The Cat Genie is one of those things that can seem really green or really un-green, depending on how you look at it. I bought the first version of it after I had been in a car accident and injured my wrists pretty badly. I wasn't able to carry heavy loads, which meant clumping cat litter and the Litter Robot I had considered purchasing for my four felines was out of the question.
The glory of the Cat Genie is that it uses washable litter granules (made from recycled plastic). During each cycle it sanitizes (washes) the granules, drys them (yup, you read that right) and flushes all the waste down the drain. Pretty amazing concept when you consider than you only use up the granules as they track from your cat's feet or the small bits that stick to the solid waste when it's flushed away. The granules biodegrade in 9 months, so they're safe for septic systems.
But, what about all that electricity and water? Cat Genie states that regular strip-mined litter requires considerable resources to produce, including 2000 degrees of heat, packaging and transportation. An estimated 8 billion non-biodegradable pounds of litter enters our landfills each year! They also illustrate the cost of up to $252 in bagged litter for two cats in a year versus the $205 you would spend on their cleaning solution and recycled granules is a decent financial gain. So when you think about it, which option really uses more resources or does more damage to the environment?
The system can be set up in either your bathroom or laundry room. I've done both and found the laundry room preferable because you don't need to flush it...it goes down the drain on its own. In the bathroom you will have to flush it yourself after each cycle.
Since my wrists have healed, I now have three cats who use the Cat Genie and one hold-out who prefers The World's Best Cat Litter and her traditional box.
Do any of you also use the Cat Genie? How about the Litter Robot (aka: The Deathstar)? What's working for you? What isn't?
• How to: Make Your Cat's Litter Box Less Smelly
• How To Keep Cats From Using the Lawn As a Litter Box?
• Green Your Pets
(Image: Michelle Chin)