Introduction: Litter Sifter
I have three cats so keeping the litter box(es) clean can be a real chore. I bought one of those expensive self-cleaning litter machines but for the price I thought it could have been done simpler.
I have already made this for the two very large litter boxes I use. I recreated this in a smaller version for this instructable.
Step 1: Items Needed:
Wire mesh fencing -- I'm not sure exactly what this kind is called (rabbit fencing, perhaps) because it's been so long since I bought it. It is very stiff and has about 1/2 inch squares. Be very careful when opening the bundle as it is under pressure and kind of explodes open! I wouldn't recommend chicken wire as it is too flexible and the holes are too big to sift properly.
Litter box -- for this type of project you'd probably want to use something much bigger like an under-bed plastic storage case. The one I have is 2x3 feet. (not the one pictured)
Step 2: Measure the Inside Bottom Dimensions
This is an older, spare litterbox, much smaller than the ones I originally did this project for.
Step 3: Measure and Cut the Mesh.
Add up to 24 inches to the inside bottom dimensions to allow for the sides. This extra will fold down to make 6-inch sides.
Cut the mesh. YOU WILL GET CUT HERE! Those little prongs are very sharp and you will invariably get scraped or cut. Be very careful!
Step 4: Shape for Cutting.
Turn the box over and shape the mesh to the bottom (length and width). This helps guide cutting out the corners in the next step.
Step 5: Cut Out the Corners.
These can be discarded.
Step 6: Begin to Shape the Box.
With the corners cut out, you can see where the extra 24 inches was added to form what will be the sides. 12 inches on each side.
Step 7: Bend the Sides Out and Down.
I used the edge of my workbench to keep a relatively straight edge. Again, be very careful here! You still have a lot of exposed sticking points.
Step 8: Check the Fit.
It's still a little big here, which is better than too small.
Step 9: Cut the Corners If Too Large.
You only need to snip a couple squares at the bottom if needed.
Step 10: Secure the Sharp Edges.
Bend back all the sharp edges. You only need an inch or so. You can see the previous extra corner snips I'd just made.
I used a wooden yardstick because it tends not to slip.
Step 11: Reshape the Mesh Box.
Place inside the litter box again to check the fit. All edges should be relatively rounded now. I suppose you could make the sides even higher, but you would be limited by the size of the original mesh roll. It just needs to be high enough to be higher than the litter so you can grab it.
Step 12: Fill the Box.
Put as much litter as you can into it. There should be enough space at the top for you to grab the mesh without touching the litter. If your cat is a bottom-scratcher, with more litter it is less likely that they would get to the mesh.
After many years, I've found that Scoop Away is the best for my purposes.
Step 13: Wait.
Eventually your little darling(s) will find and use the box.
Step 14: A Present for You!
Eventually you will be left with a gift. For Instructable purposes, I sifted after only two uses. With a larger litter box you can leave it quite a long time.
Step 15: Lift and Sift!
Dump the waste into your waste bin. I find that old Scoop Away canisters work great.
Step 16: Pour the Litter Into a Temporary Container.
Step 17: Replace the Mesh and Pour the Litter Back In.
With the three cats and the much larger litter box that I use, I only need to do this every few days.