Where to hide kitty litter boxes
I was into day two of "Life with Kittens" when the immensity of what I was undertaking hit me like a 40-pound bag of kitty litter. The household that had been manageable was becoming manic. I needed a new regimen and plan of organization asap before things got completely out of control. A feeding routine was the first priority, but where there is consumption of food, there is elimination of waste -- and "I have to get the litter box situation under control!" became my battle cry in the days that followed.
The perfect litter has yet to be invented so I've been using pine pellets for nearly a decade now. At least the cats, dog, and I do not have to inhale silica dust. And while there are some pretty intriguing and sophisticated contraptions for sifting litter, most of them are quite expensive and likely to scare the living daylights out of the kitties when they turn on. So I own the good, old-fashioned-style, plastic litter boxes in a large enough size that I am hoping still fit the cats when they are fully grown.
The Problem: I wanted to keep the litter boxes on the main level so that
- I wouldn't have to carry the heavy bags of pellets upstairs, and
- I wouldn't have used litter in the carpet upstairs
My open plan living area, however, leaves few places where the boxes aren't noticeable, either by plain sight or plainer smell. After a couple of days of frantically vacuuming litter off of -- litter-ally -- every surface downstairs at least four times a day, I determined that I had to locate them as close to the front door and away from the rest of the downstairs living area as possible. That would be in the front foyer or in the powder room immediately inside and to the left of the front door. I could fit two boxes in each location -- purrfect, since I need four. But who wants to see a couple of litter boxes first thing when they walk in the house?
Putting the issue of the powder room aside (that's a whole other remodel scenario that is on hold until I can figure out the logistics), I decided to concentrate on the litter boxes in the foyer. Was there a way to hide them, or at least camouflage them?
I combed the Internet looking for ideas to hide the litterboxes. IKEAhackers.net was an excellent source of clever, hidden litter boxes. Pinterest had a large variety of stylish solutions, but I needed something quick and relatively cheap that would contain the boxes for now while I came up with some modifications to further disguise the grosser realities of living with pets. (At least they don't require three to four walks every day, like the dog.)
I spent several late nights scouring home décor stores online for entryway benches under which I could stash the boxes so that they would be accessible for the cats. Most were either too narrow to accommodate the width of the boxes, or they were divided into three compartments, each too small to hold a litter box.
The Solution: I finally found a sale at Wayfair on a storage ottoman that has a faux-leather cushion on top and two equal compartments below. It is open on one side instead of opening from the top. After carefully measuring my space and the size of the litter boxes, I had my solution. It fits both the large high-backed litter boxes and the large, flat rectangular ones. The best part was that it was on sale for $69.99 with free shipping. The sale price was $30 less than any other vendor, and I had it in five days.
I had planned to put the opening to the wall and pull it out a few inches so the cats could enter from the back and the boxes would be completely hidden, but when I put it together, the "back" looks like it's part-cardboard, which it is. So for now, the boxes are still visible, but I have plans to make a curtain when I find the right fabric. For now, the mess is contained elegantly, the vacuuming is minimal, and I can go back to loving my kittens.