CatGenie Automatic Litter Box Review

Is “the world’s only self-flushing, self washing cat box” a good choice for your cat?

The CatGenie is sold by PetNovations, LTD, a company created by an Israeli entrepreneur and former rocket scientist named Tal Gordon. This company and its US subsidiary, PetNovations, Inc. are dedicated to creating and selling – you guessed it – innovative products for pets.

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In an interesting divergence from the traditional dry litter pan, the CatGenie brings the flushing action of the human toilet to the litter box. It says goodbye to traditional litter, replaces it with reusable plastic pellets, and adds swirling water and hot air for a complete clean.

Instead of just filtering out waste and locking it away into a tray like most automatic litter boxes do, the CatGenie whisks cat waste down the drain. It’s an exciting concept. No more scooping, no more trash bags, and no more litter. If it does what the ads claim, the CatGenie grants a few more wishes than the average litter box.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the CatGenie, answering important questions like:

  • What is the CatGenie?
  • How does it work?
  • Is it worth the money?
  • What do real customers think about it?
  • And where can you buy it?

What is the CatGenie?

It’s a round litter box that looks like a small human toilet. Your cat uses it the same way that they’d use an ordinary litter box – scratch, squat, and cover. The differences show up after your cat uses it. That’s when the scooping and sanitizing process begins. The cleaning cycle starts automatically 10 or 30 minutes after use, unless you choose to trigger it manually at the push of a button.

Instead of remaining in the litter box, liquid waste drops down through the granules and into a sanitizing reservoir below. Solid waste is scooped up by the automatic Genie Hand and enters a sanitizing reservoir, where the solids are broken down and prepare for flushing.

It hooks up to your cold water line in the bathroom or laundry room, allowing water to swirl through the box and clean the washable plastic granules. The water is mixed with a proprietary sanitary solution, ensuring that the granules are fresh and clean. After the washing cycle is done, it’s time to dry the plastic with hot air.

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Here’s a video review showing the CatGenie in action:

How do you use the CatGenie?

First of all, you’ll need to attach the CatGenie to your water supply and direct the drainage hose. This automatic litter box is 21” high, 19.25” wide, and 24.5” long, so choose a part of your bathroom or laundry room with enough space for a large litter box.

If you choose to pair the Genie with your toilet, all the dissolved waste material will end up in the bowl, ready to flush. Otherwise, it will direct into your laundry waste drain.

This video shows you how to install the CatGenie:

After you’ve installed the Genie, you can set an automatic timer of 10 or 30 minutes after your cat uses the box or choose to trigger cycles manually.

How long does the washing cycle take?

The entire process takes 34 minutes – 17 minutes spent washing and 17 drying. Particularly if you have multiple cats, this long cleaning cycle can present problems when your cats want to revisit the litter box.

Is the CatGenie loud?

The sound of the CatGenie working is compared to a dishwasher or washing machine. Some cats are afraid of it and some aren’t. You might not like the sound of it, either, but most reviewers don’t complain about the noise. The Genie Hand snaps and clicks as it moves, and that might be a bit jarring.

How much does the CatGenie cost?

The CatGenie retails for $200 to $250 – that’s a scratch more than the average litter box. For those who haven’t tried an automatic litter box, this might look like a steep price.

The people behind CatGenie also say the litter box will save you money in the long run. Let’s see if that’s true.

Because it uses reusable plastic granules instead of disposable litter, the CatGenie could save you $50 or more on litter expenses each year.

The only problem is that the permanent granules aren’t permanent.

Numerous customer reviews confirm that the washable granules throw themselves away before you have a chance to – sticking to cats’ paws and disappearing out of the box and around the house. The granules don’t just go out of the CatGenie – they can stick to the waste and get whisked off into the grinding and dissolving mechanism. CatGenie says you’ll need to replace the granules once every 4-6 months, but scattering and tracking could send that replacement frequency through the roof.

Some people recommend using plastic resin pellets made for 3D printers. They are virtually identical to the proprietary pellets and can help you save on replacement costs. CatGenie also sells an optional sidewall that minimizes escape routes for the washable granules.

Replacing the sanitary solution can be expensive, too.

Each sanitary solution cartridge lasts for 120-240 washes and costs about $23.

And remember that the CatGenie requires electricity – the Genie consumes about 20 watts per cycle. With more cats and more cycles per day, the litter box will have a bigger impact on your utility bill.

All things considered, you’re looking at a $250 starting cost, plus a minimum of $110 in annual maintenance costs.

Of course, that only applies if you have just one cat. By most standards, the CatGenie becomes increasingly impractical as your cat community grows.

If something goes wrong – and malfunctions are common – that cost could go up. The product comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Where can you buy the CatGenie?

The CatGenie is available online directly through the CatGenie website, along with several other retailers including Amazon, Chewy, and RobotShop.

What do real customers think of the CatGenie?

On Chewy, the CatGenie has 112 customer reviews, earning it a 4.2 out of 5 star rating. 86% of customers say they’d recommend the automatic litter box. On Amazon, 890 customer reviews earn the CatGenie a 3.9 out of 5 star rating.

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And what are they saying about it?

The CatGenie has a high rate of customer satisfaction. Most buyers are happy to have a time-saving cat litter appliance that helps to keep their house smelling fresh. They say it’s easy to set up, cat-friendly, and makes their busy lives easier.

Negative reviews touch on a variety of issues, but one pops up repeatedly in the most vehement criticisms.

It’s probably the biggest and most frustrating problem you’ll encounter when using the CatGenie. And there’s no obvious way to solve it.

The biggest problem facing CatGenie users is the fact that there’s no way to guarantee that the Genie will successfully capture and dissolve all of your cat’s feces. And if you have to use a litter scoop to pick out what the Genie Hand misses, is it really an automatic litter box anymore?

So let’s hear it from the customers themselves.

I’ve chosen two highly-informative reviews from people who had radically different experiences with the CatGenie.

Chewy user DawnB wonders “How did I live without it?” and explains that the CatGenie took the unpleasant effort and odor out of sharing their home with cats.

“After I bought a kitten for company to my older cat, I realized how much I dislike scooping and the smell. I agonized for a month over to fork over $200 on this cat toilet. Would my cats use it? Would it work? Well, I finally said enough with scooping! Best money I have ever spent. EVER. No more scooping, no more stink!!! Boy do I love this cat toilet. My youngest 4 month old kitten had no reservations to use it quickly and likes watching it. My older cat was hesitant but I followed the directions and he now uses it too. I don’t mind the sound because it lets me know it’s being used, yippee. I highly recommend getting the sidewalls and dome at the same time. Litter will come out, not a lot, the dome will help with that. Plus if your kitties have loose stools, the dome can keep the mess contained. O.o I placed this next to the toilet in my hall bathroom. I wondered if there would be a lingering smell since it drains into the toilet and you will need to flush the toilet yourself. NO SMELL. Buy this now, let them take your money. Throw it at their faces! Now go enjoy not ever having to scoop. Buy it.”

A Chewy user posting as AnimalMama opened their review with a chilling warning to prospective CatGenie buyers: “Do not buy this cat poop oven”.

AnimalMama elaborated on their experience in the following review:

“We bought this thinking it would solve the problem of smelly cat poop. Now since we’ve had it..we have baked cat poop smells. I cannot tell you how rancid the smell is!! First when a cat has a softer ( not runny just a softer poop) the poop gets stuck on the automatic scoop. It will go through the whole cycle with cat poop stuck. That means the poop gets washed and dried. It is beyond disgusting. Next there are little pieces of cat poop that are too small to get picked up by the scooper. Those also get washed and dried. The smell is like a pig farm…literally. We have a very large home (3400 sq ft) the smell goes through the entire house. Even in rooms with the doors closed. That is how bad it is. We have tried everything to make sure no poop gets stuck on the scoop…that means when I am home I put gloves on and have to physically pick poop off the scoop. I have to sift through the little plastic litter by hand and we have had to change these plastic litter pieces 3 times already and they are expensive. This has been a nightmare! I think for this price and the price of the litter and cleaning solution this thing should work without fail. Do not waste your time with this thing!”

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Click here to read more CatGenie reviews on Chewy.

What’s great about the CatGenie?

It frees up your time and can make life easier.

The biggest draw of the CatGenie is its potential to free up your time. In the five minutes per day you spend cleaning your cat’s litter box, you could learn to paint, train your cat to shake paws, or meditate. Although a noisy customer contingent says that the product causes more problems than it solves, the CatGenie has a generally good reputation for saving people time and making life a little bit easier.

It’s a good fit for people with limited mobility.

If you can’t scoop cat litter or lift bags of waste due to mobility issues, the CatGenie provides a hands-off solution to the litter box problem.

The CatGenie frees you from the problems of traditional litter.

Traditional clay litter has numerous problems. It produces a lot of dust, making it dangerous to inhale and particularly inappropriate for people and cats with respiratory issues. And while some plant-derived litter can irritate cats with allergies, the washable plastic granules won’t aggravate plant allergies.

The washable granules contain an additive that encourages plastic-hungry bacteria to consume the plastic within nine months in septic systems and two years in landfills. The cartridges contain the same additive. This sets it apart from non-biodegradable clay litter.

What’s not so great about the CatGenie?

It tends to have difficulty collecting feces.

Again, this is the flaw that really tends to get customers steamed – like the Amazon reviewer who said that “Hell Hath No Fury Like The Scent Of Baking Cat Poo Brownies”. Like every litter scoop, the Genie Hand can’t catch everything. But because this machine involves heat in the cleaning process, things can get particularly smelly.

It requires electricity and doesn’t have a backup battery, so power outages will result in an un-cleaned litter box.

The CatGenie is reliant on electricity, so be prepared for a little manual scooping if you lose power.

It makes it more difficult to monitor your cat’s waste.

Monitoring your cat’s litter box is one of the best ways to assess their health. Changes in fecal condition, urine quantity, and the presence of blood in the waste are all indicators of health status. When you have an ultra-sanitary litter box that whisks your cat’s waste away through the household plumbing, it can be difficult to keep an eye on what’s coming out of their body. Using the manual mode can help you to check up on your cat’s waste before flushing everything away.

The granules have a serious tracking problem.

They’re small, light, and they go everywhere. This is one litter box to pair with a good litter mat.

The Final Verdict – Is the CatGenie worth it?

If you’re someone who is constantly frustrated by daily litter scooping and weekly trash bag hauls, you’ll appreciate that the CatGenie is an all-in-one waste disposal system.

If you’re willing to tolerate potential malfunctions and don’t mind using proprietary granules and special sani-solution cartridges in exchange for a hands-off litter box experience, the CatGenie is a solution for you. No other automatic litter box is more like a human toilet in its ability to flush away cat waste – as if it never existed.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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