Instructables

Tidy Cat Boxes/Container-What should I do

I was hoping to get some of the awesome minds working on a project of mine. I keep reusing my Tidy Cat buckets. I want to find a better, maybe modular furniture way of using them. Currently they are just storage, unfortunately, I haven't gotten really good at labeling so I just wind up opening one box after another. I've tossed around wine rack, some sort of yarn or craft holder, etc. I would like to paint them, which would be neat. The label is painted on and is not tape, so if I do use plastic paint, the words may still show thru. I haven't been able to buy the litter in a bag because I am not able to get the large bag of litter to work correctly with the automated litter box because it doesn't clump well. If you could look at the image and make some suggestions, it would be great.

Picture of Tidy Cat Boxes/Container-What should I do
funcky2 years ago
Check out my first post...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Repurposed-Kitty-Litter-Storage-Rack/

I'll hopefully be adding a few more projects I've made with these containers soon.

I made a great worm compost bucket you can keep in the house and it doesn't stink out of these... Gravity feed watering system for some plants... the uses are endless!
jgodsey4 years ago
i am about to add an instructable that recommends removing the printed stuff from the Container using MEK. Methyl Ethel Keytone. It works great!
geekcore4 years ago
We use one right outside our kitchen door to put food scraps in before we take them to our big compost bucket. I love these containers and I'm definitely going to try the "redneck" topsy turvy!
sunshiine4 years ago
Wow! alot of great ideas here!  I will try some of them! Thanks!
notoften5 years ago
I have found an easy way to remove the inked labels off of the litter buckets with not too much elbow grease. Use Goof-Off cleaner (in a well ventilated area) with a scrub pad & presto! It removes the ink & smears it, so you will need to follow up with a clean rag & I suggest using disposable gloves to keep from turning your hands & fingernails the color of the label. BTW. I have converted the litter bucket into my own "red-neck" Topsy Turvy to grow tomatoes upside down. I drilled a 2 1/2" hole (centered) in the bottom, cut a piece of 1/2" foam/sponge in a 5" square, cut a slit from center to one side, inserted the tomato root ball through the hole & slid the foam around the root ball inside the bucket, (covering the hole so no dirt would fall out, filled with rich soil & hung it off my porch!
silkensoytofu (author)  notoften5 years ago
I have been blowing through these with my household renovations but I like the less elbow grease approach to removing the labels. I would eventually like to incorporate the buckets in my craft (future nursery) room.
sarahdan5 years ago
I have several cats and I have a lot of those buckets also. We put our dry cat food in the container, that way we just scoop it out and not have to lift the bag, but the best thing the cats don’t get in to the bag. I have used them for other things and gave them to friends. But I think I going to take of the big part of the lid of and stack them the way the guy did with the water jugs did. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw it, I don’t have water jugs but I do have litter containers
mrfunkindc5 years ago
I have a couple of these great boxes in the house. I removed the lid on one and it makes a great mop bucket on another I painted the outside and use it for the cat's food-air tight keeps any bugs out The best one I have seen was on a bike and was used as side saddles. The woman just got off a 184 mile bike ride and she attached two of them to the rack on the back of her bike hooked on the lip of the box with some L brackets screwed to the rack. She had bungie cords wrapped around the sides. The lids made it waterproofed. I am getting ready to do the same 184 mile bike trip and will use her configuration
FrRob5 years ago
On those cat litter buckets...if you want to decorate them, Brasso applied with a lot of elbow grease (using cotton balls or cotton cloth) will eventaully take the printing off the bucket. This works okay on the yellow ones, but on the clearer TidyCats buckets (which come with orange lids), it can discolor the plastic a little bit. You could also try covering up the decal with contact paper (shelf-liner). Cut a big rectangle, and then decorate over that. Hope this helps. I love those buckets for storage and moving; I wish I had more of them!
silkensoytofu (author)  FrRob5 years ago
I'm going to get started on doing more things with these soon. We tried an 'eco friendly' product from BJ's wholesale but it doesn't clump as well. I will have to do the Brasso thing and maybe a repaint? Also, I've been thinking about container gardening with them.
vegagitator6 years ago
You could build a rack to hold them at an angle, either upright or on their sides with an opening cut out of a side. Before painting, make sure you remove any label well (try rubbing alcohol to release adhesive). Only use paint that is intended for plastic. I've seen this at my local Ace hardware. You can make dividers for inside the bucket out of paperboard from cereal boxes or shirt boxes. You could cut holes in one side of all the buckets and stack them, lids on tight, with each bolted to the bottom of the bucket above. Cut a big hole for shelves or a small hole or two near the top for bins. To make even more storage space, you could secure planks of wood between two towers of bins. A tall rack or tower with heavy stuff in it should be attached to the wall to prevent it from falling on someone, especially if children will have access to it. Cutting plastic quickly and leaving neat edges could be tricky. Maybe someone here has some ideas on hot cutting plastic without scorching it. Square buckets make great bike panniers. Do an Internet search for bucket pannier and you'll come up with lots of pages on how to make them. The materials and methods vary, but the design is basically the same: two hooks near the top of one side of the bucket to attach to the top of your bike rack and a bungee cord with a ring on it that hooks on to the bottom of the rack. You don't even really need directions. Just look at other panniers and design your own using what you can find at your local hardware store. Just be sure that you make the bungee tight enough that the ring stays looped around the bottom of the rack and don't choose too thick a ring, or it will be difficult to get on and off. I recommend a key ring. Of course, for greatest capacity, buy the biggest buckets of cat litter you can if you're not already. Are the buckets food safe? If so, you can use them to make fermented foods like lacto-fermented vegetables and kombucha tea. These won't work if any anti-bacterial chemicals remain in the bucket though. You could screw on a spigot from an old sun tea jar ($2 at Goodwill) to make a beverage dispenser or a continuous brewing system for kombucha tea. You could also give them away on your area's FreeCycle group (I've seen them move on the Dayton group's list) or on freeswapper.org. Maybe you can even trade them on Craig's List for something you want.
Go to https://offers.purina.com/ContactUs/ContactUs.aspx?OfferCode=CNT01&pagecode=CONTACT&SOURCEBRAND=16 and call the general questions number or use the contact form and ask them if the buckets are safe to store food. If you want to culture food in them, ask if there are any bactericidal chemicals in the litter as they have likely contaminated the plastic.

Note that Tidy Cat is made by Purina, which is owned by Nestle. There has been a boycott action against Nestle for its violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods since the seventies. See http://www.babymilkaction.org/pages/boycott.html. I wish I could recommend a safe, effective litter made by a (relatively) non-evil company, but I don't have cats (I'm allergic), so I wouldn't know. Someone in my food buying club orders Swheat Scoop litter.
silkensoytofu (author)  vegagitator6 years ago
How do I tell if it is food safe? I don't regularly see my cats eating the litter, though one does play with his poop, gross I know.
oddie12126 years ago
How about a water fountain? Table? (or coffee table)
vegagitator6 years ago
Here is Fuzz2050's instructable for Best Cat Litter Bike Buckets.

You can also make an "earthbox" type self-watering plant container with two buckets if they have enough space between them when nested for a water reservoir and air to flow above it. See http://www.seattleoil.com/Flyers/Earthbox.pdf for details.
caitlinsdad6 years ago
Please try to add the image again by editing the topic. No image shows up. Thanks.