Cat Tower

Repurposing Old Furniture for Cats and Dogs

Do you have an old shelving unit, dresser, TV cabinet or television lying around? Don’t throw these things out. With minimal work and a little imagination, you can turn that old furniture into a fancy cat bed or private nook for your pooch.  You’ll also feel good knowing you recycled your furniture instead of adding it to your local landfill.

The Internet is full of ideas on how to repurpose furniture for cats and dogs, but we’ve listed some of our top picks below.  We’d also love to hear from you about your own DIY projects for your furry babies.  Send up photos of your creation with your fur baby and we’ll put together a collage of all the ideas we receive.

Create a Cat Condo

Using any shelving unit or baby changing table, you can create a beautiful cat condo that your feline friends will adore. Remove any doors or bottom drawers, but keep upper drawers for storing leashes, toys, and other supplies. Sand and paint it if you wish, and then add pillows to the top shelves to give your cats a comfy place to sleep. You may even want to staple or hot glue a matching curtain that covers the bottom shelf to create a little hideaway. There are even bookshelf clip-ons made specifically for the purpose of enabling your kitty to travel comfortably from one shelf to another.

This idea works with old dressers, too. Just add a heavy duty piece of plywood above the space where the bottom drawer used to be and then follow the directions above. As an alternative, use just the drawers an create something fabulous like this (courtesy of Jackson Galaxy from TV’s My Cat From Hell):

 Recycle Chairs into a Feeding Station

dog bowlHave any old and unloved wooden chairs in your garage and a large dog who likes to eat standing up? If so, clean the chairs and buy two metal bowls with a lip around the edge. Measure the bowls and cut a hole in the center of each chair seat so that the bowls hang securely. Then, get out your saw to adjust the chair legs to the height of your dog, and give the project a professional look by painting “food” and “water” on the top of the chairs. No more stooping to eat and drink, and you’ve got a great conversation piece.

Just keep in mind, though, that some experts believe there may be an increased risk of bloat in large breeds who eat from elevated bowls while standing up. However, as Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA, points out, there’s only been one major study into this risk and it was “the only one that ever attempted to discern whether raising a bowl made any difference whatsoever.”  In an abundance of caution, you can just cut the chair legs so that the bowl is low enough to allow your big pup to eat with his head hanging down into the bowl.

Camouflage Your Kitty’s Litter Box

Before you toss out that old cabinet or dresser, considering repurposing it to camouflage your cat’s litter box in something artsy and fun. If you’re using a dresser, just remove all but the top drawer. Place the litter box inside the cabinet, and use the upper drawer for supply storage. Finish the piece to match your home decor.

If you really want to hide the little box while guests are over, you can add doors to the opening left after you removed the shelves.  Leave the cabinet doors open when company is not around, and add a pretty pattern of smaller holes on the opposite side for ventilation and to let some light in. Keep in mind, though, that out of sight should never mean out mind. Remember to clean your cat’s litter box regularly.

Put Your Pet on TV

televisionOlder model televisions (including those set into a cabinet) and computer monitors (flat screens won’t work) can make adorable pet beds for cats and small dogs if you gut the insides of the TV and add a cute pillow. If your old TV includes a cabinet, have fun painting it to create a unique, one-of-a-kind comfy zone for your furry baby.  Even if you don’t have an old TV or TV cabinet lying around the house, they are plentiful on Craigslist and at thrift stores.

Just be careful when removing the inside of the TV: some electronic components are sharp, so proceed slowly. You should be able to unscrew the back of the TV itself and remove everything, including the glass screen.


©Onpets, LLC 2016.  All rights reserved.

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