The Cat Drawer

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I’m constantly on a quest to better improve the use of space in our small home and am quite proud of this idea. Backing up to when we bought our house in March 2003, it was just me, Trent & our 2 cats. The cats’ litter box tucked away perfectly into the “nook” in our then computer/scrap/miscellaneous room. After our sonĀ arrived and we decided to turn that room into his room, the computer/scrap stuff moved into the guest room and the cat litter box moved to our foyer for lack of space anywhere else. Isn’t that just a welcome sight? See our front door on the right? Literally walk in and “hello, cat toilet.” šŸ˜‰

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Before

The litter box lived in our foyer for about a year. A year of me grimacing as I walked past it constantly headed up or down the stairs, in or out the door. Finally I had an “ah ha!” moment. Let’s cut into the dead space under the stairs and shove that box back in there. Ok, so it should look a little nicer than that, but there was my initial plan. Our laundry closet claims most of the under stair space (it’s behind the closet door on the left), but then as far as we knew there was nothing.

Under our son’s watchful eye, Trent cut the initial hole so we could see exactly what we were dealing with:

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Step1

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Step2

After leaning into the hole several times to take measurements and sketching up details, we decided on our size and pretty much maxed out the height & width. Trent cut the hole to the correct dimension. We added a base of 2x4s and slid in a plywood box we built to house the drawers. Our assistant helped with the clean up. šŸ˜‰

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Clean Up

Next we framed it out and added the drawers we built. We temporarily taped up the hole in the bottom drawer to keep our nosey curious cats out until we completed the project:

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Step3

Added drawer fronts:

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Step4

Finally, we added textured wall paper and wood trim before painting the drawers semi-gloss white to match the existing trim and closet doors. Screwed the frame for the cat door in place (we’ve left the actual door off while the cats adjust). Added bronze drawer pulls to match those in the kitchen.

Here’s a look at the completed project (and glimpse of our freshly painted door & shined kickplate that I mentioned needed a little TLC):

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage After

The top drawer is for miscellaneous stuff (hats, gloves, etc). The bottom drawer houses the cats’ litter box and the Litter Locker:

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage Interior

We intentionally designed the drawer to fit the two pieces in this manner so the cats have to walk down a “hall.” This design, along with the small piece of carpeting, helps keep the litter in the drawer. The very bottom is lined with sheet vinyl to allow for easy cleanup – which thankfully has not been an issue so far. Seems the cats like their new private space.

Cat Drawer Under Stair Storage: Before and After

Can I brag a minute and say how much I’m loving this?? I dreamed it would look good (and probably drove Trent nuts talking for months about how we should do this) and am pretty darn proud of our hard work. It took many hours over several weekends mainly while our sonĀ napped for us to complete it but so worth it. And, it was fairly easy on the pocket – about $150.

Reclaim unused space beneath your stairs and hide away that litter box with this clever DIY cat drawer.

Linked up to IHeart Organizing.
Shared with Nate Berkus ShowĀ and with’s I Did It!.

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17 comments on “The Cat Drawer

  1. I can't get over how creative and resourceful you are. You need to have a show on HGTV and DIY!!! I would so watch everyday. I have some projects over here which could use your help!
  2. what a good idea!
    I guess my only question is, is it breathable for the cats?? do they just go in there, do their business and come right out?? or do they stay in there for any length of time?
  3. What a wonderful idea!
    I would never have thought of this solution in a million years! So creative1
    You should really post this at several other blogs so other Cat lovers can view this unique idea! As a mom to three rescues, I would surely use this idea!! perhaps you should consider a patent?
  4. Thats a crafty idea. My cats would never use that it is too enclosed. if your cat(s) is using the box you have one awesome cat.
    • The overall box was approximately 29" high, 27" wide and 33" deep. The lower drawer approximately 18" high within the box. These measurements are based on my notes as we no longer live in the house. Keep in mind if you decide to create your own, you need to open up the space to see exactly how much room you have to work with. We made the box as big as possible without adding any angles to keep it simple, but also maximize our storage space.

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