updated 07/31/2009 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 07/31/2009 AT 7:46 AM ET
I’m going to be honest: I love the CatGenie. No more scooping for me – all the hard work happens now within an automatic litter box that flushes like a toilet but is made for your cat. My finicky felines have been won over, too, including my 17-year-old litter box veteran. All it took was getting used to a new sound, but they acclimated quickly.
The CatGenie 120’s cleaning cycle (see the video above) is extremely thorough. Just press a button and the liquid waste drains into the machine’s tray, while the solid waste is sifted out. Then, the reusable cat litter granules are washed and sanitized with a “sani-solution” that is automatically added during the rinse cycle. For a cat owner like myself, it means no more buying litter every week with the bonus of never having to reach my hand inside a smelly box. You can even set it on an automatic cleaning schedule, saving even more time – and justifying the $320 price tag.
The waste gets flushed right into your home’s sewer along with all the other water that goes down the drain. There is no emptying of containers or trays; it’s all washed out of the house just like a regular toilet. And there’s another upside: The litter it requires is non-toxic and biodegradable, according to manufacturer Petnovations. Scott Ackley, a marketing associate at the company, says the granules ($25.99 a pack) are made from biodegradable plastic that breaks down in a landfill within two years.
Ackley also points out that running the CatGenie for a month uses about the same amount of water as one 20-minute shower, and – another plus for the eco-conscious – the replaceable cartridges that hold the sani-solution can be put out with regular recycling.
There’s just one remaining green barrier: The CatGenie does, of course, use electricity. I wonder if they’d consider a version with solar panels?