Pets are part of the smart home too, right? So why shouldn’t they benefit from some of the advances in technology?
After all, we already have smart cat flaps, and Roombas do a great job of picking up their fur.
But, while that saves us some effort, how about something that makes dealing with the by-product of owning a pet a little less unpleasant. Enter automated cat litter boxes and specifically: the Litter Robot.
While it may look like an angry space robot or the laser designator on the nose of an attack helicopter, it is in fact a smart system for helping getting rid of cat poop and wee. The deposits are kept in a bagged storage tray at the bottom that helps reduce the smell and makes for far easier cleaning.
Key Features of the Litter Robot LRII
How it Works: Available in white, beige, grey or black, the Litter Robot is an automated litter tray for your kitty that removes the need for all that scooping and cleaning out.
Assuming your cat likes the enclosed space, and most do, then it uses a patented sifter to clean the litter and remove clumps and poop from tray into the storage area.
There’s a few minutes delay before it kicks in to allow the litter to clump or the moisture to be absorbed, so you may still get the usual first whiff, but once it kicks in, the Litter Robot is substantially more hygienic than anything other than an airlock cat litter tray (no, they don’t exist, but they should!).
Costing around $449 see here, the Litter Robot can store a few days worth of waste if you’re heading out, saving you on cattery fees and it also helps reduce the level of smell, which means less time cleaning it out and more time doing fun things.
The Litter Robot is mains powered, and uses a standard garbage bag and litter to do its work. The magic is in the main globe that rotates after the cat has left to pick up any litter and deposit it in the tray at the bottom. When it rotates back, that tray is sealed minimizing smells.
Pros of the Litter Robot
- Guarantee: The Litter Robot comes with an 18 month guarantee and 90-day money back guarantee, so you’ll have plenty of time to try it out before deciding if its good for your cat, and your home.
- Easy for Cats to Get Used To: There’s a helpful step to get the cat into the tray, and simple instructions to help your cat migrate from its old tray to this one.
- Made from Recycled Materials: The device is made from tough recyclable plastics and industrial grade components, while the tray is designed to deter the growth of fungus and other
- Quiet Operation: In use it is quiet and efficient, and assuming your cat is happy to go in it, there’s nothing to stop it having a useful existence in your smarthome.
- Easy to Maintain: When you do need to clean it out, just quickly seal the bag and take it to the bin, put in a new bag and you’re done.
- Reliable Company: The Automated Pet Care Product company has been selling them since the year 2000, so there’s no issue over immature technology, although we suspect most readers might be hoping for a smarter version, but that seems unlikely. It is also made in the US, so your cat can be a proud patriot.
Cons of the Litter Robot
- Expense: The major outlay for the Litter Robot may seem like a major expense, and it certainly isn’t cheap. However by saving litter thanks to its efficient scooping, and saving you time, and using standard litter and garbage bags, it will help save you money in the long run.
- Cheaper Alternatives: However, there are other self-cleaning litter boxes on the market, so you may want to investigate them before considering this option.
- They are far cheaper, but not automated, which is the great advantage of the Litter Robot. One alternative worth checking out is the CatGenie. You can read my complete review of it here
- Kittens/Small Cats May Cause Problems: Note that smaller cats, or kittens, may not trip the sensor that activates the timer. There is a manual mode to help overcome this as the cat grows, but tiny cats will mean you’re stuck doing things the slightly harder way.
- “Fat Cats” May Have Issues: Also the globe is only 15-inches deep, 20-inches wide and 15-inches high, so if you own some monster moggy, then it may have trouble fitting or turning.
Special Update: Litter Robot III Review
Litter Robots are no stranger to us and our readers. Reviewing Litter Robot II, we praised it for the 18-month warranty, 90-day money back guarantee that it gave buyers, ensuring that you do not get stuck with a lemon and to have the chance to test it out first. We also praised it for making it easier for your cat to get used to using the Litter Robot II, even providing instructions on how to successfully migrate your pets to the new device. The Litter Robot II also earned points for the recycled materials it used, easy maintenance, and its quiet operation, as well as coming from a reputable pet care company.
Back then, we recommended the Litter Robot II as a solid purchase for cat lovers who have pets that are confined to the home, despite of its relatively more expensive price tag, and problems with both small and big cats. Now that the company has come out with the Litter Robot III Open Air, how does it compare?
How Does Litter Robot III Work Now?
If you have not owned a Litter Robot before, here is how it works. Your cat will get into the Litter Robot Open Air to do its business, starting a seven-minute countdown. When the seven minutes lapse, the globe will rotate, separating the litter from the clumps. The clumps will be directed to a chute that will send it to the bottom of the device where it is deposited into the waste drawer. Each cleaning cycle lasts for around one or two minutes.
With the clumps safely in the waste drawer, bad odors are kept to a minimum. It also makes it very simple to clean the unit. You just pull the drawer, pick up the bag and dispose of it.
NEW Features of the Litter Robot III Open Air
The Litter Robot III Open Air cleans after each use, getting the feces and urine out of the litter after your cat finishes doing its business. It has a big litter chamber, which makes it suitable even for big cats weighing at least five pounds.
The waste drawer comes with an indicator that tells you when it is time to dispose of the waste.
Automatic adjustments. The Litter Robot III Open Air now has a self-adjusting weight sensor that can detect both large and small cats, allowing it to clean effectively without you having to calibrate it every time a different cat uses it. The self-adjusting sensor makes the Litter Robot III a whole lot convenient for those households with multiple cats.
Upward-facing entryway. For the Litter Robot II, the opening to the chamber was to the front. The Litter Robot III, on the other hand, has an upward facing entryway, which can help make large cats feel more comfortable while inside the chamber.
Bigger litter chamber and entryway. One of the biggest drawbacks of the previous Litter Robot was that the chamber measured only 15 inches deep, 15 inches high and 20 inches wide. Bigger cats will have a problem fitting inside the chamber and even moving around. The Litter Robot III, on the other hand, has fully assembled dimensions of 27.0 inches deep by 24.3 inches wide by 29.5 inches high. The chamber measures 17 inches high by 20 inches wide and 20 inches deep. This represents 1.5 times more space compared to the previous Litter Robot. This will ensure that your bigger cats will not only fit but will also be able to move around inside the chamber.
The Liter Robot III’s entryway measures 15.5 inches high and 10.25 inches wide, enough for even the fattest cats to go through.
Night light. The Litter Robot III has an automatic night light that is very useful if you have elderly cats.
Clean and empty cycles. You can use the clean cycle to clean the chamber after your cat finishes its business. The Litter Robot will separate the clumps and dump these into the waste drawer. If you want to change the entire bed of litter, you can start an empty cycle that will send all the cat litter to the waste drawer.
Guarantee. The Litter Robot III still comes with an 18-month full warranty. Within the warranty period, the company will cover all costs, including shipping and repair, of your Litter Robot unit. That means that you do not pay for the labor, the parts or the shipping costs if there is something that is defective with your unit. You can also avail of the 90-day money-back guarantee, where you could return your unit if your cat does not get into the Litter Robot III, or if you are dissatisfied with it for any other reason.
What is the Best Cat Litter for Litter Robot?
This is a question we get frequently! Typical automated litter boxes will have “recommended” litter selections, but these are typically over-priced or otherwise restrictive. So this is definitely a problem.
Since most litter boxes have a method to rake and sift through the litter, the right size and consistency is key. Good litter will clump on contact and doesn’t give off dust (low dust litter).
For these reasons, my recommended option is this clay litter from Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat which is ideal for LitterRobot, specifically.
- PREMIUM QUALITY: A combination of premium texture and granule size made with 100% bentonite clay for maximum clumping creates litter particles that are just the right size.
- LOW DUST: Ideal for cats and owners who suffer from allergies with a 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic litter formulation.
- HARD CLUMPING: Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom of the tray and forms hard clumps that won't break down, making it easier to scoop.
- SUPERIOR ODOR CONTROL: Formulated for single or multi-cat households with natural ingredients to keep your home smelling clean and fresh between litter box cleanings.
- LOW TRACKING: A unique formulation of medium grain clay helps keep litter in the box where it belongs.
How many Litter Robot III Open Space should you buy?
While the Litter Robot III Open Space is good for multiple cats, you should know that ideally, one unit can handle up to three cats efficiently.
What could be better
Like the previous Litter Robot, the Litter Robot III has problems when it comes to smaller cats. The improved sensors are still blind to little cats and kittens who may not weigh enough to trigger the timer. The Little Robot III is only good if your cat weighs five pounds or heavier.
The manufacturer recommends turning the Litter Robot III off or unplugging it to keep your small cats safe. Once you see them use the device, you can just plug it in or turn it on and the Litter Robot III will start the cleaning process. The whole semi-automatic mode kind of defeats the purpose of having a Litter Robot in the first place.
You would also need to buy high-grade clay clumping litter for best results. This might pose some health problems for your cat as they contain sodium bentoite. It is also not advisable to flush clumping litter, plus, it can prove to be very sticky under your cat’s feet.
The Litter Robot III is very expensive considering that there are several self-cleaning litter boxes available in the market. For instance, you have the ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box that sells for a third of the Litter Robot III’s price. Or the Cat Genie Self Washing Self Flushing Cat Box, which sells at a lower price on Amazon.
What’s in the box?
Every package of the Litter Robot III Open Air includes:
- Fully assembled Litter Robot III Open Air
- Carbon Filter
- Waste Drawer Liners
- 15 Volt DC Power Supply
- Welcome Kit, which includes the quick start guide, instruction manual, quick reference guide, return & repack instructions, and other user materials.
The Litter Robot III Open Air with Connect
The Litter Robot III Open Air with Connect connects to your Wi-Fi network so that you could start a cleaning cycle even when you are not home. This is very useful if you have small cats and kittens using the Litter Robot III. The mobile app also tells you if you need to clean the waste drawer or not. Furthermore, the mobile app, which allows you to control multiple Little Robots, can also tell you if a particular unit is ready for use, if it is currently cleaning, if the clean cycle is complete, or if the sensor is currently counting down, among other things.
Final Recommendation on the Litter Robot
The Litter Robot III Open Air continues to be a good investment for those who want a stress-free life with their cats. The device really does make it easier for you to clean up after your pets while also ensuring that odors are kept to a minimum. You can now forget about scooping waste off the kitty litter, and just let the Litter Robot II do its work. Not only that, it is very easy to clean up the waste drawer.
It may be a bit expensive, but if you consider the convenience it gives you, along with the savings you get, it will be cheaper in the long run. The waste tray has enough space so that you only need to empty it out once a week if you have one cat. Plus, you do not have to buy special drawer liners. You can just use any 10 to 13 gallon trash bags.
If you have cats at home, then be sure to get a Litter Robot III Open Air today!
If your cat is confined to the home, then the Litter Robot makes an ideal purchase to keep the smell down and your cat happy when it comes to litter trips. Yes, its a pricey option, but once up and running becomes a great asset to the pet-friendly smarthome.
A proven technology, it might not be the smartest thing in your home, but when it comes to dealing with poop, we’ll take what we can get, and this does the job quietly and efficiently with very little fuss.
Where to Buy? You can order direct form Litter Robot here.