If you’ve got cats, chances are you’ve got multiple kitty litter containers. Since they began putting kitty litter in convenient re-resealable tubs, people have been discovering they’re good for all sorts of uses once the litter is gone. This is especially true since upcycling or repurposing has gained in popularity in recent years. Now, people use them for gardening buckets, storage containers and a whole host of other clever ideas.
(Although we recommend Precious Cat Kitty Litter as the best kitty litter, it just comes in bags. if you want great containers, you may want to try the Tidy Cat Brand. It is a pretty good kitty litter and comes in a nice reusable container.)
1. Storing Pet Food
If you haven’t always been saving your tubs, you might want to start. Rather than clutter, we’ve got some fun recycling ideas for you to turn your leftover kitty litter containers into useful household items. First off, they make great dry food storage containers, if you haven’t already figured that out. This is especially useful if you have multiple pets with different foods. It keeps the contents dry and out of reach of pests like ants and roaches. Plus, it keeps dry food much fresher than trying to clip the top of a rolled bag once it’s torn open.
2. DIY Upcycling Gardening Projects
When it comes to gardening, an empty cat litter tub can be perfect for stowing your gardening tools and gloves in for toting around the property with you. Additionally, you can use them as buckets for carrying dirt, fertilizer, loam or water. Some people even use them for container gardening. They’re also great for storing collapsible hoses and various spray attachments like garden nozzles. And just like storing pet food, you can store birdseed for your feeders without the worry of pests devouring it or mold developing before you can use it all.
3. Holiday Decorations & Costumes
Every year tons of people go out and purchase stackable storage containers for stowing strings of holiday lights and decorations. But kitty litter tubs can be used for the exact same purpose. They can be used for the storage of both outdoor and indoor decorations and even costumes and stacked almost anywhere. Note, if you stow fabric costumes in them and they’re kept in the garage or attic, throw in a few silica packs to keep things fresh and mildew free.
4. Picnic Baskets & Lunch Boxes
Here’s another clever idea for reusing a kitty litter container with a handle on it. Depending on the size of the tub, they can make excellent picnic baskets and lunch buckets for you and the kids. Due to their roomy interiors, you can easily line the bottom with a cool pack or two and lay your food on top for picnics. If you prefer a more festive or decorative exterior for the project, wrap it in sisal or get some contact paper and apply it to the outside for a whole new look. Contact paper can be found in wicker now, too.
5. Craft Room Containers
Crafters with cats have probably been using these for years for sorting and storing project supplies like ribbons, beads, tools, materials and so forth. Once they’re labeled, they can make organization a snap and finding things a breeze. No more digging through boxes, closets, drawers and uncovered buckets in hopes of finding what you’re looking for and praying it’s still in good condition.
6. DIY Recycling Bins
Reuse kitty litter containers for recycling bins. This gives you the opportunity to easily separate your recycling products and keep things neater and fresher. You can even create a tower for them based on a wine rack design for keeping them up off of the floor and in one streamlined position.
7. DIY Trashcans
Once again, a little contact paper of scrapbook paper and you can spiff up the exterior of an empty kitty litter container to make a cute DIY trashcan for any room in the house. With varying sizes, you can even accommodate under-the-sink kitchen trashcan storage.
8. Creating Magazine & Newspaper Racks
Besides using contact paper for decorating the exterior of old cat litter tubs, you can also apply paint for plastic resin projects like chairs. In this way you can create a magazine or newspaper rack to match your home or office’s interior design. Now you’ve got a customized container for keeping your reading material off of the floor.
9. Store Kids’ Toys
You can’t beat these convenient storage tubs for storing toys, coloring books, crayons, sticker collections, puzzles, lettered magnates and more. They’re also wonderful for storing sports equipment when not in use and come in handy for transport when they’ve still got the lid and handle attached. A great tutorial is at ScrappingDanielle.
10. Livestock & Farm Animals
Another great use of the tubs with the handles is for use with livestock and farm animals. The leftover tubs can be used for slopping animals and storing a myriad of foods and treats.
11. Stackable Shelving Units
Another creative use for empty kitty litter containers is stacking them on their sides for shelving storage. They can be strapped of fastened together in several ways and left on the floor with or without their lids. You can make long shelves both vertically and horizontally to accommodate the space you’re working with.
12. DIY Kitty Condos
Some creative DIYers have used a similar method as the stackable shelving idea for repurposing cat litter containers but with an eye toward creating kitty condos for their pets. They’re lightweight, easily movable and just as easy to wipe out when they need it. Just slip in some old pillows and you’ve got yourself a cat condo.
13. Cat Feeding Station
By placing a lidded bucket on its side and placing a small bowl of food towards the back, you’ve got yourself a feeding station for outdoor cats or feral felines. Just place the bucket on its side with the lid extended as an awning of sorts and you’re all set.
14. Saddlebags for Bikes
Ever wished you had saddlebags on your bicycle for carting things around? Well, empty cat litter containers can be used for just that purpose. Both Lifehacker and Instructables.com have quick tutorials for the inexpensive project that can be completed in under an hour.
15. Organizing a Garage
You can organize your garage in no time with kitty litter containers. One of the best things about them is the fact that they come in so many sizes now with and without handles. Now you can keep all of your car cleaning products in one container or organize tools, nuts and bolts, cleaning products and almost anything else quickly and efficiently. Paint them with chalk paint and easily label them while you’re at it.
16. Tailgate Coolers
This is one of the more ingenious uses for repurposing an old kitty littler container: turn it into a travel cooler for tailgate parties and other events. Fill it with canned drinks and cover with ice and you’ve got the perfect traveling companion for beverages. Enthusiastic sports fans can find materials and decals to adorn them with for a customized touch.
17. DIY Automatic Pet Feeder
Who knew you can create your own automitic cat or dog food feeder from a cat litter bucket. The original video tutorial is no longer online, but from the photo you can be inspired to create your own automatic pet feeder. It looks like all you need to do is cut a hole at the bottom of the cat litter bucket and install a tray to hold a mall amount of food. Then, you let gravity do it's job. What a celver idea, isn't it? (Via Lifehacker.)
18. Diaper Pails & Laundry Hampers in Kids' Rooms
Transform an old litter container into a laundry hamper for kids’ rooms.
This is great for the little ones and makes it convenient when it comes
time to collect the clothes. Just grab it and go. Plus, if you use one
with a lid, it can keep smelly odors down.
Speaking of keeping odors down, an old cat litter container can work as a diaper pail. While most people use disposable diapers these days, eco-conscious mothers are gravitating more and more toward the old cloth diapers. Either way, you can use one of these tubs as a diaper pail and decorate it to match your baby décor.
19. Potato & Root Bins
Store potatoes and other root vegetables in your pantry in an old kitty litter pail. These buckets are well suited for this application — especially if you take a drill bit and add some holes on the sides for air to circulate. This way you avoid moisture buildup and molding through proper ventilation.
20. Beach Buckets
Enjoy a day at the beach with all of the kids’ toys and gear stowed in one of these portable cat litter buckets. It can hold plastic shovels, swim fins and floaties and double as a mold for building sand castles when your junior architects begin construction on their latest project.
More Uses for Cat Litter Buckets
Upcycling old kitty litter buckets is really only limited by your imagination. Whether you use them as is or cut them down and cover them to disguise their former use, empty cat litter pails can be endlessly repurposed. How do you recycle your old containers? Tell us in the comment section below.