Automatic litter boxes come with the appealing promise of eliminating the need for manual scooping, but do they live up to expectations? To find out, we conducted rigorous tests on 19 automatic litter boxes at our New York testing facility and in real-world settings with the help of volunteer cats. Our assessment covered a range of criteria from efficiency to odor management, utilizing both actual cat use and simulated scenarios with wet modeling compounds to represent waste.

The standout performer was the Whisker Litter-Robot 4, which surpassed our previous favorite, the Litter-Robot Connect 3. This latest iteration of the Whisker Litter-Robot enhances its predecessor in numerous aspects, featuring a host of user-friendly functionalities, a straightforward interface, and quiet operation to avoid unsettling cats. Additionally, it boasts exceptional ease of cleaning.

While the Whisker Litter-Robot 4 emerged as our top choice, we also identified several other automatic litter boxes that deserve attention for their compact designs or more affordable pricing.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Still Worth It?

While we recognize the Litter-Robot 4 as a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the Litter-Robot 3 Connect, the latter remains a high-quality option.

Throughout our extensive experience with automatic litter boxes, we’ve conducted long-term tests on four Litter-Robot 3 Connect units. During this period, we encountered a recurring “bonnet” error in one unit, which falsely indicated the top panel was open. Litter-Robot’s customer service promptly offered troubleshooting tips and a replacement option. The problem was eventually fixed by detaching and reattaching the component several times. After nearly three years of ongoing evaluation, our confidence in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect’s durability stands firm.

Despite being slightly bulkier, less aesthetically pleasing, and somewhat noisier than the Litter-Robot 4, the Litter-Robot 3’s lower price point may still appeal to some buyers.

A key consideration for consumers is how the older Litter-Robot models stack up against newer competitors. In a side-by-side comparison between the Litter-Robot 3 and the popular Leo’s Loo Too, conducted over an extended period within the same household, our tester and her cats showed a clear preference for Leo’s Loo Too, choosing it consistently over the Litter-Robot.

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Use: 4.5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning: 4.8/5
  • Odor Elimination: 4/5
  • Value: 3.5/5
  • Litter Scoop Design: 5/5

Best for Multiple Cats

Best Odor Control

The Casa Leo Leo’s Loo Too adheres to the traditional automatic litter box design, featuring a rotating barrel that sifts through litter, separating solid waste into a lower chamber. Our two test cats quickly became comfortable with the Leo’s Loo Too, notably due to its exceptionally quiet cleaning process.

While the accompanying app isn’t as polished as the Whisker app, the standout feature of the Casa Leo litter box is its broad compatibility with smart home systems. With integration capabilities for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the Leo’s Loo Too emerges as the top choice for users who prefer voice command functionalities for their litter box. The setup process for the app was also straightforward.

Additionally, the Leo’s Loo Too is an ideal selection for those concerned about sanitation, as it employs UV sterilization to sanitize the waste compartment, effectively eliminating most bacteria and viruses. Although waste is already contained within plastic bags, the added UV sterilization feature might attract users prioritizing hygiene.

Odor management is another strong suit of the Leo’s Loo Too, supporting extended periods between waste disposal. However, in homes with multiple or larger cats, the waste compartment may require more frequent emptying. Our tester, housing two sizable cats, needed to replace the bag approximately every two days. The device offers various cleaning settings, including the option to activate after each use, ensuring a consistently clean litter area for your cats.

The Casa Leo Leo’s Loo Too is offered in four distinct colors: Avocado Green, Baby Blue, Leo Gray, and Pretty Pink, and includes a 90-day free trial period.

Dimensions: 24 x 22 x 27.5 inches | Weight: 27.5 pounds | Entry: 8.5 inches | Colors: Avocado green, baby blue, leo gray, pretty pink

Best Budget

Best with Crystal Litter


Final Assessment

For those seeking to eliminate the chore of litter maintenance, our top pick for an automatic litter box is the Whisker Litter-Robot 4. It represents a significant upgrade from its predecessor, offering an intuitive user experience and silent functionality. However, for households with several cats, we suggest the PETKIT PuraMax. This model boasts a spacious interior, an ample waste compartment, and enhanced features for odor control.

In your quest to find a litter box solution superior to manual scooping, there are several well-regarded and top-selling options worth considering. Below are our initial impressions of three alternative automatic litter boxes that were evaluated during the compilation of this guide.

Cleanpethome Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box: A notable bestseller on Amazon, this model shares similarities with the Casa Leo Leo’s Loo Too. While we have not tested it personally, preliminary research indicates that it’s an affordable choice that generally performs well. However, it reportedly has some drawbacks compared to our top automatic litter box picks, such as misalignment issues between the cylinder and entryway and a noisier cleaning process. We aim to conduct more thorough testing on this model in the future.

Purina Tidy Cats Breeze XL Litter System: Among our preferred choices for multi-cat households, this system is not fully automatic but offers innovative hybrid features distinct from traditional litter boxes. It uses special pellet litter placed over a pad-absorbing tray to separate solid and liquid waste, effectively minimizing odors. While it doesn’t automate the cleaning process, it can significantly reduce unpleasant smells.

Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box: This product introduces a unique concept—a litter box that separates waste by tumbling the litter into a compartment. However, our evaluation found it less convenient than anticipated, requiring multiple rolls to sift out waste completely and necessitating additional cleaning of the internal grate. The construction quality also left something to be desired.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Automatic Litter Box

Litter Compatibility

While many of the automatic litter boxes we suggest support various types of litter, there are notable exceptions. For instance, several models do not perform well with wood-based pellets or softer litters. Typically, automatic litter boxes function by sifting out solid clumps from consistent litter types, making clay-based, clumping litter a prime choice. For our evaluations, unless we were testing a litter box designed for unique litter types, we opted for Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra litter—a cost-effective, clay-based option known for its clumping efficiency.

We observed that automatic litter boxes with a cylindrical design often lead to more litter being tracked outside the box due to their open structure. This observation might make certain pellet litters or coarser-grained litters less likely to adhere to your cat’s paws and be spread throughout your home, a preferable option.

Silica crystal-based litter boxes are another recommendation, especially for those seeking to avoid clay dust. Silica crystals are effective at odor absorption. However, it’s advisable to gradually introduce your cat to crystal litter before transitioning to an automatic litter box to ensure they adapt comfortably to the new litter type.


Automatic litter boxes generally require more space than traditional ones. Our top pick, the Litter-Robot 4, is quite large. Pre-measuring your allocated area is essential, though keep in mind that a litter box that fits might still make the space feel tight or cluttered. Automatic litter boxes typically fall into one of two designs: rotating cylinders or those utilizing electric rakes for cleaning. Cylinder models are taller and can dominate a small room, whereas rake-based litter boxes usually have a more compact, lower profile.

Additional Costs

Investing in an automatic litter box often means a higher initial cost, with prices ranging between $150 and $650, surpassing that of traditional litter boxes. Additionally, these devices frequently incur ongoing costs. We’ve made an effort to highlight instances where a litter box requires proprietary accessories, such as specific bags, which can add to the long-term financial commitment. While there might be alternative solutions like using standard trash bags, the litter box typically performs optimally with bags tailored for its specific design. Further maintenance expenses may arise from the need for odor-neutralizing filters or deodorizing sprays.


How Can You Encourage Cats to Use an Automatic Litter Box?

To acclimate your cat to an automatic litter box, introduce the device gradually. Start by placing the new litter box near the old one, keeping it turned off initially. Fill it with litter to attract your cat with a familiar smell, even though you won’t use its automatic features right away.

After your cat seems comfortable with the new box, initiate the cleaning cycle a few times daily at consistent intervals, allowing your cat to familiarize themselves with its routine operation. Encourage your cat to use the box with praise, treats, or playtime when they do.

If your cat hesitates to use the box, consider adding catnip or a special training litter that attracts cats to the automatic box. Once your cat regularly uses the box, wait at least a week before removing the old litter box.

How Frequently Should Automatic Litter Boxes Be Cleaned?

Cleaning frequency for automatic litter boxes varies based on the model and the number of cats using it. However, a thorough cleaning and complete litter replacement should occur at least once a month, or more frequently in multi-cat households.

Do Automatic Litter Boxes Eliminate Odors?

While automatic litter boxes can minimize odors by promptly removing waste, eliminating all smells is unrealistic. The strength of odor can be influenced by your cat’s diet and health. With appropriate use—ensuring the box isn’t overwhelmed by too many cats and is regularly cleaned—the resulting odors should be fleeting and less intense than those from a standard litter box.