Is there such a thing as a pellet litter box, designed specifically to be used with pellet cat litter? The answer is YES.
Sifting litter boxes makes cleaning pellet litter easier, by separating the used litter from the fresh pellets. There are three types of sifting litter boxes to choose from. The Breeze litter box system is made for pellet cat litter, and used by many cat owners who prefere pine pellets, including Feline Pine.
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Why do you need a pellet litter box?
So why would you need a special litter box for pellet litter? The answer is that you do not – but there are definitely some benefits that are worth considering. Especially if you are using pine pellet cat litter.
- Easier cleaning
- Save time
- Less scooping
- Throw away less unused litter
- Save more money by making the pellets last longer
Cleaning routine for pine pellet cat litter – scooping vs sifting
Pine pellet cat litter works differently than other cat litters, because the pellets dissolve when exposed to liquid. The used litter turns into sawdust, and settle on the bottom of the litter box. The unused pine pellets remain on top.
To clean the litter box, you need to remove the used litter on the bottom, along with any feces. Removing the cat poop is easy. But how do you separate the sawdust from the pellets? What is the best way to avoid throwing away fresh pine pellets, along with the used cat litter?
There are a couple ways you can achieve this.
Scooping pellet litter: Granted, pine pellet cat litter does not provide you with neat clumps to easily scoop up – but that does not mean that scooping is not an option. Basically, you are actually just using the scoop as a smaller sift. Click here to find a step-by-step guide that explains how to scoop wood pellet litter.
Sifting pellet litter: If you want something scoop free, pine pellet cat litter gives you that option as well. Instead of scooping the litter, you can use a sift to separate the used litter and the fresh pellets.
Sifting litter boxes can be a great all-in-one solution for wood pellet litter. No scoop is needed, all you need to clean the litter box is already an integrated part of the litter box.
How do sifting litter boxes work?
Sifting litter boxes work by letting the sawdust, from the pine pellets, pass through the holes of the sift. Quickly separating the used, crumbled pine pellets from the fresh pellets.
For this process to work, the size of the sifting holes is essential. They need to be large enough for the sawdust to fall through, but not so large that the unused pellets will pass through the holes as well.
This brings us to the “anatomy” of a sifting litter box. There are two common designs: Sifting litter boxes with a two tray stacking system, and sifting litter boxes with a three tray stacking system.
A two tray sifting litter box, consists of a plaine, regular litter pan, and a sifting tray. The sifting tray is nested inside the regular litter box.
A three tray sifting litter box, includes yet another plain cat litter pan. This additional tray gives you a space to put down the sifting layer, after you have completed sifting the litter and are ready to dispose of the used sawdust. The alternative would be to place the sift directly on the floor, or hold on to it while also throwing away the used litter.
These are the two common designs for sifting litter boxes, but there is even a third design, that is made specifically for use with pellet cat litter.
This is the drawer-design that is used on the Breeze litter box from Purina, that you can read more about in the Breeze litter box system-section.
Instead of a stacking system, it has a built in sift and drawer. The used litter falls through the sift, and into the drawer. When you need to clean out the old litter, you can just pull out the drawer and empty it directly into the trash. The nice thing about this system is that there is no need to do any lifting.
Sifting litter box for pine pellets
Finding a litter box for pellet litter is not as easy as just picking any old sifting litter box. As mentioned before, the sifting holes need to be the right size for it to work with pellets.
Sifting litter boxes usually work best with clumping cat litter, and are not intended to be used with pellets.
This can be a problem, since clumps of used litter are often larger than a single pellet. Meaning, that some common sifting litter box models, have holes in the sifting tray that are too large, and will let fresh pine pellets fall through along with the sawdust.
A way to avoid this problem, is to choose a sifting litter box that is intended to be used with pellet litter, such as the Breeze litter box that you can read more about in the following section. However, you will also find some other alternatives further down.
Breeze litter box system
Tidy Cats BREEZE Original Litter Box System from Purina, is a sifting litter box system that is designed specifically to be used with pellet cat litter.
Unlike the other sifting litter box systems, this litter box does not require stacking. This means that you do not have to lift up one or more trays to sift and clean the litter box.
How does the Breeze litter system work?
Instead of two or three nesting trays, the Breeze litter box system uses an integrated sifting tray and a drawer. In other words, all of the parts are still there. They are just assembled in a way that makes it easier for you to clean the litter box.
To see how the Breeze litter box works, you can watch the video below – or you can read the following text if you prefere that.
Description of the Breeze litter box
The base of the litter box contains the drawer. The sifting layer is part of the top tray, that sits on the base. Purina offers three models of the Breeze litter box:
- The original (as shown in the video)
- A hooded litter box
- An extra large litter box (this one also has a screen to prevent scattered litter)
Skip to the Where to buy-section for links to the product pages for each Breeze-model.
How to use the Breeze litter box
To use the litter box, simply pour some pine pellets over the sifting tray. When it is time to clean the litter box, pull out the drawer and remove the sawdust that has fallen through the holes in the sift.
Tip: Fold a few pages from a newspaper and place it in the drawer. That way the sawdust will lay on top of the paper, and not directly on the bottom of the drawer. This will cut down on the times you need to wash the drawer, and make it easy to keep the litter box fresh and clean. Some fresh, extra pellets on top of the newspaper could also be beneficial. Depending on how deep the layer of pellets is on the sifting layer, and how much your cat pees.
Breeze pellets vs pine pellets
The Breeze litter system actually refers to more than just the litter box by itself. The Breeze litter box is designed to be used with Purina’s Tidy Cats BREEZE pellets and cat pads. These pellets are made of zeolite, so they work a bit differently than wood based pellets. Most importantly though, the sifting-holes in the litter box are designed to be too small for any pellets to fall through. This includes pine pellets, so if you choose to use something like Feline Pine, the Breeze system will still work.
Unlike pine pellets, Breeze pellets will not dissolve when exposed to liquid. They are designed to let the cat pee drain through, down to the drawer layer. This quality makes it more important to have pee-pads in the drawer when the zeolite pellets are used. With these pellets, there will not be any sawdust in the drawer either, to soak up excess liquid.
Compatability with pine pellets
On the Breeze litter box product page on Chewy.com, several customers attests that it is compatible with pine pellet litter. If you go to the review-section, you can read about other people’s experience with using pine pellet cat litter and the Breeze litter box system.
The video review from YouTube, further up in this article, is also a good resource. The cat owner who made the video says: “We got a kitten who wouldn’t use clumping litter, and the shelter had used pellets. So I had to get pellets, and then discovered the Breeze litter system was perfect for pellets” (0:06).
She also says that she ” … never actually used this system with the pads or the [Breeze] pellets that come with the system” (0:17).
Where to buy
The Tidy Cats BREEZE Original Litter Box System is available on Chewy.com, where you can also find more photos and information about this litter box, including reviews from customers.
In addition to the original Breeze litter box, Purina offers two other models. One model is extra large in size, and one is hooded.
These are also designed to work with pellets, and have a sifting layer and a drawer.
- The XL litter box is available on Chewy.com here: Tidy Cats Breeze XL All-In-One Cat Litter Box System
- The hooded litter box is available on Chewy.com here: Tidy Cats Breeze Hooded Cat Litter Box System
Chewy offers free shipping on orders over $49.
Unfortunately, the litter box is made of plastic, so that is not a win for the environment. Want to help change this for future cat owners who are on the hunt for a pellet friendly litter box? You can send an e-mail to Purina here. Simply let them know that you are looking for a litter box like the Tidy Cats BREEZE Original Litter Box, but that the purchasing decision would be easier if it was made in a more eco friendly way. If you decide to purchase this litter box from Chewy, remember that you can mention this in your review of the product.
Most litter boxes on the market today are also made of plastic, so to find something eco friendly is not an easy task. And of course it is even more difficult when you are looking for a sifting litter box that will work with pellet litter!
Sifting litter boxes made from recycled plastic
One step in the right direction, would be to use more recycled plastic. This is actually something that is already being done by another brand.
Van Ness makes all of their litter boxes of 20% recycled plastic – and they even offer several models of sifting litter boxes! Sounds good, right? The downside is that the sifting holes are too large to be used with pine pellets.
In the video below, you can see two of Van Ness’ sifting litter box models. One is an open model with three trays, and the other one is hooded. Both are made of 20% recycled plastic, but neither are designed to be used with pellet cat litter.
However – if you look at the reviews of these litter boxes online, it becomes clear that cat owners are purchasing them for this purpose. Specifically, to be used with pine pellets, such as Feline Pine.
Reading the reviews on Amazon and Chewy, it also becomes clear that the cat owners are experiencing varying degrees of success – or satisfaction with using the litter boxes this way. With that said, the open litter box model from Van Ness does seem to be getting more favorable feedback from these cat owners, than the hooded version (“extra-giant size”).
Some of the customers write that they love using this open litter box with wood pellet cat litter, but others seem to hate it. As mentioned before, the problem is that the holes in the sift are just a little too large. This makes some of the pellets get stuck, or fall through the sifting layer along with the sawdust.
One cat owner reports that this does cause some fresh pellets to get stuck, but that this also means that the holes get smaller, if you leave them in. There is also a chance that these stuck pellets will turn into sawdust on their own, as your cat continiues to use the litter box.
In other words, you should not expect this to be a “perfect system” for pellets if you decide to buy it, but the benefits are that it is a little cheaper than the Breeze-system, and more eco friendly. There is also a good chance that you will not have to actually deal with the stuck pellets on a frequent basis, but remove them when it is time to empty and clean the entire litter box.
Where to buy
The open sifting litter box from Van Ness is available on Chewy.com and on Amazon.com. You can find more information and reviews about this litter box on each product page, but it is easier to search the reviews on Amazon.
DIY sifting litter box for pellets
If you just want a regular two tray sifting litter box that will work with pine pellets, there is actually a way that you could make one yourself. And it can be pretty inexpensive too. Which is especially nice if you happen to have several furbabies in need of a place to do their business.
There are already several helpful tutorials on how to do this on YouTube. They basically show you how to make a sifting litter box from a couple of plastic bins, by drilling holes (of the correct size) in one of the bins.
On the negative side, the plastic bins are not eco friendly. However, on the plus side, it only takes one little switch to make it 20% better.
You may have guessed that this switch has something to do with Van Ness. Even though they do not currently make sifting litter boxes for pine pellets, they do make plain old regular litter boxes, and these are also made with 20% recycled plastic. The price is also pretty inexpensive.
So, instead of making a pellet litter box from two plastic bins, you could make it from two regular litter boxes.
Where to buy
The two litter boxes on the photo are avaliable on Amazon.com, and comes in sets of two. There are several sizes and colors of litter boxes from Van Ness to choose from, so you could also make a general search for “Van Ness litter box” on Amazon for more options – or simply click here.
If you want to explore non-plastic litter box alternatives, you can read this article: Eco Friendly Litter Box: Sustainable Metal And Bamboo Cat Litter Pans
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