Litter-Robot 4 Review 2023: Is It Really Worth The Hype or Not?
Having cats = fun. Cleaning the litterbox? Not so much.
As much as we pet parents love our cats, we don’t know of anyone who actually enjoys the task of cleaning up the litter. But it’s something you have to do if you want to keep your pet healthy and your home clean.
Fortunately for us, in this age of technology, there are now useful gadgets that can make cleaning tasks less painful and time-consuming. Like self-cleaning litterboxes. These litterboxes detect when your cat has gone to the toilet and will automatically clean the mess up for you, so you don’t have to struggle with daily scooping anymore.
The idea of a self-cleaning litterbox is just incredible. More time for yourself because, let’s face it, cleaning can be time-consuming, especially when you live in a multi-cat household. Plus, if you’re like us, we really would rather not have to deal with waste movement clean-up, if at all possible.
While we were checking out these self-cleaning automatic litterboxes, one in particular caught our attention. It’s the Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker, and the newest model to hit the market. It’s the fourth iteration of a very popular self-cleaning litterbox and touted to be a sleeker, quieter, and overall better version of the previous models.
So we decided, hey, let’s do a Litter-Robot 4 review. If it could make our lives simpler and so much easier, then we’re all for it. But does it live up to the hype?
About The Litter-Robot Brand
The Litter-Robot 4 is made by Whisker, a company that was conceived in 1999 after a long workday, two cats, and too much poop. Brad Baxter, the owner of Whisker, thought of how he could make cleaning easier while scooping out the mess his pets made.
After drawing up multiple sketches and prototypes, Brad finally hit upon what would be the first Litter-Robot — a self-cleaning litterbox model that had a sifting rotational method to filter clumps into a waste drawer and leave a clean layer of litter every time.
It’s been twenty years since then and Whisker is now a 300-employee strong company that is known for its pet products and technology.
Features & Specifications
Here are all the features and technology that Whisker equipped the Litter-Robot 4 with.
- WiFi-enabled and connected. You can download the Whisker app to monitor your cat’s/cats’ usage of the pet care appliance. It includes stats and custom alerts.
- Self-cleaning. An automatic sifting process removes the waste after your cat has done the deed.
- Built-in OdorTrap System. It’s an optional system that uses carbon filters and a sealed waste drawer to significantly decrease litterbox odors.
- Real-time insights. The brand’s OmniSense™ detection keeps track of litter levels, waste drawer fullness, and cat activity.
- Night Mode. Has a nightlight which cats probably don't need but when they get older it's a helpful tool.
- Multi-cat friendly. The 4th iteration of the Litter-Robot can accommodate cats of all sizes comfortably and is suitable for use for up to 4 cats in your household.
- Reduced noise level. Litter-Robot 4 is equipped with Whisker’s QuietSift technology, which significantly reduces motor noise for discreet self-cleaning cycles.
- Enhanced Safety. Whisker’s integrated SafeCat continuously analyzes 4 safety zones to ensure your little feline is always safe.
- Cat recognition. Weight and sensor technologies detect cats who weigh over 3 pounds.
- Minimized litter tracking. It comes with a complimentary fence that catches kicked-up litter.
- Customizable. The Litter-Robot 4 has a backwards compatible build so you can continue to customize your automatic litterbox as new accessories are released by the brand.
- Control panel for manual operation. You can also choose to operate your Litter-Robot 4 through the gadget’s easily accessible control panel buttons.
- Two color options. You can choose between sleek white and black, whichever suits your space better.
- Optional features. Comes with either a step or handle.
- Warranty. Comes with a 1 year warranty that can be upgraded to a three-year one.
- The Litter-Robot 4 measures a total of 29.5″ H x 22″ W x 27″ D and weighs 24lbs
- It’s powered by 15 volt DC.
- Entryway measures 15.75” x 15.75.”
- A five-color LED display indicates the current status of the robot.
Also Read: 7 Best Automatic Litter Boxes in 2023
How It Works
After your cat is done with his toilet business, the Litter-Robot 4 senses his departure and will start the cleaning process.
The pet care appliance will start sifting and separating the dirty clumps from the clean litter. The clump will then be deposited into a tightly-sealed waste drawer, while the brand’s OdorTrap System will neutralize the odor.
Once the waste drawer is full — the app will inform you of the fullness level — simply dispose of the waste and replace the drawer’s liner with a new one.
Our Experience with the Litter-Robot 4
We live in a two cat household. One kitty is smaller and a little timid, while the other is bigger and braver. But both are extremely curious, like most cats are, so we were excited to see how they will take to the their new automatic litterbox (we got the white one).
So the day of reckoning came. Our package arrived! We can’t believe how excited we were to get a litterbox, of all things. But we were, and our excitement was probably infectious because our cats just had to see what the commotion was about (or maybe they just wanted to try out the new box the package came in).
It came in a nondescript box and was easy to unpack. Setup was easy because it was basically plug and play. Since we wanted to be able to use all features, we downloaded the Whisker app too.
We wanted to acclimate the cats quickly so we added a little of their litter from the old batch (although we did put in mostly new). To make acclimatizing easier, we left our Litter-Robot 4 next to our cats’ regular litterbox overnight and then swapped it over the next day.
Our bigger cat got to use it first, and we were happily amazed when the app sent us our kitty’s weight and some stats before it started cleaning up.
Aside from a few minor snags (details below) during the first week, it was pretty uneventful. The Litterbox Robot 4 did what it was supposed to do.
It runs quietly and looks great. The smell was almost nonexistent compared to our cats’ old regular litterbox, which was one of our biggest concerns and why we like this automatic litterbox so much.
Cleaning up was effortless. It was easy to check at what level the used litter was through the app so you only need to change it when the drawer’s nearly full.
And because the components are modular, cleaning it presented no challenge. We just wiped the areas that got a little dirty with water and some soap. Emptied the entire thing and filled it up with new litter.
Our Litter-Robot 4 got stuck at red light (usually means a cat is being sensed inside the litterbox) and we had to manually override it. We emailed support, and they very helpfully responded quickly.
It would appear that the feet of the litterbox would sometimes get shifted during transit so you’d need to press down on the domes or the automatic litterbox would keep sensing cats inside even when there isn’t any.
Twice, a pee clump got stuck and didn’t get sifted into the empty tray. We just hit it with a spatula, ran another cleaning cycle, and it was totally fine again.
Another time, our bigger cat had poop stuck on the fence, probably because she’s larger and did not quite know how to fit herself in properly. But this was just during the first week. She’s gotten used to using the Litter-Robot now, and hasn’t had a problem since.
Conclusion: Is The Litter-Robot 4 Worth It?
The Litter-Robot 4 exceeds our expectations. We did not need any special set of instructions to make it work. We simply plugged it and watched it do its job.
Now, we don’t have to scoop or clean daily, which is quite a lot of time saved. That in itself is making this purchase an incredibly worthwhile one.
We like the inclusion of additional features in the app, like the health insights that track our cats’ litter box habits so we could identify if there are any irregularities in their waste movements. The daily weighing is also a big plus.
The unit is pricey, but we appreciate that it’s customizable so new accessories can easily be added in as they are released by Whisker.
Also a big bonus is that we didn’t need to buy any special kind of litter. Our regular litter works well with the Robot, and we don’t have to use as much.
The fence our Litter-Robot 4 came in is extremely useful. Although the tracking issue wasn’t completely eliminated, it was reduced drastically so that’s still a big plus.
And as we have previously mentioned and experienced, the email support is extremely responsive so if you have to deal with any issue, it will most probably be resolved quickly.
To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the product:
- Has a compact design and has a footprint about the same size as a large litter pan
- Sets up easily
- Works with any clumping or silica litter
- Uses any waste drawer liner or bag
- Components are modular for easy cleaning and fast reassembly
- Runs quietly
- No scooping needed
- Uses less litter than traditional litterboxes
- No smell
- Pricey at $649
- Does not eliminate tracking entirely
Our Final Say
Do we recommend it? Yes. If budget is not a problem, this pet care appliance is worth looking at. The time you save can be spent more productively elsewhere. Like playing with your cats. And it’s just a $100 more than the previous version (Litter-Robot 3 Connect) but has a bigger waste drawer, wider opening, a quieter motor, and enhanced real-time waste tracking system.
Is one Litter-Robot enough for 4 cats?
We recommend up to 4 indoor cats per single Litter-Robot; however, we do have customers with more cats using a single unit. As a rule of thumb, one cat using the Litter-Robot requires that the drawer be emptied once per week; two cats, twice per week; three cats, every other day, and so on.
How big of a cat can fit in a Litter-Robot?
Litter-Robot does not have a weight limit. With entryway dimensions of 16″H x 10.25″W and interior globe dimensions of 15″-17″H (depending on litter level) x 20″W x 20″D, almost any domestic cat can fit comfortably inside the globe. However, your cat must weigh at least 5 pounds to trigger the cat sensor.
How do you clean Litter-Robot?
First, empty all of the litter from the Globe by pressing the Empty button. The Globe will rotate in the opposite direction of a Clean Cycle, allowing the litter to fall through the waste port, into the drawer. Give the Globe a bath with a gentle cleanser, then let it dry completely.
Can Litter-Robot use pretty litter?
The Litter-Robot simply requires clumping litter. We recommend a high-quality, standard-weight, clay-based clumping litter. Some silica gel litter beads and crystals can also be used with the Litter-Robot, as long as they pass through the screen.