How to Make an Enclosed Cat Litter Box

Hold your kitty's litter mess captive with a simple plastic tote box.

Hold your kitty's litter mess captive with a simple plastic tote box.

An open litter tray doesn’t usually address elimination problems -- including excessive odor, spraying or elimination on the floor. But a plastic storage tote turned into an enclosed litter box should please your cat -- and save you unnecessary frustration.

Remove the lid from the tote box and set it aside. Wash the tote thoroughly with soap and water, wiping it down with a rag; this can be done in a bathtub or outdoors with a garden hose. Dry the tote with another rag or allow it to air dry.

Draw the outline of a square door, 9 inches on each side, on the front of the tote with the marker. You can also draw a circle with a 7-inch diameter if you prefer. Place the bottom of the entrance 4 to 5 inches above the floor of the box so that litter does not pour out when it is added.

Punch a starter hole in the outline with scissors or a utility knife on thinner plastic totes, which are frequently made of recycled material. Punch the hole with the tip of a heated soldering iron on thicker plastic totes for easier cutting. Follow the marked outline to create the hole with your chosen tool. Discard the cutout piece of plastic.

Sand or file the edges of the opening to protect your cat from scratches as he enters or exits, or cover the edges with duct tape.

Position the tote on the floor in place of the cat's former litter box. Fill the bottom of the box with 3 inches of clean litter. Put the lid back on top of the tote and push it down firmly into place.

Items you will need

  • Large plastic tote box with lid, 18 gallon or larger
  • Soap
  • Rag
  • Marker
  • Tape measure (optional)
  • Scissors, utility knife or soldering iron
  • Sandpaper, file or duct tape


  • The entrance can be cut in the lid, rather than on the side of the tote, if you prefer. This type of litter box works well for cats who make a mess with standard enclosed litter boxes by spraying outside the door. Cats that are struggling with health issues such as arthritis cannot always access a top entrance to a litter box.

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About the Author

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

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