Cleaning out the cat box is one of the least favorite chores for many cat owners. It involves scooping out feces, dealing with the accompanying unpleasant odors, and periodically washing out the entire box. This distaste for dealing with cat waste is something many pet product companies have capitalized on by creating self-cleaning cat boxes. Cat Genie is one such box at the high-end of the market in both technology and price.
How it Works
This self-cleaning box is hooked up to your home’s cold water supply and electrical outlet. Washable and biodegradable litter granules are placed inside the bowl section where your cat will do its business. Liquids drip down through the granules into a reservoir that contains a special sanitizing solution called SaniSolution. During the cleaning cycle, the inner walls of the bowl moves and granules are filtered through a scooper called the Genie hand. This scooper traps solid feces and then scoops it up and into a special container within the system. There, the fecal matter is mixed with SaniSolution and liquefied. Urine and the liquefied feces are flushed away into your sewer system.
The bowl continues to rotate as water and SaniSolution pour over them to disinfect them. After the litter has been cleaned, a blow-drying feature activates to dry the granules. The washing cycle can be set to go
automatically once or twice per day or set to go on after your cat leaves the box. If neither of these options is appealing, you can choose to forego the automated feature and just push a button when you want the system to go through a wash cycle.
There are two models, 60 and 120, but the company has discontinued model 60.
The Cat Genie 120 is offered by many pet stores as well as the Cat Genie website. The price ranges from just over $200 for just the Genie to over $300 for packaged deals that include accessories. Those on a tight budget could consider searching for a used model or a 60 model from an individual reseller on Amazon or elsewhere, but it may not come with a warranty in that case.
This product is large and you should make sure you have adequate space in your bathroom or laundry room before purchasing it. It measures 19.25″ in width by 24.5″ in length and 21″ in height. Remember also that you need to have access to a cold-water intake and an electrical outlet.
Also consider adding a litter mat to help reduce the litter scatter around your box and throughout your home.
Accessories and Supplies SaniSolution cartridges: These need to be replaced every few months. The cost is around $25 per cartridge.
Genie Granules: Although the granules are washable, they will need replenishing every few months. These cost around $24 per box and last up to six months.
Genie Sidewalls: This addition offers some additional protection from flying granules, for those whose cats tend to fling cat litter. The cost is about $20.
GenieDome: This domed top gives the cat added privacy. These are sold for around $35.
GeniePaw:A mat made to prevent tracking of the granules outside of the Genie. These cost about $25. Replacement Parts: The litter scoop, called the GenieHand, Inlet hose Spare Parts Kit, and T-adaptor are all available for purchase when old parts wear down or break. A replacement GenieHand is around $18, a T-adaptor is around $15 and hose kits cost around $15.
The Pros Regarding this Cat Box
It eliminates the health hazards of handling cat waste, such as toxoplasmosis and other serious diseases caused by parasites or bacteria. The granules are also dust free, which makes it safer for your lungs as well as your pet’s lungs. This self-cleaning cat box may be helpful for those with back problems or other health issues that make bending over to clean difficult or impossible. It is safe for septic systems. Any granules that find a way into the septic system break down after several months. There are fewer odors. Because waste is removed promptly and the litter cleaned, your house should smell fresher when this litter box is working correctly. It reduces household and landfill waste. Most standard cat litters biodegrade very slowly, or not at all. You should save money in the end, as you won’t need to buy litter. You will need to replenish the granules and liquid solution, but that is only necessary to do so every few months versus buying litter every week. Many cats enjoy the warmth emanating from the granules after the blow-drying cycle. Cats that refuse to use dirty litter boxes should be more accepting of this one, if the user sets it to clean after each use.
Potential Cons about This Product
Many cats are easily frightened, and some may be initially scared by the cleaning cycle and refuse to use the Genie. In many cases, the cat will get over the fear and accept this as the new bathroom. However, it is not guaranteed that that will be the case. Like any mechanical object, the Genie can malfunction and need replacement. Because of the price, replacement will cost significantly more than replacing a standard litter box. The self-cleaning mechanism is powered by electricity, which means it will not function in a power outage. Some users have reported on Amazon reviews that fecal matter that is not fully removed will “cook” during the drying process, releasing a terrible odor. Some users have also reported problems with the granules sticking to the cat’s fur and ending up around the house.
Households with more than three cats should purchase more than one of these to handle the excess workload. Although it is low-maintenance day to day, the product does need to be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned periodically. Cat Genie may be a good buy for you if you have the budget for it, have sufficient space for it and feel the investment is worth a break from cleaning litter boxes. Although there were glitches and other problems reported, the positive reviews on places such as Amazon outnumber the poor reviews. Those who do decide to purchase this, or any other mechanical box, should remember to look at all warranties and keep the paperwork on file if any problems arise.