Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Make Room for Kitty



While I certainly don’t believe you should take on a pet you’re not 1001% committed to, I know a lot of people whose only stumbling block for a cat is the issue of where to put the litter box. With a little creativity, this problem can be solved quite easily and quite stylishly.

Currently I’m fortunate to have a second full bath that is not needed for showering, so my solution is very easy: I just put the two litter boxes right in the tub. I know eventually my guys will get too old to jump in there, at which point if we’re still living here I will most likely trade bathrooms with them so they can get in and out of the lower shower stall, but for now they are hidden away behind the shower curtain where no one can see and all the litter they scratch out is contained within the tub instead of all over the carpet. I keep a stopper in the tub and use the vacuum cleaner to suck up the stray litter when I do a full box cleaning so it doesn’t harm the plumbing.

Now you see it...

Now you don't.
In addition to the litter boxes, I’ve placed a pole across the built in niches in the shower wall and use this to suspend their carriers. The scoop goes in another niche and I’ve hung some volcanic rocks from the shower head that are supposed to absorb smells (jury is still out on this, they don’t work instantaneously). I should probably hang this with some sort of cute ribbon or something a little more classy than an old dry cleaner's hanger, but I just got it and haven't had time to really think about it much.

I’ve decorated the space with random cat-themed tchotchkes, plus a few cute little birdies (this is “their” room after all and they’re not really big fans of random cats, they barely tolerate one another), and their pictures (well, I only have Mia’s picture up currently, still need to get the frames painted for the other two).

Random cat decor.

Birdies for the kitties.
The space under the sink holds bags of litter, dry cat food (for some reason they prefer to eat their dry food in here rather than in the pantry where they get their wet food and where we also keep bowls of dry food and water), paper bags for the litter box scoopings, and old towels and pillow cases for in their carrier and for cleaning up after them.

Supplies store neatly under the sink.
By the way, I can’t recommend “The World’s Best Cat Litter” enough. It really is. It is made from corn and it clumps, but not into a hard little cement ball (remember, your cat is going to breath in and most likely consume some of their litter in cleaning themselves – I personally don’t want anything turning to cement inside of them); it doesn’t get gummy; and it is chemical free. It is not the cheapest litter but I can go a month without doing a full change out.

A cute milkglass planter in the medicine cabinet holds their nail clippers, brush, collars they won't wear and some of their other small items.

Even the hand soap has a cat on the label.

Before moving here, we lived in a one bed, one bath apartment so my solution for the litter box was a bit different. I removed the doors from the bathroom vanity and put one of the litter boxes in there and then covered it with a tension rod and a small curtain I’d made to coordinate with the shower curtain. As for all the junk one normally stores under the vanity, I moved most of it to the linen closet where I hung a shoe bag over the door and used the pockets for spare shampoo, toothpaste and the like (hint: if you do this, get a shoe bag with CLEAR pockets – may not be as attractive, but makes finding things MUCH easier, trust me, I learned this the hard way). For things like spare toilet paper that had to be kept in the bathroom, I just got a few cute baskets and boxes and stored them in those on the floor and on the back of the toilet tank.

The beauty of this idea is that it can be adapted to other spaces. If you don’t want to give up the space in your bathroom vanity or need space for a second litter box, you can remove the door on a linen closet, tv cabinet, buffet or anything like this and make a private little space with a curtain. Just make sure you remove any low shelves so kitty has some headroom and of course you will need to devote the entire cabinet to kitty and kitty’s supplies (no storing dishes in the buffet along with the litter box!)

If you don't want to DIY it, you can also purchase ready-made furniture with a built-in litter box space like this stylish bench from Drs. Foster and Smith.

Specialty cat furniture from Drs. Foster and Smith

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