Do-It-Yourself Litter Box Cover
One if the great things about owning cats is they don't need to be let outside to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, this means having a litter box in the house. As useful as they may be, litter boxes are, to say the least, unattractive. No one likes the look of a colored plastic tub left out in the house, and many homes do not have an extra room to put the litter box in. That means an ugly litter box spoiling the look of one's home interior, not to mention the lack of privacy for the cat. Cats unhappy with their bathroom area can act out by marking and spraying. Many pet companies now sell litter box covers to solve that problem but they can cost upwards of one hundred dollars. It is not necessary to spend that much money, especially when you can make your own, customized litter box cover that will suit your needs better that any commercial one.
The best way to make your own litter box cover is to use a wooden furniture piece, such as a storage bench or cabinet. I made my litter box using the Besta Wall Cabinet from Ikea. I replaced the clear glass door with an opaque door so the cats could have their privacy. If cutting through materials like very hard wood or metal, make sure you have the proper equipment. You may have to get special blades or saws to cut through harder objects.
The first thing I did was assemble the cabinet. It was very simple and only took me about 5 minutes. I studied the piece and decided the best place for the entry way was on the left side closest to the top. The hole needed to be higher than the average litter box cover because my Yorkshire Terrier enjoys scavenging through the litter and bringing me "treasures". I made sure that the height didn't negatively affect their use of the litter box cover. The next thing I did was determine how large the hole needed to be. My cats were not full grown yet so I had to take into consideration their possible future weights. One of the cats is a Tabby so I decided to go bigger to be on the safe side.
Having no carpentry experience whatsoever, I knew I would never be able to do a perfect circle or square, so I bought a cat door to install. The cat door would hide any sloppy work and prevent my cats from being scratched or hurt. I chose the so they could enter and exit the litter box easily without having to squeeze through. The directions said to saw a circle-shaped hole about ten inches in diameter. The Jigsaw I had could go in a circle shape but I didn't have the extra equipment needed to do that. I figured out that if I use a large drill bit to make holes about one inch apart in the shape of a circle, I could then use the Jigsaw to go from hole to hole until the circle is cut out, sort of like connect-the-dots. Before making any cuts in the wood I put on some safety goggles and a face mask. PetSafe Staywell Big Cat Door
- ALWAYS remember to wear safety goggles and a face mask when dealing with things like blades, machinery, and saw dust.
I used the drill bit to drill around 20 holes in the shape of a circle. It took a bit to figure it out, but once I got the Jigsaw to fit through the initial hole the shape was cut out in seconds. I had never held anything so powerful and dangerous, by the time I finished my face was flushed, I was shaking, and my heart was racing!
- Using this type of equipment can be very nerve-wracking so if you scare easily or get shaky around sharp things have someone around to help you out if needed.
After wiping away the dust, I put the cat door in the hole to see if it fit. There were a few places I had to go back and trim but after that the cat door fit perfectly. Once I added the legs and door to the cabinet my new, customized litter box cover was complete.
The great thing about it is that there is about 6 inches of extra space to store whatever you want! I now have an incognito litter box and a place to store the litter and scoop. Litter changes are super easy. All I have to do is open the cabinet, scoop poop, refill the litter, and I am done within minutes.