Elegant Ikea Hack Litterbox




About: I made a beer mug with only a knife and a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.

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.


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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.

Step 3: Present to Cats

Fill the plastic box with litter and put the cover on the box.

Ready for use!

Give it to your monsters and wait 2.3 seconds. They will come, discover, use & like.

WARNING. You might use the vacuum cleaner a bit more then before, since some subjects might throw some litter out of the box, through the holes, into the room. It depends on the nature of the kitty, you know. We've got a few diggers who scratch for five minutes after each visit while others don't even cover their droppings.

Have fun, anyway!

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    34 Discussions


    1 year ago on Introduction

    I've been looking for an elegant way to disguise the litter. What I will do will be to try to find a plastic bin that will fit going up the sides as much as possible and cut the hole in the top of the Ikea thing, whatever it is. Hope they still have it. I guess I'll pull up the picture on my phone and see if anyone there knows what it's called. My cats like the top entry system I now use, which is a 73 qt. Sterilite container with a hole cut in the top. Not as pretty as yours, but extremely tidy. Nothing escapes unless it sticks to the cat.


    3 years ago

    Very nice instructable. I think this would be perfect for a hiding spot for my little dog. He spent the first 5 years of his life in a crate, poor baby, before I got him and is always looking for small tight spaces to lay in. I've tried to get him to realise my home is his home and is just one big giant crate, I think he's afraid of open spaces, we're working on that. With this box he could lay inside and see outside too.


    4 years ago

    Cats and their boxes... Can't imagine what is it like to pet this many cats :) cute project tho


    It's called silica, or silice. In fact, it's the same stuff you find in those small bags offered with binoculars or other optical equipment. It absorbs those liquids sprayed by our beloved kitties a lot better than the usual stuff, and it smells a lot better - read: less.


    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).


    5 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Step 3

    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!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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 ;)


    5 years ago on Step 3

    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!

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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...