Chronicles of Athena – the ensuite

People like to say that Athena is spoiled. This is plainly ridiculous. All 32 week old kittens need a water fountain to drink from. And a fluffy window pillow. And new toys every week.


And a custom made toilet . . .


I’m a big pinterest addict, but I have a welfare scientist’s interest in the cat litter box hidden solutions you see all around the web. While I love the idea of hiding an ugly litter box, a lot of these are too small, poorly ventilated, or difficult to fully clean. In our old flat, Athena’s litter box was in the bathroom, but the humidity wasn’t ideal. In this new flat, it’s been in the hall as the bathroom’s too small . . . Until today . . .



Our flat has a large cupboard off the hall, which is unusual for Edinburgh (famous for its Edinburgh presses).  The door was hanging off a hinge when I bought the flat, but it did occur to me that the litter box could fit there very nicely – with enough room to install the whole covered box (which is still big enough for her to arch her back while doing her . . . motions. This is a big important point for cats, they need enough room to turn and twist inside their litter boxes, especially if you use an enclosed box). But being a fully interior cupboard, it would also need a vent as well as an entrance in the door. So this weekend, my dad popped round to give us some free labour.

Athena's En Suite
Creating a vent at the top of the door


The Great En Suite
With a shelf installed in the cupboard, and a vent and an entrance cut in the door, Athena becomes very curious




Half by planning and half by coincidence, today was the day Athena’s litter box gets cleaned. As she likes to christen her litter box immediately after it’s been cleaned, I had a good way of enticing her into the cupboard quickly.

The Great EnSuite
A fresh litter box is irresistable to Athena


The Great En Suite
Although being able to explore and climb inside a brand new cupboard is also very intriguing


The Great En Suite
The finished product looks like this – note the vent in the top, the access panel below, a covered little box that’s easily cleaned and disinfected, and a height that Athena can still arch in


The Great Ensuite
And tada! Look who figured it out immediately


I was a little bit worried when I discovered the litter deoderant I’d picked up smelled VERY different from the stuff we usually use, but Athena has always been impeccably litter trained and didn’t bat an eye. So now the hall is back, and Athena has a nice place to carry out her morning salutations.


Having it in a cloak room does mean that the litter box isn’t hidden ‘out of sight’, where owners who might have less fussy kittens might forget about cleaning out the dry litter. Athena wouldn’t let me forget, as she is very vocal on the odd occasion when there’s still solid waste left in her box.

Something I often see in comments about litter box solution is “this will hide the smell”. I guarantee you that if you are smelling your cats’ litter, they are even more offended by it. Athena’s tray gets swapped out weekly and solid waste scooped as needed. That way neither of us are offended by the smell!


One thought on “Chronicles of Athena – the ensuite

  1. Very proud of you for taking account of her ‘welfare’ needs (not that I would expect any less from you!) Not that I’m working right now but I can confidently say that most of the behaviour problems I see almost always have a litter box element to them. One client used a large rubbermaid box with a circle cut in the top of the lid but then filled it with a hard wood pellet type litter…. the things people do…


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