CatGenie Self Washing Litter Box – Full Review

CatGenie Self Washing Litter Box – Full Review


Enjoy your cat’s company but detest the endless scooping that comes with most litter systems? If so, the CatGenie Self-Washing, Self-Flushing cat box is a unit worth considering. This innovative litterbox comes to the rescue by taking care of all the dirty work and leaving your cat with a fresh, clean place to take care of the necessary business. You can choose an automatic cat-activated cleaning cycle, or select one of the other cleaning options to suit your needs.

With the CatGenie, there’s very little intervention needed on your part, especially if you use the cat-activated cleaning cycle. There is no waste chamber to empty, and if you have the unit connected to a washer drain, you’ll never even see your cat’s waste. If you opt to connect the line to a toilet, just keep the lid closed and flush periodically to send your cat’s fecal matter and urine away before opening the commode to use it yourself.

While the CatGenie does almost all of the work for you, there are a few simple installation and maintenance tasks that you’ll need to handle. Installation is so easy, even someone with very little DIY experience can do it. All it takes is a few tools and the ability to connect a water hose from the unit to a water line in your home. Position the drain hose according to your needs, then plug the unit in and choose an option for cleaning, and you’re all set.

Some cats take right to the CatGenie, while others will need some time to adjust. The unit comes complete with instructions for transitioning your cat from a standard litterbox to the Cat Genie, along with a box of washable granules and biodegradable cleaning solution. Both the granules and cleaning solution need to be replenished periodically; we found that we could reduce tracking and greatly decrease the need to purchase new granules by placing the unit on a large, textured mat, sweeping up tracked granules, and popping them back into the Cat Genie.

Our cats like their privacy, and weren’t terribly happy with the CatGenie until we added the optional cover. We quickly discovered that the GenieDome serves another purpose – it greatly reduces the amount of granules that end up being flung onto the floor when an enthusiastic cat covers his waste! It would be really nice if the manufacturer included the dome instead of making it optional, but at just over $30, it’s an affordable and much-appreciated add on.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning the Litter Robot LRII automatic self-cleaning litter box.

Eliminates Odor

With a traditional cat box, odor can be a nightmare, even if you scoop once or twice each day. When set on automatic, the CatGenie completely eliminates that dreaded cat box stink from your life. When you add the optional dome, the odors are faint to unnoticeable even if you choose to run cleaning cycles on an as-needed basis. Since waste is completely flushed away, there’s no stinky scooping either.


Innovative, User-Friendly Design

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With its round, bowl-like configuration, the CatGenie might remind you a little bit of your own commode, and it works in a similar way, too. When the unit arrives, you will need to connect it to a drainpipe or toilet, and you’ll need to hook it into a cold water line and plug it into an electrical outlet. The installation instructions are clear-cut and easy to follow.


Three Programming Options

The CatGenie lets you choose between three programming options. In cat start or cat-activated mode, the Cat Genie cleans after each cat use. This option uses half the cleaning solution of the other options, since there’s much less waste to deal with, so the cartridge lasts for 240 flushes. In this mode, the sensor detects when your cat enters and leaves the box, and waits until ten minutes after the visit to ensure that your pet won’t be harmed during the cleaning process.

The auto start option lets you run the CatGenie between one and four times daily, depending on the number of cats in your household. When you choose this option, the cartridge lasts for 120 flushes. You can set the unit up so that it activates every 6, 8, 12, or 24 hours, automatically. The manufacturer warns that allowing waste to harden can lead to clogs that you will have to clean up manually. So, it’s best to run cycles shortly after your pet uses the CatGenie.

The manual start option lets you decide when to run the CatGenie. This is particularly useful if you notice odor and want to clean the box between scheduled cycles, and it’s idea for times when you need to check your cat’s stools for health reasons or bring a sample in to the veterinarian for parasite testing.


Child Lock

The CatGenie people thought of everything! This unit includes a child lock that keeps kids and pets from accidentally setting off a cleaning cycle. It is easy to activate and deactivate as needed.


Earth-Friendly Supplies

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Standard cat litter is neither biodegradable nor recyclable. CatGenie granules and cartridges contain an additive that allows them to biodegrade after disposal. Granules that go down the drain don’t just stay in your septic tank or remain in public wastewater; instead, they biodegrade within 9 months.

While you can buy special bags to fit inside the Litter Robot, there’s no need to do that. You can use the kitchen garbage bag of your choice to hold waste, including scented kitchen liners that cut back on odor when you open up the waste chamber for cleanout.


Works with Special Washable Granules

We’ve read lots of complaints from other reviewers who don’t like the washable granules because they have a tendency to end up being tracked around and flung out of the sides of the CatGenie bowl. This was a problem for us, too, but when we added the dome and a textured mat, we found that only a few granules made their way into other parts of our home. Other users also complained about the cost of the granules for replenishing the supply; however, a box of granules lasts a very long time when you take measures to prevent waste, and we are spending far less on granules and cleaning solution combined than we were on good-quality scoopable litter. Plus, the CatGenie prevents us from having to come into daily contact with pet waste, and that is definitely worth something!

The manufacturers are quick to point out that other types of litter will not work with the CatGenie. They mention that even a few grains of clay litter can cause major problems with the unit.

If you have more than one cat, you’ll be glad to discover that the CatGenie will work for you. It easily accommodates multiple cats, however if you have more than three, it’s probably a good idea to get a second unit so that a cat that needs the restroom won’t end up looking for an alternate place to go in the event the granules are being washed and dried when a bathroom break is needed. If cats go one after another, the sensors inside know that the CatGenie is occupied, and the unit waits until ten minutes after the last pet leaves to begin the cleaning cycle.


“Do you have to assemble the Cat Genie when it arrives?”

Yes. There’s a little bit of assembly and hookup to tend to. You will need to decide on a location, either in the laundry room, in an area with a floor drain and a cold water hookup, or in a bathroom, alongside a toilet. The unit comes with complete, detailed instructions and photos that show you how to hook it up. You will also need to fill the bowl with the washable granules, and you’ll need to install the cleaning solution cartridge. It just snaps into place.

“Do you ever have to take the Cat Genie apart to clean it?”

You may need to get inside the hopper to maintain it or clear a clog periodically. The user manual provides detailed instructions for doing this if and when needed. The manufacturer mentions the importance of checking for potential problems periodically, saying that doing so will help to prevent clogs, which I’m sure are no fun to clean.

“Are the cleaning cartridges refillable?”

No. You will need to keep cleaning cartridges on hand. The unit will not run without a cartridge in place.

“Where does the waste go?”

Solid waste is scooped up by the “Genie Hand” and carried into a hopper where it is mixed with water and turned to liquid by an impeller. Liquid waste is rinsed away during the cleaning process. Both solid and liquid waste ultimately goes into your septic tank or sewer system.

“Can I use the toilet even when the CatGenie is hooked up to it?”

Yes. The drain hose hook fits over the toilet bowl and under the toilet seat, so you can sit on the toilet without smashing the hose.

“Will the CatGenie cause my toilet to overflow?”

No, because all of the waste that comes out of the drain hose is in liquid form, and toilets automatically drain away excess liquid so the water level inside stays the same. Your toilet will only overflow if there’s a clogged pipe, which the CatGenie isn’t capable of causing.


The CatGenie Self Washing, Self Flushing Cat Box is a good quality automatic litter box that completely eliminates the need for you to come into contact with your pet’s waste. It offers a variety of programming options to suit your needs and those of your cat, and since the washing cycle is activated after your pet leaves the box, there’s no risk of a scary incident happening. The granules and cleaning solution do represent a maintenance expense, but with the addition of the Genie Dome and a tracking mat, we were able to cut back on granule waste significantly. The total cost of the cleaning solution and washable granules are similar to what you’d pay for cat litter, with the added benefits of no dust, no stink, and best of all, no coming into contact with pet waste, ever. While we did not encounter any difficulties with the unit, other reviewers have had problems. This is something that can happen with any electronic appliance, and it’s also the reason the manufacturer offers a generous two-year warranty. As long as you follow the instructions for use and carefully follow guidelines for preventing clogs, the CatGenie should continue humming along nicely. You can find the CatGenie Self Washing Self Flushing cat box for sale at online retailers including Amazon, and although the price was quite a bit more than what we paid online, we spotted the units available for sale at our local pet store. Like the CatGenie itself, the optional dome and necessary supplies cost less online than at the brick and mortar store we found them in.

Anne Kennedy

Hi! I’m Anne Kennedy, a nonfiction author, dedicated foodie, and contributor to Top 5 Reviews. I started contributing to this site in 2015 with the goal of helping others select quality home goods that help make busy lives easier. It’s interesting – and a lot of fun – to test things like bread machines, juicers, and of course coffee makers, learn what different models have to offer, and see how they compare with one another before passing my findings about the best ones on to you. Happy hunting!
CatGenie Self Washing Litter Box – Full Review
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