From a storage bin!
I don’t think I’ll ever use a commercial catbox again (well, until they perfect the flushable cat toilet). Storage containers are so much cheaper, and the material they are made from is easier to clean than any catbox that my cats have every used.
Our new cat Calie likes to pile all the litter that is in the catbox into the back corner of the box…all of it…every time. So I needed to replace my low-sided catbox with something to corral the litter excavation. I looked locally and no one even stocked a high sided litter box. I could get a covered one, but I’m not sure what my formerly wild kitty would think of that, so I didn’t want to go there, yet. I looked online and high-sided litterboxes were $40…$40! Did they scoop themeselves, play music, something? Grrrr. I did NOT want to pay $40 for a new litter box.
Back to the web I went. This time searching looking for what other people used for catboxes. I found this great tutorial, and an idea was born! Would it work? Would they use it? I was ready to find out. Being to cheap to even spring for a Rubbermaid container on this test, I bought a ~60 gallon Sterilite semi-opaque bin. They are only about $5 each here, Rubbermaid are usually closer to $10, unless you catch a sale. So here’s what you need:
- A 45 gallon or larger plastic bin. – I think the Rubbermaid ones may be easier to cut, but the Sterilite ones are so cheap, its hard to pass them up.
- Marking pen
- Utility knife, Dremel tool, or heavy duty kitchen shears
- Duct Tape – Being 3M junkies that we are, our house has many colors of duct tape…so I don’t consider it the redneck tool most do.
From there, its not that hard. I traced out the hole I wanted to cut. I cut a bigger hole than shown in the tutorial above. I’m not using a lid for this, so I went for the large, easy access side cutout. I left about 4″ for a lip on the bottom. Next time I’ll leave six or 7 inches. More litter than I’d like falls out the front, mostly when I’m scooping the box. Its not a lot, but I know if the lip was higher, it wouldn’t be so bad. My husband tried to help me by drilling holes at the bottom corners to help with the cutting, but the plastic still ended up cracking and splitting. He started cutting with a utility knife, I finished cutting with big kitchen shears.
Once you’ve gotten the hole in the side cut out, you are pretty much done. If you used a dremel, you probably don’t need to tape the edges. You might want to take a nail file to any pokey spots. Run your hand lightly along the endges for any place that snags. If you had cracks & splits like I did, you’ll want to tape it, or cover the edges somehow. The tape actually made a very nice edge and is holding up very well. Its not showroom perfect, but let’s face it…this is a catbox.
I’m really impressed with how its holding up and how non-stick the inside of the bin is. It still looks new. I was thinking I might have to get a new bin every six months. But it looks like they will last at least a year, possibly longer. This is so great for multi-cat households, you can get 3 catboxes for the price of one. I can’t believe I’ve had cats my whole life and never thought to use these bins. DO’H! Oh, well…now I know, and I won’t be buying a traditional catbox again.