CATURDAY! Thinking Outside the Box

It seems people are really interested in  ideas about cats and hey, I sure love them a lot.  I got great reaction from my cat box post the other day so I decided to write more about my cat box “engineering.” We are owned by four of the little monkeys (Mom! We keep telling you! We aren’t monkeys!).

The point of this is not that I have an obsession with cat litter — it’s more that I think most problems people have with their pets have solutions with a little ingenuity.

Aside from their general awesomeness there’s the fact that what goes into your cat must come out the other end.  There are several schools of thought on the coming out part, ie., cat litter type, boxes, and the contents of said litter.

When you have one cat a single littler box somewhere out of the way is an option.  Some people say you need a box for each cat, some say you need that plus one.   SOme people even say your litter box should be in a very social area.  I think that’s fine if you use the old, non-clumping litter, but it is a little unsightly to have litter-boxes all over your house. If you have cats and will probably continue to have cats then it’s part of life!

In our old house we had a finished basement with a closet under the stairs that really never got use. We cut a hole in the door and voila! cat bathroom!

When we began building this house our contractor was a bit surprised when we included cupboards in our plans. We only included one but realized later that we needed another.  So, a few years after we moved in, after extensive deliberation,  we had a contractor install a sealed box  in the bottom of our linen closet with a door inserted to access that box from the hall.


Non-self cleaning cat boxes they come in three basic shapes flat, high back and covered.  We have a covered one in the downstairs cat bathroom and a high backed one upstairs.

The downstairs cat box is a cabinet with two doors in our pitifully small mudroom, and a “door” cut in the wall for the cats to enter through.  We used to have two boxes in it, but now we have one covered litter box.   Upstairs the box is both entered through and cleaned out via the same door.

After discovering the cats are not as concerned as humans with always hitting their mark, we set out to improve the situation as the vinyl tile upstairs and the interior of the cabinet downstairs were both suffering from the habit cats seem to have of peeing over the edge of the box.

Both of the cat bathrooms are always lit with a bank pf led lights.  It’s not like they need a reading light but no animal can see in the absence of some light and it’s always nice to be able to see where you are.  Downstairs the covered box has a flaw that allows urine to seep out through the seam between the top and bottom halves.  Upstairs the box has a high back but the cats don’t know their supposed to pee in one direction. And, they don’t read the signs!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Upstairs the cat enters from the same door we use to clean the box.
Upstairs the cat enters from the same door we use to clean the box.


Upstairs cat box diagram


You’ll have to engineer a solution to fit your situation. You basically need an easy to clean and waterproof floor and walls arranged so overspray stays in the waterproof floor area.  If the box is not covered it should be as tight as possible into the area.





Cat box solution 1


I cut my box a little too low so I ended up taping a sheet of clear contact plastic to the vinyl tiles and the interior of the box using a “tyvec” brand tape.  Anything that his the contact plastic will flow into the box.



Downstairs cat box solution


And, when you scoop daily you may find a litter locker a great way to dispose of the scoopage with out odor. This reminds me of a diaper genie. So you scoop the litter into a liner which then twists itself off.  This is what ours looks like.  They are available at pet supply companies like Drs. Foster and Smith. Litter LockerStandalone solution:

Here’s an idea for a standalone litter box and container.

Idea for a standalone litter box solution.


I hope these ideas help you if you have an issue. Thanks for dropping in!

@copyright 2014 Stephanie Takes-Desbiens