THE Cutest Cat and Utility Closet

March 16, 2021

I'm back with more progress on Project Add More Storage in our mud/laundry space! It's coming together so beautifully! I've been adding storage, changing up storage and moving things around to make this room function so much better for us. 

Last I left you, I finished up the simple shelves at the end of the closet in that room: 
Adding shelves in unused closet space

I love this little trick for using that dead space in a closet! 

Next up, I needed to add a little something to one of the closet doors. MANY of you have been wondering where we were going to put our litter boxes. Shortly after we moved in I added a DIY "curtain" and hid the kitty litter under the folding table
Folding counter with cat litter underneath

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Since then we've installed drawer base cabinets here instead (you can see how to install cabinets here). I love them SO MUCH. 

We knew we'd have to move the litter and had two options. One was in the basement storage room and one was still in this room, but in the closet pictured above instead. We knew it would be much easier to keep up with scooping if we had them closer to the main living area, so the mud room closet it was! 

In order to do that, I needed to clean it out quite a bit. That's why I added the shelves along the side as well -- I wanted that to become a spot to keep ALL of the pet supplies. 

In order to move the litter boxes in here, we needed a way for the cats to come and go. I found this adorable cat shaped kitty door and got to work installing it: 

White paneled solid core door

You definitely want to take the door down for this install. I did it in the mud room -- our doors are crazy heavy! (This is up on supports.) 

Measure for the center of the door at the bottom: 
Measuring for cat door

They make it easy! The cat door comes with a template to cut out and trace onto the door: 
Installing interior cat door

My helper was there to assist like usual: 
Orange Colby cat

And then cut out your cat door! I used a jigsaw with a blade specifically for curved cuts
Cutting out cat door with jigsaw

It doesn't need to be purrfect (I had to. Sorry.) because your cat door will hide the cut. 

It went much quicker than I thought it would: 
Cutting out cat door

If you have a hollow core door this will be even easier to cut!

Then you just slide one side of the cat door on and then the back -- they have sticky pads that secure it to the door. Isn't it the cutest thing ever??:
Cat shaped cat door

Look at the back!: 
Cat shaped cat hole in door

I just love it! We all kept walking in the room to look at it and giggle. 😂

I got an extra large size so the cats don't have to crouch get into the closet. I wanted it to be as easy as possible for them to come and go. 

The cat door is paintable so you can match it to whatever color you need! It's so cute I considered painting it a different color so it stands out:
Adding cat door to closet door

These "doors" are also a great option if you have dogs you want to keep out of the litter! It's only been a couple weeks but we are already LOVING this new set up. So are the cats. :)

Now we have a dedicated spot for the pet supplies, litter, some cleaning supplies and more: 
Mud room closet with cleaning supplies and cat litter

Double white doors with cat door

If you look closely you can see that I added clear contact paper along the wall behind the boxes. It goes down and covers the baseboards as well. It's rare, but sometimes our cats "miss" when urinating and it goes out side of the box. This will prevent anything from getting on the wall or the baseboards. 

OH, and if you have cats the Litter Genie is awesome!! It's so easy to use and super convenient when scooping. 

Here are some litter placement tips from this life-long kitty owner: 
  • If you move litter boxes, do it slowly. Some experts even recommend inches at a time. It helped that ours were staying in the same room. First I moved them across the room and they stayed there for about a week. Then I placed one in the closet, one out. Finally I placed both in the closet, first with one door open and then with both closed. Our cats took to the cat door and new spot VERY quickly. I think they really love having the privacy. 
  • It is recommended to have one more litter box than you have cats. We've had up to three cats with just two boxes and they did fine. I think it's most important to keep them clean. We do plan to add one more in the storage room so they have an option on another floor of the house. 
  • PLEASE don't place their food or water next to the cat litter. Even if they don't seem to mind it, it's not sanitary. Their food should be away from the litter, preferably in a different room if possible.
  • Placement is hard sometimes -- you'll want the boxes where you can easily get to them, but no one wants to look at litter all day. Cats prefer to have their litter away from high traffic areas in the house, so balance that with a spot you'll be able to access easily and often. 
More super cute cat door options I found!:
Where do you keep your litter? Any innovative ideas you've heard of? 

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  1. I just love everything you do. I get so excited when I see there is a new post from you. I can’t wait to see your outdoor post/garden posts- those are my favourite. Thanks for sharing all you do!

  2. Looks great! How do you install on a hollow core door? Is there a cover for the hollow space between the cat door sides?
    By the way, where do you hang/store all your coats and jackets? :)

    1. Yes there is a slat that goes around the hole and the front and back connect to that. You won't see any exposed parts of the door. :)
      We have a coat closet and the mud room bench in this room is where a lot of them hang most of the winter.

  3. That is stinkin cute!!! I don't even have a cat and I want one :-)

  4. Questions - does the odor build up in the enclosed area? Did you see the kitty opening that also had an arc of bristles to help cut down on hair?

    It's a nice setup and you have the sweeper nearby to clean up any scattered litter. /Liz

    1. Yes I did see that one! I didn't get that because I wasn't sure our cats would like that -- I wanted it to be as easy as possible for them to get in and out.
      No, we scoop enough that there's no bad odor. Sometimes after they "go" it does for a bit, but that's normal. The litter we use does a good job of covering that.

  5. I'm not much of a cat person, but dang, that's cute!

  6. How adorable! Do you keep a little wall plug night light on for them?

    1. Cats can see really well in the dark naturally, so likely not needed

    2. No, we have motion activated lights in here but that sensor is up high for when we open the doors. As Kate said above, cats can see way better than us in darkness, so it's not needed. :) But the cat door does let in a good amount of light!

  7. Puuurfect!!! My Tommy & Jonny (twins) would love it.

  8. That is so cute!! Where did you get the template? I would like to get one. My family are cat people. I remember when I was 3 in 1963 that was the only pets we had was cats. They are always a part of our family. Thank you for sharing!

    1. My pleasure! The template comes with the cat door! :)


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