"Hide-in-plain-sight" Cat Litterbox

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Introduction: "Hide-in-plain-sight" Cat Litterbox

Build a cat litterbox that can be placed anywhere in your home.

Once you have the concept down, you'll need to go shopping for materials. We found the kind of storage cabinet we wanted for this project, took measurements at the store, then went hunting for a plastic container to serve as a litter tray. An inverted wire storage drawer served as an entrance/exit deck. We also needed four 1" L-brackets.

Step 1: Measure and Cut Ingress / Egress

You'll need to figure out where you want to put your exit door. I chose the panel facing away from a clear line of sight. Once cut, I tacked in .25" weatherstripping tape.

Step 2: Extra Hardware

This bit you will have to figure out on the fly, depending on your materials. After measuring the litter tray, I installed two L brackets on one end and a 4" shelf at the door. This ensures a snug fit and keeps the litter canopy from shifting.

Step 3: The Litter Canopy Cage

Invert the wire basket and mark where you want kitty to enter and leave the litter tray. Your entrance should be on the opposite side from the main entrance to the cabinet. The rationale for this is as your cat exits the box, excess sand from the tray drops through the cage and back into the tray. This helps cut down on messes outside the cabinet.

Use cutters to snip away cage wires where you've marked. Be sure to carefully file/grind any edges!

Step 4: Final Assembly

You'll need to make some adjustments depending on your materials. You don't want the canopy to move! I bolted it to the shelf on one side and to the L brackets on the other.

Be sure the litter tray can easily slide out for scooping and cleaning.

Hmmm. Looking at this photo, I may yet add another shelf at the entrance for the cats.

Step 5: Placement

In the house. Sophie approves.

We got a cabinet that locks. This is useful because it prevents the cats from coming out the front and getting excess sand on the floor. If your cabinet doesn't lock, Baby Cabinet Locks work well.

I can't speak for your cats, but we have two that use this box. With regular scooping / cleaning of the tray, odor hasn't been a problem.

That's it! My first instructable. Let me know what you think! :)

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    96 Discussions

    What is the tool that you use to make the opening & exit? If you can provide the link that will be great!

    Quick comment for LiaLinda re: vinegar... Not sure why it works but vinegar DOES neutralize the smell of urine. If it is something you can toss in the washer- add ½ cup white vinegar to the load and wash as normal. When it is done, the smell of cat urine is gone! No problem with putting it through the drier too(as long as garment is driable). Believe me- this is years worth of doing such!

    G:\Documents and Settings\DEETY\My Documents\My Pictures\tech critical mass.bmp
    3 replies

    Vinegar is an Acid while Urine (a source of ammonia) is a Basic. Two different ends of the pH spectrum.

    I agree with Deety, Vinegar works! I don't think it masks the smell of urine, it really does get rid of it....I also clean out the cat box with some vinegar...makes for a nice litter box. :-)

    vinegar attacks the bacteria that causes the odor. I've used vinegar many a times and yes it works : )

    Dogs like to eat cat feces because cats leave a lot of protein in their poo - its generally a sign that your dog isn't getting enough protein in their regular food.  While some dogs seem to develop a taste for kitty granola bars, you can often get them to stop eating them by switching to a higher protein dog food.

    1 reply

    Even dogs that get *plenty* of protein like to dig for buried treasure. We know people who feed raw diets (pure protein, pretty much) and have to barricade their litterboxes out of their reach. LOL

    where did you find the cabinet? i'm having trouble finding a deep enough one that's inexpensive.

    Interesting but not what I was expecting. :) I thought that you had come up with the ultimate hiding place for stuff. Something along the lines of those fake power points or can safes. If I was searching for something small and important, the kitty litter tray would be the absolute last place I would look.

    4 replies

    (veering off-topic, but...) Interesting thought - There's a story about Steven Biko (late South African Anti-Apartheid activist from the Bad Old Days) once escaping arrest because, just as the secret police were bursting through the door, his wife quickly slipped the smallish packet containing all the papers containgin incriminating evidence into the back of their baby's diaper. She then stood by, holding the baby and looking as innocent as she could manage, while the police turned the house upside down searching for just those incriminating papers. (The story I heard did not comment on anything else the diaper might have contained, or what condition said papers were in upon their retreival.) But a cat-&-litter-box combo is much handier to maintain and keep around than a baby-in-diapers setup (although both have rewards and advantages well beyond their home-hiding-place potential :). You'd need an air- &-liquid-tight container, small enough not to interfere with kitty's normal cat box useage, and perhaps glued/taped/fused to the cat box floor... ...hmm... ...it's something to think about, at the very least.

    Except that most people will overturn or look under the litter box. They might not be looking for something when they do it, but it makes an annoying mess to clean up. Our cat is still a little squeamish of new people in the house after our break-in about 7 years ago.

    A >>>well<<< sealed container and maybe something to absorb ammonia and moisture will be critical, to avoid corrosion due to ammonia.  I've seen gold-plated screws turn green a while after a tomcat, um, anointed some surplus electronics...

    Great instructable!  I agree on using a fine mesh such as hardware cloth (heavy wire mesh, available with 1/4" openings).

    I've got five cats, and have read that I should provide multiple litter boxes to reduce kitty territorial conflicts.  Has anyone done a litter-box cabinet with multiple levels?  Will multiple boxes in the same place work well, or do I need to put single boxes in widely spaced locations?  Thanks!

    Just a thought, might cats find the wire mesh uncomfortable on their feet? seems like a great way to keep litter in the box. but, if my prissy-sissy-spoiled cat doesn't like the wire on her feet then i'll be cleaning her "business" off of the floor. anyone have any insight on sensitive cat paws?

    1 reply

    One thing that may add to this design would to put the litter tray on a shelf with drawer slides. They sell heavy duty sets for kitchen cabinets at Lowes and Home Depot. Keeps you from having to break your back to get it out for cleaning.

    Ummmm...No dis-respect here - Just a question? Why not teach the cats to use the crapper like you do?? My 2 girls are indoor/outdoor cats, but they know how use the toilet! They have their own "designated" toilet down in my basement... (My Siamese is a little too light to work the flush lever, I admit!) There's no shortage of good advice on this on the 'Net - Mebbe some-one with experience could post an instructible?

    Can someone please explain to me the purpose of the wire on top? I can't figure out why lowering the hole in the wood to be level with the top of the plastic litter box wouldn't work and be even easier to put together.

    1 reply

    The wire on top is so the cats have to walk over it when getting out, so that any litter that is stuck on their paws will fall back into the litterbox. This helps the litter not get all over the floor! :)