We needed to feed the cats up off the floor in order to prevent the hungry canines in the family from eating the cat food. Previously they were fed on a table in our living room which at the time was under construction and being renovated. We needed to provide a place to feed the felines that is out of reach of the 'helpful' puppies who like to clean up what the cats leave behind when they have finished periodic grazing. I refuse to allow the cats on surfaces above the sofa, though I know they do break the rules now and again.
So there was no chance of using any counter space for feeding in pets this house. Our kitchen has plenty of counter and cabinet area, including a section with a desk. Like most families, we don't keep a chair at this desk. Instead the surface is known as 'charging central' and at most is used to process (junk) mail and collect packages.
The space under the built in cabinet desk area is 30" wide, 20" deep and 25" high, bound on the right by the end of one of the regular counter sections. The left side of the desk unit has a set of 3 drawers.
Now, back to the cat feeding drawer idea. Similar to the concept of a pull out shelf inside a cabinet, the feeding drawer is installed to fit inside the opening beneath the desk, mounted just high enough to let the cats walk under it and enter by climbing through a hole near the back of the drawer bottom. The overall dimensions of the drawer are 28" wide, plus the sliders, 18" from front to back and 5" deep at the front. I mounted the drawer so the bottom is about 11" off the floor, leaving enough room to mop, providing 13" or so of head room for eating.
Tips: measure VERY carefully - the opening width will determine the size of drawer to order. Order drawer and optional facing board to match existing cabinets. I ordered from barkerdoor.com and received a well crafted, quality product with excellent service. I purchased the slides from Home Depot but they are also available from barkerdoor.com. I have yet to install the facing as I'm hesitant to further restrict access to cats.
As stated earlier, the original plan was to cut a small area of the rear corner drawer bottom to allow cat access and cover the front to match other drawer facings. But, we have a large (still growing) Maine Coon who may have difficulty accessing in that manner. For now we'll leave the facing off though it would have a better appearance if covered.
The best part is we don't have to bend down to feed the cats, or get on our hands and knees to clean messes. Just pull out the drawer, replace the dishes and add kibble.
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