Introduction: Hidden Litter Box

Picture of Hidden Litter Box

Since we have cats, and we also foster kittens, we needed to add litter boxes around the house. We didn't just want the boxes out in the open so we wanted to hide them in plain sight. We saw enclosures at Petco but they ran about $70 to $200 for just one. So we decided to make some ourselves..
 
This will be my very first Instructable, so please bear with me..

I purchased two double drawer nightstands for $30 at a thrift shop. ($15 a piece)

Tools used:

mitre saw or mitre box and saw (for the trim moulding)
drill+bits
screwdrivers
jigsaw (for cutting the openings and the mdf)
Spray paint
scuff pad
sand paper or electric sander


Materials/ hardware:
 
Spray paint
small screws
MDF
small outside corner trim (moulding) "L" trim : Kelleher 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. Oak Outside Corner Moulding 98¢ lf
Double Roller Catch with Spear Strike
square corner door hinges x2
Metal vent grill

Step 1: Disassembly

Picture of Disassembly

I started with double drawer nightstands. I took the drawers apart, and the drawer supports were removed from the inside. We will only be needing the drawer faces (fronts). Then the faces were screwed on to MDF in the original configuration as they would be when they were working drawers.

Step 2: Entrance and Vent Openings

Picture of Entrance and Vent Openings

I cut out the opening for the entrance and trimmed it with "L" shaped moulding for aesthetic purposes. If you don't want to use trim, make sure to sand the edges to prevent injuries to the cats. I also cut out an opening on the back for ventilation, we will attach a vent grill over this opening with heavy duty double sided tape.


*trim for opening used: Kelleher 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. Oak Outside Corner Moulding

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Once the "false' drawers are assembled, I attached them to the nightstand using regular square corner door hinges. The door will open downward. A friend gave me some carpet so I could line the floor. I stapled the carpet in. I used a Double Roller Catch with Spear Strike to hold the door closed.

*NOTE: because the MDF adds width to the drawer face thickness the screws for the handles are too short now. I used drill bit that was alrger than the screw's head diameter and added tape so it would only drill the depth of the MDF.

Step 4: Tweaks

Picture of Tweaks

Because I used regular hinges, the drawer face touches the trim at the bottom of the nightstand and prevents the door from opening all the way. This can and will be resolved by eliminating the gap between the drawer faces by moving the bottom face up against the top one. Now the gap will be on the bottom giving you that space needed for the door to open fully.

Step 5: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

The "shabby chic" look was sorta accomplished by spraying it blue first, and then a white top coat was added. Then it was gone over with a scuff pad.(This was my partner in crime Heather's idea, she watches and reads way too much HGTV stuff. okay, so do I) She also wanted the handles to look "old" so I prayed them gold, (that didn't work, so I sprayed them gold) let the paint dry, sprayed black over them and quickly wiped it off. (my idea)                                                                     

Total cost for two of these enclosures = about $70. Compared to $70-$200 for one at Petco..


(make sure you have a drop cloth to cover your working surface when you paint to protect from overspray, my lovely assistant didn't, so now we have blue stripes on our driveway) MY fault really, I should have done the work in my workshop(garage) but I live in CA and it was way too HOT in there during the summer..  

Comments

benross (author)2013-07-09

Excellent job, sadly my cats are not very aesthetically trained, they know the litter tray and any cardboard box left lying about, but something like this!!!!!!!!! - (I would use it!?)

On a punctuation / spelling note .. I am a founding member of the spelling police (although I can get a little flamboyant with punctuation - you can never have too much!!) KEEP in the 'praying gold' instruction, it's priceless!!!!!!!!

ps. v.good

user1044 (author)benross2013-07-15

Doh! the power of prayer.. Thank you.

jr_b17 (author)2013-07-09

Holy cow! You just prayed the handles gold? That should be your next Instructable!
Just giving you trouble. Great project. I have been avoiding getting a cat because I live in a one bedroom condo. This would work. And maybe I can learn to pray the smell away too! ;)

Shiseiji (author)jr_b172013-07-09

Old computer fan, a 5 volt wall wart, and a carbon filter. Have the fan push the air out of the box into the carbon filter. Works pretty good.

Hakkadosh (author)2013-08-04

A high pressure water sprayer should clean off the driveway nicely...

sires6 (author)2013-07-29

AWesome!!!! Love it. I can see one of these for my Mom for her two new kittens! Now if I can just get the time to do it around Paramedic class...

Shiseiji (author)2013-07-09

Very nice!

user1044 (author)Shiseiji2013-07-15

Thank you

SIRJAMES09 (author)2013-07-13

AWESOME!!
I love this idea! TY for sharing!! 8 = D

user1044 (author)SIRJAMES092013-07-15

Thank you

sniffydogs (author)2013-07-09

Great idea! Many times these are tossed, so keep your eyes open on trash day or apt. dumpsters.

conniesills (author)2013-07-09

Wonderful idea. I'm thinking all things pet related can be made cheaper. I've seen those old end table at second hand shops. Plan to go back.

tjk1939 (author)2013-07-09

Good job. Now to keep my eye's open at the thrift store.

cw87 (author)2013-07-09

Fantastic idea! Well done 'structable. I worry about the carpet and "overspray", though.
My cats think its a beach the way it is. LOVE the idea!

oohlookasquirrel (author)cw872013-07-09

I've seen other people deal with this issue by hiding the litter box in a space big enough for the box plus one of those litter-catching mats. They'd built the whole setup into a bathroom closet and somehow rigged up a fan inside for ventilation. You might have to work with a small dresser instead of a nightstand, but it could be done.

davegking (author)2013-07-09

This is a fantastic! Keep up the great work.

Vera van den Berg (author)2013-07-09

Great instructable, really love this idea! My cat has his litter in a halcloset, just made a hole in the door and added a prefab catdoor. Maybe it's an idea to put linoleum or another washable lining on the bottom. My cat sometimes has a little leaning over accident .....

MyMenagerie (author)2013-07-09

What a fantastic idea! Just be sure the opening is large enough for Mr. Fat Cat! ;) (Mine is 15 lbs.)

You could also add vent openings under the drawer fronts. The cat doors sold in stores may also work for the opening.

It is so pretty! I wish I could use it, but my cat perches on the corners with all four feet rather than stand inside the box. :( Oh, well. :) Thank you so much for the idea. I hope to incorporate it with the next kitty!

joyewils (author)2013-07-09

Fantastic idea.....Fantastic job. It is beautiful and I LOVE it. Thanks for a great instructable.

Treasure Tabby (author)2013-07-05

Great Idea. And great to find something at a garage sale and up-cycle it too. :)

user1044 (author)Treasure Tabby2013-07-06

Thank you

repguy2020 (author)2013-07-06

What a neat build. I think the next litter pan my cat gets may include a repurposed nightstand. the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Nice job on the instructable. Too bad about the paint in the driveway, but it's a nice detail to include in the tale of the hidden kitty potty. Well written. Well done.

user1044 (author)repguy20202013-07-06

Thank You.

Harley Warren (author)2013-07-05

Great stuff, I'm tired of the rubbish plastic litter boxes and the gritty bits the cats always manage to toss out. I will definitely be looking into this one.

Dominic Bender (author)2013-07-04

Now I need an old nightstand... Thanks for sharing!

user1044 (author)Dominic Bender2013-07-05

Thanks for looking. I added a note on step 3 when putting the handles back on.

nyx702 (author)2013-07-05

Cool idea. God I hope it doesn't train your cats to poop in your dressers.

tankerman1 (author)2013-07-04

Great idea and it looks good too. As for the paint on the drive way, got to Lowes or Home Depot and get a jug of masonry cleaner but make sure it's the full strength type. It containes muratic acid and or hydrochloric acid and it will break the paint loos in a jiffy. Make sure to use a wire brush to scrub it as well. Good luck

user1044 (author)tankerman12013-07-04

Thanks, I will pick some up..

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