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How to Build a DIY Litter Robot Cabinet

How to Build a DIY Litter Robot Cabinet

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If you’re reading this, chances are you own a Litter Robot or are thinking about getting one. 

I’ll save you some trouble and get right to the point: the Litter Robot is absolutely worth it. 

It’s the ultimate efficiency product for cat owners who want to spend less time scooping and smelling poo. 

However, this super sleek spaceship pooper scooper can be a real eyesore if you live in a small apartment like me. 

As much as I love my Litter Robot, I don’t want it to be the focal point of a room. 

I spent hours looking online trying to find a litter box cabinet that was wide enough to contain the Litter Robot. 

My search led me to two options: some very expensive custom built Litter Robot cabinets on Etsy or the coastal credenza on the Litter Robot’s website. 

Neither option was affordable or had the features I wanted, so I hired my crafty friends, Maranda and Max, to build a customized piece for me. 

They graciously documented the entire process and wrote the step-by-step guide you’ll read below.  

Now that I’ve had my DIY Litter Robot cabinet for about 4 months, I have suggestions on how to resolve a few problems I didn’t take into consideration before having it built. 

Whether you’re buying one, building one, or commissioning one, here’s the bottom line: A Litter Robot Cabinet is a huge investment.

Learn from my mistakes– read this entire article to get a detailed idea of what this process looks like.

Be sure to read until the end to find out what I know now and what I wish I would have done to make the cabinet more affordable and practical. 

Cabinet Concept – Written by The Builder

My task was to design and build a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that hides the Litter Robot while keeping it accessible for both the cats and cat owner.  

Here’s what I came up with:

We wanted the cabinet to be on casters so that it could easily be rolled and moved easily. 

The cabinet was going to be too heavy and wide for one person to move around, therefore it was important that it had wheels that could lock.

We also wanted the Litter Robot to be completely concealed from view, instead of having an opening on one side like you see in the models advertised on the Litter Robot’s website. 

We installed a pet door with a removable flap on one of the doors to prevent odor from exiting the cabinet. 

We added magnets to the cabinet door with the installed pet door to ensure the cabinet door stayed closed if the cats tried pushing through it. 

We also added a circular hole to the back of the cabinet to allow the Litter Robot’s cord to go through the cabinet and be plugged into the wall. 

The finished product is an incredibly sturdy and functional Litter Robot cabinet.

The best part is that you wouldn’t know it’s a litter box cabinet by looking at it; from the front, it simply appears to be a beautiful piece of furniture. 

Skill Requirements, Cost, & Time

This project is not exactly beginner-friendly, but it doesn’t require expertise either. 

Any “handyman”, woodworker, or contractor should be able to build this piece if you have them read this guide and provide them with the design plan included in the PDF below. 

The supplies cost me roughly $315, but almost $60 of that was purely for aesthetics, so the price could vary quite a bit based on your hardware and paint or stain choices. 

Overall, this project took me about 24 hours of work spread over 7 days. 

Tools & Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Tape Measurer
  • Power Drill (with drill bits and drivers for whatever screws you are using)
  • Saws (either a table saw, or a miter saw and circular saw with a jig to help you rip the plywood preferably)
  • Jig Saw
  • Pocket Hole Jig Kit
  • Dowel Jig Kit (should include dowels)
  • Concealed Hinge Jig (if you plan on using concealed hinges)
  • Chalk Line (optional)
  • Sander
  • Router
  • Paint Brushes
  • Painters Tape
  • Wood Glue
  • Four 2”x4”x4’s (I used pine lumber)
  • Five 2”x6”x4’s (I used whitewood lumber)
  • Three 1”x6”x8’s (I used nice squared and primed pine board)
  • Four 2”x2”x3’s (I used popular)
  • One sheet of ¾”x4’x8’ plywood (I used sanded popular)
  • Four 2” rubber swivel casters
  • Six hinges (I used 1¼” self-closing soft close concealed hinges)
  • Two magnets (I used 1¼”x3/16” magnet rings)
  • 2” pocket hole screws (approximately 20)
  • 3” construction screws (approximately 10)
  • 2” construction screws (approximately 40)
  • 12 gauge ¾” screws (to secure the magnets, if you use the magnets I used)
  • Three cabinet pulls (I used 3 ¾” matte black bar pulls)
  • Stain or Paint (I used weathered wood accelerator for the base of the cabinet and Dynasty one coat matte paint in charcoal gray for the top of the cabinet)
  • Pet door (I used the medium PetSafe Pet Plastic Door) 

See the design plan for more clarity, but here are the steps I followed:

  1. Buy all supplies and follow the cut guide to cut all pieces to sizes. Cut hole for cord access into the back panel F wherever you need it, if you do. I cut a 2.5”x2.5” hole in the bottom right corner. Follow instructions for pet door installation and install it in the right door.
  1. Assemble bottom, by using pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws
  1. Attach left side pieces. Use a small amount of wood glue in each groove of the C1 boards and slide the left panel H into the grooves, so that is in between the C1 boards and the three pieces all together are the same height. Make sure there is 1.5” of the C1 board in front of the left panel H on the same side. Use clamps and allow glue to dry. Drill pocket holes, one on each end (8 total), into the top support boards and use pocket hole screws to attach one D1 top support between the two C1 boards at the very top of the C1 boards, so that the top of the C1 boards are flush with the top of the D1 board, making sure that one side of the D1 board is flush with the sides of the C1 boards and the other side of the D1 board is flush with the left panel H. Pocket holes sound be at the top, so that they will be hidden by the top A boards. Pre-drill and use 2” screws, screwing through the H board and into the D1 board to attach the two together. Use approximately five screws.
  1. Assemble top, using dowels. Follow instructions on dowel jig kit. Use glue and clamps and allow time for glue to dry.
  1. Attach assembled left side to bottom. Predrill holes through bottom side of the assembled bottom, into the corner posts, and screw together with two 3” screws at each corner post.
  1. Attach C2 corner posts to the bottom. Predrill holes through bottom side of the assembled bottom, into the corner posts, and screw together with two 3” screws at each corner post.
  1. Attach the top of the corner posts with the top supports, using the pocket holes and the pocket hole screws. All pocket holes should be facing up so that they will be hidden under the table top.
  1. Attach back panel F to the back corner posts C1 and C2 and top support D2 with 2” screws, approximately five on each side. Pre-drill holes.
  1. Flip entire base over and add caster wheels, offset 2” from both sides at all four corners. Use hardware that came with casters. Predrill holes.
  1. Attach doors to corner posts with hinges. Follow instructions for your specific hinges. I used jig to drill holes into the doors for mine and then predrilled holes and used hardware that came with hinges. Two hinges per door, six inches from center of hinge to top/bottom of door. Have someone help hold the doors up or use clamps so that you know you are attaching the hinges to the corner posts at the right height so that doors are even and level.
  2. Attach top to base. Assure there is even overhang on all sides and then predrill holes through the top supports D1s and D2s and slightly into the tabletop. Use 2” screws, five on each side approximately, and ensure you do not go too far and bust through tabletop, though you shouldn’t be able to.
  1. Sand all rough edges or spots and then paint/stain cabinet to your liking. Use painters’ tape to keep pet door from getting paint/stain on it. 
  1. Use instructions with hardware of your choosing to install cabinet hardware. You could install the pulls at the middle of the doors or at the top (I chose to install them at the top)
  1. Install magnets. Predrill hole and use 12 gage screw to attach the magnet to the center of the C2 corner post at back right corner, at approximate middle of right door. Put the other magnet on top of that magnet, flat against it, and close door, using that as a guide for where the magnet needs to be attached to the door, so that when it’s closed that are mostly fully covering each other and holding the door securely shut, until the cabinet pull is used.

To view all images of the steps above, click here to view all the images on our google drive.

And that’s it! Take note of what pet doors you use, as with the set up I used, the pet door flap barely misses hitting the Litter Robot. A smaller pet door would give more room. 

Also, if you use a Litter Robot with stairs, you may have to adjust the measurements so that it is longer overall. 

This is my first time publishing detailed plans like this, so there could definitely be mistakes. 

Follow @cranes.creations on Instagram and message me if you have questions about this project or would like a commissioned creation of  your own! 

Owner’s Notes: Mistakes, Tips, & Suggestions

It’s me again, the lady who commissioned a customized Litter Robot cabinet. 

I love this piece; it’s been a real game changer. 

I live in a one bedroom apartment, so the cabinet is placed front and center in my living room across from the couch. 

I have the option to add plants, art, or even put a TV on it and use it as an entertainment stand. 

For now, it’s going to serve as an additional nap spot for my cats.

I even put some command strip hooks on the side of it to hang some cat supplies for easy access storage. 

However, there’s a few things I didn’t think about prior to having the cabinet commissioned that I wish I took into consideration. 

Cleaning Improvements

The pieces of wood that make up the base of the cabinet have deep grooves that collect pieces of litter.

That accumulates and starts to get stinky; it’s a real pain in the butt to dig that stuff out. 

I’ve accepted that some of the litter is permanently embedded in the wood. 

Another related problem with the wooden base is the problem with wiping down the wood itself. 

The cats leave little poopoo paw prints towards the entry and the wood absorbs quite a bit of that. 

Wiping down wood is not as simple as wiping down a smooth surface like your countertops. 

If I could go back in time, I would discuss options to create a smooth base surface that would be easier to clean. 

I feel the same way about the top of the cabinet as it has painted wooden panels with grooves that collect debris. 

Personally, I’m willing to sacrifice the aesthetic of the top piece for the sake of cleanliness, but it comes down to personal preference. 

Note to Robot Vacuum Owners

If you own a robot vacuum (which I highly recommend if you have cats), you’re going to want it to be able to do its job.

The cabinet definitely reduces the amount of litter debris that gets kicked around after use, but a significant amount of litter still accumulates on the floor.

In fact, the space around my cabinet is the primary area of my home that needs to be vacuumed consistently.

Ideally, my robot vacuum would be able to go under the cabinet and clean.

However, I did not take this into consideration when creating the cabinet concept and it does not sit high enough for the vacuum to travel under.

This would not be a problem had I commissioned a cabinet that would sit flat, but I wanted wheels.

Because of the wheels, I’m still able to easily move the cabinet for the robot vacuum to clean underneath.

This is an extra step I don’t mind, but it’d be more convenient if the cabinet sat high enough to prevent this step altogether.

Going back, I would have given Maranda and Max my robot vacuum’s dimensions and discussed options to have adequate space under the cabinet for the robot vacuum to move freely.

If you own a robot vacuum, take this into consideration as you contract or build your own Litter Robot cabinet.

Cost of Labor/Efficiency Improvements

If you can build something like this yourself and already have the tools, it’s going to cost roughly $100 less than buying one of the cabinets on the Litter Robot’s website and A LOT less than buying a customized piece from Etsy. 

However, if you’re like me and have never held a drill or hammer, you’re going to need to pay someone to do it. 

The cost of labor might be close to the cost of supplies or even exceed it. 

In my case, the cost of supplies was roughly $315 and the cost of labor was approximately the same.

A time and money saving option might be to purchase the official Litter Robot coastal credenza for $499 or the Litter Robot storage cabinet for $300 and simply adding the features you want. 

Depending on if you’re adding those features yourself or paying someone, you’ll need to estimate the total cost of supplies or labor. 

In my case, I would have paid Max and Maranda to add a door with magnets and a handle to the open side of the credenza along with adding lockable wheels to the base. 

You could even have the credenza painted another color if you don’t like the existing color scheme. 

Aesthetic Improvements

At first, I didn’t really care to make the cabinet look nice because I was more concerned with functionality. 

However, Maranda and Max had some existing paint/stains they generously offered to use and I took them up on it.

Since having my DIY Litter Robot cabinet commissioned, the Litter Robot has launched a new farmhouse themed cabinet that I really like. 

I don’t recommend the sliding doors; I like how both my cabinet doors open and create a wide entry to insert or remove the robot. 

The Bottom Line

All of that aside, I want to stress how important it is to take these factors into consideration before building or commissioning Litter Robot furniture. 

Whether you buy one, build one, or commission one, a Litter Robot cabinet is an investment. 

It’s worth taking the time to think through the details so you can have a beautiful, long-lasting, functional piece of Litter Robot furniture that both you and your cats can enjoy. 

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