Litter Box Bench DIY
If you have an indoor cat, you know the struggle: where do I put the litter box? And if you live in a city like New York, where a small apartment is the standard, your options are probably limited. You also probably don’t want a cat toilet clashing with the rest of your decor, or taking up precious real estate that could be used for a more functional item - like seating.
In an attempt to solve all these problems I made a bench to hide Mr. Minkleton’s litter box and litter genie, that also serves as seating (or a place to put my bag when I come home from work).
The litter box I bought is the Modkat Flip Litter Box, so I made the bench to fit around that, with enough space for a little “ante chamber” for Minkle, as well as room for the litter genie I use (this one) and extra litter etc.
Dimensions of my bench: 39” length x 17 11/16” depth x 18 1/8“ height
These aren’t the easiest dimensions to work with, I ended up with these because I originally used metric measurements and then had to switch.
If you want easier dimensions, change it up! To figure out the measurements use this guide (works for metric and imperial):
Decide on you final measurements of the piece: A (length)x B (depth) X C (height)
Decide on the thickness of your plywood: this will be X
the top/lid of your finished box will measure A x B. You will need 1 piece.
the front & back of the box will measure A x (C-X), so subtract X (the thickness of your plywood) from the height of your box to find the height of the front and back piece. You will need 2 pieces of this size.
the sides of the box will measure (B-2X) x (C-X). Meaning these pieces will have the same height as the front & back pieces you just calculated, but we have to subtract the thickness of the plywood (X) twice, as these side piece fit snugly between the front & back pieces. Makes sense?
top: 1 piece. I used 11/16th in plywood - 17 5/8th” x 39”
front & back: 2 pieces (11/16th in plywood - 17 7/16” x 39”)
sides: 2 pieces (11/16th in plywood - 17 7/16” x 16 5/16th”)
2 (or 3 if your bench is very long) no-mortise hinges (I got these) - it’s important to get the right hinges, as the no-mortise hinges will ensure the top of your bench opens and closes properly, and lies flat. Make sure the hinges fit over the thickness of your plywood!
Wood stain or paint
Optional: felt floor protectors
I started by marking the “mouse hole” for my cat to enter the box. I made this 10” high and 6 1/4” wide, with a rounded top. I cut out the shape using a piece of paper folded in half, to ensure the shape is symmetrical.
I used the jig saw to cut out the shape (after securing the wood to my kitchen counter because my apartment is small and I had not furniture when I was working on this haha)
After sanding the edges, I glued the front/back & sides together using wood glue and clamps to hold the pieces in place while they dried. Once they were dry, I pre drilled 3 holes along the front/back edges, and connected the pieces using countersunk screws.
Note: if you plan to stain your box, make sure to sand away any excess glue! I didn’t do this, since I originally planned on painting it. Then months later when I used stain, I got some discoloration (as you can see in the photos) in the areas where there was glue, as I’d forgotten it was there!
I covered up the screws using wood filler, which I let try and then sanded flat. You can still see where I used them since they absorbed the wood stain differently.
At this point I attached the no-mortise hinges and top/lid of the box. My piece of wood had warped slightly by the time I did this, so you can see it doesn’t sit flush with the box in the right hand corner (for weeks I just placed the lid on top of the box which worked fine until I got the right hinges to finish the project).
Then I sanded everything until smooth, and (months later) finally stained it! I had originally wanted to paint it crazy colors, but opted for stain to keep our living room a bit more calm and chill. I could still paint over this in the future though, so maybe I will someday when I get bored of it :)
If you have wood floors like I do, don’t forget to add felt protector pads! I used ones from a multipack I got at IKEA.
Paint the bench a fun pattern to create a statement piece!
Paint the inside a contrasting color.
Sew a seating pad or pillows to add to the top of the bench.
I plan on eventually painting the inside a fun color and adding some padding to this, to make it more comfortable to sit on. But I have enough other projects lined up for now, and I want to get back to sewing garments! :)