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Where Do You Put Your Litter Box??

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Now that we’re spending so much time inside, we are confronted, face to face, with our own disgustingness. (Showering with disappointing frequency? Same here. Eating cheese straight out of the bag? Thought it was just an archetype, but nope, here we are…) But today, I want to shift blame and focus on something else: our cats’ disgustingness.

Unless you’re one of the few who have trained your cat to use a toilet (which, I know you can do, but HOW?), you probably have to deal with the litter box and all the grossness that inevitably comes along with it. But honestly, it’s not the litter — it’s the aesthetics of this gray, lumbering, plastic monstrosity. It’s just…so THERE. All the time. Today, we are going to work together to tackle this problem.

Here’s the truth: this is a new annoyance for me. I adopted my cat, Buffalo, nearly 7 years ago and have never had an opinion about her litter box — I’ve always acknowledged it as a necessary evil and tolerated it as one of the things that just goes along with cat ownership.

But y’all, I now desperately need some help because I AM NOW LOOKING AT THIS BOX ALL THE TIME. I know someone out here has a smart fix that I can implement and I WANT YOUR HELP. 

This is it. Welcome to my kitchen — linoleum floor, 1930s cabinets (nothing says “vintage LA apartment” like 90-year old doors that don’t close), tile countertops, and my new nemesis: the litter box. This is truly the only spot in my house where I can keep it — and size-wise, it does feel like a perfect little alcove — so I’m trying to make it work. 

But here’s the root of my problem: when I walk into my kitchen now (which is probably about once every 30 minutes, if I’m being honest), it’s ALL I can look at. It simultaneously takes up too much space (it sticks out a little, length-wise) and not enough space (there’s a ton of room on both sides). I need your help here because it feels so easy and fixable and I just want to cross SOMETHING off my to-do list. 

Here’s what I’m considering: 

  • I’ve seen people cut holes in custom furniture, but that doesn’t really make sense for this space…or does it? What piece could go here that makes sense?
  • Do those fake plant litter boxes ACTUALLY look good in person? Maybe that? 
  • Maybe I can do a tension rod across and just curtain if off? But what about the opening at the top? 
  • Should I try and build a window breakfast bar (I do think I have enough space for 2 barstools — I have about 6’ of window space) and hope that it just distracts from the box down below? 
  • Do I just stop getting snacks every 5 minutes, therefore reducing my exposure to the litter box? (Probably not a terrible idea to at least try and implement this a little, honestly) 
  • ??? 

In an effort to solve this conundrum, I asked some fellow cat owners from team EHD how they manage their litter (read: I wrote a bunch of complaints about it in Slack and asked someone to figure out a fix) but it turns out that we all have our struggles. (Just like everyone else, baby!)

Sara

I truly CANNOT believe Caitlin convinced me to take a photo of my current litter box situation and then post it on the internet for everyone to see. There are at least 10 different health code violations happening in this corner of my house, and about 7 of them are related to the color palette of my kitchen. Do we think it’s disgusting to have our litter box in our kitchen? Yes. Do we think it’s even more disgusting to have our litter box under our open pantry? Extremely yes. But where else does it go? In our living room? Our BEDROOM? We’ve no room for it in our bathroom. We also have the fun chore of figuring out where to hide a second litter box, because we have two cats (the second one is currently in our empty master bathroom, which is literally just a box with subflooring and drywall). HELP.

Veronica

My roommates and I were very lucky to find an apartment with an enclosed balcony even though we didn’t have the plan of getting a cat when we moved in. We adopted our sweet lil’ kitten about a month ago and keep his litter box on the balcony. My roommate and I share the balcony and both have doors that lead out there, so one of us always keeps a door open so he can access it. Pros are that it is out of the way and any litter that gets out of the box is already outside. 🙂 Cons are that the second we go to clean that baby, the smell hits us HARD. “

Emily’s Solution

Now I, Emily, was able to customize a piece that worked about 50% better than a normal litter box, but the flap didn’t work and inside that cabinet, the litter collected everywhere. Sometimes Bear would just get lazy and pee on the floor, basically ruining our cement tiles. It is a fancy solution that I liked because we didn’t have to look at it, but it wasn’t a perfect solution. “

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our living room to sell

In our last house it was in that small closet in the middle of the hallway, making it basically a poop closet and we had to keep it open all the time (we could have/should have just put a cat door on that I realize now). But we sacrificed a whole closet AND the litter would get all over the hallway as they would hop out which was the more disgusting part.

Now, I personally think that Caitlin should build that breakfast table and I actually love her tension rod ” curtain” idea underneath. There is something really cute/funny about a cat having to go behind a curtain to use the restroom.”

Ok, it’s Caitlin again. As Sara embarks on her kitchen remodel and I stare aimlessly at the gray plastic lump in my kitchen, what is actually our best option? (Any time I write a question like this, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw.) Should Sara consider building a permanent litter cabinet in her next pantry? Should I consider trying to build a longer version of Emily’s custom piece (maybe it could be a window seat, albeit a narrow one)? THOUGHTS?

At the end of the day, there is so much I will endure for my cat — I will pick up tumbleweeds of fur; I will embrace her preternatural ability to shed the tightest-woven upholstery fabric; I will cheer as she channels her inner Usain Bolt at 2 AM and employs my home as her track (though I am kind of starting to understand the impulse, TBH).

But this is litter problem is so SMALL and fixable and I think changing something will actually make me happier. Please advise. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. (And also thanks to Emily, who let me hijack her blog for an afternoon so I could crowdsource opinions. There’s no one I’d trust more to design AND decide than y’all :))

Buuuut if you are also at your wits’ end and are looking for a quick and easy solution, here are some pretty stellar options that Emily and the team rounded up:

  1. The Designer Catbox | 2. The Refined Feline’s Enclosed Litter Box | 3. Antique White Ginny Litter Box Enclosure | 4. Spruce Wood Cat Litter Box | 5. Mize Litter Box Enclosure | 6. Dyad Wooden Cat Litter Box Alpine White | 7. White Grinnell Litter Box Enclosure | 8. Plant Litter Box | 9. Freda Litter Box
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Leigh

I built a pedestal under our washer and dryer which has a Small hole cut out for the cat to enter. From there, I cut a cat door through the wall out to our garage where I have the litter box set up in a big enclosure. This way, the smell stays in the garage, but our cat can’t get out if one of us leaves the big garage door open. It is the absolute best set up. Open box, no lid, no litter inside the house AND the dogs (who have a nasty habit of eating said poop) can’t get to it!! He’s happy and were happy! I know we’re lucky to be able to modify our home though, we didn’t have a cat when we rented. It’s the never ending problem with having a cat!

Dena

This is exactly it if you have a garage. Litter box in garage with a cat door on the door out to it. It is the best!

S

We did similar: we cut two tunnels through walls to get to a litter box inside each built-in bathroom vanity. We lined the tunnels with litter mats, and we use walnut-based pellet litter so there’s no sand crumb litter everywhere.

Leigh

We do the same with a mat and use wheat litter. So much better. I thought it would smell worse without clay and a scent, but it really doesn’t!

Hillary

We just bought our first home and have three cats. I am desperate to get the litter boxes out of the house. The garage was my first idea, but after some research, I realized that putting a cat door on the door leading to the garage or any of the walls that connect to the garage, it violates the fire code. Meaning, if there is a fire, insurance will not pay! I’m going to have to finagle something…

Anne

That’s what my contractor told me when we moved into this house and asked for that fix. So I said OK. One year later, I am rethinking this…

Amy B.

NOT to be a party pooper (heh), but this is probably a code/safety violation. The garage envelope/(door, too) should remain unpuctured to slow down the spread of fire. :o/

Anne Davis

I put my 2 litter boxes in the bathtub. Most people go “Ew!” but honestly, it keeps loose litter contained, the space gets washed everyday when I take a shower. I sweep any loose litter and keep a screen drain cap in the drain to catch any excess litter so it doesn’t go down the drain and clog it. I live in a tiny studio with 3 cats and NOBODY has ever smelled anything that is “cat”. Everyone is surprised at that. I think it’s because it’s cleaned every single day. Oh, and cats like to go to the bathroom in a somewhat private space and this accomplished that.

Mandy

We did that in our old apartment too! It worked great. The cats had their own bathroom and we made do with the master bathroom only. It’s great with the vent on too. No smell. No litter tracking.

Elizabeth Perez

Hi, this might be a bad idea because the litter may clump in your pipes??

Rusty

Not with the screening filter in the drain hole.
We use one in our shower drain since I had chemo. The holes are small like a micro strainer.

Anne Davis

The screen cap on the drain catches any litter I didn’t get when sweeping the bathtub before turning on the shower.

Ashley

Hear me out because I have this basically solved (for my home anyway). We bought a cat door that looks similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Freedom-Aluminum-Sliding-Adjustable/dp/B005CO91TK – we only have sliding glass doors leading to our backyard so this was the only option. I put it in our bedroom since that door is used less often to access the yard. The cat door doesn’t just lead straight outside, but to a small wooden tunnel I wrangled my husband into making, and from there into another wooden box that houses the kitty litter. The box opens from the top (top made of Plexiglas stuff to let some light into the box for the cat) so we can clean it. The tunnel makes it so the system is closed (other animals can’t get into the box or our house and the cat doesn’t have free access to the outdoors). I lined the tunnel with some of that rubbery cat mat stuff that catches and traps the litter from her paws and that helps keep stray litter contained. It wasn’t too tough to train her to use it – she wasn’t super thrilled obviously – we had to tape up the cat door for awhile… Read more »

Liz

We have ours in the Guest/kids’ bathroom and did the curtain/tension rod trick.
There is a counter over it, though. I assume the space is meant for a laundry basket?
Big fan!!

We have this litter box and really like it. I also highly recommend the Litter Genie if you don’t have one!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01MRV5YNO/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Saima

We have the litter genie as well – brilliant product actually!

Linda Fox

How tall and wide is it? Will it fit underneath a bathroom sink?

Cris

We switched over to the same litter box which we keep in the laundry room. I cannot tell you how much easier it is to contain the litter trail with this box design. We ?it and so do our ??.

Nancy W Hamilton

The litter box with the wheat liter (fab) and a genie are on a mat in my laundry room. The mat is a catch mat that can be easily picked up and the litter poured out. This is neat and accessible. I had to leave the door ajar for access so proped it open with a kitty shaped door stoped (Target). Easy clean up and not seen in the house.
Note: cats are clean and finicky, scoop at least twice daily for a happy cat!

I had a Litter Genie for a few years and ultimately found it more work to manage than it was worth. I like to use a small, basic foot pedal lidded trashcan and tie-off “earth friendly/biodegradable poop bags instead then dump the trashcan when it’s full (about once a week). Much easier to manage and no unexpectedly running out of bag roll or complex cleaning like the Litter Genie.

Linda Fox

What do you like about the top entry system? How did your cat adapt to it initially? Thanks. Linda

Henna

Can we do the same post but for a dog crate?! Pretty pleeeeeease?

Amber

Yes, please. I’d sign up for a dog litter solution too, but realize that’s less of a common problem. An enclosed box doesn’t work for them, which means I have to look at an ugly tray…

Jenny M

Please please do a dog solution!! Especially because we live in LA and just don’t can’t afford homes with actual backyards! Trying to convince my husband that we can solve this creatively with our front patio somehow.

Caitlin — I don’t know what’s happening on the other side of your window, but a hinge-top window seat that goes the length of the wall or window with hole or cat flap in the side for your cat to enter seems like a good solution. A single long cushion on top and a throw pillow or two wouldn’t be too big of a pain to move every day to scoop. Just make sure it’s roomy enough for cat to be comfortable inside. Sara — This is maybe an extreme/semi-permanent solution, but if you have the outdoor space you could build a little hinged-roof lean-to with a cat door into your house to contain the boxes. Example: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89016530122664883/ Lucky for us, we have an attached garage and the door to it enters our dining/kitchen area, so we installed a cat door and built a little “cat room” in the garage to contain the boxes and cat wheel (yes, they run in it daily) while keeping our indoor cats out of the rest of the garage. It’s been very convenient for both them and us while keeping the eyesores and stink out of our main house. This is before we added… Read more »

Leigh

This is awesome, I had no idea they make cat wheels!

Steph

I used to keep my cat’s litterbox in an IKEA cabinet, I think it was this Stuva cabinet but with birch doors (https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/stuva-fritids-wall-cabinet-white-white-s39276738/). I cut a cat-sized entry hole in the back (the back was just flimsy mdf) for her to go in and out and stuck it next to a bookcase in the corner of my living room. Styled a lamp and some stuff on top of it, kept the clean litter in a fancy bucket next to it. Had a little hook on the back for the scooper to hang. Very similar concept to a lot of cabinets suggested in the post, but cheaper. You have to leave a bit of clearance in between it and the wall of course, for the cat to get in and out, but if it’s in a corner it’s not as noticeable.

Saima

Here’s how we tolerate our litter boxes – first, we put both of them in a closet in our second bedroom – the closet is covered by a curtain instead of a door, so the cats can come and go as they please. Second, we bought litter boxes that didn’t immediately LOOK like litter boxes (think ModKat but the cheapo version from Amazon), and they have a top entry to attempt to control the spread of errant litter around the house. Third, we changed the type of litter we use from the standard clumping litter to Fresh Step crystals; it’s basically exactly what’s in those little silica packets you find in shoe boxes except that instead of soaking up errant humidity, it soaks up #1 and dries out #2 (PLUS – this is the least smelly litter we’ve found, and I think we’ve tried everything at this point). Finally, we bought a Dyson stick vac to basically use for 5 minutes around the house every day to handle the litter and cat fur we can’t control. I wish we had a place NOT in a bedroom where we could keep the boxes, but I definitely prefer keeping them in a… Read more »

Julia

I thought that front closet had your laundry in it? It had the coolest great wave wallpaper.

The laundry closet is the one with the double doors to the right of the closet Emily was referring to in her last house. Hope that helps to clarify! xx

Hana

One of my neighbors built a cattery outside their bedroom window and keeps the litter box there. They do have to leave their window cracked but I’m sure you could put something with a cat door in it. Only works if you have the space but maybe a window with a custom ledge surrounded by wire would also work.

Lisa

I’m lucky enough now to live in a house big enough that we dedicated an entire bedroom to the cats and their accoutrements, but back in the day when I lived in an apartment I usually kept the litter box in a coat closet with the door open. In your kitchen, I would get a piece of furniture with a cutout and paint it the same color as your cabinets so it’s not as obvious. You can use the top for rarely used appliances or a big plant to distract attention. -Ah, the joys of indoor cat ownership!

Sarah

As a reader from the UK do cats not go outside in the US? In the UK cats come and go outdoor through a cat flap in the door so no cat litter tray needed.

Naomi

Ours go outside only during the day… so they don’t become a racoon, fox or coyote’s prey. We let them in/out through the back door. I wouldn’t put a cat flat in because we’d get uninvited guests including mice (and big “mice”) and any neighboring cats. Do you not have that problem? I’ve always wondered. I love the idea of a cat flap… so cute and there’s something lovely about the independence.

Sarah

We don’t need to worry about raccoons or coyote’s prey. They do bring mice in and are proud to deliver it to you . Seeing a dead mouse on the floor not so good. Also neighbouring cats can get territorial about their outside space.

Olivia M.

My family is from the UK, but we have lived most of my life in Florida. Here it is too dangerous to just let the cat (or medium/small dog) come and go because of snakes and hawks.

Kristin

Many cats in the US are indoor-only cats. In my area, cats that go outdoors often become dinner for coyotes.

Jessica

It’s hard to speak for the US as a whole, but I think the trend here is for domestic cats to stay indoors. Outdoor cats live far, far shorter lives than indoor cats–about 5 years versus 15+. Personally speaking, my cat is my child, and I want to keep him as safe as possible, so he stays inside.

Rusty

Yes, I saw a UK documentary called something like “The Secret Life of Cats” and they tracked them, even had mini cameras on them.
They roam a lonnnnng way from home, particularly at night.
#KeepThemInAtNight

Cas0

Yes, we’re downunder and we’re the same. Cats just come and go as they please. Keeping a cat indoors is a foreign concept (and the fact the US doesn’t hang washing outside to dry!) Yes, occasionally they’ll bring in something they’ve caught but the kids and I screaming usually puts them off doing that much. And they live long full lives! 15+ years – but no coyotes here of course.

Coco

In addition to being better for the cats (they don’t get hit by cars, injured, FeLV, FIV, rabies from feral cats or wildlife) it’s recommended to protect wild birds and other small wildlife. Cats aren’t native and can make a huge impact. I used to work in a cat hospital, and, in our area, average outdoor cat lifespan was 3-5 years and indoor cat was 12-15. There are also a lot of arthropod-borne illnesses cats are more likely to get, or bring back vectors to pass on (fleas, ticks, etc), if they go out.

Sonja

I live in Colorado, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We had a quite large bobcat wandering around the neighborhood today. So with coyotes, hawks, eagles, owls, and now bobcats, any small animal outside would be a snack in quick order. I love my babies too much to let them wander alone.

Rusty

Yet, we know the advice is to bring them inside at dusk and keep them in all night.
The transition might be uncomfortable for a few days, but they get used to snuggling with their humans at night instead of killing wildlife. Yes?

Rusty

In Australia, people are actively encouraged to bring their cats in before dusk. Birds settle in to sleep at that time.
Cats kill so many native species, birds, small marsupials, etc.
There’s no reason for a cat (feline predator) or dog for that matter, to be outside at night or to havefree access whenever they want.
In some reas, both cats and dogs must be registered and it’s illegal to let them roam.

Pam

Any cat that goes outside has an extremely short lifespan compared with ones that stay inside. I just had our amazing feral cat attacked by a raccoon that ripped her face off and broke her leg. (Sorry for the visual but it’s been a horrible dealing with it this week) Please keep your animals inside. Oh and my sister had a cat flap until we turned around and there was a raccoon in the living room!

Ok, Caitlin. I’m a pro on this topic because up until last June, we had 2 rescue cats and our dogs used to love going “dumpster diving” in their litter boxes (EW!) so I had to come up with a stylish solution. Because, let’s face it, I’m not sacrificing style for function in this scenario. 😉

For $35, I bought the most ingenious invention from Cathole.com. It looks like a big cartoon mousehole that you can easily integrate into drywall or a door. They’ll even personalize a little sign for it.

I have used this product in both our current and former house and I named the catholes “The Loo” and “The Loo 2.0.”

You can see it in action here in our current modern farmhouse. I had the closet door custom made from reclaimed heart pine wood. I wanted there to be ventilation and light being able to pass through the door. I also had an outlet installed inside the closet so I could plug in a little Target nightlight for the cats (they were elderly).

https://mysanctuarystyle.com/portfolio/laundry-room-2/

Worked like a charm!

Randi McCarthy

That’s beautiful!

Louise

I’m in the process of turning our garage into an art studio with laundry area at the back of the space. The plan is for the litter box to go under the laundry folding shelf next to washer & dryer. There will be a curtain to hide it from view. But the great idea my contractor and I had was to install an exhaust fan on the wall behind the litter box. There’s a dedicated switch for it nearby. Can’t wait to see how it works, until then it’s right by our computer desk. We’ve come to love Fresh Step litter and scoop just about every day so that it’s tolerable.

I have a niche cut out thats exteneded from the floor to the ceiling. We placed an upper cabinet for lines above and below was designed for a hamper and now has been replaced with the litter box. Its out of sight except for the trail of kitty litter she leaves behind after doing her business, gross. I keep it clean everytime Im in the bathroom especially since im reminded of it everytime I use the bathroom. Anyone have a good mat suggestion for catching the kitty litter?

Carida e. Davis

I adopted a tuxedo cat he weighs 19 pounds and this is natural. I live in a one bedroom apartment and where to put it was quite the dilemma. So I bought the dome type with the stairs. It’s in his section between my front room area and my dining area. It is his studio area with his feeding area and wooden vegetables bin. His food is in the bottom drawer and his cans,treats, etc are in the top section. Keep it clean by cleaning at night before bed and in the morning before coffee. Doesn’t take much space, but it works. His. Bonus area is in the front area under the window along the wall. Voila!!!

Carol

My challenge is that the litter box can’t go on the floor because of dogs. It’s currently in a claw foot tub, which keeps the dogs out but is a loss for us humans.

Naomi

There is no good solution. In our old place, it was in the half-bath with the door always ajar. Now it’s in the laundry, inside the under-sink cabinet, – cabinet door always open, laundry door always ajar… Our only recommendations that have actually made a difference: try out different litter (I don’t think there’s a one-cat-fits-all but it’s worth figuring out what works for your cat), and use this litter mat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B9P299C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Katie

We have cat box #9 (The Freda from Wayfair) and love it! You have to buy a pan to go inside it, but it keeps the litter mostly inside. We also put a Flor tile on the outside to trap the rest. Goes in our spare bedroom/office and we turn it sideways so it just looks like a piece of furniture.

huette

We had two kitties (both passed in the last few months). We loved these https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-Top-Entry-Litter-White/dp/B01MRV5YNO One kitty liked it better than the other. It also cut down on litter on the floor. We had one in a small, not often used powder room, in the corner of the dining room (yuck,I know, it’s what we had to do) and one on a large landing on the stairs to the basement.

Devon

So sorry about your cats, losing a pet is terrible

Kelly Bottarini

So I’ve built two solutions… Version 1: Ikea PAX closet laying on its side, with a door that opened on top. I cut out two holes, on the ends for doors, and put two litter boxes in there, a door for each. I placed those dish drying mats with the holes to catch the litter on the bottom… it was okay. Then when we had to turn this room into a nursery I had to get real smart. Version 2: I built basically a chicken coop under the stairwell in the garage (stairs are inside going up to our room)… basically its a Harry Potter closet or so i’ve been told. There’s a cat door in the wall going inside the house into the coop. There is mesh on the bottom of the coop so that the litter falls off their feet on through the mesh. The litter boxes are placed on a pull out so you can open a door and clean it. Its solved for 99% of the litter in the house problem. As long as we vacuum when we clean the box its not bad in the garage (which is also our laundry room and gym). Its… Read more »

Suzanne

For Caitlin, I immediately thought of some kind of curtain. Adding a breakfast bar would make it work well, and curtain could channel the vintage feel of the kitchen (yes, it sucks that the cabinets don’t close, but I think it could be a cute vintage kitchen). In the past we had one of the furniture pieces that hides a litter box. It worked well, but the inside got pretty disgusting, and it was hard to clean the cheap mdf wood. Maybe if we lined it with vinyl contact paper first. And the cats still tracked litter everywhere (I’m not sure I’ll ever figure that out). My husband decided to get a Cat Genie, which requires a water source and a grey water drain, like the toilet or laundry. We have a large enough house that it lives in our third bathroom, which is really only used by humans when we have overnight guests. The litter still gets tracked out, and it is loud, but it does seem cleaner than our previous solutions. But it is still an ugly monstrosity out in the open (in a really beautiful bathroom). Had I known we were going to get cats, we would… Read more »

Claire

We used to have a curtain on a curtain rod, and our cat would pull the curtain into the litter box after she used it to indicate that she wanted the box cleaned. Then we would clean the box and have to wash the curtain. It was difficult to keep it clean.

Sydnee

So this is only a partial solution because you’ll still have to look at the litter box, but we have these litter boxes from Modkat: https://modkat.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy7L9kYnD6AIVxBx9Ch1fUwGJEAAYASAAEgJ6FfD_BwE

We keep them (we have 2) in our guest bathroom. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but they’re more aesthetically pleasing than a regular litter box AND because it’s top entry, a good portion of the little falls off our cats when they jump out. So there’s not as much litter everywhere. Before we were in this apartment, we kept it in our laundry room.

Jeannette

I bought an unfinished chest/bench and on one end removed the panel for the cats to enter the litter box. It was the same box you have now. Lift the top of the bench and all of the cat accessories were in there with the box of clean litter. It was very easy to clean and since no one could see the opening when they entered the house they never knew! Couldn’t you just put in a kitchen cabinet where the box is now and put a new smaller box in it? I think a table with a curtain would look really cute though.

Jessica

Litter boxes are an eyesore, yes, but ultimately this is about the cat, not us. All of the super chic cabinets-with-holes ignore the fact that open litter boxes are generally better for cats’ wellbeing. Here are some reasons, lifted from a cat behavioralist site:

a covered box
– can make a larger cat feel cramped while in there
– doesn’t allow as much air circulation so it takes longer for litter to dry
– odor is contained in the box, so it can be more offensive to the cat who is inside
– limits a cat’s visual field to see if another companion animal is approaching
– limits a cat’s escape potential and can create opportunities for being ambushed
– may not get scooped often enough, since it’s out of sight

Please keep these things in mind when you’re buying little enclosed boxes for your cat to do their business in. They’d likely be a lot happier and healthier with an open box.

Margo Williams

They’re also AWFUL for cat respiration! I have a cat with asthma and she has to have an open-top box because of it.

Katie

My cat sprays the whole room if she has an open box.
With a closed box she backs her tush in, keeping her head and front paws on the edge where she goes in.

Kara

My cats are better with a closed box, BUT we tried two of those furniture boxes and they hated them. They would avoid using them, one took to peeing everywhere else (MUCH worse than the eyesore of a traditional box, let me tell you), and they were near impossible to clean. Your best bet is somehow concealing a box they’re already comfortable with… reading all the comments for ideas!!

KS

Sara has two cats?

Sara Tramp

HAHAHAHA omg this is hilarious. Yes we do, but no one every sees our second kitty because she’s wildly shy, and only comes out when it’s just Mac and I at home.

Nora

I LOVE my Modkat litter box. It comes with reusable liners, looks clean and modern, and allows all the litter to fall through at the top when your kitty gets out. I do use their floor mat as well to catch any remaining litter particles (there are always some). For litter, I use Pretty Litter, which is unscented (but doesn’t cause any smelling issues), clear-ish grains and much lighter. It has other cool features like telling you when your cat may have a UTI because it turns the litter blue. Cannot recommend these two enough!

Jessica

Just whatever you do make sure the litter box and any hole to enter it are more than big enough for the cat, and that there’s ventilation. Don’t want to buy a new setup to discover the cat finds it physically unpleasant!

Mandy Stahl

This is the most relateable discussion ever! The best solution in the 5 places I have lived with my baby is using this ikea locker/media cabinet (in white): https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/ikea-ps-cabinet-white-10251451/. I expanded a hole on the bottom that was there for cables. The cabinet size fit perfectly in my dining room at the time. It was out of site and out of mind. It also did a great job holding in the stink so dinner wasn’t a gross experience. It was sold to another cat loving family before I moved out of state.

Melissa

Our new rescue cat pees high so we have had to transition to the Modcat high sided box. It’s seamless so no pee can leak out, it’s good looking, and I like the flexibility of the top. Fortunately we had her regular box in the shower stall initially, because she would have ruined any drywall, trim, or nearby furniture before we figured out what she was doing. Even so, getting the tile clean and fresh was difficult. One thing that may help with litter tracking is to turn your box around so the opening faces into that cubby area, and put a litter mat down . That way your cat will be forced to make a U turn to get in and out of the box. Those few extra steps the cat will take can help cut down on litter tracking a lot. One of my cats used to leap out of the box, which scattered it everywhere. Your box will stick out a bit, but you could disguise it with maybe a small kitchen work table, or a basic bench seat or shelf under the window. Maybe even a waterfall console table would work. The cat might like a… Read more »

Amanda McCullough

Technically one should have 1 box per cat PLUS 1 extra…….which is why we have 4 boxes because we have 3 kitties. Luckily we have a “utility room” that houses our furnace, water heater, laundry and an extra bathroom in our basement.

I love the idea of a couple tension rods, drape over the box and across the front! Like gingham would be super cute in the right kitchen. Meow

MarlaD

No matter where your litter box is, go to Amazon and buy yourself a Levoit Air Purifier. It’s small and has a cool night light. Any smell will disappear like magic. It is a total life changer for $85. You do need to buy replacement filters but only about twice a year (you will know when, because once you live with clean air, you will smell when it’s time). It also removes dust, mold, fungus, etc. They make more costly bigger ones, but I have mine in a 14×14 room (that is my home office that I spend all day in) and it does a flawless job. I run it on medium speed and it’s nice white noise too. Seriously, no one who comes in my house believes I have cats.

K

I think I have the same filter as you – I forget how much I paid but mine is also a Levoit. I originally bought it for my cat who has asthma, but I do think it helps to cut down on cat odor too. I use subscribe and save for my filter refills set to every 6 months, so when it shows up I know it’s time to change the filter.

Unfortunately I’ve been less pleased with their humidifier but the air filter is great.

Those litter boxes are tooooooo darn cute! We are also recommending Levoit for our clients in https://thatmoldlady.com/ over other brands. We also use it in our home too, with 2 cats (1 burmese and 1 siamese).

MarlaD

It’s good to know a professional is recommending Levoit! I foster kittens for the local humane society and I discovered them when a litter I had turned out to have ringworm, which is quite the extravaganza. I’ve kept one running 24/7 in the kitten room since then.

I have a cabinet-style one sort of similar to no. 6 and we have it in our bathroom next to some open shelves. The hole for kitty opens onto the lowest shelf, and we put one of those rubber mats right outside her entrance on that shelf. Overall it works really well, but we do wind up with grains of litter on the linoleum. I just had to chime in to say DO NOT get the planter style litter box! Our cat discovered the moss on top right away and made a GIANT mess shredding and playing with it. Something to contain a regular litter box worked much better for us. 🙂

Cindy

Wish I could post my photos here but I built a giant litter box container in my garage that holds 2 giant boxes. The covers lift up for easy cleaning access and I cut a hole in the wall that goes to one of my hallways. I bought a frame that matches my decor for the hole. You can view my photos at https://pin.it/7KkGWVh

Molly

Take it from someone who got a rousing lecture from her doctor about five years ago when he discovered I had a litter box in my pantry, just how unsafe and unsanitary it is for a litter box to be around your food and where you cook.

Installed an outside cat door and some mysterious skin and intestinal ailments disappeared for me within weeks. However, be aware a cat door is a HUGE red flag for real estate agents when you go to sell your house. Some agents wouldn’t even tour potential buyers. Everyone likes to pretend no animals are ever allowed in homes.

That darn tiny little cat door, which my husband had nicely trimmed out in wood and everything, became the entire focus of our lovely home for awhile. My agent wouldn’t let me cover it with some furniture inside and out because I had to “declare it.” Fortunately, buyers really wanted our house and they overlooked this small problem.

Would highly recommend you invest in one of the new litter box inventions to protect your health–and your real estate if you own!

Cindy

I posted the wrong link https://pin.it/2uIw00K

Wish I could post my photos here but I built a giant litter box container in my garage that holds 2 giant boxes. The covers lift up for easy cleaning access and I cut a hole in the wall that goes to one of my hallways. I bought a frame that matches my decor for the hole. You can view my photos at

We customized an old entertainment center and I love it. The primary goal was to hide the litter box and keep the dogs out of it (as well as the cat food). Built stairs on the side but the bottom holds the litter box (with the fake grass at the bottom to help get the litter off little paws) and a cat-sized hole allows him to get in and out but keeps the dogs out of the box. It also opens in the front for easy cleaning. We relaxed the back (that had the hold in it) and store baskets with pet supplies on the shelves.

Lynn W

I have friend that has the fake planter box. It looks pretty good, although I would upgrade that plant and prob spray paint the pot a color to my liking.
We are lucky and have the box in our laundry room under a tall counter and on the far side of the washer/dryer. We only see it when we walk by or are in there.
I like your curtain idea! Then you won’t actually see it unless you’re right there.

Margaret

I have to keep my litterbox in the bathroom, because dogs. It needs to be where the cat can access it and the dogs cannot, which is a challenge. I use an old-fashioned baby gate that I found at the thrift store (the kind that does pose a strangulation hazard to children–they asked before they sold it too me); the openings are big enough for a cat to walk through, but too small for the dogs. For the box itself, I decided a few years ago NO MORE PLASTIC. I found a stainless steel stream table insert (at the same thrift shop), and that is the box. I looked later at a restaurant supply place, and there are lots of sizes and depths available. I paid $3US. Also bought a stainless steel scoop at Pet Supplies Plus. It just looks a whole lot better, and metal does not hold the smell the way plastic does. I use regular clay litter, since I really dislike the smell of scoopable litter, and just keep a broom and dustpan in the bathroom to sweep tracked litter. I have an old wooden nail keg (garage sale find) that holds a 40 lb bag of… Read more »

Rusty

Yaaay for your commitment and actions on the no plastic!
I agree about scoop to the bottom and swirl around to freshen it up.

Literally cannot believe people don’t clean it when they see it’s been used! Then again, by trying to hide it by having a closed one, you wouldn’t see it’s been used.
We had ours in a breakfast nook area, open top and SCOOPED AND STIRRED IT EVERY DAY. No-one ever smelled anything, ever.
It also helps you know if your kitty kid has a health problem, because you can tell a lot by wees and poos … as long as they are reasonably fresh and haven’t sat there festering for days!

Terri

Purchased the Ginny Litter box enclosure for my elderly cat . It is a bit bulky but hides the litter box well. I needed help putting it together just to hold the sides but otherwise it was easy to construct. It has the added benefit of storage on top . My cat took to it immediately. I have an extra large domed litter box inside . It is a little cumbersome to sweep scattered litter out of the box but it does contain scatter.

jmuhj

SERIOUSLY??? This is a problem for you? Suggest you get some psychological help. You need it.

Janet

I got lucky. My cats use the bathtub! Yep, they deposit Pooh at the upper end and Pee in the drain. Clean up for Pooh is several links od tp and some disinfectant and then for both, I use the shower wand and give the tub a good rinse. It gets disinfected completely every day with a little spray and a rinse. But how did it happen. I wanted to train my two kittens to use the toilet. I had a cat who used the toilet many years ago and disliking litter boxes, I though I would train my two to use the toilet too. I bought a toilet training kit from Amazon. Their litter box had been in the bathtub of the guest bedroom. I swapped their litter box for the toilet training kit. After a couple of weeks, when I knew they were habituated to the new toilet training kit/litterbox, I moved it to the floor next to the toilet and then to the toilet. After one or two days on the toilet, they decided to use the bathtub! At first I was non plussed. But then I said okay and now I embrace it. The kittens are… Read more »

Katie

We have the box that looks like a plant featured at the bottom of your post. I’ve had it for a decade through 4 different homes. Each time, I put it right next to the front door. I scoop daily so smell isn’t much of an issue. It looks like a fake plant vs real but it’s fine, pretty neutral. I could switch out the plant but it never bothered me enough to do so.
Being by the door is the trick to this though. It’s in the one area of our smaller homes that is alwasy truly a “pass through” vs a place for people to linger, so no one is sitting with the smell. Everyone is wearing shoes in that space so litter under foot isn’t the gross thing it would be in a bathroom or kitchen. And, it’s an area that needs frequent sweeping/vacuuming anyway because of shoes so it doesn’t really make extra work for us.

Amanda

I customed a old buffet hutch minus the hutch. I have no internal laundry and I often keep the bathroom closed so that was not an option. I kept a box with a lid with a hole in it in the fireplace in the living/dining room, for a while. Then I customed the cabinet as a hall table in my entrance hall. The entrance hole is positioned away from the front door and the extra space allows for storage of cat litter cleaning equipment. BTW, I painted it hot pink ?

Mandy

Basement in the unfinished side ?

Kerry

Who knew my first comment would be about cat poop!

Whatever you do, I would recommend this litter (not that you asked ?): https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/20047009011?_encoding=UTF8&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=World%27s%20Best%20Cat%20Litter&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_20047009011. It literally is the worlds best cat litter (we buy the red bag so can only vouch for that one). It doesn’t smell like poop mixed with chemicals, doesn’t leave dust all over the floor, and is somehow easier to scoop.

You could maybe do a counter-height butcher block table that fits the space and cover the front with a curtain and tension rod, then a smaller litter box underneath. Good luck!!

Jessica

I’m also a big fan of World’s Best!

Coco

Currently, our unfinished basement (has a cat door). We shopvac the extra litter that gets scattered. Used to have it under the bathroom sink in my NYC studio. Other NYC friends really liked Modkat. It’s very sleek/subtle if you don’t have space to hide it, and contains litter and high spray. My guy is picky and won’t do covered litter boxes, so we’ve learned to live with it. Also, am a vet, definitely no litter boxes in the kitchen!

Jaci

I have one cat but two litter boxes. Lucky to have a garage, put a cat door through from house to garage. We both are happy with this.

Zoe P

My oh my do I have a lot of thoughts on this. In our current 600 sf baby house we built a custom banquette to hide it. You can see how that turned out here: https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODg0OTkzOTkwMzE4NjMw?igshid=dxc17snqn1fm&story_media_id=2017064800739330594

As for Caitlin’s space one thing that I thought of immediately was the countertop space that Ashley from the Gold Hive added with cleats and a piece of wood. What if you extended that counter space and then did a curtain with Velcro thing in the front? Here’s the post where she shares how she did it: https://www.thegoldhive.com/blog/tag/tutorial

And then there’s the option of buying a more attractive litter box. There’s Modkat which is $$$. We used this one for a while before we finally built out the banquette and it worked. Top entry is supposed to minimize litter tracking as well: https://www.chewy.com/iris-top-entry-cat-litter-box-white/dp/157408

Linda Fox

I used the space underneath my bathroom sink on one side. I remove the door on that side of the cabinet, adding a tension rod with curtain for that opening. It is best to pull the curtain back slightly to let light in and pinch it right there with a tiny clip. Now, please, please tell me how to reduce the cat litter tracking throughout the house!

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