We all know litter boxes aren’t exactly attractive, yet our cats need easy access. How can you hide them from view but allow your cat to go to the toilet easily? How can you help your cat transition to a hidden litter box? What else do you need to consider? Well today, we are going to be covering all these things. And more!
So, how can you hide a litter box in plain sight? You can hide a cat litter box in plain sight through the strategic use of concealed furniture or repurpose an existing piece of furniture. Other attractive objects you can use include large plastic plant pots, big baskets, or a do-it-yourself litter box cover.
Recommended Way To Hide Your Cat Litter Box
The Haven cat litter box enclosure is my stand out option and personal recommendation.
It looks fantastic, seamlessly fits into most living spaces, effectively conceals the litter box, has great interior space, and provides fresh airflow.
Plus, you get a complimentary litter box, scoop, brush and dustpan.
Best Ways To Hide A Litter Box In Plain Sight
The best ways for you to hide a litter box in plain sight make the most of your existing décor and provide ample room for your cat to do their business. The easiest route is to purchase a piece of concealed furniture which has been built for the purpose of hiding a litter tray. Otherwise, you can cut a hole or install a cat flap in an existing piece of furniture – or use something with an existing opening (such as the space under a sink).
Use Concealed Furniture
Concealed furniture is an excellent way to hide a litter box in plain sight.
You can find some very classy items that are purpose-built so that your cat will feel right at home, such as this Haven Litter Box Enclosure, which many cats seem to love.
Enclosures like these can complement your home décor, and it looks attractive anywhere in your home. This particular enclosure is designed with cats in mind and is easy to use.
Other pros include:
- You can use the top of the unit to store or display other items
- Your floor will be free of pieces of kitty litter, so there is less need to vacuum around the litter tray (the unit comes with a litter tray, scoop, dustpan, and brush)
- You can customize the color with a coat of paint or new varnish to match your current décor
- The unit accommodates a variety of litter boxes measuring up to 17 x 21 inches
- Bits of litter that your kitty kicks off its paws tend to land in the landing spot
- Many owners report their cats take to this enclosed litter box quickly and seem to like using it (probably the biggest pro of all!)
Some things to consider are:
- The price of the unit
- It requires self-assembly
- You’ll need to help your cat get used to an enclosed litter box (we give you tips for that below)
This is a highly attractive piece that doesn’t even look like it’s hiding a litter box, so it really is a case of hiding the litter box in plain sight.
Repurpose Existing Furniture
You may have furniture in your home that you aren’t using that could easily hide a litter box.
You can use things like:
- A side table.
- A closet (you can put the litter tray at the bottom of a wardrobe with a shelf above it to keep it separate from clothes or other things you’ve stored inside).
- An ottoman, toy box, or another type of bench (these are multi-functional: put a cat flap in the side of the bench, and you can still sit on top).
- A cupboard.
Here’s a simple way to create your own hiding place for a litter tray from a piece of existing furniture:
- Choose furniture that can contain a litter tray underneath it.
- If it has doors at the front, you can either create an opening by removing one or both doors (depending on the size of the piece of furniture) or cut a large hole in the front of the door for your cat to get through. No need for a hole if there’s already an opening (such as the space under a sink or an end table).
- Next, choose a piece of fabric that matches your décor. Measure the perimeter of the opening (or the hole), and double it if you want to gather the fabric for a ruffled curtain effect.
- Measure the height between the floor and the top of the opening, then cut and hem the fabric.
- Attach the fabric across the opening using small nails, thumbtacks, or staples. Make sure you leave a slit across the front or at the side for your cat to get in and out without having to push underneath the curtain that you’ve created.
- Put the furniture in the spot where you previously had the litter tray.
Note: You don’t have to have a curtain – another attractive option is to put a wooden frame around the opening that matches the piece of furniture. Some people also add an existing cat flap to a cabinet – you can keep the doors at the front and put the cat flap on one side. You can then use the inside of the cabinet as a storage area, with the litter tray on the bottom and the scoop and other essentials hanging from a top shelf or along the inside of one of the doors.
Use Another Type Of Attractive Object
There are some other kinds of objects that are built to hide litter trays that you can consider, such as:
- A large ‘plant pot’. You can put a fake plant on the top and a hole in the bottom of the pot for your cat to access the litter tray beneath. Some people simply fill the bottom of the pot with cat litter (be sure to use a lightweight pot for ease of cleaning when you have to lift it).
- An attractive basket. Larger baskets can accommodate litter at the bottom, and you can easily cut a hole in the front. Big wicker baskets are particularly well-suited, as they come in chest-style shapes with a large opening on top for easy cleaning. The spaces between the wicker provide ventilation, too.
- A do-it-yourself litter box cover. This sounds easier than you think – any type of large wooden structure can be suitable to cover a litter tray, and you can decorate it as you wish.
How To Help Your Cat Transition Over To A Hidden Litter Box
Depending on your cat’s personality and preferences, it can take some time to help them transition to using a hidden litter box.
Here’s how to help your kitty make the change to a covered or hidden litter box:
Introduce The New Location
Before buying or changing any furniture, put the litter tray where you’ll want the hidden box to be.
Give your cat the time it needs to get used to the new placement of the tray, and make sure they’re happy doing their business there.
Be sure to stick to the same kind of kitty litter that your cat has been using.
Make Sure Its Ready
Once your cat is accustomed to the new place for their litter tray, add the cover, piece of furniture, cupboard, basket, etc.
Make sure it’s ready to use before you cover the litter tray – your cat won’t appreciate you hammering away while they’re trying to go to the toilet!
You might have to show your kitty that it’s still the same litter tray – just with a cover.
Consider Toys To Help
If your cat is resisting the change, try offering a favorite toy when they go to the litter box.
Make sure there is no noise or strong odors around the box that could dissuade your cat: if you’ve had to paint a cupboard, for instance, be sure there are no lingering paint odors before asking your cat to go inside it.
If there is a curtain, you might have to remove it at first – once your cat is happy using the hidden box, you can put the curtain or door back.
Things To Consider With A Hidden Litter Box
Regardless of which option you choose, when you get your cat a hidden litter box, there are some further considerations to remember. You’ll need to make sure it isn’t so well-hidden that someone can walk into it. Depending on what your cat is used to, you may have to teach your cat how to use this new litter box. Then there are further factors, such as the number of cats in your home, the need for regular cleaning, and changes to make if you’re renting.
Be Careful You Don’t Walk Into It
If your cat’s litter box is so well hidden that you don’t see it, you want to make sure you aren’t going to end up walking into it!
If you have children in your home, let them know where it is and that they aren’t to touch it (it’s full of germs, even with regular cleaning).
Teach Your Cat How to Use It
If your cat has been used to an open litter box, you’ll have to teach them how to use an enclosed one.
It may take time, but the good news is that recent studies suggest that most cats don’t have an overt preference for uncovered rather than covered litter boxes.
Most of the time, what your cat prefers is down to individual personality. Cats can adapt, but they don’t like change, so any new behaviors will take time to encourage.
There are a few other things to consider before you go cutting holes in your furniture or buying something purpose-built, such as:
The Number Of Cats In Your Home
Each cat needs its own litter box – this helps prevent anxiety and stress, as cats tend to compete for resources.
Make sure you can provide solutions for each cat.
The Need For Regular Cleaning
If anything, you’ll want to clean the litter box more often than before, as the odors will tend to stay inside the box.
Cats have highly sensitive noses – much more so than ours – so what smells unpleasant to you can smell overwhelmingly awful to your cat.
Make sure the litter tray is in an area with good ventilation, scoop it at least twice a day (and always after each poop), and wash it weekly with a vinegar and water solution to keep it disinfected and free of odors.
Your Cat’s Individual Needs
Does your cat have arthritis? Is he or she very small?
Are there other issues that might make climbing in and out of a litter box difficult for your cat?
Is the litter box going to be up a flight of stairs? Take into account what your cat already likes.
Your Cats Love For Routine
Keep changes to a minimum, so if you want to use an enclosed litter box, first put the litter tray in the spot where you’ll put the furniture.
Let your cat get used to the placement of the open litter box before you then impose a further change of an enclosed space.
Cats don’t deal with change very well, so one change at a time (and only when necessary) is kindest.
Other Pets Must Stay Away
If you have a curious dog in your home, you’ll want to make sure the opening is too small for your dog to get inside.
Keep it nice and clean, too.
Changes You’ll Have To Make If You’re Renting
If you’re renting your home furnished, you won’t want to cut holes in the furniture.
You can, however, remove the doors from an existing cabinet (see above).
Keep the doors and fittings in a safe place, and when you move out, simply re-attach the doors.
There are a number of effective ways to hide a litter box, even in plain sight!
Some ways are relatively simple, others will involve a bit of DIY!
If you are serious about adding a cat litter box to a central location in your home, then I personally think you want it to be as aesthetic and well-designed as possible.
That’s where furniture comes in, like the Haven.
And the fact that it was designed for cat litter boxes specifically, makes it so effective.
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I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.