DIY Kitty Litter Closet
WHEN WE FIRST ADOPTED our kitten last June, we were using a large canvas dog crate as his "home base" to hold his litter box, bed, and food. The main reason for this was because we have a dog that will otherwise eat all of the before mentioned items, and the next reason was to help him feel safe and learn a routine in his new home. It worked out perfectly until he started to get too big to fit comfortably with all of his "stuff"!
So when the time came to find a new spot for the kitty box, accessible location and lack of dog access were the top two goals.
After searching the internet for ideas, we considered several possibilities. Top choices were either a converted bathroom cabinet or a storage bench with some DIY-ing to also convert it to hold a litter box. In the end neither of those options were ideal for us due to cabinet size, location, and possible lack of 24/7 kitty access, as well as the fact that our kitten was a giant and would likely be a 15 lb + cat!
One day while I was on a cleaning and reorganizing spree, I came up with a genius idea! Convert the small hall linen closet into a kitty closet/bathroom! It was a great solution. The bottom of the closet was fairly open, with several shelves above. It could not only contain the litter box, but also the Litter Genie and scoop, the litter, extra bags and cans of cat food, and other kitty necessities. This closet was currently holding linens, seasonal throw pillows, home decor items, etc. and could easily move to another location. Although we dont have an abundance of storage in our home, the closet was not full, and could shift to another closet in our spare bedroom. When I told my husband about my fantastic idea he was not sold, although he liked it better than my last two ideas of using a bathroom cabinet or storage bench, so he agreed it was worth a try and I got to work on Project Litter Relocation.
The first step was obvious, clean out the closet and relocate the contents. This was great and served two purposes because I was also able to purge some of the contents of this closet! Win-win! Once it was empty I removed the lowest shelf to make extra room for the box. I also wanted that space for us for easy access and scooping. Because this was still a closet after all, I didn't patch the wall or repaint. Also, timing was of the essence for Mr. Giant Kitten. Next, I cleaned it by dusting and wiping down the shelving, and vacuuming the bottom. Because we had open wire shelves in the closet, and I was adding litter that would create some dust, I added a plastic liner to the 2nd shelf, and a piece of plywood to the bottom shelf. This will help prevent anything above from becoming covered in litter dust. Although there is still some dust, it is very well contained to the bottom of the closet with the liner in place. I usually have a covered litter pan in this closet as well, so that is something else to consider to keep the dust down.
I moved all of the kitty necessities to the closet, and got the litter mat, box, and Litter Genie in place. The only thing left was to cut a kitty entrance into the closet door. I decided to do something non-traditional for this step! Instead of purchasing a true cat door, or cutting a square opening in the center, I had my husband just cut off the front corner of the door. He used a skill saw to do this, and we cut the door front side down in case there was any chipping from the hollow core door. The cut was perfect and there was no chipping or damage at all. I decided to add a trim piece to the bottom to cover the cut (since this was a hollow core door, our kitten would definitely try to stick his face and paws inside the door ha!).
After that was done, I decided to add a small vinyl sign I designed and made using my cutting machine, and applied it directly to the door. So cute!
In the end the closet was the right choice for us and giant kitten, and it has worked out perfectly for him. This door is upstairs in our house, and is actually tucked in a small cubby next to the stairs, so its not a widely visible door from anywhere in our home. That said, I would recommend it for anywhere and you can of course forego the vinyl decal so it doesn't draw attention to it. It has also worked well for preventing doggy access. Our dog is about 50 lbs and the awkward location and cut of the entrance doesn't allow her to get her head in there. And even if she could she could not access the litter box itself. Another purrfect solution!