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Materials: Jonas Secretary

Description: I wanted a cat cabinet to hold both the cat food and cat litter. I wanted the cat litter to be high enough so I wouldn’t have to bend over to clean it. I also wanted the cabinet to serve as a dark hiding space for my cats (they like to get away from the dogs every now and then). After being inspired by many of the Ikea hacks on this site, I took a trip to Ikea and found the Jonas Secretary.

I put the cabinet together using the Ikea directions and then proceeded to hack the product in the following way:

1. I decided the top “computer station” was the perfect place to put the litter, as I could easily slide it out onto the pull down door. I cut a hole on the bottom right hand side using an electric jigsaw. The original hole was not big enough for my fat cat 🙂 so I ended up cutting almost 1/3 of the shelf away. This allows my cats to drop from the top section of the cabinet into the top drawer.

2. I made an identical cut on the bottom left hand side of the top drawer, creating an opening into the middle drawer.

3. I cut an entry hole (about 5×7 inches) level with the second drawer. I nailed a picture frame I found for $3 at Target to the opening. Now the cats are able to climb into the second food drawer, up to the third napping drawer and then into the litter cabinet at the top.

4. Considering how heavy my cats are, I reinforced the two middle drawers by screwing two pieces of plywood (1/2 x 2 x 16 and 13/16 inches each) under each drawer to help support the bottom.

5. I used clear adhesive shelf liner in the litter cabinet area (along with some sealant) to help with cleanup.

6. Originally, I was just going to place the food dishes in the second shelf, but the space ended up being smaller than I thought. My current food dishes are metal with circular lips. I decided to cut circles out of the bottom of the second drawer to hold each dish.

7. I never liked the handles that came with the cabinet, so I just never put them on. I also thought the cabinet was too dark, so I affixed a mirror I bought at Ikea to the front door. This process was a little more intense than I originally thought, since the door is actually hollow. I cut the mirror to size, then GLUED and screwed the holders into place.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the outcome. Now I just hope my cats like it as well!

~ Teresa, Austin, TX