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10 Best Robot Vacuums for Cat Litter in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

robot vacuum cleaning up pet hairs in the living room

At some point, cats earned a reputation for being clean animals. While it’s true that they spend hours grooming themselves, anyone who’s ever walked across all the litter that they kick out of their box knows that they’re actually filthy roommates.

You could dedicate a good portion of your life to vacuuming up all that litter — or you could simply outsource the job to a robot vacuum like the ones on this reviews list.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Pure Clean Smart Robot Cleaning Vacuum With Remote Control Pure Clean Smart Robot Cleaning Vacuum With Remote Control
  • Dust filter keeps air clean
  • Can control it via the dedicated app
  • Dual spinning brushes round up litter
  • Best Value
    Second place
    yeedi k600 Robot Vacuum yeedi k600 Robot Vacuum
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Good for non-tech-savvy users
  • Powerful motor makes quick work of litter and hair
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Shark IQ AV 1002AE Shark IQ AV 1002AE
  • Brushes clean themselves
  • Self-emptying mechanism
  • Methodically cleans house row by row
  • Best for Kittens
    Roborock E4 Mop Robot Vacuum Roborock E4 Mop Robot Vacuum
  • Mops and vacuums
  • Ramps up suction on carpet
  • Sends map of cleaned area when finished
  • ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
  • Long runtime
  • HEPA filter captures dust
  • Low profile enables it to slip under furniture
  • The 10 Best Robot Vacuums for Cat Litter — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Pure Clean Smart Robot Cleaning Vacuum With Remote Control — Best Overall

    Pure Clean Smart Robot Cleaning Vacuum With Remote Control

    Weight: 11.5 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android, Wi-Fi
    Remote: Yes

    The Pure Clean Smart Robot is built around a simple assumption: If you’re the type of person looking for a robot vacuum, you’re also the type of person that wants it to have a remote control.

    You never have to stoop over to program the thing, as the remote works from across the room. If you misplace the remote, you can also control it with the dedicated app that you can download to your phone.

    It has dual spinning brushes that are great for rounding up loose litter, and there’s a dust filter that ensures that nothing gets into the air while it’s working. It also has an internal gyroscope to ensure that it won’t accidentally bump into a sleeping pet.

    It comes with its own charging station, but it tends to have trouble finding it, so you may need to round it up occasionally and help it home.

    The Pure Clean Smart Robot is the best robot vacuum for cat litter overall, and it will soon become a treasured member of your family (and the only one that will clean up after the cat).

    Pros
    • Includes a remote
    • Can control it via the dedicated app
    • Dual spinning brushes round-up litter
    • Dust filter keeps the air clean
    • Internal gyroscope prevents accidents
    Cons
    • Has trouble finding docking station

    2. yeedi k600 Robot Vacuum — Best Value

    yeedi k600 Robot Vacuum

    Weight: 6.5 pounds
    Compatibility: None
    Remote: Yes

    The yeedi k600 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on other robot vacuums, but its excellent performance and budget-friendly price make it the best robot vacuum for cat litter for the money.

    It’s lightweight at just over 6 pounds, making it easy to pick up and move around when you need to. Despite its lightweight construction, it houses a powerful motor that can suck up hair and litter effortlessly.

    That lack of heft can work against it, though, as it can easily get knocked over or stuck, so you might have to right the ship every now and then.

    As you might expect, given the price, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi or have its own app (but it does come with a remote). While that’s a bit of a drag for some people, technologically illiterate users may actually prefer it, as it makes the robot exceptionally easy to use.

    It’s also extremely quiet, so it won’t interrupt your day as it goes about its business.

    While you might be able to find a robot vacuum that has more to offer, you’re unlikely to find one as good as the yeedi k600 anywhere in its price range.

    Pros
    • Excellent budget option
    • Lightweight and easy to move
    • Good for non-tech-savvy users
    • Powerful motor makes quick work of litter and hair
    • Quiet
    Cons
    • Can get knocked over and stuck frequently
    • Lacks Wi-Fi or app support

    3. Shark IQ AV 1002AE — Premium Choice

    Shark IQ AV 1002AE

    Weight: 5 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android, Alexa, Google Assistant, Vera, Wi-Fi
    Remote: App only

    The Shark IQ AV 1002AE is about as close as you’ll ever come to having your own robot butler, and it costs about as much.

    It has a massive capacity, enough to last for 45 days before being emptied. You don’t even have to do the emptying — it empties itself when it returns to its base. The brush is self-cleaning too, so even if cat hair gets wrapped around it, it will take care of the problem itself.

    There’s no remote, but you can control it with just about any virtual assistant on the market, including Alexa. You simply have to speak a command for it to get to work.

    The machine maps your house quickly, and then it cleans methodically, going row by row until the job is done. Any stray litter doesn’t stand a chance.

    Besides the price, there’s one glaring flaw with this machine: poor battery life. It can only go for about 45 minutes before it needs to recharge, and that can take up to 3 hours. If you have a large house (or a cat that keeps making messes), it can take forever to finish the job.

    The Shark IQ Av 1002AE is a fantastic machine — if you can afford it. However, the exorbitant price will put it out of reach for many users.

    Pros
    • Can go 45 days before needing to be emptied
    • Self-emptying mechanism
    • Works with most virtual assistants
    • Brushes clean themselves
    • Methodically cleans house row by row
    Cons
    • Short battery life
    • No remote control

    4. Roborock E4 Mop Robot Vacuum — Best for Kittens

    Roborock E4 Mop Robot Vacuum

    Weight: 8 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android, Alexa, Wi-Fi
    Remote: App only

    If you have kittens in the house, you might have more messes to clean up than just loose litter and the occasional bit of fur. That’s where the Roborock E4 comes in — not only does it vacuum, but it also mops, so all kinds of messes can get cleaned with ease.

    It’s not just for use on hardwood or tile floors either. The machine automatically detects carpet, and when it does, it ramps up the suction so everything (including teeny-tiny bits of litter) gets sucked up.

    If you install the app, you’ll get a map sent to your phone when the cleaning is done; the map shows you all the areas that the vacuum went over. It’s great for keeping tabs on your new employee.

    With the app, you can also schedule cleanings, select the cleanup mode, set up maintenance, and more. It makes dealing with your robot as painless as possible. That’s the idea, anyway, but the app is prone to glitches, which can make dealing with it frustrating.

    Unfortunately, the thing needs four-wheel drive, as the motor isn’t that strong. It’s constantly getting stuck on thresholds, so expect to need to babysit it from time to time. For some reason, though, it seems to find another gear when it comes time to crash into your baseboards, so expect a few scuffs and dings.

    The Roborock E4 is an excellent vacuum, and the mop feature makes it a standout in this category. However, its flaws are just frustrating enough to keep it off the medal podium.

    Pros
    • Mops and vacuums
    • Ramps up suction on carpet
    • App has many features
    • Sends map of cleaned area when finished
    Cons
    • Struggles to clear thresholds
    • Can mar baseboards
    • App is a bit glitchy

    5. ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    Weight: 4.5 pounds
    Compatibility: None
    Remote: Yes

    The ILIFE V3s Pro is an affordable model that’s nevertheless capable of high-dollar performance due to its long running time.

    It can go for 1 1/2 hours before needing to be recharged, which is more than enough to vacuum all but the biggest of houses. It can run for a long time on even the highest suction setting, so your kitty’s messes are no match for its power.

    At only 3 inches tall, it’s capable of sliding under most furniture, so any litter that gets kicked under the sofa won’t be safe for long. It boasts a HEPA filter, so dust won’t be able to stick around either.

    It doesn’t have rollers, so there’s no place for hair and other debris to get caught and stop it up. Its anti-crash and anti-fall sensors work well, making it unlikely that it will meet an untimely demise on your stairs. However, there are nooks and crannies under it — especially near the wheels — where larger debris can get caught and interfere with the sensors, so you may still need to clean it occasionally.

    There’s also a decent chance that it will just stop charging after a few months. It often has trouble finding its way back to the charging station, so you may have to manually lug it over.

    The cleaning pattern is random, and that often means that it goes over the same places again and again at the expense of others.

    If you’re mainly concerned with getting the most labor out of your robot as possible, the ILIFE V3s Pro should be first on your list. There will be other flaws that you’ll have to deal with in order to get that sweet runtime.

    Pros
    • Long runtime
    • Low profile enables it to slip under furniture
    • No rollers means fewer clogs
    • HEPA filter captures dust
    Cons
    • Eventually struggles to return to charging station
    • Debris can get snagged under wheels
    • Random cleaning pattern misses spots

    6. iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

    iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

    Weight: 7 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android, Alexa, Google Assistant
    Remote: App only

    The iRobot Roomba 694 is the most famous machine on the market and for good reason: It’s an excellent machine at a mid-range price.

    It uses a three-stage cleaning system that starts by dislodging dirt, then sucking it up and sweeping debris in from the edges. It also automatically detects dirt, so it will focus on the least clean areas of your home first. This is a cool feature, but it can mean that it only focuses on a few areas of your home.

    The app is excellent because it offers you complete control over the robot and even suggests extra cleanings when your home needs it.

    The iRobot Roomba 694 may well be the best overall robot vacuum on the market — but for some reason, it tends to send litter flying in all directions as it drives over it, and it can take quite a while for the vacuum to finish the job.

    The bin is also incredibly small, so you’ll need to empty it every 20 minutes or so (possibly more if your cat sheds excessively).

    There’s a reason that the iRobot Roomba 694 is the king of the robot vacuums. However, if you specifically want a vacuum that will pick up kitty litter, there are better options out there.

    Pros
    • Three-stage cleaning system
    • Automatically detects dirt
    • Suggests extra cleanings when necessary
    Cons
    • Tends to send kitty litter flying
    • Often over-focuses on certain areas
    • Bin is small

     


    7. eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

    eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

    Weight: 5.7 pounds
    Compatibility: None
    Remote: Yes

    The “S” in BoostIQ RoboVac 11S stands for “slim,” and this is truly a thin little vacuum. It can easily slip under just about any furniture, so there shouldn’t be anywhere for dirt to hide.

    The “BoostIQ” stands for the fact that it automatically turbocharges the suction whenever it finds a particularly dirty patch. Even though it can be quite powerful, it’s also extremely quiet, so you won’t even know it’s working its little robot butt off.

    Unfortunately, whenever it detects an especially dirty spot, it refuses to forget about it, often returning to it again and again long after the mess has been cleaned. The powerful suction is a double-edged sword too, as it’s constantly sucking up earbuds, shirts, and anything else that it’s better off leaving alone.

    It will dock itself when it needs to recharge, but for some reason, it needs a ton of space to do so. The user manual recommends leaving 6 feet of space on every side for it to park, which may be hard for some users to provide.

    It struggles to get in corners too, so you may need to get a broom and dustpan out after it’s done.

    The BoostIQ RoboVac 11S is a fine machine, but it needs a little fine-tuning before it can compete for the top spot on this list.

    Pros
    • Slim enough to fit under most furniture
    • Increases suction when it detects an especially dirty spot
    • Quiet
    Cons
    • Needs a ton of space to dock
    • Gets fixated on certain areas
    • Tends to suck up items that it shouldn’t
    • Struggles to get in corners

    8. Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert Pet Robot

    Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert Pet Robot

    Weight: 75 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android
    Remote: App only

    If your home mostly consists of hardwood or tile floors, then the Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert is exactly what you need. It can both vacuum and mop, ensuring that any messes are thoroughly cleaned in no time at all.

    The mop has a two-tank cleaning system, enabling it to effortlessly switch from vacuuming to mopping. It also has a sensor that prevents it from mopping your carpet, although it can vacuum low-pile rugs effectively.

    The lithium-ion battery is good for over 2 hours of runtime, and it uses a row-by-row cleaning pattern to ensure that no spots are missed. However, the navigation leaves something to be desired because it’s constantly getting stuck. It also struggles to find traction on wet floors.

    It alternates between vacuuming and mopping but won’t wet-vac. That means it pushes around quite a bit of dirty water, so while your floors will look clean, you might not want to eat off them. The wash pads aren’t that absorbent either, so it will be quite a while until your floors are dry.

    The Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert isn’t for everyone, but those who don’t have much carpet in their home might want to try it.

    Pros
    • Mops and vacuums
    • Sensor prevents it from mopping carpets
    • 2-hour runtime
    Cons
    • Only works on hard floors
    • Struggles to find traction on wet floors
    • Lacks wet-vac capabilities
    • Pushes dirty water around

    9. OKP Life K2 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    OKP Life K2 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    Weight: 6.8 pounds
    Compatibility: iOS, Android
    Remote: Yes

    The OKP Life K2 is an inexpensive model that has almost all the same bells and whistles that you’ll find on high-end machines, but these ones aren’t quite as good.

    It can run up to 100 minutes before needing to recharge, but only on low-suction mode. If you have a big mess (like an excessive amount of kitty litter) to clean up, it will drain the battery quickly.

    Setting it up is quick and intuitive, which is good because the instructions won’t be much help. It comes with both a remote and an app, but we recommend sticking with the remote because the app has serious issues.

    This vacuum doesn’t have a brush, and as a result, it struggles to get litter and other debris out of thicker carpets. The bin fills up quickly all the same, so expect to have to dump it out frequently.

    The OKP Life K2 is a good choice if you’re looking to save money, but you’ll have to sacrifice some usability as a result.

    Pros
    • Runs for up to 100 minutes per charge
    • Setup is quick and intuitive
    • Includes both remote and app control
    Cons
    • Battery drains quickly on higher suction modes
    • App isn’t that useful
    • Instructions aren’t helpful
    • Struggles getting debris out of thick carpet
    • Small bin requires frequent emptying

    10. Kenmore 31510 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    Kenmore 31510 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    Weight: 10.5 pounds
    Compatibility: Android, Alexa, Google Assistant, Wi-Fi
    Remote: App only

    The Kenmore 31510 is a good starter model because it’s easy to use and does a good enough job cleaning up messes.

    It’s easy to pair it with your Android device (no iOS compatibility, though), and from there, controlling it is a breeze, even if you use your voice. The Wi-Fi connection can be spotty, but you don’t have to be connected for it to work.

    The suction is fairly powerful, but if it detects even the slightest bit of drag on the rollers, it will shut itself down. That can be an issue if you have long-haired cats or need to vacuum up a large amount of kitty litter.

    It comes with magnetic strips that are intended to block off any areas that you don’t want it to clean, but they don’t stay flat that well, which defeats the purpose. It also struggles to find its home if it wanders too far away from the base.

    If you’re just dipping your toes into the robot vacuum waters, the Kenmore 31510 is an affordable way to see how the machines work. Don’t be surprised if you look to upgrade before long, though.

    Pros
    • Easy to pair with the app
    • Fairly powerful suction
    Cons
    • No iOS compatibility
    • Shuts down if there’s any drag on the brushes
    • Magnetic blocking strips won’t lay flat
    • Struggles to find base at times
    • Wi-Fi connection is spotty

    hepper cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    If you’ve decided that you want a robot vacuum but are not sure where to start, this guide will cover the most pressing questions that you should be asking yourself before you start shopping.

    How Do I Decide on the Right Robot Vacuum for Me?

    Not all robot vacuums are created equal, and it’s not as simple as dividing them into “good machines” and “junk.” Some are better for certain situations than others, and you should know what you need before you begin your search.

    Start by thinking about your home. What kind of floors do you have? If you have carpet, you’ll want a machine with strong suction. A home with mostly hard floors may want a machine that also mops, however.

    You should also think about how high-tech you want to go. Some machines will map your house so they can work more efficiently, and they also have fancy apps that let you do everything short of piloting it. Others come with remotes. There’s not necessarily a wrong answer here, but the fancier machines are generally better (if you can figure them out).

    Decide on a budget too. As a general rule, the more expensive models usually are the best, but they may come with bells and whistles that you neither want nor need. It’s absolutely possible to find a cheap robot vacuum that works well, but expect it to be a bit limited in the services that it can provide.

    robot vacuum cleaning the living room
    Image Credit: Kojin, Shutterstock

    What Makes One Robot Vacuum Better at Picking Up Cat Litter Than Another?

    This is a surprisingly complex question because there are quite a few factors that affect a machine’s performance.

    One of the biggest things that you’ll need to look for is the presence of rollers. Not all robot vacuums have them, and the ones that do are likely to be better at picking up litter and hair. They’re also going to need more maintenance, though, because all that litter and fur can cause clogs.

    You may want a machine with side brushes, as these can help round up stray litter that would otherwise just get pushed around.

    Suction power is another important factor, especially if you use heavy litter. You want to be sure your robot vacuum is up to the task of sucking up big chunks of the stuff, or else you’re wasting your time and money.

    You’ll find that certain machines are specially designed for pet owners, so that’s a good place to start.

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    If you’re shopping for a robot vacuum, we recommend getting the Pure Clean Smart Robot. It’s powerful and smart, and it will actually make your life easier. If money’s your main concern, though, the yeedi k600 is an excellent budget option that works just as well as some of the more expensive models out there.

    The robot vacuums in these reviews are ideal for taking an undesirable chore off your plate, and as a bonus, they’ll also keep you from resenting your cat for kicking all that litter on the floor.


    Featured Image Credit: Proxima Studio, Shutterstock