Are you curious about automatic litter boxes?
All cat owners have been there. While scooping your cat’s smelly litter box (for the 4th time this week!) you think, “there has to be a better way!”
Well, there just might be. I recently tested the Litter Robot III Open Air with my two cats. For the past month, I’ve observed how my cats interacted with this automatic litter box.
In this post, I am going to share everything you need to know about the Litter Robot III Open Air, including my honest opinion of this product. Read on for a complete description and review.
What is the Litter Robot?
Litter Robot is an automatic self-cleaning litter box. Litter Robot III Open Air is the third iteration of this product.
This dome-shaped litter box is uniquely designed to automatically sift waste. Sensors are triggered when a cat enters the litter box. After they leave, the Litter Robot waits for 7-minutes to allow the waste to clump. Then, the inner dome rotates to allow clumped litter to sift out. Waste is dropped into a carbon-filtered chamber.
Instead of scooping waste yourself, the Litter Robot self-cleans after every use. All you have to do is empty the waste drawer. Buttons on the Litter Robot indicate when the drawer is full and needs to be emptied.
The Litter Robot is designed for cats of all ages (but they must weigh at least 5 lbs). It is ideal for multi-cat homes.
Litter Robot III Open Air:
- Automatic self-cleaning litter box
- Domed design sifts waste into carbon filtered drawer
- Ideal for multiple cats
Why Would You Want the Litter Robot?
If you are tired of scooping litter, this product is for you.
With the automatic Litter Robot, you never have to scoop a litter box again. Simply fill the dome with litter and then empty the waste drawer when notified.
The Litter Robot is ideal for busy individuals who don’t want to spend time cleaning a litter box. If you are frequently out of the house, this might be the type of litter box you need. This product also reduces litter odor and helps prevent litter tracking.
Why Buy the Litter Robot:
- You never have to scoop a litter box again
- Reduce Litter Odor
- Reduce Litter tracking
When my Litter Robot III Open Air arrived, I immediately noticed how large the box was. As I unboxed the product (see video above) I realized that the unit itself was also very large. It is much bigger than a standard litter box.
Pictures don’t quite show how large this product is. But, once you look at the dimensions, you get a better idea of the Litter Robot’s size.
Dimensions: 29” H x 24.25” W x 27” D
So, this product will take up a lot of space. It is important to consider where you will place the Litter Robot before you order one. It is not something that can easily fit in every bathroom corner. Measure your space and plan out where you want to keep the Litter Robot.
And although the unit itself is large, the entryway is only 15.5” H x 10.25” W. Yes, this is still plenty of room for a cat. But I noticed that my cat often stuck their head out of the box while using it. So, if your cat is used to having extra space in their litter box this might be an adjustment for them.
- Litter Robot is much larger than standard litter boxes
- The inner dome is smaller than your cat might be used to
Features are what sets the Litter Robot apart from other litter boxes. And in this section, we are going to take a deep dive into every feature.
Automated Clean Cycle
The Litter Robot automatically cleans the litter box after every use. You will never need to scoop litter again. Once the Litter Robot determines a cat used the box and waits for the litter to clump, it will automatically sift the litter out of the main dome.
Clumped waste is sifted out of the main dome into the waste drawer. This carbon filtered chamber is supposed to prevent odors from escaping. You can use any bag in the chamber. Once you are notified, simply remove and dispose of the bag. Replace with a clean bag and you are done cleaning the litter box.
An integrated weight sensor determines when a cat enters the Litter Robot. Cats must weigh at least 5 lbs to trigger the sensor. After the cat leaves the litter box, Litter Robot will transition into its clean cycle.
Adjustable Clean Cycle Timer
You can adjust the clean cycle to 3, 7, or 15 minutes after your cat leaves the box. This timer allows the waste to clump before it is moved into the waste drawer.
Nightlight and Sleep Mode
A blue nightlight helps cats (especially elderly cats) find and use the Litter Robot at night. You can also switch the unit into Sleep Mode for 8 hours. This will prevent it from cleaning (and making noise) overnight. It will resume normal cleaning after the 8 hours.
The Litter Robot III with Connect is WIFI enabled so you can track your cat’s litter box usage from your phone. You can easily troubleshoot any issues with the product. You will also receive notifications when the waste drawer is full. This app also allows you to monitor your cat’s health through their usage history.
On the Litter Robot, you will notice a control panel with a variety of buttons and lights. The buttons are:
- Power– If you don’t want it to automatically clean for whatever reason, simply turn off the power. You can do this by pressing and releasing the Power button. If you want to start the nightlight, press and hold the Power button.
- Cycle– To manually start a cleaning cycle, press and release the Cycle button. To initiate the 8-hour sleep mode, press and hold the Cycle button.
- Empty- To empty all of the litter in the dome, press and release the Empty button. To set the clean cycle timer, press and hold the cycle button.
- Reset- To pause a clean cycle, press and release the Reset button. To lock the control panel, press and hold the Reset button.
In addition to these buttons, there are three lights labeled “ready, cycling, and timing”
When this blue LED light is solid, it means the Litter Robot is ready for your cat to use it. If it is flashing, this means that the waste drawer is almost full
The solid yellow LED light indicates when a clean cycle is occurring. If this is flashing, something interrupted the cycle.
The solid red LED light indicates that the clean cycle timer has been activated. It will switch to yellow after the designated time (either 3, 7, or 15 minutes) has passed. If this is flashing, something is preventing the cleaning cycle. This might be caused by a cat that won’t leave the litter box or a waste drawer that is too full.
What is Included?
When you receive your Litter Robot, the box will contain:
- The Litter Robot III Open Air
- 1 Carbon Filter
- 1 set of Waste Drawer Liners
- 15 Volt DC Power Supply
- Quick Start Guide
- Instruction Manual
- Quick Reference Guide
- Return & Repack Instructions
Advantages and Disadvantages
Now that we have discussed the features and components of the Litter Robot, let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Over the past month, I kept a running Pros and Cons list as I watched my cats use the Litter Robot.
- Hands Off and Scoop-Free: You don’t have to worry about scooping a litter box anymore. Let the Litter Robot do the work. All you need to do is empty the waste drawer.
- Fully Automated: This product will automatically sense when a cat leaves the box. And it starts a cleaning cycle after every use. You don’t have to manually operate the cleaning cycle.
- Hold’s Waste in Odor-Reducing Drawer: You don’t have to empty the drawer daily. This drawer can hold waste and reduce odor for an entire week. Or, if two cats are using the box, it can hold waste and reduce odor for 3 days.
- Ideal for Busy Lifestyles: If you’re out of the house for long periods of time, you don’t have to worry about the litter box. Litter Robot will automatically clean your cat’s waste.
- Ensures Your Cat’s Litter is Always Clean- Unlike in manual litter boxes, your cat’s litter will always be clean with Litter Robot. Since it automatically self-cleans after every use, your cat will never encounter a dirty litter box.
- Saves Money on Litter– Since the efficient system only removes clumped litter, you can preserve clean litter longer. That way, you won’t have to buy litter as often and you can cut down on the cost of new litter.
- Night Light- This version is equipped with a blue nightlight. This especially helps elderly cats find their litter box at night.
- Litter Waste Tray Full Indicator- A light on the control panel will alert you when the waste tray is full. At this point, simply empty the tray and replace it with a new bag.
- 18-month Warranty- Your purchase includes an 18-month warranty.
- 90-day Money Back Guarantee- If you are not satisfied with the Litter Robot, simply return the product within 90 days for a refund of the purchase price.
- Large Unit– This product is much larger than standard litter boxes. It requires a substantial amount of space.
- Subpar Odor Control– Although Litter Robot claims superior odor control, it isn’t the best. After only 3 days of waste in the drawer, I started to notice a strong and unpleasant urine smell.
- Expensive Price Point– This unit is not cheap. It is much more expensive than standard manual litter boxes.
- Maintenance Fees– In addition to the unit cost, you have you need to buy additional products. You will have to purchase additional seals and carbon filters.
- Needs a Flat Surface– Litter Robot must be placed on a perfectly flat surface. It will not function properly on a rug. If it is placed on an uneven surface, it will send error messages and start to malfunction.
- Not All Cats Will Use the Litter Robot– Unfortunately, not all cats like the Litter Robot. Of my two cats, only one would use this litter box. Some cats don’t like the Litter Robot’s noise or its relatively small inner globe.
- Requires a Cord– Litter Robot must be plugged in to operate. So this could be frustrating if you didn’t want to place it near an outlet. If you were planning to use this litter box in your bathroom, make sure you have a nearby outlet. If not, you will have to run an extension cord to the Litter Robot.
Litter Robot III Open Air Video Review (after 12 Months)
I recently recorded a video review after using the Litter Robot III Open Air for 12 months.
Litter Robot 3 Open Air Connect Review After 2 Years
I recently recorded an updated video based on my 2 year+ user experience of both the Litter Robot 3 Open Air and Connect version.
Things to Consider
Before purchasing the Litter Robot, there are a few things you should consider:
- The Unit’s Size
- Your Budget
- Your Cat’s Age
As we’ve discussed, this is a large unit. So make sure you consider the size before purchasing a Litter Robot. It can’t easily slide under a table or in a bathroom corner. You will notice this litter box. So make sure you are comfortable with its size and appearance.
As we also mentioned earlier, the Litter Robot isn’t cheap. It is a solid investment. So you will have to decide for yourself if it is worth the high price point.
You can follow the link below for $25 off your purchase. But when you consider the price of the unit this doesn’t amount to huge savings. Still, every little bit helps, right?
Don’t forget to consider your cat’s age before buying the Litter Robot. I know they say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but this often also applies to old cats. And if your old cat is used to a manual litter box, they might struggle with the transition to the Litter Robot.
I introduced the Litter Robot to my two cats. And while they are not elderly, they are also not kittens. One of my cats had no problem adjusting to the Litter Robot. But my other cat (Milo, the Persian cat) rarely uses the Litter Robot. He wants nothing to do with it. So if I only owned Milo I would have returned this product.
Don’t forget to factor in additional costs when determining your budget.
The Litter Robot already comes with a high price tag. But in order to maintain your Litter Robot, you will occasionally need to purchase additional items.
In addition to the Litter Robot, you will need:
- Clumping Litter– You must use clumping litter with the Litter Robot. Otherwise, it will not function properly. You can use any variety of clumping litter, but Litter Robot also sells litter on their website.
- Trash Bags– Any trash bag will work in the waste drawer. But, this is a small cost that you need to consider.
- Carbon Filters– These help trap odors in the waste drawer. You will receive a filter in your welcome kit. But, the carbon filters need to be changed about every 3 months. These are not required for the Litter Robot to function properly. But if you want to reduce litter odors, you will need to use these carbon filters.
- Air Seal Strips– These help trap odors. Technically, they are not required for the Litter Robot to function properly. But you will probably want to use these. Your welcome kit includes one set of seal strips, but these will get worn out over time.
Of course, there are more accessories you can purchase. Litter Robot offers a variety of accessories including:
- Open Air Ramp and Scratch Ramp- These ramps make it easier for certain cats to enter and leave the Litter Robot. They also help catch litter as the cat exits the box.
- Connect Upgrade Kit- This upgrade kit enables your Litter Robot with WIFI. You will then be able to use the Connect app to track your cat’s health and the Litter Robot’s functionality.
- Washable Rug- The washable rug comes in a variety of designs. Place it under the Litter Robot to trap litter as your cat exits the box.
- Cabinets- They offer a variety of cabinets that are designed to fit around the Litter Robot. This helps you maximize the space around the litter box.
- Fence- The fence helps encourage your cat to fully enter the Litter Robot. And it helps block any litter they might kick up while in the Litter Robot.
So as you can see, there are a variety of additional purchases you could make. You just need to determine what products will fit in your budget and which ones make the most sense for your home.
Litter Robot III Open Air or PetSafe ScoopFree Litter Box
I happen to be lucky enough to own both of these products and I’ve tested them both back to back. You can watch the video below for more information. The short answer is the Litter Robot III Open Air is the better litter box in my opinion.
The Litter Robot III is a solid product. If you are tired of scooping litter or you are often out of the house, this might be a good investment. Your cat will never encounter a dirty litter box again.
But, there are some obvious flaws that need to be mentioned. This product is expensive. Also, only one of my cats primarily uses the Litter Robot. Milo, my Persian cat, hardly uses the Litter Robot. Finally, the waste drawer really didn’t block odors for as long as I was expecting.
Overall, I think the Litter Robot III is a good automatic litter box. You just need to determine for yourself if it is right for your home.
Are you considering purchasing the Litter Robot? Or do you already have one in your home? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!