I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype

I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype
So this space ship to Narnia is going to change our lives, is it?

As someone who has had cats her whole life, I know litter boxes. Or at least I know manual litter boxes. With two big cats, I scoop da poop at least twice a day to keep it clean and my small apartment not stanky. Our litter box sits in an open closet right in the living room since it's really the only place that makes sense. So it HAS to be clean or else we know it.

But scooping certainly isn't fun. On many on occasion, I've heard myself mutter, "there has to be a better way" as if I'm fumbling with spices in an infomercial. But seriously, there HAS to be a better way, right?

I recently got the chance to try out a product I'd been eyeballing FOREVER: a Litter-Robot! Yep, one of those fancy-pants automated litter box cleaning machines. The highest rated one. The one on top of every ratings list. It's the really nice kind that isn't cheap and it shows. With all this hype, it's got to be pretty life-changing, right? I decided to give it a whirl to see if a robo-litter box from the future was the better way I was seeking.

What is this poop solution?

An automated litter box cleaner can be a number of things, but in this case, it's a dome-shaped litter box that has a timer to let it cycle around in a big circle, sifting clumps into a sealed drawer, leaving the rest of the clean litter available for use by the cats. You can then pull the drawer out once or twice a week (depending on how many cats you have) and pull out the interior bag o' clumps. Seal it up, toss it out, and you've saved serious time. Or at least I have been so far.

My worries:
That my cats would be too big for the litter box since they are hefty at 11 and 20(!) lbs each.
That they'd be too scared of the noise (they're big lions, but cowardly ones).
That it would be more maintenance than a regular litter box — because you never know!

Bottom line:
So far so good! So far so amazing, really. The box is far big enough even for my 20-pound dude. It's really quiet. They were (and still are) a bit scared of the rotating container, but they're making peace with it. We have total control over when it cycles so we can train them not to hate it with treats and good timing. No worries there. I'll get to maintenance in a moment.

I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype
Photo via Litter-Robot

It's hooked up to Skynet!

Just kidding, there's no relation to Terminator. Except for terminating the poops! Har har. Anyway, this Litter-Robot actually is wifi-enabled to allow me to monitor usage, change settings, view how full the poop drawer is, and more FROM MY PHONE. Yep, this litter box is app-enabled. It's only for iOS so far, but the Android app is expected to debut this Fall 2018.

I get that you might not need an app for your cat's dooks, but for me, it's super useful. One of my cats has diabetes, so monitoring the level of pee is totally useful on a medical level. So that's a win.

I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype
Mission complete. Exit space pod.

Bonus: there's a pretty blue night light so that the kitties can pretend they're in a music video while doing the biz. And this lady looks like she's emerging from her sleeping pod on a space shuttle.

Maintaining the robo-litter

We have a habit of naming our robo devices. Our robo-vaccum, for instance, is named Rosie (from the Jetsons) and we've dubbed this Litter-Robot Bender. Because it bends around? I don't know. Either way, maintaining Bender has been pretty easy so far. I've cleaned the clump drawer many times now with no issues. It slides out, holds regular trash bags (although you can also snag some biodegradable ones that are custom-sized to the shape if you like), and is easy to wipe down for cleaning.

We've had a few large clumps get caught in the clean litter (as in, it didn't fall quite right into the bottom hole), but it ended up going right in when it cycled again. So if you're leaving overnight, you don't have to worry about it tossing clumps out or getting caught. At least not that we've seen so far. I'm sure it's capable of happening, but it seems unlikely at least.

My favorite part of the system is the rubber bottom part that holds the litter. When it goes through it's circular twirl, the rubber bends down, releasing the clumps, then goes right back into it's place again once it's back down.

I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype
See, making peace!

The bottom (butt) line

While the kitties are still getting used to the scary box they think will teleport them to Narnia, the humans in the apartment are LOVING it. Jumping-for-joy-tossing-poop-bags-into-basketball-hoops loving it. I went from back-hurty digging for treasure twice a day to twice WEEKLY quick cleanup. It's pretty stellar. We'll see how it ages as we use it, but for now, it's the best.

This isn't an ad, but since I'm digging the Litter-Robot so much, I am able to give you $25 off a new Litter-Robot here (affiliate link), if you too are looking for that elusive better way to scoop. It's pricier than a regular litter box, for sure, but it's worth it if you can swing it.


Disclaimer:
Litter-Robot kindly provided us with a Litter-Robot III Open Air with Connect to review. Our reviews and opinions are totally our own.

  1. Can confirm, litter robot is A++ excellent choice for self-cleaning boxes.

    My family has one of the older ones. It kind of looks like Sputnik, so we call it the poopship. 🙂

    4 agree
  2. I agree that these are life changing for cat owners. I've had mine for 10+ years. (I have two of the older models named Kenny I and Kenny II after SouthPark.)

    They are pricey, but I found that they save money because I don't use as much litter as I did when I had to scoop… and forget to scoop. Then, have to dump the whole thing.

    It will change one's life just like a microwave or a warming drawer or a cell phone. 🙂

    2 agree
  3. Thanks for the review! I've really really been wanting one of these forever, but ugh, so pricey. I have four cats, and would feel like I would need to get two for it to be effective and good for domestic tranquility, and kicking down $1,000 at once is more than a little daunting. If we just got one and kept one regular litter box, I'm afraid the kitties would have a choice to never get used to it or bother to use the super fancy pricey box. Sigh.

    1 agrees
    • Just got our Litter Robot " BB8" (round spinning robot that eats poop…so BB ate the poop) for my birthday at the end of April. We have 3 furry feline family members who use BB8 and I have left their traditional scoop-the-poop litter box in its original place, mere feet from BB8. At first, they were skittish of BB8 in action. I do recommend the manufacturer suggestion of assembling the unit without plugging in and without litter for a few days. Even found one kitty taking a nap in her robot. Then, we added litter. All 3 kitties explored and finally one brave cat used the new potty. We did not plug in BB8 to clean, until all three cats had gone several times over a few day period. Then, only plugged in once or twice a day to clean. After a few days of this….we plugged in BB8 and let him roll! When the cats hear the motor start, they come running to watch the show! Now, it has been almost one month. Old, traditional scoop the poop litter box is still in its original place, and totally untouched. The cats prefer BB8! No accidents, no more bringing me poop presents on my pillow to remind me that their box is not so fresh. No more entering my house and immediately smelling the litter box.
      So, the best thing is, I think you can use Litter Robot for a multi cat home. You will need to empty the bag more often, but the machine tells you when you need to. And…if it ends up that the Litter Robot does not work out for you, there is a return policy that sounds pretty good. I've been trying to win one for over a year, but following spinal surgery, I needed to just make the purchase. So happy with this choice.
      Hope this review helps answer some of your questions and I do not get any financial or personal gain by writing this post.

      7 agree
  4. Had one. The dust it created when rotating was horrendous. Back to manually scooping. Hardly any dust. Just my opinion.

    2 agree
    • Did you try multiple brands of litter? Does anyone else have a solution for this?

      I'm strongly really tempted by this, but considering that I drive a '99 Corolla… it's gotta be worth every dang penny. Sneezing over the litter every time they do their biz versus just when we scoop is a dealbreaker, unfortunately.

  5. So interested in this, but two questions (so far)
    1. What happens to the pee litter? I'm imagining it raking the poops out (could be wrong here) but i don't get what happens to the pee.
    2. Do you have to use special litter?

    3 agree
    • You have to use clumping litter.
      Clumping litter will take both types of kitty #1 or#2 and clump them.

      I have owned the Litter Robot 3 for a few years now. I have 6 cats that use it without issue.

      I changed from the CatGenie to this and I couldn't be happier. Sure, the CatGenie was fully automated and it was rather hassle free, but cleaning it, it's mechanisms, and various parts was a nightmare. The Litter Robot 3 however is so easy to clean. I change the litter bag (I use a regular trash bag) every 2 days (mind the amount of cats I have though) and the is never any smell lingering.

      I also use Chewy to deliver my cat litter which I'll be honest,I tried about 8 different brands before sticking to the one I use now. Looking for clumping litter using Chewy was also a breeze.

      1 agrees
      • You guys got me excited. I was in. Operation convince hubby commenced. Then i found the price to get one here in Australia. $1750 everyone. $17fucking50!
        I'm devastated…

  6. How well do you think it will work with poop that isn’t covered. We have three cats and one doesn’t cover his own stuff. 🙁 our other cat will cover it for him but most of the time it’s alrrady dry by then so the litter doesn’t clump on it.

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