Besta cat+shelves+large+2

Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


A long one for cat lovers

I know not everyone likes cat hacks, so if you fall into that category, please feel free to sit this one out. This post lists 4 hacks 
- DIY cat shelves from Bjarnum shelves
- A cat tree from Expedit shelves
- A kitty litter from a Corras bedside table 
- A hallway cat litter & food hideaway
- A Birkeland cat litter 
~ Hiding a litter box in the hallway

~ Jules

DIY Cat Shelves

Materials: Ekby Jarpen shelves and Ekby Bjarnum brackets, Flor carpeting and glue

Description: We were pretty much either unimpressed with a lot of the cat trees out there or AMAZED at the cost of the ones we were impressed with. So we decided to make our own. Here are the steps:

1. Mapped out a practical layout deciding which shelves would be loungers and which would just be steps.

2. Cut the Ekby shelves to size.

3. Cut Flor carpeting to size and glue to shelves.

4. Attach shelves to the wall.

Easy peasy. And our cats LOVE IT!

See more of the Cat shelves.

~ Lizzie, Santa Monica, CA

Expedit cat tree

Materials: Expedit shelves , L-brackets, area rug, padding, staple gun, screws, wall anchors , and power drill

Description: We had hacked a 4×4 Expedit bookcase to make an entertainment center. With the left over parts I made a kitty tree to replace a store bought one that took up too much floor space.

I used a long cross shelf and 3 small divider shelves. I pre-drilled holes in the long back and attached the smaller platforms with two screws a piece. I staggered two of the platforms so my kitty could easily jump to the top.

On the top again using a pilot hole I screwed a platform that was square with the edge of the back. I added L-brackets for support

I wanted my kitty to not just be laying on a hard surface covered with carpet so I bought some foam padding used in packing plates and stapled it to the platforms. I then covered the padded platforms with carpet cut from two 2′x4′ cheap area rugs. I had enough carpet left to make a vertical scratching area on the floor level.

I then hung it on the wall with drywall anchoring screws. I didn’t have to pre-drill any holes because there was holes left from the wooden pegs.

I covered the screws with small pieces of electrical tape because the screws were silver colored.

~ Kristyn, Pennsylvania


Materials: Ikea “Corras” side table

Description: Over the weekend, I picked up an awesome Craigslist find – a discontinued Ikea side table slash soon-to-be incognito kitty litter.

The entire construction time came in just under 30 minutes and cost less than $20. This is how I made it.


-Ikea Corras side table ($15 from Craigslist)
-2 hinges
-8 screws (for hinges)

I removed the four casters by removing the screws fastening the casters to the underside of the table. Then I made the shelf into a door by attaching two hinges to the front of the table.

Since the shelf came with the table, it was a perfect fit- no need to trim or resize. I didn’t mind the visible hinges, but you could buy hidden cabinet hinges from the hardware store.

Then I placed the litter box inside as so:

The cat accesses the litter box from the back of the side table, which rests a about eighteen inches from the wall. To clean the litter box, I can access it from the front by opening the newly installed door. So far the kitty seems to like his new digs!

See more of the kitty litter.

~ Fran Laks, Brooklyn, NY

Cat Litter & Food hideaway

Materials: 2 Faktum fan cabinet, 2 Applad doors

Description: I wanted to hide the cat litter positioned in the corridor, and I thought that it would have been great to find a way to make also the cat’s food bowl inaccessible to our greedy Jack Russell Terrier!

I dug into the Ikea website looking for a cabinet that could fit the place where the litter initially was and found the Faktum kitchen fan cabinet: I bought 2, in order to use them vertically one on the other.

We mounted the cabinets and first thing, with the help of a friend and the right tool, we cut out the entrance on the side, cat head shaped. Then we cut the inner passage between the two cabinets.

We mounted the 2 Applad doors; then we applied 2 layers of felt pads under the cabinet that stays on the ground so that the door could open without scratching the floor; lastly we put some double-sided tape between the two cabinets, so that they could be stable together.

I’m planning to add a shelf inside the upper cabinet to store food and bowls.

~ Laura, Italy


Materials: Birkeland nightstand, hammer, wide chisel (or something with a blunt edge), glue

Inspired by other Ikea hacks I’ve seen for hiding litter boxes I decided to make my own. I chose the Birkeland nightstand because the inside was the exact size of my cats litter box, and the height was perfect for beside the daybed in my spare bedroom/den. I started by building the nightstand as instructed. The hack comes when you get to the door. Lay the door on the floor, backside up. With a blunt edge chisel bang apart the frame of the door, removing each side one by one.

Be careful not to break the dowels that interlock the frame together. Once the frame is apart just take away the middle panel and put the frame back together. Use a little bit of glue in the dowel holes to ensure it’s strong enough without that middle panel. For added privacy attach a sheer piece of fabric to the inside of the door (I just taped it). Now just hang the door as instructed and voila! A super simple nightstand/litter box home.

~ Nicole R, toronto, canada

Hiding a litter box in the hallway

Materials: Besta, TOFTA doors, cat flap

Description: Since I had my cat’s litter box in the living room, right in front of the entrance, and there is no other place to put it, since the cat sleeps in there, I decided I had to find a way to hide it.

The perfect cabinet fitting the rest of the furniture (and containing the litter box) was Besta.

The hack consisted in making two holes: a hole in one side of the cabinet, to install a cat flap (bought in a pet shop), and another in the back for a ventilation grate.

Then we put the litter box in one half of the cabinet, while the other half is used to store cat food, brushes, and the like.

Ginger did not mind at all the change, and now if you don’t notice the small window in one side, you really cannot tell the litter box is there.

~ Vale, Roma

More hacks on

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Ancient lamp hack

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 A long one for cat lovers

  1. I lived temporarily in what basically amounted to a closet with a kitchen and a bathroom–there was no place in the apartment where the food wasn’t near the box because everything was near to everything. My cats didn’t care at all. Also when we were refinishing the floor last year, we had to put have the box right by their food for about a week–again they did not care and ate without complaint. I keep the box pretty clean–I use half a bag of regular clay litter and dump it once a week and it only smells if something awful was deposited.

    I also worked at a vet clinic for 10 years–when cats stay at the vet or the kennel, their food and water are at the front of their 2×2″ cage and their litter is at the back. The vast majority of cats who are healthy and are not overly stressed out will eat their food without any problems.

    That said, it’s not ideal and I can’t imagine it being nice forthe cat. She should block up the hole between the compartments and give the cat another exterior entrance to the food compartment and it will probably be fine.

    So while I agree that in the compartment above the box is not the best place for a cat to eat, it’s not the horrible thing you are all acting like it is and if it works for the cat and the owner, then who are you to fuss? There may not be anywhere else for the food to go. Saying she shouldn’t have a cat if she can’t provide for it is as useless as telling someone that they shouldn’t have kids if they can’t provide for them. What is she going to do, dump the cat at a shelter because she’s limited on space and the only spot for the food is by the box and since that’s so awful she may as well drop it off at a shelter with the hundreds of stray cats and kittens picked up every day?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just moved into a one bed. apartment, still looking for a proper place for the litter (its in the bathroom right now, and is scooped 1-2 times a day). The first 2 days I moved in I had it in the kitchen, far from the cats food but in the kitchen nonetheless. My cat would whine and stare at the box every time she was fed.

    I can’t imagine having the food RIGHT ABOVE her litter, she just wouldn’t eat it, she would just stare at me like ‘are you out of your mind?’.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Splendid. But you really shouldn’t be placing the cats food bowl right next to the cat box; its unsanitary and rude to the cats!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    They lick their butts. How discerning can they be?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well humans wipe their asses with their hands (in a bunch of different countries that aren’t necessary 3rd world) … and we’re pretty discerning.

      Point is.. cats will NOT eat if their food is near their poo – its an instinct that they don’t exactly control.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cats hate their food close to the litter box.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have a small 2nd bathroom w/a build in floor to ceiling cubby next to the comode. I have a sheerish fabric curtain there with a 2′x3′x8″ food grade(meaning absolutely non porous hence very sanitizable and doesn’t absorb odors) plastic bin is on the floor holding a fantastic product called World’s Best Kitty Litter.

    the shelves above hold tp, paper towels and cleaning supplies. the little room has the ubiquitous ceiling fan for the occasional ventillation need…..the litter, however, WORKS. The basin being oversized is a very good idea.try it

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a cat hack kinda girl but that first hack of the cat tree from shelves looks awesome – something that looks good and does it’s job.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of “hiding” the litterbox. Either way it’s still crapping in your living room. Cats are gross. lol

  8. Anonymous says:

    You are all concerned about cat food near the urine smell of the litter box? And what about the poor people having their couches near the urine smell of the litter box???

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, what about them? If the “poor people” don’t want to smell cat pee by their sofa, then… DON’T-PUT-THE-CATBOX-BY-THE-SOFA. It’s really just that simple, folks. For those with feline roommates: Litter-Box and Food-Bowls are NEVER -EVER -to be placed in the same room (not ever!). If you don’t like the smell of cat waste (nobody does, btw) then I suggest locating the catbox in the bathroom, right next to the people-box(bowl).

    • Anonymous says:

      Or… just don’t get a cat if you can’t provide an adequate environment for them and are so put out by the FACTS of living with them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To Nicole,

    How do the cats get into the nightstand? Do you have to leave the door open for them? I love the idea and the look but don’t understand why you replaced the door center with fabric. Was it for venilation?

  10. Anonymous says:

    These hacks are not all from the same person. My favourites are the 2 italian hacks.
    I think all saw that detail: food near the urine/poo tray. That’s not healthy but maybe it’s temporary or was just put there to be photographed (???). If we all know that, the person who did it knows that too.
    We that have dogs know that dogs’ food must be down and cats food above otherwise the dog will eat all – at least mine will!!!

  11. Christina says:

    Agree with Anonymous. Poor kitty who had to eat in the smell of his own urine!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have 7 cats and am fortunate enough to have a small bedroom devoted to them. These are great ideas for those who are not in my situation. Was it Hemmingway that said something like “He who does not love cats does not have one”?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I like the last one especially…good inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    i think its actually just a storage place for the food, and they only have it out at certain times to feed the cat…

    • Anonymous says:

      If it is just storage why would they cut a hole for cat to get to the top?

    • M-C says:

      No, I think you’re mistaken, you’re looking at the last hack and we’re all not happy at Laura from Italy’s 2-level hack where the litter fumes go straight up to the food area. Imagine only being able to eat while sitting on an unflushed toilet :-( .
      Only 2 solutions: go eat in a more civilized place, move in with them; or go pee somewhere else. The poor cat will get blamed in any case..

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a little odd to have to go through the cat litter tray to get to the food in hack 4. Just doesn’t seem like a healthy set up for the cat. I dont think i would like to eat in my WC and I would be able to flush mine away i wouldn’t be sitting above it.

  16. Pricia says:

    Uau! Magnífico! Your cats confort is above all. I have cats so I understand. Me and my husband have a plan to do “stairs” with Lack shelfs and 1 Expedit (4 holes) near the window. But you have built a Taj Mahal for your campanions :) . SUPER EXCELLENT!!!

  17. jo says:

    by saying 4 you meant 6, don’t you, jules? ;-)

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