Luxury Cat Living

I’m sorry to say that our poor cat, Spritz!, has never really had a place to call her own. She moves around from a chair in the kitchen, to my lap, to the coffee table, to her hiding place behind the video games.

Her litter box and food moved back and forth between the guest bathroom and the master bathroom, depending on a number of factors that I’m not going to bore you with.

The most common situation is that her litter box and food bowls are in the master bathroom, her wet food is in the pantry, and her extra litter, dry food, and other extra stuff is in the front closet. Here’s what that setup looks like:

But I’ve been wanting to give her her own space to keep all of her stuff together. You can see that the litter box is sort of hidden in a corner beside the vanity, where I had always planned on putting some sort of shelving.

I finally came up with an idea of what I wanted to do there but when I described it to Andrew, he couldn’t picture it. He asked me to draw it for him so I took a stab at designing it with SketchUp. Here’s my sketch with Diana for scale:

Sketch of cat shelf

Andrew approved of my plan so I got to work building it. I decided I wanted to use pallet wood so I found a pallet and bought four 2x4s. Taking the pallet apart was definitely the hardest part of the entire process. I honestly think I would have given up if Andrew hadn’t stepped in to help. Once that was done, I cut all the wood to size – the SketchUp design actually came in handy in providing me with exact measurements and angles for this. Then I sanded the wood down, painted the 2x4s with some off-the-shelf white paint, and used a tinted oil to finish the pallet wood so it would would be protected but still look very natural.

Then I just had to assemble everything. It came together amazingly well. I was pretty impressed with myself aside from one of the 2x4s having been cut a little too long. The shelves were even level. Isn’t she a beauty?

Cat shelf
Cat Shelf

Unfortunately when we went to put it in its new home in the corner of the bathroom, I discovered that it was about a quarter inch too wide. My original measurements hadn’t left any room for error and unfortunately the 2x4s were badly warped and thus messed the whole thing up.

I trimmed an inch off of each shelf and reassembled it in place this time.

The new cat shelf

I’ll have to find a couple cute baskets to hide stuff in and I’m thinking of making some sort of carbon filter curtain for the litter box area but otherwise I’m pretty happy with it. It fits perfectly because it’s custom built, it holds all of Spritz!’s stuff so it’s not spread all around the house anymore, and it doesn’t overwhelm the room because of the tapered shape.

If you don’t have cats, you should probably move on, but I thought this would be a good time to address a couple details of the cat stuff.

The old litter box was one where the cat would enter through a tunnel and go up a ramp to get to the actual covered litter box. This design is helpful if your cat tends to track a lot of litter out of the box and around the house and also if your cat has a habit of missing the inside of the box. Because it’s covered and has a carbon filter, wafting smells are also reduced.

I’m trying out just a basic, open box now because Spritz! has great aim (must be a girl thing), and the litter we use doesn’t really track. She does, however, create horrendously offensive smells which is partly why I want to make some sort of carbon filter curtain.

The litter we are currently using is pine pellets. They’re large enough that they don’t get stuck in her paws to be tracked around the house. When she pees on them, the pellets basically dissolve into sawdust and absorb all of the ammonia smells. So I pretty much love this stuff.

That’s all. Let me know if you have any questions!

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