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Whisker Litter-Robot 4 Review: Is This Self-Cleaning Litter Box for Cats Worth The Money?

This automatic litter box is quiet, smart, and saves you time scooping poo, BUT will cats actually use it & is it worth the money?

For cat owners, like ourselves cleaning your cat’s litter box can be a bit of an unpleasant task – sure we had gotten used to it after shoveling cat poop daily for 13 years. I did the math on how much time we’ve spent shoveling poop for our godly cats and was a little bit horrified at the answer.

Our wonderful cats, Champers and Coby (the real product testers in this Litter-Robot 4 review, seeing as they’ve been pooping in it for over 2 months now), are called @cleversiamese on Instagram if you’d like to follow them and their antics.

The answer was… 390 hours! Or more than 16 days! Or even better, wait for it…OVER 2.3 WEEKS OF SHOVELLING POOP! Haha!

In some ways this is funny but then I stop and think about it and have a little internal cry, and daydream about all the things I could have done with those 2.3 weeks of my life, like NOT SHOVEL POOP!

We have 2 wonderful cats (and a crazy Border Collie called Kepler), and they used to share one traditional litter box between them, imagine if we had one for each of them or owned more cats that required at least two litter boxes – oh my god, we’d be forever shoveling poop for our cats… that just doesn’t seem the best use of our time.

If you can relate to that funny little story, drop a comment down below to share your own story, and how much time you’ve spent shoveling cat poop to date! I share my equation for working this out a little later on in this review.

Don't mind me, I'm just doing my business. Oh and excuse the mess of my humans, they're in the middle of some DIY work at home.
Don’t mind me, I’m just doing my business. Oh and excuse the mess of my humans, they’re in the middle of some DIY work at home.

Thankfully, there is a solution to wasted time cleaning your cat’s litter box. The Whisker Litter Robot 4 is a product that has been gaining popularity among pet owners due to its unique features and ease of use.

With those above numbers in mind, I went into the testing phase for this Litter Robot 4 review with a very open mind on how much time it could potentially save me if this automatic cleaning litter box were to work as well as advertised on the LitterRobot website.

My 2 cats have been using their Whisker Litter-Robot 4 for a few months now so I’ve discovered all the quirks and can confirm that it does work as advertised and has been an incredible addition to our smart home setup.

Litter Robot 4 iPhone photos Trail and Kale 6

Keep reading this review, as I take a closer look at this cat litter box and analyze its benefits and drawbacks.

This automated multi-cat litter box (with odor control) promises to eliminate the need for daily scooping with its automated cleaning cycle but does it deliver on its promises?

Read on to learn all about my daily experiences with the Litter-Robot 4, the pros and cons that I’ve discovered, how well it ties in with the Feeder Robot, an automatic cat feeder, from the same brand, Whisker, and ultimately if it’s worth the rather large price tag.


Table of Contents


Design and features of the Litter Robot 4 that you and your cat will love

This is no doubt a very high-tech litter box and I think the design of it reflects that – although initially, we had our Litter robot sitting next to our tumble dryer, which when side by side does have some similarities, haha. (see picture below)

Whisker Litter Robot 4 review automatic cat litter box 2

I did wonder whether one of our cats would mistake the dryer for their new potty but thankfully that never happened – I guess they’re just too smart to poop in the other appliances, haha.

I have grown to quite like the design of the Litter-Robot 4, but I have to say, when I first unpacked it I was a little surprised at its large size.

For some reason having only seen product photos of it online, I got the impression it was going to be a little bit smaller but having used it for a few months now, it just wouldn’t be as good a product if it was smaller because our cats would feel cramped and wouldn’t have enough surface area with little to do their business on.

You will need to think about where to put your Litter-Robot if you decide to buy one, so be sure to note these dimensions (width: 22″, height: 29.5″, depth: 27″) and measure your intended space for it in your home just to double-check check it will fit there nicely.

See the image below as well for a more detailed look at the Litter Robot 4’s dimensions.

Dimensions of the Litter-Robot 4
Dimensions of the Litter-Robot 4

The clean cycle is incredibly quiet when it’s operating; much quieter than I was expecting and I’m guessing that is due to a combination of high-quality motors, and a slow spin.

As I have a couple of cats, I have found I only need to empty the waste tray roughly every 10 days and the Litter-Robot 4 seems to remain odorless which is great!

How often you’ll have to empty your waste tray will depend on how many cats you have and how much food you feed them.

We feed our cats wet food in the morning and evening and they have kibble to graze on throughout the day, which is handled with the awesome Feeder-Robot (review coming soon).

The Whisker Feeder-Robot in action. I love this product too, and will be reviewing it soon!
The Whisker Feeder-Robot in action. I love this product too, and will be reviewing it soon!

This odor control success is most like due to a good choice of odor-trapping, dust-free clumping litter (more on the one I’m using below), and a well-sealed waste tray.

Some other key specifications of the Litter-Robot 4

  • Entryway for your cats to step into: 15.75’’ x 15.75”
  • Weight (Empty): 24 lbs.
  • Power: 15 Volt DC is stated on the website – it actually just plugs into a regular household outlet. It doesn’t take up much power at all and sometimes we run it off our portable power station when we need to place it where there isn’t a wall socket.
Here you can see the LR4 using only 11 watts of power on my BioLite power station - and much of that is probably on the globe's night lights.

I like to run devices with power from portable power stations when testing them for reviews as they give me an accurate reading of how much electricity they use.

Here you can see the LR4 using only 11 watts of power on my BioLite power station - and much of that is probably on the globe's night lights.
Here you can see the LR4 using only 11 watts of power on my BioLite BaseCharge 1500 power station – and much of that is probably on the globe’s night lights.

Litter-Robot 3 vs 4: What’s new in this self-cleaning litter box and Whisker App, apart from the obvious prettier design?

Although I haven’t owned the older LR3, I did a lot of research before opting to buy the LR4, so here are 6 main differences between Litter Robot 3 Connect and Litter Robot 4 that I discovered in my research:

A better design and smaller size

Litter Robot 4 has a new modern sleeker design with a much larger entryway for your cat to walk through to get into the litter box.

LR4 is also a couple of inches smaller in width but has the same height and depth as the LR3, however, they both weigh the same, 24 lbs. I personally prefer the look of the new design.

Self-cleaning functionality

While both are self-cleaning, version 4 has an improved motor that is quieter and more efficient.

The Litter-Robot 4 advances these core cleaning features with the latest technology, including the optional OdorTrap System to neutralize litter box odors and the SafeCat System with OmniSense Detection for enhanced safety and real-time tracking of waste and litter levels so you know when to open the waste drawer and top up the litter for your kitty.

Waste drawer

The Litter-Robot 4 has a larger waste drawer than the Litter Robot 3, making it more convenient for pet owners to dispose of waste.

Connectivity and notification options

Both have Wi-Fi connectivity and a mobile app, which allows pet owners to remotely monitor the automated litter box, get notifications, and adjust settings.

There’s a cute night light

The night light is a really nice touch
The night light is a really nice touch

The Litter Robot 4 has a night light feature that helps pets feel more comfortable in the dark – it’s also great for checking that everything is clean inside the litter box without having to turn the ceiling lights on.

The price difference

The Litter Robot 4 ($699) is more expensive than the older Litter Robot 3 ($549) – that’s roughly 27% more expensive by my math.

How Does the Litter Robot 4 Work?

The Litter-Robot 4 (first released in 2022), is an automatic, self-cleaning litter box that uses a unique rotating design to clean and separate waste from clean litter. Here’s how it works in its simplest of forms:

Stage 1 – After your cat enters and uses the litter box, the Litter Robot 4’s sensor detects the presence of waste and begins the cleaning cycle. It won’t begin the cycle with your cat in there, so don’t worry about your kitty getting harmed.

They'll have a little sniff and a scrape before settling on good spot to do their business.
They’ll have a little sniff and a scrape before settling on good spot to do their business.

The sensors detect when your cat crosses the circular entryway threshold (or if they stand on the litter inside) and the internal mechanism stops spinning immediately.

Also, the cleaning cycle has a wait time before starting which can be shortened within the Whisker App, depending on how quickly you want your cat’s pee and poop to get clumped and dropped into the waste draw to lock the odors away.

The Whisker App has lots of really cool features. See my image gallery below to see some screenshots from it.
The Whisker App has lots of really cool features. See my image gallery below to see some screenshots from it.

I chose to reduce the cycle delay (the time between when a cat leaves the Litter Robot 4, and when the cleaning cycle begins) to the lowest option available (3 minutes) because it just felt like the pet waste was sitting there too long otherwise, and odors could potentially become a problem.

My 2 cats tend to go to the toilet at similar times during the day (one after the other), so I’d rather my second cat who has to do his business has a clean bed of litter to poop on.

Note: The cleaning cycle is very slow so it’s not like your cat would ever get hurt even if it was moving with your cat in there – this is something I was initially worried about before watching how the cleaning cycle actually works, and how mellow and slow it is.

Stage 2 – The litter box then rotates slowly, clumping the pee and/or poop, and separating the clean litter from the waste, which gets dropped through a hole, into the waste drawer. Watch my video below for a full demonstration of the cleaning cycle.

This is the part of the machine that separates the poop/pee from the rest of the litter - it's mesmerizing to watch in my video demo below.
This is the part of the machine that separates the poop/pee from the rest of the litter – it’s mesmerizing to watch in my video demo below.

Stage 3 – The clean litter is then returned to the top of the unit, ready for your cat to use again.

And just like magic, only the clean litter remains!
And just like magic, only the clean litter remains!

You place a plastic bag over the waste drawer, much like you would on your kitchen trash can, that way when you need to empty all the pet waste from the drawer, it’s as easy as sealing the bag, putting it in the trash, and then putting a new plastic bag over the waste drawer.

The waste drawer with cat poo and pee, nicely clumped and sealed with clay litter.
The waste drawer with cat poo and pee, nicely clumped and sealed with clay litter.

I have been emptying the draw every 10 days or so, for my 2 cats but you shouldn’t have to worry about it getting too full because the app tells you when it’s time to empty it.

The Whisker app is very well polished and has lots of useful information about the Litter-Robot, and Feeder-Robot
The Whisker app is very well polished and has lots of useful information about the Litter-Robot, and Feeder-Robot

The waste drawer is very easily removed and emptied, and the litter box itself can be cleaned as needed – I share how I clean my Litter Robot in a moment.

Overall, the Litter Robot 4 is a highly effective and convenient way to manage your cat’s waste without the need for manual scooping.

Its self-cleaning mechanism is reliable and efficient, and its high-quality construction ensures that it will provide many years of trouble-free use.

The Litter-Robot 4 is especially good if you have anywhere up to 4 cats and you’re currently using more than 1 litter tray or box.

We used to use just 1 litter box between our two cats, but if you are using more than one currently, then your first Litter-Robot is going to be a total game changer for you when it comes to saving time and keeping your cat toilet clean.

How to work out how much time you’ve spent cleaning out your litter boxes(s)

My very complicated equation for working out how long you’ve been shoveling cat poo is: ((((T*365)/60)*X)/24)/7)=Total days shoveling poo

And here’s some guidance on making the equation work for your numbers:

  1. Assume 5 minutes per day to clean one litter box – ‘T‘. Change ‘T’ for however many minutes you spend sanitizing litter pans/boxes/trays per day.
  2. Multiply 365 (days in the year) to get total minutes in 1 year (in my example, 5 x 365 = 1,825 minutes)
  3. Divide by 60 to get this in hours, e.g. 1,825 / 60 = ~30 hours per year
  4. Work out how long you have owned your wonderful cat(s) in years – let’s call it ‘X’ – Multiply by X. My cats are 13 years old, so 30 x 13 = 390 hours
  5. Divide by 24 to get the days (16.25 days)
  6. Divide by 7 to get the total weeks (2.3 weeks!).

What’s the best litter for Litter Robots?

Whisker recommends that you use clumping litter as a general rule and they sell their own one that according to Whisker is designed to work with its proprietary self-cleaning mechanism used inside their hardware.

Whisker’s clumping litter comes in a 20lb bag and is made of high-quality, dust-free clumping clay, which helps to control odor and prevent tracking.

However, the Litter Robot 4 is also designed to work with pretty much any clumping litter varietals, although some users have reported that certain types of litter can cause issues with the self-cleaning mechanism – they obviously bought the wrong type of granules.

I have been using clumping clay granules that is readily available here in California and probably most of the USA, so as to not be charged a premium for Whisker’s own brand. The one I buy is the 28lb box of ‘Clump & Seal Slide‘ by Arm & Hammer.

It’s more affordable ($27 on Amazon), dust-free, seals and destroys odors, and works perfectly with the Litter Robot 4 mechanism – so I would recommend you go for this too if you would like to save money in the long run, after investing in your LItter-Robot.

Both of the cat litter options mentioned above offer a subscription delivery service which makes your life much easier, not having to buy another box/bag when you realize you’re all out.

Do not use strictly absorbent, non-clumping or loose-clumping litters, newspaper-based litters, or absorbent wood pellet litter in your Litter-Robot as it will not work as intended.

I’d love to be able to use a more bio-based cat litter when that gets more development funding, and if it clumps as well as they say in this scientific study then this would be a total win for us as cat owners and the environment, which we care so dearly for here at Trail & Kale.

How to clean Litter Robot

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your Litter-Robot 4:

Start by giving the ’empty’ button a tap to start the clockwise cycle of the Globe. The litter will magically disappear through the waste hole and into the waste drawer.

Sweep away any leftover granules towards the waste port, and hit either Cycle or Reset to bring the Globe back to its Home position.

But don’t forget to double-check and make sure that all the granules have gone – wet litter can be a sticky, messy situation!

Step 1 – Turn the power off

Turn off and unplug your Litter Robot 4. Safety first!

Step 2 – Take off the lid/bonnet

A button on one of the sides
A button on one of the sides

To access the inside of your automated litter box, press and hold the buttons on both sides of the Bonnet, and lift and rotate the Bonnet open.

Step 3 – Remove the globe

Using the handle, lift the Globe off the Base.

Step 4 – Remove the Carbon Filter

Adios, filter!

Step 5 – Clean the inside of the globe

Time to clean the Globe. You can use the Litter-Robot cleaner spray or wipes, or just water and mild soap.

Yes, that’s right, you can give your Globe a soap bath! And if it’s extra dirty, you can even hose it down.

Step 6 – Dry it off

Let the Globe dry completely before putting it back together with the Base and closing the Bonnet.

Your Litter-Robot will thank you for keeping it clean over time as it will help increase the machine’s longevity, and your cat will thank you for the fresh, toilet to use!

How much is Litter-Robot 4, where to buy it, and is it worth it?

Our cats certainly love having a clean bed of litter to do their business on, and we love not having to scoop poop every night.
Our cats certainly love having a clean bed of litter to do their business on, and we love not having to scoop poop every night.

The Litter-Robot 4 costs $699 and you can buy it direct on litter-robot.com. On the face of it, $700 certainly seems like a lot of money for a litter box.

However, after a couple of months of using it, I came to realize it’s so much more than an expensive sedentary plastic box, and it’s totally worth the money – keep reading for my explanation as to why.

I wasn’t sure at first whether or not it was going to be worth the investment because it felt as though I had swapped my very cheap traditional litter box for this larger, expensive cat toilet from the future.

It’s only after letting it clean up after our two cats for a week that I truly realized how valuable the Litter-Robot 4 has been for us! Cleaning out your cat’s litter box each day is a real annoyance (and a time sucker), and I didn’t truly realize this until I didn’t have to do it every night. Yes, EVERY NIGHT, for the previous 13 years.

So yes, after using it for my two cats for over 2 months now, it’s totally worth the $699 investment, in my eyes.

If you have more than one cat, this will get exponentially more valuable to you as you’ll be saving time, keeping your house cleaner, and giving your cats a much cleaner environment to poop in, plus you’ll be saving space as you only need one litter robot, not multiple litter boxes.

That for me is what makes the Litter-Robot 4 such a great product – it really does solve the problem of wasted time cleaning up cat poop and pee. It essentially allows you to not think about scooping up pet waste every night, and that for me is a win! 

Tips and tricks on how to use the Litter-Robot 4

This section of my review shares some tips and tricks, to help you get the most out of your Litter-Robot 4 by learning from my mistakes, observations made, and the hacks I’ve developed to make owning and using this great gadget more streamlined and efficient.

TIP 1: Don’t overfill it

When you first fill the Litter-Robot 4 with litter and it does a cycle you’ll likely have overfilled it (there is a fill line inside the robot but it’s tricky to level out the litter to get it precise), so during the first cycle (with no poop or pee) clean litter will likely pass into the waste drawer.

There is a fill line that you need to stay below, however, it can be tricky to gauge whether or not you’ve gone over it unless you flatten the granules out after adding them to the globe.

My tip is to check the drawer after the first cycle and put those clean clumping granules back into the machine (or the bag from whence they came) so that you don’t waste it.

I picked up on this quirky thing as the Whisker App was reporting the waste tray as 25% full before either of my cats had even used it.

TIP 2: How to stop sporadic cycle interruptions from happening

My Litter-Robot 4 kept getting interrupted on its first test cycle. Potentially the sensor needed resetting.

This was a bit annoying as I had to keep pressing the reset button on the device (the one with a circular arrow with an X inside it). You can also press the cycle button to return the globe to its correct position.

Whisker Litter Robot 4 review automatic cat litter box 16

After I had done that, this has only happened to me once since, so maybe this was a bug. My tip here is that if this happens to you too, just check sensors aren’t blocked and reset the cycle. Once done, the LR4 should be good to go again.

Once I had reset the cycle I then tried placing one cat inside to test the sensor and see if it was working.

The red light went on which means it detected a cat and ensures a cycle doesn’t happen for a timed period.

The cat rummaged around for a few seconds and then flew out of the Litter Robot at about 1000mph – standard procedure!

TIP 3: How to stop bits of litter from flying everywhere when a cat exits

I have noticed that sometimes litter flies out when cats exit the LR4 because they jump out rather than using the step.

Whisker Litter Robot 4 review by Trail and Kale for web 7
Coby making an acrobatic exit from his automatic litter box | more images below

In their previous litter box, they stepped through a door that slows them down as they leave. I’d like to see Whisker introduce the option for a flap or door on this version or perhaps the Litter Robot 5 to solve that issue.

My advice to fix this in the interim is to use a floor mat that traps litter so that it doesn’t track through your home. The Litter Trap Mat should solve this.

You can also try to position the robot’s entryway towards a wall so that your cat doesn’t feel the need to fly out of the globe at the speed of light.


Litter Robot 4 Video Review


Whisker Litter-Robot 4 Review Summary

Litter Robot 4 review by Alastair New
Litter-Robot 4 review
Design & Function
9.5
Durability
9
Performance
9
PROS
The mechanics and engineering that has gone into this product is truly amazing. It works consistently and the App integration is very good.
An absolute time saver, and well worth the money when you work out how many hours you spend cleaning a traditional litter box each month.
I like the design of it, and how it fits well into our modern house.
Doesn't use much electricity.
With this system I find I'm using much less clumping granules each month, that I was with my traditional manual litter box.
Our cats understood, and were comfortable using it from the start - I think they really like having the enclosed globe to do their business in.
CONS
I would like to see the option of a flap on the front to slow the cats down when they exit the globe, to reduce 'litter scatter'.
Expensive, although I really believe it's worth the money for the convenience and time you save.
A standard 1-year warranty doesn't seem enough for such an expensive purchase. But you do have the option to upgrade to a 3-year warranty. Time will tell whether that would have been a good idea!
9.2
Overall Score

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair and I'm totally obsessed with discovering the latest, greatest & coolest gear for outdoor pursuits. Learn more about Trail & Kale, and everything we stand for as an outdoor gear & healthy foods publication.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great review of litter robot. Totally on point. I serve 2cats. The older one took to it no problem. The 3 year old will poop in it but spends more time intentionally triggering it and watching it like it’s her favorite movie.

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