Picture of Elegant Ikea Hack Litterbox
So proud to present my 50th Instructable! Proud, because it's not me but my wife who did the building.

It all started somewhere. In this case: in the litter of our cats.

Litter boxes are litterally uggly. Every cat owner knows it, but no-one admits it. It seems to be one of those big taboos in pet-land. So let's free us from this mental weight and let's shout it all together: WE HATE THOSE PLASTIC LITTER BOXES!!!

If I were a cat, I would NEVER go inside such a plastic bunker to loose some weight. I would simply disperse my droppings on the stairs, under the couch, in flowerpots, or in the toolbox of the guy who's feeding me. And throwing water at me, occasionnaly.

Things had to change. When we moved into our new home we even didn't take those plastic prisons with us, since my wife decided to hack a piece of carefully designed IKEA-furniture.

Supplies: a 'I can't find the name of that box anymore but I think it sounds very Swedish!!!', a plastic box (!), a jigsaw, and at least one cat.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Jig the wood

These wooden boxes are sold in kits of 6 pieces (four side panels, a floor & a cover) and just enough screws.

Jig a nice hole in one of the side panels and smooth the cuts with some sanding paper.

Read the 50 pages of the manual carefully & start assembling.
Use every screw.
Do not put the box in the microwave-oven.
In case of trouble: there's a list of helpful phone numbers on the last page.
In case of more trouble: use the cardboard packing as litter box.

Step 2: Jig the box, eventually

Take that plastic box and try to fit it inside the wooden.
If it doesn't go straight in - even after repeated smashing - you might have to cut the sides.

Sanding paper to finish.
IvliaVespasia7 months ago

Like the idea, certainly better than the cardboard box we currently use (our cat won't go in the plastic one) and it would be easy to cover the top with a solid top and pretty fabric and turn it into a nice side table. As our cat will only use sawdust and loves to dive right in and send it everywhere I might line the lower part with a pretty fabric to match the top (making sure I can remove it for washing).

vbanaszak8 months ago

You sure had allot of helpers! I am still trying to find a cat free time to fill my space bags with out them being chewed to death by a plastic loving cat. LOL

bricobart (author)  vbanaszak7 months ago

I know, most of them just adore plastic! ;)

PaganRaven8 months ago

I do love this! Sooo much nicer than store bought litter boxes. We rescue ferals that end up being very domesticated, so I know the many differences of "diggers, scratchers and coverers". Just wondering if maybe some window screen fabric on the inside of the sides would help keep the litter from being thrown out? There would still be air flow and the felines could see through it. Great 'ible!

bricobart (author)  PaganRaven7 months ago

It would be an effective idea, indeed. We just didn't do it because we wanted it to be highly 'breezed'. And so we close an eye every time there's an explosion of litter ;)

fantine8 months ago

Elegant indeed! Thanks for a good one.

bricobart (author)  fantine7 months ago


allgaul9 months ago

This is a great tutorial. At one point we had one of these boxes but long since sold it on Craigslist. Lack of power tools is another barrier to this solution. So instead of looking for another, I think I will just stick to my original idea and get a big cardboard box open at the top, cut a hole in one side high enough and just big enough for the little monsters to jump in but leave the wild scratching of litter to hit the walls of the box and stay inside. We have two and they enjoy romping and chasing each other in and out of the boxes. Things MUST be contained at this stage!

bricobart (author)  allgaul8 months ago

I know that feeling! Some say they will be calmer after sterilisation but no, that's everything but a rule. That small one you see on the first picture has almost two years by now and she's still as crazy as mosquito in rage...

allgaul bricobart8 months ago

THAT is funny! A mosquito in rage....good one!

Love it!

bricobart (author)  peppermintschnapps8 months ago


ssmithers38 months ago
I liked how the kitties "helped".
bricobart (author)  ssmithers38 months ago


shrimpboat9 months ago

The Ikea box is called Hol and is not available in any US stores that I could find. It is still available in parts of Europe.

bricobart (author)  shrimpboat8 months ago

Thanx for the info!

Abacus129 months ago

Great instructable. Good idea, pictures and instructions very entertaining and informative! As a former five cat household, I appreciate the sentiment.

bricobart (author)  Abacus128 months ago

Thanx abacus, I hope you've still some kitties in your home...

(removed by author or community request)
bricobart (author)  deleted_account9 months ago

There's something good in dark beer and people who love animals. Belgian proverb, you're doing a great job!

kgarcia219 months ago
I did this a few years ago with the same from ikea. mine was 3ft long which prevents your cat from spreading the litter pay the entrance.
bricobart (author)  kgarcia219 months ago


Elton3259 months ago
Could I get written instructions for making this? I just can't understand with just pics?
bricobart (author)  Elton3259 months ago

I'll put a few instructions in the picture blocks!

jessyratfink9 months ago

That looks really good, and congrats on the big 5-0!!

bricobart (author)  jessyratfink9 months ago


antoniraj9 months ago

nice cat's litter box... what is that white crystal like stuff you put in that plastic box...?

bricobart (author)  antoniraj9 months ago

Thanx! It's silica, a 100% biodegradable amorphous gel litter. Less smell, less work. Okay, a bit less money, also.

omnibot antoniraj9 months ago
Those are silica gravel. Very highclass litter. I've had them and they're great. There are also other uses for them such as desiccating flowers and making glasswater.