I Finally Tried the Litter-Robot, and It Made It Seem Like I Don’t Even Own Two Cats in a Tiny NYC Apartment

published Nov 17, 2023
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
litter robot 4 review
Credit: Litter Robot

When I adopted my two fiesty kitties Zara and Kaia over a year ago, I didn’t realize how much my tiny NYC apartment would, well, stink. I nestled the litter box in a corner in my entryway, so at least it wasn’t directly in the kitchen or in my living/sleeping area, but the stench after they went to the bathroom quickly filled my entire space. Because I like my space immaculately cleaned, this means I was scooping at least once, if not twice, a day. This routine quickly became tiring, especially if I was out of town — my sitter would have to come every single day to make sure their bathroom was always in tip-top shape. I’d always wondered about the ultra-popular Litter-Robot, but I was skeptical whether the valuable real estate it would take up would be worth the benefits.

Spoiler: I will never use a regular litter box again. Not to be dramatic, but this thing has completely changed my life. Setup was a breeze (just plugged it into the outlet, downloaded the app, and added litter), and acclimating them to it was fairly simple — it took a few days to get them to warm up to it and use it (the noise when it cycles spooks them a bit still). While this spaceship-like device is pricey and takes up a good amount of space, the value you get out of it (especially because your cats will likely live a long life!), is priceless.

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at the Litter-Robot 4

  • Self-cleaning
  • Odor-control
  • Multi-cat friendly (for up to 4 cats)
  • WiFi-enabled
  • 1-year warranty
  • Reduced litter tracking
  • Real-time monitoring of waste and litter levels
  • Available in black and white and eight bezel designs

Design Features That Stand Out

Hands down, the best feature is the self-cleaning design so you never have to scoop poop ever again. The brand’s patented sifting process separates waste from clean litter (sans noise and minimal dust!) so your furry friends have fresh litter every use (and if you’re a cat owner, you know how particular they are!). The other game-changing feature is the odor control. After they use the Litter-Robot, waste will fall into the tightly sealed drawer underneath, so their waste is out of sight and out of mind (er, nose). For an extra layer of odor control, you can add on the OdorTrap Packs, which neutralize smells.

Credit: Tamara Kraus

How It Performed

I’m not going to lie, the first couple days after I set up the machine I was terrified they’d never warm up to it. But, after reading Litter-Robot’s tips on how to acclimate skittish kitties to the machine, they slowly but surely made their way inside it and used it a few days later. The two tricks I implemented to get them to use it? I turned off the machine so the cycling noise wouldn’t spook them after they used it (you can operate it from the control panel on the machine or via the app), and I also added some old litter from the other litter box so they’d recognize the scent. Within a day, they were rocking and rolling with the Litter Robot 4 — phew!

What I Loved

  • I love the app, which lets me track the waste and litter levels (along with my cats’ weights), so I know when to empty the waste bin and when to add more litter. It also lets me know every time they step inside and every time a cleaning cycle happens. You can also select when the machine runs a clean cycle after your cat exits — anywhere from 3-30 minutes. I noticed delaying the cycle after they go has helped them quickly get on board with the Litter Robot.
  • And if you live in a small space like me, I also turn on the sleep mode so it doesn’t cycle at night (and inevitably wake me up). I’ve also noticed significantly less litter tracking outside the box, thanks to the step, carbon filter, and fence.

Good to Know

If you live in a tiny apartment, this device takes up a bit of real estate— but it’s a personal decision! For me, the time I save not having to scoop every day and the peace of mind I have is worth it.

Should You Buy the Litter-Robot 4?

If you dread scooping litter every day and want more freedom in your life (especially when you’re traveling), the Litter-Robot 4 is a must-have for cat owners, especially if you own multiple felines. As over a million Litter-Robot owners to date can attest to, the price will pay off in no time! Right now, they’re offering a rare $75 off bundles in November and 25 percent off subscriptions, so now’s a great time to treat your kitty (and yourself) to an early holiday gift!

Buy: Litter-Robot 4, $699

Why You Should Trust Us

The Commerce Team at Apartment Therapy has one mission: to help you make smart and informed purchases. We know how hard online shopping can be — it’s literally our job! From trying to decipher confusing marketing lingo to sorting through scores of fake paid reviews in search of some truth, online shopping can be overwhelming. We’re dedicated to doing the hard work for you by reviewing these products firsthand and delivering all the information you need, both good and bad.

Our team is made up of a group of writers and editors who have years of experience in the home, kitchen, and parenting consumer product space, and who put hundreds of items to the test every year to determine which ones get our stamp of approval. We bring these products into our personal spaces, testing them for weeks and even months at a time to see how well they live up to their claims and if they are really worth your time and money. At the end of the day, we’re consumers too, so we’ll always provide you with all the information we’d want — and then some.