Litter Robot Review

Mon, Nov 10, 2008

Litter & Hygiene

At long last, I’ve finally had a chance to personally review the Litter-Robot, and I am pleased to say that I am honestly blown away by how great this thing is. Seriously, when I first wrote about the Litter-Robot, I had seen it being demonstrated at a trade show and thought it was truly innovative technology. The inventor of the Litter-Robot really re-thought how automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes work. The Litter-Robot uses a completely different mechanism from the usual “raking” action found in other automatic litter boxes. The rotating globe efficiently and effectively removes clumps, and deposits them into the drawer at the bottom of the unit, making clean up incredibly easy. For more details on exactly how the Litter-Robot works, please read the original post, or view the product demo on the Litter-Robot website.

As for my personal experience with the Litter-Robot, here are my findings:

The Litter-Robot is very easy to set-up, no assembly required, just take it out of the box and plug it in.

At first, I was worried that my cats would not use the Litter-Robot. It comes with tips on how to get your cat to stop using their old box and start using the Litter-Robot. The instructions tell you to stop cleaning the old box to encourage the cats to use the Litter-Robot instead. Since I have several cats, I couldn’t make the Litter-Robot my only box, so I thought they might avoid it because it was new and different. It only took about a day and all of a sudden, there was a deposit in the drawer! It has actually been quite popular, I suppose because it’s always clean.

The Litter-Robot must be used with clumping litter, and since I only use natural litter, I was concerned that it might not clump well enough, but I loaded it up with World’s Best Cat Litter and it has worked like a charm.

The other big concern was safety, but the safety mechanism works beautifully, stopping the unit immediately if a curious beast tries to investigate while the unit is in motion. They do find it interesting to watch as it rotates, this strange mechanical creature inhabiting their living room.

I tested the Litter-Robot on both hard floors and on soft carpeting. The instructions say that you do have to adjust the sensitivity of the unit when using it on a soft surface, and this is definitely true. If you do not adjust it, the sensor will not trigger when the cat leaves the box, but it is quite easy to adjust and the instructions tell you exactly how to do it.

They say that the Litter-Robot works for cats up to 15 lbs. and my over-sized beast, Ando, who weighs-in at 15 lbs., has no trouble using the Litter-Robot, although he has a funny habit of going into the box, turning around, and poking his head and shoulders out the door while he goes about his business. It’s quite entertaining and I wish I could get a photo of it for you. [UPDATE: Check out the photo of Ando in the Litter-Robot!]

So, in conclusion, the Litter-Robot is an excellent investment if you are looking for a high-quality, self-cleaning litter box. If you have multiple cats, this will make your life a bit easier, but I’m not sure you will be able to replace multiple boxes with just one Litter-Robot. But if you have one or two cats, the Litter-Robot could quite possibly change your life. Not to mention how happy it will make your cat!

The Litter-Robot comes in black or beige. Available at Amazon.

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33 Responses to “Litter Robot Review”

  1. 1

    Thanks for the in-depth review. I’m curious about one thing — have you [and your cats] ever used the “raking” style box that you mention? I only ask because I found that thing to be a disastrous mess, so I’m wondering if you have had a chance to personally compare the two.

    Thanks again for the review and thanks in advance for your response!

  2. 2

    Did you notice any smell with this?

  3. 3

    How is it on tracking when you’re cats jump out? Is there a trail of litter everywhere?

  4. 4
    Nora Jaye

    I accidentally left my comment on your original review. To summarize, I hope you’ll keep using this and report back. My rake models got gummed up and died within 6 months. If this stays clean and the motor lasts, I’d buy it in a minute.

  5. 5

    I would totally get a litter robot if my cats didn’t way 17lbs. Thanks for the honest review :)

  6. 6
    Anita W.

    I love the reviews of these boxes – it’s incredibly helpful and the detail is appreciated. In fact, I thank Moderncat for moving me and Bean (my cat) away from environmentally-UNfriendly litter. Yay!

  7. 7

    I have one of these – an older one. And it works great. Two of my cats will use it but one, who hates any covered box, won’t. The new Robots have a deeper drawer which would be really nice. Yep, there’s a little bit of litter trail from when they jump out but nothing like the scattering around from a conventional box.

  8. 8

    Does it work well for cats who don’t cover their litter?

  9. 9
    Katherine D.

    thanks for doing this review – very helpful. your 15 pound cat may be sticking his head/shoulders out ‘cuz it’s a tight fit in there. i have a 15-16 pound kitty as well and i’m afraid he’ll find it tight going in there!

  10. 10
    Greg W

    sounds like an interesting widdle gadget

  11. 11

    My cats have an amazingly efficient litter robot, too. It’s called “jmuhj”. ;) Works all day, every day.

  12. 12
    Stephanie S.

    Man, I don’t know about this. Reading the low star reviews on Amazon scared me. It seems that these things stop working after a while, and once they do, they’re a pain to clean yourself. A $300 undependable hunk of super loud motorized plastic??? i don’t know!

  13. 13

    Wow! We totally need one or two of these… wish they weren’t quite so spendy.

  14. 14

    My cat is a 20-lber., and he was SCARED to death of the raking motorized box.

    So we use a plain Jane one around here…

  15. 15

    wow it sounds good but you guessed it everything breaks down and losing $300 box is a lot. I owned the littermaid 1G and it was awful broke within months. The ? I have what is the dependability and reliability? There is another litterbox that flushes the waste and washes the plastic beads shaped like a cylinder. It has to be hooked to a toilet or near the washer and dryer. It says it is like a toilet only for cats. But at $300 for either one I rather scoop it myself. We rely on too much convience that is half the problem. But hey if you got it spend it on that expensive toilet!!!!

  16. 16

    I LOVE this thing. I have 2 cats and have had the litter robot since November 2006 and it still runs fantastic. I even keep it outdoors on my patio and I’ve had no problems with it (except when you put in TOO much litter then it’s too heavy for the motor to turn).

    I set a calendar reminder for every 1.5 weeks to remind me to change out the drawer.

    If mine broke down, I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

  17. 17

    I walked into my parents place last month and saw they had one of these now. I told my mom I’d seen it on a cool blog I read. It is working great for them. They used to have raker-types. Which would stall out and have issues with the large clumps, make huge messes, not rake up well, etc. All but one of my mom’s cats uses and prefers the litter-robot to a normal litter-box. The only one who does not, Ivan, is a 17-pound Siberian male. He is simply too tall and too long to really get inside of it. The clean up, my mom tells me, is really easy. She has a bad back and can clean out the drawer and pour in new litter herself. That is something she was not able to do with the previous boxes. Littler scatter and tracking is down from before. She is really happy with the machine and we will see if it lasts in her 5 kitty household and how long it holds it’s own with the regular boxes scattered about.

    For those of you interested in the system with the beads and flushing… I have heard the chemical used to wash the beads is toxic to some cats. Please look into that before purchasing.

  18. 18

    I have a couple of large cats (15 to 20 lbs) and they tend to leave quite the clump when they go. Does the Litter Robot have a problem with large clumps?

  19. 19

    What about smell if you don’t change the tray out daily? I have 3 rescued Siamese/Tabby siblings with 2 litter domes in the house. I have to scoop out the domes at least twice a day or the stench is unbearable….I use The World’s Greatest Litter + A&H baking soda.

  20. 20

    I bought the litter robot a few months ago and it is so good at locking up smells, that I forgot about the litterbox for 3 weeks and it ran out of litter!! (Not a bad problem to have). My only complaint is how big and obtrusive it is. Have any moderncat readers come out with a creative way to hide this thing in an apt?

  21. 21


    In answer to your question about the litter robot handling large clumps: two of my mom’s cats (excluding her biggest) make epic-sized clumps when they go. I guess they save it all up for one go or something. The litter robot hasn’t had any problems handling the large clumps so far.

  22. 22

    I got the litter robot 6 months ago. I LOVE it!! I was really really excited about never having to scoop litter ever again, everyone hates it. I have 3 small cats and this is perfect. It did take a few days to get them to use it, I followed the suggestions it gave. The best way was to just take away their old boxes to force them to only have the litter robot. It rotates like a cement truck and sifts the litter. All you get left is the clumps which fall into a plastic bag in the compartment below. They sort of tumble around like rocks. The cats think it’s like TV, they gather to watch it. It’s so funny!

  23. 23

    oh I forgot to add, you go through WAY less litter!

  24. 24

    We have 5 kitties and have a litter robot (have had one since they first came out) we love it and would not live without it!! Worth the money!!! The litter robot is a work horse! Cats love clean litter boxes and you never have to worry about it with the litter robot, it is always clean.
    If you don’t have one, get one you will wish you bought it years ago!! And their service is customer GREAT!

  25. 25

    Some of my cats tend to dig to the very bottom to pee, where there is no litter, causing the clump to stick to the bottom of the litter pan. Has anyone with the litter robot delt with issues like this?

  26. 26

    I bought one of these as my Christmas present in 2006. It is amazing. My cat, Shadow, weighs 24 pounds (he is a big boy). He does the same thing as Ando, turns around and sticks his head out of the doorway. I will try to get a photo next time I catch him doing his business. I have had no trouble with it at all. As far as the price of the unit goes, your savings on litter will make it worth it. I now go through one of the huge Sam’s size clumping litters once every 4 or 5 months and Shadow uses his box a lot. He will even come in from outside to use his box and then go back outside. I am pretty slack about emptying the drawer. I usually empty it once every 2 weeks, sometimes even less. I have not noticed any odor. I use the fragranced bags for the drawer, so I am not sure if that helps at all. Shadow tends to trail quite a bit of litter, but that is because he jumps straight out. I don’t believe it is a product issue at all. I would recommend this product to anyone who has a cat. The only negatives I can think of are its size and the noise, but these are a small price to pay for the convenience and lack of odor.

  27. 27

    I love mine and even my 20 pound cat uses it. I originally got this for my cat who had chronic bladder infections and being able to turn it on a off helped me monitor his condition. He is twenty pounds but not really fat he is just HUGE (I say he’s half holstien). He loves it because he never has to get his paws dirty but the others still love to scatter litter everywhere. My smallest cat is just over five pounds and she likes it too. I have had some problems with it getting stuck while running because the big cat kicks it while jumping out but other then that it has been wonderful. I had a covered litter box in the past and the cats just seem so much happier and it is so easy to change the bag. I really love this box and would recommend it to anyone who has multiple cats and hates scooping. Also the rubber bottom is amazing. The clumps never stick. I am so far a very happy customer.

  28. 28

    We’ve had one for over 6 months now and I’m pretty pleased with it. We got it before we went to a 3-week trip. I didn’t trust the cat-sitter to empty the litter box every day, like I do, so I got the litter robot.
    It’s nice for the cat, first of all because they always have clean litter to their business in, since it cleans after each time. The bad this is, the poop doesn’t disappear after that. :) The compartment that holds it has to be cleaned out every 2-3 days if you don’t want any odor to start spreading. Plus it fills up pretty fast. I only have one cat and I usually empty it out after 2-3 days. Another thing is my cat doesn’t want to bury her “presents” once she’s done, because she knows they will be gone soon after she’s done. She just jumps out and makes a mess. But the way I dealt with that is I placed the litter robot inside the closet where my washing/draying machine is and made a little swing door. Then I had to train my cat to use it which took about a week (which is longer than training her to get in the litter robot). Anyways, I think the whole set up worked out for us. The machine does everything is supposed to do. I have no complaints.

  29. 29

    The litter robot is very cool to look at and my 2 cats transitioned to the bot with relative ease. It was perfect in our modern apartment it looks like a space ship.
    However the robot broke down in 9 months and we did the trouble shooting and it still had problems. During the working period the litter would always spill out so that was annoying. Also it was really hard to clean if you live in an urban environment as well.

    Finally we called the company to tell them the robot was not functioning and they refused to fix it. We winded up with a broken down big waste of plastic that we threw out. We would never recommend it the company is terrible to deal with and will not honor the warranty.

  30. 30

    We have a Litter Robot for our beast of a cat (>16 lbs.) and it works fine if you’re willing to deal with a few issues:

    1. It is noisy. We pause the TiVo whenever it runs. You can hear the thing everywhere in the apartment. When we move into a house, it’s going into the garage post haste. o_o

    2. It really helps if you have access to a spigot and hose to clean it out every one or two months. We don’t have that at our apartment so I slave away on our patio with a scrub brush and bucket of soapy water. Not fun.

    3. I recommend using natural litter. Clumping silica based litter will leave a layer of gray clay caked to all surfaces (we have the black Robot which makes this very obvious). See #2 about using a hose/scrubber/bucket.

    4. Do not “accidentally” “forget” to empty the drawer. Ever. See #2. O_O

    5. There’s a fuzzy ring gasket that seals the gap between the motor unit and the rotating globe. The adhesive isn’t the greatest and I’ve had to re-glue it using some epoxy.

    Nonetheless, I am willing to overlook these annoyances. This litter box means no. scooping. ever. Re-read those last three words. It’s so good at keeping the litter box odor down that I have it right next to the dining room table. Part of that is confidence. The other part is because it’s the size of three toddlers and that’s the only place it fits in our small apartment.

  31. 31

    I was initially very happy with the LR and then I switched to sWheat Scoop which was a big mistake. SS sticks to the inside of the box and the odor of the cats urine is like ammonia and has spread throughout my condo.

    I definitely think the LR could’ve been better constructed and it certainly wasn’t created for urbanites, but you definitely do not use sWheat Scoop with it.

    It’s nice not have to scoop clumps, but now I am scooping the inside of the LR as the litter sticks to the insides. It will be a pain to clean because I can’t take it outside and hose it out. I wish it were easier to deconstruct the dome so I could properly clean it.

    For now, I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars.

  32. 32

    I purchased a Bot last year, once my cats started using it I thought great. Neither of my two got the “stick head outside” part, and the one was always piddling on the step which doesn’t come apart for cleaning. I tried all the various ideas, but she just didn’t turn around to have her head outside. You must, must, must clean it out living in a condo without a yard made this especially difficult and messy trying to wash it out in the tub. You cannot effectively clean the bottom of the bot because that is where the motor is and unfortunately will stink. The bot is made of plastic and that absorbs the odor over time and nothing will get rid of the smell. Many people take the globe to a car wash and power wash it. Mine now sits in my storage unit collecting dust because my cats just stopped using it. Was it a good purchase … at first yes, but the cleaning of it is a real pain and no scooping was fantastic but trying to get out the odor that over time even with cleaning seeps into the plastic, is no fun especially if you don’t have a yard or somewhere to wash it. The Litter Bot people suggested that I put it in the sun for a day, nice idea if I had a yard. The rubber brush ring also comes apart and gets clogged with used litter – a real mess. I was always gluing it on. All in all, I spent $300 for one year of use. It you have a tall cat they probably won’t like it because the inside of the globe is not very high. I also didn’t like the black interior of the globe, if it was a lighter color you can see what is dirty and maybe the cat won’t think it is going into a black hole. If your cat uses it than the purchase is well worth the money, if it doesn’t then it really is a waste of money.

  33. 33
    Cat Trees That Look Like Real Trees

    I actually bought this for our cats and trust me, it is well worth the money! Highly recommended for any cat lover out there who needs this!

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