Update: Tools Needed
Some readers have been asking for specifics about the boxes and drill bits. Here is what you will need for the project.
Rectangular Storage Boxes that sit 2 inches when stacked. Or these alternatives
Here are the other items that you’ll need:
After yesterday’s fun DIY Kitty Project from Cinde, How a Reader Built a Cat Power Tower from Scratch, I wanted to share her DIY Kitty Potty Project. Thank you to Cinde for letting me share both projects with the readership!
In May 2017, Cinde sent me this email about their “kitty potty project”, lol…
DIY Pine Pellet Sifting Litter Box
I wanted to use 100% pine pellets but was not loving the idea of tediously sorting the pellets from the sawdust with the scooper multiple times a day, however, if this wasn’t done regularly the sawdust would build up in the box and get tracked through the house (no thanks!). I searched online but found only 1 sifting type litter box (designed specifically for use with pine pellets) sold by the company that makes Feline Pine cat litter, but the box dimensions were too small for Ragdoll cats in my opinion.
So, I decided to make my own roomy pine pellet sifting boxes using large rectangular storage tubs and an electric drill.
- Storage Boxes – The key was finding tubs that were the right diameter and height, that also had about a two-inch gap between them when stacked, to allow room for the sifted sawdust in the lower bin.
- Electric Drill and ¼ Drill Bit – My husband drilled tons of holes in the bottom of one bin using a 1/4 drill bit, which allows the sawdust to pass through when shaken, but keeps the unused pellets on the top where they belong. There is no odor because the “used” sawdust is trapped in the lower box (plus pine is a natural deodorizer).
- Sifting – All I have to do is shake the box back and forth after they pee and the pellets have broken down – the sawdust magically disappears (solid waste is scooped out and discarded in a bag).
- Pine Pellet Tip – Also… a tip for people considering this type of setup… buy 100% pine pellet HORSE bedding from your local feed supply store – it is only $4.95 for a FORTY POUND BAG and is the same exact thing as the cat pine pellets. It is far more expensive when marketed as cat litter! Also, you use WAY less than with traditional litter, so a 40-pound bag will last a long time!
Now part two of our “potty project”
Hiding the Sifting Litter Boxes…
I am not a fan of litter boxes in high traffic areas. I have a formal dining room, which we only use a few times a year for holiday meals, and thought the large unused corner of the room would be a quiet location for the boxes. However, there were two things holding me back from using this location: 1) the area I had in mind is one of the first things you see if you are standing at my front door and my entry hallway – 2) when we do use that room for formal holiday meals I didn’t want anyone to see the boxes.
Building a Nook
- I had hubby build me a litter box partition that was architecturally compatible with my dining room. We designed an “L” shaped partition out of the same wood wainscoting and moldings found in the rest of the home.
- We painted the wainscoting the same color as the surrounding walls, and the wood trim the same color as the surrounding wood trim in the room.
- We lined the inside of the partition with sheets of semi-solid plastic for ease of cleaning since it was right next to the litter boxes.
- We lined the floor and baseboards with re-usable machine washable medical absorbent bed liners instead of traditional litter mats. This protects our hardwood floors from accidents, are pleasing to the kitty’s paws and are easy to wash.
- The partition itself can be easily pulled away from the walls when necessary; it is not attached to anything.
No one would ever guess there were litter boxes behind our partition, and it blends beautifully with the surroundings. The best part? No litter box in the bathroom!
Sorry, this is so long, but I am just so happy with the outcome of our potty system project… I don’t know many people who would appreciate this as much as you might.
Here are some pics showing the components of our creations…
This first pic is the view of our potty partition area from our front door/entryway… no one would ever guess there were litter boxes behind it!
August 2017 Update
They have not had one potty accident in the 3+ months we have had them – I like to think this has something to do with their approval of our litter system. It is a breeze to maintain, non-toxic and tracking is not an issue! An added bonus is how easy it is on the budget… no more costly cat litter! I wish I had discovered this method years ago.
November 2017 Update
As the cats have grown bigger, so has their urine output. Now there is more sawdust formed after they pee. I find it easier to scoop as much of the fluffy loose sawdust into a bag prior to using the scoop to rake the remaining sawdust into the holes. Finally, I shake the box back & forth a few times and any remaining sawdust then disappears into the holes. The whole process is very quick & easy.
Happy to report that we are STILL potty accident-free since bringing them home nearly 7 months ago – that’s right, not ONE single accident! Also, my house STILL doesn’t smell like a litter box. I love this system!
That’s about it. I have never taken any photos of them doing their business at the litter box – even a cat needs their privacy! 😂
Some readers have reported that they can also use pine pellets and Breeze litter box for the same effect.
Have you tried to make a DIY sifting litter box? Do you have any suggestions to share, I’m sure others could benefit from your work so drop them in the comments below.
Do you have a kitty DIY project that you’d like to share on the site to help other cat owners? We’d love to feature it! Please contact us.