How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Recycled Materials

How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Recycled Materials

How to Make a Cat Litter Box From Recycled Materials

Making a homemade cat litter box from recycled materials is an easy and eco-friendly way to provide your feline friend with a place to do his or her business. Here’s how to make a DIY cat litter box that looks good and functions properly using a few simple tools and items you may already have around the house.

Selecting a Litter Box Container

The most important part is choosing an appropriate container to use as the litter box itself. The container should be large enough for your cat to easily enter, turn around in, and squat inside comfortably. Here are some container options that can work well:

  • Plastic storage tote or bin – Look for one at least 16″ Long x 16″ Wide x 6″ Deep so your cat has enough room. Make sure it has vertical sides at least 4-5″ tall so litter doesn’t get kicked out.

  • Cardboard box – Find a sturdy, unused box like a computer or appliance box at least 18″ Long x 15″ Wide x 6″ Deep. Cut entry holes in the sides rather than the top to help contain mess.

  • Bucket or pail – Clean unused 5 gallon buckets from a hardware store make great covered litter boxes. Just cut an entry hole on one side.

  • Baby bath tub – For kittens or small cats, a clean unused plastic baby bath tub works perfectly. Look for one at least 24″ Long x 12″ Wide x 6″ Deep.

No matter the container, make sure it’s cleaned well if it was previously used. Avoid containers that contained anything toxic.

Preparing the Box

Once you’ve selected an appropriate container, there are a few modifications to make it litter-box ready:

  • Use a utility knife to cut at least one entry and exit hole on one of the vertical ends – oval shaped holes about 8″ Long x 5″ Tall work well so cats can easily step in and out. Cut multiple holes on different sides if housing multiple cats.

  • If using a plastic container, use a power drill to add some ventilation holes spaced a few inches apart around the upper sides to allow airflow and odor control. Avoid this step if using cardboard.

  • Sand down any rough edges around the entry holes with sandpaper to prevent scratches when cats step in and out.

  • Make sure the base is completely flat so litter doesn’t pool in corners. Use a file to flatten the bottom out if necessary.

Selecting and Adding Litter

You want at least 2-3 inches of cat litter inside the box for your cat to dig and bury waste in. Here are some litter options:

  • Clumping clay litter – This is the most popular option since waste clumps for easy removal. Look for natural or non-toxic clumping litter.

  • Natural plant-based litter – Litters made from pine, wheat, or cedar shavings offer eco-friendly odor control. Look for varieties with finer pieces to properly clump urine.

  • Silica gel crystals – This type absorbs odors better than clay and is very lightweight. It can be more expensive than other varieties.

  • Newspaper pellets – For the budget-conscious, pellets made from recycled newspaper soak up waste well. They may not clump as tightly as other litters.

Add 2-3 inches of the cat litter you choose into the bottom of the container, dispersing it evenly. Make sure the litter is unscented and either non-clumping or clumping as you desire.

Optional Add-Ons

If desired, you can make your DIY litter box even more functional and attractive with a few simple additions:

  • Get a plastic placemat, trim it to fit inside the box base, and place it underneath the litter to protect floors from scratched and capture any stray pieces.

  • Affix some adhesive cork or rubber feet to the exterior bottom to prevent sliding and add a touch of style.

  • Spray paint the outside and/or add decorations with some non-toxic paint to match your home. Let dry fully before cat use.

  • For covered boxes, affix a homemade fabric curtain over the entry hole for privacy and to help contain odors. Use odor eliminating fabric spray to treat it.

That’s it! With a few simple supplies and a little creativity, you can make a functional, safe litter box your cat will enjoy using. Be sure to scoop solid waste and fully replace litter regularly for good feline health. Enjoy your new DIY cat litter box!