We build a lot of furniture for friends and family, but recently we received the most unique request to date: a litter box enclosure. More specifically: something to hide a litter box that could also double as seating if needed.
Now we don’t have any cats, so we called in the best person we knew to help design it: an engineer who really loves his cats. He designed this structure to both hide the litter box and make it easy to clean.
You see, the top lifts up for easy cleaning access and there’s a middle divider that hides the litter box and helps reduce the amount of litter that’s tracked out of the structure.
If you don’t have a litter box that needs hiding, these plans would also make for a great DIY toy chest! Just forgo the middle divider and kitty cat hole😉
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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- Circular saw with track or Table Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Electric sander
- Optional: Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig (see step 9)
What You’ll Need
How to Make Hidden Litter Box Furniture
STEP 1: CUT ALL YOUR BOARDS
This is one of the only projects where I’m going to tell you to cut everything all at once. Cut your boards down to size based on the cut list below.
|40 x 18.5
|36.5 x 16
|36.5 x 19.5
|38 x 19.5
|19.5 x 16.75
|17.75 x 8
|36.5 x 1.5
Overall dimensions: 20.25″ tall, 40″ wide, 18.5″ deep
As you cut each piece, pay attention to which direction you want the wood grain to run.
STEP 2: ADD SUPPORTS TO THE BOTTOM
Using glue and 1.25″ #6 screws, attach the supports to the bottom side of the bottom.
STEP 3: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the 3/4″ setting on your Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes into your sides, back, bottom, and middle pieces based on the image below.
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
The pocket holes on the sides will eventually attach the front to the rest of the structure.
STEP 4: APPLY EDGE BANDING
Add edge banding to any sides of your plywood that will be visible. This will give you a more finished look.
You’ll want to add it to the sides and top of the back and front pieces, to the top of the side pieces, and all away around the top.
STEP 5: ASSEMBLE
For each piece of the assembly, we will be using glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws.
Start by attaching the bottom to one of the sides.
Then attach the back.
Then add the other side.
Finally, add the middle board. This is going to be the board that hides the litter box from any angle and helps control the litter from tracking out of the structure.
The cats will jump in and walk around this middle divider before making their way to the litter box.
It should be flush with the front of the bottom and placed approximately 11″ from the side. You can adjust this location based on how large your litter box is.
STEP 6: CUT THE HOLE FOR THE CAT
Now that we have the main structure assembled and the middle divider in place, it’s time to break out the jigsaw.
Position your hole so that it’s centered between the side and the middle divider. The bottom of it should be 3″ from the bottom.
Sketch out your hole, keeping the size of your cat in mind. We made ours 8.25″ wide and 12″ tall.
If you like the look of our arch, we drew straight lines for 8.5″ and then started our curve from there.
Once you have the hole sketched out, cut the hole out with your jigsaw.
Note: you could also cut this hole on one side of your enclosure so that it looks like a solid box from the front. You’ll just need enough room on the side of the furniture for the cats to jump in and out.
STEP 7: STAIN
We decided to pause assembly at this point to stain. We finished ours with Dark Walnut stain. Check out our guide to staining wood.
STEP 8: ATTACH THE FRONT
After your stain has dried, secure the front of the litter box enclosure to the rest of the structure using glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws.
STEP 9: INSTALL THE TOP
To install the top, we’re going to add 2 concealed hinges. We used concealed hinges because it’s what we had on hand, but you can also get 2 – 3″ hinges like Ana White used for her DIY tox box.
If you go the 3″ hinge route, you won’t need the Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig.
Regardless of what you choose, you can also add a toy box hinge support to help the litter box top close more gently.
Attach the hinges to the main structure and to the top of the litter box enclosure.
If you use adjustable hinges, adjust them until the back of the top is flush with the back of the structure.
STEP 10: SEAL
Once you have everything assembled, seal your enclosure. We opted to use Minwax Polycrylic spray. Add 3-4 coats of sealer, making sure to sand it with 220-grit sandpaper between each coat.
If you’re nervous about your cats spraying the sides of the litter box, you can also line the area surrounding the litter box with easy-to-clean shelf liners.
And if you really want to avoid excess litter from tracking out of the enclosure, you can cover the bottom with a litter trapper to help your kitties wipe their paws before leaving the box.
There you have it! Now you know how to hide your litter box once and for all! When we were designing this one, we wanted it to be a good height to also act as a bench.
Plop a cushion on top or some pillows to hide the fact that this piece of furniture is really hiding a litter box!
P.S. We’ve built not one, but TWO of these exact litter box enclosures. The cats loved the first one so much that they refused to use the second litter box that was in the house until it was plopped inside of one of these.
We don’t have any more cat-related posts, but we do have a DIY bed for another furry friend!