Build an Cheap Homemade Outdoor Cat Litter Box

outdoor cat litter box

When I first introduced my pet Coco to his homemade outdoor cat litter box he loved it! He started using it without issues and there was no more digging in the middle of the yard for him.

If you have a cat that likes to chill outside (like mine), you definitely know the struggle to find a place for them to do their business without having to clean every day.

One of the best solutions is to build a homemade outdoor litter box. Not only it’s way much cheaper than buying one, but it also allows you modify and customize it to your own backyard needs.

Why Build an Outdoor Cat Litter Box?

Building an outdoor litter box is a great way to give your cat a designated place to do their business and keep the indoor space clean. Another huge benefit is that it also reduces the risk of odor and litter being thrown around everywhere around the indoor tray.

Not only it’s a very cost-effective solution to make your own homemade cat litter box, but it also allows you to be creative with the design and shape it to the best fit in your backyard. You can use materials that you already have around the house or repurpose items to make a unique one

Outdoor Cat Litter Box – Materials Needed

Before we start building, we will need to gather a few supplies. You will need a container ( or a tray ) that is deep enough for litter, like some plastic storage bin that is no longer in use. I would also recommend a scoop that will be kept outside only, litter, and any other materials you may want to use for design

  • Large plastic container
  • Outside litter scoop
  • Litter ( we are trying sawdust cat litter at the moment )
  • Optional: Any design badges that you want to use

Once you have all the materials needed you need to gather some tools. We don’t need many, only a few to make some modifications:

  • Box cutter or very sharp knife
  • Sandpaper

Now that we have everything that we need to get started, let’s find a good location. When choosing the location, make sure that is easy to access for your cat. You might also want to try and keep it away from high-traffic area or near a place where everybody sits all the time (next to a bench, barbeque, etc)

Building the Litter Box

These are the steps I took when we built our outdoor box

  1. We cut a hole into into the box with the box cutter to make an easy access for our pet
  2. We then used the sandpaper to remove any sharp bits of plastic that remained during the cutting
  3. My daughter insisted on adding a label “Coco’s Toilet” on top of the lid
  4. Placed the lid on the bin and set it in the back end of the garden between 2 garden bushes
  5. Introduced Coco to his new toilet

A few tips for an easy process

  • Use a electric jigsaw to cut the hole if you have one
  • Place the litter box that’s easy for you to clean

Design Ideas

A few design ideas that you can add to the litter box to make it a bit more interesting are always welcome. You can use spray paint to add a pop of color on the container. We are thinking of using a nice green color so it’s camouflaged in the garden.

Another idea is to use a decorative stencil to add a pattern to the container ( if you have the patience ). You can add your cat’s name like we did for a fun design. Consider using vinly lettering or decals to add a personal touch.

Maintaining Your Litter Box

In order to maintain the litter box I would recommend to keep it out of direct sunlight ( that’s why ours sits between 2 garden bushes. If it becomes damaged or too worn you could always build a new one and replace it. I would try different designs every time.

You should also scoop the box every few days to prevent any litter scatter and odors. I recommend washing it with the garden hose when possible and replacing the litter once a month.

Selecting Litter for Your Outdoor Cat Litter Box

You should choose a litter that is designed for outdoor use and can withstand weather conditions. Some of these include pine pellets, recycled paper, homemade cat litter, and crystal litter.

There are many types of litter to choose from ( I recommend natural options ). You need to consider your cat’s preferences and any allergies before making the selection. If you will cover the litter box with a lid you can also use the same litter you use indoors in case you don’t want to buy the outdoor one. Anything works!

Other Outdoor Litter Box Options

If building a homemade outdoor cat litter box doesn’t suit you need, you can consider a few alternatives:

  1. Use a disposable litter box for convenience
  2. Try to train your cat to use the toilet
  3. Let your cat do her business wherever she wants ( we don’t recommend )

A Litter Box in The Yard Can Save a Cat’s Life

Building a cheap homemade outdoor litter box isn’t hard and it’s a fun process to do. It can also be a lifesaver for your cat. When cats use a neighbour’s yard or garden as their personal litter box, if your neighbour hates cat he can contact animal control to remove the cat.

Unfortunately, a lot of pets that are brought to the animal shelter are often euthanized. As a responsible pet owner you can take steps to prevent your pet from wondering about into places he is not welcome.

By having a designated outdoor litter box which you introduce to your cat and encourage her to do her business there, you are lowering the risk of her wondering off in other places.

Why not give it a try?

Let me know how it went in the comments!

Indre K Williams

Indre K Williams

Indre K Williams (DVM) graduated from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for animals to their writing. With years of experience working closely with pets and their owners, she has developed a deep understanding of their needs and behaviour.

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