Last Updated: October 23, 2020

Best Sifting Cat Box

Best Sifting Cat Box

We love our cats but hate their boxes, especially when it comes time to scoop! Enter the sifting litter box, which for most pet parents can make the process easier. We dug deep and after reviewing the choices, the Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan has been named our top pick for 2020.

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Best Overall & Best Enclosed
Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan
Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan Best Overall Best Enclosed
$18
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Includes replaceable odor filter
  • Door flap for privacy and odor retention
  • Comes in ‘Large’ and ‘Extra-Giant’
  • What we Dislike
  • Feels flimsy
  • The grate section can easily become clogged
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control: Zeolite Filter/Odor Door
Dimensions: 19.5” x 15.2” x 17.5”
Our Review

When it comes to litter boxes, sometimes simple is better. That’s why the Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan is at the top of our list. In truth, it’s not much different from a standard enclosed litter box with the sifting pan and an extra box for the remaining litter. The odor-trapping features put this box a step above the rest, with a zeolite air filter and a flap to keep odors contained.

The Van Ness litter box is perfect for bigger cats or households with multiple cats. It comes in a variety of colors and two sizes: Large (measuring 19.5 x 15.2 x 17.5”) and Extra-Giant (measuring 21.5 x 17.5 x 18”). Even the largest cats can easily use this enclosed litter box. 

So Phresh Sifting Cat Litter Box
So Phresh Sifting Cat Litter Box
$19
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Includes a removable rim
  • Compact design
  • Works with more types of litter than standard sifting boxes
  • What we Dislike
  • Clumps may stick to the sides and bottoms of the pan
  • Larger slots may trap clumps
  • Open design may be more messy
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 19.75" x 15.13" x 9.50”
Our Review

So Phresh’s Sifting Cat Litter Box is a multi-pan solution that can help with your litter box problems. While most sifting litter boxes are created to work specifically with clay litter (because of the clumping abilities), this box works well with a wider range of litters. That’s because the sifting pan has long, thin holes instead of a metal grid. This allows the pan to catch solid waste from non-clumping litters as well.

You can adjust the height of the rim using the removable, clip-on rim extender that comes with the box. With it on, the rim is raised a few inches for cats that like to throw litter. When it’s removed, older cats and cats with mobility issues will have an easier time getting inside.

We recommend a good litter-catching mat with this box.

Ferplast Birba Cat Litter Tray
Ferplast Birba Cat Litter Tray
$36
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Three pans clip together for easy movement
  • Colorful design
  • Smaller sifting holes designed for fine litters
  • What we Dislike
  • May clog easily due to having smaller holes
  • Can be messy
  • Clips may break
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 21.85” x 17.91” x 8.66”
Our Review

Ferplast’s Birba Cat Litter Tray works with a three-tray system to sift out waste materials and keep your litter box fresh. These three pans are different colors, so it’s easy to determine which pan is the ‘new’ litter destination and which has been used previously.

The fine holes on the bottom of the sifting pan make it great for picking up smaller clumps, but wet clumps can easily get stuck in them. With a little bit of practice using the system, it can become extremely easy and fast to clean out your cat’s litter box. As always with an open box, we recommend a litter mat.

Omega Paw Roll 'n Clean Self Cleaning Litter Box
Omega Paw Roll 'n Clean Self Cleaning Litter Box
$42
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Innovative and easy to use
  • Large box for big cats
  • No-mess sifting solution
  • What we Dislike
  • The system may require some practice to use
  • Some litter may fall out of the entrance during use
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Motion-Sifting
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 18.5” x 21.5” x 20”
Our Review

The Omega Paw Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box is unique on our list for the way that it removes waste clumps. This litter box is meant to be rolled onto its lid during cleaning, allowing the clean litter and the clumps to separate without any interference from you. The rolling side is smooth and durable so it’s easy to shift the litter box around to clean it.

The sturdy clip keeps this box together as you roll, allow the clean litter to filter through a grate on the side. The clumps will be stuck on the outside of the grate. By rolling the box onto the lid, the clumps will fall into a separate compartment and get stuck. When you roll the box back over onto its base, you can remove the waste compartment and throw the clumps away. It’s as easy as that!

Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan
Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan
$17
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Dual pans make sifting easy
  • Different colors and sizes available
  • The odor-resistant plastic coating keeps litter box smelling fresh
  • What we Dislike
  • There is a gap between the sifting pan and the bottom of the pan
  • Can become clogged easily
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control: Antimicrobial coating
Dimensions: 19” x 15” x 8”
Our Review

This Arm & Hammer litter box works well to trap larger, solid clumps and help you dispose of them. There is a small issue that many users have noted about the gap between the sifting pan and the bottom of the litter pan itself. Since it isn’t a perfect fit, wet litter can get stuck between the layers and cause a mess.

When you use ultra-clumping litter, however, it works well to sift out the waste and let the clean litter pass through to the pan below. This box is compact and works well for smaller cats in apartment spaces. The front dips down a little more than we’d like so keep that in mind if you have a messy kitty.

Van Ness CP5 Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame
Van Ness CP5 Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Removable rim to customize the height
  • Comes in multi-packs for multi-cat households
  • Durable, easy-to-clean plastic
  • What we Dislike
  • Can be too low for some cats
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 16” x 15.13”
Our Review

Van Ness makes this Easy Clean Litter Box that uses a three-pan system to filter clumps and waste from the clean litter around them. Like most three-pan systems, you simply lift the sifter, deposit the clumps into the trash, place the shifter in the third pan, and pour the litter back over it. It’s a simple process that can reduce the time spent cleaning your litter box.

The removable plastic rim can adjust the height of the box for older cats, but without it, the box is very low. If your cat likes to throw litter, you can expect to be doing a lot of cleanups if you don’t use the rim. Thankfully, if you have multiple cats you can purchase 2, 3, and 4-packs so you get multiple litter boxes in the same shipment.

Best Corner Pan
Petmate Sifting Corner Litter Pan
Petmate Sifting Corner Litter Pan Best Corner Pan
$72
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Works well with pine pellets and alternate litters
  • Corner design to conserve space
  • What we Dislike
  • The cover must be purchased separately
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 26” x 11.7” x 19”
Our Review

Not many litter boxes take as many variables into account as this litter box. The corner design allows you to tuck it away, perfect for smaller spaces, apartments, and more. You might expect the box to be smaller, but that isn’t the case. There is plenty of room in this box for larger cats!

Also, the high sides allow the litter to stay right where you want it. Have a senior cat? No problem. The entrance is low enough that every cat should be able to climb inside comfortably, without throwing litter everywhere. Petmate’s Shifting Corner Litter Pan for Cats is a great solution for smaller spaces without sacrificing functionality.

Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box System
Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter Box System
$45
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Uses pellets instead of clumping clay litter
  • Great door reduction
  • Sleek design
  • What we Dislike
  • The solid waste still needs to be scooped
  • May be too small for larger cats
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Drawer/Multi-Pan
Odor Control: Odor control pads and pellets
Dimensions: 16.75” x 20.5” x 16.5”
Our Review

The Breeze System from Purina Tidy Cats is a new approach to litter boxes that uses odor-absorbent pellets and pads to reduce the smell and waste associated with the litter box. The pellets inside the box don’t track outside like traditional litter. The solid waste stays in the top pan and liquid seeps through to the pad in the bottom, where the odor is eliminated until it is cleaned.

The main problem with this system is that you still have to do some scooping. Solid waste must be removed manually, so it doesn’t offer a complete solution. It’s a great system for odor elimination, but it adds an extra step to litter box cleaning.

Best Sifting Tool
SiftEase Litter Box Sifter Tool
SiftEase Litter Box Sifter Tool Best Sifting Tool
$46
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • Does not sit in your litter box full time
  • Doesn’t clog easily
  • Comes with a 28-quart holding bin
  • What we Dislike
  • Does not come with an actual litter box
  • Requires moving the litter around a lot
Product Details
Type Sifting Tool
Sifting Method: Motion Sifting
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 14.5” x 10.5” x 15”
Our Review

The SiftEase Litter Box Sifter is not a litter box in its own right. However, it can make life with your standard litter box a bit more tolerable, as it adds sifting functionality to the litter box you already have. This is perfect if your cat is very picky about their litter box and you aren’t sure if they’d take well to the change.

This sifting pan comes with a 28-quart holding pan. Together with your standard litter box, this creates a three-pan system that you can use much like any other. It’s extremely beneficial for picky cats and perfect for trying out a sifting litter box without making a huge investment.

Catit SmartSift Litter Box
Catit SmartSift Litter Box
$72
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Easy manual sifting with a single lever
  • Easy to use
  • Great odor control
  • What we Dislike
  • Grates may be too small
  • Handle sometimes has issues
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Motion-Shifting
Odor Control: Carbon Pad and Odor Door
Dimensions: 26” x 19” x 25”
Our Review

Catit had a great idea with this sifting litter box. Unlike the rest, you don’t have to move the box itself or shift the contents around. Instead, you can pull the handle to swing the box around and sift the solid waste out from the rest of the litter.

This works because the litter is in a swinging pan inside the box. It locks into place when the handle is returned to its original position, so it’s safe for your cat to use when it’s not being cleaned. The waste is filtered down into the pan at the bottom, which can then be emptied easily. It’s a unique spin on the concept but we think it still has a little ways to go!

Animal Treasures Deluxe Lift and Sift Cat Pan
Animal Treasures Deluxe Lift and Sift Cat Pan
$35
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Easy to clean
  • Secure clips keep the pans together
  • What we Dislike
  • Rim isn’t high enough
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 20” x 16” x 7.5”
Our Review

This sifting litter box by Animal Treasures uses a two-pan design. One pan is solid and the second sifts the clumps and waste out from your cat’s litter. You’ll need another pan or container to hold the litter while you get the sifting pan back in the bottom of the litter box.

The removable rim secures the pans together with a sturdy clip. This rim raises the height of the litter box to keep litter inside, even when your cat is prone to flinging it. However, the rim still may not be high enough for some cats. There’s not very much deluxe about this box.

Litter Spinner Quick Clean Cat Litter Box
Litter Spinner Quick Clean Cat Litter Box
$74
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Spinning action separates waste and litter
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Simple and easy to use
  • What we Dislike
  • Not made for large cats
  • Litter is often tracked out
  • Large chunks may get broken up
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Motion-Sifting
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 18.8” x 18.5” x 10.2”
Our Review

The Litter Spinner Quick Clean Litter Box is a quick and easy solution to scooping your litter box. With a quick spinning motion, the box will sift out all of the clumps and deposit them into the waste tray. Rotate it back to the base and empty the waste tray.

One major drawback to this litter box is the size. Larger cats (and even cats that have grown just past kittenhood) may find that this box is way too small. It’s an easy solution for smaller cats or kittens old enough to use clumping litter. The motion can break up clumps though.

CatIdea Luxury Hooded Cat Litter Box
CatIdea Luxury Hooded Cat Litter Box
$51
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Sifting pan has multiple compartments to keep litter off of your floor
  • Comes in two colors
  • Comes with a litter mat
  • What we Dislike
  • Made of thin plastic
  • Lengthy delivery times
Product Details
Type Enclosed
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control: Filter
Dimensions: 25” x 21” x 24”
Our Review

CatIdea’s Luxury Hooded Cat Litter Box is a great twist on the standard enclosed sifting litter boxes we’ve been so far. The sifting pan in this multi-pan system is in two parts: one works to sift the clumps from the litter when it’s lifted and the other sits right in front of the door to catch the tracked litter. 

To continue to help with that, the litter box comes with a litter mat so you don’t have to purchase one separately. It comes in pink or spring green and is large and tall enough for even the biggest cats. The door and filter compartment help keep the odors inside and out of your home.

Trixie Pet Products Berto Cat Litter Tray
Trixie Pet Products Berto Cat Litter Tray
$42
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Removable rim keeps litter inside
  • Quick sifting with a three-pan system
  • What we Dislike
  • The rim makes it very small
  • May not be suitable for larger cats
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 23” x 15” x 8”
Our Review

Trixie Pet Products’ Berto Litter Tray is simple, but it works well. The three-pan system allows you to sift litter, empty the clumps, and then place the sifting pan in the new pan and pour litter on top. It makes for quick litter box cleaning.

You can adjust the height of the litter box and opening with the use of the removable, clip-on rim piece. This keeps litter inside the box for the most part, as it’s difficult for your cat to fling litter over the side. However, it also decreases the size of the litter pan quite a bit.

Best Open Tray
Luuup Litter Box - 3 Sifting Tray Litter Box
Luuup Litter Box - 3 Sifting Tray Litter Box Best Open Tray
$40
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Easy to use
  • Higher sides
  • What we Dislike
  • Litter may stick to sides
  • Dust/litter may escape out the bottom
  • Higher price point
Product Details
Type Open
Sifting Method: Multi-Pan
Odor Control:

Dimensions: 20.2" x 15.4" x 7.5"
Our Review

The Luuup is a user-friendly design that makes it easy to quickly empty the litter box. This tray-style sifter has 3 trays and a spill guard. It’s probably one of the easiest sifting litter boxes we’ve ever tried and our cats love it. The design relies on an asymmetrical tray design to help you line up all the trays together. However, if they are not lined up just right- some dust still does escape out the bottom so you may want to place this on a litter-collecting mat. Using the factory-recommended litter can help avoid this problem as well.

 

 

Best Products Best Sifting Cat Box
Product Name Best for Rate
Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan Best Overall 7
Van Ness Sifting Enclosed Cat Litter Pan Best Enclosed 7
Petmate Sifting Corner Litter Pan Best Corner Pan 9
SiftEase Litter Box Sifter Tool Best Sifting Tool 4
Luuup Litter Box - 3 Sifting Tray Litter Box Best Open Tray 8

How to Choose:

Have you reached that point where you think you’re spending more time in the litter box than the cat? Scooping and chasing clumps can be a real hassle, especially if you have a kitty that insists on a clean box every time. Beyond your cat’s personal preferences, keeping her litter box clean and fresh is best for your cat. Litter boxes can harbor bacteria and odors that can be dangerous if left too long. A sifting litter box can help make this process a little easier and more convenient for indoor cat owners.

How Does a Sifting Litter Box Work? 

A sifting litter box’s main purpose is to separate waste materials from the rest of your cat’s litter. It does the scooping for you! A major benefit of a sifting litter box is that you spend less time scooping the litter box and use less litter in the process. If you have multiple cats, a sifting box can considerably cut down on the amount of time you spend scooping each day. 

While there are different types of sifting litter boxes (and we’ll explain those below), the idea is the same for each of them. By moving the litter box or lifting a sifting pan through the litter, all of the waste clumps are collected in a single action. You can then empty the waste clumps and replace the shifting pan. 

Keep in mind that even with dust-free litters, the sifting process can kick up quite a bit of dust. Take the proper precautions if you or your cat is sensitive to dust.

Important Considerations

Not all sifting litter boxes are going to work for all cats, living situations, or cat owners. There are several things that you’ll need to consider before choosing a sifting litter box for your home. 

Size

The size of the litter box is one of the most important things you have to take into account before making a choice. First off, the size of the litter box will affect where you put it in your home. Choose a box that is the proper size for the location you have picked out. Secondly, consider the size of your cat and the number of cats you have. More cats or larger cats will need a larger box. 

Number of Cats

Like we mentioned above, the number of cats you have is an important determining factor when choosing a litter box. While you should have multiple boxes for multiple cats, it’s still a good idea to purchase a larger box if more than one cat is using it.

Your Cat’s Age

Your cat’s age can influence your litter box decision in multiple ways. First off, smaller kittens shouldn’t use clay litter until they are a certain age. If you are purchasing a litter box for a smaller kitten, consider a regular box first (or use a sifting box with the different litter until they are old enough, and then you can sift).

Alternatively, you may want to consider the size of the box for older cats. We’ll talk about rim height later, but older cats usually have an easier time with flat litter boxes that have lower entrances. Keep this in mind while you shop.

Open vs. Enclosed Litter Box

Some sifting litter boxes have hoods or covers that keep the litter box private and enclosed. A covered litter box is more discreet. Most of the time, these covers use filters or ventilation systems to make sure that the odor doesn’t get too intense inside (and that it doesn’t filter out into your house). These enclosures can give your cat privacy if they prefer.

However, some cats don’t like using enclosed litter boxes. Thankfully, there are plenty of sifting litter boxes that are open to the air and don’t come with a cover. 

Sifting Method

How does the sifting system work? There are a few different sifting methods, but most are a variation of the following two. 

  • Multi-pan sifting: This method uses two or three different pans. One pan holds the litter and the second is raised or moved through the litter from underneath, catching clumps and letting clean litter pass through. In a three-pan sifting situation, the sifting section can be placed within the empty pan so that litter from the third pan can be poured back on top.
  • Motion sifting: Litter boxes that use motion sifting require some sort of movement, whether that means spinning the litter box, rolling it, or tilting it to one side. Usually, these types of litter boxes have a separate compartment that traps the waste material. Then, all you have to do is remove the compartment to empty the box.

Durability

Between waste materials and litter pieces being tossed around inside, your litter box needs to hold up to some abuse. You want to make sure that the box is made of a thicker material that is sturdy, durable, and won’t give out under the pressure. 

Materials

Most litter boxes are made of plastic because it’s easy to clean and nonporous. Keep an eye out for other materials and avoid purchasing boxes made from porous or difficult-to-clean materials.

Rim Height

The rim height is the distance between the bottom of the litter box and the bottom of the entrance. It’s important for various reasons, mostly relating to the size and age of your cat. Older cats, cats with mobility issues, and smaller breeds with shorter legs may have issues getting into a litter box with a higher rim. If your cat is one of these, make sure to get a box that is closer to the ground.

It’s also important to keep this in mind for litter volume. You need enough room to keep 2-3 inches of litter in the bottom of the box at all times. On the other hand, if you have a larger cat or a cat that doesn’t have mobility issues, choosing a box with a higher rim can help keep litter in the box instead of on your floor.

Design

The design of the litter box is also an important consideration. There are standard plastic litter boxes that are different colors, fancy litter boxes with unusual shapes and layouts, and even litter boxes that can fit into corners. Always keep the size of your cat in mind, as some of these designs contain tiny litter boxes for the sake of the design. 

Also, consider the shape of the box. You’re going to have to clean it eventually, so while fancy shapes can look cool, it may be difficult to get into those hard-to-reach places during cleaning.

Other Features

Litter boxes may other features, including door flaps or odor control filters. The odor control filter option helps keep your home smelling fresh. If you are sensitive to litter box smells, choosing a box with an odor filter can be essential. On the other hand, your cat may be hesitant to use a litter box with a door flap. If that may be an issue, avoid boxes with this feature.

Factoring in Your Cat’s Litter Box Preferences

Will your cat use a sifting litter box? This is probably the question you’ve asked yourself more than any others when considering your purchase. As much as we love them, some cats can be fickle about their bathrooms and may not take kindly to change, especially if it’s something they aren’t used to. 

The good thing about sifting litter boxes is that, for the most part, they aren’t different from regular low-tech litter boxes. There are no new sounds or sudden movements that will spook them while they’re using it. For the most part, besides the size, shape, and color of the litter box changing, it will feel mostly the same to your cat.

But you should be aware that most sifting litter boxes work best with clumping clay litter. As we discussed above, most kittens shouldn’t use clumping litter for the first few months of life. Additionally, some cats can’t tolerate clay litter – if your cat is one of these, considering a sifting litter box that works with wood pellets. They are not as common, but still a viable option. 

Consider your cat’s tolerance for change, whether they like covered or open litter boxes, and whether they might choose to use the new box voluntarily. These are all factors that can influence your litter box purchase. 

Introducing Your Cat to a Sifting Litter Box

Even if your cat is very particular about their bathroom space, there are ways you can slowly introduce them to the idea of a new litter box. Some cats will immediately begin using a new box without much of a problem, but some require a little more convincing. 

First, you should place the new litter box in the same location as the old one. It’s best, at first, to place the litter boxes side-by-side in the normal location. This introduces your cat to the new box while giving them the security afforded by the old box as well. 

Don’t immediately take the old box away. Instead, some experts believe that you should stop cleaning the old litter box. Cats like their areas to be clean, so leaving the old box uncleaned should automatically make the new one more appealing. 

Use the same litter in both boxes. If the litter is familiar, your cat should be more inclined to use the new box. 

Don’t force your cat into the new box, as this could create a negative association. You don’t want your cat to be afraid of it, so ease them in slowly and let them discover it for themselves. 

Finally, make sure that the environment around the litter box is peaceful. Don’t get overly excited or make a lot of noise when your kitty uses the new litter box, as this kind of fanfare might not be appreciated. Keep everything calm and unchanging so your cat knows there is nothing to fear.

Litter Box Tips

If you have cared for a cat before, you know the basics. Here are some tips for new cat parents regarding the litter box. 

  • Keep 2-3 inches of litter in the box at all times. Cats instinctively bury their waste, and this level allows them to partake in this behavior without throwing litter all over your floor.
  • Clean it every day. This rule is variable depending on the number of cats you own. If you have one cat, you should clean the litter box every day (or every other day, depending). For multiple cats, and every day clean is essential. Sometimes, you may even want to clean it multiple times a day.
  • Have a litter box for every cat. Experts say that you should have enough litter boxes in your home for each cat to have their private box. It likely won’t work out this way. All of the cats will likely use each box depending on where they are in the house. Still, having multiple litter boxes in your house is essential if you have multiple cats.
  • Change the litter often. It’s not enough to scoop every day. Litter can still become wet and dirty even outside of the clump, so make sure that you empty your cat’s litter, clean out the litter box pan, and put fresh litter in every week.
  • Add litter after scooping. Clumping uses a lot of litter, so make sure that you are maintaining those 2-3 inches of litter in the box. If it looks low, add more litter to the box to accommodate for the litter you’re losing.
  • Get a litter mat. Litter mats usually go right outside the entrance to your cat’s litter box. Litter is going to get everywhere no matter what you do, but a litter mat can stop most of it from getting to your floors. These accessories are essential if you want to avoid stepping on kitty litter all the time.