Before unveiling which is the best sifting litter box for pine pellets, clumping litter granules, silica gel crystals, or any other litter you’re using, let’s take a ride into the deep-rooted wheel of history of cat litter pans first.
Litter boxes debuted in the 1940s. By 2000, self-cleaning or automated boxes are new creations in this pet poop sifting device market. This litter box is basically a traditional one with a sifting pan that makes it easier to clean when the time comes.
Overall, a manual sifting litter box is the wisest choice for a single cat owner or a tight budget person if he/she wants to free labor and time instead of constant scooping and bending down. Here’s a resourceful review list for you guys to enjoy!
What’s the Best Sifting Litter Boxes in 2021?
- Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan – Best Overall
- Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box Starter Kit – Best Hooded Pellet Sifter
- SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter – Best For Multiple Cats
- Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan – Best Compact
- Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box – Best Eco-Friendly Covered Top
- Petmate Whisker Doodle Sifting Cat Litter Pan – Best Low Entrance
- So Phresh Lift-to-Sift Litter Pan – Best Flexibility For Multiple Litter
- Petmate Simple Sifting Litter Pan – Best Long-Striped Slotted Sifter
- Van Ness CP5 Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame
- Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box – Best Covered Ergonomics
Best Sifting Litter Boxes Comparison Chart In 2021
|Best Overall||Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan||
||View Latest Price|
|Best Hooded Pellet Sifter||Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box Starter Kit||
||View Latest Price|
|Best For Multiple Cats||SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter||
||View Latest Price|
|Best Compact||Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan||
||View Latest Price|
|Best Eco-Friendly Covered Top||Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box||
||View Latest Price|
Reviews of 10 Sifting Litter Boxes In 2021
1. Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan – Best Overall
Open Top Design
While you would love a high-edged or hooded kitty litter box for your kicking baby, open-top pans are still in high demand for novices or parents with senior cats. Petmate Arm & Hammer is simple to maintain and clean, and since the rim is moderately high, chilled senior cats would also fall in love with the product.
Reinforced Polymer Three-Layer Construction
There are three pans coming with one unit, one sifter, and two solid trays. First, you pour the contents into the top solid pan. The sifter is nestled between the other two and is only taken out when you feel the urge to filter out the soiled litter.
By alternating between the two solid trays, you won’t overwork them, thus the lifespan of the trays is actually being prolonged while the odor is also limited as you didn’t allow bacteria to stock on one particular tray for long. To add, the overall reinforced plastic against scratches and heavy load.
Flexibility For DIY Adjustments
This unit not only works well on its own, but it also fits into other covered litter box models. You can nest it inside an extra-large hooded litter pan with no problems, or you can toss it inside a self-trimmed tote to prevent spillage.
In 2018, maybe there were some bad raps about the bacteria gimmicks between the brand and the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau, yet you should be aware that anti-microbial coating isn’t due for bacteria-free surfaces, but to boost the lifespan of the litter.
On a different note, if you want to increase the space between the sifter and the solid pans, just foam-pad the sifter’s edges. It can escalate up to 1 inch.
2. Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box – Best Hooded Pellet Sifter
The model we’re reviewing is the hooded version, there are also an open-top with high walls and extra-large versions within the same Breeze line.
Anti-Tracking Pellet Sifting Tray
The sifting layer is part of the top tray, that sits on the base. The instant filtering net would undoubtedly please your cat if he suffers distress from securing the body while urinating since the pellets would crumble into sawdust and send the waste straight to the padded grate via the slats. This would, in turn, prevent the cat from sitting and reeking in urine if he’s a clumsy boy.
Odor Absorbent Pads
The lid definitely more or less would trap a faint level of pungent smells, but the majority of them are brushed off with the lumber odor of pellets and pinned down by the repellent and absorbent pads.
If your cats refuse to switch to pellet litter since they’re used to World Best’ clumping litter or silica crystals, allow them to have a moment for breaking in.
A Scoop Bundle
Having a scoop alongside the whole package is a win-win situation for both Purina and the most smell sensitive consumers, pellets and fecal matter just don’t go together.
Actually, stool won’t crumble into sawdust coming into contact with wood pellets but hide among them and disperse a lingering ammonia odor noticeable to sensitive noses. This is when you need a slotted shovel to scoop out the feces daily.
If you’re having trouble with how hard it is to find Breeze pads for the receptacle compartment in your local dollar trees or supermarkets, you can consider replacing them with the regular puppy pee ones.
3. SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter – Best For Multiple Cats
An Isolate Labor-Saving Sifting Basket
With this spacious SiftEase individual sifting basket, you can escape the vicious cycle while separating clean and soiled litter all around the house within 5 minutes.
One may ask why just not get a complete sifting litter box?
Because if you house multiple cats, you would have to take in x2 pans with every unit you buy. Imagine the amount of work you’d have to pour into cleaning a whopping 10 pans if you have four cats.
On a side note, since this sifter is kind of an accessory, it would make a perfect birthday or Christmas present choice for cat lovers.
An Enclosed Recycle Bin
You’ll get a 16.8-inch bin coming along, and it’s more than enough to contain the contents of over five litter boxes at once. With a size of 14 x 10 x 7 inches, this sifting basket comes with a holding bin, which has up to 28 quarts of capacity inside. Since it has already been sifted away from clean litter, you can divide the filtered contents into each pan as usual. It’s simple but time and labor-saving at the optimum.
Most sifting litter boxes offer a grid without grip so that it can be clipped between or inside the solid trays as a compact unit. Since this product intended to shed the limelight on the sifter solely, SiftEase engineers have placed stress on user-friendly features in lieu of pretty design.
The grip would make a big help for over-60-year-old grannies or folks with flabby arm muscle, as from now on, they won’t have to lift the slippery rims to lift the sifting basket on anymore.
The first things you may find accommodating after a few initial trials of the SiftEase basket are some biodegradable or plastic bags to line the interior, since the bin may be overweight.
4. Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan – Best Compact
Room-Saving Isosceles Right Triangle Shape
The balanced cheese slice shape can be tugged inside your wardrobe or bathroom cabinet or turned against wall corners, which obviously doesn’t take as much space as a rectangular litter box.
Additionally, the “corner” with high back and rims concept has always been a hit left and right with bunny or guinea pig parents as well, since they can fit snugly into a pet cage and serve side smearing pets well.
Patented Sifting Technology
One of the things that glorified Petmate as a lead player in the pet care industry was the fact that they introduced the first sifting litter box to the world.
This system isn’t 100% flawless, it has faced multiple ups and downs. Yet, the idea was brilliant, at least to a corner litter pan, since finding out a spade that conquers every sharp angle is such a pain in the neck.
High Side – Low Entry Profile
This standard corner sifting litter box may build one of the highest walls among all of its uncovered cousins here, which implies its competency to fence against sided flying litter and urine.
But let’s talk about the half-moon entrance! It’s so incurvate despite such lofty sides, which makes the unit versatile for a variety of cat breeds and available to both the seniors and kiddos.
If being pretty and space-saving are the strongest points of a corner sifting litter box, then the hard quest to uncover which accessory would be the best to flatter this polished look, in the long run, is a huge let-down.
You can catch this problem clearly when searching for a standard square litter mat that can cover every space on the floor underneath a triangle pan or an off-the-peg liner that resembles a cheese slice.
5. Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box – Best Eco-Friendly Covered Top
Motorless Automated Sifting Lever
Catit has put its name on the map with the blue LED flower fountain model, which in turn gives it more credibility for its lines of cat toys and cat litter pans.
For this SmartSift kitty litter box, the highlight is its eco-friendly mechanical sifting technology. The unit involves no electricity via the way you hand-pull the lever gradually and it works like a toilet flush.
The sifter then swivels and pours the fecal or urinated clumps down a drawer compartment, while the clean granules sway back into the grate.
The motorless concept, in a way, suits cats that get intimidated by noise easily, and we all love the idea of keeping our cats away from getting electrocuted, without a doubt.
Dual Custom-Fit Biodegradable Liners
Your cat’s pee-pee can form a permanent foul odor when coming into contact with plastic surfaces, so it’s natural to seal the top with liners.
It seems that Catit engineers have done their research intensively via the way we get a biodegradable finish on top of the receptacle compartment straight from the warehouse.
Yet if your cats love to dig their way to China, the liners wouldn’t be able to withstand all the scratches, leading to a scarred and unreturnable litter box. In this event, consider investing in scratch-proof tough liners/pads. They’re great in unlocking the implicit power of the Breeze system.
Smart Access Orifices
The easy-to-access maintenance door, the transparent inspection window, and the carefully marked biodegradable liners have made a dream team in keeping the cost of maintenance minimal in the long run.
Through a clear view from the top, you can easily shove a scoop inside to discard all the feces once in a fortnight. To add, replenishing the clumping litter can also be done after a rotated sifting session without the need to detach any part via the maintenance door.
The best present? Since the amount of litter is kept in check effortlessly through a clear view, combining with the tagging liners clearly marked to determine the maximal level of litter appropriate to fill for smooth operation, now you can run a 33lb kitty litter bag in three months in lieu of every month.
Removable Swinging Door
Many have given a frown upon the entrance being built too high off the floor, which makes it seem impossible for newborn kittens or senior arthritic cats to hop in.
In response, Catit reassured their customers by suggesting they install a sturdy tiny stair for them to step up and down or, more conveniently, dismantle the swinging door for a broader entry point.
The overall dimensions stated on the description box seems more than enough, but with just 19” L x 13” W x 17” H interior before being shrunk any further by the sifter, no big fat cat, not even the slimmest Ragdoll or Black Maine Coon, can squeeze his plumpy tummy into the door.
6. Petmate Whisker Doodle Sifting Cat Litter Pan – Best Low Entrance
Compact Reinforced Plastic Construction
The design is sleek and compact, quite among the top-tiers in terms of aesthetics and durability. The reinforced plastic solid pans are rustproof and definitely not the easiest for your felines to scratch on.
Undoubtedly, a Maine Coon of 12-15lbs would be squeezy freezy inside the pan, which makes the product unappealing to an entire large niche.
Yet the litter box is cute and neat to pack along trips and holidays, while the hollow is not that small and can hold up to over 18lbs of litter.
The front rim is slightly dented to allow easy access for senior arthritis cats and newborn kittens. In combination with the low walls and the open-top design, your cats wouldn’t have to suffer from trapped stinky odor and internal fine dust (in case you use scoopable clumping litter) after each time you shake to sift.
Optimal Ease To Use
When you have something so simple and classic, three separate pans, and nothing else, you won’t have to get involved with intricate cleaning routines or costly maintenance.
In this modern era, this Whisker Doodle model fits right in with an apartment complex setting and won’t get your sewage system clogged midway.
As experienced cat parents have pointed out, the first generation open-top sifting pan design poses a threat to create a little dust through shaking movements upon sifting.
7. So Phresh Lift-to-Sift Litter Pan – Best Flexibility For Multiple Litter
Compatible With Various Litter Substrates
As litter is the chief product of So Phresh, it is second to none in mastering the science behind how litter granules, crystals, and pellets work and what suits them best. On this account, you can put your trust into the brand’s engineers when they claimed the shifter’s chameleon power against treating any litter substrate.
X-Large Built-In Sifter Pan
The grid is sandwiched between two regular litter trays, reminiscent of other three-tray sifting litter systems. Yet it’s a plus-sized model, which welcomes even the fattest cats.
When you buy something oversized, you expect a lot of internal room and flexible fitment. The model won’t fail you in that term since the solid pans are huge enough to fit in four regular overweight adult cats over 13 lbs, or a couple of 18lb Maine Coons.
This So Phresh model is unique to other three-tray trees on this review list thanks to a detachable high rim feature.
If you want to take the unit on the go, assemble the rim upside down for a more compact package. On a daily basis, it can also act as a ford to guard against your sided peeing and kicking boy.
The sifting pan is sufficiently large to boost the litter filtering process at one go, for sure.
The holes, on the other hand, maybe bigger and allow a few pine pellets to slip through, leading to clogs, so you may want to second the idea of using pellet litter.
8. Petmate Simple Sifting Litter Pan – Best Long-Striped Slotted Sifter
Rounded blade pattern at the bottom of the sifting pan
The pattern at the bottom of the strainer is one of a kind to every other sifting litter box we’re reviewing.
The holes are organized in long curved strips rather than identical tiny spheres as usual. This is a way to smoothen the rhythm of clean used granule flow and enable you to filter out clean versus soiled litter in one go.
Gently Sloping Entrance
The edge of the pans ends up being an elegant curve. Each pan is 4-4.5 inches high, which gives a perk to senior arthritis cats and soft boned kittens for their easy entrance.
Reinforced Plastic Bottom
All in all, reinforced plastic is durable, heavy-duty, light-weight, and sleek to accelerate wiping movements. Thus, it is still a classic cult in the most comprehensible senses.
Many people have also reported having difficulties with removing wet litter clumps stuck inside the rounded blades and compared this eccentric design with the more user-friendly Arm & Hammer version.
A simple way to curb this mess is to fill the box with more litter, ideally at three-four inches in height, to raise the bedding level and keep the litter clumps float on top.
Uncovered Sifting Litter Boxes
9. Van Ness CP5 Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame
Stain-Resistant Polished Finish
The overall construction is built from highly plastic, which is non-toxic for the owners
The slippery structure also makes it easy for you to wipe off the dirt or rinse well under high-pressure hose/pump with diluted soap liquid.
Upon delivery, you’ll receive the whole unit including the guard, but seated into the top solid pan for better compactness along with the go. This guard frame can be raised above the rim of the top pan by clipping a plastic tab at each long end.
The guard also adds a few fractions of inches more to the height of the grid, which offers you a grip to hold on when lifting and a fence against litter pieces kicked out.
The entry point tops the chart off with 4 inches only, so even a cute dwarf Munchkin can still hop on hop off with almost no problem.
The size of the holes on the strainer is only ⅛ to 3/16” in general. It’s great to collect sawdust and granular litter types (best with clumping granules). This system works identically to the Breeze technology of Purina’s Tidy Cat, but more rugged and rudimental.
This litter box’s working mechanisms can be somewhat old-fashioned. The idea was put into effect in 2011, 9 years ago so maybe you can consider nestling the strainer between two solid pans instead of following the user manual to prevent clogs more effectively and diversify the litter portfolio.
10. Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box – Best Covered Ergonomics
Eco-friendly Barrel Self-Cleaning System
The tilting system works similarly to the Catit SmartSift one with the way fecal/urinated clumps fall into a drawer/receptacle compartment, which aims for labor and time-saving features. Working as an automatic litter box, the Catit SmartSift self-cleaning litter box sifts out clumps as soon.
The unit comes with a roof so if your cat is an introvert and prefers low traffic areas when doing his/her thing, the hood would suit his taste.
Even with a chrome snap-down locking clip, the internal contents are bound to leak once you roll the unit upside down. A feasible solution would be to glue a sponge/foam weatherstrip to the top of the litter tray concretely when you first purchase the product.
On another note, since this design is comparable to the Catit SmartSift, it would be more of a blast if Omega Paw decided to come out with some kind of liners/pads to coat the drawer like its rival.
FAQs & Tips
Who should buy sifting litter boxes?
When it comes to scooping traditional litter boxes, you’ve got a lot to take into consideration such as litter types, stool stuck at the bottom, sawdust crumbs in the vicinity, deodorizers, hose/sewage system, or garbage sorting. Witnessing the hassle cat parents have to bear every day, sifting boxes were born with user-friendly features with respect to the amount of time spent, the mess created, and the litter used. In fact, the best models can cut the time down by half at optimum.
In reality, not everyone fancies sifting litter boxes. Naturally, they require quite an investment in budget and maintenance compared to the commonplace types of litter pans due to the detachable sieve. So if you value time reduction more than the cost, it’s safe to have a go.
What to look for in a sifting litter box of good quality?
For the utmost honest experiences, there’s no other better way than laying your hand on different brands for each month. But that sounds like out of this world, and no one could afford the time or money for these trials and errors.
That’s why it’s rather rational to draw out a list of critical features that you’re looking for to please both you and your furball in advance before determining which sifting litter box is the right one.
Getting a sandbox with the length exceeds the distance from your cat’s nose to the tip of its fully stretched tail, while the width goes beyond the same distance but with the folded tail. And out of consideration for his kicks, the height should waver around 5-7” at best.
If you house a clowder of cats, then try an extra-large litter box ample enough for them to share together. Or you can go for corner sifting litter boxes if you’re in an apartment or have been running out of space.
The overall construction shouldn’t give in to wear and tear too fast if that’s not a must. In general, cat lovers prefer something sturdy but lightweight and labor-saving upon cleaning. Right now, reinforced plastic is all the rave.
Ease of Use & Maintenance
When you’re looking for something that can actually work out for both your babies’ and your own convenience, consider friendly features such as a 3-layer construction or elevated/hooded sides to combat spillages.
If you could find such a box already, then congratulations! Yet, this is the part where it gets tricky, the sieve.
First of all, it should be made from sturdy materials to hold up well under pressure water. Secondly, the size of its holes must neither be too narrow to make it compatible with a large range of litter types nor too wide to let litter clumps slip through.
Sometimes, it’s not about sizes, colors, reinforced plastic, or hooded edges that matter. Everything else would come second if you’re sensitive to smells.
To escape from this nightmare, a hooded sifting litter box that traps bad odors within that little space or uncovered units but equipped with extra antimicrobial features would be a great help.
Cleaning routine for pine pellet cat litter – scooping and sifting?
The critical item needed for this method is a scoop shovel. Compared to using sifting litter boxes, you’d be required to spend more time doing research on a scoop with properly sized slots, durable and lightweight material, ergonomic grip handle, and is smartly curved to fit the sand pans. This, again, equals wasting time.
Not to mention, the microscope sawdust must definitely have been bickering with each other and scattering around midway from the litter box to the trash bin.
A litter box featuring a sifting tray has the same working principles as a scooping shovel, but on a larger scale for sure. It is built to help you sort out the sawdust and the fresh pellets at once without creating a mess or wasting time on repetitive scooping.
How do sifting litter boxes work?
Since wood pellets are our ultimate priority, sifting litter box manufacturers have dedicated a whole drawer construction specifically designated to them.
The sieve on top of a sifting litter box allows sawdust to penetrate through its holes and retain unused pine pellets.
The drawer, laid beneath the sieve, would catch the sawdust. If you feel like freshening up is on a call, you just need to slide out the chassis and wrap the waste up in the pads/liners to discard into the bin, no room for lifting.
A three-tray sifting litter tree incorporates the same construction as their two-layer counterparts with another plain pan. It acts as an extra protection tray for you to place the sieve on while moving it from the litter box destination to the trash bin.
In this way, the system can completely block all spillages.
Once you pick up the sifting tray and give it a firm shake, all the urinated clumps and feces would stay put over the sieve while the clean bentonite bits fall in the bottom pan.
How do you sift effectively pine litter?
In theory, clumping litter is the most compatible with the sifting pan’s filtering holes. Largely, fresh pine pellets would slip through the holes along with the sawdust, since bentonite litter clumps are often bigger than the pellets, which in return eliminates all the purpose of using sifting litter boxes.
Since finding a sifting litter box for pine pellets is no easy quest among the regular lines, how about resorting to the models intended for the pellets merely?
You can get your hand on the drawers, and one starking example is the Breeze system developed by Purina. The sifting holes are still too minuscule to allow any unused wood pellet to slide down alongside its sawdust.
What are the pros and cons of using sifting litter boxes?
Let’s go through some widely known claims.
Sifting litter boxes are easier to clean
In the first place, sifting litter boxes were built to facilitate ease of cleaning. This is indeed true if you use bentonite-based clumping litter since you wouldn’t have to turn to a slotted shovel and scoop up the stool first-handly.
Yet, in the event that you prefer pine pellets, the scooping procedures still have to be cleared like with traditional litter boxes. The workload can only be reduced at a later step where you place a cat pad/paper liner over the drawer.
Using sifting litter boxes can save more time
The only difference between a sifting and an old-school litter box is the scope of a sieve and a portable scoop. That’s why only when you shake the sieve can be considered a time depletion, in lieu of repetitive scooping activities. Otherwise, everything else remains the same old cleaning techniques.
Sifting litter boxes hold great control of dust
As far as everything else has been concerned, this may become the biggest demerit of sifting litter boxes. Remember the most suitable type of litter to go with a sifting pan is bentonite-based clumping litter, do you?
Even when clumping litter manufacturers label their products as 99.8% dust-free, there’s still microscope granules flying here and there, especially considering you have to shake the sieve upon cleaning and refilling, and bentonite clumps are among the dustiest on the market.
This statement holds its weight better when it comes to wood pellet crumbs and sawdust, even though it’s partly because these are not as dusty as the bentonite granules by nature.
You can only use clumping litter for sifting litter boxes
This declaration is largely relevant if we don’t include sifting drawers for dissolvable wood pellets since they’re viewed as a niche on the whole. The sifting tray would outperform if the litter can form big clumps to remain seated over the screen, so besides bentonite-based litter, grass or walnut shells are also excellent choices, if you ignore the price and your cat’s personal taste.
Reaching the very end of our reviews, we’ve unitedly voted for our Best Overall Choice for sifting litter boxes, the open-top Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan.
If you are a naturalist that prefers a hooded version of cat sifting litter pans, then go for the Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box Starter Kit. And to conclude our journey to find the best sifting litter box on a happy note, we can’t leave out our Best Budget choice, the Van Ness Framed Sifting Litter Box.
However, do you have enough knowledge of choosing the best sifting litter box?
Feature Image Credit: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock
- What’s the Best Sifting Litter Boxes in 2021?
- Best Sifting Litter Boxes Comparison Chart In 2021
- Reviews of 10 Sifting Litter Boxes In 2021
- 1. Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan – Best Overall
- 2. Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box – Best Hooded Pellet Sifter
- 3. SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter – Best For Multiple Cats
- 4. Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan – Best Compact
- 5. Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box – Best Eco-Friendly Covered Top
- 6. Petmate Whisker Doodle Sifting Cat Litter Pan – Best Low Entrance
- 7. So Phresh Lift-to-Sift Litter Pan – Best Flexibility For Multiple Litter
- 8. Petmate Simple Sifting Litter Pan – Best Long-Striped Slotted Sifter
- Uncovered Sifting Litter Boxes
- FAQs & Tips
- Who should buy sifting litter boxes?
- What to look for in a sifting litter box of good quality?
- Cleaning routine for pine pellet cat litter – scooping and sifting?
- How do sifting litter boxes work?
- How do you sift effectively pine litter?
- What are the pros and cons of using sifting litter boxes?
- Bottom Line