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No-Mess Kitty Litter Box

A kitty litter box I designed and built to keep the cat litter inside the litter box rather than being tracked throughout the house.

24 October 2013

Many homes I've been to, where cats live, often have a litter box.  It are always messy and whatever room it happens to be in has little bits of litter all over the room.  Then there is the smell.  We've all seen many designs (some very expensive and complex) intended to reduce or eliminate those problems.  The best design I've seen to resolve kitty litter problems is also the simplest. The Clevercat Top Entry Litter Box is a great design but, at $40, is a bit over-priced for a plastic tub.

So, to help out a friend, I decided it would be fun to build one myself.  I purchased a plastic storage tub at Target, and some fake grass and hardware at Home Depot.  Total cost was somewhere around $25.  But, I opted for the higher quality turf because I wanted something that I was confident would get in between the cat's toes to help clear out any litter.  A better (and probably cheaper) option, instead of turf, wold have been one of those door mats with the thick fairly long blades of plastic grass and the plastic flower in one corner.  Unfortunately, while I used to see those door mats all the time, I couldn't find one anywhere.  There is also a guy on Amazon.com who built one of these himself.  He glued a towel on top.  He said it worked just fine.  Below are pictures chronicling my building process.

This is what I ended up buying for the project.  A plastic tub, some turf, nuts, bolts and washers to hold the turf down on the lid.  I suppose glue could have worked too.  I just wanted to use nuts and bolts because I didn't want to wait for the glue to dry and I wasn't confident glue would hold well.

I used a paint can to draw a circle for the hole for the cat to get through.  This hole ended up being too small and also needed to be more centered.

Sizing and cutting the turf.

Testing the bin to make sure that Remy Underfoot could get in an out it.  Of course the he hat no interest going down through the hole.  I ended up having to put him in the bin with the lid off (in which he still wasn't interested in going), put the lid back on before he jumped out, and then see if he could get out.  The hole was a bit too small and he ended up tipping the bin over when he jumped out.

Cutting the hole a bit larger.  The best design turned out to be a hole 10" in diameter and in the center of the lid for stability when the cat got in or out.

Securing the turf to the plastic lid

Cutting some vent holes on the side.  I don't know if this was really necessary but, I liked the idea of having a couple of small holes on the side to maybe let in a little light from the side so the cat can see better when getting ready to jump in.  I cut them and pushed the plastic in such a way that the cat shouldn't be able to accidentally fling litter through the two holes.  I was probably being optimistic about a cat's ability to make that much of a mess.

The completed product in it's natural habitat.  As you can see, I cut the hole even larger so that is was more toward the center.  The next time I build one of these, I will just put the hole in the center.

Aftermath:  My friend's cat, Mittens O'Malley, adapted to the new litter box very quickly without any trouble.