In this post, we compare the two best options for smart cat litters - Cat Genie vs Litter Robot...
Do you hate cleaning cat feces? You’re not alone. Cats are adorable except when they have to do their business. While it’s a part of their natural process, cleaning cat litter is something a lot of cat owners prefer not to do even if they love their cats so much. Thankfully, there’s a thing called “smart cat litters” which help in automating whole or part of the litter cleaning process.
There are two popular smart cat litters in the market - Litter Robot III and CatGenie. These two have different ways of automatically cleaning cat litter, so you have to figure out which one works best for you and your cat. Want to know what to get? Read on for their comparison.
Litter Robot Overview
Litter Robot comes in three versions but the notable versions are II and III. These two will be discussed in a bit.
So what’s Litter Robot and how does it work? First and foremost, the Litter Robot looks like a portal or a robot. It’s a round enclosed potty area where your cat can go in and do its thing. The top portion is the round enclosed potty area and the bottom portion is where the feces are deposited. Now the bottom portion is important to focus on. When your cat is done doing its business, the Litter Robot automatically rotates the inner trays to remove the clumps and the moisture. These deposits will go directly to the storage area.
It sounds gross, yes, but in reality, it removes the hassle of you cleaning the litter box on your own. As far as you’re concerned, the only thing you have to do here is to replace the trash bag in the deposit area (which is after 3-4 days). Other than that, you just have to plug it in and let your cat do its thing in the Litter Robot.
As mentioned earlier there are two versions you’ll encounter when you start looking up this product - Litter Robot II and Litter Robot III. Their two main differences are the entryway and added features, specifically, automatic adjustments and night light.
When it comes to the entryway, the Litter Robot II’s entrance is at the front - similar to a dog house. There’s no door, it’s just a wide opening on the front of the device. On the other hand, the Litter Robot III’s opening is on top. Why? This is because based on research and customer reviews, the Automated Pet Care realized that having the entryway in front is not the most comfortable way for a cat, so in the next version of the Litter Robot, the Company placed it on top. What’s good about this is that the entryway is also larger making it suitable for fatter cats.
To add to that, Litter Robot III has added features like automatic adjustments and night light. The automatic adjustments allow the device to self-adjust its cleaning cycle and mechanism depending on the size of the cat. For example, it can detect a small cat with a sensor recognizing it so you don’t have to calibrate the whole thing every time a different cat comes in. Plus, there’s a nightlight so your cat can find it in the dark.
If you’re thinking of buying the Litter Robot, the Litter Robot III is the most efficient and advanced version to get.
What about CatGenie? Is it also a robot? Technically, it’s an automated cat litter, but it doesn’t look like a robot. It does, however, look a toilet seat and it also works like one.
The CatGenie was designed to look and feel like a toilet seat. While it feels like the design is better for humans, the basin full of granules allows your cat to do some digging to make their business more comfortable. The CatGenie works by scooping the feces from the granules and depositing it to a chute where it mixes with water and goes down your sewage system. Wait, sewage system? Yes, for the CatGenie to work, it has to be connected to your sewage system because the feces will automatically be disposed of through here.
While most find the CatGenie a hassle on the first try, it does compensate by providing hookups and plumbing connections that will make the CatGenie easier to install. All you need here is someone who knows a bit about plumbing so you can ensure that there won’t be any leaks going to your sewage system.
Depositing the feces is done simultaneously with cleaning the granules. The basin rotates and this movement helps clean up the granules to make sure that there’s no solid waste left with it. There will also be water and sanitizing solution pouring to the granules that clean them. If you’re wondering why you never have to change them, this is your answer. What’s even better is that the cleaning machine has an automatic dryer that blows on the granules.
Litter Robot vs CatGenie - What Should You Get?
Now for the most important question, what should you get? Is it the Litter Robot or the CatGenie? Here are factors you can look at the major differences between the two on those factors.
- Cleaning Method
The most important factor to consider is the cleaning method. Because you want to do away with manually cleaning your cat’s feces all the time, the smart cat litter should be able to handle the whole cleaning process with you only pressing a few buttons.
Fortunately, both the Litter Robot and the CatGenie do exactly that, just in two different ways. The Litter Robot has a rotating mechanism that removes the waste from the litter tray and deposits it to the bin. It has sensors to know if your cat is done doing its business and that’s when the cleaning process starts. At most, you only have to change the trash bag in the bin.
For the CatGenie, it has an automatic flushing system that removes the feces, flushes it to the sewage system, and cleans the granules. You can flush manually, but you can also use the automatic flush. Compared to the Litter Robot, the CatGenie’s cleaning method is more efficient.
- Cleaning Cycles
While the cleaning cycle of Litter Robot is automatic, it only has one setting for self-cleaning. This means that it has a set timer and when the timer goes off, it starts a cycle of cleaning placing the waste in the bin. The problem here is that the timer uses a sensor indicating if a cat is inside the device. If your cat is small, this is a problem that you might have because the Litter Robot’s sensor might not be able to sense that cat’s weight, therefore, delaying the timer for a new cleaning cycle.
The CatGenie does it better, though, because it has three different settings that can trigger cleaning cycles. Since it works as a toilet seat, you can manually press the ‘Push Start’ button to flush it, set an Auto Start for automatic cleaning, or have a Cat Start setting where a sensor is used to detect if a cat is done doing its business. The only problem you have here is just the long waiting time for a cleaning cycle to finishing running. It’s approximately 30 minutes.
Convenience is just as important as the cleaning cycle. Why? You don’t want to be inconvenienced by using the whole smart cat litter. You also wouldn’t want to do the flushing yourself, so you should look for a device that you barely have to maintain.
For this factor, the CatGenie has a better mechanism. This is because you don’t have to have any interaction with cat feces. The self-flushing feature is a huge help because you don’t even have to press any button.
On the other hand, the Litter Robot still requires you to remove the trash bag with cat litter after 3-4 days. This is still a dreadful task to do because this time, you’re dealing with cat litter that was stored for a few days and you definitely don’t want to face that.
Of course, the price matters. Whether you’re on a budget or not, a value-for-money smart cat litter should always be the better option.
The Litter Robot costs twice as much as the CatGenie. The former costs from $400-500 while the latter has a max price of less than $300. If you’re only looking at the price, then you’ll definitely get a nice deal with CatGenie. The only catch is that for CatGenie, there is a monthly maintenance that you have to pay for which is in the form of the SaniSolution Smart Cartridge. The SaniSolution Smart Cartridge is the solution that sanitizes the granules. A pack of that will cost you $12 a month.
Before you rejoice at how cheap the CatGenie is, don’t forget to compute how much it will cost you a year to maintain the whole device.
Sorry to burst your bubble here, but both the CatGenie and the Litter Robot are required to be plugged into a power outlet. This means that you have a wire connected to it all day long. Sure, you can unplug it, but that’s a loose wire your cat might play with. Plus, the automatic cleaning won’t work without electricity.
When it comes to ease of installation, the Litter Robot is a much easier to install because all you have to do is plug it and turn it on. There isn’t any other connection you have to fix. On the other hand, the CatGenie requires you to set up a clean water and sewage system to supply the device with the needed fluids. The CatGenie does include the plumbing hookups and a guide to install a plumbing system. However, it’s not as easy to do especially if you have no idea how plumbing works.
For ease of installation, the Litter Robot trumps the CatGenie.
When it comes to design, this can be very subjective because you have to consider the design that your cat is more comfortable with. Of course, you wouldn’t know until you try them both, but to make things easier for you, just think about your cat’s behavior. When they do their business, do they prefer enclosed areas? Or do they prefer digging?
These questions will help you understand what makes your cat comfortable when doing their business on an automated machine. If they prefer an enclosed area, you’re definitely better off buying the Litter Robot. For this, you also want to know if they’re fat because they’re fatter, say, more than 20 inches wide, then the Litter Robot III is a better fit. Otherwise, Litter Robot II is a good choice. If your cat is more of a digger, then the CatGenie is your only choice.
Since you’re dealing with a device that uses electricity and plumbing, you should always take into account the safety of your cats. For both smart cat litters, you have to plug the device to a wall outlet. Ideally, they should both be placed in the corner so nobody trips on them. The possible safety issue that can arise from here is the fact that there’s a wire coming from the device. If your cat is playful, it might end up playing with the cord.
The CatGenie also has a cold-water line and a wastewater drain connected to the device. If you’re looking for a device that has fewer connections and wires, then you would prefer Litter Robot since it only needs a power outlet.
It’s a relief to have smart cat litters which make your job as a cat owner a lot easier. In picking between the Litter Robot and the CatGenie, always keep in mind that your convenience and your cat’s behavior are very important in picking the cleaning system that will work well. Since picking between the two devices is based on subjective preferences and needs, the decision on which to get is yours to make.