Cat Housing Bench with IKEA outdoor storage box hack
I used the IKEA NÄMMARÖ Storage Boxes to make two cat housing boxes to be placed outdoor. The cat box also double up as a bench seat. We set up these cat boxes as a refuge for the 4 cats in the colony I have in my backyard. It’s not a litter box but a place for them to sleep, to get away from the cold. They all live outdoor. (They are not domesticated) but are spayed and taken care of.
If you have the older ÄPPLARÖ storage box, you can use that too. The NÄMMARÖ range replaces the ÄPPLARÖ and looks similar. It’s made of durable acacia hardwood and is pre-treated to be better protected against moisture and stains.
Here’s a before-after. Other than the cut out on one side it really isn’t obvious that it’s a cat house.
Building a cat litter box bench can be a great way to hide your cat’s litter box while also providing a functional piece of furniture. Using IKEA furniture is a good starting point as you’ll save time constructing a bench from scratch. IKEA has a few benches that are particularly popular for the cat litter box bench hack.
You’ll also need some raw materials like plywood, cat accessories like a litter pan and litter mat to complete your DIY litter box bench.
Plan for the Cat Litter Box Bench
I’ve been perusing IKEA Hackers for a good way to disguise my cat litter box but nothing quite fit what I wanted. I was wandering through IKEA and noticed the STUVA bench/cabinet. So starting with the STUVA bench and my existing semi-homemade litter box I got going.
I traced the cat door on the side of the bench I wanted the cats to enter and used a dremel (a jigsaw would be much better) to cut the hole. The cat door was snug enough that it holds itself in place. Then I traced the opening on the drawer part of the STUVA bench.
You could definitely clean of the edge of the cuts but I opted to leave it since it’s not seen unless I’m cleaning the litter box and raw wood is the least gross thing you’ll see then. Edge banding would be a good choice if you want to seal up the raw edges.
The OPLEV door mat fits almost perfectly in the bottom. I had to trim a little off. There’s enough room in the bench that the cats have a couple steps to clean the litter off their feet and the mat catches it. The litter box is a plastic storage box I picked up at Home Depot. (Edit: The storage box is a 68 Liters. It’s about 23″ x 16″ x 14″. It’s a fairly large box and I trimmed the top so it would fit under the bench part of the STUVA.) I used the dremel to cut a hole for the entrance. The high walls keep things tidy and they’re a lot cheaper than store bought litter boxes.
Not pictured is the motion activated light that’s stuck to the inside-top of the bench and the activated charcoal deodoriser. The drawer makes it really easy to clean and then tuck out of the way.
I picked up a STUVA/FOLJA combo ($10 cheaper than the STUVA/FRITIDS) and the OPLEX mat to do a copycat project. The FRITIDS box that is on casters has different (closed) handles now, so I opted for the FOLJA box. I might cut in some round ventilation holes where the screw holes for the FOLJA box pulls are, since we can’t get the FRITIDS box pictured with the open handle at the top of the box front.
I do have an old cat door, but I thought the flap might deter our younger cat from using it and make our older cat feel trapped if the “kitten” snoops in, so I decided to put access holes on both sides for an escape route.
Also, I plan on finishing the exposed particle board with something and probably caulking all interior seams before papering with Contact Paper on the interior for ease of cleaning and to protect the raw particle board inside the seams. I had looked for oval picture frames to finish the outside of the access holes, but then ended up grabbing two letter “O” wall decor plaques at Hobby Lobby to dress it up and cover the raw edges. Got a 56qt clear Sterilite tote for about 6 bucks since I thought it might let a little light in.)
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.