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on October 5, 2010
I've had this item for about a year. If you get this itme use a covered litter box inside it unless you are absolutely certain your cat will never miss the box. The material the bottom is made of is not waterproof and will bubble, expand, and hold odor if it gets wet. I also recommend lining it with plastic contact paper before the first use to ensure it lasts longer. Other than that it is a good product that conceals litter boxes well
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on September 26, 2007
I moved from a large house in the country to an apartment in the city - meaning closer quarters for my kitties, their litter box, and me. So I ordered this for my bathroom to make things prettier and tidier.

I've always used hooded litter boxes since the kitties love to throw litter across the floor by the way.

This was pretty easy to assemble, does a GREAT job keeping the thrown litter off the floor (probably twice as good as any hooded litter box I've used), and handles the traffic really well. One of my cats is 17lbs, and he fits just fine too. I also think it is so much better and cleaner looking than an exposed plastic litter box.

One thing about any hooded litter box: you MUST clean out the litter frequently. It is just like a port-a-potty in that there is very little air circulation, and you're cats don't want to be grossed out :)

I'd buy another one if I had the room!
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on January 14, 2008
I saw this in the Sky Mall catalog and bought them from Amazon because the price was lower ($99 + shipping). I chose them over other options because these had solid walls and would fit better in a colonial style house (i.e. looks like furniture, not like cat box covers). Dust is now more manageable and the houses made the litter boxes more appealing. Even my jumbo sized cat used it.

One problem is that the house DOES NOT fit jumbo (wide) low-walled litter boxes. So bought three standard size litter pans as replacements - as shown in the original promotional photo. BIG MISTAKE. As shown in the picture, the pans fit - but the cat spray goes all over the inner walls and down the gaps in the construction (i.e. pooled on my hardwood floors beneath the box). Worse - the construction is particle board and bottom of the "house" began to swell and deteriorate. They look horrible.

However - I discovered, too late, that buying a high-walled litterbox with a shield at the pet store stopped the problem. They were originally hard to find. I note that Amazon is NOW showing the same photo with the high walled litter pan. They need to delete the second photo since that shallower box doesn't work.

Regrettably, I just gave in and bought two additional pet houses to use as replacements because no other options on the market have the same aesthetics. The price of $75 with free shipping is significantly better than the original price I paid. And the construction is better (holes line up, took minutes to assemble versus tearing my hair out the first time). So perhaps the company was listening.

My advice - it's pretty but don't even THINK about using this without a Iris CLH-12 Open-Top Litter Box with Shield and Scoop. You'll regret it. With the inner box, the system works well.

I would give 4.5 stars for the 2 new "houses" I just purchased because the construction and assembly are much better and they work with the high-walled litter box. But I'm downgrading my original rating from 5 stars to 2 stars because I'm also stuck with 3 useless, ruined litter houses that I used in keeping with the original instructions several years ago.
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on March 18, 2012
November 2012 - We've had this kitty washroom for about 8 months now. We loved it at first, but it is now a mixed bag for us. Here are our revised thoughts:

Pros:
Attractive, sturdy, and fairly easy to assemble. For assemble-it-yourself, pressboard type furniture, this is higher quality than most. The photo on Amazon is a good representation of what you actually get. The kitty washroom is a nice piece of furniture; does not look cheap or flimsy at all. We got the white one. On our computer, the white photo looks off-white, but the washroom is pure white as we hoped.

The towel rack is made of metal (not painted plastic like so many items today) and can be placed on either the right or left side, or left off altogether. We chose to leave it off. But if you decide to use the towel rack, it would be easy to switch sides if you later decided to do so.

Cons:
Like others have said, the interior of the box is rather small. We really had to shop around to find a litter box that was small enough to fit. Amazon does provide the dimensions and we should have measured first rather than relying on the photos. But we still think the washroom should be designed to accomodate standard size litter boxes.

We appreciated other reviewers warning about the material's sensitivity to moisture. So immediately after assemblying, we sprayed the inside with white spray paint designed to protect outdoor furniture from the elements. This has worked very well for us over time; there is no swelling, chipping, etc. on the interior of our washroom.

BUT something that we did not realize would be a problem when we first assembled it was that a number of the lower edges are not painted. The lower edge of the door and the sides are just "exposed" pressboard. The result is that they absorb moisture (and odor) over time. The absorbed moisture causes these pieces to swell and ultimately to crumble. So after 8 months, the sides and door of our kitty washroom are starting to fall apart.

If you're wondering how moisture has gotten outside the washroom to be absorbed by the exterior edges, here's what has happened: (1) Our cats sometimes miss the plastic litter box because of the small interior size. Urine gets on the floor of the interior, runs out under the door and gets absorbed. (2) On several occassions our cats have knocked over glasses of water that we had put on the table part of the washroom. The water ran down the sides of the washroom to the floor, and the lower edges of the washroom absorbed some of the water. We no longer put glasses of water on the top of the washroom, but the damage has already been done.

Tips:
1) In addition to the recommended philips screwdriver, you might also want to have a rubber mallet handy to tap pieces firmly into place.

2) For extra strength, we added a bead of wood clue along each joint. This has worked well for us over time. The joints are holding just as well today as the day we assembled it.

3) We wish had sprayed each individual piece with several coats of moisture barrier (such as the same spray we used on the interior) BEFORE assemblying. This might have helped with the moisture-absorption-crumbling problem we're having now.

Price:
We were initially satisfied with the sale price of about $73. But because the washroom is starting to crumble less than a year after purchase, we now feel it is over-priced.

Concept:
The concept of this kitty washroom is great. But the washroom is too small for the comfort of our cats. We also feel the manufacturer should provide surfaces that are moisture-resistant.

Bottom Line:
As much as we like the concept of the kitty washroom, we will go back to a plastic covered litter box when our washroom degrades to the point that it is no longer usable.

UPDATE: One of our cats suddenly stopped using the kitty washroom altogether. We're guessing he got fed up with small size. We replaced it with a mega-size standard litter box, and now both cats are happy again and using the litter box. Our kitty washroom is still usable as a storage piece, but it is just too small for our cats.
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on September 12, 2015
As others have noted, it is not quite deep enough toi hold a high-sided litter box for high-peer-ers. I use Sterlite tote #1731 that I purchased at Wal-Mart. I cut off the top of the walls with a utility knife to just under the handles (they stick out too much for it to fit inside.) Then I cut a giant "U" in one of the narrower ends for entry. It slides inside perfectly and you can easily grab the top to pull it out for scooping, then slide it back in. Tip: don't cut the "U" too low. The regular litter box I used stuck up about half an inch above the bottom of the kitty access door so I cut the "U" to align exactly with the bottom. Turns out that is too low and I have much more litter mess from energetic cover-up activities than before. The cats got in and out of the higher-lipped box just fine so I plan to make another one with a slightly higher bottom of the "U." I was a bit worried they would find it too claustrophobic since the tote is slightly narrower at the bottom than the top, but they love it. I have 4 cats and 5 litter boxes in various areas of the house and patio. This one is in the master bedroom and gets the most use, by far.
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on March 16, 2014
I've actually had a few different kinds of litter box enclosure furniture over the years, so I've got quite a bit of experience when it comes to getting the most out of such products.

Prior to this one, I had the larger version from the same brand - its like a bench with a secret cut out entrance on the side. That one would have been wonderful if I had known then what I know now. Sadly, I made every mistake in the book & I ruined it within a year.

I'll try to describe the mistakes I made with the other one, what I learned & how I applied that to really getting the most out of this one, that I have now.

I got the espresso color for this item, but the bench type I had before was white. In regard to color - I don't think it makes a difference either way. The white one got just as dirty on the inside as the espresso colored one does...in both cases, you'd have to open it up to see the mess - and obviously, in both cases, you'd want to clean any messes - so color doesn't make a difference. Just get the color that suits you and don't second guess that aspect of it.

These can be quite heavy, especially once litter is inside. before you ever even assemble it, its a must that you line the floor underneath to protect it - that goes for carpet, hard wood, whatever. I failed to do that the first time around and I really regret it. This time, I went to home depot or lowes (dont remember) and I had them cut me a piece of heavy vinyl floor mat - clear, in the size I needed. I think that was like $10 or $12. no matter what - when choosing your floor cover, make absolutely sure that the part of the mat that faces up is smooth and flat. No texture at all. You want to be able to wipe it clean, vacuum it, sweep it, whatever - without having to bother with crevices or textured services that mess that can get stuck in. if you're putting your litter enclosure on carpet, you will be amazed how much easier it is to vacuum up litter that gets kicked out or spilled. The litter comes up with half the effort when it's on a flat vinyl surface, as opposed to scattered on the carpet. the mat will also make it easier to scoot the furniture around when you occasionally want to clean any spilled litter that found its way underneath the furniture.

Get a high back litter pan and fill it with the least amount of litter you can get away with - and just resolve yourself to stay on top of it & keep it clean. I was way over filling the litter pan when I used the bench style & that really facilitated a lot of mess. it was way easier for the cat to kick it out, and it caused her to be so high up in the pan that sometimes when she'd be in the litter pan - her pee would go over the top of the litter box & splash all over the inside of the furniture. If you keep it shallow, that won't happen.

Because the inside of the furniture was always such a mess, I was constantly cleaning it. The directions said not to saturate with cleaning liquids - in fact - the directions said to wipe down with a damp cloth, just water. Um, no. No. No. No. I was not about to wipe up pee "with a damp cloth." give me a break. I used method anti-bac spray cleaner or sometimes I used vinegar. It wasn't long before the chipboard wood became saturated in places and started to warp. Then, eventually, the laminate coating that sealed the chipboard actually eroded off...which meant every time I wiped down the inside of the pan I would bring up bits of wood shaving & make an entirely different mess. so then I tried different types of mats and liners to put inside the furniture, underneath the litter box. Don't do that! All that did was trap spills and messes under the mat to better pool up & saturate the eroded chipboard.

So, that one went in the trash, and when I ordered this one I took some preliminary steps before I ever let the cat in there. in addition to the vinyl mat that I mentioned....I assembled the new espresso enclosure and took it outside and used acrylic sealant to seal up all the cracks where the different parts of the assembly came together. I sealed around the bottom piece really well. after all of that dried, I used a non-toxic waterproof spray varnish to entirely coat all of the inside. I probably did 4 rounds of coating and letting dry...the end result being 12 strong coats of protection. Everything I used is pet safe after dry. I also coated the outside piece where the hole is...for the cat to enter the furniture. that part requires a lot of cleaning too. once all of that was dry, I put it on the mat & put the litter pan in with minimal litter. this is necessary. now when she makes a mess, I can clean it up with whatever I like without ruining the chipboard. And with the cracks sealed...there's no saturation and warping taking place.

The big thing with this is to manage your expectations. litter does sometimes get kicked out. There will sometimes be messes inside. and know that you really do have to clean it every day. An out of site, out of mind mentality will only result in the rest of your house being peed on by your frustrated cat. if you're going to stay on top of it, then you will be glad you have this item. It's a lot better than a box of poop sitting in the middle of a room somewhere.

The material really should be less vulnerable - its aggravating that I had to waterproof it myself - but it is what it is. take extra care and you won't be disappointed.
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on May 29, 2009
**EDIT 12/17/10**
I'm updating my review as I no longer use the units for litter box use, and have since turned these into storage containers (I sealed the doors with decorative paper, and now keep cat toys and other items in here instead).

One of my cats has issues with covered litterboxes of ANY kind, so my decision to no longer use this product as intended has more to do with my own cat's nature than any defect of the product. If your cat does not like enclosed spaces or if they are a backward pee-er (pee straight instead of down), DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. If it were just my other cat, I think I would still be using these boxes, however, they are not perfect and there are the drawbacks.

1. Doorway is too low/unit is too small. Ideally you would want to put a COVERED litterbox in this unit so you don't have to deal with cleanup issues when your cat inevitably misses the tray (and they ALL do). I don't know if a covered litterbox exists that can fit perfectly in this unit, but I never found one.

2. Since I was using uncovered trays, I mentioned in my original review that I lined the inside seams and entire interior with clear contact paper. I think this ultimately saved the particle board from getting soiled or damaged on those miss-fires. This is a painful and tedious process.

Basically, the product is not a complete winner as is. If they went back to the drawingboard, made the length just an inch or 2 longer, and fixed the measurements of the door opening, I think this could have been a much better product. In the end, I'm just glad it's not ugly and wasn't a COMPLETE waste of my money since I've found other uses for it.
____
Original Review:

I'm tired of feeling like I'm living under the rule of my two fuzzy despots, and blending the litterboxes back into human decor is just one step in reclaiming my apartment. I just put these (I bought two) together last night, and I already feel a sense of relief from the visual upgrade.

I'm glad I saw the customer photo posted - I like the dark, near-black color of the actual item better than the lighter brown displayed in the product photo.

Nice quality, easy to put together and affordable compared to other products of this nature. The only downside (that others have mentioned as well) is that the top lip of my litterbox shows through the doorway which is too shallow. The opening seems small, but my overweight cats (13 and 20 lbs) had no problem maneuvering in and out.

**For added reinforcement since I don't have a covered litter box inside, I lined the inside seams with clear contact paper. It wasn't easy or pretty, but I need the extra safeguard since one of my cats has a tendency to miss the box, and aim straight back on occasion. I just don't want any leaks ruining the particle board and also have puppy training pads under the box as an extra extra precaution.
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on November 27, 2012
I am not handy by any means. Just looking at instruction manuals sends my head spinning so I always let my husband handle any assembly project. I was however, able to put this together! It took me about half an hour from checking that all parts were included in the box to the finished assembled product. My husband was impressed and surprised that I didn't just leave all the parts everywhere for him to deal with. So if I can put this together anyone can :)

The internal dimensions are 18.5" L X 16.5". The Feline Pine double tray litter box fits perfectly.
The product seems sturdy and all the pieces aligned well. Everything on the instruction manual was in the box. I thought the back panel looked a bit flimsy at first but after it is assembled you find it is well made and not a problem at all.
I didn't bother to check height dimensions so this was my fault, but the unit is a bit shorter than I expected it to be. It's not a problem at all though - just a bit surprising.

My only concern is that my cat will spray the inside on accident as the Feline Pine litter boxes are not covered. I had solved the uncovered box in the past by putting the litter box inside a plastic container that I had cut a door into, but the container will not fit in the washroom. So far I have taped up puppy training pads inside in case my cat sprays up. I can imagine cat pee could quickly ruin this unit even if cleaned quickly. I plan to get some sort of plastic container and cut it into sheets of plastic to line the inside of the washroom just in case. If your litter box with lid fits inside then you will have no problem. They don't make Feline Pine litter boxes with lids so this is what we have to do.

Overall this looks much prettier in my laundry room than the plastic container/cat box I had fashioned before. I am satisfied with how easy it was to build, and my cat seemed curious about the unit from the beginning. I think he will enjoy it :) He is 15lbs and fits in and out of the hole in the door without a problem.

We give it 2 paws up! :-D

UPDATE: Our cat loves it and goes in and out with ease. He had no problems adapting to this at all. He is 15lbs and fits fully inside.

Also, I went and bought some "Plaskolite corrugated Plastic Sheets" from Home Depot to line the inside of the washroom in case my cat misses the litter box. I do recommend doing this. I have the white unit so the white plastic sheets blend right in. I suggest buying these and having them on hand BEFORE you assemble your washroom so you can cut the sheets to size etc. This should protect the inside of the unit. It added to the cost a little (I had to buy 4 at $4.95 each but I think it is worth it.
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on April 28, 2016
A Guide to a Happier House for You and Your Cat

Description: "IKEA/Target-grade" self-assembled particle board laminated furniture. The cat has not complained of the quality.
Color: In daylight it is plain old brown, in the evening light it appears a dark cappuccino.
Usage: Not recommended for use as a night stand unless you currently like to place your litter box next to where you sleep.

1. Assemble unit as instructed.

2. Get clear (bathroom) caulk and seal every crease on the interior of the unit. BONUS: line the back wall with a plastic sheet (or a trash bag) so that it covers the back wall and bottom of the interior of the unit. It does not have to be perfect.

3. Purchase a high walled litter box without a door (or remove door if it is completely enclosed). 18 1/2" x 14 1/2" (L x W) fits perfectly. The opening on the unit door is 5" high but my litter box entry is 6" high and still works well. Max height of the litter box should be 18" for a proper fit.

REASONS for STEP #2 and #3. Unlike human males, female cats do not like to stare at a dark wall when they pee. They like to look out the door which means they will turn around after they enter and pee towards the back of the unit. If you have a cat that likes to "aim high" or "rebound off the backboard" then the pee will hit the the backside of the litter box. If you have a standard height litter box (6 inches tall) or if the litter box has a separate top (hood) and bottom, the urine can seep through the seam and pool at the back of the unit. Being particle board, the unit will absorb the urine and bubble. If you did not caulk the unit as advised earlier, the urine will seep out the back of the unit and on to your floor.

4. Occasionally check to see if the unit itself is dry (or if it starts to smell). If not, remove plastic trash bag used to line the inside. Wipe the unit out with a wet paper towel. Spray inside with a pet odor remover that "reacts" with the urine and not just masks the odor. Let sit for a minute then wipe down again. Reline the inside of the unit with a new plastic trash bag. Essentially just tape it to the back wall and let it drape to the bottom and place the litter box on top of it. Washing the litter box probably isn't a bad idea either.

5. Yell at cat for making you do all this extra work for the sake of a more aesthetic living environment.

6. Watch cat look at you like you are a moron and walk away with total apathy.

It seems like a great deal of work but in reality the advised steps are precautionary for accidents that may occur. Clearly all cats have different behaviors and the unit itself will not have to be cleaned out often. Please also note the unit is "open" so odors will not be trapped inside as with fully enclosed litter boxes.

That being said I like this unit and although not perfect it certainly looks MUCH better than an open litter box or a plastic neon green enclosed unit with pictures of cats dancing on it (like the old litter box, and yes the cat and I are both ashamed). And much like my cheap furniture from college, if it gets trashed then toss it and start from scratch. It's been a year with very few problems.

*PS: Unlike many reviews for other products, I did not receive s**t for this review... except from my cat.
For size reference, the cat is small at about 7lbs
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on March 21, 2011
We were sick of looking at an ugly litter box so when we spotted this one in a store we came home to see if we could find it cheaper on Amazon. It was $99 in the store and on sale for $30 less on here plus we got the free shipping.

Putting it together:
Hubby was impressed with how they had all the parts in their own individual bags for each step. Usually he spends time counting and sorting but they eliminate that for you. After reading other reviews I started to worry my boys may accidentally pee (they were fixed as kittens so no spraying) on the inside walls since they were use to a high sided litter box not just the pan. I noticed a few reviewers mentioned the "Iris CLH-12 Open-Top Litter Box with Shield" so we bought that as well. Just in case I also took recomendations in putting clear contact paper on the bottom floor and walls. I didn't want to chance any bubbling, possible rotting and urin smell. After I did that he had it together in 20 minutes. All the holes were linned up and everything was in order.

The Iris CLH-12 Open-Top Litter Box with Shield does fit right in snuggly. If you don't put it in precisly the front door will pop open. Re-adjust and all is well. My boys fit right in.

I took a star away because of 2 reasons:

1. No matter what litter box you use the rim of it is always higher than the door. My cats (one short and stout and the other long and tall) drag their backs across the top of the door when they go in because they have to put their front paws on the litter box to climb in. If they put the door about 1/2" higher they would have better clearing.

2. I have noticed they don't cover their "business" like they use to either. I think it needs to be a bit taller and wider. Then it would be perfect for clearance in going in head on and then turning around. Then turn around again to cover and turn around forward to head back out. There's just not a lot of space for that.

If you want to get this because you think it will cut down on your cats tracking out litter, it doesn't. I still find the same amount outside the front of it. I plan on getting a matt for the front of it.

Overall this does exactly what I want it to: Cover the ugly litter box so I only have to see it when I scoop it!
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