Organizing with cats: the litter box challenge

I have two cats, one of which is an 18-pound Maine Coon. And I’m lucky enough to have a space in my bathroom that’s just the right size for a large litter box.

But what if you don’t have such a space? Being organized involves having a home for everything, but sometimes finding a home for the litter box is a challenge. If you have to put the box out in the living room, a bedroom, or a similar space you may want one of the many furniture pieces used to conceal litter boxes. Erin wrote about one such product back in 2007, but now there are numerous options.

The following are just some of your many choices. If you have the right skills and tools, you might be able to make something yourself rather than buying a product, and this may give you some ideas.

The Meow Town litter box cabinet is an attractive piece that definitely does not shout “cat litter box.” The storage drawer might come in handy, although some purchasers chose not to install it to provide their cats with more headroom.

The drawback? It’s made with medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which can off-gas and which might not hold up well if you have a cat like mine that sometimes misses the box. (Some purchasers have chosen to line the cabinet with various materials to avoid this problem.) Also, this cabinet only allows you to put the door on the right-hand side, while some others give you the option of a right or left door.

The litter box from Way Basics is made from zBoard, which is in turn created from recycled paper. It doesn’t have the formaldehyde and the off-gassing that’s associated with MDF — but it would seem to be susceptible to the missing-the-pan problem.

The Litter Loo is made from ecoFLEX — a “non-toxic blend of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood” which does not absorb moisture. It comes in two sizes and four colors. It doesn’t look as lovely as some other choices, but it’s super practical.

If you have enough room for a bench, you might be able to store your spare litter in the bench along with the box, as with this Cat Washroom with its removable partition wall. Alternatively, it can fit larger cat boxes that don’t fit in some smaller cabinets. But yet again, it’s a piece you may want to line so a cat overshooting the litter box doesn’t ruin it.

There are a lot options beyond the various cabinet designs, too — and one of them may fit more naturally into your space. One is the Hidden Litter Box from Good Pet Stuff, designed to look like a plant in a clay pot. It’s made of polypropylene, so it’s easy to clean. A number of purchasers replaced the fake plant with others they liked better.

This cat scratcher carpeted box with its hidden litter box has melamine on the inside.

If your cat is okay with a top-entry litter box, this one from Modern Cat Designs might look nice enough to sit out without any disguise.

Maybe you’re not really worried about people knowing the cat box is indeed a cat box — you just don’t want something ugly sitting out in plain sight. In that case, the Kitty A GoGo litter box (available in six designs) might be easier to place than your average litter box.

You could also hide a lidded cat box with one of the box covers from KattySaks.

One final option for hiding the litter box is to use some sort of screen, such as this one from Kitty Planet.

Besides the cat box itself, you’ll need a storage space for whatever scoop you use. Some boxes have hooks for hanging a scoop, and you might be able to add one to a box that doesn’t have one. But another answer could be the scoop and base from Maison La Queue, which don’t look bad sitting out — and which remind me of some designs for human toilet bowl brushes.

7 Comments for “Organizing with cats: the litter box challenge”

  1. posted by Dorothy on

    I had the cat washroom. Like most of your other picks it quickly went bad when my cat missed the box.

    It’s a good design, but it should be made of plastic. I know that’s not the most aesthetic choic, but it’s practical.

  2. posted by BK on

    I ended up choosing a Curio for Avril. No storage, but very modern looking and does not look like a cat box, it looks like a storage bench or toy box. They are made of high quality plywood and finished to resist spills and odor. I purchased it with their liner which is very high wall and made of ABS. I added an Ikea motion light to the inside.

  3. posted by infmom on

    We have four cats. We bought two of the largest litter boxes available and we put them in the laundry room. I don’t care if people see them and neither do the cats.

  4. posted by Christine on

    I had something like the carpeted box, only larger, for my first cat. When I got my second cat, he peed on my bed for the first few days, even though I’d shown him where the box was. I initially assumed he was probably not feeling well after being in a shelter, getting neutered, then coming to a new home. On the third day, I took the lid off of the box to check whether he’d gone in there at all. He hadn’t, but the moment the lid was off, he jumped right in and peed! I left the lid off and never had a problem again. Turns out, he just doesn’t like a covered box.

  5. posted by Wildvine on

    My brother solved their kitty problem by installing a cat size pet door leading to a closet. Upon entering a light comes on to give kitty light. The litter box has plenty of room depending on the closet size. The light goes off when kitty leaves. Perfect! Enquire at your local electronics store for the sensor for the switch. The laundry room or utility room is also perfect location for this application and kitties learn quickly to use the pet door.

  6. posted by Alice F. on

    I’m so jealous of those of you who have a laundry room/utility room where you can put a cat box. I bought a condo a couple of years ago, and one of my hopes was to find one with some sort of ideal cat box location, but I couldn’t find a place with *everything* on my wish list, and that was one of the things that had to give. I do have 2 bathrooms and am thinking when I adopt a cat I will probably put the cat box in the “guest” bathroom, but I’m not thrilled about my guests having to step over a litter box when they visit. First world problems!

  7. posted by Charlee on

    I would love to have a space for one of these box covers! In our large home, there’s truly no good place for a litterbox. We keep 2 in the laundry closet (too small to call it a room) with a baby gate in the doorway between it and the kitchen to keep the dogs out. The cats come and go over the gate and through 2 cat flaps from the laundry to the garage to outside. Our bathroom and closet doors are too narrow for a gate. Whoever designed this house never had indoor pets, I swear. #thestruggleisreal #notootsierollsfordogs

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