DIY Cat Box Cabinet

Some say there are Dog lovers or there are Cat lovers… I am both!!! being such an unbiased animal lover has it’s challenges… Anyone who has had both dogs and cats at the same time can attest to this.

We haven’t had to worry about them getting along. Our dogs and cats play together, cuddle together and beg for scraps together…
Begging

One of our biggest challenges has been keeping our dogs from eating the “delicious kitty treats” out of the litter boxes. They just can’t seem to help themselves. The way we have done this up until now was to dedicate an entire room in our house to the cats. A baby gate in the door way (and lots of training of the dogs not to jump over it) has kept the litter boxes safe from hungry canines. This was working fabulously for the last five years, but now a baby is coming… And the cat room must become a nursery.

We debated for months about where to move the litter boxes…
The guest room? Our out of town guests don’t want to share a room with our cats. Plus they would not be able to close the door for privacy because how would the cats get in to use the bathroom?
The office? The downstairs access to the backyard is through the office. The dogs need that door available for their own potty needs.

Finally we realized we would have to get creative. With help from Pinterest and supplies from Lowes we created the perfect solution! We created a cat box cabinet that fit right under the stairs. This solution solved everything! The dogs can’t get to the litter box but the cats can and it looks pretty nice if I do say so myself.

Before COLLAGE

Cat box setup before

After Collage

Cat box setup after

This project was so easy and turned out so great, it surprised even me!

Here is what we bought:
1. A stock kitchen cabinet insert (in the size to fit our space and the style of our house)
2. A sheet of unfinished pine board
3. Finishing screws
4. Waterproof clear finishing spray
5. A medium cat door insert kit
6. A stick on “pop it” light

Here is how we did it:
1. We cut the pine board to fit the top of the cabinet (with a small lip over hang).
2. We treated the pine board with the finishing spray and let dry.
3. Using the instructions and cut out sheet from the cat door kit, we cut a hole in the side of the cabinet and installed the cat door.
4. Next we cleaned out the shavings from cutting the hole for the cat door.
5. Using the finishing screws we secured the pine board to the top of the cabinet.
6. For convenience we added a “pop it” light to the ceiling of the lower cabinet to provide light while scooping the used litter box.
7. We moved the cabinet to the desired permanent location under the staircase.
8. We put the litter box in the cabinet space, the scoops and plastic bags in the drawer and the food and water bowls on top.

We did have to teach our cats to go through the cat door to find their litter box. We found treats and desirable wet food as motivation to go through the scary new contraption helped a lot.

Now we have a beautiful way to hide the stinky side of having cats while also keeping our dogs from helping themselves to the “kitty treats” they so desire. We did all of this in one afternoon and still had time to clear out and clean up the soon to be nursery!

Nursery Before

Dear Baby Journal

Dear Baby Journal

Even before I got pregnant I knew I wanted to keep a journal about my pregnancy journey. When I ask my Mom about what it was like to be pregnant there isn’t much she remembers. I guess that’s a vital part of natures plan to keep us wanting to have more babies. I want more from my memories. I want to be able to share my experiences with my child when they are starting their own journey of having a child. I want to be able to enlighten them about both the fun and the ugly parts of making a person. Also, they won’t remember us when we were first becoming parents and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be able to show them that we didn’t have it all figured out.

My husband and I didn’t know when we started this idea what it would become. We bought some blank journals and decided we would each document our individual experiences throughout the pregnancy. As we got started we both realized that we wanted this to be more than just a diary. We wanted something special we could share with our child some day. We started writing as if we were talking to our baby. Each entry became a letter to our unborn child about how the pregnancy is going and how they have already started changing our lives.  It’s therapeutic in a way we didn’t expect. We don’t hold back, expressing our joys, fears, amazement, love and our own self doubts.

I write once a week on the day the pregnancy switches over to the next week. I always start with “Today you are ** weeks and roughly the size of a **”. Each entry is unique based on what has happened over the last week. I end every entry with “Love Mom” which is strange in its self getting used to the new title of “Mom”. My husband writes when he has something to write about, sometimes more often, sometimes less. I don’t read his and he doesn’t read mine. We want to be able to share in complete honesty with no fear of judgment from the other person about how we may be feeling.

Some day our child will be starting a life all their own, whether that be moving out of state to college, getting married or having a child of their own. When the time feels right we will gift her with these letters we wrote to her before she was born (and possibly through her first year). I hope they will bring a smile to her face and offer some insight into how having her changed our lives.