Home robotics help our furry friends as well. The Cat Genie is a relatively new self cleaning litter box aimed at automating the kitty litter cleaning process. If the measure of a good home robot is how well it automates househould drudgery, then the Cat Genie is an especially effective robotic device.
While the floor cleaning industry is now well stocked with robotic vacuums like the Roomba, kitty litter cleaning is still a relatively untested domain.Cat Genie is the leading product by PetNovations and has quickly become a best seller in the automated litter cleaning niche.
The company is narrowly focused on provided solutions for cat lover’s and their cats, which helps keep the product line focused cat owners first. As the flagship product, Cat Genie is is quickly becoming a household name for cat owners.
This page is meant to serve as the ultimate resource for Cat Genie reviews. We go in depth and take a look at whether or not this product measures up to the hype. We compare the pros and cons and take a look at the competition too. If you are going to spend the money, first get the complete picture right here.
Leading Features of the CatGenie
Before getting into the pros and cons, lets take a look at the features of the CatGenie…
Regular Automated Cleaning: This is obviously the single biggest attraction. The CatGenie automatically cleans kitty litter about four (4) times a day, leaving owners with a completely hands-free solution. While not always perfect, it is pretty close to it.
One Touch Controls: All the CatGenie requires is a single interaction with the interface to set or adjust the cycle. Without even coming near the kitty litter itself, you still have complete control over when the kitty litter is changed.
State of the Art Recycling System: The marquee feature of this system is the advanced cleaning and recycling of litter in the convenience of your own home.
Tested Pet Friendly: Pets actually like this device! This is not like the Roomba that scares your pets away. Most cats take to Cat Genie with ease and can adapt readily to their litter box replacement. For creatures of habit, this is saying something.
Ready for Set-Up: CatGenie comes with everything you need to get started. This includes extra granules and even the necessary hookups for the plumbing connection.
Let’s check out a video demonstration of the CatGenie in action..
Cat Genie Pros and Cons
A More Automated Solution: This is the single most important “pro” of the entire systems. It takes what is often a dirty, smelly, and mundane daily chore and automates the process. While it is not fool-proof and occassionally has glitches, it is actually remarkably reliable.
Cost Effective: While there is a relatively high initial up-front cost associated with purchasing the system, the longer you own it the more savings you can realize.
Kitty litter is not all that cheap and if you calculate how much you spend on average and then apply it to the cost of the CatGenie, most will see a good return on investment. In one year, the average household owning two cats uses – on average- 336lbs of litter.
Environmentally Friendly: Kitty litter is usually produced via strip-mining techniques which can be extremely harmful to the environment. What the CatGenie essentially does is recycle the same kitty litter, thereby maximizing the lifetime use of the litter and minimizing waste.
No More Carrying:Kitty litter backs are notorious for being larger, cumbersome, and heavy. Thanks to the CatGenie’s reusuable granules, you will never again have to lug in these heavy bags.
2 Kitty Max: The CatGenie works really well for one or two cats. Add any more and things start to get dicey. While three smaller cats might still work, the autoclean cycle might start getting jammed up after two cats.
Unjamming the CatGenie unfortunately is not an easy (or clean) task. Also, the more “lumps” for the machine to clean, the less effective the cleaning mechanism becomes.
Relatively Long Cleaning Cycle: While it is hard to complain about an automated kitty litter cleaning device, some users have long been waiting for a shorter cleaning cycle. This is especially true for owners with more than one cat. The cleaning cycle runs about 30 minutes in total.
Messy Repairs: As alluded to earlier, in the rare case when the system clogs or malfunctions in some other way, troubleshooting is not an entirely pleasant task.
However, the risk is definitely mitigated by the reward of not having to change litter boxes on a regular basis. The technology is quite reliable generally speaking, despite the occassional issue.
Requires Water and Eletrical Hookup: This is not so much a con as it is a requirement. The CatGenie does relay on having an accessible eletrical and cold water hookup to function. It is not a self-contained system (and thankfully so).
Click Here to Read Full Customer Cat Genie Reviews
What’s in the Box
The CatGenie comes inclusive with the following…
- CatGenie basin and base stand
- Computer Module System
- Starter box of granules
- Bonus refill box of granules
- Self-repair kit
- Hopper cover
- Plastic scooper attachment
- T-adapters for plumbing hookup
Competition: Cat Genie Comparison
The CatGenie is not the only automated kitty litter system on the market. There are a variety of other sytsems available that feature a wide array of unique cleaning mechanisms.
The PetSafe Simply Clean Continuous-Clean Litter Box can be purchased for significantly less than the CatGenie; however, it is far less reliable and has received fewer positive ratings than the CatGenie.
Similarly, the ScoopFree Litter Tray has some intriguing features for a lower price, but is not as capable as the CatGenie. Many of the competing systems do not rely on outside water or electrical sources, but this can seriously diminish their effectiveness.
This is especially true if you have more than one cat in your house.
UPDATE: Since the CatGenie was released, the Litter-Robot has really gobbled up market share in recent months. It’s loved by users for its reliability and easy automation. It is more of a self-contained system, without as much heavy duty set-up and installation needed.
It cycles on its own approximately every 7-10 minutes after it senses the cat has left. I’m still on the fence about which I prefer in the CatGenie vs Litter Robot debate, but the latter has certainly provided a solid alternative to consider. You can check it out further here.
Where to Buy the Cat Genie
After reading up on the Cat Genie reviews, you may be ready to make the purchase. The best place to find the Cat Genie is usually online. Some box stores will have it, but since it is a relatively niche product, finding it can be hit or miss.
We definitely recommend checking out Amazon.com first as they usually offer a discount off of the retail price anyway. Last I checked, it was in the range of an 8-10% discount. While shipping normally might be a concern, it is relatively easy to qualify for free shipping on a purchase of this size.
Please make sure to follow our link below to correct official product listing with the best price.
As a former cat genie owner, these things are really great when, allow me to emphasize that, WHEN they work. Of the roughly 4 years of cat genie ownership, I would estimate ours worked flawlessly for a total of about 6 months. We had to have two “brain” units shipped to us as the units durability, and frankly the craftsmanship of said units is definitely lacking. After around 3 months of robotic bliss of having a cat toilet, the madness began. It all started one night when we were awoken to the new nightmare that would be the soundtrack to the destruction of our carpeting, Beep-Beep-beep. The dreaded 3 beeps of doom. The cat genie would repeatedly think its water fill level was off, thus shuts down completely as some sort of diabolical protection mechanism. When I say shuts down, I mean exactly that, a lovely punchbowl of raw feline fecie water. The machine once in this state does not drain, does not even pick up the little doo claw hand scoop, just sits in there beeping helplessly for us to come and have to disassemble and reassemble the unit to reset its brain. Oh the joys of 3am poo fixing. Then once reset the nasty scoop dumps a good portion of the special order only litter material down the poop chute, drains out the special order sani solution (ohh the sani solution scam that could be a whole website in and of itself) and dirty water out without rinsing, and then just to kick ya when you’re down, uses its hairdryer like thing to blow a wonderful house filling smell of cat sewage into your home. If you think a regular litterbox stinks, just you wait till this joyous occasion. Then the next best part happens. The cats which are now accustomed to their sparkling clean litter, act like a bunch of spoiled plutocrats and refuse to use such common utilities, thus pick out finer places that will suit their needs like plush carpeting or the laundry basket, or other inconspicuous places that are rarely used until you have guests over and the always hilarious cat turd is spotted next to the dining room table etc.
So after several rounds of cat genie battles of increasing frequency and duration. The problem finally became bad enough to call tech support for trouble shooting, after many hours of phone calls the company finally breaks down and says, oh that’s a known issue and we will send you a great “new” unit under your 2 year warranty. So with prompt shipping the unit arrives at our door and things are working smoothly. Reminiscent of the classic demonic possession movies, after a blissful 3 months or so of wonderful happy cats and clean litter, in the dead of the night, BEEP BEEP BEEP…its baaackkk. Same story again. Next unit arrives again under warranty same thing happens, this time about 6 months down the road. Now the wonderful people at petnovations completely refuse to stand behind their wonderful product saying it is fully out of warranty and a new control unit will be $250 and also will not be covered by the warranty. Now each of these brain units have a different serial number so I make the argument that what difference does it make if the plastic base is 2 years old the new unit is the real device here. They had the resolve of a 100 year old oak tree and wouldn’t budge an inch on this. Even when escalated to the coo of their 10 person (seems that way anyway they may have 15 total members of their business) they went nowhere, primarily because I could no longer get anyone to return my calls. So we have since switched back to regular litter, and sadly for us only one of our 2 cats has transitioned back to the regular litter. So if you are the kind of consumer that loves terrible gadgets, and is an aficionado for home repairs( esp flooring) then this is THE product for you, all others buyer beware.
Patrick Sinclair says
Thanks for sharing! That sounds like a frustrating experience, but hopefully it can help other readers. I haven’t noticed this problem with my unique, but it could be that we have just one cat. I’m in the process of buying and evaluating a few different “automated kitty litter systems” on the market. It looks like there are a few different options out there.
Carole Ann says
I had the original Cat Genie. Loved it, but one of my cats did not. It worked fine for three cats, but since cat four wouldn’t use it, and I had to have another litter box anyway, they all still used the other litter box.
After a few years, the wand didn’t work anymore, and there were no replacement parts, as they had gone on to a new model, so the company wanted me to buy a new one ( no discount for returning my broken one and upgrading ) . It still cleans out the urine, but I would have to scoop the poop manually so I put it away. We are down to one cat, and she goes outside most of the time so I would get one again, but the next cat we are going to try and train to use the toilet instead
Patrick Sinclair says
Thanks for sharing your experience, Carole. It’s definitely a great idea, put its not perfect yet. I think it’s still worth the money, just temper expectations a bit.
Dave Z says
I love these things. I have two of them and they work great. I had a bit of a problem with getting all 4 of my cats to use them, but realized I was rushing them a bit. It’s best to keep a regular litter box nearby for the first while and when you see them using the Cat Genie, start mixing some of the washable granules with the regular litter in the old fashion box. Yes, you will need to buy some extra to do this. Eventually switch it out to just the washable granules. I intentionally left the old box get a bit dirty, the cats will go to the clean box. As for the sani-solution, I go through the equivalent of one cartridge a month by using the cat activation, so about $25. Even when I factor in increased water, power, and the maintenance cartridge, it’s still cheaper than all the litter I was going through and without continually scooping cat crap. I have yet to experience the “baked poo” smell that people claim, the dryer just isn’t that hot. The maintenance cartridge doesn’t smell all that great, but I just manually run another cleaning cycle after a maintenance cycle.
Patrick Sinclair says
Thanks for sharing, Dave!