Nate's idea was to take advantage of the fact that the garage is adjacent to the kitchen area and that they share a common wall. Out came the drywall saw and a hole was cut!
The photo above was taken while standing in the kitchen. The door to the right of the hole is the door leading into the garage. The hole, with the very obvious yellow arrow photoshopped above it, is the hole leading into the garage for Murphy (the cat). We simply used a drywall saw to cut a large enough hole to accomodate Murphy but nothing too large that it looked obnoxious. We trimmed out the hole with painted 1"x6" pre-primed pine from Home Depot. The hole was cut prior to us installing our baseboards so the baseboard was simply cut to fit snuggly around the hole.
Inside the garage is where the "kitty business" happens. You may have seen the rest of the garage featured here. A post will be coming on the garage build out but we basically recycled our old kitchen cabinets and made our own cabinets where needed (like the litter box cabinet). The cabinets we made were constructed out of birch veneer plywood. Everything was then painted to blend in. More on that later though!
See the bottom left cabinet in the photo below? The one just to the left of the shelves? Yep, that's it! Hiding in there is Murphy's litter box. The hole from the kitchen area leads directly into that cabinet.
And if you open the doors to that cabinet, you will find...
The litter box! You can see the hole leading into the kitchen on the left. The shelves on the right are used for shoe storage (obviously) and for holding the pooper scooper. The fresh litter is stored hidden in the cabinet just above the litter box cabinet. It is easy to access and keep the mess out of the house.
Here is a better shot looking from the litter box through the hole into the kitchen. You can also see that we used hidden hinges on each cabinet door.
In order to keep Murphy from escaping out of the litter box cabinet into the garage and making his way into the wild outdoors, we added a clip on each door with catches attached to the cabinet so that the doors are secure.
We also added some weather stripping to one of the doors as well as some foam stripping around the entire perimeter of the door opening in order to keep cold air getting into the house through the litter box hole.
It really is the best solution for us with the layout of our home. The cat is happy, and so are we! We would not recommend this project if you are someone that does not clean out the litter box often though. There is, depending on how serious Murphy's "business" was that day, the occasional whiff of something unpleasant coming into the house. Luckily, my hubby's personality never allows for the litter box to not be cleaned on a daily basis. And since I am pregnant, I get out of those duties for 9+ months!!
So that is how we figured out how to hide the litter box but still have easy access to it. How about you guys? Any ideas on hiding the not so great aspects of having a pet? Any ideas on what we should do with our turtle Piggy when the baby arrives? He currently resides in the soon to be nursery. Off to find a solution to that little problem.....