Finding the right cat litter scoop is just as important as choosing the best litter box and litter. With an effective, ergonomic, and easy-to-use scoop, there’s a much greater chance that you will do a better job of litter box maintenance. That has benefits long-term for your cat’s health and bathroom behaviors, preventing embarrassing cat odors in your home.
“What’s most important is that the litter scooper blades are not too far apart, or dirty litter pieces will fall back into the litter box,” says cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, founder of The Cat Behavior Clinic and the host of "My Cat from Hell" on Discovery Plus. “For any litter box scooper to perform at its best, use a 3-to-4-inch depth of litter.”
We researched and evaluated the cost, functionality, materials, and quality of each cat litter scoop as well as customer and expert reviews and the company’s business ethics.
Our top pick is the DurAnimals DuraScoop Premium Multicat Litter Scoop, which is made from a single piece of rust-proof aluminum. It’s sturdy and built to last, with an ergonomic grip and a wide scoop. But there are several other litter scoops we also loved, one of which might work even better for your litter box.
Here are the best cat litter scoops.
DuraScoop Original Cat Litter Scoop
Made from a single, sturdy piece of aluminum
Ergonomic handle design
Long handle provides plenty of scooping leverage
Heavier to wield than plastic
Our favorite cat litter scoop is durable, easy to use, easy to clean, and, most important, effective at removing waste from a wide range of cat litters. The DurAnimals DuraScoop Original Cat Litter Scoop is made from a single piece of rust-proof aluminum, so there’s no risk of the handle snapping off during use. Not only does this make day-to-day scooping easier—it will never bend, no matter how deep you scoop—but it also means that the DuraScoop will serve you well for years.
The soft, comfortable, ergonomic non-slip, phthalate-free grip includes a thumb stop and finger grooves. That powerful grip helps you scoop efficiently, without added wrist or arm strain. The wide, sifting scoop also makes it more efficient, since you can comb through a broad swathe of your litter box all at once. This makes the DurAnimals litter scoop especially fantastic for multi-cat households. The difference compared to most litter scoops is substantial. However, the broad, deep scoop also means that wielding the DurAnimals can take a little extra muscle to sift through deep piles of litter.
The smooth aluminum construction also makes the DuraScoop easy to wash, and we’ve found that banging it against the side of your litter box a couple of times is usually enough to knock stuck-on litter off of the scoop. We also like that the handle has a little loop at the base, which makes it easy to store the scoop on a hook or nail next to your cat’s litter box.
The DurAnimals DuraScoop Original Cat Litter Scoop is available in blue, pink, and green.
Price at time of publish: $13
Materials: Hand-polished cast aluminum, rubberized grip | Sift Width: 5.5 inches | Overall Length: 13.25 inches
Van Ness Pureness Regular Litter Scoop
Wide sifting surface
Plastic can bend if you dig too deep
If you have just one cat or a small litter box, the inexpensive Van Ness Regular Litter Scoop may be all you need. This basic scoop is made from high-impact plastic, which makes it sturdier than most cheap scoops. It also has surprisingly beefy dimensions for its budget price point, with a 5-inch sifting surface and an 11-inch overall length. It’s easy to wash with a little soap and water too. The handle has a hole so you can hang it up when you’re done.
A giant version of this budget litter scoop is also available.
Price at time of publish: $2
Materials: High-impact plastic | Sift Width: 5 inches | Overall Length: 11 inches
Petmate Metal Litter Scoop
Comfortable, ergonomic grip
Works for both pine and clumping litters
Includes a hanging hole for storage
Metal doesn’t extend into the handle
Many reasons exist to choose a metal litter scoop. For example, they’re strong and not made of petroleum-based plastic. The Petmate Metal Litter Scoop has a soft, pliable rubber grip that’s easy to hold. A layer of chromium oxide in the metal prevents corrosion, and it won’t break when you need to really dig in the corners. The main downside of this metal scoop when compared to our Best Overall scoop—the DurAnimals DuraScoop—is that its metal construction doesn’t extend fully into the handle, which introduces a little flexibility that reduces your scooping leverage.
Price at time of publish: $10
Materials: Die-cast aluminum and thermoplastic rubber | Sift Width: 5.5 inches | Overall Length: 13 inches
iPrimio Purple Pet Scoop Monster Non-Stick Cat Litter Scooper
Easy to clean
Comes with its own holder
Holder uses adhesive that will eventually wear out
The iPrimio Cat Litter Scooper is made from aluminum but also has a nonstick coating, similar to what you’d find on a skillet (the manufacturer even suggests spraying it with cooking spray occasionally). This ensures that stuck-on cat waste shakes off easily. The iPrimio nonstick scooper also has a broad and deep sifting shovel, providing comparable performance to our Best Overall pick.
Price at time of publish: $17
Materials: Aluminum scoop, foam handle | Sift Width: 5 inches | Overall Length: 13.25 inches
Best Long Handle
Petmate Ultimate Litter Scoop
Made in the United States
Lightweight yet strong
Shovel is angled to make scooping easier from a standing position
Plastic handle isn’t as reliable as metal
Scalloped edge can break up cat pee clumps
A longer handle means less bending and stooping, which is especially useful if you have a bad back or related issues. The Petmate Ultimate Litter Scoop has a soft rubber grip, with grooves in the palm and a thumb depression to prevent slipping. It has a nice angle to the design, so the scoop can be used in a more upright position. It also features a scalloped edge, which is nice for sifting through litter but has the downside of occasionally breaking apart clumped litter.
Price at time of publish: $11
Materials: Molded plastic scoop, rubber grip | Sift Width: 6 inches | Overall Length: 17.5 inches
Best for Arthritis
Litter Lifter Cat Litter Scoop
No shaking/sifting needed
Hanging hole on handle
Slats could be closer together
Plastic handle is too flexible to get a lot of scooping leverage
Randomly selected colors from online retailers
If you have arthritis or other hand or wrist issues, you might appreciate this scoop with a unique design. Unlike most other scoopers, this one is nearly flat instead of more like a shovel, with peaked “blades” on the face. It’s designed to sift itself, letting litter fall through so you don’t have to shake it back and forth, saving your hand, wrist and shoulders from that added weight and motion. Of course, this more open design also means that smaller pieces of waste may remain behind in your box.
The durable plastic construction is easy to clean. The pointed corners of the scoop can also be used for strong scraping of heavier messes. Although it’s offered in several assorted colors, the color sent to you is a random selection if you order online.
Price at time of publish: $10
Materials: Plastic | Sift Width: 5 inches | Overall Length: 14 inches
Best for Pellet Litters
PetFusion QuickScoop Cat Litter Scoop
Includes a stick-on hook for wall-mount hanging
Easy to use and clean
Antimicrobial coating prevents odors
Large spacing likely to leave little pieces of waste behind in your litter box
Not all scoops work well with pellet litters. If the slats are too narrow, the clean pellets won’t fall through during sifting, and you’ll inadvertently toss clean litter. The PetFusion QuickScoop has wide enough slats for pellet litters but will also do a serviceable job with standard clumping cat litters. It’s made of ABS plastic, which is stronger than standard polypropylene cat litter scoops. The front edge is flat, thin, and sharp for efficient scraping, especially in the corners. The shovel is designed with high sides, so you’ll lose less waste while sifting. It also has a comfortable, ergonomic grip.
If you like the PetFusion QuickScoop, check out PetFusion’s Universal Litter Scoop Holder, which uses silicone bristles to scrape off sticky litter.
Price at time of publish: $20
Materials: ABS plastic scoop, rubber-coated handle | Sift Width: 4.8 inches | Overall Length: 13.2 inches
Best Scoop With Holder
So Phresh Litter Scoop & Holder
Holder attaches to most litter boxes
Only one color choice
Sold only at Petco
I wish all scoops came with their own matching holder. That’s because a holder means a dirty scoop never touches another surface. That’s ideal in any scenario but especially if you have young children.
Designed with a clip on the back, the So Phresh Litter Scoop can rest on a level surface or hang on the side of most litter boxes. A few feisty kitties have confused the unit as a toy, but it’s otherwise stable and sturdy.
The So Phresh Scoop and Holder comes only in gray, but it’s a nice neutral color that’s good at blending in.
Price at time of publish: $16
Materials: Plastic | Sift Width: 5 inches | Handle Length: 12 inches
Bawuie Universal Cat Litter Scoop Holder
Includes caddy that can be removed and cleaned separately
Wide mouth accommodates wide variety of scoops
Clean design suits most homes
Large, metal scoops may tip this holder over
A scoop holder gives you a place to store your litter scoop that’s out of sight and not touching other surfaces in your house, preventing the spread of microbes from your cat’s waste. The Bawuie Universal Cat Litter Scoop Holder is large enough to hold even very large scoops (though it may tip over more easily when storing heavy metal scoops). The removable plastic liner makes this a cinch to clean.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 3.5 inches | Materials: Plastic
We like the DurAnimals DuraScoop Premium Multicat Litter Scoop because of its sturdy, rust-proof aluminum construction. It’s durable enough that you’ll be using it for years to come, with a wide shovel that’s especially effective at scraping the corners. If you’re looking for the most basic effective scoop available, check out the Van Ness Regular Litter Scoop instead.
What to Look For
Most scoops come in plastic or metal. Plastic generally doesn’t last as long as an aluminum alloy. Ensure that your plastic scoop is sturdy so that it won’t break if you need to use a little extra muscle scooping the bottom of your litter box. When selecting a metal scoop, look for one that is a single piece of metal—meaning the shovel and handle are all of a single piece—so there is no weak attachment point at the base of the handle (where most of the force rests during scooping).
The width of the shovel is important because smaller ones mean more scooping and sifting time than those with a larger shovel. But a larger shovel also becomes a little less maneuverable. Verify that the tine spacing of the scoop is appropriate for the litter you normally use. Manufacturers will often note, as will customer reviews, whether a scoop is appropriate for fine crystal litters versus pellet or clay clumping litters. If the tines are too close together, clean litter will not fall through and you’ll throw away clean litter inadvertently, increasing your cost and waste.
How often should you scoop cat litter?
“On average, you should scoop twice daily. But more often may be needed for certain cats to ensure they use the litter box consistently—and not your sofa!” Mieshelle Nagelschneider, founder of The Cat Behavior Clinic and the host of "My Cat from Hell" on Discovery Plus, tells The Spruce Pets. “It’s also very important to replace the litter entirely every 30 days. Silica litters and other litters that do not clump where you can remove the urine out each day leaves a dirty box for your cat. Imagine using a toilet that has not been flushed for 30 days.”
How do you scoop cat litter?
“Take the litter scoop in one hand and dig into the litter and under the stool or urine-clumped litter. Shake the scooper a bit to shake off loose litter, and throw away the discards,” says Nagelschneider. “Be sure to maintain a litter level by adding more litter a few times a week. About 4 inches is generally the best depth for cats.”
Why can’t you scoop cat litter while pregnant?
Cat feces can contain the common single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis, an infection that is asymptomatic in most human carriers but can also present as flu-like symptoms or, in severe cases, cause brain, eye, and organ damage. Since toxoplasmosis can be congenital—transmitted from mother to child—the Centers for Disease Control advises that pregnant people "avoid changing cat litter if possible."
If you must change cat litter while pregnant, the CDC advises that you wear disposable gloves and wash your hands afterward.
How do you clean a cat litter scoop?
Always check cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer first.
“I recommend soaking the scooper in a diluted bleach-and-water solution; then use a scrub brush designated just for the litter box and litter scoop,” says Nagelschneider.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This piece was written by Lorraine Wilde, who has had at least two cat companions in her home for the past 35 years, including some kitties with special needs. Two of her cats lived happily and healthily into their early 20s. She’s been scooping litter for decades.
When researching these brands, Wilde evaluated the type and quality of each product, customer and expert reviews, the company’s research and development, and their business ethics.
Wilde also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in environmental science. She is a firm believer that consumers can make healthy, informed, and environmentally conscious choices to protect their pets and our planet.
Cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, founder of The Cat Behavior Clinic, is an Oxford-trained certified cat behaviorist, cat science author on National Geographic, and the host of "My Cat From Hell" on the Discovery Plus channel. She has 25 years of experience providing comprehensive behavior care based on feline evolutionary biology. Nagelschneider is a pioneer of the cat behaviorist specialty, having assisted thousands of pet owners in their understanding and problem-solving with cat aggression, urination, defecation, spraying, and vocalization.