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Review Details

Tabby Package

Tabby Package

Product Review (submitted on June 28, 2014):
Why limit the location to a bathroom or laundry space? If you have a closet that has or can be modified with the following:

1. A motion sensor to turn on a fan venting to outside for one hour; and
2. A water outlet and waste line; and
3. A power outlet

...then you are good to go!

Yes, I know this can be deployed in a laundry room or even a bathroom. But if you are laying out a few hundred for this solution, go all the way and you won't be sorry.

THE GOOD

You do not have to deal with emptying a litter box, ever. It scoops up the waste, macerates it, and sends it down the integrated waste line with nary a problem.

This unit performs daily, 2-3 times per day for my one cat, reliably. It has an automatic sensor so it operates 10 minutes after kitty does its thing.

THE BAD

Every once in a while -- say, every 4 to 5 months -- it fails to remove some small bit of excrement and, through its correct operation, heats it during the process that blow-dries the reusable kitty litter. To say the smell is exquisite does not quite cover it. Bad.

However, the closet I have it in has a ceiling-mounted air evacuation (bathroom type) fan connected to a motion sensor that turns on for one hour when the cat passes by (the device operates 10 minutes after a visit, and takes 30 minutes for a cycle, ergo: one hour). So the not-totally-offensive smell from operation (or the really offensive albeit infrequent blow-dried kitty cr@p) is minimized.

The plastic litter is useful, but physically very light. The light weight in combination with residue from the sani-solution makes it stick to kitty paws. So you will be finding pieces of this litter hither and yon. Not as terrible as it sounds, but you should know. I think it is marginally worse than standard litter in this regard, but not by a lot. Strongly recommend 1-2 of these: Pet Care Pruven Litter Trap Mat for Cats, 24 by 36-Inch.

MAINTENANCE

Every six months you MUST fully disassemble this thing and completely clean it. Do this in a tub or better still, in the garden. There's no good way to put this: You will be hand-cleaning a kitty sewer. Wear gloves.

There is a cleaning cycle and special solution available that you can run quarterly. And I suppose this is good and helps. But still: fully disassemble and clean it every six months to obtain fully-reliable daily operation.

Be sure to know about and ensure retention of the little rubber grommets, etc., that are REQUIRED for correct operation, particularly the tiny, conical rubber bit at the bottom of the motor unit. It will not operate correctly without all the pieces in place.

It is possible to skip by one bi-annual cleaning by removing the plastic bit below the motor unit that somehow measures (via the electronic eye?) water levels, clean just that, and replace it. But do this just in a pinch.

You will need to buy the sani-solution and granules/litter for this thing to operate. For my one cat: 1 solution cartridge every 3 months, one box of granules every six months. YMMV.

OTHER THOUGHTS


I recommend getting the add-on hood and raised sides. Not technically required, but beneficial. And CatGenie does make a swinging door that I've attached, though not currently available on Amazon.

You should definitely operate it on "Cat Activation" mode. This feature, alone, is worth the price of admission. As noted above, I've gone to unusual but very effective lengths to never, ever deal with cat waste.

Manual operation is with buttons and beeps that do require your full attention and a careful reading of the manual. Intuitive it is not. Moreover, if the device fails in some manner, you cannot just unplug and reset it. If there is one thing that drives me nuts about this thing it's that the manufacturer refuses to create a user-friendly, LCD-screened programming interface. As delivered, it is adequate, but no more.

Pro Tip: Do not fill the granules to the indicator line, but slightly below. It seems to run best with just shy of the recommended granules. Be sure to look in time to time and add more as needed (it's easy to forget -- which is as good a recommendation about this product I can offer, I suppose).

Is it perfect? No. There are a few things I would change about it. I'd make a scraper-type add-on that clicks to the edge of the bowl to direct granules back into the tray. I'd figure out how to resolve kitteh grass or threads getting wound around the macerator's spindle. But it is nonetheless a remarkable device, far and away superior to anything else on the market.