litter-robot 4 review

We tried the new Litter-Robot 4. Here’s what we thought.

Longtime readers may know that we purchased two Litter-Robots over three years ago for our multi-cat household. And today, we’re excited to share that we were selected as beta testers for the brand new Whisker Litter-Robot 4, which has now been announced to the public.

This review has been updated on April 1, 2023, August 20, 2023, and March 1, 2024 with new information.

***Read our newest review (October 6, 2023) for our latest thoughts on Litter-Robot 4.

In this Litter-Robot review, we’ll go over:

  • The all-new design of the Litter-Robot 4
  • Compare Litter-Robot 4 vs. Litter-Robot 3
  • Give our thoughts on whether to upgrade or not
  • Provide readers $50 off!
  • NEW: Littter-Robot color options!
white cat with automatic litter box
Sophie with the all-new Litter-Robot 4.

Disclosure: We purchased two Litter-Robot 3 units in January 2019 and later posted a review here on the blog. In November 2020, due to the popularity of our review, Litter-Robot allowed us to provide readers with $25.00 off via an affiliate link. As an affiliate, we received the Litter-Robot 4 for free from Whisker as part of a beta program to test and give our feedback. Whisker is not responsible for the contents of this review. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using an affiliate link, Three Chatty Cats will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item.

$50 off litter-robot

Unboxing Litter-Robot 4

If you haven’t heard of Litter-Robot before, it’s an automatic, self-cleaning litter box that has been around for 20+ years in various forms. Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker is the latest model.

Setting up the Litter-Robot 4 is as easy as taking it out of the box and plugging it in. It comes fully assembled! The only thing you need to do regarding assembly (besides adding litter) is to put in the carbon filter. The unit comes all nicely wrapped up like a gift basket!

Woodrow and Harley were on hand to supervise the unboxing, of course.

Litter-Robot 4 Standard Features

The Litter-Robot 4 has many of the same features as the previous model.

  • It self-cleans after each use by using a patented sifting system to deposit waste into the drawer at the base of the unit.
  • It can be used with multiple cats.
  • The litter box is WiFi-enabled to connect to your smartphone (iOS and Android). You can control which notifications you receive on your phone. You can even control the unit remotely through the app.
  • There is a built-in nightlight.
  • The unit uses less litter than a standard litter box. You must use clumping litter.
white cat looking inside automatic litter box
Woodrow waits his turn as Sophie checks out the Litter-Robot 4 features.

The New Features

Now, onto the exciting changes with the reimagined Litter-Robot 4!

I was most excited to learn that the Litter Robot 4 has weight sensors. So, if you have a multi-cat household as we do, you’ll be able to keep track of which cat used the litter via the app. Fortunately, our cats each weigh a different enough amount for us to know who used the litter.

Another new feature is that the rotating globe that sifts the litter is now enclosed in the unit, making it safer for your cat. The new model has what Whisker refers to as the SafeCat™ System, which includes  OmniSense™ cat detection, with optical and weight sensors.

The various sensors do the following:

  • Tells the unit when your cat is inside the globe, so it doesn’t rotate while they’re using the litter
  • Notifies if something is pinched while rotating, so it stops cycling
  • Notifies when the waste drawer is full
  • Keeps track of the litter level
  • Knows when to turn on the night light
tortie cat with automatic litter box
Olive poses with the new Litter-Robot 4.

The Waste Drawer

tabby cat looking at automatic litter box
“And this is where my tootsie rolls go…” ~Woodrow

While the Litter-Robot 4 comes with a few waste drawer liners, you can also use traditional garage bags as well. Here’s a photo showing a 13-gallon trash bag instead of their provided liner.

waste drawer of Litter-Robot 4
Litter-Robot 4 with a regular trash bag.

The Whisker App

If you have a smartphone, you can download the Whisker App and remotely control the Litter-Robot 4. You can also choose to receive notifications. The app shows how full the waste drawer is and if the litter level is sufficient. You can also review usage history. I personally don’t check the app often, but I do keep notifications on.

One area where the Whisker App may come in handy is monitoring the health of your cat since you’ll be able to check when and how often your cat uses the litter. And the weight sensors will also be able to track your cat’s weight over time, letting you know if your cat has gained or lost weight.

App Update: August 16, 2023

Whisker sent out an email on August 16, 2023 to advise that they made updates to the Whisker App and Litter-Robot 4 operating system with Firmware 2.85.

The new updates to the app include:

Fewer Interrupted Cycles: Whisker advises they have improved the ability for the unit to accurately detect your cat vs. another object (like natural dust and fur), so you will notice fewer interrupted cycles.

‘Always Go Home’ Mode: Another improved functionality is for the Litter-Robot 4 to always return to the home position.

SmartScale®: This is Whisker’s new feature, where the unit can track weight data for each cat that differs in weight by one pound.

Litter-Robot 3 vs. Litter-Robot 4

As I mentioned, we’ve been using the Litter-Robot 3 in our house for the past few years. So, I was definitely interested to see how the new Litter-Robot 4 stacked up against the Litter-Robot 3.

Size Difference

The photos below show that the models are fairly similar in size. A noticeable difference is the entryway to the litter – it’s much larger in the Litter-Robot 4.

Litter-Robot 3 vs. Litter-Robot 4
Litter-Robot 3 (left) vs. Litter-Robot 4 (right)
Litter-Robot 3 vs. Litter-Robot 4
The top-down view shows how the globe is completely enclosed in the bonnet in the Litter-Robot 4 on the right side.

Fully assembled, here are the dimensions.

Litter-Robot dimensions

The Waste Drawers

Another noticeable difference is the waste drawer. And while it may initially look smaller, the new drawer (on the right) is a tad deeper and actually holds more waste.

waste drawers of Litter-Robot 3 and Litter-Robot 4
Waste Drawers: Litter-Robot 3 (left) vs. Litter-Robot 4 (right)

One of the complaints I’ve heard about the Litter-Robot 3 is that the waste tends to build up on the left side of the drawer due to the way it dumps in. I’ve noticed with the Litter-Robot 4 that the waste dumps pretty much center.

The Control Panel

I like that the control panel buttons have been moved up higher on the Litter-Robot 4. They’ve also made the status indicator light much more obvious. The Litter-Robot 3 (on the left) had three separate smaller lights at the bottom of the control panel.

The Litter-Robot 4 has one big light bar that can change colors and/or flash indicators. And being higher up, it’s easier to access and read. The only downside is there are no words, so you will have to familiarize yourself with the button icons. But they’re pretty easy to understand – Power, Cycle, Reset, Empty, and WiFi Connect.

April 1, 2023 Update: Whisker updated the control panel on the unit, and the buttons are now clearly labeled. New labels are pictured below.

Litter-Robot 4 panel
The updated control panel labels.

Loudness Comparison

While I wouldn’t say the Litter-Robot 3 is flat-out loud, I did notice that the Litter-Robot 4 is much quieter when it rotates. This video compares how loud each unit is, with the Litter-Robot 4 being noticeably quieter.

Should You Upgrade to Litter-Robot 4?

If you currently own a Litter-Robot 3, are the changes enough to upgrade to a Litter-Robot 4? The answer, of course, is that it depends. I personally love that they’ve incorporated weight sensors so I know which cat used the litter. And in a future release later in 2022, Whisker will also be adding a PetID Tag feature, further enabling it to recognize individual cats and track them with real-time insights on the app. That’s pretty neat!

But if you’re a single-cat household, there might not be enough reason to rush right out and upgrade. The main feature of both Litter-Robot models is that it’s an automatic, self-cleaning litter box. And Litter-Robot 3 gets the job done just fine.

As mentioned a few times, we’ve been using the Litter-Robot 3 model for over three years now. And in those three years, I haven’t had any issues with either unit. I’ve never had to contact customer service, and they’re both still operating without issue.

white cat with litter-robot 3
Litter-Robot 3 still gets the job done just fine.

Check out the New Litter-Robot 4 Color Options!

Late in 2023, Whisker debuted different bezel color options for the Litter-Robot. They graciously sent us the purple color for free to check out! You can see all of the color options on their site. Purple is my favorite color, but it was a tough choice between purple or pink.

litter robot 4 with purple bezel color

New to Litter-Robot? Which Model Should You Buy?

Whisker has advised that they will still be selling Litter-Robot 3 models as usual. So if you’re buying one for the first time, is the price difference worth it to go with the Litter-Robot 4? I’d say yes. (See below for pricing.)

I feel that Whisker has really upped the game with Litter-Robot 4 by adding the weight sensors, the larger waste drawer, moving the control panel higher, and the unit being so much quieter. It’s also nice to have a bigger entryway into the globe for the cats.

tabby cat with automatic litter box
Woodrow’s new BFF, the Litter-Robot 4.

Ready to Buy? Here’s What’s Included

At the time of this writing, the base price of each unit is:

  • Litter-Robot 4 – $649.00 (the price has since gone up)
  • Litter-Robot 3 – $549.00

Both of these base prices are for non-bundled units, but they do include:

  • WhiskerCare™ 1-Year Warranty
  • 90-day In-Home Trial
  • Free shipping in the United States (excluding AK, HI, PR)

Don’t Forget Your $25 off! (updated to $50 off!)

While I’ve never seen a Litter-Robot coupon, I can offer readers $50.00 off at the Whisker website! (Due to the success of our previous Litter-Robot review, Whisker invited us to join their affiliate program, which allows us to offer readers $50.00 off.) This is good on new models only, not reconditioned units. $50 off the Litter-Robot 4

$50 off litter-robot

$50 off link: $50 off the Litter-Robot 4

If you’re looking to purchase the Litter-Robot 3 model, you can do so from the Whisker site or on Amazon. Many of the accessories are also available on Amazon.

Check out Litter-Robot 3 on Amazon. (The $50 off does not apply to Amazon orders.)

I hope you’ve found this Litter-Robot 4 review helpful. Any questions? Ask in the comments and I’ll respond! Also, check out our Litter-Robot Central page.

(Sophie says, “A little privacy, please!”)

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  1. Looks pretty cool. I have one cat that occasionally “pees high” over the side of a high sided litter box. It doesn’t look like that would happen with this one.

    1. I have a cat that like to pee at the very front and some times gets over the edge. Having the same thoughts as you thinking this might be better with those who are “lazy” squatters.

      1. Our cat Woodrow is a high pee-er too. But when he uses the LR, he turns around so his face is looking out of the entrance. I’ve never once (knock on wood!) found urine outside the LR.

  2. Wow, that is super high tech, and super cool! I like that multi cat households can monitor how each cat is doing their business.

  3. The price, good lawwd!!! I was seriously considering the 4 for my bedroom, hoping to stop the current trend of cats peeing on carpet next to my bed… but that’s out of my league.

  4. that is interesting… but we would have doubts if our mama could handle so much techie stuff… it would probably end like the visit at the highway loo with da red button…

  5. That is one high-tech potty spot alright! We’re still in the dark ages here with a regular litter box and I have no problem using it and Mom has no problem cleaning it……this is like the Cadillac (or Porsche?) of litter boxes!

    Hugs, Teddy

    1. Good question! The litter bed inside is the same on each model — 14 inches by 14 inches.

  6. How do you deep clean the LR4 compared to the LR3? Especially since all the controls are on the glob now?

    1. Hi Tina, the controls are on the outside bonnet that opens up via a hinge. The globe itself is completely removable and can be washed just liked the LR3 globe. I haven’t had to clean the LR4 globe yet. But with LR3, I either hose it off in the backyard or do a deep-clean in the bathtub.

  7. OMCowkittyness, that looks like a litter coming from space straight away😸What a great review and purresentation sweet furriends. I have to show this to my mom and my five siblings, they sure know how to use it😸Pawkisses for a Happy Day to all of you🐾😽💞

  8. Since it doesn’t ship until July 22, do you know if you are charged once you place your order or once it ships?

  9. One of the best reviews/comparisons I’ve seen – thank you – especially for the side by side photos! Have you noticed litter scattered outside of the LR4 since there is not a “fence”? thanks

    1. Hi Sally, thank you for the kind words! I have the fence, I just haven’t installed it yet (good reminder, thank you!). But yes, there is litter scattered outside a bit without the fence on it.

  10. Could you post a picture of what the unit looks like with the fence on it. I can’t find it on the Whiskers website, and don’t see accessories either for the LR4. I used to have the LR3 and gave it away because it would get stuck while cycling, rendering it useless if I were away. Any information on the tech specs of this new unit and how they address this potential issue?

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I put the fence on ours for you and here is what it looks like (link to photo):
      I haven’t seen the company address issues getting stuck, but I haven’t experienced it with the LR4 since I’ve been using it.

  11. Thank you for the reviews! I just purchased one this morning using your link. Cant wait for it to arrive

  12. Thank you for all the comparisons! I’ve been hesitant to try one since I have large kitties (11-17…the 17# one is on a diet but it’s slow), and I’m wondering if you know if that’s a likely deal breaker? I had hoped the new one would have larger litter space, but maybe the opening being larger compensates.

    1. I purchased one using your link. Shipping in August! Thanks for the excellent review and comparison.

    2. Hi Kat (and the big boys!), My largest cat (Woodrow) is around 14 pounds. I feel he’s a tall cat (not plump) — and he uses it just fine. So I guess it might depend on how the weight is distributed on your cat. I do really like the bigger opening that the LR4 has. They do have the 90 day in-home trial, so you could always return it if your cats don’t use it. Here’s what their site says on that: “Whisker products purchased directly through,, or may be returned within ninety (90) days of receipt for a full refund. You only have to pay return shipping.”

  13. We live in a small apartment and the smell is the biggest reason we’d upgrade.How is the smell of the LR3 vs LR4?

    1. Hi Anmar, I’d say there isn’t any difference that I’ve noticed. However, I do keep both my LRs in closets (with kitty door access), so smell isn’t a big factor for me anyway. But when I open the closet door, neither model blasts me with foul odors.

  14. I am concerned about the size of the inside pan. One of my cats is 14 1/2 pounds…a fairly big cat! How large is the largest car you tried with it?

    1. Hi Tamara, Woodrow is our biggest cat and he’s about 14 pounds (and he’s tall/leggy). He uses it just fine.

  15. How long was the beta testing.period? This is an expensive purchase for most of us and it is just offered for sale now. I will have it delivered to my home outside the USA, which makes the 90 day trial pretty useless to me.
    I have to know that this is fully tested and I won’t be a guinea pig!

    1. Hi Douglas,
      The testing period was about a month before I was able to announce it here on the blog. But I’ve been using the LR4 for a few months now without issue. While I don’t have evidence of this, I feel that the beta testing period was actually more for the app and connectivity changes they’ve made and not for the mechanics of the unit. The unit itself performed fine.

      I understand your hesitation because it’s pricey and shipping outside the US. If you wait a bit, I’m sure you’ll start to see customer reviews pop up from ones shipping out now – and can make a more informed decision. Best of luck!

      1. I went ahead and ordered it today using your discount link. Although every review I read online was from a beta tester such as you, not all the reviews were positive. None of complaints were about the actual product, but more like “don’t really need” or “no room for it in my ridiculously tiny apartment.”

        It clearly is a step up from litter robot 3 which I declined to buy because of the noise. If I really don’t like it, I can return it during the 90 day trial. It’s just very expensive to do it from a foreign country. I’m pretty sure I won’t need to. Thanks for your review!

        1. I hope you like it! The reduced noise is probably the biggest reason to buy the LR4 over LR3.

          1. I’ve had the unit for about a month now, and I love it. Unfortunately, I do have an elderly cat who so far won’t use it, so I have two litter boxes now. I will continue to work with him to encourage him to use it because this is an amazing product.

            One thing I have noticed is that it doesn’t always register the cat’s weight when it is used. In a multiple cat household like mine, it would better if I knew which cat has used it. That’s not terribly important, though. For years I have had litter boxes that don’t measure anything and the cats did just fine.

            1. I’m glad you love it! After the first month of having the unit, I stopped checking to see who used it since the novelty wore off. But I’m sure it would come in handy (if always working) if there’s a sick cat in the house. If your cats are microchipped, the PetID feature that comes out later would probably work. I don’t know anything about that release though. Thanks for the update!

  16. Thanks for the amazing review! I don’t think the price is that steep considering I shelled out almost 1K for a robotic vacuum with no regrets on that. No more litter under my feet. I was wondering if the tumbling creates dust? The black looks nice but for how long until it’s covered in litter dust or does it keep it well contained?

    1. Thanks Mark! I think the amount of dust will depend on what litter you use. I have noticed a thin layer, but it’s not enough to deter me from wanting the lighter color LR. I use a very low dust litter (claims it’s dust free, but they never are).

    1. Hi Becky,
      Yes, that should work. We actually have ours sitting on a litter mat and it works just fine. The last two photos show there’s a brown litter mat under it. If you search for “smiling paws pet litter mat” on Amazon, that’s the brand of mat we have, so you can evaluate the thickness of it.

  17. The litter robot 3 can’t be used for cats less than 5 pounds – did that change with the new weight sensors on the litter robot 4? Thanks.

    1. Hi Rachel, good question! Here’s what the company has to say on that: The SmartScale™ will not recognize kittens that weigh less than 3 lbs. Therefore, kittens that weigh less than 3 lbs can use Litter-Robot 4, but not in automatic mode.

  18. Hi! I just wanted to ask about the pet ID if you had any idea about it. Is it something that would be sold separately or something that cab be configured through the app later on?

    1. Hello! I don’t have any other information about it. My hunch is that it would be added through the app, but I don’t know if there’d be an extra cost for it.

  19. Any tips on how to get the weight sensor to accurately measure the cats weight? I’ve tried using the rest button, but it’s still measuring my cats at between 2 and 3lbs (and they are certainly not! lol). Other than that, they seem to be adjusting well, and I’m really liking the LR4 a lot so far.

    1. Hi Jan, Is your Litter-Robot on a hard surface (vs. a rug or carpet)? Mine is on a litter mat that’s on a hard surface. If yours is on a hard surface, perhaps LR customer service has some tips for you. I haven’t had any issues with the weight sensors, so I haven’t played around with anything.

        1. Yes, I do believe that carpet affects it. I wonder if you could put a thin board or something under the LR? I’m not sure if that would help (and it might not look the prettiest!).

          1. They make a tray to put under it on carpet. I ordered one with ours in case it ends up in a spare room. It arrives tomorrow, so we’re pretty excited.

    1. Hi Ken, It’s a bit more work than cleaning out a regular litter box, but it’s not a big hassle. It comes completely apart so you can clean the globe. For a quick cleaning, I’ll just hose it off outside and let it completely dry. For a deeper cleaning, I soak it in the bathtub with Dawn dish soap. LR sells wipes to wipe down the exterior — and a spray that “digests and eliminates organic material, stains, and odors on the Litter-Robot.” I’ve used both. Here is a link to a photo of when I cleaned the Litter-Robot 3 globes (they’re sitting out to dry). Same idea though with Litter-Robot 4.

  20. I have 2 big Maine Coons (20+ pounds!). Do you think they would fit in this? They don’t care for covered boxes because they rarely fit inside them. I REALLY want one but I’m concerned about the size.

    1. Hi Nicole, Hmm, I’m not sure. My biggest cat is 14 pounds, and he does have long legs so he’s taller. He fits fine, but I’d caution anyone with a bigger cat. Are you in any Maine Coon Facebook groups? You might be able to ask around if anyone has a Litter-Robot. I know it would be a hassle to return, but LR does offer the 90-day in-home trial. You have to pay for return shipping.

  21. They have increased the price to $699….I almost bought it last weekend when it was still $649, but now it’s gone up. :(

    1. Oh wow, I didn’t know that! That’s too bad. Maybe they will have a sale around the holidays?

  22. I have the litter robot three. The purchase was made when the time came for my mother to come live with us and long with her came her two cats. I love animals but never had cats in my home, it was an adjustment. Having the LR3 made a huge difference. I have an auto-immune disorder, so sorting out a traditional cat box was worrisome and honestly, unpleasant at best. The LR3 takes away 95% of that anxiety and while it is never going to be a pleasant chore, it is so, SO much better, cleaner and 200% easier than a traditional box. I agree though the box on the LR3 and the way it dumps in is a flaw and for some crazy reason they changed the way the bags are shaped, likely to accommodate a cross over use for the new LR4. After seeing this review, I think I am going to try a traditional rubbish bag and see if that works better. After seeing this review, I think I will be saving up to make the upgrade to the LR4. Your review was very helpful. A final thought, for those who think it is too pricey, the amount you will save on litter will astound you. I use the Dr. Elsey’s cat litter, amazing product, and I find that the litter goes so much longer than it did when I was still struggling with a traditional litter box. It will not take long until the purchase will pay you back. I cannot imagine having cats and not having this litter box.

  23. I loved my Litter Robot 4 until I didn’t. Worked spectacularly well for about a month and then died. Had it replaced and it failed about a month in as well. Seemed to be some type of software issue. I’m considering the 3 in the hopes that it being simpler maybe avoids that problem.

    1. Bummer! I am very sorry to hear that! I hope that LR is working with you on that. I’d be interested to know if others have experienced the same issue. Our 4 has been okay so far. You’ll definitely notice a volume difference with the 3, but it still gets the job done just fine. We still use our 3 – going on over three years now in use! Best of luck!

  24. Out of the box, and it won’t work . Unable to even get help from anyone. Email address that no one has responded to. Save your money . Don’t buy.

    1. Hi Suzanne, thank you for sharing your experience, and I’m sorry to hear it’s been so bad. Neither my two LR3s nor my LR4 have experienced any issues, but I understand that is not the case for everyone.

  25. Thanks for the review! We have had the Robot 3 for almost three years and it has been worth every penny. Our three cats had no trouble adapting to it and they love having a clean litter box all the time.

    The unit is not completely trouble free; it requires a bit of attention to check that litter levels are correct and the device is cycling properly. Recently we started getting error messages and finally it just stopped working.

    We are so dependent on the Robot that I started to check out the price of a replacement in case we couldn’t get it functioning again. I hadn’t heard that a new model was out, and your review helped me evaluate whether or not to upgrade. I will probably consider it in the future, but that price was enough to send me back to the website to check the help center.

    In the end we followed the troubleshooting guide and found the instructions for cleaning the pinch sensor contacts, which took about 15 minutes. We definitely would have replaced it, but we’re glad we didn’t have to!

    1. I’m glad you were able to resolve the issue! Hopefully, you’ll get a few more years before you have to replace it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  26. How do you think the litter robot 4 does with litter tracking? Does the step that’s part of the litter robot do a good job of catching litter when your cat gets out?

    1. Hi Emily, good question. I’d say it depends on your cat. I have one cat who just jumps out of the LR when he exits and bypasses the step altogether. So, he obviously tracks outside the unit. But I do know the step catches litter from paws because I can always dump litter out from the rubber grip that is nestled into the step. I would say if your cat uses the step as intended, it should catch some litter, but there will always be some tracking, less than with a regular box (IMO).

  27. We recently bought a lr3, it works great and are ready to buy a lr4. The only thing with the 3 is the drawer fills up too quickly when you have several cats. Hopefully the 4 has a bigger dump drawer.

  28. Thank you so much for your review. It answered a lot of questions I had, and it sounds like I would want the LR4. But I’m a little concerned about one of my 3 cats. He “lifts” as he pees, so we use an enclosed litter box, and therefore I am not concerned about the cats being hesitant to go inside. My question is: since he lifts, does that mean pee will go all over the inside of the LR, and then spread further and get cat litter stuck to it?

    1. Hi Linda, I’m glad you found the review helpful. I also have one who does pee a bit high sometimes (not all the time). As long as your cat is facing out (his head outside the globe), at least it will stay contained inside. You’ll likely have to clean it more than usual. But none of my other cats have issues using it. I guess it does depend on your other cats though. If they use your current litter box situation, I assume it would be no different than with the LR4? I hope that helps — and good luck!

  29. Many thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review! I’ve been thinking/debating this purchase for months, and finally – your review comes along to address all my questions and doubts. 🤩 I especially appreciate the detailed comparison of models 3 and 4. This is important to me given price difference vs obsolescence.
    We only have one cat, but finding a cat sitter has become a hindrance to taking overnight trips. Plus, we live in fear of dropping a coat or hat into the litter box! (litter box is in the mudroom)
    I’m optimistic that the Litter Robot 4 will address both these problems.
    Again, thank you for the review (and discount!!). 🙏

    1. I’m glad you found the review helpful! I hope you like the LR4 — and that it makes it easier to find a cat sitter.

  30. We have the 3 connect. One of our cats does not turn around and pees near the front. Because this is the shallowist amount of litter it often stcks to the rubber. Does the 4 have a different shaped litter area or does it flex more when it cycles?

    1. While the litter does sit a tiny bit closer to the opening in the 4, you’ll have the same issue with it sticking in the LR4.

  31. The Litter Robot 4
    Designed by Dog owners. Tested by humans. Intended for Cats.
    Things I have learned while owning my Litter Robot 4.
    Getting it out of the box it came in was a chore. The hood kept popping loose. I would think the hood would be better connected to the rim. My very first impression was how cheap it seemed that the hood wasn’t firmly connected to the rest of the machine. I had the sinking feeling that I had just spent $700 on a piece of cheap plastic.
    After unpacking the Robot and placing it near the old litter box, I started to use the android app. The very first thing the app asks for is for me to scan the Q code. I thought, ‘Well, this sucks. The code is on the back of the Robot and at the bottom. Now I have to turn it around, tilt it up with one hand and try to scan the code with my other hand. Whose bright idea was it to put the Q code in the most inaccessible location?’ I finally gave up and just scanned the code on the box it came in.
    I buy litter in a box so filling the Robot from the box was a no-go. The box was too big to fit into the opening of the Robot. I had to find a scoop and cut open the whole top of the box the litter came in and scoop the litter into the Robot. I guess the Robot designers think everyone buys litter in a small 5-pound bag.
    So, the Robot is in place, the app is set up and it has the right amount of litter. I put a small amount of litter from the old box into the Robot so the cats would get the idea that this is another place/new place for them to go. Now the cats, being cats, begin to investigate this new thing in their world.
    My younger cat (just a few months old) seems to be having fun jumping in and out of the Robot. This causes the Robot to go nuts because its sensors keep detecting an interruption. So, I spend half the day pressing the Reset button on the cowling of the Robot. Of course, this would have been MUCH easier if the app had a Reset button. But hey, I guess the designers were dog owners.
    Both cats easily adapted to using the Robot. However, like before, they were fascinated by the motion and no matter which setting I put the Robot on, they kept interrupting the cycle. I spend a lot of my time getting up, walking over to the Robot and pressing the Reset button over and over again to get it to the proper setting.
    I actually caught both my cats looking at the Robot, then one would go in and use it, then jump out and they both waited for it to cycle, and then they put their paws on the step and stuck their heads inside. Again, causing an interrupt. This happened every single time they used the Robot. It seemed like they were playing a game with the Robot. Jump in, poop or pee, jump out, wait for it to move then stick their head inside and it stops. Wow! What fun!
    This would not have been a big deal if the idiots that designed the app had put a reset button on the app. But nooooo. I had to get up every five minutes, walk over to the Robot and press the Reset button repeatedly to get it back to the proper position. Now I’m beginning to think that I just got scammed into spending a ton of money on a cat toy.
    At this point, I should probably point out that I’m a Senior with mobility problems so walking is difficult. Getting up every time my cats interrupt the Robot’s cleaning cycle is a real pain. Literally. It hurts when I walk so it is a literal pain to have to constantly have to get up and go press the Reset button on the Robot. Boy, the simple solution would have been to just put a damn Reset button on the app. But I guess the geniuses that designed the Robot are dog owners.
    About the only thing good about the Litter Robot 4 so far is that I only have to empty the bag that traps the waste instead of scooping my old box. Which is better. I guess. But I only scooped the old box once a day. Now I have to get up and walk over to the Robot every 5-10 minutes and press the Reset button. And, I’m out $700 bucks.
    Time will tell if my cats loose interest in the movement of the Robot and stop interrupting the cleaning cycle. If that happens, I can see where the Robot could work as advertised. And boy do they advertise. Looks like most of that $700 cost is spent on advertising.
    I’m no design engineer. I’m just an old hippie with mobility problems and two cats that I love. The concept of a self-cleaning litter box is great. It’s just too bad that this one wasn’t designed and tested by cat owners. There is a very obvious problem with the sensors and how they control the Robot. The sensors are WAY too sensitive. And the reset function should reset the cycle to its default position with one press of the button. Not multiple presses of the button.
    It’s painfully obvious that there should be a reset button on the android app. An even better solution would be to replicate the five buttons on the Robot cowling in the app. All the other info the app provides is cool, but it lacks true functionality that could help the user. The app is basically all sizzle and no steak.
    Maybe it would help if I understood exactly how the Robot worked. Like where exactly are the sensors? On the step or inside the Robot? If the sensors are on the step, that’s a stupid place because the cats can interrupt the cycle just by putting their paws on the step to see what’s happening. If the sensors are inside the Robot, then they should only activate if a cat is detected for a longer period of time. That would eliminate the ‘curious cat’ cycle interruptions.
    If the sensors are in both the step and inside the Robot, then the sensors on the step should only be for detecting the cat’s weight and have nothing to do with the actual cleaning cycle. If the purpose of the ‘interrupt’ in the cycle is to prevent injury to the cat, that’s silly because I assure you that as soon as the Robot starts turning they will jump out. A cat would never just sit there and take a ride. A dog might, but never a cat.
    Speaking of the Reset function, it should perform a COMPLETE reset with one push of the button. Every time I have had to use the Reset button, I had to press it multiple times to get it back to its starting position. Why? One would think that a Reset button would actually re-set the Robot to its starting position. Not to mention that when I have to use the Reset button, my cats come running to watch the Robot do its thing. This often causes another interruption, which requires another press of the Reset button. It’s a vicious cycle.
    Overall, I’d have to say the advertising for the Litter Robot presents you with a fairy tale. The manufacturer wants you to think that you just plop this thing on the floor and magically your cats will use it the way the designers intended. This is false advertising and anyone that buys one of these things will probably agree that it was designed by dog owners, tested by humans and intended for cats. That’s a scary thought.
    All of this is too bad since a good, well thought-out self-cleaning letter box would be a great invention for both cats and cat owners. You would think that if humans could work out how to go to the moon and back safely, we could crack the self-cleaning litter box dilemma. Too bad cat owners can’t design, build and test one using their own cats. I’m sure that together, they could figure it out.
    Whiskers Support tried to update the firmware in my Robot to reduce the false interrupt problems but they couldn’t do it remotely. So, they are shipping me a new base which I will have to install myself. Can’t wait for that journey. We’ll see if I can do it and how difficult it will be. Then there’s the whole process of boxing up the old base and dealing with a FedEx pickup. Oh joy.

    1. Hi Stephen, thank you for sharing your experience. It’s very thorough, and I’m sure your write-up will help other potential purchasers as well. It’s good to hear both positive and negative experiences. And yes, there are two types of sensors (that I’m aware of). One would be the weight scale (although, it’s not on the step itself), and the other is a sensor that sits at the top/inside of the globe opening. So if the globe is rotating and you even just put your hand through the opening (without touching any part of the unit), it stops – it is that sensitive, as you’ve found out. However, once your cat leaves, it will continue to cycle again after a bit (I think it’s 15 seconds). So you shouldn’t have to push the reset button. But if your cats keep going in, then I guess it would delay the cycle indefinitely. Hopefully, your cats will lose interest. I know one of my cats was fascinated by it (the Litter-Robot 3), but she did lose interest after a while. Thanks again for leaving your feedback.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I’m sure there are plenty of satisfied LR4 customers out there. So far, I’m not one of those. My main criticism is I can’t find a single online review that has a negative opinion of their experience with the LR4. This seems VERY odd since I can find plenty of customers who have negative comments. So, one of two things is probably true. Either the online LR4 reviewers have had the best luck in the world with their evaluation units or the reviews are skewed to reflect a better than normal experience. I’m not saying this is the case with your site. However, I do think an alternative review should be posted side-by-side with a positive review. Then let people decide for themselves. Thanks

  32. How do I get the $25 off to work? The link directs me to the full prices. We are ready to upgrade our litter box :)

    1. If you click the link in my blog post, it should automatically apply the $25 off at checkout. There is no code to put in.

  33. Hi! I wanted to ask if Harley uses this one? Was he the one not interested in the LR3? We have a ragdoll Kitty that is very picky as well and we’ve had to use the cat attract litter for her instead of the breeze systems that I’m a much bigger fan of. With four cats, I’d love to try this robot system but am nervous the price won’t be worth it if I’m still scooping for Princess Pickypants (aka Foxy).

    1. Hi Dana, Yes! Harley did use it a bit. I was surprised when I saw his weight register in the app and then I went back and watched through my pet cam (haha, I like to know exactly what’s going on with my cats). And I was surprised to see him use it. However, because he was a senior cat, I didn’t want to take away the other litter box and disrupt him too much. (He passed away a couple of months ago.) If he had been younger, I probably would’ve tried taking away the litter box, but I just didn’t want to upset him in his senior years.

  34. This is an amazing comprehensive review; thank you! I’ve been having a few issues with the LR3 and am wondering if they’ve been fixed in the LR4:

    1. The rubber inner liner of the LR3 has a rough matte finish that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, as it repels nothing (moisture, litter etc.) So a LOT sticks to it and it’s a pain to clean. Any chance the LR4 rubber has a more “glossy” finish that will be less sticky?

    2. I can’t fill it with litter up to the “line” or else I get constant “over-torque fault” messages that pause the unit from working. I have to keep it well below the line, which makes it not nearly deep enough, especially since my two cats pee right at the front, where the litter doesn’t come high enough. And it means I am constantly having to add litter to keep it at this very specific level that works. Have you had this issue at all, with either unit? Hoping it might be better with the LR4.

    3. In general I just find the LR3 a huge pain to deep clean, as there are crevices / areas that trap litter that are hard to get to – have you found the LR4 to be easier when it comes to this?

    Not sure I can justify the HUGE cost of the LR4 but your input will help me decide, if you’re willing to respond! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi James, I’m glad you found the review helpful! Here’s some more info.

      1) I don’t have my LR3 set up anymore, so I can’t do a direct compairson of the liner material at the moment. But I’d say (from memory) that the liner is about the same in the LR4. Things will still stick to it.

      2) I am able to keep my LR4 right at the fill line without any issues. But I don’t recall having that issue with the LR3.

      3) I’ll be honest, the LR4 is still a pain to do the deep cleaning.

      My personal opinion is that if your LR3 is still working fine, it might not be worth the upgrade yet. I hope that helps!

  35. I have two cats. One is 13 lbs and the other a 17 lb bengal. I like the LR4 so I don’t have to scoop. I have the fence but the bengal seems to come out and jump to clear the fence and when he does he spreads litter all over the floor. The matt doesn’t catch it no matter how I place it. This may be because the litter step is not big enough due to his size. Not sure if anyone has a solution for this?

    1. I have mine in a closet, so there isn’t much room for my cats to jump out, but I can see what you’re saying. I saw on their website that they have a ramp that’s coming soon for the LR4. But your Bengal might just jump over that too!

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for letting me know! I wasn’t aware that it stopped working (it was still working as of yesterday). I will contact Litter-Robot right away to let them know. Sorry about that!

    2. Hi Nick, I’ve updated the post with a link that says “$25 off Litter-Robot 4” and that should work as long as you’re in the U.S. and buying a new unit (not a reconditioned model). Thanks again for letting me know.

  36. Thank a lot for this review. I have an old Litter Robot (probably one of the very first models, almost 20 years old) and my old cat was afraid to use it because it was so loud. So we never left it turned on and eventually she used it as a regular litter box. Our cat passed away at the age of 20 and our new kitten seems to really like it, but he too was scared of it to begin with. I think it’s time to update so will probably get the LT4. Your video of how loud it was was really helpful. Thank you! I may also use the $25.00 coupon when I am ready to get it…

  37. We did bought an original litter robot many years ago, at that time we had 6 cats, it still work flawlessly. Then we bought the litter robot 2 which gave us many problems. Try to troubleshoot the problems without appreciable result. We were advised to replace the magnets, this was a huge pain without results. We wish we could still buy the original one, no fluff just keep on working and all of 4 cats are using it, the lighter one weigh 5 pounds while the biggest one weigh 16 pounds. We love the original one , used by two generation of cats. Why not offering a “retro” without all the” improvements” at a lower price. Not everyone can spend $700 for a litter robot . A cheaper version would reach an even wider audience. Fancy electronic and litter do not mix well.

  38. Very helpful analysis. I got tired of the less helpful reviews and I was very glad to have found your site. Thanks for being real. I might just get that purple bezel with my discount! Thanks.

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful! Thank you for taking the time to let me know, too! (I love the purple.)

  39. Does anyone have a liter robot they want to give away.. I have a Siamese cat named Giovanni Peu-peus has his papers. Shots .. etc .. I think he is telling me his box is to small; by pooping outside the box.. he then tries to bury it outside the box.. so I got a bigger box… Still pooping outside of it… Please someone if you have one you don’t want I’ll be happy to send for it shipping costs .. just don’t have the money to purchase one..