DIY Modern Plywood Kitty Litter Box

Cat inside plywood litter box
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Cute as our furry feline friends may be, you can't escape the eyesore known as the kitty litter box. While kitty litter box furniture is available, it's often pricey. Or, TBH, it can be a design downer. Our solution? Build a storage space for the litter box made out of plywood that you'll be proud to put on display — not to mention it's perfect for people living in smaller spaces. It opens and closes from the top, making it super convenient for you to scoop the litter, and it also gives kitty some privacy. The angled legs add a midcentury modern flair while the clean lines of the plywood infuse a bit of Scandinavian minimalism into your space. We're calling that a win for kitty and a win for you.

And if you like this DIY, you're going to lurve this modern kitty hammock!

Things You'll Need

  • Litter box pan

  • Measuring tape

  • 1/2-inch thick plywood sheets

  • Large plate or bowl

  • Jigsaw

  • Sandpaper

  • Tarp or sheet

  • Wood glue

TIP: You'll find there are a variety of wood grains available in plywood sheets. We opted for birch plywood because we liked the color tone and Scandinavian feel it has, but you can use whatever type of plywood works best for your budget and aesthetic.

Step 1 Determine the size.

Measure the length, width, and height of your litter pan. You'll need these measurements to determine what sizes to cut the plywood boards. For reference, our litter pan measured 18.5 inches long by 15 inches wide, and 5 inches high.

Measuring litter pan
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Calculate the dimensions of your plywood box using the dimensions of your litter box. The length measurement for all six pieces will be 20 inches (to make the box tall enough for kitty and high enough in height). For the width of the front and back pieces, you'll need to add at least 1 inch to the width measurement of your litter pan. For the width of the two side pieces, you'll need to add at least 1 inch to the length measurement of your litter pan. For the width of the top and bottom pieces, you'll need to add exactly 1 inch to the width of your front/back pieces. This will allow for a snug fit but also a little wiggle room inside the box. You could add more than an inch to make it bigger if you'd like — just don't make it smaller, obvs. Use the image below as a guide for calculating the dimensions of your plywood box.

Graphic showing how to calculate dimensions of box
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2 Cut the plywood.

Have your plywood sheets cut for free at the hardware store (or cut them yourself if you're feeling extra). You'll need six boards total: two for the top and bottom, two for the sides, and two for the front and back. For reference, here are the dimensions we used for our plywood box:

  • Top and Bottom: 20 inches by 17 inches
  • Sides: 20 inches by 20 inches
  • Front and Back: 20 inches by 16 inches
Six pieces of plywood cut
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3 Cut an entrance hole.

To determine where to cut the round entrance for kitty on the front piece of your box, set the litter pan on top of the bottom piece of plywood and hold the front piece of plywood up to it. Mark the height of the litter pan on the front piece.

Marking height of litter pan on front piece
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Lay the front piece flat and line a plate or bowl up with the mark you made for the height of the litter pan. Make sure the diameter of the plate or bowl is large enough for kitty to fit through (we used an 8-inch plate). Trace around the plate or bowl with a pencil.

Tracing around a plate on the front piece
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Drill a few holes inside the circle to create entry points for your jigsaw blade, and then carefully cut out the circle.

Cutting out round hole on front piece
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4 Sand the boards.

Sand any rough edges around the entrance hole on both sides of the board. This is also a great time to sand the edges on the other boards, too.

Sanding the round hole cut out of front piece
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5 Glue the boards together.

Now for the assembly! Protect your floor with a tarp or sheet and place the bottom piece of plywood flat on the ground. Use wood glue to attach the back piece and one of the side pieces to the bottom piece.

Gluing the back and side piece to bottom
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Tape the corner together to keep them in place.

Taping the corners of plywood pieces together
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Now glue the other side piece and front piece in place, taping the corners as well. Allow the glue to dry.

Front and second side piece glued in place
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6 Nail the boards together.

Once the glue has dried, hammer several evenly spaced nails along each side of the side pieces as well as along each side of the bottom piece to reinforce the box. You can now peel off the tape on the corners.

Nailing the plywood boards together
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 7 Install the door hinges.

Place the top piece on top of the box. Space the door hinges three inches in on each side and attach one side of the hinges to the top piece and the other side of the hinges to the side piece. Pssst: It helps to tape the hinges in place and pre-drill pilot holes before screwing them in.

TIP: You could install the hinges on the front piece instead of the top piece if you prefer to have the door open from the front instead of the top. (We felt it is easier to scoop the litter from the top, so you don't have to reach into the box.) Just switch out gluing the top piece instead of the front piece in Step 5.

Installing two door hinges on the top and side pieces
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 8 Install the legs.

Flip the box over so the bottom piece is facing up. Space the four angle plates for the legs two inches in from each side and screw them in place on the bottom piece. Again, pre-drilling pilot holes makes the job infinitely easier.

Screwing angle plates for table legs on bottom of box
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Now screw the table legs into the angle plates and flip the box back over.

Screwing table legs into angle plates
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 9 Place litter box inside.

Place the litter box inside, pour in some fresh litter, and you are done!

Pouring litter into litter pan inside plywood box
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Kitty now has a quiet, enclosed place to do her business, and you have a seriously style-forward litter box that ups the design points in your home.

Cat inside modern plywood litter box hider
credit: Trisha Sprouse
Scandinavian style litter box
credit: Trisha Sprouse
DIY litter box cover
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely holding a camera or power drill or both.