Now that we’re spending so much time inside, we are confronted, face to face, with our own disgustingness. (Showering with disappointing frequency? Same here. Eating cheese straight out of the bag? Thought it was just an archetype, but nope, here we are…) But today, I want to shift blame and focus on something else: our cats’ disgustingness.
Unless you’re one of the few who have trained your cat to use a toilet (which, I know you can do, but HOW?), you probably have to deal with the litter box and all the grossness that inevitably comes along with it. But honestly, it’s not the litter — it’s the aesthetics of this gray, lumbering, plastic monstrosity. It’s just…so THERE. All the time. Today, we are going to work together to tackle this problem.
Here’s the truth: this is a new annoyance for me. I adopted my cat, Buffalo, nearly 7 years ago and have never had an opinion about her litter box — I’ve always acknowledged it as a necessary evil and tolerated it as one of the things that just goes along with cat ownership.
But y’all, I now desperately need some help because I AM NOW LOOKING AT THIS BOX ALL THE TIME. I know someone out here has a smart fix that I can implement and I WANT YOUR HELP.
This is it. Welcome to my kitchen — linoleum floor, 1930s cabinets (nothing says “vintage LA apartment” like 90-year old doors that don’t close), tile countertops, and my new nemesis: the litter box. This is truly the only spot in my house where I can keep it — and size-wise, it does feel like a perfect little alcove — so I’m trying to make it work.
But here’s the root of my problem: when I walk into my kitchen now (which is probably about once every 30 minutes, if I’m being honest), it’s ALL I can look at. It simultaneously takes up too much space (it sticks out a little, length-wise) and not enough space (there’s a ton of room on both sides). I need your help here because it feels so easy and fixable and I just want to cross SOMETHING off my to-do list.
Here’s what I’m considering:
- I’ve seen people cut holes in custom furniture, but that doesn’t really make sense for this space…or does it? What piece could go here that makes sense?
- Do those fake plant litter boxes ACTUALLY look good in person? Maybe that?
- Maybe I can do a tension rod across and just curtain if off? But what about the opening at the top?
- Should I try and build a window breakfast bar (I do think I have enough space for 2 barstools — I have about 6’ of window space) and hope that it just distracts from the box down below?
- Do I just stop getting snacks every 5 minutes, therefore reducing my exposure to the litter box? (Probably not a terrible idea to at least try and implement this a little, honestly)
In an effort to solve this conundrum, I asked some fellow cat owners from team EHD how they manage their litter (read: I wrote a bunch of complaints about it in Slack and asked someone to figure out a fix) but it turns out that we all have our struggles. (Just like everyone else, baby!)
“I truly CANNOT believe Caitlin convinced me to take a photo of my current litter box situation and then post it on the internet for everyone to see. There are at least 10 different health code violations happening in this corner of my house, and about 7 of them are related to the color palette of my kitchen. Do we think it’s disgusting to have our litter box in our kitchen? Yes. Do we think it’s even more disgusting to have our litter box under our open pantry? Extremely yes. But where else does it go? In our living room? Our BEDROOM? We’ve no room for it in our bathroom. We also have the fun chore of figuring out where to hide a second litter box, because we have two cats (the second one is currently in our empty master bathroom, which is literally just a box with subflooring and drywall). HELP.“
“My roommates and I were very lucky to find an apartment with an enclosed balcony even though we didn’t have the plan of getting a cat when we moved in. We adopted our sweet lil’ kitten about a month ago and keep his litter box on the balcony. My roommate and I share the balcony and both have doors that lead out there, so one of us always keeps a door open so he can access it. Pros are that it is out of the way and any litter that gets out of the box is already outside. Cons are that the second we go to clean that baby, the smell hits us HARD. “
“Now I, Emily, was able to customize a piece that worked about 50% better than a normal litter box, but the flap didn’t work and inside that cabinet, the litter collected everywhere. Sometimes Bear would just get lazy and pee on the floor, basically ruining our cement tiles. It is a fancy solution that I liked because we didn’t have to look at it, but it wasn’t a perfect solution. “
“In our last house it was in that small closet in the middle of the hallway, making it basically a poop closet and we had to keep it open all the time (we could have/should have just put a cat door on that I realize now). But we sacrificed a whole closet AND the litter would get all over the hallway as they would hop out which was the more disgusting part.
Now, I personally think that Caitlin should build that breakfast table and I actually love her tension rod ” curtain” idea underneath. There is something really cute/funny about a cat having to go behind a curtain to use the restroom.”
Ok, it’s Caitlin again. As Sara embarks on her kitchen remodel and I stare aimlessly at the gray plastic lump in my kitchen, what is actually our best option? (Any time I write a question like this, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw.) Should Sara consider building a permanent litter cabinet in her next pantry? Should I consider trying to build a longer version of Emily’s custom piece (maybe it could be a window seat, albeit a narrow one)? THOUGHTS?
At the end of the day, there is so much I will endure for my cat — I will pick up tumbleweeds of fur; I will embrace her preternatural ability to shed the tightest-woven upholstery fabric; I will cheer as she channels her inner Usain Bolt at 2 AM and employs my home as her track (though I am kind of starting to understand the impulse, TBH).
But this is litter problem is so SMALL and fixable and I think changing something will actually make me happier. Please advise. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. (And also thanks to Emily, who let me hijack her blog for an afternoon so I could crowdsource opinions. There’s no one I’d trust more to design AND decide than y’all :))
Buuuut if you are also at your wits’ end and are looking for a quick and easy solution, here are some pretty stellar options that Emily and the team rounded up:
- The Designer Catbox | 2. The Refined Feline’s Enclosed Litter Box | 3. Antique White Ginny Litter Box Enclosure | 4. Spruce Wood Cat Litter Box | 5. Mize Litter Box Enclosure | 6. Dyad Wooden Cat Litter Box Alpine White | 7. White Grinnell Litter Box Enclosure | 8. Plant Litter Box | 9. Freda Litter Box