Saturday, February 14, 2009

The CatGenie's in the closet

A while back I wrote about how we'd converted a closet into a cat bathroom. Did I forget to mention that the closet was the only substantial storage area in the house, other than the attic? Yes, we (all right, who am I kidding, it's just me) must truly be insane to put cats before storage. In addition to the CatGenie, I ended up caving in to the oldest cat, Cleo (reflected in the mirror). Either she's not keen on using the CatGenie, or doesn't like to share, or decides she needs to go just when the CatGenie starts a cycle. For any of these reasons, she will then proceed to use the bed as her toilet. Thus the Return of the Old Litter Box.

The closet also provides access to the attic for our wild girl Frida, who loves to play up there (we call it "Attica"). I designed the "ladder", and Jim built it with some leftover 3/4" MDF. The 9.5" x 16" shelves were attached by nail gun and wood glue, staggered and set at about 30 deg. angles, to a back panel of MDF. I later de-angled the lowest shelf and Frida seems to like that better as she can pause before for heading up (also, as you can see, the old litter box fits better underneath it). The shelves are topped with a cheap, rubber-backed coir doormat that was sliced up. It took Frida about 30 seconds to figure out the new way to get up into the attic. The coir provides good traction as she leaps up the shelves and through the cutout in the ceiling, and she loves to stretch and scratch it.

The unit only cost about $10, which was for the doormat, and perhaps 2 hours to cut the pieces and assemble it. The sheet of MDF had been purchased for another project, a flip-down notebook computer holder/bookcase that's now installed in front of the treadmill. It's been very rewarding to make these small custom projects. Not only does it give me an opportunity to design something, usually as simply as possible, but the price can't be beat!


  1. Now THAT is truly being dedicated to your pets! I have no words... :)

  2. When I first saw that catgenie I knew there was an accident waiting to happen in that gadget...soon there will be a re-call...where were this things when my daughter had cats? I was the catgenie...

  3. ChefE, I LOVE the CatGenie, especially when the cats use it, and they are now using it almost exclusively. I'm a big fan of robots and have no complaints about it. I've had it for over a year now with no significant problems so far... fingers crossed! When I have had to call, their customer service is THE BEST.