This is a fun and easy repurposed furniture project for your kitty. I'll show you how to hide your cat litter box inside a cabinet.
I got this old console t.v. last August from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Hardin County.
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After gutting it, I gave it a coat of primer along with a lot of other pieces. Then it sat all winter and spring waiting for it’s makeover.
I’ve been wanting to make some kind of litter box furniture for a long time. I pinned this one for inspiration. I found two cabinet doors in my stash that were a good fit.
I needed to enclose the opening of the t.v. cabinet a little. This is the design stage.
I drilled pocket holes with my Kreg Jig to make the front facing come together. I don’t always use Gorilla Wood Glue for pocket hole joinery but with only one screw, I felt it needed the extra strength. I used a bar clamp to hold it gently while I secured it with the screw.
TIP: you don’t want to clamp it too hard, or all your wood glue will ooze out. You can see my sketch to the right.
I rarely ever draw anything out on paper. But this had to be exact in order to fit snug inside the cabinet, and have the doors fit properly inside the facing.
TIP: be sure to use a speed square when you’re joining corners.
The facing fit snug, but I wish it were just a smidge wider.
I used a scrap piece of plywood to make a new bottom for the cabinet after I removed the plastic thing-a-ma-bob that held the speakers.
note: While the front facing was inserted for a dry fit I marked it for pocket hole screws.
I decided that it might be difficult to do a thorough cleaning of this piece through the “front” doors. I was determined to make the back panel removable for those occasional cleanings.
In my scrap pile I found a piece of tongue that I had ripped off of some hardwood flooring when I made the table base for my wooden tool chest. To support that small piece, I ripped a narrow piece of thin plywood.
I attached the tongue to the narrow plywood and then secured them to the back of the t.v. cabinet with Gorilla Wood Glue and brad nails with my nail gun.
note: this small piece of plywood is a test piece to see if my design is actually going to work—allowing the plywood back panel to slide down from the top, and out again for cleaning.
It’s a tight fit, but I move forward.
I drew a paper pattern fro the mouse hole and traced it onto the side of the t.v. cabinet.
I drilled some holes to allow my jigsaw room to move. This was much more difficult than it looks. As the jigsaw rounded the corner an moved toward the bottom of the cabinet, the baseplate hits the trim and won’t let me get close enough to the bottom.
Since I am self taught, I do what I can to get the job done. I’m not sure that the way I achieved my end goal was the best way, but I got the mouse hole cut. However, I was so frustrated, I didn’t take any pictures.
You can see here that the hole is there, and the jigsaw scraped some of last year’s primer off. The kitty hideaway is ready for some paint.
I did a quick coat of DIY chalk paint as a primer, then a coat of Behr Premium Plus Ultra with some extra little touchups where I didn’t get good coverage.
I got the doors on, added a couple of small “stops” to hold them in place. I bought a new pan, mat and scoop—here I’m testing to make sure the pan fits. At this point the back is still off. You can see how I used the pocket holes across the bottom (and the top) to secure the front facing to the t.v. cabinet.
It wasn’t until I was painting the cabinet doors that I noticed one of them is caddywampus! It doesn’t lay flat on a table, and it caused me issues as I was installing it.
I added small knobs that I painted with Krylon Rust Protector in White Gloss.
I added a hook to hang the scoop on the inside of the cabinet, and I tested to see if a jug of kitty litter will easily store in the cabinet. Notice I bought a framed cat litter pan to help reduce spillage.
The cat litter pan will lift out through the doorway for quick cleanups.
If the new owner would like to use it as a piece of furniture they can display their items on the top.
If they have a dog, and would like to feed the cat up high or let the cat catch a nap, they could add a small rug or cat bed to the top.
I hope I’ve inspired you to make something similar, or at least taught you something with my tips.
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Cool idea for the cat lovers out there. Next time you get a TV cabinet to carve up here's an idea. Dirty clothes hamper. Cut a hinged lid in the top with a finger hole to open it, then doors in the front to hide the clothes basket inside. You can stack two baskets, then when the top one gets full you take the baskets out, put the full one on top, empty one on the floor in front of it to sort out lights and darks. Just an idea....
That's a great idea for a tv cabinet, or even some other pieces of furniture. I'll have to remember that.
thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.
I made an enclosure like this a few years ago, used a cat door to keep the dog out, jigsawed a rectangular opening for a floor grate to fit to allow light and ventilation.
What a fantastic idea Gail! We need something just like this for our kitty. We could keep his food dish up top, too! (We have a sneaky little ShizTui who steals his food). I love the little access door too. Thanks for sharing a great tutorial.
I would love to do this for my cat. But please tell me what you do with the insides of the old tv. Can they just be thrown away in the regular trash or do they have to be recycled? Thank you I love everything you do. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your to your next projects.
This is the cat's meow!!! hehe. I absolutely adore it and its has inspired me most definitely.
Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
Wow, you never cease to amaze me with your creative ideas! I did not see that one coming!
You did inspire me, but in a different way. We already have the litter out of view, but there is a problem with the food and our dog doing everything in his power to get it. If I make an enclosure that only the cat can fit in, problem solved and the food is off my laundry counter. See how that inspiration thing works, excellent!
Perfect idea for that console! And yes, it has inspired me. I do rescue work and have ferals and/or abused cats here as fosters til they can be placed in their furever homes. Teaching them that love is a good thing and not all humans are bad. I most likely will need 3 of these, strategically placed of course. ^.~ Thank you Gail, for helping me to help the furbabies in a much "nicer" way!
THAT is a great idea, Gail.
So timely! I am getting ready to move the grandkittens upstairs (they will not be happy), but I need my guestroom back! This is such a good idea...I may have to do something like this. Thanks, Gail!
Nicely done. The easiest way to cut that mouse hole at the bottom where you jig saw doesn't fit is to use a reciprocating saw. It makes a nice flush cut. Sorry you had trouble with it. A reciprocating saw is one of those must haves (at least in my shop). But even though you were frustrated, it turned out great.
Brilliant, Gail! What a great idea.
Paige @ Little Nostalgia
I was just talking to a friend the other day about hiding litter boxes. This is WAY better than sticking it in the corner of a bathroom or mudroom. It could even work for little dogs that are taught to use litter boxes, too.
Truly inspired! Best repurpose, EVAH!