2022 Cat Genie Review: Is It Truly a Cat Lover’s Dream Litter Box?

Cat Genie Review

Most cats will refuse to do their business if their litter box is too dirty or cluttered for their liking. While cats are generally easy to care for, maintaining their litter boxes can be a daunting task.

But what if you never have to touch cat litter again? This is exactly what Cat Genie promises. But is it really the answer to cat owners’ prayers? Find out in this comprehensive Cat Genie review.

The Cat Genie can be purchased at Amazon or CatGenie.com.

What is Cat Genie?

CatGenie is a self-cleaning, self-washing, programmable automated litter box that is designed to do all the dirty work for cats and their owners.

It also self-flushes which is something that not many automatic litter boxes can do. A popular competitor in the automatic litter box market is Litter Robot. Even Litter Robot is not capable of flushing cat waste. 

This smart cat toilet needs to be hooked up to a cold water line, drainage area/pipe, and an electrical outlet to function.

This innovative self-washing cat box will dispose of the cat’s waste, wash, sanitize, and dry the reusable litter so you don’t have to change it. 

Instead of regular cat litter, clay litter, or clumping litter commonly used by other automatic cat litter boxes, this cat box uses special, non-absorbent granules that are designed to be washed clean and reused. 

A cartridge of SaniSolution is also included in the set. SaniSolution is a cleaning solution that CatGenie uses to wash, scrub, and scour the granules. Both the granules and SaniSolution come with the set.

How Does Cat Genie Litter Box Work?

The CatGenie litter box has a hose that connects to your cold water line. This is why the bathroom or laundry room is the ideal place to set up this automatic cat litter box.

It also has a drain hose that you can hook onto your toilet bowl rim, or connect to a drainage pipe that is usually found at the back of washing machines.

After the litter box is assembled, plugged into an outlet, and the drain and cold water hoses are set up accordingly, it is now ready to be used. 

When your cat uses the CatGenie, the cat urine is drained through the granules and into the holes at the bottom of the bowl. The liquids then flow into the SaniSolution underneath the bowl. 

The Cat Genie can be set up to automatically run cleaning cycles on a schedule, after every use, or even manually. Manual activation means you need to push a button to start a cleaning cycle. Each cycle takes about 40 minutes.

The cycle is divided into three phases. During the first phase of the cleaning cycle, the granules are run through the Geniehand to filter out solid wastes.

The cat feces are then scooped away and thrown into the Hopper or waste receptacle to be ground up and liquified. After this process, the liquified cat waste is flushed away through the drain hose.

In the second phase of the cleaning cycle, water flows into the self-cleaning litter box and is mixed with SaniSolution.

The washing cycle then scours and cleans the granules. According to the brand, SaniSolution is made of the same cleaning solution used by vets to sanitize surfaces at vet hospitals and clinics. 

After the washing cycle, the third phase of the cleaning cycle is the drying phase. Hot air is blown into the self-cleaning litter box to dry the washed granules. Once dry, the automatic litter box and granules are fresh, clean, and ready to be used again. 

Cat Genie Set-up Requirements

Here are the set-up requirements of a CatGenie self-flushing litter box:

  • Electrical outlet
  • Water line/ cold water intake
  • Drainage pipe/ toilet 
  • Space. The entire unit is 19.25″ wide, 24.5″ long, and 21″ high
  • T-Adapters (included in the set) 

This automated litter box is suitable for homes that use traditional sewers or septic systems. The T-adapters that come with the CatGenie are designed to fit 95% bathroom and laundry setups. However, if it does not fit yours, you can easily purchase a compatible type at hardware stores.

For the Cat Genie self-cleaning litter box to operate, it needs the following components at all times:

CatGenie Washable Granules

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This granules will never need replacement, however, additional granules will be added when the level of the granules fall below the line on the bowl. it is made from natural and synthetic materials.

The self-flushing cat box will not work with any other litter. Using a different type can damage the processing unit and will void the Cat Genie’s warranty.

  • Washable
  • Reusable
  • Designed to never need changing, but needs replenishing. The granules stick to solid wastes. After several months, the amount of plastic litter granules will decrease and could go below optimum levels and will then need a top up 
  • One box lasts between 4 to 6 months
  • Made of natural and synthetic biodegradable substances
  • Biodegradable in septic systems in 9 months
  • Non-toxic
  • Dust-free

Cat Genie SaniSolution

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An exclusive cat-safe cleaning solution designed for CatGenie. It dispenses the right amount of cleaning agent to thoroughly wash and clean the washable granules.

The SaniSolution is what the CatGenie self-flushing litter box uses to thoroughly wash and clean the litter box and the granules.

They come in cartridges that attach to the self-cleaning litter box. The Cat Genie dispenses the exact amount of SaniSolution needed to clean and sanitize the bowl.

  • Made with the same ingredients used for sanitizing veterinarian operating and examination areas
  • Safe for cats, humans, and the environment
  • Keeps the self-flushing cat box and surrounding area smelling clean and fresh
  • Reduces the risk of toxoplasmosis – a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. It is a common parasite that can be found in infected cats’ feces, contaminated meat, etc.
  • 1 cartridge lasts between 3-4 months
  • Manual start cleaning gives you 120 washes per cartridge
  • Cat activation mode provides up to 240 washes per cartridge
  • Comes in Fresh Scent or Scent Free variants
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Cat Genie Assembly

Now that know how the CatGenie self-washing litter box works and what it needs to do its job, it is time to assemble.

The unit itself is pretty easy to put together. It involves just attaching the processing unit, hopper, brim, and bowl. Once the unit itself is set up, simply pop the SaniSolution cartridge into its slot on top of the processing unit. 

Hooking it up to your water line and drain pipe takes a bit more effort, but for most households, a plumber is not required. For assistance, you can also call 1300CatGenie (1300 228 436) so they can walk you through the process.

The first thing you need to do is to identify your cold water intake. If you are setting up the unit in the laundry room, your washing machine is likely connected to it with a hose marked “C”, or a blue hose. If you have decided to set it up in the bathroom, you can connect it to the water line used by your toilet. 

The cold water hose of the Cat Genie can be connected to your water line using the large T-adapter included in the set. Make sure that the black washer of the T-adapter is securely in place. Turn the water off before connecting the hose. The brand states to use your hands to tighten the lock-nut and to not use pliers.

Once you’ve successfully connected the water hose to your water line, take the drain hose and remove the toilet bowl hook if you have a laundry set up. Remove your washing machine’s drain hose from the drainpipe and insert Cat Genie’s drain hose into the drainpipe or waste pipe. 

Re-insert the washing machine’s drain hose back into the pipe. Both drain hoses should fit snugly into the pipe but should not be pinched. The end of the Cat Genie drain hose should sit lower into the drainpipe than that of your washing machine.

For a bathroom setup, use the toilet hook to hook the drain hose over your toilet’s rim. This will allow the Cat Genie to flush its contents directly into your toilet. 

Once everything is connected, tighten the lock nuts and turn the water line on. Check if there are any leaks and hand-tighten the lock nuts if there are any.

After everything is securely connected and leak-free, it’s time to plug the litter box into an outlet. Because the power cord isn’t that long, you may need to use an extension cord. As soon as it is plugged in, it is ready to be used by your kitty.

Cat Genie Cleaning Modes

You can program your Cat Genie to use a cleaning mode that suits you and your cat the best. Here are your cleaning mode options:

Manual Activation

This mode lets you start a cycle on demand. Simply push Start on your Cat Genie to begin the cycle. We recommend using this mode during the first few days of using the CatGenie self-washing litter box. This way, you can more or less gauge how often your cat uses it per day so you can set up a scheduled cycle accordingly.

Cat Activation/ Cat Start 

This mode uses the unit’s built-in sensors called Genie Eyes to detect when a cat is inside the bowl. The Cat Genie is designed to not start a cleaning cycle when it detects a cat in the bowl. In Cat Activation or Cat Start mode, the unit will start a cleaning cycle 10 minutes after the cat leaves the bowl.

This mode may not be suitable for male cats with urinary issues who urinate more frequently than normal or have similar issues.

Auto Start

Auto Start allows you to set scheduled cleaning cycles to run automatically up to 4 times per day. 

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Cat Genie Review – How Well Does the CatGenie Work?

So far, a Cat Genie sounds like a dream for any cat lover. Fully automated, programmable, hygienic, self-cleaning, self-flushing, and not to mention environment-friendly, but how effective is it at what it is designed to do? Let’s dissect each cycle phase.

Scooping Phase

At the start of the cleaning cycle, the GenieHand descends into the bowl to filter the granules and scoop out the cat feces as the bowl rotates. It then chucks the cat’s waste into the Hopper to be pulverized and then turned into liquid before it gets flushed out.

The GenieHand is unfortunately not able to scoop out all of the solid wastes. Smaller bits can sometimes slip through the GenieHand and be left in the bowl. When your cat defecates soft feces, these could get stuck on the GenieHand. Letting it dry before starting a cycle can help avoid this issue.

Washing Phase

The CatGenie self-cleaning litter box starts dispensing water and SaniSolution into the bowl while it continues to rotate. The rotating motions ensure the granules are washed and pushed through the GenieHand to get scrubbed. 

This cleaning process is far from silent. If the noise bothers you at night, you can put the CatGenie on manual activation/ push start mode or auto start mode.

Now during this phase, every left after the scooping phase gets soaked and washed, including the bits of poop that were left behind. After washing, the CatGenie drains the bowl and flushes the water from the dirty litter through the waste water drain. Along with the dirty water, the liquified wastes disposed into the Hopper are also flushed out.

If you have a bathroom set up, CatGenie will flush the waste into your toilet. However, you will have to flush your toilet because the CatGenie is not connected to the flushing mechanism of your toilet.

Drying Phase

Now that the granules are washed, scrubbed, and sanitized, the CatGenie moves into the drying phase after draining. It blows hot air into the bowl to dry the washable litter. 

If any solid wastes were left out during the scooping phase, then they will still be there during this phase. This is where things can get problematic. Because bits left behind can make your bathroom or laundry room smell like hot, baking cat poop during this 20-minute phase.

If no wastes are left in the bowl, then your kitty gets a nice, fresh-smelling litter that is clean, dry, and warm. After the drying process, the bowl is left smelling quite good despite having bits of stool that were not scooped out. It is during the drying process that the smell is the strongest. 

Scooping some of the solid waste and disposing of them yourself may be needed from time to time. This helps avoid getting some stool left in the unit during the drying process.

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Granule Quality and Tracking

Because the granules are designed to be washed and reused, they are unlike any other cat litter you may have used. Some of the washable granules do tend to get tracked by the kitties, however, we find that it is not too bad. This is because the granules are dust-free. 

Your cat can also kick some granules out of the bowl while digging or burying their stool. There have been some buyers who complained that stepping on tracked granules with bare feet can cause some discomfort.

A very small amount of granules do get disposed of with each cleaning. Aside from the ones stuck to the solid waste, a tiny amount gets scooped out by the GenieHand sometimes.

Unlike other cat litter, the granules themselves do not control odor. The washing and sanitizing of the bowl and the granules are what get rid of the odors.

Maintenance

While it is not perfect, the CatGenie definitely reduces the work involved in maintaining litter boxes quite significantly. The occasional manual scooping of some trapped poop in the bowl is a lot less work than the regular scooping required by a normal litter box. Because the granules are flushable, you can simply dump what you scooped out into the toilet.

Topping up the granules once every month or two certainly beats replacing an entire litter box worth a few days a week. Plus, you only need to wash scrub parts of the CatGenie yourself during the recommended twice-yearly thorough cleaning of the entire litter box. Otherwise, every cleaning cycle does the washing and sanitizing for you.

Because some of the plastic litter granules get flushed out or tracked, it is recommended that you keep a box of granules handy at all times to ensure that the amount in the bowl is always at par levels.

The same goes for the SaniSolution. To make sure that your CatGenie is functional round the clock, we recommend keeping at least one extra cartridge on hand. Each cartridge lasts between 3-4 months for a single cat, and 2 months or less for more than one cat. The water sensor should be cleaned whenever the SaniSolution cartridge is replaced.

CatGenie Maintenance Cartridge

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Removes lime and grime from hard to reach parts like the Water Sensor and drain holes on CatGenie. Keeps your CatGenie running more efficiently. Each cartridge could last up to 1 year.

Every 90 days, CatGenie suggests running a cleaning cycle on the unit with a Maintenance or Cleaning cartridge. This breaks down any lime or other mineral deposits that might come from the water inside the unit.

To use, simply remove the SaniSolution cartridge and replace it with the cleaning cartridge. Run a cycle, and re-insert the SaniSolution cartridge after the cycle is completed.

Twice-yearly Manual Cleaning

The brand recommends giving the cat box a thorough clean at least two times a year to keep things running smoothly. This involves taking the entire unit apart. You will need to disconnect the water and the drain hoses from the water line and drain pipe/ toilet respectively.

CatGenie recommends bringing the cat box outside for easier cleaning. You will need gloves, a garden hose/ running water, a cleaning brush, and some dishwashing liquid. 

The hopper, processing unit, rim, and bowl should all be detached. The drain hose should remain connected and stretched out in a straight line. In CatGenie’s video demonstration, the bowl itself is not scrubbed as it gets regular scrubbing from the cleaning cycles anyway. There is no need to dump out the granules to clean the bowl during maintenance.

The hopper, rim, base, and processing unit should all be cleaned during this process. The manual includes a step-by-step process on how to take the hopper apart as well as how to clean the impeller as clumps of cat hair get stuck on it. CatGenie also has videos uploaded to their YouTube channel showing the cleaning process as well as how to disassemble and reassemble the cat box.

Doing this twice-yearly manual cleaning can help prevent clogging, which can cause problems not just for the CatGenie’s cleaning cycles, but also damage to the unit itself.

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How Much Does the CatGenie Cost?

A standard package of the CatGenie 120 costs $359. This includes the entire unit, plus 1 Fresh Scent SaniSolution cartridge, 1 box of washable granules, 2 T-adapters, 1 dual hose adapter, and instruction and operation manuals. 

You will need to purchase SaniSolution cartridges and washable granules regularly. The SaniSolution costs $24.99 per pack of 1, while the granules cost $23.99 per box. The frequency of replacing these components will depend on the number of cats using the CatGenie, as well as the cleaning cycles run per day. We recommend buying supply combos for a bit of cost savings.

A cartridge of SaniSolution is good for 120 washes or more. When put on Cat Activation mode, the SaniSolution can be used for up to 240 washes.

Using a CatGenie cat box still works out to cost more than your regular litter box. However, it saves a lot of time and effort in daily maintenance. It eliminates almost every task involved in keeping your cat’s litter box clean on a regular basis, save for a few minor ones such as scooping out undisposed solid waste.

Warranty

CatGenie units that are purchased in the US from Petnovations approved vendors come with a 2-year limited warranty.

According to the brand, the “warranty is valid for the Warranty Period and applies only to replacement of the parts found to be defective in material or workmanship. This Warranty does not apply to damage due to misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration or if the Processing Unit has been opened or taken apart.”

The use of items such as a different sanitizer or litter instead of the washable granules can void the warranty.

CatGenie Optional Accessories

CatGenie offers a number of accessories that can enhance the CatGenie experience. 

1. GenieDome

Price: $39.99

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Gives cats who crave total privacy their wish. The snowy white Dome tops the pearl gray rim that securely nests on to the CatGenie Base.

The GenieSidewall adds 4 inches to the brim of your CatGenie. This helps prevent granules from getting kicked out of the bowl or at least minimize the amount that gets scattered around the litter box. 

Please note that if you purchase a GenieDome, it already includes the GenieSidewall.

2. CatGenie Genie Sidewalls

Price: $19.99

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Provides a bit more privacy than the regular CatGenie. The sides are seamless additions that cleverly nest exactly onto CatGenie Base and precisely match the Base color of pearl gray.

The GenieSidewall adds 4 inches to the brim of your CatGenie. This helps prevent granules from getting kicked out of the bowl or at least minimize the amount that gets scattered around the litter box. 

Please note that if you purchase a GenieDome, it already includes the GenieSidewall.

3. CatGenie GeniePocket Mat

Price: $34.99

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Has a unique double layer design that is not only comfy to step on for cats and owners, but also traps any Granules that are tracked or kicked-out, keeping them from traveling around your home.

The GeniePocket Mat is designed to trap any granules that are tracked or kicked out by your cat when digging. It prevents the granules from being tracked in other areas around your home.

The GeniePocket Mat is comfortable to step on for both cats and humans alike. It has holes or pockets that trap the granules. Simply pick up the mat and return trapped granules into the litter box.

4. GenieDoor

Price: $18.99

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The Genie Door is the final touch to your CatGenie box! The swinging Genie Door attaches easily to your Genie Dome for additional privacy for your cat and helps contain odours between washes. The Genie Door is manufactured with high-quality translucent plastic allowing light to pass through.

Along with the GenieDome, the GenieDoor gives your shy kitty the privacy he craves when he goes about his business. The swinging flap door also provides maximum odor control by containing the nasty smell inside the CatGenie.

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CatGenie A.I.

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Eliminates cat litter from your life. Uses litter-like, Washable Granules that never need changing. Washes itself clean with Veterinarian-approved SaniSolution and water after every cat visit.

CatGenie has released an upgraded version of the CatGenie 120: the CatGenie A.I. The upgraded model requires WIFI connectivity and can be controlled using the control panel on the unit, as well as the CatGenie App. It costs $439 for a standard package on their site while Amazon has a different pricing.

It does everything the older model does with additional features that include the following:

  • Smart drying to reduce energy use
  • Smart cleaning cycles which minimize resource use and maximize performance
  • Audio announcements
  • Control panel lock from the mobile app
  • Can schedule cleaning cycles up to 8 times per day
  • Customizable after-use cleaning cycle start delay times through the CatGenie app 
  • Customizable sleep timer

Because the CatGenie App is compatible with the CatGenie A.I. model only, it is the only unit that can take advantage of these app features:

  • On-the-go-access to settings and cleaning process start
  • Bathroom behavior monitoring and alerts
  • Personalized settings and schedule recommendations
  • Personalized maintenance recommendations
  • Supply use monitoring and reminders
  • One-touch access to reordering
  • One-touch access to support

How Many Cats Can Use the CatGenie?

The brand recommends up to three cats to one Cat Genie but says that one cat or two to one unit gives the best results.

If you have multiple cats, you may need to purchase another unit. Based on this self-cleaning litter box review, we recommend just 2 cats per unit, or at least not using the Cat Activation mode if you have three cats. 

This is due to the 40-minute cleaning process + drying cycle. If you have multiple cats and the CatGenie starts a cleaning cycle after each use, there will probably be times when one or two of your kitties are left without a litter to use for 40-minute intervals several times a day.

Is It Worth Getting?

We have to admit that the CatGenie is a pretty genius invention, not to mention it might be the only self-washing, self-flushing cat litter box in the world. That being said, it is not without faults. 

The suitability of the CatGenie depends on several factors. One of them is your preference when it comes to maintaining your cat’s litter box. One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is whether you would rather do frequent cleanups that won’t have you dealing with technical malfunctions, etc., or occasional, slightly more tedious maintenance tasks?

To give you a better picture of CatGenie maintenance requirements, take the twice-yearly recommended thorough cleaning as an example. While it is tedious and requires dismantling the whole thing, you only need to do it twice to a few times per year. It certainly beats dumping the contents of a standard litter box and replacing it with fresh litter a few times per week.

However, issues such as clogging and unscooped stool can cause problematic situations. It can stink up your whole house, cause leaks, etc. While these issues do not frequently happen to most buyers, it does happen.

Here are some points that could help you decide if it is the right litter box for you.

Pros:

  • Self-scooping
  • Self-washing
  • Self-flushing
  • Hot air drying
  • Hygienic and sanitary
  • Saves cat owners from having to buy cat litter frequently
  • Fairly easy installation
  • Environment-friendly litter
  • Programmable cleaning cycles
  • GenieEyes or cat sensor for safety
  • Cat activated cleaning cycle start option
  • Compatible with both traditional sewer and septic systems
  • Only requires occasional maintenance
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
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Cons

  • Requires a good amount of space – not ideal for small bathrooms/ laundry rooms
  • Bowl may not be big enough for some large cats
  • Not suitable for multiple cats – best for one to two cats
  • Cannot be used with any other litter or sanitizing solution
  • Smaller pieces of solid cat waste are sometimes left unscooped
  • Any unscooped stool will stink up the area during the drying phase
  • The granules don’t absorb liquid, so cats can track moisture or cat urine around the house if she goes in it before a cycle is started
  • May not be suitable for cats that frequently have soft stools
  • Malfunctions can cause major inconvenience
  • Reports of slow response rate from customer support

Conclusion

Overall, the CatGenie offers a convenient solution that no other litter box can. The self-sanitizing and self-flushing features are its best selling points among many. These are features that not all automatic litter boxes have. Even Litter Robot does not self-flush. However, we feel that it is not the best product for every cat household.

For one, it is quite pricey. And because it can accommodate only two cats for best results, then it is not suitable for multi-cat households, unless you are willing to shell out cash for additional units. We hope that Petnovations would develop a product that can be used by multiple cats because a fully automated litter box is heaven-sent for any multi-cat household.

A home that has 1-2 cats can certainly find that keeping up with kitties is a breeze with this litter box. Imagine not having to scoop stools several times a day and never having to replace a whole box of soiled litter. That dream is a reality with the CatGenie.

While you may still need to manually scoop out some poop, it still requires significantly less effort compared to regular litter boxes, which we feel is worth the amount of money it requires upfront. We have read feedback from cat owners who have owned CatGenies for 6-10 years. Having a convenient waste disposal system for your cat for that long makes it well worth the price.

Some cat parents may have reservations regarding issues that arise when the litter box encounters problems. A few of the reported issues are clogging, baked unscooped poop during the drying cycle, grinder malfunctions, and when the cat ingests something harder than kibble, etc. 

These issues have caused occasional, but quite massive inconveniences for the pet parents. So it is quite understandable for some to decide to stick to the standard litter boxes where everything is within the pet parent’s control.

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  • Updated April 25, 2022
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.