10 Best Sifting Litter Boxes – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks
By Ed Malaker
Sifting litterboxes are the ultimate in easy-to-clean boxes that are perfect for people on the go. You don’t need to use a scooper, so no dirty tools are lying around your home. However, there are dozens of brands, and some of them are quite flimsy, so it can be challenging to choose the best one for your home. We’ve chosen ten of the most popular brands to review for you so you can see the difference between them. We’ll tell you about the pros and cons we experienced while using them and how our cats liked them. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a close look at how sifting litter boxes to see how they work and what you should look for as you shop.
Keep reading while we look and durability, size, ease of use, and more to help you make an informed decision.
A Quick Comparison of Our 2023 Winners
|Best Overall||Petmate Arm & Hammer Litter Pan||
|Best Covered Sifter||Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box||
|Best For Multiple Cats||SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter||
|Best Compact||Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan||
|Best Eco-Friendly Covered Top||Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box||
The 10 Best Sifting Litter Boxes
1. Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan – Best Overall
The Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan provides you with a three-pan system that is extremely easy to use. When you lift out the top pan, the litter falls through, leaving only clumps and waste that you can dump in the trash and put the pan at the bottom of the stack. Each tray has built-in antimicrobial properties and is extremely durable. The reinforced polymer is easy to wash and resistant to scratches.
We enjoyed reviewing the Petmate and thought that it worked well. The only problem we had was that it was a little small for our larger cats.
All in all, we think this is the best sifting litter box available this year.
- Three pan system
- Antimicrobial protection
- Reinforced bottom
2. Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box – Best Covered Sifter
The Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box is an easy-to-use complete little system that works slightly differently from most of the other brands on this list. It uses a hard litter that allows your cat’s urine to pass through to a tray below containing an absorbent pad. You will only need to replace the pad as needed and scoop out the solid waste, and the litter will last several weeks. The absorbent pads trap the urine and reduce odor, and the litter will dehydrate the poop to eliminate odors from inside. The hooded litter box covering gives your pet some privacy as it does its business.
The downside to Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Hooded Litter Box is that it is a little small for some of our larger cats, and if more than one uses it, the pad can become full and leak onto the floor.
- Keeps litter inside the box
- Easy to use
- Odor control
- Some cats don’t like it
3. SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter – Best For Multiple Cats
The SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter is our pick as the best sifting litter box for multiple cats. The heavy-duty plastic is durable and will last many years even with heavy use. It’s easy to use, and you only need to dump your litter box into the sifter to separate the waste from the good litter. Dump the separated waste into the trash and put the good litter back into your litter box.
The downside to the SiftEase is that even though it has large easy to grip handles, it can be heavy to bump the litter box into the sifter and then back into the box. It also creates a lot of dust depending on the litter type that you use.
- Easy To Use
- Durable materials
- Large size
4. Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan – Best Compact
The Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan is our choice for the best compact sifting litter box. It’s s USA-made brand featuring a unique triangular shape that allows it to fit neatly into a corner where it will have the smallest footprint. The plastic materials are surprisingly durable, and this pan will last you several years. It has nice high walls that will help keep the litter inside, and it flawlessly removes the waste from the litter.
The downside to the Petmate Corner Sifting Litter Pan is that it’s expensive compared to other brands of similar size, and it can be a little bit difficult to change and would benefit from the addition of handles. If you like to use a mat under your litter box, it can be hard to find one properly sized and shaped to fit this brand.
- Easy to use
- Small footprint
- Not easy to change
5. Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box is our pick as the best eco-friendly covered top. The cover will help keep litter and odor inside the box and provide the cat with some privacy while doing its business. It’s easy to use, and the mechanical lever does most of the work for you, sifting the liter and depositing the waste in a bag you can throw in the trash. It is also the best sifting litter box for pine pellets, making it extra eco-friendly. It comes with two liners to get you started, and an integrated carbon fiber litter deodorizer will help minimize odor.
The Catit SmartSift is an interesting design that makes cleaning out the litter a little easier, but it might be a little bulky for some people, and it will require more work when you do a deep clean. The plastic feels flimsy compared to other brands, and the instructions that show you how to assemble and use the machine are hard to follow.
- Easy to use
- Includes two liners
- Carbon filter
- Poor instructions
6. Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan
The Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan is our pick for the easiest to get into and is perfect for smaller cats and those with an injury. It comes with two regular pans and a sifting pan, and you pour a used litter box into a fresh one with the sifting pan in place and remove it to pull out the waste. All three trays are extremely durable and will last several years even with daily use.
The only real downside to the Pet Mate Arm & Hammer is that it is only suitable for kittens and small cats despite its name. We liked the design and wished it was a little bigger.
- Includes two regular pans and a sifting pan
- Easy to enter
- Easy to use
You might also be interested in: 10 Best Litter Boxes for Kittens – Reviews & Top Picks
7. So Phresh Lift-to-Sift Litter Pan
The So Phresh Lift-to-Sift Litter Pan is our pick for the best flexibility for using it with multiple litters. It has a simple three-pan design that allows you to dump the dirty pan into a clean one with a sifter to remove the waste material. We found that it worked well and was easy to use, so it’s well suited to homes with more than one cat. The high rim helps keep the litter in the box.
The downside we experienced with So Phresh is that it uses larger-sized holes to accommodate bigger litters like Skoon, but it allows some of the waste to fall through as well, and depending on the type of litter you use, it can break up the clumps. We also felt that the plastic is pretty thin on this brand, and we’re not sure how well it will hold up.
- Simple three pan design
- Works with most litters
- Suitable for multiple cats
- High rim
- Holes are too large for many litters
- Thin plastic
8. Petmate Simple Sifting Litter Pan
The Petmate Simple Sifting Litter Pan has long curve slots that help the litter pass through easily while collecting the waste. The three-pan design is simple and easy to use, and the litter trays have a reinforced bottom for extra durability. The plastic construction is thick and durable, and we are confident it will last well into the future.
The primary downside is that it’s too small for larger cats to use comfortably, and waste can collect on the slots as you are sifting, and it can be difficult to remove.
- Durable plastic
- Reinforced bottom
- Easy to use
- Rounded design
- Waste collects in slots
9. Van Ness Sifting Cat Pan Litter Box with Frame
The Van Ness CP5 Sifting Cat Pan/Litter Box with Frame is our pick as the best uncovered sifting litter box. It has high sides that will help keep the litter inside as your cat is digging, and the polished stain-resistant sides look attractive and are resistant to scratches. The ammonia in cat urine will not seep into the hard plastic, which will help keep odors at a minimum, and it’s available in several colors so you can find one to match your home.
The downside to the Van Ness CP5 sifting cat litter box is that the sifting holes are quite small and are easily clogged, which means you need to put more effort into sifting. It’s also difficult to clean out the clogged holes when you finish to get it ready for the next use.
- Stain-resistant finish
- High sides
- Multiple colors
- Small holes
- Hard to clean
10. Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box
The Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box features a unique self-cleaning system that has you roll it on its side to push the litter through the sifter to separate the waste. A handy drawer collects the clumps and poop so you can easily toss it in the trash. It also features a unique built-in litter step that will help knock off stray litter stuck on your cat’s feet as it leaves the box.
The downside to the Omega Paw Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box has several parts, so it can be challenging to perform a deep clean, and with all the parts in place, there is not much room inside for the cat to move around, and we had a hard time getting our cats to use it.
- Pull out tray
- Litter step
- Hard to clean
- Some cats won’t use it
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Sifting Cat Litter Box
Let’s look at a few things you should consider before choosing your next sifting litter box.
How Does A Sifting Litter Box Work?
Sifting litter boxes provide the user with a way to strain the litter to remove clumps and feces in the most efficient way possible. While there are several ways to sift the litter, the most common and inexpensive method will use two regular trays that resemble an ordinary litter box and the third pan with several holes or slots to sift the litter.
You can place the sifting tray inside one of the standard trays and cover it with litter, then wait for your cats to use the box before lifting out the sifter to remove the waste. Place the sifter in the empty second box, pour the liter from the first box on top, and repeat. We found that many people do it this way, but the downside is that urine can leak down into the holes and grooves, clogging the sifter and making it harder to clean.
We recommend using the box as a standard litter box without the sifter. It will make it easier to get your cats to use it, and when the box is dirty, you can dump it into the second box through the sifter, collecting the waste on the sifter pan.
Who Should Use Sifting Litter Boxes?
We recommend that everyone use a sifting litter box for two reasons. The first is that it makes cleaning your litter box quick and complete. Shoppers are great, but cats can hide their little gifts pretty well, and they might escape one or two cleanings. Urine also tends to collect at the bottom, where it can leach into the plastic resulting in a permanent odor. With a sifting litter box, you are continuously sifting the litter and switching boxes allowing you to perform a deep clean more frequently without wasting litter.
One of the first things you want to look at when choosing your next litter box is the size, and size can be deceiving with sifting pans because there are often several parts that can look bulky but still not have much space for your cat to do its business. Make you look closely at the available litter space, and we recommend getting the largest size practical because it will be suitable for bigger cats, and it’s harder to kick the litter out of larger boxes.
Once you have the correct size, we recommend checking the materials to make sure your choice is durable. Many brands cut costs by creating products with thinner plastic that cracks easily. We tried to point out any flimsy boxes in our reviews and recommend you check any models personally if you continue to shop.
Ease Of Cleaning
Though the litter is easy to keep clean with sifting boxes, you will still need to clean the several trays and other components it might contain. As a general rule, the simpler the system, the easier it is to clean, with one important exception. There are several brands of disposable sifting boxes that have a paper mache construction. You can’t clean these sifters, and they tend to collect waste as you use them, so we recommend avoiding them when possible.
Covered Versus Open Sifting Litter Boxes
Another thing you will need to consider is whether to use a covered or open sifting litter box, and we have both on our list. Covered boxes are helpful if your cat tends to kick a lot of litter outside the box. It will also contain odors and provides your cat with privacy while it does its business. However, the trapped odors can also make it unpleasant for your cat to use, and any dust or perfumes will be concentrated and can be potentially harmful to your pet. Some cats may also have difficulty climbing through the opening and refuse to use it. We recommend using open boxes whenever possible to provide your cat with maximum ventilation. If it kicks out a lot of litter, you can try a larger box or one with higher walls.
See also: our favorite automatic cat litter boxes on the market.
What Type of Litter Will Work Best?
We recommend using any standard clumping cat litter for the best results. The clumping will help eliminate the urine along with the feces during the sifting process. Non-clumping litters can puddle at the bottom and be transferred from tray to tray, creating a stronger odor.
What Is the Downside to Using Sifting Litter Boxes?
Unfortunately, sifting litterboxes have a significant downside. As you pour the litter through the sifting panel, it will create a large amount of dust that can escape into your home. Even low dust brands will create enough dust that we only recommend sifting the litter outdoors.
When choosing your next sifting litter box, we recommend the Petmate Arm & Hammer Sifting Litter Pan, our pick for the best overall. This brand is easy to use and features a reinforced bottom for extra durability. It uses a simple three-pan system, and each part uses antimicrobial material for increased safety. If you have several cats using multiple boxes, the SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner Sifter is a smart choice that can help reduce the amount of work you need to do. It’s not a stand-alone box, but it will help you sift the litter from any brand quickly with its large basin. If you’re looking for the best sifting litter box for pine pellets, then the Catit SmartSift Self-Cleaning Litter Box is our pick.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few you would like to try out. If we have helped reduce the time it takes to complete your daily chores, please share this guide to the best sifting litter boxes on Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re wondering where to put your new litter box, take a look at our guide!
Featured Image Credit: PetMate Arm & Hammer, Amazon