I received a Beta version from the Company Whisker to test the Litter-Robot 4 and provide honest feedback and a review of this new device that has been launched with a new design and broader cat’s suitability.
My First Impression
I have to say that I was surprised by looking at this new automatic litter box because it looks very different from the previous LR3 using a smaller footprint. However, the box is as bulky as the previous one :). It came fully assembled, with a waste mat that doesn’t come off. What I noticed as soon as I unpacked the unit was how much wider the entry is; while the entry of the Litter-Robot 3 Open Air (or Connect) is oval and in an upward angle-facing position, the entry of the Litter-Robot 4 is totally round, wide, with a flat-facing position. I am not a mechanical engineer or anything like that but I think they reduced the outside structure and increased the inside space.
What comes in the box
- Litter-Robot 4 fully assembled
- 3 x liners
- AC adapter plug
Features of the Litter-Robot 4
- Self clean automatically after the cat use
- No contact with cat waste
- A neat and compact design that doesn’t look invasive.
- The Lockout Panel blocks button functions to prevent unwanted changes.
- New: Waste Drawer indicator equipped with weight-scale sensor and distance sensors.
- New: Cat litter indicator
- New: More options to adjust cycle delay according to your cat’s needs.
- New: Roomier inside to accommodate larger cats
- New: Much quieter when rotating
- New: Can be used in automatic mode by kittens weighing 3 pounds or more.
- New: Nightlight at the top entry that illuminates directly the litter bed with a dim light.
- New: Efficient self-scooping rubber bottom that drops down much deeper on each rotation.
- New: Secured rubber mat on the waste drawer that doesn’t come off.
- New: Smaller footprint
- New: No rubber on the entry, which makes it easier to put a fence.
- New: Carbon filter located on the outer bottom area of the Globe, directly over the waste drawer keeping odors at bay.
- New: A smaller footprint in comparison to the previous LR3
- A full cleaning cycle that lasts 2 minutes
- Suitable for multi-cat households
- Fully manageable on your phone with the Whisker App
- Power: Operates on safe 15 Volts DC
- It can be upgraded with battery backup as an optional accessory
How Litter-Robot 4 works
The Litter-Robot 4 works basically with the same principles as the Litter-Robot Open 3 Air or Litter-Robot 3 Connect. The cat enters the litter box and activates it. Once the cat leaves, a 7-minute countdown starts and when it comes to zero, the globe starts rotating, self-cleaning by sifting with a built-in screen the clean litter from the litter clumps. The clumps get dumped into a waste drawer at the bottom of the unit.
Watch my cat Sophie using the Litter-Robot 4
The Litter-Robot 4 Control Panel
The new model features the same buttons as the Litter-Robot Connect (Power, Cycle, Restart, Empty, and Wifi), the difference is the location. The new LR4’s control panel is located on top of the Globe, making it much easier for people to push the buttons without the need to lean over.
Video Review of Litter-Robot 4
The Lights and what they mean
With the new Litter-Robot 4, the lights are displayed on the same bar, unlike the Open Air and Connect that feature one button for each light.
- Solid Blue: The Robot is ready and connected. This is the default mode showing it’s ready for use.
- Round Robin Yellow light: When the litter box is self-cleaning.
- Solid Red: Cat detected and the Litter-Robot countdown is activated.
- Solid Yellow: Litter box paused during a cleaning cycle. Simply press Cycle button to continue cycling.
- Flashing Blue: The waste drawer is full and needs to be emptied.
- Solid Purple: Sleep Mode enabled.
- Solid Blue with Wifi flashing yellow: The unit is on Wifi onboarding mode.
What’s the difference with the Litter-Robot 3 (Open Air or Connect)?
- The Litter-Robot 4 features a redesigned interior that makes it roomier on the inside than the LR3. The entry is round and much wider as well. The outside of the new Litter-Robot is less bulky, using a little less space.
- Litter-Robot 4 stays clean longer with deeper and more flexible rubber bottom.
- The new LR4 features two sensors, one of them allows any motion to be detected at the entry to activate the machine or to stop it if it’s operating. This means the activation and safety won’t depend on the steps or the weight put inside the litter box.
- A more flexible rubber bottom keeps the litter box clean much longer.
- Nightlight in the new LR is located at the top entry which illuminates the litter bed much better and safer. The Whisker App allows you to customize the nightlight.
- With the new device you can control how much cat litter is in the Litter-Robot, so you know when to pour more by looking on your Whisker App.
- Adjustable wait time gives you more options now, 3, 5, 7, 15, and 30 minutes of cycle delay.
- With the new LR4, you can choose how many hours you want to put the unit on Sleep Mode and what days of the week. Instead, when you put your LR3 Open Air or Connect on Sleep Mode, you can do it only for 8 hours which will pause the unit every day.
I made a video with a side-by-side comparison between the Litter-Robot 3 Connect and the Litter-Robot 4 where I explain all this and much more. Visit this video here. I also wrote a full review of the Litter-Robot 4 compared to the Litter-Robot Connect.
Types of Sensors of the Litter-Robot 4
The Litter-Robot 4 features two types of sensors: a Curtain Sensor and a Weight Scale Sensor.
The Curtain Sensor:
Consists of 3 motion sensors looking downward across the entry and into the Globe. Each sensor shines a cone down onto the litter bed to determine if a cat enters or exits the unit, activating the unit for a cleaning cycle. These 3 sensors provide safety to cats and kittens because if there’s a cleaning cycle occurring and a kitten jumps inside, the curtain sensor activates and the rotation will stop. After 15 seconds of no further movement detection, the rotation will resume. Additionally, these 3 sensors detect the movement of litter clumps dropping into the drawer to determine the waste full level.
The Weight Scale Sensor:
They are 4 load cells located at the bottom of the unit, one on each foot. When a cat steps onto the step or into the globe, the Litter-Robot detects a weight increase and triggers the cat sensor system to turn red, indicating a cat is in the globe. This weight sensor complements the curtain sensor. It also records the last cat’s weight detected, this way you can figure out which cat used it last. Also, the weight sensor helps to determine the litter level and waste level. Every time you add cat litter or empty the litter box you need to press the reset button to calibrate the weight sensor to zero.
Features of the Whisker App
- Turns On/Off power
- Enables control panel lockout
- Waste drawer indicator
- Enables nightlight
- Customizes a name for your Litter-Robot 4
- Enables Sleep Mode
- Chooses cycle delay
- Displays in real-time your cat’s litter box usage and activity.
- Provides a history of the Litter Robot’s activity, daily, weekly or monthly with graphics.
- You can start a cleaning cycle from the App
- Get notifications of the litter box’s status, possible warnings, and faults.
- Control multiple units (for example, another Litter-Robot or the Feeder Robot automatic feeder).
- The App allows other users to login into the same account.
- Connectivity to 650+ smart home devices using IFTTT platform (In my Litter-Robot 3 Connect review I explain more about this type of connectivity).
New features of the Whisker App for the Litter-Robot 4
- Sensor-equipped waste drawer indicator shows in real-time a more accurate percentage of how full the drawer is.
- Litter level indicator if it’s full, medium, or too low.
- Nightlight can be set on Auto, On, and Off, with a light setting High, Medium, and Low.
- Sleep mode can be programmed for weekdays, weekends, or both. You can choose the start time and finish time of the sleep mode, independently on weekdays and weekends.
- You can change the cycle delay to 3-5-7-15, and 30 minutes.
- It records the last cat’s weight detected in the Litter-Robot, in pounds.
- It puts the Globe into position to replace the carbon filter.
How the Litter Level Indicator looks according to the amount of cat litter in the Globe
Whisker App – Application Requirements and Details
|iOS Version Requires||13 or greater|
|Android||10 or greater|
|App Size||38 MB|
|Developer||Whisker Software Engineering|
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7,iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE
- iPod touch (7th generation).
- Android 10 or greater.
Exploring The Whisker App for the Litter-Robot 4
The Whisker App has added new features and options.
It shows the status of the Litter-Robot in real-time—Ready, Activated, or Cycling—. You can also check the Drawer Level (%), and right below there’s a “Start Cycle” button to push a cleaning cycle on demand. On the Status menu, you can see the Litter Level (Optimal or Low) and the recent activity of the litter box. As a note, a change in the Status—either Litter level or Drawer Level—, that happens when you add cat litter or empty the drawer, doesn’t update right away on the App. A new clean cycle needs to occur to show the new levels.
It collects the information on the cat’s usage of the Litter-Robot. It shows a chronological list with daily activity, either clean cycles or cat detects*. It also provides weekly and monthly graphics with the litter box’s activity which can be downloaded. On the History menu, you also can see the last cat’s weight detected by the machine.
*Cat detection is when the cat activates the Litter-Robot but the unit’s been reset to cancel the activation.
POWER, you can turn the unit on/off. | PANEL LOCKOUT, by enabling this you lock the panel to prevent unwanted changes in case someone presses any button. | SLEEP MODE, you can put the Robot to “sleep” choosing when to stop the machine from operating and when to start. You can put your unit to sleep on weekdays, weekends, or both. The schedule can be programmed separately on weekdays and weekends. | REPLACE FILTER, to start a cycle to put the globe in position to change the filter.
- Settings: Cycle Delay, you can choose a wait time of 3, 5, 7, 15, or 30 minutes. For example, a 30-min wait time allows two cats to use the litter box before a clean cycle starts. | Lighting, you can enable the light on Auto (when gets dark, it turns on), Off (always off), or On (always on), and also select the light level if High, Medium, or Low. | Update Nickname, you can custom the name of your Litter-Robot 4. | Update Network, in case your WiFi changes. | Reset to Factory Settings, to erase the settings and info entered in the litter box. | Delete Robot, to eliminate the unit from the Whisker App.
- Information: It shows the serial number of your product.
Navigating the Whisker App
What I like about this new Litter-Robot 4
- A neat and compact exterior. A more modern-looking “Robot”.
- A more convenient location of the Control Panel on the top of the Globe avoids the need to lean over.
- It has a smaller footprint. The new Litter-Robot is roomier inside, but it takes approx. 1.5” less width and about 2.5” less depth. Height doesn’t change much.
- Wider entry and much roomier inside, ideal for larger cats.
- Much quieter! The cleaning cycle is hardly noticeable, perfect for small apartments or placing the unit close to a bedroom.
- Sifting screen and shield built as a whole piece. The shield won’t get loose.
- The upgraded sifting screen reduces airborne and surface dust.
- A more flexible rubber bottom makes it drop down much deeper, releasing litter clumps more efficiently and this keeps the litter box’s bottom clean longer.
- The curtain sensor at the entry detects any motion so when the litter box is rotating and if a cat jumps inside the operation will stop. No need for the cat to step on the step or be inside for the unit to stop.
- You can check visually the waste full indicator as soon as you open the Whisker App.
- A real-time litter level indicator shows you on the App when it’s time to add more litter.
- No more guessing about which cat uses the litter box more. The weight sensor records each cat’s weight daily, weekly, and monthly.
- A tightly sealed waste drawer helps to control the litter box odors better.
- You can put the Litter-Robot 4 on Sleep Mode for as many hours you want, whenever days of the week you want. On the weekends we can afford the unit to keep rotating until later, right?
- Nightlight can be selected according to your needs. You can set it “On” at all times, or not light at all.
- The carbon filter is more strategically located on the outer bottom of the globe, sitting on top of the waste drawer. This makes the filter catch the odors that arise from the waste drawer much more efficiently.
- Fence snaps on the entry, much easier to install.
- The machine is less heavy and easier to lift to move.
- The entry doesn’t have a rubber lip. No more issues of the rubber getting loose in some people’s units when putting or taking off the fence.
- Onboarding the device to Wifi is fast and easy. No connection issues like other devices.
- A lighter App, less use of space on the phone.
- The Whisker App is developed by the same company, this ensures the App will never be outdated.
- The curtain sensor activates the Litter-Robot by any motion that crosses the entry. This could create fake cat usage of the litter box on the App.
- A cleaning cycle is needed to refresh the new info on the litter level or drawer level on the STATUS menu.
- On the App HOME, an update in the Waste Drawer Level takes longer if you don’t log out.
- Wider round entry could make male high spraying cats to a mishap.
- Bonnet is a little harder to install tightly than with the Litter-Robot Connect.
My final thoughts as a Beta user of the Litter-Robot 4
- As a 6-year user of the Litter-Robot 3, I can say that the new Litter-Robot 4 is a top engineered device that works with the same effective scooping mechanism as the Litter-Robot 3, but brings cat owners greater improvements, like a better sifting screen that reduces litter dust, a much quieter unit (cleaning cycles are hardly noticeable), a deeper flexible rubber bottom that doesn’t let cat litter stick to it easily, a roomier interior to make larger cats fit more comfortably, and a better odor-control. Also, the outside structure of the litter box is slightly smaller than the LR3. Likewise, the Whisker App has added more features that allow you to do better maintenance and control of your Litter-Robot.
- To be honest, during the 6 years of using the Litter-Robot Open Air (later became Connect) I don’t have any complaints with it, except after 5.5 years of use, the nightlight showed some errors which I fixed by disabling it, and the shield occasionally got loose, but the unit is still operating continuously and well. But I am certain that cat owners will appreciate these great improvements, especially people with larger cats, multi-cat households where the litter box gets dirty faster, people that want a quieter unit when operating, people with younger kittens, and people with cats that create very stinky feces.
- I am going to keep posting updates about the performance of my new Litter-Robot 4, and any improvements that may come in the future with it.
I definitely recommend the Litter-Robot 4. Why? Because of better odor control, it’s much quieter, a deeper rubber bottom releases the waste more effectively, suitability for larger cats and multi-cats use, less dust, more safety with a new sensor, and a neater and sleek design that doesn’t look too bulky on your room. One thing to mention is that if you have a messy high spraying male cat, this wide round entry may not work for you. Also, if you have a playful kitten, the App may register more usage in case your kitty plays by jumping inside the litter box, but not using it (this happens also with the LR Connect). If you are able to supervise your kitten and restart the machine to cancel an unwanted activation, this shouldn’t be a problem.
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