We adopted 2 older cats aged 5 and 6 y (neutered and indoor), and we have a downstairs basement bathroom that has been unused since our daughter moved out. After five months of using a litter box, we tried to toilet train the two . After another six patient months, with lots of ‘mistakes’ along the way, both were close to becoming ‘trained’. We were on the last rung – but we then had a guest for a few weeks who required a litter box – and when our two saw the chance they quickly reverted back to ‘using the box’.
So we gave up on toilet training and I was about to order a Litter Robot http://www.litter-robot.com/. Our daughter had used this in her apartment with two cats for several years, and it works well – considering. You do have to ‘empty’ the Litter Robot pan regularly, fill with clumping litter regularly, and washing the ‘ball’ out every two months (in the bathtub) is gag-inducing. But for a small apartment with only one bathroom - and with only the electrical connection required, it worked well.
But we have the perfect situation with an unused basement toilet, so I ordered the Cat Genie. Installation was simple, but did require some thought and effort: they supplied the water pipe T-connector, but a trip to the HomeDepot to get a flexible pipe connection was required. Then fiddling around installing the water hose; the disposal hose into the toilet, running an extension cord as unobtrusively as possible for power. The actual assembly of the CatGenie is the simple part. All-in it took a full hour from opening the box to pressing the start button.
After a couple of ‘test’ cycles, I unplugged it and let it sit there, beside their litter box which I continued to scoop as before. Both were very curious about the new box, but refused to ‘go-in’. No worries. After three days I stopped ‘scooping’, and the day after that our boldest cat ‘went’ in the Cat Genie. I used the manual ‘clean’ button. After two days their old litter box was looking grim – and our meekest cat tried out the Cat Genie too. Success! The next day I took their old litter box away, set Cat Genie to Cat-Activation with the 30 minute delay (setting #4) – and that’s it!
We are never, ever, going back to a litter box. Cat-Genie has totally taken care of the mess and brought true ‘cat-sanitation’ to our cats. The unit’s ‘build’ is excellent, and it has worked flawlessly for the last two months. I can’t say enough about it.
I took the cover off and inspected the agitator; there was a bit of plastic that wound around the axle that obviously came from one of cats, and with a gloved hand was able to remove it with no trouble. Yikes – we’ll have to take better care with plastic bits – I think it was from a clothing price tag. After two months an error light indicated the ‘water sensor needs cleaning’, and again this was simple 3-minute operation to remove, clean, and put back in place, and the error light went out. Later that day I also ran the ‘Maintenance Cartridge’ through a cycle.
A small irritation is the cats always drag out a few of the plastic granules onto the tile floor – and some bits make it further out. I keep a dustpan and broom beside the CatGenie and sweep these up every other day or so. If it’s just the granules I dump them back into the CatGenie; anything else gets dumped into the toilet.
We have the perfect place in our home for CatGenie, with the downstairs basement unused toilet. When in operation it’s actually quite noisy, about as loud as the washing machine. And, you do need access to water, the drain (toilet) and power. With that in mind, the Cat Genie is totally worth the price and effort to install. Now that I see how well it works, in any future home I will make the effort – even if this means calling in tradespeople to install custom connections. Thinking about a home renovation? Plan with the connections for CatGenie in mind.
If you have one or two young cats, I recommend consider toilet training - if you have an otherwise unused toilet and tons of patience. If you really don’t have the room for a CatGenie, the Litter Robot is second best. If you have the room – or can make the room - the ultimate, true cat sanitation that you and your cats will love is CatGenie.
We have had the Catgenie for 3 years now - and it still works great. The twice-a-year 'major clean' in the wash tub is gag inducing - but over with quickly and far less onerous than any other 'option'. After two years I purchased a 'back-up' genie for when this one finally packs it in - though there is no sign of that yet - but I never want to be caught without a working genie!
My suggestions to the makers for upgrades:
 the water-level 'error' is a regular 'event' and was happening every 1 or 2 weeks. Now I remove and wash in the clear plastic water level indicator every week - which nicely prevents the error from ever happening, It would be nicer if they figured out someway to back-flush the water that is being sensed and prevent the error from happening at all. Alternatively, if the water sensor error happens, have the genie go through a back-flush cycle to try to clean it first, instead of just stopping and flashing a red light.
 put a wifi connection (or something) to send an error signal - text message - when there is an error indication. This would be a huge improvement and well worth the extra cost that may be added.