Sunday October 22nd 2017

The CatGenie waves its magic rake and *POOF* the poop is gone!

I purchased a CatGenie unit a little over two months ago to set up in my new home. I share my home with one medium sized adult female cat, Willow. Willow is a fairly easy going cat who has never given us litter box problems either prior to, or after the introduction of the CatGenie.

What is a CatGenie?

The tagline on CatGenie’s website offers a fairly apt description of what this machine does: “The World’s Only Self-Cleaning, Self-Flushing Cat Box.” The CatGenie is a giant litter bowl that is filled with plastic granules instead of litter. With the press of a button the inner bowl begins to rotate and a scoop extends out from inside the unit. The scoop rakes through the litter and picks up all the poop. This cycle is very thorough and lasts about 10 minutes. The rake drops the poop into the back of the unit. So far this is nothing out of the ordinary, there are a number of cat boxes out there that automatically scoop.

The amazing piece is that the box now washes itself. The CatGenie hooks into your water line – it is recommended that you hook it to either your toilet water line or the washer machine line. Using the CatGenie cleaning solution the bowl fills itself with water, spins around and drains a couple times over the next 10 minutes. Meanwhile it is also liquifying the poop it scooped up earlier. All the dirty water is then expelled from the machine out the drain hose. You can hook the drain hose up to either drain into your toilet bowl (you then need to flush your regular toilet) or your washer machine drain. The final cycle of the CatGenie is to dry the granules. This also takes another 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of cleaning time. You can set your CatGenie to either clean automatically at certain times or you can just manually started when necessary. I have read the newest CatGenie also has an automatic option that is triggered when the cat leaves the litter box.

Initial Set-up

The CatGenie is fairly simple to set up. It comes out of the box mostly assembled and you just need to pop three pieces together. The most challenging part is hooking the water input up to your water line. I do not have any plumbing experience and was a bit nervous about this step, but it was really no problem. First you need to turn off your water, unscrew the existing connections and screw on the “splitter” adaptor piece CatGenie provides. Then you reattach the existing plumbing to one end of the splitter and the CatGenie hose to the other end and your water is set up. The exit drain simply hooks over the edge of your toilet or washer drain – nothing technical there. Then you just plug into a power outlet and you’re off.

I did have one mechanical problem initially – my CatGenie bowl was jammed and it did not spin. This was easily resolved by rotating the bowl by hand and freeing it from the stuck position. Since then I have not had any mechanical problems.

CatGenie's drain hose hooked to my toilet

CatGenie hooked up to my toilet's water line.


Cleaning and Maintenance

CatGenie markets itself as a “set it and forget it” type solution. This is true to a certain extent. If everything goes well you could leave the unit alone for a month or two and never intervene. Eventually, however, I find the CatGenie needs a good scrub down – more than it can do for itself. Fortunately, the CatGenie is pretty easy to take apart. Almost all of the pieces of the CatGenie lift straight up and out of the unit for easy cleaning. After owning the CatGenie for two months I just gave it a good cleaning. While it was not totally gross, I found that a lot of waste particles had ended up stuck in the back of the unit. I also found quite a bit of hair wrapped around the motor. I am afraid if I don’t take care of these things on a regular basis they will likely lead to worse problems down the road.
The only other cleaning troubles the CatGenie poses is those darn plastic granules. Something about the shape of these granules get stuck to the cats feet and I find them all over my house.

Cost Effectiveness

After the initial cost of the unit you will need to continue to purchase cleaning solution ($15 a cartridge) and litter granules ($24 a box). The cleaning solutions lasts 60 washes. Personally, I only need to run my unit once a day, and the solution lasted the advertised 60-ish washings. I would suspect someone with two cats would run the unit twice a day using the solution up in 30 days. It is recommended that you replace the litter granules every 4-6 months, although you may need to keep a box on hand to top off the litter. As I mentioned before this litter escapes the box very easily and much will end up in your vacuum. This works out to about $13/month per cat for the upkeep of the CatGenie – I would say this is on par with traditional litter.

Cat’s Reaction

This is probably an obvious statement for those who have lived with cats – cats can be picky creatures. The directions recommend you introduce the CatGenie slowly to your cat: place it beside the old litter box or in the same place the old litter box used to sit. I just jumped in head first and introduced the CatGenie when we moved and did not give an alternate litter box. Fortunately, my cat is fairly easy going and just used the CatGenie straight away. I have heard from other owners their attempts with pickier cats were not so successful.

Conclusion

I am a big fan of the CatGenie and recommend it to any cat owners. I have been fortunate that my cat took to the machine right away, but I am sure others may have problems in this department. I have not had any mechanical problems or problems with clogs or jams. Even if the machine were to break down in a year I would buy a replacement in a heartbeat. The amount of time saved scooping litter and the lack of litter box smell in my house is well worth the price for me.

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3 Responses to “The CatGenie waves its magic rake and *POOF* the poop is gone!”

  1. David B. says:

    We just had our CatGenie delivered today.
    After a minor issue with the water supply line, (had to run to HD and buy a more flexible line), we’re now up and running.

    The wife and I have three cats.

    After purchasing three, (yes three), LitterMaids in the last twelve months, we decided to try another product.
    I guess we’ll see how this one works out.

    You wrote this “review” back in August…
    This begs the question, how do you like the CatGenie now that three months have come to pass?

  2. veda says:

    Hi David, Thanks for your comments.

    I’ve now been using the cat genie for almost 6 months and it is still running great. My only complaint would be that over time I think some of the urine has seeped into the plastic. It is not a problem normally but when the cat genie runs its drying cycle and the plastic heats up it smells like hot pee :(

    Beyond that everything is still running perfectly and I would not give up the machine over this flaw.

  3. Richard says:

    The plastic moulding and granules are not able to absorb the urine so it could be that as you are running a CatGenie 60 model there is sediment in the base that is starting to smell. Call customer services and ask them if a scrubber wheel from the new 120 model will fit in yours and they might send you a free one. This sits under the bowl and keeps the bottom free of sediment and should reduce the smell. Also try putting in a few scoops of Oxy Clean and fill it with warm water and leave for a few hours. Then plug Catgenie in and it should run a drain cycle. Then set a wash cycle but sit with it while it scoops or the wet granules will get shovelled down the hopper. Shake the scoop as it lifts up. That will make a big difference.

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