Automatic litter boxes have come a long way from their clunky, inefficient, rake-based ancestors. They still aren’t perfect — and are definitely expensive — so I understand skepticism around the devices. Yet, in the pursuit of a better box I opened my home to Whisker’s latest, the Litter-Robot 4. The TL;DR: For scoop-loathers, this high-tech gadget is genuinely game-changing — and you can score it now through the holiday season for $75 off when purchased as a bundle. After living the robo life for three weeks now, I’m here to give you the scoop (pardon) on what it’s like.
- Self-cleaning: Waste gets deposited into the drawer minutes after it’s left behind
- Odor-controlling: Quick cleaning means stink doesn’t have a chance to build up
- Multi-cat friendly: The brand says one ‘bot is suitable for up to four cats
- Use your fave litter: As long as it clumps and fits through the grate, it’s good
- Use less litter: It’s designed to work with far less than a traditional box, and clean litter is recycled and used efficiently
- Reduced tracking: Because it’s cleaned after each bathroom trip, your cat doesn’t track icky litter around
- Health-monitoring: The app lets you track kitty’s bathroom habits and weight
What Makes Litter-Robot 4 Different?
The newest iteration of Whisker’s best-selling Litter-Robot builds upon the successful elements of the brand’s previous self-cleaning design for the quietest, tech-savviest version yet. The patented cleaning mechanism uses a spinning drum, a sifter, and the force of gravity to remove waste minutes after it’s deposited. A laser sensor ensures the box is cat-free before it starts its clean cycle — depending on your cat’s habits and your needs, you set a timer so the cleaning cycle triggers anywhere from three to 30 minutes after the fluffball exits.
Whisker’s app lets you know how full the waste compartment is, when to dump, and when to re-up the clean litter. It tracks your cat’s weight and bathroom habits (which can make it easier to notice if something’s amiss, health-wise). The app has controls for Sleep Mode if you prefer it not to cycle at night, as well as for the interior light, and lets you trigger a cleaning cycle.
My Experience With Litter-Robot 4
The most challenging part of setup was wrestling the box up the stairs of my third-floor walkup, and it is very heavy (no wonder the FedEx driver opted to “ding-dong ditch”). Once out of the box I plugged in Litter-Robot 4 and connected it to my WiFi and the Whisker app. It went through an initial cleaning cycle and we were ready to go. My cat Jean is unparticular when it comes to switching her potty setup so transitioned to the Litter-Robot 4 with no problem. Our former box was also dark and had a cover, which may have aided.
I had to do some Goldilocks-ing to land on the best (clumping) litter for the rig. The pellet-based formula I’d been using was too large for the sifter. Lightweight litter resulted in a sticky clump persisting through the clean cycle and later getting tracked around. A wheat-based litter was just right (I went with this in large part because it’s what the tiny holistic pet store down the street has).
After landing on the proper foundation, it’s been smooth sailing for me and Jean. In our three weeks of robo-life I’ve had to empty the waste drawer once. It’s lined with a surprisingly capacious bag — the ease of pulling that out and trashing it while considering the scoop-hours it would have taken to get there was pretty, pretty enjoyable.
Whisker’s app interface is simple and intuitive. It’s also relatively fun tracking Jean’s habits and weight. This is prob more a shoddy internet issue, but Litter-Robot 4 will occasionally go “Offline” and I’ll have to do the WiFi setup process again.
First and foremost (and pretty much my only hesitation) is this thing is quite pricey. It does use considerably less litter than a traditional box — as a lover of efficiency, I really appreciate that basically no clean litter gets wasted, which will save money over its lifetime. And, of course, scooping is a super annoying chore. The value of eliminating that from life is… substantial. The Trap Bundle with the holiday sale breaks down to about 70 bucks a month over a year. If you are a scoop-loather and can allocate the budget, in my opinion you’ll be satisfied.
What Other Reviewers Are Saying
“The Litter-Robot has been a fabulous addition to my apartment life with my kitty! She is picky about her box, and had developed a bad habit of going outside the box if I wasn’t able to scoop multiple times a day. The Litter Robot has completely solved our litterbox issues.” — Stephanie
“[It] took them a few days to approach, but once they figured out it wasn’t going to eat them alive, both cats are one hundred percent committed. As for us, we couldn’t be happier! We still get excited, just watching them use it, and think of the days that we had to scoop poop at least twice a day.” — Robet L.
“It’s a wave of revolution of the likes John Adams and Paul Revere would appreciate. Ne’er in the history of the universe has a marvel of such magnitude come along. Until now.” — Derek B.
Now is an excellent time to snag this game-changer for you and your fur pal (or cat-parent human pals, if you’re extra nice) — just do it before January 4, while Whisker is offering discounts on their popular bundles and subscriptions.
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