What Are The 6 Best Sifting Litter Boxes?

Russell Cargill

Cleaning up your cat’s litter box is significantly more manageable with a sifting litter box. 

These litter boxes save you time sifting through dirty litter manually and make it significantly easier to find solid waste clumps. 

They also do a really good job at reducing litter tracking and help to reduce litter odor.

Below are the top picks for the best sifting litter box. 

Top Picks For Sifting Litter Box

Best Overall (Recommended)

Purina Tidy Cats Litter Box System, BREEZE System...
  • Purina Tidy Cats Breeze litter box...
  • Disposable kitty litter pads lock in...
  • Anti-tracking cat litter pellets for...

Best On A Budget

Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box Scoop Free Cat...
  • Lift to Sift, No Scooping Required: Easy...
  • Maximum Smell Control: Built-in Microban...
  • Made with Recycled Materials: Arm &...

Best For Kittens

Van Ness Pets Large Sifting Cat Litter Box with Frame,...
  • Ideal for owners who want the benefit of...
  • High polish finish is stain resistant...
  • Framed pan provides added height,...

Best For Multi Cat Homes

Catit Smartsift Automatic Sifting Cat Litter Box
  • Cat-Friendly Design: Smartsift Litter...
  • Smartsift Technology: Noiseless...
  • Easy Monitoring: Easy access maintenance...

Best For Large Cats

Van Ness CP77 Enclosed Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box,...
  • age_range_description: All Life Stages....

Best Self Cleaning

PetSafe ScoopFree Original Purple Uncovered Self...
  • UNBEATABLE ODOR CONTROL: Crystal litter...
  • NO MORE MESSY FLOORS: Low-tracking...

What Is A Sifting Litter Box?

A sifting litter box uses a sifter tray on top of a litter box that separates the clean litter from the solid waste clumps within seconds. Cat owners can easily clean the litter box by lifting the sifter tray off of the box. When you lift the tray, the solid waste will separate from the clean litter. You can then dispose of the dirty litter straight from the litter tray. 

Sifting litter boxes makes it easier to separate soiled litter from salvageable litter and saves cat parents a lot of cleaning effort. These are ideal for multi-cat households as cleaning litter boxes can start to feel like a full-time job as more cats are introduced into the home!

Types Of Sifting Litter Boxes

You may opt for a different type of sifting litter box depending on the preferences of your feline. Getting a box they’re comfortable with will increase your cat’s willingness to utilize the box, which will make training and cleanup much more efficient! 

Covered Litter Box

The benefit of an enclosed sifting litter box is reduced litter tracking. Whenever you have a top on your box, you’ll find that the area around the box stays cleaner because the walls catch any litter that your feline kicks up. This is a significant benefit that can further reduce the need for constant cleaning. 

If your cat doesn’t like going into enclosed spaces, they may be opposed to using the box. In this case, litter tracking won’t matter because your cat will be avoiding their sifting box. 

Open Litter Box

An open box is more likely to track or cause litter spillage for cats that dig a lot. However, they’re easier to clean as you won’t have to take the cover off of the box to get into the spoiled litter. Open boxes are also beneficial for larger cats or skittish felines who are hesitant to go into an enclosed space. 

Should You Buy A Sifting Litter Box?

You should buy a sifting litter box if you want to save time and energy on cleaning. The effectiveness of your sifting box will majorly depend on your litter of choice. 

Advantages Of A Sifting Litter Box:

Due to their durable materials, a good quality sifting litter box will outlast many alternatives. Compared to an automatic litter box, they won’t malfunction or stop working. The litter box is manually operated so you’ll have the flexibility to move it around the house without the need of plugging it in.  

By finding a sifting tray made with sturdy plastic, you’ll be able to clean the litter of several cats in one box without damaging the three-pan system. 

They reduce the amount of litter you’re wasting with each clean. Scooping clumping litter can often result in over cleaning and throwing away fresh litter that could’ve been salvaged. This adds up over time and is a waste of money. 

With a sifting litter box, you’re likely to go through litter slower and spend less money on restocking. 

With the sifting litter box, you can often find open boxes with high sides. This gives more coverage for litter spills without completely enclosing your cat. 

You’ll find that you’re better able to keep your surroundings odor-free and clean because of this feature. 

Some of these boxes are also equipped with an integrated carbon filter. This will keep odor minimal between cleanings. This gives confidence when switching to an unscented or more natural litter as the odor will no longer be a significant concern. 

Disadvantages Of A Sifting Litter Box:

If using a non-clumping cat litter you can experience some issues with the sifting tray. The simple design of the sifting litter box is made to capture hard clumps so, if your litter shreds when wet, it may fall through the cracks. 

In order to properly separate waste, you may need to try a few different litter types. If you use a heavy litter, you may find that picking your sifting tray up and out of the box is challenging. This could even result in the plastic material breaking if it’s not made to hold that much weight. 

If you don’t fill the litter box with enough litter, you may need to scrub your sifting pan more often. If your cat is quickly digging down to the sifting tray, it’ll get stuck on fecal matter and retain more of the urine smell. This will require thorough washing with soap and water, which will lengthen your cleaning process. 

Buying Guide For Sifting Cat Litter Boxes

Litter Type

The type of litter you use in your sifting litter box will make a huge difference when it comes to cleaning. Using clumping litter will save time and make for efficient cleaning. 

If you use crystal litter or other natural materials like tofu litter, you may find it harder to maintain a clean litter box. 

If you use a natural non-clumping litter and aren’t open to making a switch, you can still use this box instead of standard litter boxes. Still use the pan to get clumps of waste out, then use a rake or shovel to sort through the rest of the litter. 

Although this reduces the convenience of your litter box, you’ll still find that you’re getting much of the solid waste taken care of with the sifting tray. 

Tray Hole Size

Sifting litter boxes were originally used for catching waste and clumps of litter and permitting clean litter to fall through the holes, so they will not be effective for separating pine pellets or non-clumped cat feces from clean litter. 

There are too many large holes in a sifting litter tray designed for clumping cat litter, so both sawdust and clean litter will fall through.

In order to effectively separate sawdust from pellet litter, the holes must be smaller than the pellets themselves. As a result, they will become trapped in the sieve. Check online reviews to see if other cat owners have found the litter box to be effective to determine whether or not the holes are small enough.

Grates of different sizes are less important if you are using clumping litter. Litter will need to fall through holes that are large enough to catch litter clumps and waste for disposal.

Size – Number of Cats Using the Litter Box

Unlike traditional litter boxes, the tray in these boxes needs to be able to be lifted out to separate the self-clumping litter. 

If you have a box that’s too weak with multiple cats using the bathroom, it’s likely to break due to the excess weight. 

A reputable brand litter box should be up to the task. To make sure you can avoid any future headaches, pick a box with some sort of guarantee. 

As well as the size of the box itself, the efficiency of a litter box is determined by its composition. A cat needs a litter box that is at least 1.5 times the length of its body to be able to move comfortably. Your kitty may end up making a mess with a small litter box, kicking litter all over the floor, and spraying over the edge.

The entry-level and size of the litter box is important if you have an older cat. A too-small litter tray can cause physical discomfort for elderly cats who have mobility problems and joint problems. 

Odor Control 

If your litter box has a filter for odor control, it’ll catch more odor and neutralize it between cleanings. This, paired with an odor control litter like clay litter or a natural pine pellet litter, will go a long way in reducing bad smells in your home. 

As the soiled litter is easily separated from the pellets, fewer foul odors exist in sifting litter boxes than in regular litter boxes.

It is recommended to use an enclosed sifting litter box, such as a hooded or top entry type, to prevent odors from spreading throughout your home. Some litter boxes use antimicrobial coatings which also keep bacteria at bay.

Easy To Clean

It is also important to choose a product you can easily clean. Because you already have a sifting litter box that makes it easier to separate clean pellets from your cat’s waste, why would you make it more difficult by choosing a hard-to-clean sifting litter box?

Plastic litter boxes with non-stick coatings are easy to clean because they can easily be wiped clean. Additionally, be on the lookout for a litter box that doesn’t have any sharp corners, since dirt can get lodged there. 

How To Clean A Sifting Litter Box

Cleaning a sifting litter box is much different from cleaning your basic box. To get started cleaning your cat’s new litter box, follow the simple steps outlined below. 

To use a sifting litter box with regular clumping litter, follow these steps below:

  1. Start by lighting the sift pan and then begin shaking it gently over the bottom pan. Be sure to take it slow to not spill any litter. As a result, all clean litter should end up in the sifting pan underneath and poop and litter clumps will remain in the tray above.
  2. The sieve will catch and hold waste; discard it.
  3. The sifting pan should be put back in place on top of the empty nesting pan and the clean litter should be poured on top.
  4. Assemble the second nesting pan beneath the first and repeat the process.


The first step is to take the top pan out of the box by lifting it straight up to allow the clean litter to fall through the holes of the sifting tray. After lifting this piece out, you’ll see that the clumps are in the sifting tray, and the rest of the litter is in the remaining tray in the box. 

Once you’ve thoroughly sifted you should be left with solid waste clumps. Throw that waste directly into your trash bin. If there’s any leftover waste in the box after you’ve sifted, go through with a shovel to get any extra pieces out.

You should sift the waste every day for the cleanest litter box. If you have more than one cat, you’ll likely need to sift through the litter more often as it’ll fill up with waste much faster. 


After cleaning the clumps out of the sifting pan, you may need to rinse the pan. This is only necessary if there’s leftover fecal matter or urine on the tray. You can reduce odor by rinsing the pan with some hot water or gentle detergent. 

You can then empty the remaining litter in the box, or you can leave the clean litter and simply refill as necessary. 


You should completely empty the litter box and refill it with entirely fresh litter at least once per week. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how many cats are using the litter box.

The Best Sifting Litter Boxs

Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System

Purina Tidy Cats Litter Box System, BREEZE System...
  • Purina Tidy Cats Breeze litter box...
  • Disposable kitty litter pads lock in...
  • Anti-tracking cat litter pellets for...

Litter systems like this do a great job at controlling odors. In addition to dehydrating solid waste, the pellets allow liquid waste to filter through to an absorbent pee pad below, which you can dispose of when saturated. 

There may be a little adjustment period for some cats with pellets, but it is an excellent alternative to clay litter for pet owners seeking an eco-friendly option.

With its disposable pee pads and reusable pellets, the Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Litter Box System is odorless and dust-free and helps reduce low-tracking.

While this may not look like the typical sifting litter box, the pellets in it act in the same way in that liquid waste is filtered through and collected on a pee pad below. The saturated pad is simply removed and discarded before being replaced with a new one.

This system combines solid waste collection with scooping and removal of litter pellets. Solid waste is collected in the top pellets and can be easily removed by using the included scoop. They are feline-friendly pellets that dehydrate solid waste so scooping is made even easier.

The Good:

  • To prevent spills and scattering, this litter box has a high side.
  • Low-tracking, dust-free reusable pellets
  • The liquid passes through the system and into the pee pad

The Not So Good:

  • In households with multiple cats, pee pads may become saturated quickly
  • Pellets may be disliked by some cats

Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan

Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Box Scoop Free Cat...
  • Lift to Sift, No Scooping Required: Easy...
  • Maximum Smell Control: Built-in Microban...
  • Made with Recycled Materials: Arm &...

An affordable sifting litter box with a simple design. The litter box includes two solid pans as well as a sifting pan. In general, the sifting function works well, but the small holes may cause softer waste to get stuck. In multi-cat households, these antimicrobials provide invaluable protection against stains and odors.

This PetMate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan is an affordable option in sifting litter boxes. Three litter trays are included in this package, including two solid litter pans and one sifting litter tray for easy cleaning of the litter box.

This extra large litter box features high sides making it ideal for larger cats. The antimicrobial coating helps prevent bacteria and stains from developing on the pans.

This litter box is not only easy to use, but it is also durable and should last you a long time. It has a sturdy bottom that supports heavy litter when you use the sifting function. Additionally, you will have difficulty finding a more affordable option under $15.

The Good:

  • Plastic construction that is durable and high-quality
  • A large, high-sided box is ideal for cats with large heads
  • Bacteria-fighting agents that prevent odor-causing odors

The Not So Good:

  • Solid waste may get stuck in the sifting holes because they are very small
  • A common problem with these pans is that their clasps often break

Van Ness Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame

Van Ness Pets Large Sifting Cat Litter Box with Frame,...
  • Ideal for owners who want the benefit of...
  • High polish finish is stain resistant...
  • Framed pan provides added height,...

This could be a good option if you’re looking for a sifting litter box that works without too many bells and whistles. In addition to the raised sides, it has some users who note that it does not quite fit large cats quite well.

High sided litter boxes are a necessity for cats that spray litter and scatter it. Sifting cat litter boxes is becoming increasingly common. This Van Ness Sifting Cat Litter Pan with Frame has a sifting litter box function, as well as high sides.

An eco-friendly option, the sifting litter box is made of 20% recycled materials. Furthermore, the polished finish is stain- and odor-resistant. The sifter tray has been criticized by some customers for getting stuck with certain kinds of litter.

Litter boxes, such as this one, are easy to use and are reasonably priced under $20.

The Good:

  • Litter scatter is reduced by the high side frame design
  • Contains 20% recycled materials
  • Affordably priced

The Not So Good:

  • Sifting holes may become blocked with certain types of litter
  • Can’t accommodate large cats

Catit SmartSift Cat Litter Box

Catit Smartsift Automatic Sifting Cat Litter Box
  • Cat-Friendly Design: Smartsift Litter...
  • Smartsift Technology: Noiseless...
  • Easy Monitoring: Easy access maintenance...

It could be worth it to invest in this sifting litter box if you don’t mind making a considerable investment. With the hand pull of a lever, you can operate the litter box’s internal sifting mechanism. Designed to contain litter scatter and odor, it does an excellent job of controlling both.

Compared to the others on this list, Hagen CatIt SmartSift Litter Box is a bit pricey, but it’s worth its price – it really works. With the pull of a lever, you can easily operate this litter box’s internal sifting mechanism.

It is not only easy to use, but it also restricts litter scatter and eliminates litter box smell. A removable waste compartment makes it easy to dispose of used litter.

Multiple sizes are available to accommodate multi-cat households, and the entrance is large. Additionally, it comes with an integrated carbon filter to keep your cat’s water fresh. The litter level can be easily monitored, as well as added if necessary.

The Good:

  • Lever-driven internal sifting mechanism
  • Eliminates odors and litter tracking thanks to a covered design
  • It’s very simple to use and has a simple design

The Not So Good:

  • Expensive compared to other options
  • Not necessarily suitable for very large breeds

Van Ness Enclosed Sifting Litter Box

Van Ness CP77 Enclosed Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box,...
  • age_range_description: All Life Stages....

This sifting litter box might be a good choice if your cat prefers a covered litter box. An easy way to make cleanup is by using the sifting pan and two solid pans with a clear door. The materials may be a little flimsy for some customers, but I found this litter box to function perfectly for the job it is designed to do.

Van Ness’s Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan is different from many other sifting litter boxes that feature an open pan design. Designed with an enclosed design and a clear door, this litter box has a sturdy handle and is easily carried.

A stain-resistant coating is applied to this lightweight but durable litter box. Furthermore, the integrated Zeolite air filter keeps you and your cat’s litter box fresh by absorbing smells.

Litter scatter is contained and spray is contained well by the enclosed design of this litter box. With its large opening and clear entry door, it can accommodate all sizes of cats. You can fit as much litter as your cats like in this generously sized container.

The Good:

  • Stains-resistant material makes this lightweight design easy to carry
  • Design allows for better control of litter box odor
  • The ideal product for large breeds and multiple cat homes

The Not So Good:

  • Plastic materials are not as durable as they could be but still adequate
  • Stickiness may occur when large volumes of liquid are present

PetSafe ScoopFree Original Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box

PetSafe ScoopFree Original Purple Uncovered Self...
  • UNBEATABLE ODOR CONTROL: Crystal litter...
  • NO MORE MESSY FLOORS: Low-tracking...

With this litter box, you can choose to have the sifting done for you. Crystal litter in these automatic litter boxes dehydrates solid waste and helps to reduce the waste of litter. After your cat has used the box, the automatic rake sweeps the solid waste into a covered compartment. This helps to keep litter box odors to a minimum.

PetSafe’s ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box completely eliminates the need to do any work. A sifting rake in this litter box essentially scoops the litter for you.

It is one of the few litter boxes that features crystal cat litter in addition to the automatic raking feature. A single bag of crystal cat litter is able to dehydrate feces and absorb liquid waste, allowing you to get more life from it.

With this litter box, the rake is positioned at the back and a covered waste compartment is at the front. This is a standard open pan design (both hooded and top-entry versions are currently available). The rake sweeps solid waste into the waste compartment about 20 minutes after your cat uses the litter box to reduce odors.

PetSafe branded crystal litter and disposable trays are required for this litter box. Reusable plastic trays can be found for $50, but you’ll still need to use crystal cat litter.

The Good:

  • Litter crystals dehydrate solid waste and absorb liquid waste
  • Solid waste is swept into a covered compartment by an automatic rake
  • Eliminates the need to scoop litter boxes

The Not So Good:

  • Timers are not programmable (a 20-minute automatic timer is set)
  • For use with disposable trays and crystal litter only!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sifting litter boxes better than regular litter boxes?

Sifting litter boxes can help save time and money and are easy to clean. The type of litter you use will determine how often you need to clean the litter box.

Are sifting litter boxes suitable for pine litter pellets?

To separate pine pellets from litter effectively, sifting litter boxes must have holes smaller than the pellet size. When using pellet litter vs clumping litter, make sure you check the size of the holes.

How often do you change a sifting litter box?

To reduce odor and reduce the growth of bad bacteria, sifting litter boxes are designed for daily cleaning. Although your litter box can be changed more often than this, the time-saving benefits are diminished by doing so more frequently. You should replace the litter every two weeks.

Do sifting litter boxes work with all types of cat litter?

No, not all types of litter are suitable for sifting litter boxes. In order to use clumping litter, you must choose grains that will pass through the grates of the sifting tray. If you want to use pine pellets or other wood pellets, you should select pellets that are larger than the holes so that they cannot pass through the sifting tray.

Last update on 2024-06-15 at 07:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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