We’ve had this little dresser in the garage for awhile now.
There’s nothing special about it, but there’s a fun story about how we acquired it. On our local Facebook ‘For Sale’ page, a lady was trying to sell this dresser for $15. Even though that’s a decent price, I wasn’t really interested just because I didn’t need anything like it at the time. But then I read the comments below the post, and someone commented… ‘I’ll give you $7, and YOU deliver to me.’ And she agreed. I couldn’t believe it! WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! So I commented and said… I’ll give you $15 and pick it up myself. Even though I didn’t need or really want it. I didn’t want her to be taken advantage of.
Are you so glad you know the back-story now?
So… present day… we decided to keep one of Blanche’s most recent batch of kittens as a house kitty! We fell in love with him and he lets the girls carry him and smother him… so he’s definitely a keeper. Even though it’s been awhile, I love having a housecat. But I have not missed the litter box. Pondering where to put it where it would be accessible yet not so accessible that it smells up our living area, I decided to turn this little dresser into a hollowed-out litter box keeper!
I needed to destroy the drawers and take the drawer fronts off. I decided to leave the top drawer as a functional drawer.
I pried off the wooden wrung from the inside since it’s not necessary anymore.
I drilled a hole in the side of the dresser, and used my jigsaw to cut out a little door entrance!
I sanded down the rough edges, pulled out some exposed nails, and added a chunk of wood at the bottom of the entrance.
I measured the opening where the two missing drawers are, and cut a 1/2” piece of plywood to fit perfectly there. Then I glued my drawers on with wood glue.
After wood-puttying several crevices and nail holes, I lightly sanded everything and painted. This ‘Lagoon’ by Rustoleum might be my favorite spray paint color of all time. (If you’re pregnant like myself, be SURE to paint outside, and wear a respirator mask and gloves. Paint on your skin is just as bad as inhaling the fumes!)
After my paint was good and dry, I screwed on a 12” piano hinge, and chalked this bad boy up as DONE! I love project that I can whip out in an afternoon!
OooooKAY… it’s not the most beautiful piece of furniture we’ve ever done, but it’s so functional. And it’s one less piece of useless furniture cluttering up the prime real estate that is our garage.
If you have an indoor kitty, where do you keep your litter box? Do you have any tips or brands of litter that keep down the smell of ammonia?
I’ll leave you with this adorable pic of our little boy Walter (white) and his brother …that still needs a home! If you’re in Iowa and want a kitty, come over and snag him asap!
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Can I ask… wouldn’t the dresser absorb oder after a while? I found your website searching for stainless steel little boxes (ie. that don’t absorb odor) but none of them come with a hood. So the website put a link to your DIY project suggesting that the consumer makes one. However, I don’t see why the wood wouldn’t also absorb the odor.
Bethany Sy says
Hey Lori, ours did start to absorb odor after a time. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid that. Although sealing the inside where it’s raw wood with a polyurethane probably would have helped.
I love the litterbox idea. Looks awesome.
But I REALLY LOVE the back story.
You’re a good-hearted human!
https://pin.it/kxpsw52dpi6bvk Did this with a dresser I have..love not looking at the litter ❤️
I get some stuff from tractor supply that reduces the ammonia smell in house stalls. It works great. Just layer it under the litter.
Bethany Sy says
Ooo that’s good to know! Thx for the tip <3
That’s a great idea. Probably cheaper in the long run, than buying the Arm and Hammer powder they make for cat boxes!
Arnetta Brown says
Great idea! Maybe I can make one for my sister.
The absolute best litter we have is pine pellets. You can buy the ones in the cat aisle for a small fortune. OR, you can go to your local farm and fleet store and pick up a bag of stable pellets for horses for less than $5. A bag lasts us over 2 months for one cat. We never have litter/ammonia smell. Each week I dump the contents of the litter box into the dumpster on garbage day. Then I put a 1″ layer of fresh pellets on the bottom of the pan. Works like a charm! I wish we would have found this sooner. I hope you like it. We transitioned our cat to this litter slowly by following this from the expensive stuff (Feline Pine):
“To transition your cat to use Feline Pine Non Clumping Natural Pine Cat Litter:
Phase 1: Pour one inch of Feline Pine into a clean litter box. Next, pour one to two inches of your old litter brand on top. Do not mix—your cat will mix this naturally as she uses her litter.
Phase 2: The next time you change the litter box, fill with one inch of Feline Pine and a lesser amount of your old litter brand. Repeat this for another three to four litter changes, lessening the amount of your old litter each time.
Phase 3: Fill litter box with one inch of Feline Pine. At this point, your cat should be acclimated to Feline Pine but some cats do need a little more time.”
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Fascinating! Thanks for sharing! We’re definitely going to try this… our kitty-litter is currently STINKY!
Happy to help! Thanks for your wonderful inspiration and tutorials. I’ve come up with several projects to keep us busy this coming winter. My husband is excited to use our new garage and tools. 🙂
Hi. We just did something very similar for our kitty crew. It’s the second in our upscale kitty bathrooms. We lined ours with puppy pads so accidents are easy to clean. You were also asking about litter: we avoid clay because it is ultimately harmful to the cat. We found a clean smelling, lightweight, clumping corn litter by arm and hammer. It comes in a big orange bag, absorbs well, controls odours well and lasts forever because it expands when it absorbs moisture. It’s a little pricier but it has many more benefits than the cheaper clay litter. Hope that helps. By the way, that is one very cute little kitty! 🙂
Ahhh! It’s perfect! I love it! Someday when I have a proper garage I am so going to have to build Wall-E one!
I have upcycled a few pieces of furniture to kitty litter palaces. They’re great, but no matter the age of the cat or gender, at some point you’re going to need to address a bit of “hit or miss” and unfortunately the wood will soak up the urine -forever-. I would recommend doing SOMETHING to the inside floor (and possibly walls) of the dresser to head that off. I’ve used a wood lacquer/enamel (can’t recall off the top of my head, it’s been a few years) recommended by the local Orange or Blue, but I would suggest using vinyl or something completely impervious to moisture, at least for the bottom. We’re going to have to toss a few pieces that are just too fresh, despite my painting efforts.
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
That’s so good to know! And something we never thought of. Definitely going to put down some plastic ASAP 🙂
I used Valspar Interior Latex Enamel Undercoat (for wood finishes.) topped with Valspar Latex Enamel Interior/Exterior (for Wood,Metal & More; Soap & Water Clean-Up.) I think I may have even gone so far as to put a polyurethane on top to be extra sure. 🙂 Vinyl stick tiles would probably work in case of emergency.
You could put some pieces of plexiglass along the walls to protect the wood from “misses”. Wash and possibly reduce amount of odor buildup??
Bethany Sy says
That’s a good idea!!
Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek says
So cute – and YES! That’s my favorite color, too!
megan e. says
You guys come up with the best pet names!
We use the breeze system and is WONDERFUL! Love your blog
That is just awesome!!! I have a small dresser that i’m not sure what to do with (I DO NOW!!!)
Answering to your question about the litter, I’ve tried several different kinds and finally found THE ONE. I’m not the greatest when it comes to cleaning the litter box and believe me this clumping litter has been my greatest find. It’s an Arm & Hammer “Essentials Double Duty Natural Clumping Cat Litter” Here is the link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Arm-Hammer-Essentials-Double-Duty-Natural-Clumping-Cat-Litter-18-lb-Cats/22234369
It’s a natural blend and smells beautifully when you first pour it, you can’t smell anything until you start scooping poopoos and peepees. Hope this helps!
Kelly N. says
you’re killing me with that baby-kitty picture. UGH that was the best size/age… so stinkin cute. and I love the name walter.
We have two kitty fur babies, and I have wanted to do something like this for, well, forever! All litter boxes are ugly and take up so much room, it’s hard to find a good spot for it.
Lagoon has been my spray paint obsession lately, I’ve painted a bar cart, two chairs, and several picture frames this color, my husband wants to know if there are in fact other colors in existence! Haha great redo!
Nice! But why not train the kitties to go outside? Or put their litter “dresser” in the garage? I always trained my cats to a litter box, then moved the box outside. Then I’d just get rid of the litter box. PS: I also hate people with lowball offers who then expect delivery! But I thought it was just me!
Nice! But why not train the kitties to go outside? Or put their litter “dresser” in the garage? I always trained my cats to a litter box, then moved the box outside. Then I’d just get rid of the litter box.
Um ok I love this!! Guess what, we’re totally twinners because I spray painted my gate to my horse pasture that EXACT same color! Love the hinge on the whole front of the cabinet and what a smart way to keep the litter out of site! You’re amazing. 🙂
Those kittens are absolutely gorgeous!!! I hardly ever see white and orange kitties like that. I bet their eyes will stay blue because of how much white they have. Soo sweet. If we weren’t in CA and didn’t already have 4 cats I’d totally adopt one!
We use and love Feline Pine. We have four cats, one litter box and only have to empty it once a week. No scooping at all. It’s glorious. And a lot less messy than normal litter.
I use crystal cat litter. The cats own scooping activates it. It just absorbs the liquid and the smells. With two housecats, it only needed a full change once a month. We only had to scoop the solids out every few days. My local grocery sells a brand and Petsmart sells another. Both are wonderful.
Crystal Otto says
Great idea, and I love the color! We’ve been considering getting a kitty, my girls would love one. Btw: is paisley wearing a dress I handed down to you? Looks like one I sent you. 😉
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Probably! The dress has been in their ‘too big’ box until now, so I can’t remember exactly where it came from. It probably was yours! Paisley LOVES it!
that’s brilliant!! our litter box is in the closet of my scrapbook room but he much prefers to use the outdoors 🙂
Meagan B. says
I’m not a cat fan, but this is such a cute and brilliant idea! You’re awesome sauce.
I love this, I have 2 cats and we don’t have anything fancy, but one day in a different house I definitely want to have something like this! Random, and just my opinion: but we have siblings, a boy and a girl and we are SO GLAD we kept both. They would be so bored without each other, and they love each other so much!
I know 2 cats are a bigger commitment then the one, but it really is worth it, just for them to always have a buddy, and another kitty to cuddle with! 😀 <3
What a great idea! It’s pretty, and I bet it contains the smell a bit too!
We have four kitties now, we lost 2 in a year. We did use the Arm & Hammer Naturals, but recently switched to the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal for Multiple Cats. I had resisted clay litter because 1) it is heavy, and 2) it is dusty. Not this stuff. Well, still a little heavy. But, virtually no dust. And it really does seal in the smell. With the Naturals, we HAD TO scoop every day (3 litterboxes). With Clump&Seal, we can go 2, even 3 days without scooping. We’ve even gone as long as 5, but then the cats start complaining, and so do I. The new stuff is also pretty cheap for what you get. You can get coupons from Arm & Hammer’s website, too.
I’ve been wanting something to conceal a couple of our boxes as they are in very visible areas. Hubs may actually be on board for something like this! Especially if I can find it for cheap!
Our litter box is in a corner of the laundry room where no one would really notice it. I think we have Tidy Cat. I don’t have to change it often especially in the summer because Miss Kitty likes to go outdoors for that. In fact she likes to go at about 5:00 am…so she tells me! She is about 50/50 indoor/outdoor. She would love a kitty door but out here I think we would have other critters using it! We keep catching coons and possums in the barn.
I think Walter would like to have his brother in the house for a friend 😉 Really, we picked up a kitten from my mother-in-laws and later picked out another who may or may not have been his brother. They were such good companions to each other.
Finally, Paisley from the back looks just like my oldest at that age. She’s now 15 and loves her curls. Younger DD has tighter curls and isn’t in love with them. Hopefully Paisley will love hers!
Stephanie @ Sandpaper and Glue says
I use Tidy cats as well, and put a dollar store shelf liner on the floor in front of it so litter doesn’t scatter- but it looks like yours has enough space in front before the exit that it might not be a problem. I reallllly like this idea- we have 4 cats, so there’s 3 litterboxes and I freaking hate having them out in the open.
Erin Maree says
We have 3 cats (only one is mine the other 2 are my parents but as I live at home I get to live with 3 cats) and only have one kitty litter but as we have a cat flap and they are indoor/outdoor cats they don’t use it that much. It’s mainly at night when its bucketing down outside or its too cold to keep the cat flap open which has only happened a few times recently (its winter where I am). We have it in the bathroom out of the way and use the crystal stuff so it doesn’t smell that much. Though I love that idea if I decided that my cat needed to be indoor only (he likes hunting for mice and rats) for whatever reason, you can’t tell its a litterbox at all!
Also why not keep both Walter and his brother, its no extra work (or cost) plus the twins each get a kitten and the kittens can both keep each other company when you’re busy 🙂
I like the Breeze litter box system because it doesn’t have messy litter that tracks through your house. (this is my biggest problem with litter boxes, I HATE stepping on litter) http://www.tidycats.com/Products/Breeze?utm_campaign=always+on&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=litter-tidy+cats-Computer%7CGoogle%7CBranded%7CHigh+Priority%7CBreeze&utm_term=breeze+litter+box
Tidy Cats litter is scoopable, clumps really well, and keeps the smell down. Its also the best priced for scoopable litter. I would also suggest putting a carpet scrap at the entrance to contain some of the litter being tracked out onto your floor. Also since your pregnant you shouldn’t clean out the litter box. Cat poop contains bad bacteria so don’t breathe in the litter dust or wear a mask and gloves if you have to clean it.
Well that’s just clever. (And pretty!) 🙂