Cats cat litter in billy

Published on December 30th, 2015 | by IH guest

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Pretty Kitty Potty





cat litter in BILLY bookcase

IKEA items used:

Billy bookcase/Olsbo doors (best guess, Craigslist find)

We wanted to add more storage to our oddly huge master bath as well as figure out a solution for concealing the litter box and related paraphernalia. We found this rather beat up white Billy bookcase with doors on CL and saw the potential. We completely disassembled the entire thing, and cut a cat door hole in one side.

We penciled it on first- the bottom of the hole was aligned to where the litter box would hit, the sides were an inch or so inside of the shelf support holes, and for the curved top I traced a large bowl- then used a jigsaw to cut it out. We sanded and painted the sides, top, bottom, and middle pieces a lovely aqua color.

We had considered leaving the doors and movable shelves white, but after reassembling it (with wood glue for added sturdiness) the white still looked grimy next to the new paint, so I got some contact paper that matched the paint color pretty well, and wrapped the shelves and the inset door panels.

cat litter in BILLY bookcase

The top now allows for decorative bathroom storage (still working on filling it up!) and then when you open the doors, there is easy access to clean the litter box with a scoop and waste receptacle on the left. The shelf holds paper towels, waste bag refills, and other cleaning supplies. The litter pan we use is actually a 6 inch deep full size stainless steel steam table pan. It works perfectly except that it does stick out a little in the back so the shelf isn’t flush to the wall (since we got the bookcase on CL, it didn’t come with the back piece) Anyway I am super proud of it, and both my cats seem to like it too!

~ Stephanie W

Stack the LACK into simple shelving
Supersized Lack TV bench


The Author

This post is contributed by a reader. Please see credits at the end of the post. To submit your own hack, please click here.

4 Responses to Pretty Kitty Potty

  1. Stella says:

    But how is it better ventilated? I see the usual model: a cupboard with a a shelf for the potty utensil and a side entrance. The badder onces have the food & drink naps on it or even in it. And there was a high model that beated all by combining the kitty potty with the tableware.

    • Stephanie W says:

      The entire back is open about 2 inches away from the wall, which provides quite a bit of airflow. I did see the one that had glassware and stuff stored on it- would not want that anywhere near my cat litter, lol.

  2. Dave says:

    As far as modifying existing ikea furniture, this is certainly a clever hack, but I’m always disappointed to see cat caretakers give such little consideration to the cat’s wants and needs. The cats may seem to like it from your perspective, but they almost certainly don’t. Cats do not want to go to the bathroom in tiny, enclosed areas with only one entrance/exit. From the perspective of scent marking, they want their litter boxes in socially important areas (this is a tough sell for most humans, i know). And from the perspective of cats’ spot in the middle of the food chain, they want the box to be in a relatively open space with multiple points of entry/exit. I keep two litter boxes for my one cat. The one in the living room is in the corner, with a folding screen blocking the box from view. There is ample space on both sides to approach the box, and a pretty houseplant in front of the screen. From a human perspective, it is an attractive decorative screen and plant. For my cat, it is private while also being in an important room, and she can approach and escape quickly and easily. With her main box upstairs, I usually only scoop the living room box every other day, and there is never any odor and the box is hidden from view. I don’t want to put down your project here, and certainly it’s a great way to hide supplies. But I promise your cats would prefer something that caters to their needs as well as yours. Just some food for thought.

    • Stephanie W says:

      OP here. I understand where you are coming from, and I am familiar with these cat behavior theories. In practice, though, everyone has to do what works for them. Our cat litter has never not been in the bathroom- even though it isn’t centrally located, it is certainly a socially important room- they hang out in there or the adjacent bedroom as they please, and they love to socialize with people who are showering or grooming. As far as the enclosure goes, we actually had it set up without the doors for several weeks before reinstalling them so they could get used to it. I was in fact nervous about putting the doors on, and we observed carefully to make sure that we were not causing problems- had we seen any signs of hesitation, conflict, or toileting outside of litter boxes, we would have moved on to plan B. The littler gets cleaned twice a day normally, and we have kept litter in other bathrooms. From my perspective, this set up is certainly roomier and better ventilated than many of the covered litter boxes that are commercially available, as well as more attractive. However, as I said, we do what works for us and I am not attempting to claim it would work for any other family or individual cat.

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