Last Updated: 1 month ago

Keeping your cat’s toilet box clean is essential for promoting good litter box habits.

If the box gets overlooked in some busy households, that can create inappropriate elimination issues.

Fortunately, an automatic litter box, such as Litter-Robot 3, can ensure that your cat has access to fresh litter and reduce the chances of your kitty seeking an alternative bathroom spot.

But which model should you use? To help you find the best option, we will compare Litter-Robot 3 Connect vs. Open Air.

Note: The Litter-Robot 3 Open Air is discontinued. The latest innovation is the Litter-Robot 4!

Litter-Robot 3 Connect vs Open Air Compared

Litter-Robot 3 Connect vs Open Air: What is The Difference?

Discover the nuances and features that set them apart, aiding you in making an informed decision tailored to your cat’s needs and your lifestyle.

1. Size and Color

Both have the same size: they measure 29.5″ x 24.25″ x 27″ with an enlarged entryway measuring 10.25″ x 15.25″ and a waste drawer measuring 11″ x 16″ x 6″.

However, the Connect model is available in two colors: grey and beige, while the Open Air is only available in beige. 

Both Connect and Open Air are deeper and have a larger entryway compared to the old Classic II and the Bubble unit.

Both models are suitable for big cats, such as Maine Coone, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Savannah. And they won’t take up that much space around the house.

2. Features

When comparing Litter Robot 3 Connect vs. Open Air, they have several standard features:

  • A full drawer indicator
  • Weight cat sensor that detects when the cat is inside the globe 
  • Automatic night light
  • Sleep mode to pause the cleaning cycle for 8 hours
  • Adjustable cycle timer: 3, 7, or 15 minutes delay
  • Control Panel Lockout, which ensures your cat can’t trigger the device or change the settings by pawing at the globe

However, the Connect unit has one extra feature.

It’s Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to keep track of the unit via mobile devices and receive notifications when it’s time to empty the drawer.

3. Operation and Maintenence

ramp for litter robot

Current and discontinued Whisker’s Robot models feature a unique sifting process, very different from the raking mechanisms used in other self-cleaning boxes. 

The sensors detect when the cat enters the unit and trigger the clean cycle after a fixed time.

The globe rotates to sift the cat waste and deposit the solid waste into the carbon-filtered waste drawer. 

So, both Litter-Robot versions work in the same way, which is excellent because you won’t have to re-learn how to use it if you decide to upgrade.

And both units need deep cleaning at least twice a year to remove any stuck litter particles and prevent unpleasant smells from building up. 

4. Benefits

Reviewing both models, they have a lot of shared benefits:

  • They don’t require any special types of litter. The best litter for Litter-Robot is hard-clumping litter, but some users use crystals successfully. 
  • It’s easy to get the right litter level, thanks to the black globe rubber liner. 
  • A full drawer indicator, so you never have to guess when it’s time to clean the dirty litter. The old Bubble version and the Classic don’t have this benefit. 
  • Clumps don’t stick to the bottom of the waste drawers due to the waste liners. 
  • Safety features protect your cat from injury during bathroom use.
  • The blue light at night is excellent for elderly cats. 
  • Adjustable, automatic, and manual cycle, so your cat has a clean litter box all the time. 
  • Eight-hour sleep mode, so the rotations won’t wake you up in the night.

However, Litter Robot 3 Connect has one significant design advantage over Litter-Robot 3 Open Air. Of course, we’re talking about the Wi-Fi feature.

  • Using Whisker’s app, you can monitor the waste drawer level and promptly remove any accumulated clumps.
  • You can also keep track of your cat’s litter box usage, so you’ll know when your cat doesn’t use its toilet or pees or poops more than usual.
  • Daily, weekly, or monthly analysis of your cat’s toilet box activity 
  • The app allows you to customize alerts to get real-time updates, adjust the cleaning cycle timer, turn on the blue night light, or put the device in sleep mode. 
  • You can connect multiple automatic toilet boxes or feeder robots to the app, and the app is suitable for Apple and Android mobile devices. 

Connect version has a slightly faster cleaning cycle than Open Air.

5. Drawbacks

Some cats prefer a standard toilet box to an automatic one because they’re scared of the noise. That’s the main drawback of both Litter-Robot versions. 

Users also report frequent sensor issues for both models, saying the device has problems detecting small cats, jams, or lights starting to flash. 

But Litter-Robot 3 Connect also requires Android devices 8.0 or higher and iOS 13.0 or higher for Apple devices. So, if you have an old model, you may not be able to use the app.

You can’t connect this automatic toilet box to shared networks.

6. Ease of Use

three next and litter robot 3

Both units are relatively easy to use.

You need to assemble the unit, pour the litter into the rubber globe liner, and plug it in. And you’ll get a helpful instruction manual on how to adjust the setting. 

However, some cat owners find it a bit more difficult to connect the Connect model to their Wi-Fi due to router problems. 

And it can take you a bit more time to get used to controlling the device through the mobile app.

7. Warranty and Trial Period

All models come with a 90-day in-home trial, so you can return the product with no problems if your cat doesn’t like it.

Customer support is also available and ready to answer any questions. Moreover, each unit comes with a one-year warranty, covering your automatic cat litter box from top to bottom.

And you can purchase an extended 3-year warranty for both versions.

8. Price

Litter-Robot 3 Connect
  • SELF-CLEANING LITTER BOX: Never scoop again with Litter-Robot 3...
  • REDUCES LITTER BOX ODORS & TRACKING: The automatic clean cycle and...
  • MONITOR + CONTROL VIA APP: Control this smart litter box straight from...

The Litter-Robot Open Air costs $499, while the Connect version is a bit more expensive at $549. You can get a lower price if you go for a reconditioned model. 

But unlike other self-cleaning boxes, you don’t need to buy any branded supplies, so there are no hidden costs.

Instead, you can line the waste drawer with cheap kitchen bags.

9. Accessories

Litter-Robot accessories are compatible with both models. You can purchase an OdorTrap pod (suitable for regular litter boxes), a mat, a fence, and a ramp.

Which Litter-Robot 3 Model should you use and why?

cat sitting in litter robot 3

As you see, comparing Litter-Robot 3 Connect vs. Open Air, the differences are few but significant. So, which model is the right choice for you?

For Multi-cat Households: Connect

We recommend Litter Robot 3 Connect for multi-cat households because Whisker’s app is great for monitoring your cat’s bathroom behavior and litter box activity. 

The app also comes in handy if you have your automatic toilet box in a low-traffic area because even if you forget to empty the drawer, you’ll get a notification.

You can also check to see if the unit is running as it should without making the trip to the box itself. 

And as this pet owner says, “I love the connect; it’s nice knowing it’s running without issue without having to check. I got three cats, and it all works a lot better than I thought.”

For First-Time Users: Open Air

If you’ve never used an automatic cat litter box before, the Litter-Robot 3 Open Air is the better option. 

You can test it, see if your cat likes it, and get used to adjusting the cleaning cycle.

Then it’s effortless to upgrade to the WiFi-enabled Open Air III by purchasing the Wi-Fi upgrade kit. And it won’t be more expensive.

For Odor Control: Connect

One of the most common questions about this self-cleaning cat toilet box is: Why does it smell?

Automatic self-cleaning toilet boxes don’t remove 100% of them, but they shouldn’t smell.

While both models have excellent odor control, I recommend the Litter-Robot 3 Connect because of its smart notifications when it’s time to empty the drawer.

For Busy Cat Owners: Connect 

As we already said, Whisker’s products work great most of the time, but sometimes they jam or pause in the middle of the cycle. And that can be a problem if you’re not at home to fix the issue.

So, the LR III Connect is the best option for busy pet parents. You can restart the cycle or the whole unit through your mobile device, so your cat still has a clean toilet box to use. 

As this pet parent says, “The notifications are so far and away worth it for me. You’ll kick yourself off if you don’t get it.”

For Cats Prone to UTIs: Connect

Older female cats and cats with diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) develop UTIs more commonly than the general population.

So, if you have an older cat with a chronic urinary condition, between Litter Robot Open Air and Connect, Connect is perfect for checking if your cat is using the bathroom and how often.

This way, you can act quickly if your cat stops urinating or you notice an increase in your cat’s toilet box activity.

Final Word

Comparing Connect vs. Open Air, the Connect version has the upper hand due to its notification system and toilet box activity analysis.

It’s a great way to mention your cat’s bathroom habits and ensure they’re using the toilet as often as they should.

It’s also perfect when you’re away on holiday because you can check that the device is working properly through the app.

And most cats quickly get used to using this automatic toilet box. Which model is your favorite, and why? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.

Last update on 2024-05-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API