We all have our personal space in the home. The man has the man cave, the woman has the she-den, and even the dog has a dog house. But what about our beloved cat? Turns out, there is a purrfect place you can put the kitty playhouse without it being very intrusive on the home. You know that spot under the stairs that you never thought you could utilize? Well, now you can!
It is time to turn that space into the perfect playhouse for your kitty! Think of it almost as Harry Potter’s room, but a lot less prison-like, and for your cat of course. Now keep in mind, a project like this could take a lot of time, or may even require a professional if you have to break through the wall. Make sure you consult with someone before really taking a chunk out of the bottom of your stairs. Without further adieu, let’s get started!
What to Put Inside
For starters, this will be a great place to put the litter. Your kitty will have complete privacy! You can just tuck this away in the corner. Make sure that the corner is easily accessible in order for you to change the litter, too. You do not want to be bumping your head every time you help out your furry companion.
Food and water also need a nice designated spot here. After all, what is a playhouse without the energy a cat would need? I recommend a 2-bowl setup that is connected to each other, that way you get the easy access you need to just pull out one unit and fill it up rather than 2 individual ones. This can go on the opposite side of the playhouse of where your litter box resides for reasons that do not need to be explained.
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Now, it is time for the fun stuff. This will require all of the most fun cat toys you already have for your furry friend, and maybe even some more. Start by making the floor a scratch post heaven. This is known as sisal fabric. Try to wrap it around something weighted so your cat won’t move it easily and it won’t get in everybody’s way. You also have different installation alternatives like stapling it down, gluing it down, or nailing it into the floor. If you have enough space vertically, you can just add sisal fabric to the wall, and maybe a platform your cat can run across or hop onto. Regardless, 99% of cats love this material and will love you for putting it in.
Another cool idea is to take string, or string type toys, and hang them from the ceiling of your cat’s playhouse (A.K.A. the bottom of the stairs). This will have your feline pawing and biting for hours at the string! Guaranteed a good time. Try adding a ping pong ball track in there, too.
Materials You’ll Need
Now that you got some ideas brewing, it is time to put them to action. As far as the type of litter, food, decorations and toys, the materials in that category can be whatever your kitty loves the most. However, the main thing in this project is creating the actual kitty door so your beloved cat can access his/her new favorite spot. It is fairly simple to install a cat door, but again, if you are unsure about what you are doing, it is best to consult with a professional. If you dare to take this project on your own, here are the materials you will need:
- Pet Door
Before doing any actual cutting or drilling, make sure that you know what size door to get. You can always ballpark the size, but if you want a more accurate and reliable measurement, here is a good rule of thumb: the width of the cat door should be around two inches wider than the widest part of your pet, and the height of the cat door should be around two inches taller than the length from the top of the shoulders to the chest.
Once you grab the perfect size kitty door, start by taking out the door template (usually included in the packaging) and trace that onto the desired area on the wall, making sure it is at least 3 inches from the floor. It’s pretty simple from here on out. Use the jigsaw to cut the hole, place the cat door accordingly, and use a drill to secure the door with four nails around its four corners. Finally, trace the outside of the door’s edges with caulk for a seamless finish. Voila! When you finish make you sure you properly dispose of the excess drywall, lumber, and even your old kitten castle.
Well, there you have it. Your kitty’s new favorite retreat. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but there are many benefits that go along with this project, and not only for your cat! The litter box will no longer be an eyesore, the smell will not be as powerful if concealed in a secret cat cave, and best of all – your kitty will love this new spot and, in turn, give you extra cuddles. A win-win situation if you ask me.
Hopefully this helped you get a better idea of what you will need for the project as well as inspired you to create a cat den for your own sweet kitty. Just remember to keep it pet-friendly and to have fun creating your kitty masterpiece! There’s no shortage of clever ideas – check out Pinterest for some great DIY ideas.
Credits: Images from a variety of public Pinterest boards
More ideas: Check out this clever cat drawer that DIY mom Sarah Coggins built – under stair storage and kitty litter box area.