Litter Robot 3 Connect Review: We Tested It

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Litter Robot Review Feature

Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

Ratings

  • Ease of Cleaning – 10/10
  • Odor Control – 10/10
  • Appearance – 9.5/10
  • Construction – 9/10
  • Price – 7/10

Overall Score: 9.1/10

Here’s How You Get Started With The Litter-Robot

At around $500, the WiFi-enabled Litter-Robot III Connect could be the most expensive device you’ll ever buy for your cat. But is this rotating litter sifter worth the money?

After testing the Litter-Robot for over a year, we’re bringing you the details on how the Robot works and my personal experience using it with my two cats.

Let’s Start With Some Background On What The Litter-robot Is And How It Works

In 2000, Auto Pets produced the first Litter-Robot—an innovative globe-shaped, rotating litter box that automatically sifts your cat’s litter after each use.

The latest edition of the Litter-Robot, called the Litter-Robot III with Connect, is a WiFi-enabled device that allows you to control and monitor cleanings via a smartphone app. With its glowing blue night light, distinctive design, quiet performance, and smart home-ready functionalities, this looks like the litter box of the future.

Here’s How You Get Started With The Litter-Robot

The Litter-Robot arrives fully assembled and ready for use. You’ll just have to take the ridged rubber mat out of the globe and place it on the step, install a drawer liner, pour in the litter, then plug the Litter-Robot in.

It’s a big, noticeable installment in the home, measuring 30 x 25 x 27 inches and weighing 24 pounds. With its enormous footprint, the Litter-Robot may have a hard time fitting in your home.

Before you take the plunge, confirm that you have enough open floor space to fit this behemoth. The Litter-Robot does best when positioned away from walls and corners—cramped spaces could limit its rotation.

Litter Robot with blue light

With its distinctive design and large size, the Litter-Robot is a dramatic addition to the home. At night, a blue light illuminates inside of the dome, giving it an even more dramatic appearance.

Which Kind Of Litter Works Best In The Litter-Robot?

Before we talk about the Robot’s automatic sifting performance, let’s backtrack a little bit and talk about cat litter. While some automatic litter boxes—think the PetSafe ScoopFree—demand that you use a single, specific type of cat litter or come with their custom litter, the Litter-Robot gives you a few more options.

The Litter-Robot works best with a hard-clumping litter, so whether you choose clay, clumping crystals, or a biodegradable product, you’ll want something that creates firm, cohesive clumps.

If you’re not sure which litter to choose, visit the Litter-Robot store to explore their selection of litter intended for use in the Litter-Robot.

When I first got the Litter-Robot, I used a fine-grained, lightweight clumping clay, which resulted in a sticky, messy situation. Later, I tried Fresh Step, Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance, and Dr. Elsey’s Ultra. All of these hard-clumping clay products worked well, creating firm clumps and allowing the Litter-Robot to do its job with minimal sticking.

Read More: The Best Cat Litter: 14 Best Cat Litters of 2020

I also tried the Litter-Robot with a couple of biodegradable litter products, including a grass-based litter and World’s Best Litter, which is made from corn. Both had a bit more sticking than I’d prefer, fusing a bit to the rubber liner.

Regardless of which type of cat litter you choose, pouring it comes with some challenges. Large, heavy bags won’t do well with the small opening and awkward angle of the Litter Robot’s entryway, necessitating the use of a scoop to transfer litter from bag to bed.

Here’s How The Litter-Robot Works

Litter Robot sifting

The Litter-Robot rotates to move litter through a grate, sifting waste from clean litter.

Cleaning cycles happen in one of two ways—automatically and manually. You can trigger a cleaning cycle by pressing the “cycle” button on the front of the Litter-Robot or wait for it to work automatically each time your cat uses the box.

The Litter-Robot is equipped with a sensor that detects the presence of a cat—provided that the feline weighs at least 5 lbs—when they enter the globe. Upon detecting a cat, the Litter-Robot initiates a waiting period of 3 to 15 minutes. This period gives the contents of the litter box time to firm up and dry. When that waiting interval is over, the Litter-Robot begins a cleaning cycle.

I found the Litter Robot’s sifting mechanism was consistent and effective. Because it allows the litter to fall through a grate naturally, the Robot avoids some of the jamming and clogging that plagues other self-cleaning boxes that use rakes and conveyors to separate clumps from loose litter.

As the globe rotates, the litter shifts and slides, eventually moving through a sifter. As it inverts, the rubber globe liner pops out, ensuring that all of the waste detaches from the bottom of the globe. Eventually, all of the clean litter is sequestered for later and dirty litter drops into a waste drawer under the globe. The Robot then rotates back to give you a flat bed of clean litter.

In my experience, this sifting system works exactly the way it should. The litter moves smoothly through the sifter with minimal sticking and no jamming. Compared to other automatic litter boxes like the PetSafe Simply Clean or the Litter Maid, it’s a smooth, effective, and consistent machine.

While the sifting mechanism works beautifully, the cat detection system wasn’t quite as consistent as I’d hoped it would be.

Sensor issues are common when using the Litter-Robot—many users say that the sensor was unable to detect their cats, even though they met the weight minimum and had placed the Robot in an appropriate location.

In my experience, the Litter-Robot only detected my larger cat, Wessie, when he went into the box. Wessie weighs between 12 and 14 lbs, so he’s well-above the lower weight limit. But when 7-lb Forest entered the box, the Robot failed to detect her presence about half of the time.

What Did The Cats Think?

Cat inside of Litter Robot

My 14-lb cat, Wessie, would use the Litter-Robot if he had to, but he was reluctant to use it on a regular basis. The dome is small and confining for larger cats.

Both Wessie and Forest were hesitant to use the Litter-Robot when it first arrived.

After months using the Litter-Robot, I found that my larger cat, Wessie, refused to use the Litter-Robot. I believe he was uncomfortable with the small internal size of the globe. Though it’s a massive unit that takes up a lot of space in the room, the inside of the Litter-Robot measures just 14 x 14 inches.

Forest, however, took to the Litter-Robot readily. I believe that the Litter-Robot appealed to both her size and personality. As a lightweight cat with a delicate frame, Forest fits well inside of the globe. Because it’s cleaned after every use, the Litter-Robot appeals to her love of cleanliness. It also suits Forest’s appreciation of cozy, confined spaces.

How Well Does The Litter-Robot Control Odors?

Once the litter is sifted, the waste is held in the waste drawer, which contains a trash bag—you can use either Litter Robot’s custom bags or your favorite 8-13 gallon trash bags—and a carbon filter, which helps to keep any odors from leaking. With one cat using the Litter-Robot, you’ll have to discard the contents of the waste drawer about once a week.

Whenever I pull out the waste drawer, I’m surprised by just how much stench is locked away in there. The smell is fully contained in the drawer until you open it up, meaning that the house feels fresh.

Between this effective containment system and the Litter Robot’s frequent cleaning cycles, it’s better at controlling odors than any traditional litter box and scoop.

Does The Litter-Robot Contain Scatter?

The Litter-Robot comes with a little mat that’s supposed to capture litter, but it’s pretty small and it doesn’t catch everything, especially if you have cats who dig a lot. If you want to prevent all of that scatter, you can put a mat in front of or underneath the Litter-Robot for additional protection.

It’s important to place the mat under the base of the Litter-Robot or in front of it. Placing a mat partially underneath the Litter-Robot could disrupt the sensor.

You’ll have to take everything apart and clean the Litter-Robot at least once every few months.

Even if you’re using the best low-stick litter, waste and litter will eventually accumulate on the Litter-Robot. At this point, you’ll have to take everything apart and clean the Litter-Robot. It’s recommended that you clean the Litter-Robot at least once every 3 months.

You’ll have to empty the litter, take the bag out of the waste drawer, unplug the base, take off the bonnet, and release the globe. Disassembling the Litter-Robot is more straightforward than you’d expect. Handling the separated parts is awkward, but not difficult.

Once the Litter-Robot is disassembled, you’ll either hose it down outdoors or wipe it with a paper towel, soap, and water. With disassembly, cleaning, drying, and reassembly time considered, the entire process takes about 20 minutes.

The Litter-Robot App

Litter Robot app

The Litter-Robot III Connect is compatible with a smartphone app, available for both iOS and Android devices. This app allows you to monitor your cat’s litter box usage and control it remotely.

For an additional $50, you can upgrade to the WiFi-enabled Open Air III with Connect. The Litter-Robot app allows you to monitor the waste drawer and track your cat’s litter box usage. It gives you a daily, weekly, and monthly analysis of your cat’s litter box activity.

The Litter-Robot app also allows you to adjust all of your settings, like how long the Litter-Robot waits after use to start a cycle and whether or not you want to use the night light. You can set up a sleep mode, which prevents the Litter-Robot from cycling during an 8-hour period of your choice. It also allows you to manually start cleaning cycles remotely.

Because the Litter-Robot takes you out of the litter cleaning equation a bit, I think that the use monitoring functionality of the app is an important and valuable addition. It lets you monitor your cat’s bathroom activity, which is a very important insight into your cat’s health.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much out of the app because Wessie wasn’t using it and it wasn’t detecting Forest. I could adjust my settings from the app and monitor the waste drawer, but I missed out on the usage tracking.

How Much Does The Litter-Robot Cost?

The base model Litter-Robot III costs $449 on the Litter-Robot site. If you want to opt for the Connect version, you’ll pay $499. If you want to cut back on your costs, you may be able to find a reconditioned unit in the Litter-Robot store. Financing is also available.

Overall, Is The Litter-Robot A Good Choice?

The Litter-Robot is among the most versatile and consistent automatic litter boxes you can buy. Its design gives you a lot of freedom in terms of which types of litter you can use and its sifting mechanism seems to work more reliably than that of virtually any other automatic litter box.

Because it’s such a strong hands-off solution, the Litter-Robot and its hefty price tag are worth it for people who want to spend less time cleaning the litter box and are willing to pay for it. This investment could save you hundreds of hours. And thanks to the Litter-Robot app, it’s one of the only automatic litter boxes that allows you to keep track of your cat’s litter box activity, meaning that you’re not losing touch with what’s happening in your cat’s bathroom.

It’s a good choice for people who are busy or overwhelmed and need something they can rely on to keep the litter box clean without their help. It can also be a good choice for people with mobility issues or disabilities. You’ll still have to take it apart and clean it every couple of months, but the hands-off operation can reduce the burden.

I even think it could be a good gift for someone who’s having a hard time taking care of their cats. The Litter-Robot could help someone keep their cats happy while they’re going through a rough patch and having a hard time keeping up.

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That being said, the litter-robot isn’t right for everyone.

I wouldn’t recommend it for larger cats or those who will feel uncomfortable in a covered litter box. The sensor can be inconsistent and you may find yourself triggering manual cycles more often than you’d like.

If you’re interested in trying the Litter-Robot, remember that it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee and an optional 3-year warranty. If you want to lower your upfront expense, you might consider financing, available through Affirm on the Litter-Robot site.

Click Here To View All Litter-Robot Products

small mallory photo

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at All About Cats. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on All About Cats is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

20 thoughts on “Litter Robot 3 Connect Review: We Tested It

  1. Mary Amon

    hello, I have been looking for places where I can cultivate honest conversations about this very expensive auto cat box…I have a male cat that likes to get into the high sided boxes I currently have and position himself in a horizontal manner. Therefore, he often pees on the side of the box. Sometimes, he raises his little hiney and pees on the side of the box. Sometimes, I am able to get the litter scooped up on it…but regardless, this leaves a “trail of pee.” I dump my boxes and wash them litter boxes about every 2 weeks. Currently, I mix Boxie Cat and Dr. Elsey’s litter. Both of my cats are rescues and seem to get more “feline herpes or sinus stuff” if I let the boxes go much longer than that. I do offer them different quality supplements, and they eat Primo food.

    I would love to save time and maybe one day money if the machine held up well. But I am concerned about his potty positioning habits. What do you think would happen w/this litter robot and my sometimes side pee-er??

    I have been very wary about the purchase because I am worried I will just have to clean it every two weeks anyway. Also, I have seen some youtube videos of owners having issues w/the mechanics. And, for such an expensive item, the warranty is not even 2 years and the return policy seems possibly concerning…but I am not fully sure about that.

    Thank you for your time and help and also for referring me to any other places I may be able to discuss my questions and concerns about this mammoth item! lol

    Sincerely,
    Mary Amon
    808.283.5249
    maryeamon23@gmail.com

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Mary, thank you for commenting! The Litter-Robot’s open front could absolutely be an issue for a cat who tends to urinate on the side of the box. As for your concerns about cleaning the box every two weeks, it’s hard to say. I’ve found that the Litter-Robot stays fairly clean provided that you’re using a good litter and there is generally less accumulation since the waste is scooped a few minutes after each use. As for the mechanics, that is a valid concern. I’ve encountered sensor issues and other users have reported mechanical issues cropping up after the warranty has expired. You may enjoy discussing your concerns with the community on our Litter-Robot video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i8muFdG5Og

      Reply
  2. Laura alojayli

    I just received my litter robot thru affirm yesterday . My cats used it about 14 hours later. I was so glad they used it and afterwards as it rotates they sat and watched it. It was so cute they seem to be ok with it so far so I’ll see in the next few days if it goes well or not. I’m praying that it will be no problem.
    I think its well worth every dollar. I was so tired of waking up at 3am to scoop poop and take it outside to the garbage. I’m glad thats over. Hoping for the best this robot has to offer at 500.00$

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Laura, it’s good to hear that your cats are okay with the Litter-Robot thus far, and I hope that it continues to work well for you and proves to be a good investment. Thank you for sharing your experience! – Mallory

      Reply
  3. Aeryn

    Hi Mallory!
    I love your reviews, they are so helpful to a first time cat owner like myself. Would you please review the Petkit Pura X? Ive been trying to decide between the Petkit or the Litter Robot and would love to see a full review on it so I can make my decision. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Aeryn, thank you for commenting! Yes, I plan to review the Petkit Pura X very soon. It’ll probably go live on the YouTube channel first, so if you subscribe and accept notifications, you’ll get the notification when that video goes live. It’s scheduled for November.

      Reply
  4. Christina

    I have purchased three litter robots, one as a present and two for myself. I have many rescue cats and many litter boxes. But the two litter robots really helped with regular scooping… That is, for a little bit. I started having issues with the first one and was all over YouTube looking for videos to try and fix issues. I would get it working for a while and then it would stop again. The second litter robot never worked right from the beginning. I have numerous complaints and calls in to customer service to try to fix these things and they keep generously sending me parts that take weeks to get here, but then you have to take the wires apart and reinstall new mechanical yourself. Have done this multiple times with multiple issues. After self-repair the litter robots don’t work at all. They just flash some series of Lights for which the customer service agent wants to send you more parts. It takes a long time to take these things apart and it’s infuriating when nothing works. These are now $700 (ridiculous amount of money) to only work for a few months. I can’t tell you how infuriated I am right now. Today was the last straw. I’m packing both of these things up, only one of which is still under warranty and I’m sending them back. At this point I don’t care what they do with them. They take up a huge amount of space for very little yield. I would highly not recommend buying these. Unless you only need a temporary solution for a few months. As soon as the warranty is over they break and the only thing you can do is send them back for a $200 refurbishment. Save yourself the headache.

    Reply
  5. Staci

    Definitely get the warranty. Mine worked for almost a year. And no matter how clean or how many times you fix it, it continuously malfunctions. I will be sending mine back. Not worth the stress.

    Reply
  6. Karen Alker

    Hi, I’m very interested in getting the litter robot and reading your review has convinced me it’s worth the money. I’m 71 and have COPD so it has become hard to scoop as often as needed. I’m sure my cat will be okay with the robot because he already uses a covered litter box. But everything I’ve read so far I don’t know how often you replace the litter. I have used Arm & Hammer Slide litter so I believe it will keep the mess to a minimum.
    Thank you for your help.
    Karen

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hey there Karen, that’s a great question. I would change out all of the litter about once a month, similar to with a regular litter box full of clumping clay. Hope it works for you! – Mallory

      Reply
  7. Julie

    I GIVE UP!! I have been using the Litter Robot for about 6 months and I am over trying to solve for all the issues it has created. My two cats took to it readily, however, my 17 year old does not turn around when he gets in and urinates above the litter line. This results in a smelly and gooey mess. He then aggressively covers it showering litter and urine soaked litter goo outside the box – even on the adjacent wall. He gets it in his paws which he then tracks in the carpet and on my bed! I have had more hands-on contact with cat excrement since I bought this device than I ever had scooping litter! I never had this issue with the traditional litter box. I have tried several different types of litter and am still having the issue. Clumps of litter also stick to the rubber liner and, somehow, to the top of the globe resulting in more mess for me to clean up and it smells bad – I am constantly scraping litter off the inside roof! I have pictures. Litter Robot customer service was very nice and recommended I use a different type of litter, extend the time until it runs to allow the litter to soak up the urine and purchase the little gate to prevent the scatter. I tried it all. The gate immediately got covered with litter residue and I had to clean it too. The Litter Robot is very large and takes up a lot of room. It is a little high for my old man cat so I bought the steps which I thought would help him get into the box. He is insecure on the steps and tries to jump over them getting in and out and now is urinating outside the box! In 17 years he has never done that before…….it concerned me so much that I took him to the vet to make sure he didn’t have a urinary issue – thankfully he does not. This was a very poor investment and I tried hard to make it work but, since it has been over 90 days, I will not get my money back if I wish to return it – plus I would have to pay shipping! I cannot believe that I am the only one having these issues. The mess is just too much to deal with so…I GIVE UP!!! Scooping doesn’t seem so bad after this experience….

    Reply
      1. Susan Fiedler

        I had a first generation liter robot that worked great. I bought the new one when it came out and gave my old one to a friend. I hate this new model. The thing is always stopping half way. There is a lame paddle thing inside that does nothing but get poop on it. And the weird plastic jacket thing keeps coming off. Bad design all around.

        So disappointed

        Reply
  8. Craig

    Don’t waste your money on these hugely overpriced pieces of junk! Our LR3 has just completely died…YET AGAIN!

    Forgot how many times I have spoken and dealt with customer support since owning this and what is extremely frustrating is that they do not maintain a database of you as a customer so every time you contact them you have to give them all your personal information and LR information and serial number like you are calling for the first time.

    We have had a complete LR3 warranty replacement, set of sensors for full litter tray, and now a complete new base under warranty.

    We are at the point now where the thing will not function without going into some kind of fault mode such as litter that full when it’s empty and pinch bar error.

    Totally fed up with going through the same troubleshooting checklist only to find nothing works, unless they send you a new replacement.

    The litter robot stinks too, we had less odor with traditional litter trays. The problem is the plastic they use, the odor eats into it and you simply cannot get rid of the smell so matter how often you clean it the odor has etched into the plastic.

    Worse product I have EVER bought…period

    Reply
    1. Avatar photoKate Barrington

      Sorry to hear you’ve had so much trouble, Craig! I had a few issues with mine as well – similar things like the error messages and it sometimes would just dump all of the litter into the waste drawer instead of separating out the waste. I found that it helped to do a thorough cleaning in some cases (not all), but I’m sure you’ve tried all of that.
      It’s super frustrating that the only option is to get a replacement – I imagine it takes a lot of time! I hope your latest replacement works better for you.

      Reply
  9. Daniel Alonzo

    I got mine in December of 2021, and in the last month, it has stopped cycling 3 times. I purchased my litter robot since I received a lung transplant, I think I made a bad decision. Customer service is the absolute worse, they charge so much for this product, yet they can’t hire more people to answer the phone. Frustrating…

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      That’s disappointing, Daniel. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had that experience—the Litter-Robot is definitely prone to malfunctions, and the poor customer support you’ve received definitely adds insult to injury. Hoping you can get this sorted out.

      Reply
  10. MC

    I bought one several months ago. It had garden varety issues from the start. But then, 3 weeks ago the flashing yellow light occured. There was nothing wrong with the anti-pinch, I even replaced the anti pinch contacts spending $15 of my own money. I tried contacting customer service, and the voice message says they will not repond due to high call volumes. I tried emailing customer service to no avail. This is the worst customer service I have ever seen!! After all these weeks I have a litter robot that does not work, I have no hope of refund, and no hope of getting it working, it should be renamed as the the “Litter F***BOT” I will never again buy this piece of crap.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear you had these issues so quickly. To be clear, you bought a Litter-Robot 3, right? I know these problems are common, but that happening within the first few months of use? That’s dreadful. You should definitely have heard back from their support team by now.

      Reply

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