If you live in a small space with cats, you know the struggle of trying to find a place for the dreaded litter box. Since I had no additional storage space in my first apartment and my bathroom had open shelving, the litter box eventually ended in the entryway. Not ideal!
So it was clear I had to do something in order to not have every guest be greeted by that cats’ toilet as soon as they enter the apartment.
But after a quick Google search on “litter box cabinets” I quickly realized my options were few and pretty expensive. So I started to think about a DIY project.
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DIY Ikea litter box hack (BESTÅ cabinet)
After some looking around for a cabinet that will be a good fit for my needs, I finally settled on the BESTÅ storage system from Ikea.
It is designed mainly for storage underneath and around the TV, but I found that the 60 x 40 x 64 cm (23 5/8 x 15 3/4 x 25 1/4 “) perfectly fits inside a standard covered litter box. And I do recommend you use a covered option since it will contain everything better, so the cabinet will stay clean.
Since it’s a storage system, you can customize it to fit your needs and aesthetic design of the room: I went for the walnut frame with the LAXVIKEN white door.
And because there was a bit of space left above the litter box, I also added a shelf for a bit of storage (I put their food and snacks there). You could also add another cabinet for a 2nd litter box or extra storage space.
How to make a litter box enclosure from a IKEA BESTÅ cabinet
Honestly, it was extremely easy: all you need to do is cut a hole in one of the lateral walls of the cabinet frame through which the cats will enter the litter box. That’s it!
You can then add a cat door if you want; I actually didn’t install one since I couldn’t find a fitting one quickly at the time, so I simply sealed the edges with tape.
However, it’s not a very sturdy option since the cats keep pulling it and detaching it from the wood, so I’ll probably search for another solution like a cat door frame that will fit.
I do want to mention two things that you should be careful with when cutting you frame:
- If you want the cats to entry through a certain side of the cabinet, then make sure you cut the right wall (if you don’t plan to assemble the cabinet first). We actually did this mistake and had to switch walls which caused the entry to be a bit higher than we originally wanted.
- Make sure you don’t cut too high: the entry should be in line with the entry of the litter box itself. The simplest way to achieve this is to place the litter box inside (if you didn’t assemble it, then just put the bottom and the lateral pieces together) and trace the entry with a pencil.
Rules for placing the litter box
If you are a new cat owner, you should know there are some rules and considerations regarding the litter box:
- It must be easy accessible at all times to the cat(s)
- It must not be placed too close to the area where the cat(s) eat(s) or drink(s) water
- It should be placed in a quiet and private area (as much as possible), away from any loud noises or distractions that may make your cat(s) feel uncomfortable or anxious
For people that have more than one cat, another recommendation is to place a litter box for each pet and then add an extra one. But honestly this can prove pretty difficult to do in small homes, like apartments.
This is why, despite having two cats myself, I only placed one litter box and honestly it works well for me. I just have to clean it a bit more frequently than when I had only one cat.
In conclusion, this DIY Ikea litter box hack is an excellent solution for pet owners looking to keep the litter box hidden at a decent price, but still easy accessible to their furry friends!