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The Litter-Robot 3 Connect saves time, but makes me miss my cats’ poops

For years, our two cats enjoyed doing their duties in a litter box discreetly stuffed inside a hollow side table that just blended in with the other furniture in our living room. With two cats, it meant double the work when cleaning up after them, but any cat will let you know that they prefer a litter box that’s cleaned routinely.

After years of scooping, the time to retire the scooper has finally arrived with the Litter-Robot 3 Connect. Now, as much as I complain about cleaning up after them night after night, switching over to it made me realize something odd — that I missed cleaning up after them.

Saying goodbye to the nightly grind

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past year of covering the smart home, and robots in particular, it’s that they provide convenience. From robot vacuums that can avoid poop and effectively clean, to refrigerators that let you see what’s inside of them, the smart home continues to yield conveniences I happily welcome. Not only am I being saved from having to get down on my knees to clean up the litter box each night, but now I have the time to do some other chore. Either way, the result here is that it’s one less thing I can cross off my to-do list before bed.

John Velasco / Digital Trends

Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to hide the Litter-Robot 3 Connect. It’s this massive dome-shaped contraption that’s just as big as the side table that houses our cats’ existing litter box. It definitely breaks up the decor of any room, but one I don’t mind because of its asset. And you know what? The automation is actually simpler than what people may think.

A connected litter box like no other

The self-emptying process initiates several minutes after one of our cats exits the Litter-Robot 3 Connect. From there, the dome begins to rotate and eventually sifts the litter so that only the bigger leftovers (numbers one and two) are tumbled into the bin below. Once that’s complete, the litter box reverses and slowly empties the unused litter back into place. The whole process takes no more than a few minutes — but it’s a precious few minutes that I get to have back.

John Velasco / Digital Trends

Beyond just cleaning up after our cats, its Wi-Fi connectivity allows me to track how frequently it’s used with the mobile app, which can be a good indicator if something may be amiss. There’s also a handy night light that illuminates the inside at night, so the cats can enter with ease. Finally, the Litter-Robot 3 Connect prompts me in the app when the collection bin is full and needs to be emptied. It would be nice if it could also weigh our cats in the process too.

What poop can tell you about your cat

On one hand, I’m super-relieved that the Litter-Robot 3 Connect takes care of cleaning after our cats. However, not seeing my cats’ poops means that I may be overlooking something about their health — because, let’s face it, poop can tell you a lot about your cat’s well-being. From whether they’re eating nutritious foods to if they’re staying hydrated enough, you can get some insights about your cat’s health by looking at their poops.

On average, healthy cats should poop once a day. If you’ve been to the vet recently with your cats, chances are you’ve probably seen a poop chart of some kind that shows the various kinds of poops they leave behind, with an emphasis on color, texture, and smell. Wet and unformed poops may indicate diarrhea, while hard and small stools may signal constipation. A quick glance at your cats’ poops, and you’ll be informed about their health.

Even though the Litter-Robot 3 Connect has made my life a bit more convenient, I frequently have to remind myself that I need to take a quick peek at their poops before they’re forever discarded.

Funny thing, though, is that one of our cats is fascinated whenever the Litter Robot 3 Connect starts its cycling process. He goes right up to it and pops his head into the entrance to inspect his poops as they slowly tumble into the bin.

Sure, I’ve been relinquished of my litter box duties, but I’m finding that now more than ever. But I also feel that, by taking myself out of the loop on this dirty task, I’m less informed as a pet owner.

You can pick up the Litter-Robot 3 Connect for $500. If you don’t need the connectivity features, you can save yourself $50 by going with the non Wi-Fi version that’s priced at $450.

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John Velasco
John is the Smart Home editor at Digital Trends covering all of the latest tech in this emerging market. From uncovering some…
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