February 2018

After my last post, I stepped into the tub for a shower and realized an important piece missing.  How does the shower have anything to do with an automatic cat pan?  Well simply the lack of pellets noticed that morning.  The Cat Genie has custom pellets for its operation.  They look like someone took a broom that has those hollow bristles and cut those bristles in 1/4″ lengths.  Those things get everywhere.  I have found them in my bed, through the carpet, even in my sock at work.  I felt like I was walking on a pebble and on removing my sock, found on of those pellets.  One chore was to sweep the bathroom and return the pellets to the machine again.  Did I mention they get everywhere?  Now that the machine is in a closet, the number of pellets in diverse locations has decreased.  Also helping this scenario, I believe, is that I put a scratch pad right at the opening of the closet, so the cats have to walk on it to get in or out.  Here I was standing in the shower and realized that I was not pulling pellets off my feet.  What a nice discovery!

I do have to get into the closet every week and a half, roughly, and sweep in there and return the pellets to the machine, but on the whole, this beats scooping the cat pan every day.


We have tried to automate our cat care.  That puts the idea in a short nugget.  Further explanation requires many more words.  Cats are normal jumpers.  Fences are an enjoyable path along the side of the lot – not that a cat as any respect of man-made property limits.  Dogs, for the most part are respecters of fences.  I say the most the most part, because there are exceptions where they have jumped over or just put a hole in the fence.  This is an important concept to us as we have a canine who thinks cat nuggets are a wonderful commodity to munch and leave around the house.  (knowing cringe here is appropriate)  By utilizing the characteristics presented, we have installed a block from the dogs and managed to keep nuggets where they belong.  Initially, this began as a set of shelves in the corner of the bathroom.  The bottom shelf is relatively even with the counter and above the toilet.  In the corner nearest the sink, a hole allows tubing to connect from the water supply to one of those automatic dog waterers.  That job took a week to get plumbing to match and stop leaking.  Frustration level – orange.  Around the corner of the same shelf is a blue bowl.  There is a piece of downspout leading to the second shelf.  The cats were smart enough to discover that if they dug into the spout of the food dispenser, they could obtain additional supply.  Placing the food dispenser on the next shelf stopped that behavior.  Yes, the food is measured and dispensed at three times through the day.

The dispenser measures the amount of food and the motor runs producing a low noise calling the most food aggressive cat – Whiskers to the first shelf before the cycle is finished.  This has been going on for a few months, so the amount of food consumed is reasonable, I guess.  All weights of the cats are being maintained, except Whiskers.  She has doubled herself since her reproduction factory was removed.  I guess the cyclic cat cry was replaced by an appetite.  There remains a little food about 1/2 hour post administration and this is eaten prior to the next cycle, so I’m not of the mind to change the settings any more.

That leaves the cat pan.  Put a clothes pin on your nose, here comes the cleaning again.  Remember we have three cats.  Take your normal olfactory sensation and triple it.  We tried regular litter, sand, scoopable, and finally had two pans – one with scoopable litter and the other with pellets and a pad underneath to catch the urine.  The combination worked all right.  That’s when I noticed the Cat Genie.

The Cat Genie is expensive.  It’s not as much as a couple of other styles utilizing scoopable litter, but still takes quite a chunk of change.  Also, there is the need to have cleaning fluid and replaceable pellets returned to usage.  The unit is designed to force the buyer to use only the brand supplier.  There is a radio code placed in the package of the soap which ostensibly identifies the authentic soap and times cycled for the machine.  One cannot refill the cartridge and replace it.  The machine will reject a reintroduction of the same cartridge.  I guess that is the reason there were empty cartridges available on ebay for $9.  Anyways, we purchased this machine and have been using the supplies as required.  The machine has had a couple of hicc-ups and required a cleaning and removal of two foreign objects at different times.  The first time was a ball.  All the poop was collected in the chute and filled the thing.   A superball was enough to block operation.  Another time it was making a ferocious noise and this time I had to tear down all the way to the pump to discover a picture holder – one of those bent metal pieces you hammer on to the wall on which a picture is hung.

The unit has been running well after the objects were removed.  Placement of this unit was consideration.  We had it in our bathroom for a while and worked around it.  The dogs would remove treasures from time to time and the cats were so-so about consistent usage.  We would have treasures here and there and the shampooer was well used as well as several things run through the washer.  A better placement needed to happen.  There is a closet next to the bathroom.  I cut a hole in the wall between the closet and the bathroom allowing a cat to enter the bottom of the closet.  Next we obtained a duct fan, motion detector with 10 minute timer and LED light strip.  All these were utilized in the bottom of the closet so that when the cat peeks through the opening, the light turns on as well as the fan which is ducted into the attic and out the vent in the roof.  The bottom shelf was extended to cover entirely to the door and separate that area from the rest of the closet.  Next a water supply was added as well as a drain set into the tub drain.  The Cat Genie was placed in this closet and all operate well.  The dogs can’t get into the closet and the cats have seemed to adopt this new location as we haven’t received any more treasures in the bedroom.  One, and we don’t know who, has occasionally placed an offering in the tub.  I don’t want to fuss too much as this location is phenomenally easier to clean than other locations which were formerly utilized.  One additional observation I have made is that when the bath mat is left in the tub, there are no treasures left there for us.  You can guess where the bath mat has been left.

The next wonderful observation is that entering the room doesn’t have the aura of cat presence to the olfactory observer.  Our air is actually cleaner as a result of this set-up.  I can announce pleasure of that result.