Cat Genie ®...Does It Really Flush? - Cat Info Detective

Cat Genie ®…Does It Really Flush?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Greetings feline lovers! Skye Blake here to tell you about something crazy… ever heard of a self-flushing litter box?

Well, there’s one that actually flushes itself… the Cat Genie®… go figure!

paw prints coming in from a distance

Frankly, one cat to another, I think humans are nuts… paying big $$$$ for one litter box. Must be made of catnip!

The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs. 

Who Is Skye Blake?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you! 

Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.

Sources are given at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping.

What You Want from a Litter Box

man holding nose while cleaning litter box

So, is Cat Genie worth the money?

Let’s start with reviewing what you and your cat want from a litter box.

  • no nasty odors
open litter box with organic pellets
  • easy to scoop or not scoop at all
  • inexpensive
  • dust-free
  • non-tracking
longhaired gray-cat-with-white-muzzle looking at camera
  • litter lasts a long time
  • easy disposal
  • environmentally friendly
  • wifi capability for monitoring usage, medical issues, etc., from phone

What Your Cat Wants from a Litter Box

ginger, white statuesque cat sitting on arm of sofa
  • big enough to stand, turn around and dig/cover without rubbing against sides or top, even for large cats
  • no strong odors, including deodorizers like lavender, pine, and citrus
  • litter that’s low-dust and easy on paws, preferably of fine, sandy texture
Calico cat sprawled over chair
  • no strange or sudden noises, such as a motor turning on or loud rotating box
  • litter that doesn’t stick to paws or fur
  • no sudden movement, such as the box starts rotating while cat’s in or partly out of box

What Is Cat Genie®?

cartoon genie

So, what is Cat Genie® and how does it compare? Is it worth the money?

Here’s what the manufacturer says…

“CatGenie® acts like a cat box, cleans like an appliance, and flushes like a toilet.”1 CatGenie

“An easy DIY setup connects your CatGenie to a cold water outlet, a drain (toilet or laundry drain), and electricity.

grey cat in cozy blanket

Instead of dirty cat litter, the CatGenie uses Washable Granules that look and feel like cat litter. Liquid waste drains and solids get scooped.

All get liquified and the CatGenie flushes it away for safe and easy disposal down the drain and out of the home for good.

Brown & White Tabby Cat Looking Up

Water and the cat-safe SaniSolution wash, clean, and scrub the Washable Granules and cat box interior.

A built-in dryer blows hot air through the Granules to dry them completely for your cat’s comfort.”2 CatGenie

Since a picture’s worth 1,000 words, be sure to check this video to see how it all works.

Versions of Cat Genie

Maine coon cat walking outside

Cat Genie® 120

The CatGenie® 120 is the original “entry level” version that comes with:
– CatGenie 120 Self-Washing Cat Box
– 1 SaniSolution-Fresh Scent Cartridge good for 3-6 months for 2 cats

cat figurine sitting on toilet


– 1 Box of Washable Granules
– Easy Manuals and T-Adapters for Setup
– 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee & 2-Year Warranty

dark tabby cat lounging in dining chair

Cat Genie 120 is 19.25″ wide in front, 17.5″ wide top, 21″ high, 24.5″ deep, allowing for hoses.

The water supply hose is 8′ long and the drain hose is 10′ long.

This version does not connect to the app and won’t monitor issues or notify you of problems.

Cat Genie® A.I.

Calico kitten watching something

The CatGenie®­ A.I. is the latest version and is powered by artificial intelligence.

It comes in either standard or premium packages and is connected to the CatGenie App, which reports on your cat’s use and updates you if there are any issues.

Both include:
– CatGenie A.I. Self-Washing Cat Box

sphynx cat looking in litter box-silica

– 1 SaniSolution-Fresh Scent Cartridge good for 3-6 months for 2 cats
– 1 Box of Washable Granules
– T-Adapters for Setup
– 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee, 2-Year Warranty, & Lifetime Access to CatGenie App

Ginger, orange, white tabby sleeping

Premium also includes:

– 2 additional SaniSolution Cartridges (Fresh Scent or Scent Free)
– 1 GenieDome & Sidewalls Set

CatGenie A.I. is 19.25″ wide in front. 17.5″ wide top, 21″ high (including the removable cartridge), 24.5″ deep allowing for hoses.

The water supply hose is 8′ long and the drain hose is 10′ long.

Installation

cartoon plumber

Installation is supposed to be easy (for anyone with opposable thumbs!).

The company says it hooks up to a sink, toilet or washing machine’s cold-water intake.

Then you hook the drain hose over a toilet rim or into the washing machine’s drainpipe.

If you’re curious about how to install this box, whether it’s really that easy, check these installation guides.

Cleaning Cycles

washer-dryer, utility room

Cat Genie A.I. gives you a few options for running a cycle (“flush”).

You can choose from manual, specific time settings, or having it activate after a cat uses it.

Each cycle takes about 30 minutes and uses about 4.5 gallons of water. Some reviewers say it’s loud.

Toilet flushing

The company recommends running 1 to 2 cleaning cycles every day for each cat. So if you have 2 cats it would be 2 to 4 times a day.

They also say it’s important to run it at least once a day even if you don’t see any poop in it.

This is because pee flows through the washable granules where you won’t see it.

Sphynx cat in window

“The best way to keep your CatGenie running clean and error-free is to run a Cleaning Cycle after each use by using Cat Activation mode.

Because the waste has not been sitting for any period of time, less SaniSolution is required and the Granules and Bowl come out cleaner.

Plus you’ll save money by doubling the life span of your SaniSolution Cartridges from 120 to 240 cycles!”3 CatGenie

This also keeps odors to a minimum.

General Maintenance

cleaning lady

No litter box is completely maintenance-free. Self-cleaning isn’t the same as no maintenance.

Your toilet flushes and gets rid of waste without you having to handle it, but it still needs to be cleaned regularly, doesn’t it?

dark tabby at shelter on cat tree

The good news is any deep cleaning only has to be done twice a year. Be aware that you’ll have to buy some additional cleaners from the company.

The manufacturer recommends for a household with 1 to 2 cats using one Cat Genie…

“Twice a year Disassembly & Deep Cleaning and Machine Washing Soak or Descaling Maintenance Cycle”4 CatGenie

Size

curious cat - maine coon

Cat Genie takes up the same space as a large-size, automated litter box (like Litter Robot™), so you have to think about where it can be placed.

The actual bowl area the cat uses is 19.25″ diameter, which isn’t as large as some regular litter boxes.

Black & white cat playing with toy

This can be a drawback, especially for cats who want lots of space to turn around, dig and cover.

Be sure your cat will accept the limited area for turning around and covering.

Bigger cats can use it if they’re ok with the size… there’s no weight limit.

Benefits of Cat Genie®

cat figurine sitting on toilet

No Scooping or Litter Disposal

This is the one litter box system that actually makes it possible for you to not have to scoop, clean out a tray, or otherwise deal with your cat’s waste, assuming it functions properly.

The A.I. model has an app you can use to adjust and monitor the cleaning schedule.

Washable Litter Granules

Siamese kittens with mother cat

Cat Genie® uses special washable litter granules, never regular litter, which can clog your drainpipes and damage the unit.

This means you’re not constantly buying litter or dealing with lots of dust. They can track just like regular litter.

tabby cat wearing red scarf

Cat waste, SaniSolution and the washable granules are safe for plumbing as well as septic and sewer systems.

The washable granules that get flushed are biodegradable and will be broken down by bacteria.

cleaning, clean, cleaner-3977589.jpg

If you have a mad litter flinger, there are a mat, dome, sidewalls, and door sold separately, that might help if your cat will accept them.

Since the actual useable area for a cat is relatively small, adding a dome or sidewalls may make it too confined, especially for a large breed or cat that’s sensitive to fur touching the sides.

Works Well for 1-2 Cats

abyssinian cats sitting together

Cat Genie works best with 1 or 2 cats of any weight up to 20 lbs.

The manufacturer says 3 cats can sometimes use it, but that depends on the individual cats, their temperaments and preferences.

tabby cats sitting together

The weight limit is fine for the average cat, but if you have a large breed like Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat, exceeding that weight limit could be a problem.

Kittens 6 months and older can use Cat Genie, but they don’t recommend it for younger kittens since their poop tends to be softer, especially if they’re not yet weaned.

Most Cats Adjust to It Easily

rescued kitten

You may be wondering if your cat will adjust to such a different box.

The company claims most cats will adjust quickly, but in case yours doesn’t, they have a “Cat Acclimation Guide” that comes with each unit.

A reviewer makes a good point…

It’s best to keep your cat out of the area while you’re setting up your Cat Genie.

irritated maine coon cat lying on floor

This will help you be more successful in getting your cat to associate it with a quiet safe place to do his business.

When it’s being set up there’s unfamiliar noise and activity that might spook him into not trusting the unit.

If that happens, he might never go near it or take more time to be comfortable using it.

Drawbacks of Cat Genie®

tabby cat sleeping with head on laptop

Access & Location

Both versions of Cat Genie have to be in a room with access to water supply, waste removal plumbing and an electric outlet (laundry room, bathroom or utility room).

This means it can’t be in your cat’s main living areas, such as living room or bedrooms, which might not fit your lifestyle (or your cat’s).

ginger, orange tabby kitten

If your cat is easily spooked by sudden noises, like a toilet flushing, freezer motor running, or washer/dryer rattling, this location can be a real problem.

You could end up with an expensive doorstop!

What if you have a large house and your cat isn’t always in the area where the box is located?

What if your bathroom door is closed frequently and your cat needs to go?

Size

fat calico cat sitting

There are two possible drawbacks with the size of the Cat Genie unit.

First is the size of the whole unit, with a footprint of 24.25″ x 27″, and entryway of 10.25″ x 15.25″.

It takes up the same space as a large-size, automated litter box (like Litter Robot™), so you have to think about where it can be placed within the rooms that have the necessary access.

kitten asleep in clay pot

For example, if it’s between a toilet and vanity, make sure you have enough space between them to fit the box.

Small bathrooms aren’t likely to have room for this box.

Second is the size of the area your cat actually uses.

It’s not as large as a regular litter box, so if your cat requires an extra-large size, this box many not work. It’s all up to your cat and you know her needs best!

Multiple Cats

silver abyssinian cat

Cat Genie isn’t made for more than 2 cats, although the company says a 3rd might work, depending on the temperament of each cat.

You would also have to run the cycles more frequently each day.

Considering the cycle takes about 30 minutes and is noisy, running it more frequently might be awkward depending on how frequently each cat needs to use it.

tabby, white kitten standing on stump meowing

How many boxes will you need? Definitely more than one with 4 or more cats.

Do you have a place for more than one Cat Genie, given the location limitations?

But what if one of your cat’s won’t use the same box as other ones?

Dark tabby, white cat meowing

What if a cat uses one box for pee and another for poop?

What if you have a bully cat who ambushes the others as they come out of the box?

Since you know your cats best, the answers to these questions can help you decide if this box makes sense for you.

Portability for Travel

car view out front window

If you travel, you’ll need a different type of litter box to bring your cat along.

Cat Genie is not portable at 35 lbs. and has to stay level to properly function, so it can’t be used in a car, truck or recreational vehicle (RV).

Collapsible boxes or disposable boxes are good for travel, just be sure before you leave that your cat will use them.

Purchasing Supplies

figure holding dollar sign

While you don’t have to buy litter, you do need to replace the Sani-Solution periodically.

The A.I. box “tracks your typical cycles-per-day and can accurately predict when you’ll need to replace your SaniSolution Cartridges.”5 CatGenie

“Frequency of replenishment depends on the number of cats and the way they use their CatGenie.

3 brown cats sitting together

According to Cat Genie, “A single box of Washable Granules can last most single-cat families 5-6 months under normal usage. Most 2-cat households average 3-4 boxes of Granules per year.”

The washable granules will occasionally need to be replenished since a few are washed away.

close up of pebbles for clay litter

If you figure the quantity of the solution and granules that you’ll likely use in a year vs. the amount of litter you’d buy with another box, you can factor that into your purchasing decision.

There are some other brands of washable granules available, but I don’t know if they’re as compatible as they claim.

Using any brand but the manufacturer’s will void your warranty.

Customer Service

customer support people

A number of reviews mention that customer service is a problem when they contact the company needing help with technical issues.

This is always a consideration when dealing with a litter box that has moving and electronic parts.

call center workers

To be fair, it’s easy to blame customer service when problems happen simply because the whole thing is upsetting.

But in this case, there are enough reviews of problems with customer service that it warrants mentioning here.

How Reliable & Durable is Cat Genie®?

reliability sign; Litter Robot

Cat Genie® has some great features, but the big question is, “How long does it last without breaking down?”

If you’re investing that much in it, you want it to last for years.

What’s the track record over time? Does it ever need repair?

siamese wearing collar

Does it still work as well in a year as it did the first week? Two years? Longer?

The best way to discover reliability and durability is through reviews.

Here are a few that mention these issues…

Christen K. 3 Apr 2022

dark tabby cat at rest looking back over shoulder

“This is the best thing ever! I love it. The house smells great and it is always clean.

I love the app on the phone in case I’m out of town. I can keep an eye on it.

I had an older one I bought off Facebook. It lasted 4 years. My cats had no problem getting used to it.

The solution and the pellets last forever! Much cheaper than traditional stinky messy cat litter!”

tabby cat face upside down

Diane Roberts April 3, 2022

“Got first CatGenie in 2014. Very happy with it!

Cat Genie lasted almost 8 years with 3 cats. When it died, I immediately ordered another one!”

cat rubbing head on dog's head

Raymond B. Morton March 18, 2022

“On my third cat genie, the new upgrade is bad.

I’ve had 3 of these in the last decade. They’ve been a life saver, but the newest model (I’ve had it for about a year) is sub par.

It smells horrible because it leaves small pieces of feces behind. I’m not sure what they did with the redesign, but I wish I could go back.”

The Cat Genie® 90-day Money Back Guarantee & 2-year Warranty

guarantee label, sash

The 90-day trial period and 2-year warranty are standard and helpful, but be aware that if you return it, the box is heavy and bulky.

You’ll pay a hefty shipping price, but you can contact the company to use their bulk shipping rates.

They offer a 3rd-year warranty that you can buy, which adds another year onto the 2-year one. If you’re interested, check this page for details.

Reviews of Cat Genie®

Here are a couple reviews about Cat Genie® that you might find helpful…

CatGenie A.I. Self-Flushing Automatic Litter Box Review (We Tried it for 3 Weeks), Cats.com, October 17, 2022
My Take on the CAT GENIE – Automatic cat litter box 2022 update, Luke Fosburg, September 14, 2020, Updated 2022

Note that people commented on this video that there are ways to keep it from smelling…

  • Take it apart and clean it every 4-6 months
  • Using the maintenance cartridge to clean it

It’s worth taking the time to read the comments with this video, since people share how they overcome the issues Mr. Fosburg describes.

Cat Genie® Accessories

Welcome mat; Litter Robot accessories

Cat Genie has also sells litter, mats, ramps, odor filters, and furniture enclosures, although none are required for the box to function properly.

Some of these accessories can also be used with other types of litter boxes.

There’s a helpful page at Frequently Asked Questions about CatGenie Self-Cleaning Automatic Cat Box.

So You Want to Buy Cat Genie®

Silver tabby kitten looking scared - on sofa by pillow

If you’re interested in buying a Cat Genie®, check their website, Chewy, or Amazon.

Check descriptions and reviews carefully for any products you wish to buy.

Only the manufacturer can guarantee quality, color accuracy or anything else.

This information is for your convenience only. I make no money from it.

Other Self Cleaning Litter Boxes

bengal-cat-halfway-in-covered-litter-box

Curious about other self-cleaning litter boxes? Check out “Supplies For Cats“.

You’ll also find helpful info about other types of boxes, litter, and accessories like mats and scoops.


Sources

Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.

Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.

Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.

However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.

When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

Disclosure

77 Things to Know Before Getting a Cat“, by Susan M. Ewing, Fox Chapel Publishers International, Ltd., 2018

A-K

The Best Kind of Litter Box for Longhaired Cats“, by Jet Perreault, Petful, Dec 5, 2014

“Cat Speak”, by Bash Dibra with Elizabeth Randolph, New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York, NY, 2003

The Cat Whisperer“, by Mieshelle Nagelschneider, Bantam Books, The Random House Publishing Group, New York, NY, 2013, www.bantamdell.com

“Cat Wise”, Pam Johnson-Bennett, Penguin Books, an imprint of Random House LLC, New York, NY, 2016

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting & Owning a Cat”, by Sheila Webster Boneham, PhD, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York, NY, 2005

Decoding Your Cat” by American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, editors: Meghan E. Herron, DVM, DACVB; Debra F. Horwitz, DVM, DACVB; Carlo Siracusa, DVM, PhD, DACVB, DECAWBM, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York, NY, 2020

L-Z

“Litter Box Happiness for Cats of All Ages”, Dr. Sophia Yin, CattleDog Publishing, January 25, 2017

“Litter Box Solutions for Aging Cats”, Litter Robot

“Litter Training”, Kitten Lady

“The Special Needs of the Senior Cat”, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Feline Health Center

Total Cat Mojo” by Jackson Galaxy with Mikel Delgado, PhD, Tarcher Perigree, Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2017

Think Like a Cat, How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat – Not a Sour Puss“, by Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, Penguin Books, Penguin Group (USA) Inc, New York, NY, 2000, 2011

“What’s the Best Litter Box for Senior Cats”, FitSeer.com

“What Your Cat Wants”, by Francesca Riccomini, Thunder Bay Press, Octopus Publishing Group, San Diego, CA, 2012, www.thunderbaybooks.com

Updated April 13, 2024

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