1) I know the Litter-Robot is bigger, but which actually seems bigger and bulkier?
They seem about the same bulk wise; the LitterRobot has a 22″ wide x 24″ deep footprint, where the CatGenie measures 19.25″ wide x 24.5″ deep. As for height, the Litter-Robot at 29″ is taller than the CatGenie’s 21″, which includes the optional dome (it’s basically flush with the back of the CatGenie unit). While the Litter-Robot is taller, which should be a consideration if you are placing it in a cabinet, you still have to remember the SaniSolution Cartridge on the CatGenie; since it is placed on the top left and you’ll have to remove and reinsert a cartridge every few months, you’ll need to add at least 6″ clearance if you are keeping the CatGenie in an enclosure.
2) Have you ever had to pull the CatGenie apart and unclog and if so, is it as gross as people say?
The short answer is yes I have, and whatever people have said … it is infinitely grosser!
Now here is the rest of the story.
I have actually had two CatGenie models, the original CatGenie 60 which I reviewed, and the newest model, the CatGenie 120. The CatGenie 60 never gave me a day’s trouble, so when the CatGenie 120 came out … even though it was $329+ for the upgrade package I purchased, I bought it without a moment’s hesitation.
The one smart thing I did was not take the $100 upgrade rebate option by trading in the old processing unit. The CatGenie 120 arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of my old accessories fit perfectly – the siderails and dome – and the only major change was that the enclosed processing unit of the device was altered.
Even though we could have technically just replaced the processing unit on the old base, we went ahead and changed out everything. We completely cleaned it, and kept the CatGenie 60 in our storage building; I figured I might eventually have someone to give it to, just like I had done the Litter-Robot.
I kept the CatGenie 120 on automatic mode — which is supposed to be better for it, but I had trouble with the unit from about the 4th month on. The first issue was rather dramatic, as I was alerted to a problem when the error alert kicked off and all of a sudden I had what amounted to raw sewage on the floor of our laundry room. Of course this happened 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave the house to attend a school function for one of my step-daughters. Needless to say I didn’t make it, and I was in a foul mood as I cleaned up the mess. Kevin came home after the school function and helped me take apart the CatGenie and we couldn’t find any clogs or other blockage. In other words, there was no discernible reason for the blowup.
We got everything set back up properly, the little raise in the hose you are supposed to have, the loose wrap of the extra hose under the base, everything sparkling and ready to go … and the CatGenie 120 worked properly for a few more months. The next problem was that I would constantly get Error #3, the one which means the CatGenie is not draining properly. We took it apart several times, and were never able to find a clog or any other reason for it to not be draining, and yet the issue would persist.
Then I started to regularly get error #1, the one which is supposed to mean a dirty water sensor or clog. Again, we took it apart several times but never found a clog; the water sensor would sometimes have a faint white film (possibly lime buildup – our water is hard, after all) on it, but wiping it off would not always clear the error. We did the prescribed maintenance on the device with the cleaning solution packets that had come with the unit, but to no avail. It got to where the error beeps would constantly go off, and I was getting more and more frustrated with the device.
Because unplugging it for a time would reset it so that it could properly run, I started unplugging it after it would do its sequence, right after the first error beeps started and cleaning the sensors didn’t work.
Yes, I called customer service, was walked through all of the tests and resets that I had already done, was told that my problem should be fixed now … and they weren’t. After another week or so of plugging it in only when I needed to run it and then immediately unplugging it, I got the brilliant idea of getting the old model out of our storage room.
Because I wanted to see if the issue was with the CatGenie 120 processing unit or the base itself, I inserted the CatGenie 60 processing unit into the 120’s base. We have not had a single issue since. :sigh: