I think every cat lover will agree that while cats are pretty awesome, cat boxes stink. We’ve been dealing with having a cat box in our guest room (which was also used as the cat transition room) since I moved in. My Bengals have also been without access to their cat wheel, a thing they historically run on multiple times a day, but happens to be a large and cumbersome eyesore.
There are not really any great locations for cat boxes or the cat wheel in the house, so we decided to build a little cat room off the kitchen in the garage.
I’ve done this before in my past rental houses, building a little temporary cat space in the garage. It provides them with some safe dedicated space but in a way where I still have garage workspace and don’t have to worry about my cats getting into dangerous tools or whatever other trouble a Bengal cat is bound to find. This time around, we wanted to retain the ability for at least one of us to park in the garage, so we had to be very conscious of the footprint of the room.
With this in mind, we went back to trusty ol’ Illustrator to create some floor plan mockups, and landed here:
Though we tried several arrangements, this both required the least amount of moving existing storage cabinets and provided the most free space around the workbench for getting projects done. Our reality right now is the space for the car is filled with stuff to be sorted, sold, or donated, but we’ll get through it all eventually! (We’ve really made good progress considering I only moved in about two months ago and we combined two households worth of things.)
With some help from DJ’s dad we knocked out building the room in a day. We anchored the frame to existing studs in the walls and used a prehung door to make the process a little simpler for us. Nothing is attached to the ground, but it feels perfectly sturdy and reliable for our needs.
Everyone is feeling right at home. (The cat boxes and some floor mats are in there now too, but who really wants to see that?) My girls appreciate having their cat wheel back and we appreciate having the cat box out of the house.
Or we did for a few days, anyway!
As luck would have it, Chaos got himself into cat fight that left him with an abscess on his neck shortly after we finished the room. He wouldn’t stop scratching his scab off, so he was stuck as an indoor kitty for a while with an inflatable recovery collar around his neck. Due to the collar he couldn’t really get through the cat doors, so he ended up with a temporary bathroom and nights spent closed in the guest room for his own safety. He earned himself the nickname Donut Cat, a nickname that has lingered even though he’s now healed.
Fortunately, he’s back to freedom and we’re back to the house being cat box free with a room open for actual guests! Which is a good thing, because we have our first overnight guests visiting this weekend.