This is an extensive review of the Litter Robot self-cleaning fully automatic litter box.
There are a lot of self-cleaning fully automatic litter boxes out there in the market, but the Litter Robot needs very careful scrutiny, not just because of its looks, but because of its price. It’s the number one recommendation when you ask any Facebook community “What’s the best self-cleaning litter box?”
In this Litter Robot expert review, we will try and answer the million-dollar question (or more like the half a thousand dollar question) of, “Is the Litter Robot Open Air really worth is $449 dollar price tag?”. Yes, for the most cat owners. It is an amazing product overall but it did not work specifically for some cats. My colleague has a large Bengal cat and it was a disaster for both, the cat and the owner.
Even though it’s pretty huge, Litter-Robot does not have enough space for large cats. In fact, they kind of mention this on the official website. As a result, her cat peed into 3 carpets and even pooped ones on her bed! She tried every trick for her cat to get used to it but eventually, she needed to return it. They have 90-day return policy and the customer service support was amazing.
For the uninitiated, the Litter Robot III Open Air is one of the biggest things to ever hit the automated litter box scene since it first dropped a couple of years back. The manufacturers are making a huge claim that the Litter Robot 3 Open Air saying that it is “the greatest automated self-cleaning litter box in the market right now.” I would assume for its price, it might as well be the best or one of the best.
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect may offer more than other well-known brands of litter boxes for cats and the factors we considered for our Litter Robot Review article are:
- ease of cleaning
- smart features
Check out below how Litter Robot can make your cat life less hectic.
- Ergonomic and convenient design for cats
- Cleans itself
- Could be used for multiple cats
- Amazing customer support and return policy
- Ergonomic and convenient design for cats
- Cleans itself
- Could be used for multiple cats
- Amazing customer support and return policy
Litter Robot 3 Product Description
The Litter Robot 3 Open Air is a product that wants to address quite possibly the worst part about being a cat owner (in our case, multiple cat owner) which is cleaning the litter box.
It is 68 centimetres wide, around 62 centimetres in diameter and 74 centimetres tall and weighs about 10 kilograms. From the get-go, you can imagine that it is huge. It is quite imposing for a cat if you look at it and can take up quite a space.
It is made out of sturdy plastic, and from the look and feels alone the appliance quality is pretty high and its durability evident in its construction.
It is great for multiple cat households like ours and you will not have to worry about different cats taking ownership of the fancy $550 cat toilet. (more on this later)
How Does Litter Robot III Work
Before starting, you have to do two important things. First, you have to fill up the Litter Robot 3 Open Air with litter. It is important that you use clumping litter and not just the absorbing and deodorizing litters available in the market today. You can use other finely granulated or crystalized litter as long as it passes through the filters that the Litter Robot 3 Open Air has.
The second thing that you have to do is open the drawer at the bottom of the machine and make sure that you have a plastic bag lining the bottom of the drawer for easy disposal and cleaning later on.
And there you go?
So how does this work for your cats? The Litter Robot 3 Open Air has a sensor that detects whenever your cat is inside the litter box. Once your cat has done the deed, then the Litter Robot III Open Air has a predesignated time frame where it waits before it turns itself on and starts the cleaning process. You do have the option to change the wait time from 3 minutes, 7 minutes, and a full 15 minute. Why is there a wait time and why do we need to adjust it? That is a very good question. The wait time is technically there to make sure that your cat has fully done the did or no other cat will enter the Litter Robot 3 Open Air. Cats wouldn’t normally enter the machine anyway if someone has already used it, because cats are picky-poopers, but nonetheless, it’s a great feature to have. More importantly, the wait time is there to give ample time for the cat poop to clump up, some clumping litter takes more time than the others to bind or clump together.
Once these have happened, the Litter Robot 3 will make a slow humming noise – something that might scare smaller or very shy cats but does not really bother the bigger ones. It will then turn the compartment over, counter-clockwise spilling the litter through a filter or a sift and separating the clean litter from the clumped up litter which we can safely assume has cat poop. Then it would separate that cat pooped filled litter and dumped it into a chute that leads directly to the bottom tray with the plastic lining.
The Litter Robot will then turn itself over to its original position. If you notice that it overshoots a little before aligning itself properly, then that is perfectly normal because it is just trying to shake the remaining litter back to its original flat arrangement.
The box says you can change the plastic lining once a week, but we noticed that we have to do it twice a week or if not, we have to open the content tray at the bottom and shake the collected cat poop around to distribute it. The reason for that is the poop chute is located on the left side of the collecting tray, and if you do not shake it, the tendency is it will just gather on that side of the tray and will give you the impression that the Litter Robot 3 Open Air is already full even though it is not.
There is also nothing on the user guide that says how many times do you refill, replace or top-up the litter in the Litter Robot 3 Open Air. What we do is just eyeball the whole operation and refill it as needed.
Factors We Considered In The Litter Robot Review
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect does not look like any other cat litter boxes out there. It looks out of this world, and has a different structure and design compared to your standard litter box or your typical self-cleaning litter box.
Ease Of Cleaning
This self-cleaning litter box cleans and sifts cat litter very well every after your cat does its business, and you can also set an auto-timer for it to start a cleaning cycle, if needed. You can set the waiting time for it to cycle its cleaning after use between 3 to 15 minutes, with its default being 7 minutes.
The globe will then start to rotate and the litter will start shifting as it slowly pushes all the litter towards the sifter to empty them and only cats the clump of cat litter towards the litter bag. The great deal about this litter box is that it does not leave excess chunks of waste, unlike other self-cleaning litter boxes as the sifter works really well in sifting the litter.
I have tried and tested different types of cat litter and found out that fine-grained ones do not do well with this litter box as it just ends up sticking so much, and it’s just a disaster. Clumping clays, on the other hand, works excellently with it but when I tried grass-based biodegradable clumping litter, again, lots of sticking so better avoid using them.
Deep cleaning the entire litter box is also important and it is best to clean it at least once every 3 months. The only problem is you have to take everything apart to be able to deep clean inside the device and then reassemble them again after. It can be tedious but it is very straightforward to build it up again.
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect measures 30 x 25 x 27 inches however the inside may come as quite uncomfortable and not as spacious as you would expect it to be, given its huge size, for large cats as the litter bed only measures 14 x 14 inches.
This may cause some cats who are not comfortable staying in a cramped place. The entrance to the litter box is also a little bit small and you may therefore have a hard time accessing the litter tray and pouring new litter into it.
I can say that the Litter-Robot 3 Connect is the most innovative litter box there is as it has a variety of fantastic features and one of them is the sensor that can detect whether your cat is inside doing its business or not, and it is great for cats weighing 5 lbs and up. Another feature is the blue light that blinks that alerts you when the bin is full and that you need to take out the trash. One great thing I noticed is that this container does a great job at containing the unwanted smell.
As I have already mentioned earlier, it does a cycle every after your cat uses the litter box. Furthermore, the litter scatters control is good enough as you wouldn’t really see much of them around the litter box. There is also a mat on the step in front of the entrance that helps catch the scatter.
However, I find the sensor feature a bit inconsistent as I have a cat weighing around 6 to 7 lbs and it is not able to detect my cat every time he is there so I would have to trigger its manual cleaning cycle.
Another feature of this self-cleaning cat litter box is the wifi which lets you connect it directly to your phone via the Litter-Robot 3 Connect App which is available both for iOS and Android devices. The app shows a waste level gauge which shows how much waste is already in the container, an option to manually trigger the cleaning remotely, and it also shows you how often your cat uses the litter box which is a great feature especially for monitoring the health insights about your cat.
Another feature is that you can adjust the settings via the Connect App such as turning the blue light on or off, pause the self-cleaning cycle, put it into sleep mode, and adjust the wait between usage and cleaning cycle.
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect features do not stop there as the Connect App does not only connect to the litter box itself, but it also allows you to connect with other smart appliances, which opens up a world of possibilities for you.
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect is surely made of sturdy materials as it prides itself for its durability and longevity so you wouldn’t have to worry that the mechanism might get broken easily.
The only catch with this one is the price. It is extremely expensive with the base model costing $449 and another $449 to add the Connect function.
Litter Robot Vs. Others
We have compared Litter Robot with their competitors on the market:
- Litter-Robot VS. ChillX AutoEgg Litter Box
- Litter Robot Vs PetSafe ScoopFree Litter Box
- Litter Robot Vs LitterMaid Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The $449 Dollar Question(s)
Before answering the $550 dollar question I know you still have a lot of question as I did, so let me answer the questions that I was able to answer during my time with the Litter Robot 3 Open Air.
What’s the difference with the Litter Robot 3 Open Air and the other two from Litter Robot?
A: This iteration of the Litter Robot basically is a product of more than 15 years of customer feedback and suggestions plus the owner’s experience with the product that they made. According to one of the designers, they took all the changes that they wanted to do with the original design base on their experience, compared it with the customer feedback and they came up with the Litter Robot 3 Open Air. Some of the changes include an upward facing entry which is more convenient for our cats. A bigger Litter Robot bubble which is also more convenient and ergonomic for the cat users as well as a much larger globe. We have a tomcat at home and Litter Robot large cat accommodation is perfect for him.
It is basically a more ergonomic version of the other two past versions. It also has a litter robot blue light flashing for older cats that might have problems with finding it in the dark, or clumsy or drunk owners whose big toe always seems to accidentally find the Litter Robot III Open Air even when it is dark.
May area experiences a lot of blackouts and power interruptions will the Litter Robot 3 Open Air still work?
A: Ok, we live in an area where the government is doing a lot of major infrastructure work for the past two and half years, that means we have rotational brownouts whenever electric posts or embedded cables are moved around. The great part about the Litter Robot 3 Open Air is it can run on a backup battery for around 48 hours of operation. Plus it has an 8-hour sleep mode which conserves energy when we are sleeping, or if you really want to save energy, you can use the manual cleaning to make sure the Litter Robot 3 Open Air only cleans when you want it to.
The downside to this is the backup battery is sold separately, which you have to purchase. It is not that expensive though depending on the retailer or where you are getting it. Oh, and if you are on the market to purchase the backup battery? I suggest that you get your cat a treat and buy him the separate Litter Robot 3 Open Air ramp. The ramp makes it easier for your cat to get in the machine without the need for them to hop and jump. Perfect for dainty little cats or kittens that want to go on it but can’t.
Can I use other litters and other supplies that are not exclusive from Litter Robot III?
A: Yes, you can. I use a regular garbage bag. The makers are not necessarily very particular about the supplies you are using. What I suggest is just monitor the carbon filter that you use with it because it can be awesome until you forget to wash the carbon filter.
What will happen if the Litter Robot 3 Open Air turns on and my cat is still inside?
A: Basic answer? That will not happen. The Litter Robot 3 Open Air has a sensor that detects if your cat or any cat is still inside. It will not clean itself if it detects anything inside.
Do I have to clean the Litter Robot III Open Air?
A: Yes and no! No, you do not have to clean the Litter Robot 3 Open Air because like we discussed at the beginning of this review, it can clean itself. Be that as it may, we do clean ours from time to time, may once or twice a year, depending on the level of our laziness. (this machine will turn your lazy bone on) The cleaning and maintenance are pretty easy and straight forward. Lift the globe covering, remove the globe and wash it. Yes, you can wash t with a hose and water and leave out to air dry. But you cannot wash the motor or the base.
I have a multi-cat household, will other cats be open to sharing the Litter Robot 3 Open Air?
A: Yes, the self-cleaning operation of the Litter Robot 3 Open Air for some reason helps deter the selfish ownership tendencies of some cat.
Will the cats be able to push the buttons on the settings of the Litter Robot 3 Open Air?
A: Yes, they can do it and they will do it. I have a curious cat who for some reason knows how to reset the damn thing until I discovered that the Litter Robot 3 Open Air has a feature which allows you to lock the buttons. Just make sure to keep an eye on it, if the Litter Robot troubleshooting all lights flashing then make sure to check it. The Litter Robot return policy is very easy so if you have problems, you can talk to a customer care representative about it. Because of its design Litter Robot troubleshooting is easy. Simple issues like the Litter Robot 3, not cycling should be no problem.
You can also download the Litter Robot app so the machine can update you about its condition as well as your cat’s health. Some reports about pet parents detecting cases of UTI because of the app has been documented. Personally, I was informed about a Litter Robot motor problem by the app when a hairball got stuck in it.
Finally, the $550 dollar question. Is the Litter Robot price worth it?
A: A resounding yes. When my partner and I first got the Litter Robot 3 Open Air, I was set to hate the machine just because of the Litter Robot price. I hated it when we ordered it online, I groaned about the Litter Robot shipping, I complained about how big and heavy it was when it arrived, but two weeks into using it and I was crazy about the Litter Robot 3 Open Air.
I could not stop raving about it to fellow cat parents, I was proud of the Litter Robot 3 Open Air for some reason. Plus it worked. Remember when I mentioned that the worst part about owning a cat is cleaning the litter box? That is because I hate it. I felt that it was a chore that was dirty and really disgusting, but with the Litter Robot 3 Open Air, it was such a breeze that the argument on who cleans the litter box has been put to rest in our house.
I am now the proud litter box cleaner and I love it.
Our home is so much better now with the Litter Robot 3 Open Air. It smells better and our guest would not even know we had cats because that awful funk (let us face it, there is always that funk in the air in a cat owners house) is now gone.
The final verdict on the Litter Robot 3 Open Air? Yes, it is worth the price and so much more. And your cat deserves the best litter!
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect has more advantages than disadvantages. Some of the downsides is that it can be very expensive for some; it can be quite difficult to deep clean as you have to disassemble and reassemble it but you would only have to do at least once this every 3 months; it can feel a bit cramped inside for larger felines; and you may have issues with the sensors for inconsistently detecting lighter cats.
However, these are just minor inconveniences when looking at its advantages. This litter box is very reliable, flexible, and convenient particularly because of its wifi and Connect App features which lets you adjust all its setting in once place and check out about the health insights about your cat; it is great for odor control; works well with a multi-cat household; and it prevents the litter scatter better than other self-cleaning cat litter boxes.
I have been using the Litter-Robot 3 Connect and I can attest to how efficient, convenient, and easy to use this litter box is as I have been using it for many years now and I truly, highly recommend this cat litter box for all cat-parents out there.