While I’d like for you all to think that Miss Josie is truly this photogenic, I had to bribe her with a piece of turkey held over her head. #WorksEveryTime
All of you cat lovers can agree just how special our feline friends are. Even if you love dogs too, there’s just something about cats that set them apart. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re not constantly tripping over them. Or the way they rub up against us and purr when they want attention or food.
Our kitty, Josie, “talks” to me by letting out this soft little “rumble” in response to something I say or do and it’s one of my favorite things she does.
As much as we love our cats, there’s one thing no cat lover is a huge fan of. The litter box. Right?
It can get smelly and messy when our dear sweet kitties track litter all over.
Friends, say goodbye to the smelly messy cat litter box because I have a new kind of litter box for you. A simple, mess free litter box that you can do it yourself for just a few dollars.
It’s the Original DIY Mess Free Cat Litter Box.
A few years ago, my husband and I came up with this DIY cheap mess free cat litter box and it’s become one of the most popular posts EVER here at Musings. People LOVE this mess free cat litter box because it’s simple (anyone can do it), really cheap, and best of all IT WORKS. And while there may be the occasional picky cat who refuses to change (we are talking cats here), most kitties seem to love it too. (It gives them more privacy too!)
After all this time, and with the feedback of literally hundreds of people, it’s time to write an update. Today, I’ll again share a tutorial for how to make the cat litter box (with better photos – my old photos make this photographer cringe!) and with a new twist – personalized decoration! Plus I’ll answer some frequently asked questions and comments.
What You’ll Need to Make the DIY Mess Free Cat Litter Box:
- 18 gallon tote bin (you can use a larger size for a bigger cat) – I found ours at Walmart for under $5.49
- a plate (to trace the hole)
- a pen or marker
- strong scissors or a box cutter
- Decal stickers for decorating the outside (optional)
- cat litter
How to Make the DIY Cat Litter Box:
Like I said, this cat litter box is really simple to make.
Step 1: Trace the plate onto the bin lid.
I recommend tracing the outline on one end of the lid because this gives kitty more of an “entrance” area and then a “bathroom” area. Note: you can use a larger plate for a bigger cat.
Step 2: Carefully cut along the circle outline, using strong scissors or a box cutter.
Step 3: Decorate (optional)
I thought about many different ways to decorate the cat litter box, including spray paint or modge podge. But I remembered two things: 1) this is a cat litter box. And 2) I wanted to keep this a simple and cheap DIY project.
So….I decided to use decal stickers and the possibilities for decoration and personalization are nearly endless.
I found these colorful letter decals on Amazon for only $6.50:
Here’s a more neutral alphabet:
Step 4: Fill with Cat Litter
The last step is to fill your new cat litter box with cat litter.
This is where I recommend using Cat’s Pride cat litter.
The new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care cat litter is up to 50% lighter than other cat litters and it boasts 10 day odor control. In my experience, it really does work. Generally, we try to scoop at least every couple days but, I admit, life gets crazy and that doesn’t always happen. So when life happens, it’s handy to have a tough cat litter like Cat’s Pride.
Another great feature is that the clumps are really easy to scoop, there’s no fillers, and it’s 99% dust free. I can’t stand pouring in cat litter and finding myself in a dust cloud, but that doesn’t happen with Cat’s Pride. It’s #LightDoneRight!
Step 5: Put your new DIY Mess Free Cat Litter Box where you’ll be keeping it.
We keep Josie’s litter box downstairs in the corner of the family room.
What Does Josie Think?
Even though Josie didn’t “approve” of me putting her back on the litter box for yet another photo, she loves her new “upgraded” cat litter box. She just might not admit it to you or me!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: I don’t think my cat will fit through the hole. He’s too fat!
Answer: You have a couple options here, depending on just how fat your cat is! 1) You can make a larger hole on top of the bin. Or 2) Simply purchase a larger bin from the store. Walmart, Target, and Lowes have tons of sizes to choose from. You’ll need more room where you’re going to keep the litter box so keep that in mind.
Comment: The urine soaked litter will stick in the grooves at the bottom of the bin! This won’t work!
Answer: First off, this may depend on what kind of bin you get. But in the almost 4 years we’ve been using our bin (yes the same one!), this has never been a problem. I always make sure to put 2-3″ of cat litter in the bottom of the bin. If you barely cover the bottom, then yes, you’ll probably have litter stuck to the bottom, but fill it enough and you won’t have an issue. Obviously you’ll want to scoop and change the litter regularly. You can also spray out the bottom of the bin with a hose if you ever need to.
Comment: I don’t want my cat to jump on her poop!
Answer: Okay, this may vary from cat to cat, but this has never been an issue with our kitties. They’ve always covered their poop with the litter and we scoop regularly. Also by cutting the hole on the end of the litter box lid, you’re giving kitty one end to use as her toilet and the other end as her entrance/exit.