Living in a New York city apartment there isn’t much space for things like the cat litter tray. The bathroom would be the best location but ours is too small to fit a decent sized tray and we have 2 cats so can’t get away with a tiny one. I wanted to make a cabinet to place the litter tray inside that was nice enough to put in the bedroom as that’s the room with the most unused space. There are already a million pages on the internet about cat litter boxes so I’m not breaking new ground here, but it was a fun little project and has worked out really well.
Originally I wanted to create my own box from scratch, but no outside space means powertools are at a minimum (due to dust) and my workshop is the dining table, so I decided for a easier option and bought an Ikea cabinet to convert. The BESTÅ range is reasonably priced and comes in a range of sizes and colors. We went with the large black frame the door and hinges are sold separately, but I think all in in came to around $60. Make sure your litter tray will fit inside!
Once the box was assembled we put the litter tray inside and left the door ajar so the cats could get used to the new set-up. Then after a few days we cut a hole in the side for a cheap cat-flap (Amazon $8) and mounted it on the side, minus the flap (again so the cats could get used to everything).
Mounting the flap was easy, it comes with a template which we positioned on the side of the box the held in place with spray mount. Using a drill I cut a pilot hole then used a jigsaw to cut around the template.
We used white duct tape to hide the innards of the box wall then mounted the flap with four screws, finishing the outside of the box. Finally we placed a cheap motion activated battery powered light from Amazon so the cats would have some light while they did their business.
For cleaning the tray, the front door opens and you can take the tray out and place it on top of the box to clean. We use biodegradable, flushable litter so it goes down the toilet minimizing waste, there’s room inside the box for a scoop and additional litter is kept in a cupboard nearby.
At some point in the future I want to mount the mat on plywood and give it a raised edge to minimize the spread of littler. But that’s a job for another day.