The right kitty litter scooper can make the daily task less time-consuming and, well, gross. The best cat litter scoops have a sifter fork that's optimized for the type of cat litter you use. Additionally, shovels made of durable metal, as well as ones that have an easy-to-maneuver handle, will offer the most convenience.
In order to catch the waste in your box — while allowing for clean litter fall back down— you'll want to first figure out what size slots (or holes) you'll need on the sifter head/shovel. This can be done easily by narrowing down your litter granule size and texture:
- Fine litter: Best described as having small, sand-like particles (which is most often in the form of clay-based clumping litters), fine litter is easiest to clean with scoops that have the smallest slits (around 4 millimeters). Anything wider and those tiny clumps have the potential to drop right back into your box.
- Coarse litter: If you use a standard non-clumping clay litter — or even a more heavyweight clumping kind — you'll want a sifter that can accommodate those medium-gauge granules, so around 5 to 6 millimeters wide.
- Crystal or pellet litter: To efficiently sift the rounder styles of litter (made from paper, pine, or silica gel beads) in one swoop look for a shovel with large (and ideally circular) holes that start at about 8 millimeters wide.
In terms of material, metal scoopers are the most durable and won't break or crack when you're dealing with messes stuck to the bottom of the litter pan. The one exception to this rule, however, is for crystal or pellet litter, which don't clump and therefore don't require as much elbow grease on your behalf. Either way, an ergonomic or cushioned handle will make the process gentle on your wrists. Though, for reaching into a covered litter box, consider upgrading to a model with a long handle to save yourself from extra strain.
All of the best scoops for cat litter below have been given two paws up by thousands of pet owners on Amazon. Find the one that's right for you!
1. The Overall Best Metal Cat Litter Scoop
- Dimensions: 12.7 x 5.9 x 2.6 (length x width x depth)
- Sifter fork spacing: 5 millimeters
This aluminum litter scoop has an impressive 4.8-star score after more than 14,500 Amazon reviews. The durable yet, lightweight scooper has an ergonomically balanced design, with its center of gravity towards the user’s wrist. The handle has a rubber coating with molded finger grips and comes in either mint green (pictured), watermelon pink, or sky blue, though unfortunately, you won't get to pick your color when you order. The actual sifter is corrosion-resistant and has a mirror finish that is easy to wipe clean, though note: given its hole size, you might not want to use it with extra-fine litter.
One cat lover's take: "This is by far my favorite scoop of all time. It's surprising how much easier it is to use than the typical plastic scoop, and amazing how much less disagreeable the scooping chore is with this tool. It holds a lot, so fewer passes are needed. The holes are spaced so that litter falls through easily but even small bits and pieces are retained."
2. The Long-Handle Scoop
- Dimensions: 16 x 5 x 2 inches (unassembed); 32 x 5 x 2 inches (assembled)
- Sifter spacing: 5 millimeters
The perfect choice for a covered litter box, this long-handled scooper comes in two-parts: unassembled it measures 16-inches long, but once you screw on the included extender your reach grows to 32 inches. That means there's no more need to remove the lid just to clean the box (and if you have an open-air box, the longer length can also beneficial for anyone with back pain who wants to prevent straining). The stainless steel scoop is rustproof and has a nonstick coating to prevent build-up from wet messes, and the 5-millimeter hole size is a great fit for medium-granule litter. Whether you use the full, or shortened version, the end of the handle has foam cushioning to protect hands and give you a better grip.
One cat lover's take: "This scooper is surprisingly sturdy. [...] It goes together quickly and is long enough for me to stand and scoop (I’m 5’ 7”) without bending or stooping. The scoop itself (the part that does the sifting) is also nicely sized and lightweight. You can get a really deep shovel and it shakes well. [...] I’m able to get a lot more solids with this scoop than with my old one so the job is faster overall.I love that my nose is no longer in the box. No more breathing litter dust clouds when scooping—totally worth the price of admission right there."
3. The Best Scooper For Fine Litter
- Dimensions: 13.3 x 5 x 1.8 inches (length x width x depth)
- Sifter spacing: 4 millimeters
With its narrower spacing, this iPrimio scooper is one of the best tools for trapping smaller, soiled chunks from fine-grained clumping litters. While the ergonomic grip handle ensures minimal shaking, the nonstick coating on the aluminum scoop lets more clean litter pass through. Bonus: A scoop holder is included with purchase and it can be attached to the wall or the side of the litter box with 3M tape. It also has more than 8,200 five-star ratings.
One cat lover's take: "Seriously, what is there to say about this litter scooper than it lives up to everything they say about it. It is bigger, wider, stronger and more comfortable to use. The entire thing is made out of one piece of aluminum and has a non-slip rubberized handle that’s easy to hold. It will not bend or flex no matter how much the clumped litter sticks to the box. And it is easy to rinse clean."
4. The Best For Homes With Multiple Cats
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.2 x 2.7 inches (length x width x depth)
- Sifter spacing: 6 millimeters
The extra- deep and wide shovel on this stainless steel scoop lets you clean more in one swoop, which is a time-saving perk if you have more than one feline using a litter box. The metal wire design traps solids from medium-gauge litters while the gaps allow clean litter to filter back through. The scoop has an epoxy resin coating that makes it corrosion-resistant and a handle that's cushioned with foam for a more comfortable grip.
One cat lover's take: "I have several cats and several cat bathrooms to attend to.With plastic scoops I always have to wait for the litter to drain through, or shake it to get things moving which makes dust.This metal wire scoop... my gosh so much time saved. I just did in 3 minutes what used to take 10 minutes.Not to mention with the plastic sometimes having to fight to get it to scoop up litter stuck to the bottom of tray. Not with the metal, no fight at all, just push and up comes the debris!"
5. The Best Scooper For Pellet And Crystal Litter
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches (length x width x depth)
- Sifter spacing: Not provided by the manufacturer, though one reviewer reported that the holes range from 8-12 millimeters in diameter
It's the only plastic pick on this list, but if you're looking for the best scoop for crystal litter this is the one for you. Given that litter made from pellets or crystals (silica beads) doesn't clump, you won't need the strength of steel support. What you do need instead is a deep scooper (with large circular holes) that will help you sift through all that chunky litter with fewer digs. Available in four colors, including black and blue, this affordable option has garnered more than 1,300 reviews on Amazon.
One cat lover's take: "I ordered this along with several other scoopers because I use a large-gauge crystal litter, and the crystals are too large to fit through the slots of my regular scoopers. This scooper was far and away the best of the ones I tried. There was almost 100% litter fall-through with nearly no shaking needed, minimal waste fall-through; plus, it's a super large scoop so I was able to do the whole (extra-large) litter box with only five or six scoops."
You May Also Like: This Cat Litter Scoop Holder
As stylish and modern as a scoop holder can get, this one from CatGuru has a near-perfect 4.9-star average across more than 1,000 reviews. Unlike the typical holders you'll find, it has a sturdy, weighted bottom that keeps it from tipping over (or knocked over by a frisky feline). The inner tray (which measures 6.5 by 3.3 inches) is made of silicone and designed to fit most scoopers — and because the liner is removable, it makes sanitizing and cleaning a breeze. Choose from white (pictured) or black.
One cat lover's take: "I can't believe we lived so long without this scoop holder!! It transforms the litter area into being much more convenient and well-organized. The holder has enough weight to sit without falling over, and easily holds the mega-scoop (metal) that we use for our 3 kitties."