When renovating Wanda, a problem that came up was where to put Piper the cat's litter box. We debated for weeks where we should put it because there didn't seem to be a great place for it that wasn't in the way or inconvenient for scooping away the waste and changing the litter. Our final design and what we now refer to as Piper's poop palace, was a smart and creative way to use otherwise unused space, is out of site and easy to clean.
Step 1 - Establish a location for the litter box
The space we decided to use was under the “nightstand” by the bed. This location allowed us to use part of the biggest bay on our Winnebago Vista 30B, which has some deep storage that is hard to reach from outside. It was an easy place for us to sacrifice some storage and its out of sight but still easy to access.
Step 2 - Plan out Your Design.
We designed a bathroom that would hold a small litter box with some extra space along the side. We used the existing two walls and added two more, a back piece and side piece, to enclose the litter box. On the side wall we added a vent for air circulation. As far as access, we created two entrances; one for the cat and the other for us to remove the litter box for cleaning/changing. For the cat, we used a PetSafe Extreme Weather Energy Efficent Pet Door (Small) and for us we added a cabinet door that hinges open from the bottom.
Step 3 - Cut an Opening for the Main Access Door.
We wanted to make this opening as big as possible so we could easily take the box in and out. With a permanent marker, we marked a template for our cut. Using a drill and ½ inch drill bit, we drilled out starter holes in each of the corners. We then used a combination of Ryobi Reciprocating Saws and Dewalt Oscillating Multi-tool to cut out the hole. We then used sandpaper to smooth the opening.
Step 4 - Creating the Enclosure for the Litter Box
Using the litter box as a guide, measure the lengths you need for the other two walls. We used two pieces of 1/2 inch plywood. The back piece is 16 inches wide by 20 inches tall and side piece is 18 inches wide by 20 inches tall. On the sidewall, we cut an additional hole for an AC vent to create some air circulation. You can do this by again pre-drilling holes in the corners and then using a jigsaw to cut our the square. Make sure to make the opening smaller than your vent cover.
Step 5 - Cut Plywood to Make a Door and Hole for the Pet door
For a basic door, cut a piece of plywood that is an inch bigger than your cut out on all 4 sides. Our door measure at 13.5 inches wides by 15.5 inches tall. Now using the template that comes with the PetSafe Extreme Weather Energy Efficent Pet Door (Small) , use the same method as above (pre-drill corners and then use the saw) to cut out the door hole.
Step 6 - Prime and Paint the Walls and Door
Prime and/or paint the inside of the walls for some protection against mold and mildew.
Step 7 - Assemble the Walls
After the paint dried, we assembled the walls. First, we screwed in the vent plate into the side wall. We then pre-drilled the edge of the walls were they butt together, used wood glue and screwed in ½ screws. To add more rigidity, we used corner brackets to screw the box enclosure into the floor and existing walls. See picture for exact locations.
Step 8 - Install the Pet Door and then the Main Access Door
Using the directions, from the PetSafe Extreme Weather Energy Efficent Pet Door (Small) assemble the pet door. Once that is complete, install the hinges, door knob, and door latch. After all the hardware is in place, you can now install the door and enclose the room.
Step 9 - Cat Test
Congrats, you are all done and your cat should appreciate their new bathroom. Introduce your cat to their Private En Suite Bathroom. Below are some tips to help aid them into using it.
Tips- Introducing your cat to their new bathroom
- Tape the pet door open for the first couple of days so they can easily find their bathroom and not fear the flapping door.
- Bury some of the waste from the cats prior litter box in the new box, they will recognize it as theirs and it should encourage them to start using the new box.
By Kevin Quiambao
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