Instructables

I have tried several different methods of cleaning my cats' litter box. From a three-piece sifting pan(messy), to a Littermaid automatic sifter(more trouble than it's worth), to an old-fashioned sieve-type scoop. The best method I have found is this sifting bucket of my own design. This is my first Instructable.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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For this Instructable, you will need the following materials:

Two nesting buckets I used the plastic containers that the Kitty Litter comes in.
Hardware cloth. This is available at any hardware store. I had some laying around with 1/2" spacing, but I would recommend using a finer mesh.
Two-part epoxy, or another suitable adhesive.

Step 2: Cut the bottom off one bucket


Carefully mark a line around one bucket as a cutting guide using a pencil or felt-tip marker. The cut-line should not be too deep, so the pee clumps don't have too far to fall. I would make it shallower than this if I were to do it again. Cut using a sharp utility knife or your favourite power tool. If using a knife, BE VERY CAREFUL! The plastic is very tough, and the knife could easily slip out. Clean up any rough edges.

Step 3: Cut the hardware cloth

Picture of Cut the hardware cloth

Take your bucket top and use it as a template for the hardware cloth. Leave an inch or so on each side. Snip each wire with side cutters or a dremel tool. Cut out each corner to match the corners of the bucket top, and bend these sides up.

Step 4: Assembling Bucket Top and Mesh


Press the mesh into the top part from the top and form it into the sides using a small hammer or mallet. Scuff the area of contact using coarse sandpaper so the adhesive will have something to grab onto. Mix up some epoxy and glue the mesh to the side of the top, and you're done.
crank_girl4 months ago

We use wood pellets. Natural, don't produce dust, don't dye cats' paws pink, absorbent , cheap and they have a lively clean pine smell to them. And, they don't clump and glue to the bottom of the box. Win-win!

Takelababy7 months ago

Nice idea, not good to breathe the dust. I use a kitchen utensil called a spider and switched out the short wood handle for a long one. Works A1 on clumping litter. BTW, clumping litter is diatomaceous earth. I get a 44 lb bag for less than price of a large box with a pic of a kitty on it. Our automotive store carries it. It's a little courser but works well. Mechanics use this for oil spills as regular clay litter is too slippery.

good instructable!
grundisimo5 years ago
The cat on the left (poop factory #1) looks like it is planning to kill you when you aren't looking.
Cat #2 will end the world.
leebryuk6 years ago
This reminds me of panning for gems. Except it's for cat sh*t.
I tried to stifle a laugh, but I failed
Why don't you buy a Litter Robot? While this looks like a great idea, the LR works like a charm. I swear by mine. They are only available thought the internet - not in stores.
the litter robot is $329. pretty expensive for a litter box.
Awww, poop factory #1 is so cute. He looks like a fluffy panther who's really ticked. Nice instructable too!
well i think both poop factories are cute.... and thanks for the instructable, this will really help me with cleaning the box.
They are! I also like the instructable, very clear, easy and useful.
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What are those cats doing? :))
Guy.Fawkes6 years ago
If you use pine- or paper-pellet litter, you'll have a lot less dust, and it's better for your cats; they breathe that dust a lot closer up than you do, you know. Plus the clumping litters contain chemicals that will harm their livers and kidneys over time; remember, cats lick themselves clean, they don't shower and let the dirt run down the sewer like we do.
stovall6 years ago
If you can't find hardware cloth with a smaller hole size, you could put in another piece cut so as to overlap the first piece both horizontally & vertical which would cut the size of the holes size in half! Just my $.02 worth. Brian
DWRead stovall6 years ago
That is a beautifully simple solution. I can use it for a litter box that I've been noodling... I have one of those three-piece sifters (one mesh layer and two pans). The problem is, either the mesh is too large or the brand of litter (Scoop Away) doesn't clump tightly enough. The smallest clumps go right through the mesh. There might be better-clumping brands, but Costco doesn't carry them so we'd have to pay a lot more. But if litter varies by brand, then the sifter has to have large-ish holes in order for one size to fit all. It wouldn't be economically feasible to manufacture sifters with different mesh sizes. My idea: Make a sifter that combines different mesh sizes. Larger holes on one end; smaller holes on the other. The customer uses the end that works best for a particular brand of litter. Your suggestion is even better, because the size of the holes is adjustable!
I hate cleaning the box so I'll have to make one of these! I had seen something sort of like it advertised on late-night TV. The box itself had a slotted bottom and it lifted out, much like your design. I wanted to make something like that, but it seemed like I would go through a lot of trial and error, spending money over and over on cat boxes until I got it right. But with a virtually limitless supply of litter buckets, this one I can do! (I voted for this, too!)
Browncoat6 years ago
If I were to go to Lowe's or something, in what area would I look to find hardware cloth?
doubledown (author)  Browncoat6 years ago
If I remember, I got it at HD, but I don't remember the exact section. Not hard to find though, same section as chicken wire and garden fencing. If you like this, please vote for it in the Pets Month contest. Thanks.
I gave you +1 already. :) (That's how to vote, right?)