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 Litter-Robot 4 by Whisker, which has now been announced to the public.

In this 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 $25.00 off
white cat looking at Litter-Robot 4
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.

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 Litter-Robot 4
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 Litter-Robot 4
Olive poses with the new Litter-Robot 4.

The Waste Drawer

tabby cat looking at Litter-Robot 4
“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.

Litter-Robot 4 waste drawer
Litter-Robot 4 with 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.

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 below photos 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 4 vs. Litter-Robot 3
Litter-Robot 3 (left) vs. Litter-Robot 4 (right)
Litter-Robot 4 vs. Litter-Robot 3
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.

Litter-Robot waste drawers
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.

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 investigates Litter-Robot 3 Connect
Litter-Robot 3 still gets the job done just fine.

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 Litter-Robot 4
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 to $699.00)
  • 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!

Due to the success of our previous Litter-Robot review, Whisker invited us to join their affiliate program, which allows us to offer readers $25.00 off. This is good on new models only, not reconditioned units.

$25 Off Link: Shop all Litter-Robot products!

FTC Disclosure: 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. Three Chatty Cats is a humor blog dedicated to entertaining our readers, but we do post the occasional product review that we feel would be relevant to our readers.

Any questions? Ask in the comments and I’ll respond!

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

71 thoughts on “We tried the new Litter-Robot 4. Here’s what we thought.

  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): https://bit.ly/chatty122
      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 Whisker.com, Litter-Robot.com, or Litterbox.com 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. 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.

Any thoughts to share?

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