Sari’s DIY Litter Box Hider

Wed, Jul 22, 2009

DIY Projects, Litter & Hygiene

Moderncat reader Sari is at it again! Last time she showed us her awesome DIY cat tower, that was based on Colin’s Kitty Catsle. This time she used her signature green and white to create a stylish and functional litter box hider with a good old IKEA Besta shelf unit. By cutting two holes in the shelf — one in the side and another in the divider panel — Sari created a little runway for her two Egyptian Maus, Mauno and Eppu, to enter and exit the litter box. Some carpeting on the walkway shelf helps trap the litter and a motion actived LED light over the box sheds some light on the subject. There’s even room to store a few bags of clean litter. With a sleek wall mural and coordinating sculpture by Eero Aarnio, this is a Moderncat-worthy litter center!

I couldn’t resist sharing a few more photos of Mauno and Eppu that I found on Sari’s blog.

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56 Responses to “Sari’s DIY Litter Box Hider”

  1. 1
    Ana O.

    The other day while browsing through this site, I fell in love with the idea of this first hack, although I immediately thought of using a higher piece for my cats’ comfort. I have the furniture at home ready to assemble, I’ll probably do it this weekend. And now I see this post with an even better idea, instead of just one door the piece uses two and has a sensor light above. I’ll just dash to Ikea and get the extra door! ;-)

  2. 2

    simple and perfect, I cannot wait to live in a larger apartment and build all this stuff for my cats!

  3. 3
    Ms. Pants

    Love this! Simple, beautiful!

  4. 4

    Interesting concept. IKEA + creativity = perfect Moderncat style! Mauno and Eppu are lovely, btw.

  5. 5
    Little Doll

    What a clever idea. Stylish and doesn’t scream “I’m a catbox”.

  6. 6

    my husband and i love this! any way to get some instructions on how to make it? (we’re trying to remedy litter scatter and not having to see the plastic bin the kitties use)

  7. 7
    Karin Stewart

    Kitties are SO contemporary so why wouldn’t they love the design and privacy. Mine are already BEGGING me to go get them one!

  8. 8

    Thanks for the compliments!

    Annie, there isn’t much instructions to give, just to make the two entrance/exit holes with a lock saw. I have covered the sawn edges with white plastic film but if I can find, I will add suitable rim.

  9. 9

    Loved the idea and I’ll try to make one for my cats!
    But… won’t they feel trapped inside a cabinet like that?
    Anyone has anything like this to tell me if the cats really use it?

  10. 10

    How clever!!!

  11. 11

    Luciano, my cats prefer this one, even though there is an open box (just like the one in the cabinet) in the bathroom as an alternative option.

    Even when Mauno had a sore paw and had to wear a collar he stumbled inside the cabinet when I thought he’d rather use the open box.

    Mauno has a funny habit meowing loudly when he’s doing poo-business (pee is silent) and that’s really hilariuous when he also does it behind the closed doors.

  12. 12
    Luciano Truzzi

    That’s great to hear Sari!
    I’m alreadylooking for a nice cabinet to build Freya and Odin’s new secluded bathroom!
    Thanks for answering!

  13. 13

    Yes to the litter box, yes to the mural !!!

    I still have a questions: do the cats have to jump to enter the entrance, or did you build a stair of ome kind ? How did you do to explain to them that ther was a litter inside that cabinet ?

  14. 14


  15. 15
    the pussy posse

    ha, i just bought a besta unit at ikea yesterday to turn into a hidden litter box! unfortunately i only have room for the single unit, so there will be more tracking and no room for litter storage. after seeing this i can’t wait to get started. great job!

  16. 16

    yes, they have to do a little jump to get in, but that’s no trouble for at all, they run and jump all the time anyway and the jump is only about 30 cm. Both my cats are young (Eppu is just a 4 months old kitten and Mauno is only one year older than him) and Egyptian Maus are very athletic and muscular anyway. Of course some kind of stairway can be built if your cat is old or very heavy.

    As for the doors, I had the box in there without the doors for a couple of days, and when the doors were installed, the natural curiosity did the trick in about 10 seconds and they found their way to the litter box in no time and started using it right away.

    I think they like the privacy of the cabinet, as said there is an open alternative also available, but they seem to prefer this more private option.

  17. 17

    LUUUV This! A modernist designer, myself, and ikeamaniac having spent lots of time in scandinavia. simple, elegant, brilliant!

  18. 18

    How did you get the holes cut like that?? Also where did you get the doors where they also from Ikea?

  19. 19

    as said, the holes are cut with a lock saw and the edges are covered with white plastic film to make them neat and safe.
    The doors are from Ikea as well, white glossy Bestå Norum doors.

  20. 20


    I followed your lead and built a replica litter hider. Thanks for the idea! One question though, where did you get your light? I found one at Ikea, but it isn’t working as well as I’d hoped.

    Thanks again!

  21. 21

    Really nice work!!!! With regards to the smell of the cat boc is it redused to it’s desgin? and one last question do you blueprints of this?

    Thanks a million!!!!

  22. 22

    I bought the light in a hardware store, it was by Philips.

  23. 23

    yes it keeps the smells inside the cabinet. And I don’t know what you mean by blueprints, it’s a readymade Ikea cabinet with just two holes cut to it, not a real engineering project :D

  24. 24


    Is this the….

    Shelf unit/ height extension unit

  25. 25

    Also.. where did you get that litter box? I can’t seem to find anything thats simple or that high.

    Thank you

  26. 26

    it’s BestÃ¥ 120 cm wide, 64 cm tall and 40 cm deep – I don’t know the price in dollars, as we use euro and here it is 60 €. :)

    This one:

    And the box is just an ordinary storage box from a hardware store, not a special litter box from a pet store.

  27. 27

    That is it.
    Thank you for your help. Great idea.

  28. 28

    this is amazing – thanks for sharing it!

  29. 29

    You’re a genius. This solves the life long ordeal of the ugly litterbox and the tracking. It’s a dream for anal retentive, design conscious, cat owners such as myself.

  30. 30

    Hello! This project inspired me to create one of my own! I got all the same equipment, but I’m having trouble at the end. Sari – you said that you covered the rough edges with “plastic film.” What do you mean by that? I couldn’t think of anything to cover the edges on mine.

  31. 31
    Giulio Sciorio

    I’m moving from Phx to Miami in a few weeks and plan on building one of these for my cat since I’m not sure if I’m gonna be letting him outside anymore. Great idea! I’d love to know where to get the motion LED light.

  32. 32

    This is great! I just moved into a small apartment with no real good place for the litter boxes. Saw this idea and went out and bought the Besta unit with doors $130 ish with tax, not bad. I think I am going to modify the entry part and do a ramp, one of my 3 cats might not like the jumping part. I’m still searching the hardware stores for the plastic bin that will fit in the second compartment, and can’t wait to have this all set up! Thanks for the inspiration!

  33. 33

    I want to make this for my cats but it would be to small for my Ralphie giant kitti. :( Other than that its pawesome!

  34. 34

    Sorry I haven’t been here for a while and answered the questions!

    Matt, by “plastic film” I mean ordinary, white, plastic sticky tape or adhesive tape or whatever you call it.

    And Giulio, the motion detective small lights can be found in hardware stores, department stores (lighting dept) and such – at least here.

  35. 35

    This is a great idea, thank you for sharing !
    You should be getting a rebate from Ikea with all the new customers you are sending them to buy that shelf haha ;-)

    To replace your plastic sticky tape you should look for some kind of edge banding in your favorite DIY store ;)

    BTW your cat’s pictures are superb, I am looking forward to get a Mau too ^^

  36. 36

    Sari, thanks so much for this idea! It’s so inspiring. My husband and I constructed ours last weekend and our kitties are loving it. I had to make the holes a bit larger, as our cats are giant and fat, and I used molding around the holes to clean them up a bit. Thanks again!!

  37. 37

    Thanks for the compliments and feel free to copy! And thanks Mark – the boys are superb so it’s easy to take pictures, even as a non-pro like myself. Maus are superb. :)

  38. 38

    wow wow wow beautiful!!!!

  39. 39

    I made a similar one for Eddy. It’s only one cupboard though with a frosted glass door so he has some light while digging about. It’s worked really well, although I think it needs some carpet to catch any stray litter. I’m so pleased to get the litter box out of the kitchen.

  40. 40

    Oh I wish I was handy and could make something like this! I know it’s IKEA but I would have no clue how to even operate a saw to cut out the holes.

  41. 41

    Sari, could you tell me how much litter makes it out after they walk down the little hallway? I’m trying to find the IKEA hack that will ensure very very little to no litter tracking. Thanks in advance! : )

  42. 42

    Looks great! I like how you incorporated storage into it, very convenient.

    Check out the one I made!

  43. 43

    Thank you for posting this!! I copied it & we love it. My kitty took to it right away. So much less of a mess. It’s so nice. We even found a simila motion sensor puck light at home depot. I got the black-brown besta storage unit. Took us 2 trips because there is a version that has all the same dimensions except depth (7.25″ instead of 15.25″). I also got a different set of besta doors. Any ways…thanks again for making & sharing!! :)

  44. 44

    To finish the raw wood edges from sawing the square cutouts, the stuff you want is called “edge band”. Here is a link to some.

  45. 45

    I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to thank Sari for sharing this on the internet and answering everyone’s questions. This has inspired me to make my own DIY litterbox hider. my only problem is that I have an automatic litter box and those are bulkier than the regular ones. thanks again!

  46. 46

    What would you call this piece of furniture before it was turned into the most epicly awesome litter box of all times?? I have a cat who just keeps growing and the litter box he has now is no good for his ever increasing size…

  47. 47
    The crazy Ragdoll cat lady

    I would love to tell Sari how much her home decor is inspiring me, now that I am planning how to give my living room a make-over. And I would like to ask where she bought the green and white wall mural, because I couldn’t find it at the designers website ( I love green as well, but I found a lovely green dino similar to her puppy, that I may very well get on the future!)

    and I would love to congratulate her, once again, for such good taste and a beautiful house.

  48. 48
    The crazy Ragdoll cat lady

    I also would love to know which is the size for the puppy statue on top of the litter box hider!

  49. 49
    Kitty Jade's Mom

    What are the dimensions of the door cut-outs?

  50. 50

    Hi all, and thanks for comments, this is such an old post that I don’t remember to check for comments.

    Caroline, not much of litter comes out, hardly any. I also keep a carpet under the hole where they jump out, so that takes care of it all. Most of it stays in the cabinet.

    The crazy Ragdoll cat lady, I haven’t bought the wall mural from anywhere, I painted it myself on the wall. The picture is Pony by Eero Aarnio (designer of the classic Ball Chair). The puppy statue on the cabinet is also by him, it’s (surprisingly) called Puppy, and it’s for Magis. The size is M.

    Kitty Jade’s Mom, the door cuts are appr 20 x 25 cm.

    And here are the instructions I recently made:


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