This post goes a little against the grain of our typical MCM blog posts! While many of us have cats, their litter boxes are often an eyesore. You can buy mid-century modern cat litter boxes online, but at some seriously steep prices. So, here is a simple tutorial for a DIY mid-century modern cat little box. As a bonus, it requires very little in the way of tools or experience.
Back in Florida we owned a beautiful but small house and with three feisty feline friends sharing the place with us, we wanted to find the best way to conceal their daily 'movements'. Vanessa came up with the idea of repurposing a vintage console stereo cabinet into a cat litter box. As it looks like a piece of furniture it fits easily into a mid century styled home without standing out like a sore thumb.
Step 1: Finding the Right Cabinet for a Mid Century Cat Litter Box
If you look in the right places, you can often find a suitable cabinet for pretty cheap. For once it's a bonus if its guts/electronics have already been removed, and these emptied versions are typically less expensive. Try to get one with sliding doors on the top surface so you can easily access the litter tray for all that poop scooping.
Ours has two sections - originally one was the record player and the other, smaller section was for storing records. This worked out perfectly as the large one fit the litter tray and the other is where we store fresh food and litter. You may have to buy a new litter tray to fit or pre-measure your existing litter tray to finding the corresponding sized cabinet.
Step 2: Create Cat Access in Your Mid Century Litter Box
Cats like litter trays that are private, so cutting a hole in the side of the cabinet allows them access and privacy to do their business. Try to provide at least an 8x8 opening. Mark the opening on the side, drill a couple of holes in a corner and then use a jig saw or hand saw (drywall saw works great) to cut out the piece. Be sure to sand down any rough edges to protect the sensitive paws of your cats. We also added a wooden lip to the entry edge, hammering in two small pieces of wood with finish nails. While this isn't strictly necessary, it did protect the edge from damage.
Step 3: Protect Your Litter Box Against Accidents
Although our cats are pros when it comes to using the toilet, sometimes mistakes are made. Things don't always stay in the tray. Fortunately, our cabinet compartment is lined with a laminate layer which is waterproof and easy to clean. Unless yours also has this layer, you'll need to add something suitable. Trust us, this is a step worth taking that makes future cleanups much easier.
Step 4: Let the Cats Investigate Their New MCM Litter Box
Nothing is more exciting to a cat than a new space to poop. (Except maybe a cardboard box!) Anyway, show the cats their new poop place and let them take it from there. Be sure to watch to see if they can access it easily. You may need to make some adjustments. Our entry hole was too small to begin with, so we made it a bit bigger until they were comfortable going in and out.
If you're looking for furniture for you rather than your cats, we've got you covered! You'll find plenty of mid-century modern furniture pieces at the Trystcraft shop. If you're hunting down something specific, contact us!