Cat Mom Life: Honest Thoughts on the Litter Robot

Honest Thoughts on the Litter Robot

Last year, a good friend of ours gave us a Litter Robot 3 for Christmas/my birthday. If you’ve not seen these automatic litter boxes before, they seriously look like space ships. I was so surprised and excited when I realized this was what came in a giant box to the apartment complex’s front desk. I had always wanted to try a scoop-free automatic litter box but was intimidated by the price. Now that I have one, though, I can confidently say that I would 100% purchase this myself. If and when ours dies, I will definitely replace it. The Litter Robot really works and makes my life so much easier. I think you’ll love it, too!

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Litter Robot Review: Why We Love the Litter Robot 3

The Set Up is Super Easy

Once we got the box into the apartment, I immediately began to unpack all the Litter Robot parts and put them together.

When I say parts, I mean the little step that slides out on the bottom and the little black rubber mat that goes on top of it. I cannot emphasize enough how easy it was to set this thing up. At first, it had looked intimidating, but the whole thing seemed to be designed to be easy to use. Two polydactyl thumbs up for that!

Cat Mom Life: Honest Thoughts on the Litter Robot

Louis was intrigued by the Litter Robot from the moment we took it out of the box! This photo was from the first night we had it. He’s such a curious boy, he had no hesitation in checking it out.

Dimensions, Specs, and Cost

From the base of the unit to the top of the unit, this self cleaning cat litter box measures 29.5 inches. From the front of the step into the litter chamber to the back of the unit is 27 inches. From side to side, it is 24.25 inches wide. The entryway is 10.25 inches by 15.25 inches.

It runs with 15 volt DC power weighs 24 pounds empty.

Overall, it looks a lot bigger than it actually is. Sure, it takes up more space than most traditional litter boxes, but it isn’t nearly as cumbersome as I had anticipated.

*NOTE: on September 27, 2021, prices for the Litter Robot 3 will increase:

The Litter Robot 3 without wifi capabilities (the unit we have) costs $449 ($499 as of 9/27/2021). The unit with wifi capabilities (Litter-Robot 3 Connect) costs $499 ($549 as of 9/27/2021). All Litter Robots enjoy free delivery.

P.S. there’s a $25 Litter Robot discount waiting for you at the bottom of this post, so don’t let the cost scare you off straight away! I really do think it’s worth the price.

How the Litter Robot 3 Works

The Litter Robot has a large, circular chamber with an upward facing entry, which cats seem to prefer. It’s not cramped for them and they can easily get in and out (an issue we’ve had with traditional litter boxes).

There is a weight sensor that is triggered when a cat enters the box. Cats must weigh at least 5 pounds to trigger the sensor (and, therefore, to use the Litter Robot). Once the weight sensor activates, the red light on the button panel on the right hand side of the Robot will turn red, meaning its entered the standard 7 minute weight time before cleaning.

Assuming the cat leaves the unit within that 7 minute period, the Robot will begin to cycle after 7 minutes, sifting and removing the soiled litter to the drawer underneath. The Litter Robot then returns to normal, the light turns back to blue, and it’s ready for use again.

For more information on the timing cycles and some Litter Robot troubleshooting tips, click here.

Do Cats Like Automatic Litter Boxes?

Are Cats Scared of the Litter Robot?

Two of our three cats took to the Robot immediately.

Understandably, cats can be a bit intimidated by automatic litter boxes like this one at first. It is big and new, so it doesn’t smell like their other litter boxes, and makes some noises. However, cats are quite curious and they love clean litter boxes, so it seems that most take to it just fine.

Leave the Unit Turned Off at First to Help Cats Acclimate

The Litter Robot manual suggested we leave it turned off until the cats got used to using it. My friend who gifted it to us had seconded this idea, so we set it up in our bathroom, plugged it in and had it run through the initial set up cycle. After that, we turned it off. In the process of turning it off, Louis was already getting in to use it. He was all for it from the start!

Olivia took a little longer to warm up to the Litter Robot than Louis, but was fully comfortable with it in a day or two.

Emory is a bit of a scared-y cat and has not taken to the automatic litter box in the same way as Louis and Olivia. She uses it from time to time, but not nearly as regularly as the others. Overall, Emory is quite fascinated by it and will sit in front of it and watch it go through a cleaning cycle, but if I try to put her in the litter, she freaks out. Either way, having Louis and Olivia use it has really lightened the load for the other litter boxes.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Litter Robot

Does the Litter Robot Really Work? How Long Does it Last?

For us, the Litter Robot absolutely works. Louis and Olivia took to it really quickly, and even though Emory took longer to come around, she now uses it, too.

We’ve had our unit for about a year and a half now and haven’t run into any major issues with it. It’s really easy to troubleshoot the unit, and the Litter Robot customer service team is really responsive and helpful if an issue does come up.

For example, we had an issue with the unit’s timing. I’m not convinced it was an issue with the timing, actually, so much as Louis jumping in to use it after Olivia, about 30 seconds before the cleaning cycle started. Typically, the sensor picks this up and would stop the cleaning cycle, but for some reason it didn’t this time. Looking back, I’m not sure Louis was fully in the box to trigger the sensor (sometimes, if they stand towards the edges, the sensor doesn’t pick them up right away). Either way, I emailed customer service and they gave me instructions on how to reset the unit and ensure that the weight and cleaning sensors worked properly.

How Often Should You Empty a Litter Robot?

The answer to this question largely depends on the number of cats you have. With our three cats, I usually wind up emptying the waste drawer about every 5 days. Sometimes more, but rarely less often than that.

Does the Litter Robot Smell?

The Litter Robot should not smell. Any time it has, in my experience, simply means that we need to replace the bag in the waste tray. Doing so resolves the problem.

Furthermore, there is a carbon filter in the waste tray, which helps combat odor. Replacement filters are available on the brand’s website.

Do You Need Litter Robot Branded Bags for the Waste Drawer?

When we got the unit, it came with a few branded Litter Robot bags for the waste drawer. These branded trash bags do fit into the drawer more easily than regular trash bags, but I don’t think they’re really necessary. I’ve not bought them, myself. Instead, we just use regular trash bags, which work perfectly well.

Do You Need to keep Other Litter Boxes in Multi-cat Homes?

Unfortunately, I think the answer here is yes.

Ideally, with an automatic litter box like this, you wouldn’t need other litter boxes. However, like I mentioned before, Emory’s holding true to the traditional litter boxes, so we’ve left out two of our more-conventional litter boxes in different spots of the apartment.

Cleaning those has become even easier, though, since Louis and Olivia use the Litter Robot almost exclusively.

What is the Best Litter for a Litter Robot?

This machine requires clumping litter, which worked out for us, since the kitties prefer the Tidy Cat Light Weight style. It doesn’t take much litter, and you really don’t need to completely change it out much since it cycles through to clean it out so often. The used litter falls into a little trash-bag lined shelf connected to the step in the front of the Robot, which you simply pull out, tie up, and toss out.

Overall Thoughts on the Litter Robot

Are Self Cleaning Litter Boxes Worth the Money?

My answer is emphatically YES.

We love our Litter Robot! I think it’s definitely helped reduce stress with the litter boxes, and cleaning is way easier with it than with the traditional litter boxes. So, it has for sure made my life easier.

Get $25 off your own Litter Robot by clicking here!
(All you need to do is follow the link; the discount will be applied automatically — no coupon code necessary!)

Litter-Robot - Black Friday Starts Now

*This post was originally published on December 19, 2019. It was most recently updated on November 7, 2021.