There have been many funny reviews on sites like Amazon, Ebay, etc. but this one really caught my attention because we own 2 cats. Here’s a well written and funny review of the CatGenie Self-Cleaning Litter Box.
Since Amazon has been known to remove certain reviews of products, I’ll post the full text here and give a link back in the slim case that the review stays and Amazon doesn’t remove it.
Cat Genie takes the small unpleasantness of daily cleaning the litter and it saves it up and releases that unpleasantness as one big unscheduled, unpleasant inconvenience every week or two. Advanced monitors will ensure that the device failure will occur during the workday, as you prepare for your important meeting with your prospective client. Nothing like cleaning out wet cat poo in your nicest suit. Or, you may be pleasantly awoken in the middle of the night by the repeating three beeps of “there’s poo and hair in the hopper.” You will become more familiar with your cat’s feces every day as the cat genie gently fills your home with the aroma of baking excrement. Plus, you get to pay over $300 for technology that was “designed” and built for less than $2. The “processor” unit was designed in 1967 and allows all the functionality of the most advanced microchip devices of its era. It has both on and off modes. (Note: off mode available only while unplugged.)
Actually, the real reason for the high cost of the device is to cover the costs of all the customer support that they must provide and to cover the costs of all of the returned units. The question is not IF, but WHEN you will find yourself hunched over your cat’s feces floating in a pool of fetid water, picking small plastic pellets out of the opaque, pungent water with your fingers so that you can get the device put back together.
And your cats will thank you by depositing their love bundles beside the machine that’s half filled with water and beeping away forlornly if you happen to be away when it fails.
We have three cats, they had no trouble adjusting to the machine over about a week. The small plastic pellets getting everywhere in the house is not really any big deal. Roomba takes care of most of them well. We’ve now had the machine for three months. We received a replacement base last week for a leaky drain hose. We’ve called their customer service line enough times that we now know the “secret” diagnostic techniques of their experts. We don’t know if we’re going to keep it or return it. If we keep it, we’re definitely going to install an exhaust fan in the laundry room, and set it to a timer to go when the unit is on. For some reason there are little bits of poo that fall between the tines of the hopper, and they get slow baked every time the unit dries itself. The stench is really outstanding. It’s hard to describe. I’m a doctor, and I’ve rarely ever smelled anything so bad.
My recommendation is to wait for the next generation cat sanitation solution. That device will need to be a complete redesign to solve the myriad of problems with this unfortunate device. To say something positive, the customer support line is manned by kind, well-meaning kids who really do feel badly that you’re having a hard time with your mechanical poo soup maker.
If you do buy this device, get some thick rubber gloves and a couple of towels that you won’t use for anything else.