It’s the cat’s ass: DIY top loading cat litter boxes!

I don’t know how long we’ve been dealing with cat box drama — essentially, the entire 9 years Mark and I and our respective cats have been co-habitating. Orville, our flame-point siamese, is VERY particular about how clean his box and surrounding area are. So much so that he will “exact revenge” upon us if we don’t keep his terlet pristine. And we were working with that. Until we introduced sweet Miz Biscuits the Orca Bear into our feline familia. She’s HUGE. Like almost 20 lbs. And she’s a bit messy. After she’s been in the loo, it looks like the desert after a sandstorm. And if we don’t sweep it up immediately, guess what happens? Oh yeah, Orville decides to use the litter-covered floor as his box. GROSS. And we were finding litter everywhere. In our bed. On the couch. This had to stop.

I’ve been wanting to try those top loading cat boxes for like, ever — have you seen the absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous boxes from Modkat? I mean, WOW. But I could never spend $180 on a cat box. No matter how gorgeous. Plus, I would need two, and I don’t think the generous curves of my zaftig gal would even be contained in one of those Modkat boxes. And the Clevercat box? Meh. It’s fine, but the design is so obviously simple, I figured I could just DIY a much more attractive version for less.

So I did. I bought two 18-gallon plastic storage containers with lids (about $7.50 each). I decided I liked the idea of using the lid to trap the spare litter crumbs, so I bought 2 feet of grey stair-tread carpet($4) to adhere to the lid with some carpet adhesive double stick tape. My total material cost for TWO boxes was less than $25 — a fraction of any of my store bought options.
I used a dinner plate as my template for the hole on the lid — make sure you place it towards one side of the lid rather than the center so the cats have a platform to jump up on. I also traced the hole on the carpet backing when I traced my piece to affix to the top. Once I cut out my carpet and the hole on the lid, it was just as simple as popping the adhesive on the back of the carpet, pressing firmly on the lid, and trimming it out with some decorative duct tape to make sure everything is secure.

I’m pleased to report the gatos are utilizing their new lavatories regularly and without fuss. And the litter has been staying in the box! Happy cat parents = happy cats. Hooray!

–The Baroness

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  1. I knew someone could come up with a cuter (and cheaper) version of this! I love the green, almost festive and chic. Have they each chosen their own box? Or does Orville share?

    • Oh — they seem to be sharing as far as I can tell — but I’ve been catching Biscuits napping on top of them lately!

    • I had an automatic. It would have woerkd well with just one cat. It was a Litter Maid. However, I have 7(8 at that time) who all preferred to use the automatic litter box over their regular boxes. It was quite a thrill for them to see the stools being hoisted into the litter tray. They were all fascinated with the process. They had that thing going day and night until one day I smelled some smoke coming from my utility room. The automatic litter box was slightly smoking. I noticed that all my very large cats were around this thing and the motor was making a humming sound trying to hoist a very large stool into the litter tray.It just burned out after the constant use. Maybe they each should have had their own? I think with all the activity from my large well fed kitties, it was too much for the poor motor. Next time, I will look for one with a Brigs and Stratton motor!:) But Litter maid is a good one for just one kitty. It would be ideal for him. It is a good product. Just not intended for the large group I have. They have since been reduced to using the regular boxes and all the excitement has died down. The party is over for my kitties!

  2. Excellent! Nothing like cutting the cost of an overpriced “IKEA” design down to 25$ and some contentment with your own personal execution of a clever poo-bin.

  3. we can’t get carpet for that amount feet? everywhere we go is 5ft and higher, where did you get your grey stair-tread carpet?

  4. Cindy, Menard’s (big box hardware store) sells it by the foot.

  5. Hi! Thank you so much for the fabulous idea! I went right out today and bought the supplies for making this project! I bought some stair tread carpet at Lowes. Since I just made one box, I only needed one linear foot (the roll is three feet wide). I made a template for cutting my carpet, cutting a hole in the top first, then tracing around the lid and the hole. I think carpet tape is now my favorite craft item!

  6. Love, love, love! With five furry kids this is a definite diy that will be done tomorrow. Thanks

  7. I love this idea, but do the cats have to enter the box from the top? If so, did they do ok with that?

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