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Not a fan of how traditional litter boxes look in your home? Cat parents know litter boxes come with the territory, but they don't have to be an eyesore. A DIY litter box enclosure keeps your cat's potty out of sight and helps make you and your furry friend happy!
Consider Your Cat
Not all cats like litter box enclosures, so first consider your cat's personality. Since cats are both predators and prey, posing in a litter box places them in a vulnerable position. Most cats prefer to see all around them while going to the bathroom so they can escape any threat (like the dog) that comes too near. A DIY litter box enclosure might make shy cats feel trapped if placed in the corner of a room. If they can't see out, they may resort to finding other places to go instead of the box.
For confident cats, litter box enclosures are usually fine. They can be especially appealing to feline friends who love boxes and hiding spots. Keep in mind that cats like bathroom locations with at least two exits. Multiple entrances allow them to see and avoid potential danger, including a rival cat.
Create a Unique Litter Box Enclosure
For an easygoing cat, why not create a fun, funky DIY litter box enclosure? Your cat gets the privacy they need, their toilet stays out of plain sight and you get nice new decor for your home.
Rearrange the Furniture
Get creative with your furniture. You'll find commercial furniture made to hide your cat litter box, but you can create the same effect by rearranging what you already have. Cats often enjoy lurking beneath tables, so add a new potty spot to a favorite resting area. A tall end table in the middle of a wall works great and allows several exits and entrance options. The table legs must accommodate the width and length of a standard (or larger) litter box. You can add a cat-themed tablecloth that falls to the floor to screen the sight of the box. Keep it a couple of inches off the floor to give your cat ample view of interlopers to avoid ambushes in the potty.
If they like to lurk under or near the sofa, move the furniture away from the wall and situate the box behind one end of the sofa. The litter box remains hidden from human view, you can access it for cleaning and your cat has many ways to come and go. Once they've adopted the new location, move or eliminate the old one.
Repurpose an Open Space
If you have space beneath the stairs or another open area, why not repurpose it as a litter box enclosure? The bottom shelf of a built-in bookcase works too. You can also use the space between heavy furniture. Place a tension or shower rod across the opening and hang a curtain on it to hide the litter box from view. A spare bathroom, tub or shower is another option to hide and contain your cat litter box.
Make your own curtain for a personalized touch. Cats may not like the rustling of plastic shower curtains. Instead, use a lightweight fabric. A sheer translucent material shields the potty from view while letting your cat see shapes through the fabric. You can find all kinds of fabric — plain or printed with kittens, flowers or stripes — that fit your decor and thrill your cat.
Install a Cat Door or Gate
A screened-in porch or a safe area in the garage or basement can work well to hide your cat litter box. You can install a pet door or gate in the existing entryway. Door straps and bumpers can also keep your door ajar, so your feline friend can come and go as they please. If a window opens onto the porch, that provides a cat-friendly pathway to the potty as well. Turn the area into the best cat spa imaginable, with wide-open potty opportunities. Add some fun with a cat tree.
Design a DIY Kitty Privacy Screen
A DIY screen provides privacy in a stylish way, tucking your cat's box neatly away in a quiet area.
What You'll Need
- Cardboard trifold display board, patterned, colored or plain
- Light- to medium-weight fabric
- Hot glue gun and sticks
How to Make It
- If you have a patterned or colored display board, you're already done. Get two display boards to give your cat enough room.
- For more creativity, choose a fabric you love. Lay the fabric face down on a flat surface. Select a fabric sized a bit larger than the board.
- Center the display board face down on top of the fabric.
- Fold excess fabric over the edges and corners of the board as if wrapping a gift.
- Glue all four corners along the board edges. Hold it down for one to two minutes to form a bond.
When choosing your fabric, go with one that's easy to clean and that's not too heavy or too delicate. An inexpensive tablecloth works well. You might even consider buying fabric to match your curtains. Creative cat lovers can also repurpose and decorate a fireplace screen or room divider. These make easy and stylish DIY litter box enclosures.
There are many ways to use litter box enclosures to hide your cat's potty. Cats won't care what it looks like as long as they have enough room to step into the box and pose without turning into a pretzel. The area must also have enough ventilation so it doesn't offend your cat's nose — or your own. Finally, be sure to keep that hidden potty on your cleaning schedule. You don't want your cat to alert you to their dirty box by eliminating somewhere else!
Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai, is a certified animal behavior consultant, and nationally known authority on pet care and behavior. She began her career as a veterinary technician and is the award-winning author of more than 35 prescriptive nonfiction pet books.