ready to be emptied. Just remove the drawer, discard the waste, and replace the drawer liner.

Litter-Robot 4 vs. Litter-Robot 3 Connect

Litter-Robot 3 Connect and Litter-Robot 4 with Siberian cat

Both Litter-Robot 4 and Litter-Robot 3 Connect include a patented sifting system, odor management, multi-cat design, cat safety features, and easy-to-clean modular components.

The new Litter-Robot 4 advances these core features with technology that neutralizes litter box odors, tracks litter and waste drawer levels in real time, detects cats weighing 3+ lbs, and continuously analyzes 4 zones to ensure kitty’s safety. Litter-Robot 4 also features a quieter cleaning cycle, an enlarged waste drawer, and a wider opening to maximize cat comfort. Explore the differences between Litter-Robot 3 vs 4 with our comparison chart and find out which one is best for you!

Litter-Robot is a self-cleaning litter box that works

When it comes to keeping your home clean with cats, Litter-Robot is a wonderful addition to your household. It quickly removes your cat's waste with no scooping required. This automatic cat litter box is stacked full of features that are hands-down an improvement over traditional scoop litter boxes. In fact, renowned publications and verified customers alike mention that Litter-Robot is well worth it

Litter-Robot isn’t the only life-changing product from Whisker. There are many Litter-Robot products that work great alongside this self-cleaning litter box: Everything from litter box furniture to hide your Litter-Robot in plain sight to clumping cat litter and cleaning wipes. You will not be disappointed when you find out how well this self-cleaning litter box and accessories work for your pet home!

Where to buy Litter-Robot

Litter-Robot is now available both locally and internationally! Visit our international page to find all the countries we deliver to and our authorized resellers, or visit our official sites:

You can also find Litter-Robot near you with our local retailers including Best Buy, PetSmart, Hollywood Feed, Chewy, and Costco.

Russian Blue cat standing in front of beige Litter-Robot 3 Connect - does a self-cleaning litter box work?