Litter Robot III Open-Air
Editor’s rating: 4.9 | Avg. rating online: 4.7
Litter Robot Open-Air automatic litter box is the top innovation and rated as the best self cleaning litter box according to thousands of customers reviews. The cleaning mechanism remains the same as previous versions—a rotating globe that sifts the litter, dropping the waste into a lined bottom drawer.
The Open-Air adds great features, such as a full indicator light that will display when the waste drawer is full, and an automatic blue night light that turns on when dark, helping cats to orientate at night, especially elderly cats. Litter-Robot III also adds a control panel lockout, adjustable wait time, and 8-hour sleep mode. Note: (You can get $25 off the retail price, keep scrolling down to see the details).
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- Fully self-cleaning litter box, no more scooping
- The ergonomic chamber accommodates big cats
- A larger upward-facing entry gives cats an ‘Open Air’ feeling
- Adjustable wait time 3-7-15 min
- ON/OFF button
- Night light to see the unit in the darkness
- Control panel lockout
- Full indicator light
- Suitable for multiple cats
- It saves up to 50% on litter
- The lip extender and rubber mat on the step reduce litter spillage
- A filtration system with vents in the waste drawer reduces odor
- 90-Day Money Back Guarantee
- 18 Month Warranty
- Color: Bisque
- Durable Construction
- It can be Wi-fi powered with the Connect kit upgrade
- Power: 120-volt outlet – 15 VDC
- Weight: 24 lbs (fully assembled)
- Made in the USA
- Requirements to install it: A level surface and electric outlet.
- Drawer full indicator. A blinking light indicator alerts you when it’s time to empty the waste drawer. This way you are not guessing when to empty the unit. Once this light indicator is activated, the Litter-Robot will do 3 more rotating cycles. If you haven’t emptied the litter box after this, the machine will stop operating.
- Clean cycle settings. Adjustable to 3, 7, or 15 minutes before the globe starts rotating. This way you can choose how long the waste will be in the litter box before being cleaned. A longer wait time is recommended for multiple cats.
- LED night light with a nice blue color for your cat to see the unit better in the darkness. This dim light could also help you to get orientated if it’s close to the bathroom at night.
- Self-adjusting cat sensor. The sensor is located at the base, so as long as your cat weighs over 5 lbs, the cleaning cycle will be activated once your cat jumps inside the litter box.
- 8-hr sleep mode. You can stop the unit from operating at night from the time you set it. The machine will continue operating the next day normally and the sleep mode will repeat every night.
- Control Panel Lock Out. You can lock out the button functions on the Control Panel so your kid or that mischievous cat won’t be able to start a cycle.
- Accessory battery backup option (not included). By installing this optional battery, the unit will keep operating in case of a power outage, up to 48 hours for 2 cats (10 cycles per day)
- Bigger entryway and litter chamber. The upward and wide entry provides cats with easy access. This ergonomic entryway allows cats that like to either jump or step in to adopt the Litter-Robot much easier.
- Waste Drawer with vents and charcoal filter. Since all the collected cat waste goes to the bottom drawer it’s necessary a good design system that reduces odors. The drawer vents plus the charcoal filter create a filtration system that makes it less smelly when it’s time to empty the litter box.
General & Specific Dimensions
- Fully assembled: 29-1/2″ H x 24-1/4″ W x 26-7/10″ D
- Waste drawer: 12 3/4″ W x 15-1/2″ L x 5″ D
- Waste port: 5 1/2″ W x 5 3/4″ L x Diagonal 6 ¼”
- Oval shaped entry opening: 15-1/2″ H x 10-1/4″ W
- Litter area at maximum litter capacity: 14″ across ( 3” at the deepest point)
- Headroom for the cat inside the globe: 15″ to 17″ (more or less, depending on the level of cat litter).
- Widest point inside the globe: 20″ across
- Depth of globe: 20″ front to back
What Comes With the Unit
The Litter-Robot features a handle on the sides so you can lift the unit once you’ve removed all pieces of cardboard from the box that protects the unit. When you open the box you will find:
√ The LRIII Open Air assembled
√ Carbon filter (already inserted into the waste drawer)
√ AC adapter
√ 3x Drawer Liner
√ Manual Instructions
√ Quick Guide Reference
√ Returning Instructions
√ “Meow” sticker (cute)
Open Air’s Optional Accessories
Fence. The fence stops litter from going outside if your cat is an energetic litter kicker. Also, this accessory is recommended for cats that tend to point their butt towards the opening to do their business. The fence acts as a barrier that deters the cat from doing this.
Ramp. This is an excellent solution in case your cat jumps out of the Litter Robot, spilling litter onto the floor. Also, it helps arthritic cats to access the litter box easily. My cat uses the ramp to enter the box, but she jumps out.
Battery backup: By installing the battery backup you ensure your machine will keep operating in case of a power outage. It ensures up to 20 cleaning cycles without electricity.
What type of cat is the Litter-Robot suitable for?
The new Open-Air LRIII can accommodate bigger cats with its ergonomic, larger oval-shaped entry and litter chamber so it works with any cat weighing between 5 and 20 lbs. approx. The self-adjusting sensor is calibrated to detect any weight from 5 lbs and more so if you have a kitten he or she must weigh at least 5 lbs to use the Litter-Robot safely. If your kitten weighs less than 5 lbs, you need to use the unit manually until your cat is grown enough to use the machine in automatic mode.
See a picture of my cat inside the unit doing her business. She has plenty of room to turn around, dig, etc. She is 20 inches long (not measuring the tail) and weighs a little under 8 pounds.
How the Litter Robot III Open Air Works
When your cat uses the Litter-Robot Open Air, a 7-minute countdown will start and the globe will rotate a cleaning cycle, sifting the clumps that drop into a waste drawer at the bottom of the unit. The whole cleaning cycle lasts approx. 1-2 minutes. Finally, to clean the unit simply pull the drawer and grab the bag for easy disposal.
The previous models of the Litter Robot required the adjustment of the sensor to be more or less sensitive but the new Open-Air version has a self-adjusting sensor that can be used easily with multiple cats without calibration problems. With the self-adjustment sensor, the cat’s weight pressures the sensor as soon as the feline jumps inside the Globe and not when the cat steps on the step, like in previous versions.
VIDEO HOW IT WORKS
(I didn’t get to catch my cat actually doing her business, but I got there quick enough to film the video when she was still inside the unit)
For an even better understanding of how the mechanism works, here’s a diagram of how the Litter Robot is constructed:
HOW THE LITTER ROBOT 3 LOOKS DISASSEMBLED
The Litter Robot 3 Open Air is discontinued, Litter Robot 3 Connect is available with $25 Off your purchase
You can get the Litter Robot 4 bundle and save up to $125 with first-time purchases. Details here.
Litter-Robot 3 Open Air vs Litter-Robot Connect
The difference is the Whisker App. With the Litter Robot Open Air, you can manage the device only at home. With the Connect model, you can manage the litter box from wherever you are using your iPhone or Android. For example, you can check a notification on your phone when to empty the litter box. Also, in the App, you can check a daily, weekly, or monthly chart with your cat’s elimination habits to monitor your cat’s health or show it to your Vet. Another difference is that it’s much easier to change the wait time using the App instead of doing it manually (it took me a while to change the wait time with my Open Air). On the App, you can start a cleaning cycle, change the sleep mode, turn on/off the nightlight, etc. The Whisker App also allows you to control various devices. If you already have the LR3 Open Air you can convert it into a Wi-Fi-powered LR3 Connect; you can see how to do it in my review of the Connect, where I explain two options on how to get it done.
How the rotating cleaning system keeps your cat’s fur clean
Any other rotating mechanism that allows litter clumps to slide along the globe would make the roof of the globe dirty with feces. Not in the case of the Open Air. A plastic shield inside the chamber is located right above the sifting screen. This is a sort of a barrier that allows the litter clumps to slid directly to the opening where they drop, protecting the inner top of the Globe so it doesn’t get dirty with cat’s feces. This way your cat’s fur doesn’t have contact with waste. In the below picture you can have a better idea of the function of this important part of the new LRIII Open Air.
How to set up the Litter Robot III (very easy)
To set up the unit is so easy since the Litter Robot comes already assembled. To put cat litter in just pour clumping litter directly through the entry. You need to pour about 12 and 13 (8-Oz) cups of litter on the litter box. To plug in the machine just insert the small round plug end to the Litter Robot socket located on the back of the unit. Finally, push the power button for the unit to start a rotation (sometimes this rotation starts automatically). A blue light will show the litter box is ready to be used by your cat.
Note: If your cat is skittish, make sure not to do this right away and wait until your cat is confident enough to start using the Litter Robot.
VIDEO REVIEW OF LITTER ROBOT OPEN AIR SETUP
Buttons & Functions
On the control panel you will see 7 buttons in total, 4 vertically lined up and 3 small ones on the bottom. The first small on top is the ON/OFF button, below the buttons “Cycle”, “Empty”, “Reset”.
Cycle: allows you to start a cleaning cycle manually
Empty: you can empty the globe to change litter or clean the unit
Reset: push this button to stop an unwanted activation. The 3 small buttons at the bottom are “timing”, “cycling” and “ready”.
Timing: shows a red light when the unit is activated to start a cleaning cycle. Cycling: displays a yellow light when the Litter Robot is cleaning. Ready: this button shows a blue light by default and it turns back to blue once the cleaning cycle is finished and the machine is ready for another use.
Cleaning & Maintenance of the LRIII Open Air
It’s recommended to wash the globe every month or every other month, depending on how dirty the Globe is. Use a mild detergent and no bleach. When I clean the waste drawer I use a little bleach though, but very little. Full cleaning of the Open Air is necessary to keep your machine operating for years.
The unit can be disassembled in 4 parts: Base, Globe, Bonnet, and Waste Drawer. The globe and waste drawer are submersible for easy washing. The base and bonnet can’t be in contact with water since they have electronics. Check my article how to disassemble the Litter Robot where I explain step by step how easy it is.
Frequency to dispose of the cat’s waste
The waste disposal depends on how many cats use the litter box, the size of your cat, and the weather. For example, with my cat Sophie (she’s one year and 5 months old and weighs 8 lbs) I need to empty the waste drawer every week during hot weather. With cool weather, up to 10 days. The Litter Robot III requires very minimal maintenance, only topping off the litter once a week and grabbing the bagged waste for disposal.
Pros & Cons of the Litter Robot III Open-Air
The following is the list I created as a result of using the Litter Robot for almost 20 months now. I have been adding Pros and Cons as I keep discovering new things.
- Very easy to set up, it comes fully assembled
- It works reliably and effectively ( I have left my cat alone for 7 days and it works great)
- Litter area made from thick rubber that handles the cat’s scratching and digging
- Adjustable wait time for a cleaning cycle from 3-7-15 minutes
- Full light indicator to empty the waste drawer
- Better odor control with vents and charcoal filter on waste drawer
- Larger new design suitable for bigger breed cats
- It reduces the amount of litter boxes in multi-cat households.
- The unit can be filled with litter directly through the entryway
- Blue LED night light helps cat to use the litter box at night
- Self-adjusting sensor allows the unit to work reliably on any floor and with any cat weighing over 5 lbs.
- Sleep mode allows you to stop the unit from operating at night
- No rakes to clean and no clogs
- Easy to change litter with a push of a button
- Well designed sifting system does not get anything stuck on the bottom or walls
- You can use any 8-13 Gal trash bag to dispose the waste
- It saves in cat litter up to 50%
- Cleaning cycles by a push of a button
- Suitable for multiple cats
- Much easier to clean than previous version with its larger opening
- Reset button allows you to restart the unit to keep it working normally or stop unwanted activation.
- Availability of Litter Robot accessories that allow you to improve the unit’s operation.
- Option to upgrade to a Wi-Fi powered version, the Litter Robot “Connect”
- The unit is big so it’s bulky
- Waste drawer increased slightly its capacity regarding previous versions but not a lot (though it holds waste up to 10 days with a 8-lbs cat like mine with cool weather)
- Panel doesn’t show the current wait time (3, 7 or 15 min) so you can’t visually confirm the new wait time if you decide to change it.
- Litter amount can’t exceed the full line, otherwise, the Globe doesn’t rotate (as the video review states, 12 to 13 cups is a good amount of litter)
- When emptying the Globe to wash it, there is always a little amount left in the Globe (check a trick how to get rid of this small amount of litter here).
- High price
- It’s hard to keep track of your cat elimination habits since you will always see the litter box clean (note: you can keep track of your cat’s health by getting the Litter Robot Connect Wi-Fi that provides a daily, weekly and monthly chart of your cat litter box usage. You can check these reports on your smartphone and you can control pretty much all the functions of the Litter Robot with the App).
- As the Litter Robot always self cleans after 7 minutes you don’t get to see the feces in case your cat is having a digestive problem.
- The protective shield could get loose if you don’t align the gear on the back of the Globe correctly.
A POSSIBLE COSMETIC “CON”:
Personally, this “Con” has not happened to me with my unit and I have had it for over 2 years, but I thought I should mention this in case you see other reviews mentioning this. There are few customers stating that the rubber lip on the entry detaches from the Globe when it rotates. This is just cosmetic and doesn’t affect the function of this machine at all, but I wanted to show you in the following video that my unit has never had this cosmetic “Con”.
Note if you get the Fence (accessory): If you install the fence and for whatever reason, you keep pulling it off from the lip, you may make the rubber lip get loosen a little bit. So if you get the fence, install it and just leave it put, if you do that you won’t have problems at all. You just need to pull the fence off once a month when washing the Globe and with that frequency the lip doesn’t get loosen.
A POSSIBLE “CON” RELATED TO YOUR CAT:
Some cats are so fascinated with the Litter Robot Open Air being always clean and fresh that they start playing with it getting in and out or just chilling on it :-). This could create the machine doing useless rotations often. This is not a product defect but if this happens to you, you need to educate your cat to stop from playing with the unit (I did that and my cat stopped). If an unwanted rotation is activated (red light) simply push the “reset” button to cancel.
Tips For Better Use of Litter Robot III Open Air
- If your cat jumps to enter/exit the unit, you can get the Litter Robot ramp, reducing litter spillage and tracking. This ramp is part of a wide variety of accessories that you can get to upgrade your machine.
- Make sure to top the Litter Robot off with litter every week with one cat. If the unit gets too low in litter the sensor won’t activate the cleaning cycle after your cat uses it. This is because the sensor is calibrated with a specific amount of litter plus the cat’s weight in order to activate the cleaning cycle when the cat gets inside (when red light turns on) .
- If you want to get a good litter mat to trap most of the litter from your cat’s paws, get the “Cat Litter Trapper EZ Clean“.
- Any 8-13 gal trash bag or kitchen bag will fit the waste drawer of the unit. I use those 13-Gal kitchen bags with drawstring so when I put the bag on the waste drawer I leave the drawstring flat and tight along the edges (as the picture above). This leaves no gap between the bag and the drawer. Update: Currently, I am using the Litter Robot liners that I got by purchasing the Accessories Kit. The liner fits very well to the waste drawer and I am using them mostly because they are biodegradable plastic, hence more environmental friendly.
- If your cat always hesitates on things get an “attract cat litter” to entice it to use the litter box.
- The best cat litters to use with the Litter Robot III are Premium clay clumping litters such as Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping, Arm & Hammer Double Duty, and Clump & Seal (regular version), Tidy Cats, etc. Crystals or litter pearls may work, but only if small enough to be sifted by the screen in the globe. I personally made an experiment for over a year using the most popular brands of clumping cat litters with my Litter Robot Open Air and I created the ranking for the Litter Robot Open Air’s best cat litters.
- Almost 99% of cats adopt the Litter Robot with no problem, but some cats are more stubborn and might take longer to adapt to the litter box. Have patience and use simple tricks, such as catnip or treats.
- I discovered that changing the seal strips every two months you keep the cat waste drawer tight, sealing the waste much better reducing the odors in a 50%.
Updates About How My Robot Is Working:
Here’s a chronology of how my self-cleaning device is operating. As soon as my machine stops working I will let you know in this section.
June 20th, 2018. Due to some questions about how long the Litter Robot lasts I decided to create this video as an update so you can see how my Litter Robot is working after 2 years and one month. The unit keeps rotating normally and working normally. The only detail I noticed is that the Globe got a little more sensitive to the litter weight so you just need to keep the litter up to the full line, leaving a flat litter bed. If you put too much litter the Globe won’t rotate; if you put too little (or don’t top it off with litter every week with one cat) the Globe won’t sense the cat and it won’t activate the cleaning cycle. As a reference, the amount of litter up to the full line is about 13-14 cups or approximately 9 to 10 pounds of cat litter.
September 10th, 2019. We made another video of the Litter Robot Open Air working after 3 years and almost 6 months of use. I notice the machine got a little louder but the operation is the same, maybe a little slower, but not much. You can see how the Open Air rotates normally and gets rid of the cat waste to get into position and ready for another use. My cat loves this machine and so do we. It’s a great investment. I will keep posting updates until the unit stops working. I must mention that this duration has been measured with a single cat.
September 16th, 2020. Here’s my update where you’ll see I am using the exact same unit. In the below video I show the Serial Number which you can see on my video how to install the battery backup in the Litter Robot a video we made in 2017. In the middle of this video, my cat Sophie decided at the last minute she wanted to be part of it lol. My Litter Robot works with no problem whatsoever as you can see. The rotation is perfect, it doesn’t get stuck at all, and still working. I must mention again that I use this automatic litter box with only one cat, my Sophie. Check the video:
November 2021. Since this date, I started experiencing problems with the rotation of my Litter-Robot, showing a blinking yellow light and the Globe getting stuck in one position, not responding to the “reset” button or either turning the thing off. So basically the cleaning cycle got stopped in the middle of it and no way to make the Globe keep rotating. What I discovered is that somehow the nightlight was interfering with this issue so I simply disabled it. After doing this the litter box started rotating normally again. As a side note, I have noticed a lot of comments on different YouTube videos about a pinch that is located underneath the base and that gets dirty over time and interrupts the cleaning cycles too. Personally, I have never experienced the need of cleaning any pinch. Maybe I got lucky with my Litter-Robot? I don’t know, but so far the only issue has been the Globe getting stuck due to the nightlight blocking somehow the rotating process. I will keep you posted with more updates.
Litter Robot III Open-Air’s new improvements and design reduce substantially any possible blockage of the Globe, ensuring even better reliability. Also, the unit has much better odor control than previous versions which is a major improvement that cat owners really appreciate.
√ Litter Robot III Open-Air is highly recommended:
- For cats weighing between 5 lbs up to 20 lbs
- For multi-cat households, reducing the number of litter boxes at home
- If you want to forget about the litter box for 4-5 days or more with two cats
- For picky cats that don’t use the litter box when dirty
- To forget about the litter box for up to 7-10 days with one cat.
- If you don’t want contact with cat’s waste any more
- If you want a reliable machine
- For trips up to 7 days if you have one cat (always leave someone checking on your cat though)
x The unit may not be suitable:
- For kittens under 5 lbs (unless used manually)
- If your cat does not like enclosed areas (the oval entryway is really big though)
- If you don’t use clay clumping litter
- For small houses/apartments without enough space to accommodate the unit.
BOTTOM LINE AS A CAT OWNER
My name is Lorena Avila and I’ve been researching and investigating automatic litter boxes for years (almost 9 now) most of them have similar fails, but I can tell you with authority that the Litter Robot Open Air is the best self-cleaning litter box you will ever find.
I must confess that I wasn’t a real fan of automatic litter boxes. I was like “I don’t mind cleaning my cat’s litter box”, but only when you own a Litter Robot Open Air do you realize how much your life changes as a cat owner. This unit will be my partner forever because it has given me a gift that nobody can give me, EXTRA TIME!
NOTE: The Litter Robot 3 Open-Air is discontinued, you can get the Litter Robot 3 Connect which is the WiFi-powered version, and save $25 Off your purchase. You can purchase the Litter Robot with a payment plan and still receive $25 off! Just click the link of the Litter Robot logo and select “Affirm” at checkout.
Maybe you have some concerns or questions about the Litter Robot Open Air. Just ask me in the comment section and I will answer honestly and quickly. Thanks for reading!