The 4 Best Robot Vacuums For Cat Litter

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by Ileana Morales Valentine

Cats are known for being low-maintenance pets, but sometimes their messes can fall outside of the litter box. To pick the debris up, the best robot vacuum for cat litter features mapping technology, a sizable dustbin, and compatibility with your floor type.

A cat's movements can be unpredictable, which becomes especially evident when they track litter right outside of their litter boxes and across your home. A robot vacuum designed with mapping technology actually creates a map of your home so that it finds and captures dirt and debris in every corner. These vacuums don't go over the same spot twice, but they manage to cover the entire layout of your home. Many of these smart robot vacuums also have the ability to store maps that you can access via a smartphone app, which allows you to make adjustments if necessary, like to cover the area right around the litter box.

It’s important to take into account your home’s flooring and make sure you choose a vacuum that can clean it efficiently. Each of the models below will list whether it's efficient on hardwood floors, tiles, or other hard floor types. Homes with rugs or carpeting will need a more powerful robot vacuum specifically designed to work on low- to medium-pile carpets or rugs. (For high-pile rugs, your best bet is an even more powerful upright vacuum cleaner.)

A robot vacuum will pick up pet hair, bits of cat litter, and dust along the way, so it’s helpful to choose a vacuum with a dustbin capacity of at least 300 milliliters so it can complete a cleaning cycle without needing to stop what you're doing to empty it out.

With all this in mind, below are the best robot vacuums for cat litter, including some budget-friendly picks.

1. The Overall Best Robot Vacuum For Cat Litter

The best robot vacuum for cat litter stands out immediately with its D-shape, which is designed to reach debris in corners or along walls that other cleaners may leave behind. This pick also has a roller brush that is more than half as large as some other robot vacuums to pick up even more pet hair and litter, and reviewers report it's simple to clean the roller brush periodically. Integrate this vacuum into your smart home system, whether you use a Google Home or an Amazon Alexa, to create multiple floor plans, zone cleaning, and areas to avoid, which helps you control the vacuum to target areas around litter boxes. The machine will automatically return to its dock to recharge when the battery is low.

Cat owners, you'll also love that this vacuum has a large 700-milliliter dustbin and comes with a HEPA filter to suck up allergens as it cleans up after your pet. This vacuum with over 1,700 reviews on Amazon is equally effective on hardwood floors, tile, and carpets, and it has a run time of up to 150 minutes on a single charge.

A helpful review: “A long time ago I had one of the first Roombas. And it was pretty cool for what it was. But got stuck a lot, didn't clean very well and was sort of a novelty. Fast forward to 2018. I now have a very hairy cat. Not only is he hairy he is good at tracking litter around the house. The solution was the D7. It cleans daily almost never gets stuck and it does an incredible job. It has basically replaced our Dyson Animal. Instead of randomly bumping around it very intelligently cleans each room. [...]”

2. The Runner Up

The highly precise laser navigation system on this smart robot vacuum enables zone mapping that's accurate within a 2-centimeter margin; using a smartphone app, you can create zones to avoid, home maps, and adjust the power setting. This pick also has cliff sensors to avoid falls off ledges, and it will clean for over 150 minutes and recharge itself if the battery gets low.

The anti-tangle brush sucks up cat litter and hair easily and works on tile, hardwood floors, and low-pile carpeting; it's also detachable so it's easy to clean. This pick has enough suction power to pull out dirt trapped in low-pile rugs or carpets. Its high-performance filter removes about 95% of particles and allergens, which is close to a HEPA filter's 99.97% removal rate. With 1,800 reviews, this highly rated vacuum cleaner has a lot of the same great features as the number one pick, but it does come with a smaller 480-milliliter dustbin.

A helpful review: “Wow. I am obsessed with this vacuum...we have two cats who shed like it is 100 degrees all year round, and basically tap dance in the litter box and track it all around the house. We debated between this model and the Roomba base model that was half the price. It was painful to buy the more expensive option, but the reason we ended up going with this one was the ability to create no-go zones, schedule cleanings, and send the robot to a specific area to spot-clean. It has exceeded my expectations in all of these regards. I love being able to send the robot to the litter box area and kitchen multiple times a day to pick up debris and dirt that would otherwise be tracked throughout the house. And this guy is powerful too! It even vacuums the rugs pretty well. The amount of dust it picks up compared to when I vacuum is incredible. [...] it cleans our 1500 square foot house on one charge and recharges quickly for spot cleaning later. I LOVE IT!!!!”

3. The Best On A Budget

With an under-$200 price tag, this affordable robot vacuum cleaner is a bit of a cult favorite with over 7,000 reviews. In place of a roller brush it has tangle-free suction to avoid tangled pet hair completely while sucking up hair and debris, like cat litter, on hardwood and other hard floorings, such as tile, laminate, or stone, as well as low-pile carpet.

Its low profile allows the vacuum to get under more furniture, and this self-charging pick is programmable and has sensors to avoid bumping and falling. Though it has this list's smallest dustbin at 300 milliliters and a shorter run time of between 90 and 100 minutes, it's a solid budget-friendly choice for pet owners. The robot vacuum has three cleaning modes and comes with a remote.

A helpful review: “[...] i LOVE this thing. It ROCKS. It's super easy to use, cleanly designed, easy as pie to empty and clean, and does a great job. I programmed it so every time I come home at night after work, my floors are clean and the robot vacuum is back in her charging base. I have 2 cats and they scatter kitty litter EVERYWHERE so I mainly got it for that reason - and the Ilife does an amazing job of getting it up. And everything else! I had no idea of the amount of dust and hair and whatnot that gathered ... Now, it's not perfect. No vacuum will be. Occasionally I come home and she's gotten snagged on a cord or stuck somewhere. But you can't expect it to be perfect. Just hide your cords, cat toys, etc, and the iLife should do a great job for you too. Plus.. it's so much cheaper than the others! The one I bought first was a lot more expensive. [...] Highly recommended!”

4. An Affordable Robot Vacuum That’s Better For Rugs Or Carpets

Now if you have more carpeting or rugs in your pet-friendly home, this is the affordable robot vacuum cleaner for you and one that can be programmed for specific zones and areas of your home so that it better targets cat litter boxes. This is the only pick on the list that is effective at cleaning both low-pile and medium-pile carpets; this one also cleans hard floors well. It's a much-loved vacuum with more than 27,000 reviews, and it's available in black or white to match your home decor.

This vacuum has a 600-milliliter dustbin, and some hair can get caught in its brush, but reviewers report it's not a big deal to clean the detachable brush with the provided pick and razor. This is also an ultra-slim machine under 3 inches tall, and it cleans for up to 100 minutes on a full charge. It comes with a remote and works surprisingly quietly, according to shoppers.

A helpful review: “I love this vacuum! It’s quiet and VERY effective. I have very long hair and three cats that shed. I have an expensive vacuum cleaner that I had been using once or twice a week. I don’t like lugging it up and down the stairs. I bought the robot vac primarily for the downstairs where the litter boxes are figuring I could let it go out and clean I’m between. I have found that it cleans BETTER than my traditional vacuum cleaner! It picks up very fine dust particles. It easily transitions over various throw rugs and navigates around each room without trouble. I love it and it’s easy to use so I have a much cleaner house with much less effort!”