Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cat Boxes

You might remember that we expanded our family this spring.  We got three kittens in a two week period.  To say it has been a ton of chaotic fun would be an understatement.  Seriously...these little fuzzballs have been so delightful to have around, I already can't imagine life at home without them.

Unfortunately, with cats comes litter boxes and more cat food.  Bringing three kittens into our home had us going from one cat who was mostly an outdoor cat and never deigned to use a litter box to four cats, three of whom used litter boxes exclusively.  Throw in two dogs who think the stuff that goes into litter boxes is candy and that kitten food was a readily available snack.  This was making me crazy and not a "fun chaotic crazy".  With winter fast approaching, I knew I needed to come up with a solution because the dogs will be in the house 24/7 when the snow flies!

Have you see these?   These are cat boxes disguised and furniture and I love them.  They're just so much nicer than the standard blue plastic (why are they always blue?).

This one is $169 at csnstores (marked down from $279).  I can't spend $169 on a cat way!

Look at this one!  It is from BigFatKittyCat and is $215 ($49 shipping).  It has compartments...which would be nice.

I can't afford any of these solutions!  (Who can?!)  So, with some missteps and some trepidation, I informed Superman that I needed to learn to use all of his super-cool garage toys:  table saw, miter saw, router, nail gun, and anything else that I noticed out there.  Superman is super-cool himself, so he spent a day teaching me how to use all of his neat toys (he shares nicely, too).    A new drill and some used saw horses, some wood putty and some sandpaper, a few coats of primer, some spray paint, a few hinges, and some plastic and silicon for flooring and I did it!  Two new cat boxes made with my own hands!  I'm so proud of myself, I can't tell you.

I made one with compartments for upstairs, but I'm thinking that I'll give it to the Divine Mrs. M (she has three cats and a dog as well as two big kids and baby!).  We don't really want to have it upstairs (we had planned to put it by the bedrooms) and if she can use it, I'd love for her to have it.

She's measuring to see if it will work in her laundry room.  I hope it does...if it could help her contain her chaos even a little bit, I'd love to help with that.

Here is the one I'm keeping for our downstairs bathroom.  (Right now there is a bowl of cat food on it  (which means the door to the bathroom has to be restricted from opening all the way to keep the dogs out, but in a few more months, the two youngest kittens will be eating from the bowl on the washer and the dog issues will be done.  I'll be able to work on this bathroom - can you see the new flooring we got in January?)

See?  The litter box is far enough back in the box that the dogs can get to it.  The plastic flooring sealed with silicon will make clean-up easy.

I think both boxes cost us about $40 in supplies compared with $500+ for the two I found online.   Oh, and we just measured our spaces, figured out what features we wanted and drew up plans for our cat boxes.  They turned out exactly as we'd planned. Can you believe it?  I'm just so excited and proud of myself.  Now I'm checking to see what Ana at Knock-Off Wood  has for me next!


Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Wonderful - I need one of them for my garage when the cats do sneak in.... I have had the litter box in every place possible to keep the dogs out of it..... Great idea, except I'm going to see if I can twist hubby's arm to make it. Think I need a bigger front compartment then they can eat in there too - keep the pups out of the food... Thank you thank you..... and great jo making it.

Anonymous said...

A job well done!! Something I wish we had in our old house....what is it with dogs eating cat poo? Happily, our cat has her own "room" in this house that the dogs can't access.

Don't you just love the thrill of building something yourself? I love woodworking and the feeling of accomplishment it provides.

Alison said...

Nothing beats a woman with power tools! I love building stuff with wood too, I'm actually better than my husband at it (he's a computer geek). Good for you, learning how to do this kind of work. The new cat boxes look cool, you did a great job!

Anonymous said...

Nice job! Although I always get red boxes...and a cat that would only use it when I was in the bathroom and would look me dead in the eye to pee, so even this wouldn't work for me, but I am impressed by your mad skillz.

Clark said...

These are so impressive! You did a fabulous job on these and I could not be more proud of your efforts. It is so cool when you plan something out and it comes out so well. I am glad to have another tool junkie in the house. Did you say that you wanted planer for your birthday? A radial arm saw for our anniversary?