DIY Litter box in IKEA bookshelf: An easy hack

Here’s how to hack a hidden litter box in the BILLY bookshelf.

We wanted to add more storage to our oddly huge master bath as well as figure out a solution for concealing the litter box and related paraphernalia.

We found this rather beat up white BILLY bookshelf with doors on CL and saw the potential for a cat litter enclosure and bathroom storage in one.

cat litter box in BILLY bookcase

How we hacked a cat litter box in an IKEA bookshelf

IKEA items used:

BILLY bookcase
OXBERG doors

As we purchased it preloved from Craiglist, it came assembled. We completely disassembled the entire thing.

The only bit that needed some hacking was cutting the cat door. We first penciled it on the side panel, just to be sure we didn’t cut anything that should be cut.

The bottom of the hole was aligned to where the litter box would hit. The sides were an inch or so inside of the shelf support holes. And for the curved top I traced a large bowl.

Then used a jigsaw to cut it out. We sanded and painted the sides, top, bottom, and middle pieces a lovely aqua color.

Assemble IKEA BILLY bookshelf

We had considered leaving the doors and movable shelves white, but after reassembling it (with wood glue for added sturdiness) the white still looked grimy next to the new paint. So I got some contact paper that matched the paint color pretty well, and wrapped the shelves and the inset door panels.

cat litter box in BILLY bookcase

The top now allows for decorative bathroom storage (still working on filling it up!) and then when you open the doors, there is easy access to clean the litter box with a scoop and waste receptacle on the left.

The shelf holds paper towels, waste bag refills, and other cleaning supplies. The litter pan we use is actually a 6 inch deep full size stainless steel steam table pan. It works perfectly except that it does stick out a little in the back so the shelf isn’t flush to the wall (since we got the bookcase on CL, it didn’t come with the back piece)

Anyway I am super proud of it, and both my cats seem to like our litter box in a bookshelf.

~ by Stephanie W

You may also like this hack:

Top entry cat litter box. Less tracking litter!

DIY top entry cat litter box with IKEA bookshelf and plastic container box

Another version of a cat litter box in a bookshelf. This one is using the BESTÅ shelf unit. She used the 17 gallon SAMLA box to hold the litter. The smart thing is to cut a hole in the lid so the cats have to enter through the top, leaving no litter around the box. See how to make a top entry cat litter box.