There are a number of litter boxes on the market and many new automatic ones that cat owners can choose from. This includes two front runners: The Litter Robot and the Cat Genie. These are two of the best automatic options out there, both of which will clean the box and ensure that you don’t need to bend down and scoop all the time. The only question is which box will work for you and your cat.
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Litter Robot Vs Cat Genie
Before we even get into the Litter Robot vs. the Cat Genie, you might be wondering which brand you should buy. Which is better?
Well, the answer depends on your needs and whether you think your cat will acclimate to an automatic litter machine. Many people do tend to like the Litter Robot, though, for simple ease of use, but if you’re looking to save a little space, you may prefer the Cat Genie which is a great Litter Robot alternative. There are also other litter-robot competitors on the market.
It really depends on what you’re looking for out of your self-cleaning box and what features you think will most benefit you. That’s why we’ll be going through exactly what you can expect from each box right here.
How Litter Robot Works
The Litter Robot is well-known for a good reason. You might at least recognize the shape of the globe, which is where your cat or cats will jump into to do their business. After your pet is done, the globe will wait for seven minutes just in case your feline comes back.
If your cat doesn’t come back, the timer will expire, and the globe will start sifting the litter. If your cat does come back, the timer will reset so that your cat can finish up their business safely.
This unit is known specifically for its unique design, being the globe shape. That globe is what helps to sift out used litter, though, without much cat litter getting outside the globe. All you’ll really need to do is replace the litter with fresh litter when you notice it starting to get low and reach to grab the liner in the waste bin.
Replace the plastic liner, and you’ll be able to let the globe get to work again.
This self-cleaning box works by sifting litter using the globe. This means that you can save a lot of litter thanks to the process, and that a lot of your litter will remain clean since it doesn’t need to sit with dirty litter for longer than seven minutes.
Speaking of litter, the Litter Robot is made to save you money just on supplies. This is because you’re able to use any type of litter with this unit. You only need to pour it inside to get the unit to work.
That being said, it will help you to have cat litter that clumps well since this machine works by sifting the cat litter through a large globe. Clumping litter or crystal litter will make it easier for the machine to separate used from clean litter.
You get a great unit when you choose the Litter Robot, but you also get an app to track everything. Your app will let you track your data so you can see how often your feline is using the box.
Sure, this might not seem like the most exciting thing, but especially if you have an elderly cat or a feline that needs some monitoring due to health issues, it’s easy to take a look at the app. You can also share that information directly with your vet right from your phone.
Pros of the Litter Robot
- The wifi connection and app will let you manually start the cleaning process right from your phone
- It works well; meaning that there are rarely issues with the process
- It’s easy to use this machine with multiple cats
- It includes safety features, like the fact that cleaning mode will stop if your feline needs to jump into the globe
Cons of the Litter Robot
- You have a high initial price with this box; pricey but you’d better be using it for the long run
How Does A Cat Genie Work
It’s no wonder that people love the Cat Genie when you think about how well it works. This automatic box works using the same sort of delay as the Litter Robot, but you’re able to set this delay to your preferences. If you have 4 cats or more then you’re able to set the timer for as long as 30 minutes so that all of your cats can jump in and out as often as they want.
Beyond the timers, Litter Robot uses a rotating mechanism to separate unclean litter waste from clean litter, so think of this box as something like a cat toilet. It works to wash away waste after your cat uses it, proceeds to clean the litter, and dries off everything so that it’s ready for your cat to hop in next. If you take a look at it, it really does look like a little toilet too!
You have the ability to choose between three different settings on your Cat Genie. Just push the “Cat Start” button for cleaning the litter box at a set 10 minutes after your cat has used the bathroom. You can also make use of the “Auto Start” that will only clean it up to four times a day. This means that the waste will sit for longer, but especially if you have multiple felines, this might be a good way for them to all use the box without it getting too crowded.
Of course, you also have the ability to use the “Push Start” button, which will manually flush as soon as you flush it. It helps too that there’s a child lock on this machine that will prevent any small children from manually flushing it to watch it work.
You know that you can set the timer for cleaning to be up to 30 minutes in the Cat Genie, which means that you can let it sit to give your cats the time to get in and out without worrying. This timer makes this option great for multi-cat households, although it does also mean that the waste will sit for longer until the timer activates.
Speaking of that timer, you might want to even set it to only activate around four times a day, if only because it takes around half an hour since the cleaning cycle begins until completion. These cleaning cycles are not the most silent either. You’ll definitely notice it turns on when it begins working.
One thing that you definitely need to know about the Cat Genie is that the litter is made specifically for this box. This means that you cannot buy other brands of litter if you want this box to work as well as it should.
While the litter that comes with your unit will be enough to hold over one cat for around three months due to its reusable granules and biodegradable sanitizing solution, you will need to purchase all new supplies specifically from Cat Genie. The biggest issue here is the costs that come from the supplies, which do cost more than your traditional cat litter. But the litter granules are washable and reusable litter.
Of course, you will have to clean even no matter what box you have or like a regular litter box — that’s a given, and even automated cat litter boxes require some effort to keep them smelling nice.
The Cat Genie doesn’t require you to do much of anything besides add in more litter, but it also does require you to clean, especially if your pet tends to go soft feces. These can get clogged in the system and cause an odor, which means that you will need to perform a more thorough cleaning.
Pros of the Cat Genie
- You will never have to scoop anything out of this Cat Genie
- All of the waste and poop are flushed away like a real toilet without you needing to do anything
- The settings are easy to figure out
- You can use this box for recommended 2 cats
- You do need to spend time hooking up this unit to a water line and running a hose into a toilet—the setup is not the easiest thing to figure out that adds to your chores
- This box is quite noisy, with a long cleaning cycle
- You need to buy the proper litter for this to work; will not work with any litter
Choosing Your Litter Box: Cat Genie vs Litter Robot
When it comes to choosing your automatic box, there are some things to keep in mind before you make your purchase. Regardless of the features, after all, your box needs to work for your specific needs.
Number of Cats
If you have more than one cat, you’ll need an automatic box that can handle multiple cats efficiently. Especially if you work during the day and won’t be there to keep an eye on your box, you’ll want to know that either your Litter Robot or Cat Genie can handle the amount of waste.
When you’re considering your box then, take a look at how big the capacity is for waste. The process for both boxes is automated, but that won’t matter much if you’re trying to use the box for multiple cats and the waste drawer can’t handle everything.
The Litter Robot will need cleaning depending on the number of cats that you have. So, for example, you can normally clean it every 10 days, but with around 3 cats, you’ll need to clean it every few days, like 3-4 days. The self-flushing Cat Genie, by contrast, doesn’t require you to flush waste using liners and actually automatically removes waste itself. You never have to worry about the capacity, but you do need to worry about the waste clogging the system.
Ultimately, how well it cleans is a crucial factor here! After all, you want to invest in the machine that can do the job best, so you no longer have to clean your cat’s waste manually.
Both Litter Robot 3 Connect and CatGenie work differently, though. Litter Robot 3 Connect uses a rotating system that displaces the waste from the litter tray, pushing it into the bin. Using multiple sensors, it’ll know when your cat is finished before starting its cleaning cycle. So you don’t have to worry about it starting up randomly when your cat is in there.
CatGenie utilizes an automatic flushing mechanism, flushing cat waste into the sewage before cleaning the granules. You have the automatic or manual flush option.
If you want something totally hands-off (which is why you’re probably even wanting to get a self-cleaning litter box), Litter-Robot is the go.
Your Cat Specifically
You can’t know for certain if your pet will enjoy using a self-washing cat box until you actually have the box, but you can think about whether your cat will use it based on its personality and their age.
You might notice that an older cat doesn’t seem too keen on figuring out a whole new system. Or that your pet doesn’t like enclosed spaces, or perhaps loud noises or movement makes them jump.
In this case, the Litter Robot may be a worse option for you, since your cat does need to jump inside the globe in order to do their business. They may dislike the lack of space, and if you get a smaller Litter Robot instead of the Open Air, felines with long hair especially may dislike getting litter in their fur.
By contrast, felines who are a little skittish might jump at the cleaning cycle for the Cat Genie, although in this box, they have a lot of space. Felines who like to dig will like this option.
Your Cat’s Diet
Some cats will not have as much waste as others depending on their diet. Some will produce more urine, and if this is your cat, make sure that you pick an option that can get rid of it just as well as it can get rid of feces. Of course, this whole process will also be helped by a good clumping litter.
The Cat Genie is great for this though and can handle a lot of softer waste, but the Litter Robot is just a little better. This is thanks to the globe sifting mechanism, which sifts out even the liquid waste without too much of a problem.
Litter-Robot is an enclosed design, while CatGenie is not. So this really depends on your cat. Does your cat like an enclosed area? Or does it like to dig? If your cat prefers digging, go for CatGenie!
Your Budget and Space
Both of these options take up space—so make sure that you have the space to house them. The Litter Robot especially takes up quite a bit of space thanks to the globe on top and will need enough space to work without it being shoved against the wall. You’ll have some more flexibility with the Cat Genie.
Of course, your budget matters as well. Even a big investment might be worth it if your box is known to save kitty litter and save you money in the long term.
This is what the Litter Robot does. It has a big price tag right at the start, although you don’t have to buy manufacturer’s supplies and it will work with any kind of clumping litter or kitchen bags.
By contrast, the Cat Genie is a much smaller investment right away, but you will need to buy supplies specifically from the brand to make sure that the unit continues to work even in the long run.
Set Up and Ease of Use
Ultimately, it’s relatively easy to use both of these machines once you have them set up. The set up might be more difficult depending on which option you pick though.
The Litter Robot is extremely easy to set up. You only need to set up the base of the machine and attach the globe on top to get it to work. Of course, you also need to make sure that you set it up near an outlet as well so that you can plug it in.
In contrast, the Cat Genie is a little more difficult to get going. The automatic flushing and washing mean that you need a cold water line, a wastewater drainage, and access to an electrical outlet. It might take you time to get this set up, but once it is up, the liquid will drain on its own through the power source and drain pipe, an automated arm will scoop out the solid waste, and the box will be ready to use again once drained. You don’t have to do much of anything to even clean out the cat waste when it’s liquified and drained out of the box—like a real toilet.
Safety is a crucial factor when it comes to your cats. Especially if they’re going to be around water and electricity, given that both devices have to be connected to a power outlet. A safety issue to take note of is not to let your cat touch or play with the power cord.
Take note that CatGenie has more plumbing connected too. It has a waste water drain and a water line. So, if you have a super playful cat on hand, you might want to be careful because there’s just more potential for your cat to play with the tubes.
Litter-Robot is the go if you want something without as many wires and tempting attachments poking out!
No one can deny that your budget is important. Ultimately, you don’t want to spend unnecessary money on a machine that doesn’t quite do what you expect it to.
For starters, Litter-Robot does cost more than CatGenie. If you have more to spare and want the full stack of features (and a good-looking litter box), choose the Litter-Robot and you won’t look back.
If your budget hovers around the $300 mark, the CatGenie isn’t a bad option either.
However, don’t get caught out here. With CatGenie, you do need to pay an additional monthly fee for the SaniSolution Smart Cartridge. You need it because it’s the solution that helps to sanitize the litter granules.
Check Litter-Robot Price Here (and get $50 off)
If you have younger cats, you might be curious about whether your automated box will work for kittens.
Well, the Litter Robot works using a weight—your feline steps up, it registers their weight, and it will not activate the cleaning cycle while your pet is inside. This is the problem with kittens: if they’re under 5 pounds, they won’t set off the weight sensor. You’ll need to have a separate box for them.
By contrast, Cat Genie works more easily with kittens, although you might need to have a separate box anyway to account for the long cleaning cycle.
More General Considerations
Which unit you buy depends on you and your feline, but you’ll need to consider your own preferences too. For example, you might not want to have another toilet-type fixture sitting somewhere for your cat in the form of the Cat Genie—or you might think the toilet shape is cute. You also might not like the larger globe structure of the Litter Robot, but in this case, it’s just a matter of preference.
If you’re going to pick, an automatic litter box is best if you make sure that you consider whether it works well for your situation and your feline. Especially when it comes to the Cat Genie vs Litter Robot 3, this will be a tough choice.
They’re both solid options that will reduce the need for you to scoop cat litter. There are also several litter-robot alternatives, and you need to convince your cat to use it!