Published on September 2nd, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Effektively hiding a cat box

Materials: Effektiv: base with legs, add-on unit (high), door; Metrik door handles

Description: Cat box hacks are becoming so common on Ikeahacker that this hardly counts as a hack. I thought I’d send it anyway, since I haven’t seen the Effektiv used this way before.

It’s the classic story (unsightly litterbox, small apartment) with a twist: my cat is messier than average, so she uses a CleverCat top-entry litterbox… which is great, but bulky.

It turns out the Effektiv office cabinet is the perfect size for this behemoth cat box, with enough space left over for storing spare litter, and even an electric air cleaner on a shelf! It was also relatively simple to make, just needing two holes, one of the shelves cut in two, and some angle brackets to keep the shelf steady. I can even add another unit on top if I need more enclosed storage later.

I have new respect for your apartment hackers and their hacks. I had to call in favours from three separate friends to borrow the tools and workspace to make this happen.

~ David Perry, Ottawa, Ontario

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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".

25 Responses to Effektively hiding a cat box

  1. ep says:

    Hi! I have the clever cat box and I really wanted to try this hack. However, i believe the Effektiv file cabinet has been discontinued since the time of this publication. Do you have any alternatives? Thanks!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I love this idea! The only place we can have our litter box is my closet and my living room. We have three cats so as long as I can hide the litter boxes they are cleaned 3x a day, we use World’s Best Cat Litter (1 $36.99 at petsmart last up to 12 weeks if you clean constantly) with 3 cats, and science diet cat food. I always add water to their dry food and it seems to have decreased the urine smell. Getting a pet fountain or changing water multiple times a day will encourage them to drink more and the urine will smell less as its diluted. I am going to try this with the cabinet in both rooms! I have been using the Clever cat 8 years and no litter box ends tracked litter like this box!

  3. Anonymous says:

    We’ve had two cats (male/female, no relation) in the same litter for a long time. For the most part my wife is pretty quick to clean up after them but they’ve managed for a decade with this setup. The female often does not cover her work (don’t know if this is a habit caused by the sharing), whereas the male can spend some time and effort trying to cover up his work. WRT smell, the male has eaten canned Fancy Feast (by his choice!-P) his whole life. The female has been fine with dry food. Male’s work does not usually smell, female almost always smells out a room. We sold our effectiv tv setup on craigslist for a steal on our last move (we were selling the tv as well for our first lcd), now I know I should have kept it for this hack as we are about to move to a new place that does not have a convenient space in any of the rooms for the litter! Off to craigslist…

  4. Tanya says:

    Excellent hack! I plan to do this. I use a clever cat litterbox also, and it’s nice to know that the fit is right and will look so much better!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey all. Couple of comments:
    – first, the cat doo odor is often caused by the type of food fed. Holistic foods tend to have less byproducts and the food is more fully utilized by the body, so less doo, less odor too.
    – I was concerned about the height of the cat box but think this is a great idea. Once I saw the side entry hole in the hacked IKEA piece, it all made sense!
    – My cats are brothers and have had more than one cat box for awhile, but since moving we keep only one. They have been happy with this since it is scooped twice daily and their scents are similar. It could be unrelated cats do require more boxes, really don’t know if there is science behind the recommendation or if it’s just thinking that scooping after multiple cats is an issue so maybe spreading around the darling dumplings is more feasible? dunno.

  6. ... a little ball of truth says:

    Small apartments, houses, townhomes are one reason for catbox concealers. I also recently was “informed” that the proper amount of catboxes (or cattoys) to have, is one more, than the Number of cats you have. I have.. 3 cats.. so for me.. that’s 4 catboxes. My bathrooms have small “footprints”, and catboxes tend to only fit .. right where your feet go next to the toilet. Finding creative spaces to put the boxes, where they are easy to get to, clean, and won’t track a mess or smell too bad, is always an experiment in creativity.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The air cleaner is an amazing addition. You’re a genius!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi !
    What litter box is that ??

  9. Anonymous says:

    That is actually barely $200 bucks, I just bought myself the dark brown wood version with the same base.

  10. Teresa says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to share the name of the air “freshner” I use. It’s called CatMouse Electronic Litter Box Odor Eliminator. It literally turns the odor into o3. It completely eliminates odor!

    Just thought I’d share.

    Also – Great hack – I love the space for storage. It was definitely hard for me to find a cabinet big enough for the litter box I liked to use so I think that also makes this post unique.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @anonymous 03/02

    That piece might be $500 if you buy it at Ikea, but there is always Craigslist. There is one regionally for me that is $125 WITH the top shelves which aren’t used in the hack.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a great hack if you’ve got an Effektiv lying around. But those are like $500 bucks!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Awesome ideas! I have a cat and three dogs…there is plenty of room in my house for the box, BUT…as woners fo dogs and cats know…dogs LOVE “snacking” from the kitty box…so this idea solves a multitude of issues in a very elegant manner!!

  14. Courtney says:

    Hey, this is a great idea. I had originally made a nice chest to put a litter box in, but my male cat sprays and it would leak and smell. Hence, I switched to the same litter box that you use. Even the covered ones that have a door on the front have a seam int he middle where his pee would leak out. The litter box that you’re using now is great for that type of thing. Anyway, I am planning on making this cabinet.

    One thing I’m going to do is put a picture frame over the hole entrance that I saw. I think it will look neater. I saw someone do that on a similar litter box hack. I think I might also make it so that the cats have to walk across the shelf to get to the box. Then I’ll put a litter mat on that shelf. That way they can’t track litter out.

    Thanks for the great idea.

  15. Anonymous says:

    AMAZING. I have a clever cat box as well and have been eyeing an Effectiv set up. Thanks for doing it for me :)

  16. Anonymous says:

    best cat box hack so far.

  17. azie designs says:

    I recently hacked an old piece of wood furniture I had into a cat box hider… but the wood absorbed a lot of the odors. How is your piece holding up to the smells?

  18. David Perry says:

    @Tim Gray: Thank you for the compliments! That’s a good idea to put other furniture near it. I’ll need to try that some time.

    @nini_el: It’s just like the other respondents said. I live in a one-bedroom apartment, and my bathroom is too small for such a big litter box. This lets me hide it, and pile stuff on top of it.

    @petra, @bayless: the air cleaner is a Honeywell “table-top” HEPA air filter. (link) It does a pretty good job, although nothing’s perfect. (: I want to try some sort of flap over the opening, maybe that’ll help the odour as well. The air filter can also be noisy on medium or high setting.

  19. bayless says:

    what kind of air cleaner is that you are using looks like exactly what i need for my build.

  20. Anonymous says:

    totally. i live in barely enough space to call it living. (this is new york, after all). when i lived in europe, my bathroom was bigger than my bedroom now. AND i had a guest bedroom there. New York = crazy tiny space and you just can’t sleep or eat smelling cat poo all the time. end of story.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, not everyone has a guest bathroom. Most of these posts are from people with smaller homes where the only option is to either have it in their primary bathroom (which may not always work due to the arrangement of the bathroom) or out in the open, where there is space.

    Ergo, the built in kitty box solutions.

  22. Nini-el says:

    Hello everyone,

    I just have a question:

    why do you all invent 100 different ways to hide a cat litter box?
    Just for my understanding, is there some kind of rule in the US? (like do not lick you fingers..)?

    Most people I know usually just have box in teh guest bathroom.

    Hope you don’t get me wrong I think the idea is great I was just wondering because you have so many posts with this topic.

    Would be nice to see some replies.

    nini_el (twitter)

  23. petra says:

    thanks for the good idea you share with us.
    i have the same at home, but in the hallway and also our cat *stinks*, so i am very interested in the electric air cleaner you used.
    can you say some more about it?
    we probably won’t have the same brand in germany, so i am really interested :)

    greetings, petra

  24. prue says:

    @tim gray: not having the slightest idea of motion switches: how do you make sure that the fan is not triggered when the cat enters the “poo palace”, as you nicely put it?

  25. Tim Gray says:

    Very nice and elegant! My only change would be to move it to where you can have it next to another piece of furniture that will “hide” the cat hole. that way kitty can walk between the furniture and jump up to the hole to get in and Nobody will ever see kitty’s bathroom.

    Living in a house I added a bathroom vent fan above kitty’s poo palace that is triggered when she leaves by a motion switch. Our cat is incredibly stinky.

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