The Litter Robot puts forth a straightforward proposal: For $500, the mechanized litter box will transform the chore of constant scooping into a breezy task no more bothersome than taking out a garbage bag. Beneath the surface lurks another promise: Owning a high-end toilet pod will make the dirtiest parts of cat ownership—the poop scooping and the litter tracking—disappear.
You can see the lifestyle messaging in the machine’s deeply curated social media presence, in which the glittering globe sits proudly among the plants and the concrete floors of a design-blog’s dream living room, not hidden away in shame in the bathroom. It is the Casper of feline feces, the imagecraft-y crapper for cats.
The Litter Robot is extra. But for my family, it was also the potential missing piece. We own an automatic pet feeder to parcel out our two pets’ meals while we’re away. We have webcams to watch the cats from afar and reassure ourselves they can go on napping and fighting without us. Yet traveling for even a few days meant coming home to a stanky litter box. Surely the self-turning, self-cleaning cat toilet of the future was the solution.
It’s a Process
We need to start with the most potentially deal-breaking trait of the Litter Robot 3 Connect (aside from its price tag): The size. No Instagram post can convey, no spec sheet can communicate just how much real estate the robot occupies. Its footprint forbade sneaking the device into our bathroom. Its volume threw off the spiritual harmony of our New York one-bedroom.