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How to Make a Self-Sifting Kitty Litter Box

By Debbie Williams | Updated October 02, 2017

As pets go, cats are quite self-reliant but the matter of the litter box remains. Self-sifting litter boxes make maintenance much easier, but the ones on the market are fairly expensive. Not to worry. You can easily make your own for about $15.

Items you will need

  • Plastic litter trays that stack together, 4

  • Prints of template (2)

  • Rubber cement

  • Utility knife

  • Straight edge

supplies for litter tray

Prepare Templates

Print two copies of the litter tray template, available HERE. Trim to the dashed line, align pages matching circles and tape together. When finished, you should have four template pages, two copies of page 1-3, and two copies of pages 2-4.

Apply rubber cement liberally to the back of each template page, let dry and adhere inside each of the four plastic trays, keeping the trays all facing the same way and placing the template in the same position in each tray.

adhering template to tray

Cut Trays

Using a straight edge as a guide against the template lines, make several passes with a utility knife through the paper template and into the plastic. Press hard but don't worry about cutting all the way through. Continue scoring lines until you have all solid black lines cut out from template.

score through template

Turn the tray over and cut through scored lines. The pieces should come out easily.

cut through score lines
remove cut piece
continue cutting until all slits are removed

Peel off the remaining pieces of the paper template.

remove paper template
clean, finished tray

Select a tray with a page 2-4 template and sit it on the cutting table. Set the finished page 1-3 cut tray inside the page 2-4 ready tray and check for alignment. There should be no solid black areas showing. If necessary, remove and adjust the template at this point.

stack trays to check alignment
check alignment

Cut the remaining three trays following the previous procedure. Stack them inside each other alternating cut patterns. Fill with kitty litter. The litter box is now ready for use.

stack trays

Using the Self-Sifting Litter Box

Simply lift the top tray and shake back and forth to let the litter sift through the slits, leaving the disposable clumps inside the tray.

sifting litter
sifting complete

Dispose of the litter clumps in the trash.

dispose in the trash

Set the empty litter tray on the floor, lift the stack of three trays containing the litter and set it inside the first litter tray. Move the stack back onto the boot tray and you are ready for a new day!

re-stacking litter trays
ready for use
is it ok to use?
Lila playing


Debbie Williams studied design at the Kansas City Art Institute and has operated a graphic design and printing business for the last 17 years. She has been involved in various crafts including sewing, quilting, costuming, woodworking and various DIY all her life.