Which Automated Cat Litter Box Is Better? CatGenie vs Litter-Robot

Which Automated Cat Litter Box Is Better? CatGenie vs Litter-Robot

I’ve reviewed both the Litter-Robot and the CatGenie, two automated Cat Litter Boxes here on Gear Diary, and I’ve had several years to test each extensively. On top of that, when I started using the CatGenie, and it became evident that it would work out for me, I gave the Litter-Robot to my friends Steven and June; they have been using it since early 2009. Since reviewing both, I’ve received questions about how the two stacked up to each other, but none covered as many issues as a recent letter from Danielle.

With her permission, I am going to answer it here …

Dear Judie,

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly.

I love the idea of an automated litter box – I’m going to get either the Litter Robot or CatGenie.

I will pay a fortune to get either as I live in Singapore (an Australian). The machines are both sold modified for other countries….you just lack
the support of customer service nearby. That’s a big concern.

I have read many reviews.

Some people love the CatGenie, whilst others are very bitter and say its a waste of time.

The more specific questions I have are

1) I know the Litter-Robot is bigger, but which actually seems bigger and bulkier?

2) Have you ever had to pull the CatGenie apart and unclog and if so, is it as gross as people say?

3) Do the plastic litter scatter about more than regular litter even with dome?

4) Would a large male Ragdoll fit in both?

5) Smells of both. Mixed reports here. I don’t have an exhaust in the laundry….does the poop really bake in the genie? Also do you use unscented or scented solution? which is the best smell wise?

Thank you so much for your time, and I really enjoy your detailed reviews.


Which Automated Cat Litter Box Is Better? CatGenie vs Litter-Robot

Danielle had many questions inside one question, so we’ll tackle one at a time …

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

12 Comments on "Which Automated Cat Litter Box Is Better? CatGenie vs Litter-Robot"

  1. This! I’ve been back and forth half a dozen times in the last month or so trying to plan this big purchase wanting to make sure I got it right because at a couple hundred bucks a pop – I’m unlikely to be able to try these out indefinitely. But this side by side comparison of both from a satisfied user of both is just what I needed.

    I was leaning towards the genie as being an apartment dweller carting in and out heavy bags of litter is really just killing me but the bad reviews were making me anxious about it. I can manage the litter on occasion but could I really stomach the smell? What if it backed up and didn’t just sit in the bowl but overflowed? My deposit would be ruined and I’d never be able to get the sledge out of all the crannies. I think I’d rather live with any smell I get from the LR (my cat simply has stinky poo) and noise than having to clean up sludge.

    After all the point is to NOT have to deal directly with poo anymore right?

    Anyway thanks so much for this it was definitely the deciding factor in my purchase and if things turn out well I’ll be sure to come back with a glowing update post and point anyone else I find on the fence here!

  2. Hi Key, thanks for leaving your comment, and good luck with your purchase! Do keep us posted. πŸ™‚

  3. Well the Litter Robot is here and my fat kitten (10+lbs!) is staring at it πŸ™‚ She’s put her head in, sniffed it good and got at least one paw all the way into the litter chasing one of her favorite treats. I’m hopeful right now that we won’t get to the full 90 days before neither one of us could even dream of doing without it πŸ™‚

  4. Good luck! I hope she takes to it like Avah and Tom did!:-)

  5. Wow, less than 24 hrs after it’s arrival and setup, Whisper has used the robot! She even stayed and watched while I manually ran the clean cycle. The sound of her wettish pee clumps falling down into the roof surprised her a bit but I’m pretty positive she’ll keep using it and grow used to the cycles etc rather quickly and I’ve got to say not having to bend down and scoop fresh pee out of the litter box first thing on a Saturday morning doesn’t suck either πŸ™‚

    She is a curious kitten of less than 1 years old which probably explains the fast results but she’s also skittish from time to time so it could have gone either way. Yay! I’m glad she likes it!

  6. Awesome! Whisper sounds just like Avah was when she first started using automated litterboxes. It sounds like you are set! πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Judie,

    Just curious – did CatGenie offer to send a replacement unit/part when you were experiencing the constant issues?


  8. paulie14O . | November 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm |


    I have owned the CatGenie for two years, and I finally stopped using it and went back to having a litter box with clumping litter (made from walnuts). The CatGenie has issues that I can’t rely on when I go away. When I come home and it’s full of water and the cats have gone all over the floor a round it, it becomes useless. There’s a clear probe needs constant attention and cleaning otherwise the unit stops working. Loose poop will make your entire house smell horrible when the CatGenie “bakes” it during the drying cycle! And you need to be sure that your cartridge is not near the end when you go away, or it will stop working. I’ve had issues with having partially full cartridges that won’t work once I take it out and replace it with a full one. Waste of $$$.

    There are several other things you may not know about the CatGenie until after you’ve had it for a while.
    1. You are forced to buy special pellets, which are expensive (more than litter). CatGenie claims that you will save on litter, but in reality, I’d say 50% of their special plastic litter ends up ALL OVER THE HOUSE, as it sticks to the cats’ paws and I end up having to vacuum my house CONSTANTLY. I find litter in every corner of my house, including in the upstairs bedroom (the Cat Genie is on the first floor), on window ledges, furniture, etc.
    2. The hidden costs: Not only are you forced to pay a lot of $$ to purchase the CatGenie, but you are then forced to purchase their cleaning cartridges and litter. Not cheap!
    3. Lastly is the electric bill. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why my electric bill was suddenly much higher. Well, imagine running your blow dryer for 15 minutes every time your two cats goes into the litter box ($$). When the CatGenie is done cleaning and drying, my entire laundry room is heated just from the box.

    I’m now looking seriously at the Litter Robot, as it does not need or use water, special cleaning cartridges nor special pellets, and I can use any clumping litter. So even though it cost a little more to buy than the CatGenie, I’ll make up the difference in less than 6-months.

    Anyone want to buy a used CatGenie?

  9. Paulie, I realy think that you will be happy with the Litter Robot. We ultimately ended up going back to that when the CatGenie 60 finally died. Not a moment of trouble with the LitterRobot; it is a fantastic option if you don’t want to scoop your own litter.

    We still have that CatGenie 120 in storage … it’s past time to trash it. =P

  10. I had the Litter Robot for 7 years. Loved it until the rubber inner lining got scratched and started absorbing the urine smells. So even after cleaning it with bleach, it would still smell. They did not and do not have a replacement for the rubber lining. Another issue I had was the the clumps would fall in a single pile into the tray and not fall to the sides, so as it rotated, even after just a day, it would get poop and wet clay litter smeared on the outside of the dome. When I lived in a house and had a hose outside to spray it down with, it wasn’t so bad. But I’m back in an apartment and you can’t rinse that down the shower. The only fix I found was to periodically (several times a day) shake the drawer so the waste moved around in the bottom rather than forming a pyramid in the center. When we’d be gone for the weekend, omg was it awful!!! I’d have waste smeared and piled on the sides of the base. So, a year after moving into my apartment, I bought the cat genie 120. So far, I haven’t had any issues other than the exorbitant cost of the supplies. I do get those granules all over the house and they’re almost as bad as grass burs on bare feet. But you don’t have clay litter smeared on the floor when it gets when from coming out of the shower if it didn’t get swept up before said shower. It does stink when the dryer goes and you have wet stool. I have 3 cats and set it to delay for cycling so the poop would harden a bit and less would get left behind when it scooped.

    So now I’ve had my Cat Genie 120 for 2 years and they raised their costs for supplies. $69.99 to start on their VIC program (automatic shipments and no cost for shipping, cheaper than ordering individually) and then $52.00 each additional shipment (4x/year). It used to be $20 something each month until the last shipment was sent. Now it’s not so affordable and I’m considering getting another Litter Robot. Decisions decisions. I really don’t want to have the issue with the poop pyramid in the drawer again or clay litter all over my bathroom floor. But I also don’t want to spend a fortune on supplies any longer. Anyone else have these issues and find a way to conquer them?

  11. vesperknight | June 29, 2015 at 4:01 am |

    I have been an owner of the Catgenie 120 for 5 years now, with 3 cats including one that sheds a lot and after I just moved into a smaller appartment I have decided to clean the Catgenie and pack it off, likely to be sold off and I’m looking to buy the LRII. Here’s my review of living with the Catgenie for 5 years and all the pains and joys it’s caused me.

    I should preface this by saying that I am what you would call a power user of the catgenie. I am one of the few owners of the CatGenius Catgenie 120 cartridge hack panel that allows you to refill cartridges with whatever you want and thus not having to pay an exhorbitant 25$ a month on sanisolution.

    Worse of all.. the sanisolution.. whether it be the flowery one (the worse) or the “unscented” (unscented my-ass!) they both stink quite badly!! And this thing relaly stinks like hell when shit happens. I’ve been running mine with hot water for years now, and I don’t even use any solution. Once a week I soak the whole thing in hot water and Oxy Clean.

    Also, I stopped buying those ridiculous granules early on. At first I bought other plastic pellets from an ebay vendor.. I recommend doing this as it’ll save you lots of money. And then I found an even more eco-friendly and much cheaper solution (since the plastic pellets shipping was very expensive to canada). I started buying bird seeds instead, specifically “carthage seeds” which are the perfect size. They have a tiny smell to them at first but it’s not a bad smell and they don’t sprout ever and work perfectly.. they also minize tracking since they’re a bit heavier than the plastic ones.

    So all that said.. that means that instead of spending like 35$ a month on supplies I’m spending 10$ ! A great improvement. But the electricity is probably 30$ a month on itself. So that means that owning the catgenie as a base cost for me of about 480$ a year! That’s the price of the LRII right there. For other people (most people) that didn’t find a way to hack their unit to add huge savings they are paying close to 1000$ a year on their catgenie without even realizing it.

    I can get a 20kg box of premium litter for about 10$! It looks to me like I’ll be saving mucho money going to the LRII.

    But more importantly.. is that I’ve had it with the Catgenie problems. The biggest most recurring problem is that it often stinks and with no ventiliation in the washer/dryer room that it’s going in now I just can’t have that major stink spread to the house. It looks to me like the LRII has a much more manageable and predictable smell control which could probably be lessened by making sure empty it every 5 days for example and by adding a few smell absorbers/maskers around that small room.

    If I had a nice big room with a window (oh yes a window!!) or a supreme ventilation exhaust system I would love the catgenie much much more because if you clean it well and run it twice a day (like I have been doing.. yes twice a day with 3 cats.. and I manually dump poop pellets into the toilet whenever I get the chance) it can go 2-3 months without requiring any maintenance except for the occasional 2 minute fix one.

    Also in 5 years I’ve only had one spill.. and I quickly prevented that from ever happening again by placing the catgenie into a nice plastic container about 4 inches wide and 24×30 dimension’ish.

    Cleaning it however is absolutely horrific… seriously that alone is one of the driving reasons why I have no choice but to drop 550$ CAD on the LRII right now.. because I plan to sublet this place with the cats now and I can’t expect anyone else to have to deal with the many possible terrible scenarios the Catgenie can force you into lol. The LRII seems so much easier.

    I just wish there was a LRIII already. I have been googling that for years now!!! I have always hated how Catgenie doesn’t also upgrade their unit.. it seems to me like there’s so many ways to improve on both these models and make a much-closer-to-perfection variety.. but I guess the effing pattents on those things are preventing this kind of thing from every happening. Somebody ought to make a new robot litter machine that can be printed from a 3D printer. It sucks that there’s no innovation from either of these companies now that they have a good selling models. And seriously.. while I’m about to pay 550$ incl taxes and free shipping for the LRII.. I look at the whole thing and wonder why so expensive?? Anyone wanna guess on the manufacturing costs of this thing? It looks honestly extremely primitive compared to everything the Catgenie does. But oh well.. that’s the price of not having to scoop cat litter for 3 cats and I’ll take it because I love my cats and we all deserve it =)

    The joy of course is that 90% of the time overall I have come home to a nice smelling house with no worry for as much as 2-3 months at a time about the Catgenie needing any maintenance.

  12. Helen Bauberg | March 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm |

    I would go with the Catboxpro. It flushes and you can use any litter.

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