How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Cardboard

How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Cardboard

How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Cardboard


A homemade cat litter box can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution if you find yourself in need of a litter box for your feline friend. Cardboard boxes make great litter boxes as they’re readily available and can be easily customized to your cat’s needs. In this article, I will walk you through the complete process of making a cat litter box from cardboard.

Materials Needed

To make your cardboard cat litter box, you will need:

  • Cardboard box – Find a box big enough for your cat to comfortably stand, turn around, and squat in. Opt for a box with high sides. Avoid boxes with glossy printed surfaces.

  • Utility knife – To cut an opening in the box for your cat to enter and exit through.

  • Sandpaper (optional) – To smooth out any rough edges after cutting into the box.

  • Cat litter – Clumping, clay, pine, or whatever litter you normally use.

  • Aluminum foil (optional) – To line the bottom of the box if you want added leak protection.

Steps to Make the Cardboard Litter Box

1. Find a Good Cardboard Box

  • Look for a sturdy, shipping-style cardboard box at least twice as long as your cat.

  • The box should be wide enough for your cat to turn around in.

  • Tall sides are ideal to prevent litter from getting kicked out.

  • Avoid boxes with glossy printed surfaces as cats prefer plain cardboard.

2. Cut an Entrance Hole

  • On one short side of the box, use a utility knife to cut a U-shaped opening.

  • Make the hole wide enough for your cat to comfortably enter and exit through.

  • Round the edges of the hole so there are no sharp corners.

3. Smooth Any Rough Edges

  • Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges around the entrance hole.

  • Make sure there are no sharp areas that could hurt your cat’s paws or body.

4. Add Litter

  • Pour 2-3 inches of litter evenly across the bottom of the box.

  • Use whatever type of cat litter you normally use.

5. Optional – Line the Bottom with Foil

  • For extra leak protection, you can line the bottom with aluminum foil before adding litter.

  • Make sure the foil is pressed flat with no lumps or wrinkles.

6. Place the Box in a Good Location

  • Put the litter box in an easily accessible but low traffic area.

  • Avoid areas next to food and water bowls or high noise levels.

  • Make sure the location works for both you and your cat.

And that’s it! Your homemade cardboard cat litter box is ready for use. Keep an eye on your cat to see if any adjustments need to be made to the box to improve the fit and comfort. Enjoy your new easy, inexpensive litter box option!

Tips for Maintaining a Cardboard Litter Box

  • Scoop solid waste daily to keep the box clean.

  • Replace litter weekly or when very soiled.

  • Replace the box itself every 1-2 months, or whenever it gets very worn.

  • Consider adding baking soda on the bottom to help absorb odors.

  • You can decorate the box with non-toxic paints to make it more stylish.

  • Add a mat or towel under the box to help catch stray pieces of litter.

Advantages of a Cardboard Litter Box

  • Inexpensive – Just the cost of a free box and some litter.

  • Disposable – Easy to replace old boxes with fresh ones.

  • Customizable size – Find a box that’s ideal for your cat.

  • Eco-friendly – Made from recyclable materials.

  • Easy to clean – Smooth cardboard surfaces wipe down easily.

  • Absorbs odors – Cardboard helps minimize smells.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

  • Boxes may need replacing more often than plastic litter boxes.

  • Cardboard can get soggy if urine leaks through seams.

  • Boxes lack some features like hoods and litter traps.

  • Cardboard scratches more easily than plastic.

  • May not be as durable for larger, heavier cats.

  • Chewing or scratching could damage the box.

Troubleshooting Issues

Litter getting kicked out – Try a box with higher sides or cut down the entrance hole.

Leaking urine – Add baking soda inside the box or layer the bottom with foil.

Cat avoiding the box – Move it to a quieter spot; rule out medical issues.

Cat scratching box sides – Provide a scratching post; use a plastic litter box instead.

Box falling apart – Tape weakened seams or replace the box sooner.


Creating your own cat litter box out of a cardboard box can be a quick, easy, and budget-friendly option. With just a few supplies and tools and following the steps outlined, you can build a customized, functional litter box that your cat will enjoy using. Pay attention to your cat’s preferences and make tweaks as needed. Maintain the box properly and replace when worn out. With a little creativity, cardboard boxes can be upcycled into practical litter boxes for your furry friend.