I used to firmly against automatic litter boxes. Honestly, I think the moving parts can easily trap those little cat paws. And if you don’t touch it every day, you’ll lose important information — if your cat doesn’t pee, it’s a telltale sign that something bad is going on inside. The difference in a few days can be tragic. I have to keep a close eye on one of my cats, Huxley, for this reason.
Now that I had tested two automatic litter boxes created with the safety, comfort and health of cats in mind, I came up with the idea to let one machine do most of the shoveling work. litter – at least, as long as pet parents are very observant and their kittens enjoy it.
I have two cats. Although Huxley is a health concern, he was unimpressed by the robot and opted for a $5 tank with an opening for easy access. Eely-Rue, on the other hand, walked right into any robot box I brought home that week without a care.
Whisker’s Litter-Robot 4 is the company’s fourth iteration of its famous box (we also like 3 Connect). This comes with a much larger entry and a nicer design. Given that it’s essentially a container for faeces and urine, I don’t hate seeing it in my living room. There are even two slightly dimmable lights that you can turn on to illuminate the spot. It’s an unbearably cute feature, like a bathroom sign. (For more cute cat toilets, I recommend peeking some Older Litter-Robotslooks like something from a Star Wars cat cosplay.)
Probably the closest competitor to the Litter-Robot is Leo’s Loo Too’s litter box (8/10, WIRED Recommend). I also like the look of it and it’s clear that cat companies are starting to take home design into account. Leo’s Loo Too is packed with safety features and connects to an app that displays the cat’s bath schedule and weight, and the Litter-Robot 4 has similar features.
The weight sensor detects cats, as long as they weigh at least three pounds. The laser screen stops the cleaning cycle if a cat jumps back into the drum or even stands on the step; I put my arm on it without touching anything, and it stopped too. With any electronic device, there is a chance of a malfunction, and after a month it starts cleaning several times a day when no cats are using it. The company told me that they are aware of these “ghost cycles” and that they will be fixed through a firmware update.