*DIY Cat Litter Box*

cat litter box

making your own litter box for your petI love my kitten to death. But he has a problem. He thinks hisย litter-boxย is a sandbox. He gets the litter everywhere. I would end up sweeping at least three times everyday because of the mess he would make. I wanted to find an alternative without purchasing the $50 covered litter-boxes. I thought a plastic container might work. I would have to cut a circle out on top of the lid so he could enter and exit. This way he could play all he wanted and the litter would not disperse all over the floor. I bought a bin at Lowe’s for $5.98. If this did not work out, at least I would have a new storage container!

cat litter box

The 18 gallon bin

make your own cat litter box

I used a paper plate and a sharpie to make a circle on the top of the lid

spill free cat litter

The perfect circle

making your own cat litter box

I needed my boyfriends muscles to cut the circle. He used a razor blade for the first cut then used scissors

litter box

My cat jumped right in once he figured out what this was

making your own litter box for your pet

He loves it. The only mess I have is some litter on the top of the lid, but I brush that right back in. This is the best invention and both me and my cat are as happy as can be!


  • 18 Gallon Plastic Bin: $5.98 at Lowe’s
  • Marker
  • Razor Blaze
  • Paper Plate
  • Scissors


  • Use a marker to outline the paper plate to make the circle on the lid of the bin
  • Use a razor blade or scissors to cut the circle
  • Fill the bin with litter
  • Put cover on topย 

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30 comments on “*DIY Cat Litter Box*

  1. I found your blog through a pin on Pinterest, and these cat boxes are such an amazing idea; my husband and I just looked at each other (and then at our four cats) and said, “why aren’t we doing this yet?!”

    Thanks for the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha that’s what I told myself too! “Why didn’t I think of this ages ago?”
      Are you and your husband going to try out this idea?
      If so, please let me know how it works with your four cats! Hopefully they will love it as much as you will!
      Thank you for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Did you put a litter box in the storage bin that you fill up or do you just put the litter straight in the storage bin? ( Just curious because I’ve heard cat urine can corrode those kind of plastic bins. )

    1. That is a very good idea! I personally did not, for the fact my cats are super picky and even that would be too much for them. If you have a litter box that fits, then I would try it out! Let me know if you choose to do that, I would like to see how it works out!
      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Just fill the bin with litter ! At least 4 -5 inches deep . May seem like a lot of litter but it llasts a very long time . The cat urine clumps up & never really reaches the plastic . Besides if it does sometime , & you have to eventually replace the bin … it’s only 5.98 … Nothing close to what those expensive cat boxes costs !

  3. I have seen this type of litter box being used in several homes I visited when I was a volunteer for a cat shelter/rescue and was not at all impressed. You could smell the urine immediately when walking into the area where the box is placed. Plus, give this some thought now, if you were a cat, how would you like to leap into the unknown and land in a pile of shit and/or piss? Open litter boxes and ones with the little doors/flaps give the cat a chance to find a clear spot to go in…even if he has to shuffle it around a bit.
    Sorry, but I give this a “tails down”. ๐Ÿ™

    1. Have you tried it in your home? If the cats cover their own pee and poop, they tend not to jump in it. Anyway, I have not experienced one of those issues in my own home with the litter box or at the rescue I volunteer at…just my thoughts. Tails UP! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Seriously? It doesn’t matter what kind of litter pan you use, if you don’t “pick up” after your cat, it will smell. If a cat is leaping into a pile of shit, then it’s owner isn’t being diligent. Shame on them!

      1. That is very true! Scooping litter should be done (at least) once a day, every single day, no matter what. Cats are very clean animals and take immaculate care of themselves. Owners need to be aware of their pets needs and take care of them ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. OMG, I’ve used an under the bed storage box for my cat cause he digs so far away from his litter, and I’ve tried various ways to protect the wall he scratches at…..I will use this idea but no hole needed, I will just cut the front down, but leave the sides, that way he will only scratch at the sides and back of the container, instead of the wall! Thank you!
    Tina (Saber’s Mommy)

  5. I can’t wait to try this. I bought a Rubbermaid container on sale as the plastic lid seems more pliable than the Sterilte brand I saw.
    Someone that uses these containers for feral cat shelters told me that you can use a hairdryer and warm it a bit to make cutting a bit easier.
    I was also told to use sandpaper if there were any rough edges around the opening once it was cut

  6. I love this! We just added a very large male cat to our two normal size females. They all use the box OK, but a second box would be perfect to put it my office. This is the answer!

  7. ok This is my last attempt to outsmart my cat. He stands when he pees. I can’t keep up with the overflow anymore. *fingers crossed* Oh I also bought a clear bin. He doesn’t like not seeing when he goes.

  8. We have a dog and no matter what I do the dog gets to the cat food and eats it all up. I had been using a cardboard box that I cut a hole in that was too big for the dog – put the food inside so the dog couldn’t get it . But the box eventually deteriorated. This would be perfect.

  9. Great idea – solves some of the problems, but I wonder about tracking. I have 2 large cats and a big problem for me is that the litter gets caught in their paws and they end up tracking it all over my apartment. I’ve tried out a lot of pet store rugs, and found one that reduces it quite a bit, but I still have to sweep at least every day to keep the floor clean. Have you had this problem? Maybe it’s the litter?

    Also, I think my finicky cats might have the problem another person commented on, reluctance to jump into a dark space with waste in it. I clean my litter box daily (I have a huge store-bought one with a cover) and even that isn’t really often enough, and once it starts getting messy in there, the cats stop covering up their waste (I swear these cats expel more waste daily than their body weight!). But I was thinking with your idea, maybe I could put in some kind of small, raised surface just below the hole, like a small cardboard box or something. I could replace the cardboard box when it got too messy. What do you think?

    Thanks for the great idea!

    1. What litter are you currently using? Having a litter that clumps easy usually works best. I use the Tidy Cats Instant Action (Blue Label) and the litter will stay in the box. Litter does venture out of the box and I sweep once a day around it, but it is very little.

      You could also try cutting a larger hole or start them by taking the lid off completely at first.
      I think your idea of using a raised surface is a great idea, a cardboard box should work just fine!

      Please let me know how it works, I will still brainstorm over here for you while you try these ideas out! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. We did something almost exactly like this, but cut a door into the side instead of the top. It works great!

  11. My wife found this a couple of days ago and I knew the moment she squealed “OMG, WE NEED THIS!” it was going to be a project for our next day off. Since we have 3 cats and one is half-tiger (he is seriously huge) and another thinks her box is a place to practice her beach volley ball skills, I knew we’d need something taller than a regular 18 gallon tote. We went with a larger 35 gallon tote with a snap on lid. It was only $12! Cutting a hole in the lid was the tricky part — we bought a cheap knife and she muscled through it. We also decided to cut the hole in the far end, which would force them to walk across the lid after they do their business. Afterwards I glued down some non-stick shelf liner (that kind that is slightly sticky) to catch the litter off their paws. We have a closet in our spare bedroom where their current lidded box resides. When I removed everything I was stoked to discover that the 35 gallon fit perfect! Not a minute after I finished, and before I could even snap the lid on for one of them, all three catbeasts had used it.


  12. Love this idea! I’m also thinking I will cut the hole more toward one side than the middle to give a little more walking or sitting room and glue down a square of indoor-outdoor carpeting to catch excess liiter. Thanks!

  13. I have a very large male cat that the conventional covered litter boxes just aren’t big enough for! I’m going to give this a try…poor guy, sometimes when he poops it gets on the floor because he has his backside to the opening. I think I will try putting the opening on the side rather than the top. Wish us luck! Mary Jane & Mister

  14. I Saw this and knew i had to try it….made one for my cats about a yr ago and it works great! I used a clear box however, just so they would be able to see out and not feel closed in ..And i was able to fit a metal cat box inside as well …easier clean up and will make the box last longer. Its just perfect!

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