I Bought a Litter Robot. A Robotic Litter Box. Yup.

You know how they used to say you could traumatize a kid by trying to toilet train them too early?  Lead them into a life of crime, gang affiliation, Candy Crush addiction?

I did that with my cat.

Little Cleo came into my life as a tiny kitten after someone else didn’t want her.  She was a bouncy little cat with an affinity for running sideways and jumping straight up in the air, affixing herself to my back with her claws.  Like Velcro.  Super-sharp, angry, needle-like Velcro.

She was equally enthusiastic when I started to train her to use the toilet like a litter box the same way I’d trained my other cat.  Only she didn’t quite fit on the toilet because she was so young, and it was a bit slippery and well … things didn’t go well, but we both kept trying.

Unbeknownst to me during this trial toilet period, Cleo started making her own decisions about what constituted a litter box.  The corner of the dining room, the side of the dining room, the curtains in the dining room.  It didn’t take long for the whole situation to go from unbeknownst to very, very beknownst.  ‘Cause you know, of the stink of cat pee.

Why couldn’t she just join a gang?

Once a cat gets into the habit of peeing where it shouldn’t, it’s really hard to break.  So I dragged out the old litter box and she happily used it.  I figured that was that.

But as the years went on sometimes she wouldn’t use it.  Sometimes she decided that if it hadn’t been cleaned out in half a day she wasn’t going to use it and I could suck it.  So I started having to clean the littler box not once every few days, not once a day, but twice a day.

Seriously though, not like a really bad gang, maybe just a newer, up and coming gang.  One that hasn’t even picked its colours yet.

Then a few months ago I discovered my little Cleo was in renal failure.  At that point she made the decision that if the litter box wasn’t completely washed and filled with new litter ALL the time she was just going to saunter into her personal 11′ x 15′ litter box and whiz all over the floor.  About 20 times a day.

That’s when I started researching automatic litter boxes.  And off brand sedatives.

There were a few litter box options I thought were O.K., but I kept coming back to the Litter Robot.  It wasn’t my first choice because it was  expensive.  Because it’s a robot and robots are expensive.

But I read and compared reviews and I sucked it up and I bought it.  This is a $450 litter box.  For real.

It showed up.  It was huge.  It was expensive.

And it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made in all my life. No joke. A litter robot.

Cleo hasn’t peed outside the Litter*Robot once since I got it. And Ernie, the cat who is afraid of everything … well it took some time for her to get  used to it, but now she loves it too.

For the terrified cat I had to lower the litter robot ball (it comes apart) to the floor level and stabilize it with books around it to get her used to it.  Being lower seemed to help. Once she was used to it, I put it back in it’s stand but didn’t plug it in so it wasn’t ever being loud and spinning around.  Once she was used to it being in the stand, I finally turned it on and let it roll.   The whole process took a couple of weeks.  Seriously.  This is a bonafide fraidy cat.

litter robot

She got used to it.



At first I felt guilty for buying this thing that seems like such an indulgence but now I don’t.  I have no extra time.  None.  Most women don’t.  I work more than full time, I have 2 huge gardens to take care of, I maintain every single thing in my entire home myself, I chop and stack wood, feed, wash and clean up after myself and a flock of chickens every single day.  Alone.

So I’m not going to feel one tiny bit of guilt over buying something that makes my life easier.  That eliminates one of the hundreds of tasks I have to do every day.

And if you’ve gone so far as to research automatic litter boxes … neither should you.

I Bought a Litter Robot.  A Robotic Litter Box.  Yup.


  1. alison harper says:

    Hi Karen Is your Litter robot still working well? I have had one for a couple years, but it’s a bit fussy now and stops cycling mid way and then I have to shut it down and restart.. Sometimes I think it’s litter on one of the sensors, but I am not sure.. I do love it when it’s working 100%.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison! Yes, my litter robot is still working, but like you it started doing that weird thing where it would stop mid way through. THEN it wouldn’t stop! As in it just kept going round and round instead of turning counterclockwise to a certain point and then reversing and coming to the home position. When it really started acting up like this I took mine apart and cleaned everything. I vacuumed it out and wiped out every crevice and sensor. I’m happy to say that fixed it immediately. I cant’ remember what problem I had with it early on … but I called Litter Robot directly and customer service walked me through an easy fix. ~ karen!

  2. Erin says:

    Oh Darn! I would have liked to have entered for my techy Brother. He and his girlfriend live in FSJ, BC and their Orange Tiger kitty “Crackers” ( who decided that a floor register was a good kitty litter one day, when he was having some tummy troubles ). They All Need a Robot kitty litter!

  3. Sabina says:

    Is it too late??? I’m just cleaning out my email box and realized I didn’t read the blog on time! UGH! The boyfriend’s cat’s litter box is a point of contention for me…I hate cats…she loves me…and one of the two dogs loves her poop…

    We need this!

  4. Snugster says:

    I know I’d love this because, like Cleo, neither of my cats (Cheddar and Vespa) “flush” when done. Their mommies didn’t teach them to cover when done and no amount of odor-trapping litter is gonna purge that aura!

  5. bellygrl says:

    This would be a lifesaver for me, and literally for my two old cats. They both have renal failure (at 20 yrs old), and are forever ‘going’ in non-litterbox areas. All of my spare time is spent cleaning up after them, and I’m getting to the end of my rope! A fabulous answer to the problem…

  6. Mindy says:

    Our fifteen year old boy passed away this year and we adopted a three year old. Old boy was an indoor/outdoor cat. New boy is indoor only, thus far. The only time old boy ever used a litter box in all his years, was when he was sick. He just preferred to go potty outside. New boy, obviously, is a full time litter box user. I hate it. I despise it. I abhor it. I, too, have to clean it out twice a day. This thing would quite literally change my life. Well, it would at the very least make me cuss fewer times a week.

  7. Edith says:

    What a great invention! I don’t have a cat because my dogs would eat it for breakfast, BUT IF I DID, I would buy one of these robots on the spot!

  8. Kelly says:

    Crap. I was really looking forward to this one! Our cat prefers to go outside as long as there isn’t a centimeter of snow. Now she just stares at me blankly when I open the door as if to say, “You’ve got to be crazy if you think I’m stepping out there!” Not crazy, just don’t want to touch the litter box!!! Oh well. Next year!

  9. ronda says:

    awesome. TWO things to mess up my day. I can’t enter the contest, AND ITS TUESDAY!! New posts from the queen of DIY is how I keep track of the days while on leave!! I will be discombobulated all day now lol!

  10. Robin Fishback says:

    I love your site and read it daily. I’m constantly entertained by your colorful insight. My daughter moved to a very very small apartment in Washington DC so she could be an ocean advocate. While living in this tiny little apartment, she decided to volunteer for animal shelters. One of her main jobs is to pre-determine eligibility for adopting a sheltered pet. On her rounds, she found a kitten that was part of a litter with CH, a condition similar to cerebral palsy. The kitten is the only survivor and was going to be euthanized unless a home was found. After a bit of research, my daughter decided that this kitten needed love and adopted her. This is the sweetest kitten I’ve ever met and she has no idea that she is different from any other kitten. Because of the kitten’s disability, she cannot seem to keep the litter inside the box and I believe this litter box is the answer! My daughter is on a tight budget and I would love to be able to gift this to her!!! Thank you for your consideration, Karen.

  11. Karen cargill says:

    I understand the concerns and that it can only ship to the US .
    But I am kind of sad that a Canadian blogger has a contest that is not available in her country .
    I know it’s a global world but for me your uniqueness was being Canadian .
    That being said maybe there is not Canadian companies offering their services.

  12. Marilyn says:

    Only in the U. S? of A. you say?? Wow first Trump, now this…it’s all just too much!

  13. Mary says:

    Gosh. This would be a great thing to have, wouldn’t it? And it even looks big enough for my “little” cat – who got stuck in the door of my “large” litter box!! Poor guy – dragged that litter box lid half way thru the house before he could get rid of it! Switched to a ginormous tupperware tub! But this…this would be awesome! Thanks for the chance to win – and Merry Christmas! :)

  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    My aching back would be so grateful for this…I have three litter boxes and I clean them twice a day…it is getting a bit hard to do this with all of my medical problems…Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Lisa says:

    Wow! If lived over there I would definitely enter. I used to pet-sit (a lot). The older cats had a habit of sitting on the edge of the litter tray – so their bottoms hang over the edge. Great intentions but never went in the tray (drip drip drip over and under the tray but never in). My favourite cat was the 16 year old who used to use the bath as a toilet (over the plug hole) – at least it was easy to clean. Cats are so like people, idiosyncrasies come out as we age.

  16. Danni McLaughlin says:

    You know, $450 is way more than say, $12 for a plastic litterbox. But you know what it isn’t more than? new rugs, new floors, new subfloors, etc. It’s well worth it if it’s well made and will last. Plus peace of mind. That’s worth a ton.

  17. Mark says:

    Nice little machine. The Rolls Royce of kitty litter machines. :)

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, well now I don’t feel at all guilty about it because it’s the closest I’m ever likely to get in a Rolls. I wonder if I’d actually fit in that rotating drum. Probably. I’m remarkably bendy. ~ karen!

  18. maggie van sickle says:

    Well Miss Karen if I had a cat and lived in the US of A I would enter and if I had a cat and it was open to Canadians I would enter but since I do not own a cat I do hope some wonderful cat Mom or Dad from the US wins. Good luck folks.

  19. Wendi Miller says:

    With five indoor cats, our family could sure use this prize! Whether I win or lose though, have a happy holiday season everyone, no matter what holiday you choose to celebrate!! <3

  20. Melissa says:

    I, too, have to clean the damn litter box several times a day, because, heaven forbid the little princess (Truly Scrumptious), should have to use a non-pristine box! Ugh!!

    Now, can you find me a kitty-proof Christmas tree that will prevent her from climbing and killing the angel topper 20 times a day?? She is looking a bit haggard.

    And, yes, the link doesn’t take us to the kitty paradise potty place….

  21. Liane says:

    Is this contest only for people in the US?

    • Karen says:

      For this year, yes, Liane. Next year it will be open to Canada as well. It has to do with insuring a prize valued at over $500. ~ karen!

      • Marie Anne says:

        ??? I just entered in as many ways that I could because I really really want this. My cat also has renal illness. I always forget to check because you’re Canadian

      • Karen says:

        Well, if you live near a border I don’t think there would be anything wrong with having it shipped to a border shipping place in the US. Although don’t quote me on that. In fact, don’t even say I suggested it, lol. ~ karen!

      • Amber says:

        Hugs–my ‘little’ guy too. And after that, they get all sorts of gun shy about litter boxes, don’t they?

        I may have to bite the bullet and buy one if I can’t win it (sell a kidney or something :) ) because as a renter nothing is scarier than the idea of him stopping using the box again. I’ve been lucky–he’s gone after the bathroom rug (I blame the human boys for that :/ ) but if he destroys the carpet? UGH!

  22. Yolanda Burrell says:

    the link isn’t working, Karen!

  23. NANCY COOPER says:

    The link doesn’t appear to be working. These are awesome BTW

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