As you may know, I love animals. I was never very fond of cats, though, but not because of their behavior; I cannot stand cat hair nor cat litter. I have a very strong aversion to both.
After marrying a guy with a cat, I had to learn to live with the disgustingness. I’ve changed litter exactly three times in six years. It smells so awful. When I was pregnant, my aversion was even worse. The second cat’s litter box was in our walk-in closet and I was starting to lose my mind. I couldn’t even walk in our closet.
I’ve tried several different automatic litter boxes with mixed success. They delay the cleaning but the smell- though muted- is still there. Basically, there’s a big container of cat waste in the house. Gross.
So, after a month of debate over the cost, I bought a Cat Genie. I installed it in the closet. It requires fresh water hookup and drain to a commode or laundry drain; I drilled a hole in the drywall to the bathroom and inserted the hoses. Installation was really easy. I was eight months pregnant and had no problems. Well, no problems other than figuring out how to haul myself up after lying on the floor to attach the water line!
Once installed, it was fussy. It had a draining issue and a rotation issue within 10 days. Both led to the cat using the floor. I was ready to give up on my investment. However, since that first few days, there have been no problems. It is set to auto-clean daily and the closet smells like clean clothes again. After just a few months of use, we decided that the other cat should have one as well. But where to install it? The cats have to be separated, so it couldn’t be in the same room. All other commodes had no room for the unwieldy thing (21 inch diameter). The laundry room is the size of a postage stamp, so no way.
But I could not have that disgusting clay litter in the house any more. So we decided to install it in our mechanical room, forgoing the simple setup provided. We cut into an existing cold water line and installed a faucet. The drain line drains to the grinder pump. No more lugging clay litter around, no more smell, and certainly less bacteria on the cat’s toes after each use. I can reorder the stuff I need- with free shipping- in about 2 minutes instead of a trip to the store. Several months’ worth of supplies fit in a small box, not a bunch of big, heavy boxes of clay. Maintenance takes 30 seconds monthly (to snap in a sanitizer cartridge), with one in-depth 30 minute cleaning annually. Compare that to 10-15 gross minutes weekly and in-depth cleanings every month or two.
The only downsides are: the sanitizing solution smells like baby powder and I am allergic to most perfumes. The little washable plastic pellets are so light that the cat tracks them much farther than regular litter. I had to buy some startlingly expensive litter mats so that the litter could be trapped and reused because the litter refills are ridiculously priced at $22. Even so, the operation cost is less than a regular self-cleaning litter box using premium clumping litter.
My last self-cleaning clay litter box was $200. For $64 more, I now have a litter box that helps me keep my sanity.
Plus soldering with a torch is fun 🙂