Pet Furniture

Published on December 15th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Big roomy cat litter

Karla finds a litter box solution for her two big cats.

She says, “Originally, the litter box was in our spare bedroom, but a visit from my out of town parents prompted me to build/hack a litter box enclosure that could be placed in another part of the house. We have two large kitties (Stardust and Thor), so we needed something with lots of space. I decided to go with the Varde sink cabinet with countertop.

The kitties enter though the cat flap on the side of the cabinet, walk through an “entry” area lined with a litter mat, and do their business in a large tub.

Instead of installing an entire pet door, I bought a replacement flap and secured it with wood screws. I put a border around the flap to conceal some not-so-straight jigsaw work and to make it look a little more like a door. I used industrial strength Velcro to secure the box to a piece of plastic coated particle board, which I then mounted on drawer slides. The box slides out for easy scooping, and because it’s attached with Velcro, it can be detached from the board for thorough cleaning when necessary. I also cut out three rear vents on the back of the cabinet for ventilation. In addition, I installed two mesh trays for storage – one above the box and one above the litter mat. The tray above the box holds a carbon filter for absorbing odors and the one above the litter mat holds a small hand held brush and dustpan for cleaning up litter.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with how this turned out – litter tracking is mostly contained in the cabinet and odor is pretty non-existent. The kitties love their private and spacious litter box too!”

More hacks on

Ivar shelving comes alive as Enzo Mari dining table
Stolmen bike stand mod for carpet flooring

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".

28 Responses to Big roomy cat litter

  1. Poopsie Loo says:

    Hi! I’m interested in knowing how you cut out the entry in the plastic tote itself. What tool(s) did you use? How did you do it so neatly? I want to make an XXL litter box, but I also want it to be UNcovered. Thank you very much for your time. Any information you’re willing to give me is extremely appreciated! :0)

  2. Anonymous says:

    All great Ideas! And the add-ons are also great: A fan, auto on/off sensor, carbon filter, a light on a sensor too. Ok, I’ll offer a hole cut in the side with two 45degree mirrors for a periscope to view a Fish tank on the top of the unit. OR! Fit the tank in an opening over the litter box!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Awesome project! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Deborah says:

    Nice! I did something very similar some years ago, but for a different reason: I had three cats, two of whom were on free feed, but one of whom need a different food and needed it rationed. We put a cat door on with a magnetic lock on a surplus kitchen cabinet from our local reuse center, and we put magnets on the collars of the free-feed cats but not the food-rationed cat. Once the magnet cats learned to use the door, we had no food conflicts among the cats. One kitty did get her paw stuck in the cat door once, when she changed her mind about going in. That was painful and traumatic (and I’m glad I was there to hear her and help her get loose, but it caused no lasting injury, and she still was willing to use the food door. The flexible flap you’ve used should cause no such problems.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s a cool build, and sure seems like it works for you. Are they house cats? Personally, I (and my cat) couldn’t wait till she was old enough to go outside for the call of nature. After she started using the cat flap, the litter box was a thing of the past.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I was looking for plans to build from scratch but this is brilliant! I have 3 cats and this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    totally awesome…I have a big cat who requires a large litter box….also have a black lab puppy who likes to play in the litter box!!!! thanks for the idea! Quite clever

  8. i’m just wondering if that cut out tub is safe. are the edges sharp? think we could line it with felt somehow?

  9. Musing says:

    Very nice job! Word of caution… clean up litter that gets into the tracks as quickly as possible. I once had a pull-out drawer, and it eventually got jammed up by litter in the tracks.

  10. Dignan17 says:

    Greetings! I recently created a similar hidden litter box, but have had difficulty figuring out how to build in a filter. What did you use for the tray and for the filter on the ceiling? I really want to do that…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Now you just need a motion detection light, so the kitties have light when they go potty! Great job!

  12. Crysti Couture says:

    This is verrrry nice. I love the idea and the execution of it all.

  13. Karla says:

    @Erin Valentino – We have just the one litter box in the cabinet, used by both cats. Unless you open the doors immediately after one of the kitties has been in there, odor is contained within the cabinet walls. If you clean the box regularly (I clean it twice a day), odor should not be an issue.

    @Jason – You’re right, this one wasn’t cheap! But it was worth every penny.

    @Anonymous December 18, 2009 11:09 AM – I think it’s the 31 gallon.

    @Anonymous December 20, 2009 12:10 PM – The vent and door borders are plastic, cut up from an old plastic storage bin (Sterilite, I think). The vent “screens” I cut from a gutter screen, the stuff you put over your gutters to keep leaves/debris out.

    Thanks for all the suggestions regarding fans/filters/sensor lights. We do have a carbon filter in the storage tray above the litter box to help with odor. We’ve played with the idea of putting a sensor light in the cabinet, but we’re trying to keep things simple. The transition from the old (uncovered!) box to the new one was so smooth, we don’t want to introduce any more change.

  14. Scott says:

    what a great idea!

  15. Anonymous says:

    So impressive! You really put some thought into it. Great job.
    What kind of material did you use for the rear vents, and their border, and also for the border of the kitty flap?

  16. Welmoed says:

    Very nice! Mine’s not nearly as fancy, but it has served the purpose for our two cats:
    I love not having to bend down to clean it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    What size is that tub? 25gallon?

  18. Chrissy says:

    I love this. I’ve been wanting to make something similar, but the ones I’ve seen seem to be smaller with not a lot of headroom, and my kitties like to stand up when they go. This allows for a higher box, which is great. And I love how the box is on a shelf that slides out! The only problem is the $250 price tag.

  19. MyFuZZyButtZ says:

    I like this! It’s really nice looking, serves it’s function properly, and it’s thoughtful too!

    I have 9 cats, with an ‘outhouse’ for them to use that has 3 trays in it (though it’s really just 1 box since they’re all in the same space), in addition to an under-the-bed type tote that’s extra long/large in another room for them to use. The outhouse is accessed via a doggie door from the previous house owners, to enter a box that we built onto the back of the house. To clean the litter every day, I block off the door, then go outside and open up 2 doors to get to the boxes and clean. Have had it for several years, and it works great for us. No smell in the house – and no tempermental users either!

  20. Mira says:

    Dear Erin, Consider for your cats you want to take into your home in the future, e.g. like if you have 2 cats also a box each, some share a box, my last one tom 12 und new kitt boy, did not wish to share one and would each later start to mess rather in the house, awful..some wish to be let outside if they have been used to a garden, a small cat(s) can be trained easiest. .would only consider small kitties as from 8 weeks or brother and sister even older, whatever constellations,if they are used to each other..
    best regards from Mira

  21. GeoWulf says:

    You can always teach your cats to use the toilet.

  22. Tim Gray says:

    You are supposed to have a litter box for every cat, I was told by a vet that you should have 1 more litter boxes than cats… This great hack meants I can put a littermaid box in there that self cleans! That would solve the multiple box issue.

  23. I love this hack! What a great catbox hider!
    Many of the ones I’ve seen wind up being too small for the cat to be comfortable.

    I like the idea of adding a computer fan and carbon filter. To improve on that idea, hook it to a motion sensor so that it will trigger ~10 min after a cat leaves the box.

    @Erin Valentino – if you scoop out the cat’s “business” every day, there will hardly be any smell. It’s when you don’t bother to scoop (which is the same as not bothering to flush the toilet) that it will stink up the house.
    I have one cat and one litter box.
    If you have more cats, you may need more than one litter box. Some cats will share a box without problems, other cats will not do their “business” in a box where another cat has been.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Very cool… Thanks for sharing!

  25. Jason says:

    That’s a very impressive build. I’ve been thinking about hacking something similar from an Ikea PS cabinet. But, wow, that’s got to be a ~ $250 build for a catbox house.

  26. Dasha says:


    @Erin – check out thecatsite forums, they are helpful.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Impressed by the ingenuity of this <3 If my cat was still with me (sorely missed) Id build it + add a computer fan with a carbon filter. Maybe an ion generator.

  28. I am very impressed with this. I’m considering getting a couple of cats, but I’m held up by the litter issue. How many litter boxes do you have in all? I live in a small house, so I’m worried about smell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑