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I’ve had this idea for the longest time. We own two cats (or they own us… semantics.) Where ever we’ve lived, I’ve always had this intense hatred for the cat box. I hate dirty stuff inside the house, yet they are indoor cats so they have to have a place to go inside. Catch-22 situation.

In our last house, I had a big box built out of particle board in the garage. I placed it up against one of the walls. The other side of the wall was our hallway closet. Then I had a hole in the wall professionally cut and dry walled…etc so the cats could walk into the hole from the house and go directly into the cat box. I also built another hole in the closet wall so the cats could walk from the hallway into the closet, then walk through the other hole to enter the cat box.

The box in the garage had a lid on it with holes poked in the top for ventilation. The lid was on a hinge so I could lift it up and scoop the litter from the garage instead of having to do it in the house and get cat litter fumes everywhere… etc. I also had a sheetmetal liner made to contain the litter. Cat pee is EXTREMELY acidic and will pretty much eat through wood like the bad paper towels in the side-by-side Brawny paper towel comparisons. So you have to have a metal liner of some sort.

It was a marvelous system, I can tell you. We absolutely loved it. On top of it, when we went to sell the home, we got a TON of potential buyers looking at the home solely because they want to see this “Custom Cat Box” solution we advertised in our ads.

Then, as I always do, I thought about ways I could market this system. The entire thing cost me about $350 including someone coming in and making the two holes in the wall and roughing them out to look professional looking. That also included the materials for the box and the custom-made sheetmetal liner.

If someone were industrious enough and handy enough with drywall and building a wood box… etc, they could make a nice living doing this.

Details: Do a prototype at your own house or a friend’s then take pics of it, put together a flyer featuring nice pictures of the system then go door to door, handing out this flyer (either by knocking on doors or just putting the flyer in the door) and watch the orders come in. The raw materials would cost about $50 so all the rest is your labor costs. If you charge $350 for the project, and sell one of these a day, you could be making $300 a day. Actual work time might consist of about 3 hours per job, give or take. The rest of the day can be spent on the golf course, or out getting more jobs. To take it even further, you could hire someone to do the flyer distribution and you just do the jobs when they call.

To make it easier once you get a job, you could prebuild the boxes at your own place and have them ready to go. Also, go to your local sheet metal fabricator and have 5 or 6 inserts pre-made so you can have them on hand when you get a job. Once you get a job, all that needs to be done is cutting the hole and finishing it nicely (roughing, drywalling… etc.) Then you just place the box on the other side of the hole, secure it, make sure it’s at the right height to meet the hole in the wall by customizing the legs or base that it stands on, and viola, you’re done. There shouldn’t be any permits needed as you’re not building a permanent structure. (Make sure you consult local ordinances as is always a good idea when starting ANY business.)

When advertising it, you might want to quote the absolute cheapest price it will take at perhaps $200 or so for a best case scenario. That would be for a really straight foward job of cutting a hole in the wall and mounting the box as described above. Then each job would of course require an individual quote. That’s because each garage is going to be different. Perhaps the best place to put the box will require a custom shaped box… etc. So, those jobs might be $350 or more.

That’s it. I’d actually do this for a living if I were better at construction stuff. There’s also another idea that relates to this one, but I’ll save that for the next post. 🙂

Now get bizzy!

Bizzy Man Dan

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6 Comments

  1. I absolutely love your cat bathroom concept. I’ve been searching for several months for some brilliant cat box concept that would keep the box invisible and the small more effectively under control. This is just a great concept. Thank you for sharing. My dad is a retired general contractor, drywall guy and cat lover. I’m sending this to him and asking for his FIRST box.
    Thanks again!
    Penny

  2. Hi Penny,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I wish nothing but success to your dad. This is something that will become more and more popular, especially with new construction, I think. It’s a nifty differentiation. I know when we sold our house, the people who bought it were in love with the nifty cat box and it’s actually WHY they even looked at our house to begin with.

    Even in real estate… if you have a niche thing to market, you’re much better off than trying to appeal to the masses.

    Cheers!
    Dan

  3. Hi Dan,
    I came to a very similar conclusion several years back after going through my own struggles with 2 adopted kittens. I constructed a wooden cat box and attached it to the wall inside the garage. The other side of the wall was the hallway to the powder room and laundry room, I used peg board on top(for ventilation) and hinged it in the middle to make it easy for cleaning access. For cat entry from inside the house I used a pet door ensuring no odor would enter the house. I used plastic to fit into the grooves on each side of the pet door between the drywall, creating a seamless and attractive entry. It is way over-engineered…I believe it would hold the weight of a small vehicle :), but it works very well. All my guests think it’s the greatest idea. I went a step further and installed an electrical outlet and put an automatic litter tray inside along with a fan/charcoal filter for further ventilation/odor control. I work in the garage quite a bit so I am currently coming up with a way to create a weather-proof box and moving it outside so I don’t have to deal with the odor at all. Being the handyman I am…if I find the time I plan on coming up with an easier method to manufacture/sell/install.

    Regards,

    Chad P.

  4. Great idea! I have been thinking about this for some time. I live in Florida, and have 2 cats. My only concern about building this into the garage is that it’s very warm in there. Summer months are around 100 degrees. Does anyone have an idea about odor control in hot, humid areas? I plan to use a pet door for access to the box. I am thinking about using a 2×3 foot plastic cement mixing box (about 6 inches high) inside, and adding a door on the side to slid it out for cleaning and access. I was thinking about sealing it and not have vents. (because of the heat in the garage)

  5. what the hell r u lot on

  6. Pilling a Cat

    Pilling a cat can be a nightmarish experience. Cats don’t want

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