Pet Furniture Cat+Box-9

Published on May 20th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Put a cat litter box at the entryway?

The first thing that comes to mind – “No way!” Kitty’s poo-poo palace is not the best thing to greet you the moment you open the door and … what about the smell? But as we see, hackers have found a way to cleverly disguise litter boxes. Here are two, that can make an entrance to any landing space.

Sleek cat litter and bench
Romina comes up with a winning cat box. It’s so simple yet looks great. Better yet, it doubles up as a bench.

She says, “Living in a Chicago high rise has its problems when it comes to cats and their litter box. There is just no good place to keep it! When you are two architects who really have an eye for the modern and chic, you really don’t want a kitty litter box in your closet, or bathroom. We came up with solution to hide the cat box: made from the Besta shelf/height extension units and the Besta Holmbo door. We added the Capita legs and inset them for a modern look.

It sits in our entry foyer and serves as a bench for sitting and putting on your shoes, a mail area, and kitty litter hide out. The cats love it for its privacy and we love it because no one knows what this piece hides! The only thing we did was cut the middle vertical panel in half to allow a hole for the cats to sneak through. We added some contact paper to the inside to protect the particle board from the cats scratching it and for easy cleaning.

Kitty kitty litter box
Aurélien does hers with a Norrebo storage bench. She added a cute “cat” entrance to the side and for the front, used only the front panel of the pull-out drawer. The panel is held in place with magnets. Easily removable for cleaning.

See more of Aurelien’s kitty litter box.

Related hacks:
- Flaren stealth litter box
- Quick and easy cat litter box
- Snack cat litter boxes
- Compact kitty box
- No pooper cat litter
- More pet hacks

More hacks on

Study and dog room remodel
Project cat runway

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

59 Responses to Put a cat litter box at the entryway?

  1. Nichole says:

    unfortunately i learned from that tidy cat breeze system that my cat pees straight out standing up so these wouldn’t work cuz she’d be peeing on the walls.

  2. BillTheWelder says:

    I have three cats, a parrot and a dog and when you walk into the house you wouldn’t know we had any until you see them. There are several parts to controlling any odors including pet odor in a home. First part is staying on top of daily cleaning of litter boxes / cages / grass patches ( fake grass pads used in apartments in some city apartments ) and puppy pads. Removing the animals waste is essential to keeping odors down specially for any product that does not have a medium to cover the waste. Second is to use air fresheners and air flow to remove lingering odors and to move air around and bring in fresh air when the weather allows. Even homes without pets the air can get a funk to it so use an air freshener and a fan or open windows. The last part is to replace any product on a regular basis as urine tends to penetrate plastics on a yearly basis or sooner depending on how many pets use each product as some pets will stop using them if the product becomes stinky to them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had both dogs and cats… At some point three cats and two dogs… and to be honest; cats smell better than the dogs. Cats even with out regular baths do not smell at all. Dogs in the other hand. Well, that’s different story.
    As for the house smelling like litter-box? Let me tell you. Clean it every day and have more than one around if possible and your house will never stink.

  4. Mindy says:

    I thinks these are great ideas and will look for an attractive unit I can build something similar in. Probably not these as they don’t match my decor – but something similar!

  5. Michelle says:

    From a cat and dog owner/lover, I found that cats are innately less smelly. The smell of the pee actually is from the combination of the litter and the pee. Once I switched over to wheat litter, it was muchhhh better. Also, I scoop the poo once in the morning and once at night. Most people don’t even know I have a cat until they see my cat.

  6. Anonymous says:


  7. Old Guey says:

    Kitty litter (gravel/clay mix) has always been a problem. It is just down right messy. So, in walks my son to “give” me his cat. The litter tray is filled with wood chips–the same stuff used for gerbils, etc. What a difference. Traps the urine/feces smell. I mean TRAPS, until you stir it up. Much easier to clean up the few pieces kitty drags out, too. And dogs? They too can learn to use a litter box instead of the neighbor’s yard.

  8. Gord says:

    A nice way to keep the litter box out of site. A good idea for one Cat households, but what about multi-cat homes?
    The rule is one litter box/tray per cat plus one. We have 3 cats and 4 litter boxes.
    We keep the litter boxes away from the high traffic areas to provide better privacy for our cats.
    These boxes will also need to be cleaned daily to keep the smell under control.
    Visit our cats and other cats at

  9. scmtngirl says:

    I agree that Romina used a Besta unit that is probably too short. One is available that is 25 1/4″ tall, which would probably be much more comfortable for a cat. Heck, you could get a tall Besta unit and convert the bottom part of it into a kitty oasis and still have a reasonable amount of bookshelf/display area up top – I’m seriously considering this. My cats do their business outside, but I’ve had their food and water on a small counter space for years in order to keep it away from our dogs – I think they (and I) would really dig a more private restaurant hideout.

  10. Alana says:

    Another thought on litter odour. I always keep a book of matches handy near the litter box. When Booboo has a big pooper, I light a match or two and voila… all the nasty gas/odour is sucked up and eliminated.

  11. Alana says:

    Just a quick comment on cat waste odor. I started using a Pine dust litter a while back. It eliminates odour (even pee..pee) on contact… magic stuff! It’s clumping and flushable. There’s also a new Corn dust litter out that works just as effectively but is a litter cheaper. My cat adjusted very quickly and best of all there’s absolutely no odour lingering in the air as is the case with clay-based (yuck!) litters.

  12. eeka says:

    It’s actually this Besta:

    So yes, it’s 47 inches wide. I’m planning on making one using this Besta unit so it’s a little taller:

  13. litter box problems says:

    i will suggest to teach your cat on how to use toilet so that it dont mess with your living room or your own private room

  14. Terri says:

    The easiest thing is to teach your cat to use the toilet. Directions on YouTube ;)

  15. soheebutterfly says:

    can’t anyone design a really cute litter box?? really??

  16. limbodog says:

    Just FYI, if you want your cat’s… um… “loaf” to smell less foul, try feeding them better. 90% of cat food for sale in most pet stores is not really good for your cat. A cat’s natural diet is, basically, a mouse. Not rice, or wheat, or even grass. Look at the ingredients on the pet food. You want at least two of the top three items on the list to be muscle-meat (beef, chicken, fish, etc. but not liver) and there should be no grains in the top three. Do this, as I did, and your cats will not only have less waste to leave in the box, but it won’t stink as bad.

    I went with “Old Mother Hubbard” brand, but there’s others too that are good.

  17. Dcyli says:

    Thanks, the Besta gave me a good idea for a bench I’m looking for to fit in my room. Good height. Ok depth.

  18. Jennifer says:

    So, on the Besta hack, how did you attach the Capita legs via a setback? Isn’t the Besta shelving hollow or cardboard-filled? I just bought a Besta shelf and wanted to attach the Capita legs (NOT for a cat litter box…enough with the cat pee comments already people!) just like you did. I’d love to know step by step how it was done so I don’t ruin my Besta attempting it myself.


  19. Anonymous says:

    In a well ventilated house, clean litter box wouldn’t smell at all.
    Though, cats fresh do will smell at first.:( Just manage it’s diet and feeding time, so it would go when you are not around. The idea of hiding the litter box is great for the good looking interior. Just a couple of suggestions: one more small window on the apposite side from the entrance and the increase on the ceiling hight to the hight of the sitting cat. ^^

  20. some really cool designs here. Haven’t got my kitten yet but its going to have a super cool ‘toilet’ when it finally arrives.

  21. Trish says:

    Wow! We are arguing over what cat piss smells like.
    Fact of the matter is: my cat box smells better than my last boyfriend…but that’s my opinion. We all see each scenario in a different light.
    Scoop it or dump it (the litter) and everything will be fine.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have three cats. I use a lack sofa console table with fabric draped over to hide the box. I just put my house on an open house tour and everyone asked where the litter was because they saw cats but didn’t smell a thing. I agree, as long as you scoop daily, you house doesn’t smell.

  23. Cyb says:

    The fist hack is way to small for a cat of any size! Poor thing… Too low and too small, plus what’s with the newspaper? Is that all is used? What about a little bit of litter for the cat to scratch and burry it’s “things”… Lovely concept, but not well thought out.

  24. bryangary says:

    Very cool new take on an old problem – which I’ll use as a starting point to hack a bit further… Perhaps in a cabinet with the height of a console table. Oh, and as for the smell – I’ve had the Ionic Breeze litterbox for years which works great. The magic here is all contained in a top panel with a filter and silent electric fan…now how to effectively hack that panel out of the ugly plastic hood and into the chic Swedish particle board? Hmmm…

  25. Selena says:

    Since we’re talking about litter, I thought I’d mention Tidy Cat’s new Breeze Litter Box System. I’ve been using it for a few months now. It’s not motorized so it doesn’t scare cats. It’s a special box that has slots at the bottom. You put specialized ‘litter’ on the top and a pad that looks like a flat diaper in a tray on the bottom. The pee goes through the slots to the pad in the tray. The pads have odor control. Poop stays in the litter on the top to be easily scooped out. No more scooping clumps of pee. Here’s the URL for more info:

    They were running a $10 coupon for a while, but I’m not sure if it’s still going. Amazon has the cheapest I’ve seen at $23.99. It’s a bit expensive, but I think it’s worth it.

    I just read through this and it sounds like I work for the company. I don’t. I’m just someone who HATES to clean normal litter boxes and I’m really happy with this system.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Great hacks!

    There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog!It is noted that most are allergic to a protein in the cats saliva more so than the animals dander. All dogs and cats have dander!

    If you want to eliminate smelly cat poo then feed it a species appropriate diet :) . The carbs in kibble wreck havoc on your cat. It can not utilize the crap and the size, smell and it’s kidneys let you know. You will have no more smelly poos if you feed you cat whole prey or raw and I can attest to that! :D

    From one who has had allergies for years :)

  27. Ahmie says:

    I’m sure the cat crouching is exagerated due to the double-thick shelf she’s ducking under to come out, but I agree it’s still too short for a cat to use comfortably for life – kinda like only having access to a toilet under a stairway, set so far back that the tank touches the slope of the ceiling and you have to duck constantly and/or have your head touching the ceiling while you do your business – every day, every time you go, for the rest of your natural life. Height needs to be at least tall enough for the cat to sit up fully while at the height the litter is at (not sitting on the bottom of the empty cabinet, since the litterbox will raise them up several inches).

    For those who complain about smell and don’t think you could manage to clean the box daily (or live in very small spaces), there’s a motorized cat pan that’s been out for going on 10 years (can’t remember when we got ours, I think 2000 or 2001, but our cat hated the motor and killed it by peeing on it repeatedly – she was not young when we got it and a cranky temperment on her best days even then – probably best with either a very mellow cat not bothered by noises, or a very young cat who will adjust easier. I think mine was around 5yrs old when we got it, she’s 12 now).

    That being said, I’m seriously considering doing a similar hack to this as I’d like to have the box in our kitchen.

  28. la pearl says:

    A little help?
    The Besta shelving you show on in the image looks a lot longer than the 23 2/3 inches that it says it is in the ikea catalog. did you mod it some other way? or am i just not getting a good sense of scale from the pics? Thanks!

  29. tapakip says:

    Outdoor cats FTW! No litter and no smell. I know not everyone is able to do this, but it really is great if you are able to. Had a great cat for 17 years, and she went outside to take care of business almost right up to the end. Made life a lot easier.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely love the first hack. Does anyone know of a slightly less expensive shelf/door combo to achieve a similar look?

  31. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the comment about the Romina litter box being too low – poor cat is crouched in there. It’s like the human equivalent of having to use a restroom half the size of a port-o-potty your whole life.

    The Aurelien litter box is a great idea though – I especially like the extra long mat between the litter box and exit so that kitty can get as much litter off the paws as possible.

  32. Carney says:

    Are you using torn up newspaper as litter? How does that work for you? How often do you do a complete change?

  33. My husband built something similar for our cats out of an old cabinet he’d found. He just cut a hole in one size, which you can’t see unless you’re standing in the corner. It’s large enough to house the litter box and to store extra litter. Scoops and trash bags go in the drawer at the top.

  34. Michelle says:

    It is *totally* all about how the pet and its personal areas in the house are cared for. I lived for over a year in a 450 sq ft studio in DC with two cats. The leasing office REALLY wanted to find an excuse to not return my security deposit, so on the day of my move-out walk-through, I watched that slimy bastard get down on his hands and knees and push his nose right into the carpet where he knew the cat box had been, straining with all his might to detect the scent of an extra thousand dollars in his pocket.

    I got the deposit back.

    —these hacks are pretty nifty, but I’m still glad that these days I have a basement that the litter box can go in.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Romina, you may have an eye for the modern and chic, but definitely none for your cat’s needs. Your cat litter box is way too low. Your poor cat neither has convenient access to the box nor can it sit comfortably in the box. If you don’t want a cat litter box and if you can’t accept scratches on even cheap Ikea furniture – why not go for a plush cat? You for sure will find one that fits into your design perfectly.

  36. Anonymous says:

    smelly caaaaaat, smelllllly cat
    whaaaaat are they feeding you
    smelly caaaaaat, smelllllly cat
    it’s not your faaaauuuult!

  37. MyFuZZyButtZ says:

    It’s always funny what some people will ‘say’ on via the World WILD Web, that they might never say to someone’s face.

    These are clever ideas, and that cat cutout is just too much cute!

  38. Spring Dew says:

    Choosing the right litter can make a world of difference with the smell. For my cats, it’s World’s Best Cat Litter.

    These mods are fantastic, but caution has to be used in households with more than one cat. Because of social tension, the litter box is a key place to feel vulnerable to ambush, so an uneasy cat may go somewhere else if the box doesn’t have exits in enough directions.

    I would probably do the Norrebo mod with an extra exit in both the front and the other end.

  39. laura says:

    WOW. Romina’s hack is just about the classiest DIY cat box I have seen. And believe me, I’ve been looking!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s gotten the wheels running in the head again.. DIY cat boxes CAN look sexy!

  40. Sarah Suhail says:

    At the risk of continuing an already beaten to death discussion…

    My grey parrot can smell more than my sister’s cat sometimes…its all about cleanliness of poop and showers of the animal.

  41. Lindsey says:

    I agree with allie….
    I own a cat, my parents have a dog and neither house smells like animals.

    I think it’s more about being clean in general

  42. Anonymous says:

    @Jess I’m aware that a hypoallergenic cat can smell, I’m quite allergic. (really I’d prefer a little smell to a sneezing wheezey fit)

    Also, I meant, any animal when NOT cared for can smell.


  43. Tim Gray says:

    Cant tell the cat box is there… HA.. When little precious leaves a fresh new steamy present it will chase most people from the house.

    my daughters cat must eat onions because it’s poo will stink the house up for 1 hour after it’s been “depositied”

  44. Jess says:

    Anonymous, hypoallergenic cats can smell too.

    We have three. Having had lots of friends with “smelly” cat houses, we refuse to let our place become that. We are careful to clean the box daily, we have candles near it (which we light when we’re home) to clear any lingering odors, and we are careful to clean clean clean.

    A cared-for animal should not smell, unless there are other problems, just like a human. And, I’m sorry, when a human “goes to the bathroom,” it doesn’t usually smell great either!

  45. falnfenix says:

    anonymous, you apparently haven’t a clue how clean a house can smell, even with a cat.

    frankly, i’ve found that houses with dogs tend to smell bad all the time, whereas a house with a cat only smells when one doesn’t clean the box regularly.

  46. Mari says:

    These are awesome, I am going to make one! As to the odor comment above, litter boxes need to be cleaned daily- then you can’t tell they’re there most of the time!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Can we just agree than any animal when cared for can smell? Dogs need baths and cats need a clean litter box.

    Both of these look great, I only wish my apartment was large enough to accomodate something like this for my (not yet acquired, hypoallergenic) cat.


  48. teskox says:

    Must agreed, when i walk into a house i find i have to see a cat to know one lives there, meanwhile i can smell a dog as soon as i walk into a home where one is lucky enough to live indoors

  49. Anonymous says:

    Falenfenix must be a cat lover. Personally, I think cat pee is the worst pet smell there is. gross. Give me a dog anytime over a stinky cat.!

  50. runningbyrd says:

    I guess mine didn’t make the cut. Sad. I hacked an ikea PS, cutting a hole in the floor with metal snips, which the cat quickly learned to crawl up through.

  51. Anonymous says:

    How can cat owners not realize how disgusting their house smells with a litter box in it let alone one greeting you in the entry way?!? Icky. The design is very nice but nothing is gonna keep the odor from welcoming visitors also.

    • Anonymous says:

      im a cat owner, and my house does not smell. with the right cat litter and frequent cleaning there shouldn’t be an odor at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      What type of litter do you use?

    • Anonymous says:

      well said my house does not smell either!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine either, people that don’t properly take care of their cats business have an odor problem

    • Anonymous says:

      We use the stuff you feed a pellet stove. It’s around 4.50 for a large bag and it keeps smelling good. I use and old pair of kitchen tongs to pick out the turds and flush them. The pee is absorbed and those pellets turn to sawdust. Dump the litter to one end of the box, get a cat scoop and sift the sawdust into a bucket (great fertilizer for the garden!) and leave the rest of the pellets in the litter box. We use about an inch deep at most for 2 cats. Feline Pine is basically the same deal, except it costs about 4 times as much. No smell!

    • Robin C says:

      I have 4 cats in a 1000 sq ft apartment…with good litter, I use Feline Pine (its flushable!), frequent cleaning, and yes, I should vacuum more but I don’t have a ‘cat smell’ in my apartment! It is really a ‘staff’ issue (you know you are staff to cats…).

  52. waywardmedic says:

    Ah those look wonderful, now if only one of you can come up with a kitty litter box that cleans itself it would be fantasmogoric!

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