“What’s the best self-cleaning litter box?” That was the question I found myself asking shortly after I adopted my two cats. While I grew up with cats and often had roommates with cats throughout college, I had never had any that were my direct responsibility. So, I was never in charge of cleaning a litter box. My cats are strictly indoors, and with two of them I found myself having to clean the litter box every two to three days. As I am sure most of you would agree, that isn’t the most pleasant thing to do. I started out with a traditional litter box and just hand scooped the dirty litter. I then graduated to a Lift n’ Sift litter box which was an improvement but still a bit clumsy, awkward and unpleasant. I finally decided to investigate the more expensive self-cleaning litter boxes.
There are quite a few automated self-cleaning litter boxes out there. Some are obvious garbage but there are a handful that seem to be the best and most popular. This site is about those litter boxes and in particular, the Litter-Robot. After reading countless reviews and doing a ton of research on these various litter boxes I came to the conclusion that the Litter-Robot is the cream of the crop when it comes to automated self-cleaning litter boxes. The Litter-Robot is the one that I purchased and the one that I recommend.
The Litter-Robot, oh how I love thee! I will admit that I am a lazy guy at times, especially when it comes to unpleasant tasks like cleaning a litter box. It wasn’t long after I adopted my two cats that I started looking around for a better solution than manually scooping up their dirty litter. I am a bit of a research hound and I did a ton of research into automated self-cleaning litter boxes. I am also a bit cheap, so while the Litter-Robot caught my eye right away I resisted it in the beginning due to the price. It’s the most expensive unit out there. The more research I did though, the more I kept coming back to the Litter-Robot.
The Litter-Robot has many advantages. It doesn’t require any proprietary supplies, which in my opinion is the best thing about it. The Litter-Robot uses regular clumping litter. It doesn’t matter what brand you prefer, any clumping litter will work. The Litter-Robot doesn’t require any special bags either. You can use either 8 or 13 gallon kitchen garbage bags which are extremely easy to find and very inexpensive. The Litter-Robot was built to last. The Litter-Robot is solidly constructed using quality industrial-grade components. Another thing that I like is that if something does happen to go wrong the Litter-Robot people make the individual parts available to you so that if something breaks, you can just replace the faulty part and not the entire system. That said, I’ve had my Litter-Robot for over a year now and it has been rock solid for me. The Litter-Robot also uses a lot less litter than a traditional litter box. This came as a bit of a surprise to me; I found that I was using 30-40% less litter with the Litter-Robot than I was with my traditional litter box. Due to this, the Litter-Robot will essentially pay for itself over time and also keeps the trips to the pet store down. The Litter-Robot also dramatically cuts down the smell of a litter box. About the only time that I ever smell my Litter-Robot is when it’s time to change the bag.
How does the Litter-Robot work? The Litter-Robot consists of a ~22″ globe which sits on a base. After your cat goes inside of the Litter-Robot and does their business a seven minute timer is activated. At the end of the seven minutes the globe slowly rotates, automatically sifts the dirty litter from the clean litter and deposits the dirty litter into the waste disposal tray in the base. The video below explains how it works much better than I ever could.
The system that they have come up with simple and elegant. It works fantastically well, doesn’t take an overly long amount of time and is relatively quiet. I’ve never had a problem with my Litter-Robot getting clogged or leaving behind large clumps of dirty litter. It just flat out works. The whole cleaning process (after the seven minute delay) takes two minutes and thirty seconds. As for the noise, I measured my Litter-Robot using my sound level meter and from a distance of about three feet it measured 50db. To put that into perspective, a quiet library is about 30db and a normal conversation is 60-70db. So the Litter-Robot is both quick and quiet. By far the best element is how well it works. With little to no maintenance, the Litter-Robot performs flawlessly over and over again. It’s such a simple and great design.
One thing I was concerned about with the Litter-Robot was whether or not my cats would use it. I was afraid that this rotating toilet would freak them out and they would just flat out refuse to use it. The Litter-Robot website has lots of tips on how to acclimate your cat(s) to the new litter box. This is what I did. When my Litter-Robot arrived I only had one of my cats (Lily) at my house due to a medical emergency. I set up the Litter-Robot right next to the old litter box and gave my cat a choice. At first Lily just used the old box. She was curious about the new one and would go inside and check it out but she consistently used the old box. I let the old box get really filled up and gross and then one day I heard the Litter-Robot doing its thing. After it finished its cleaning cycle I checked the drawer and sure enough Lily had used the Litter-Robot. I gave her lots of praise and some treats for using the new box and then I moved the old litter box into my bathroom and closed the door. Lily only had the Litter-Robot to use now and she did so willingly. By the end of the next day, when I was sure Lily had no problems using the Litter-Robot, I broke down the old litter box and was happy to never have to scoop again.
Now Callie, my other cat, was at my mother’s during this process so when it was finally time to bring her back home I was really afraid I was going to have to through the whole thing again. I was also afraid that if I put the old litter box out that Lily would revert back to using the old one. Callie is my skittish cat, so I was more concerned with her refusing the Litter-Robot than Lily. I decided to be brave and just leave the Litter-Robot as the only litter box available. Callie was certainly a bit apprehensive about this new device. The first time it turned on I could tell she was a bit freaked out. To her credit, she quickly adapted to the Litter-Robot. She never refused to use it or made a mess anywhere else in my house. Within a couple days she seemed totally comfortable around the Litter-Robot. I was very happily surprised by how easy it was to transition both of my cats to the Litter-Robot.
Cleaning the Litter-Robot is a piece of cake. To change the bag all you have to do is pull out the drawer from the base, pull the kitchen garbage bag out, and put a new one in. The whole process takes maybe two minutes and is extremely easy. With two cats I find that I have to change the bag every 4-5 days. Cleaning the actual unit is easy too and doesn’t have to be done very often. Once every three months or so I will take the Litter-Robot globe outside, dump all the litter out, and give the whole thing a thorough squirting with a hose and a wipe down with a wet rag. You can’t hose down the base of the Litter-Robot, as you could damage the electronics. So to clean the base, just take a wet rag and wipe it down. It’s all very, very easy. You do want to make sure that the globe is completely dry before you add more litter to it other wise you’ll have a big mess on your hands.
My biggest complaint with the Litter-Robot is that it works almost too well. Allow me to explain. The Litter-Robot has no sensor or light or anything to tell you when the drawer is full. Since the unit works so well, I sometimes forget to change the bag when it is full and when that occurs two things can happen. One, as the globe rotates it can come in contact with the dirty litter inside the tray which can then smear on to the outside of the globe making a bit of a mess. Two, and this has only happened to me twice in the time that I’ve owned the Litter-Robot, the device can get jammed. When the Litter-Robot jams, the lights on the front all blink and the globe stops rotating. Unjamming it is super easy though, just change the bag (so it won’t get jammed again) and reset the device by turning it off and back on again. After the reset, the Litter-Robot is as good as new.
If you are afraid of the Litter-Robot activating with your cat inside of it, don’t be. The Litter-Robot has sensors that can tell when your cat is inside of it and it will not rotate with your cat inside. If one cat goes in and starts the seven minute countdown and then another cat comes along five minutes later, the second cat will reset the countdown. If your cat should try to enter the Litter-Robot while it is already rotating, the Litter-Robot’s sensors will detect your cat and automatically stop. The Litter-Robot will then resume rotating in 15 seconds when it no longer detects your cat.
- Extremely reliable and easy to use
- No proprietary litter or bags
- Works with any clumping litter
- Uses less litter
- Extremely effective odor control
- Safe for your cats
- Excellent Warranty and Guarantee. 90-day money back guarantee and an 18 month warranty
- No indicator to tell you when the bag is full
There are a few optional accessories available for the Litter-Robot. When I ordered mine there was a deal going on where they included the Lip Extender (which seems to be a deal they have pretty much all the time). The Lip Extender attaches to the opening where your cats climb into the globe. The purpose of the Lip Extender is to catch ‘misses’ and redirect the errant liquid back into the litter. My cats have never had a problem with ‘misses’ but I do find that the lip extender does help to keep the litter inside the globe. Another optional accessory is the Fence. The Fence attaches to the Lip Extender (you need the extender if you want the fence) and acts as a barrier to keep the litter in the Litter-Robot and to promote full entry of your cat into the Litter-Robot. I do not have this accessory. They also sell some very nice wooden cabinets that you can place your Litter-Robot into. The wood cabinets are available in four different finishes; natural, walnut, cherry and unfinished. I do not have one of these but they look very nice and if you don’t like the idea of a totally exposed litter box, this may be a great option for you.
You can get the Litter-Robot in three different colors; beige, black or gray. The black and beige ones are identical except for the color. The gray unit is what they call their Eco unit. The Eco unit is constructed with 100% recycled plastics in 84% of the total plastic of the unit. All Litter-Robots are made in the U.S.A.
If you have a larger cat the Litter-Robot is also available with an expanded globe. The expanded globe adds a clear bubble type window to the back of the globe. This bubble expands the depth of the globe three inches making the inside of the globe much roomier. My cats aren’t very big so the expanded globe wasn’t really necessary for me. If you have a large cat(s), it may be a great option for you.
In the field of automated self-cleaning litter boxes, I personally think that the Litter-Robot is the best of the bunch. I will admit that the Litter-Robot is the only one that I have any personal experience with but for my needs at least, I think the Litter-Robot is the best automated self-cleaning litter box around.
If you are in the market for an automated self cleaning litter box, you owe it to yourself to purchase the Litter-Robot. It will be some of the best money you ever spent.
Order your Litter-Robot today!