RV travel with cats can be messy when you don’t have a place for the litter box.
With the latest polls showing 14% of cat owners take them along on every RV trip, finding a solution to keep the cat box out of the way yet easily accessible for your feline furries can be a challenge.
If you’re stuck thinking of a way to keep your cat’s litter box from being underfoot inside your recreational vehicle, don’t fret. I put seven practical ideas down below to make your cat happy and keep the kitty litter mess to a minimum.
By the end, you’ll hopefully find the ideal RV litter box station for your needs!
Best RV Litter Box Options
Before finding the best place to put a cat litter box inside your camper, let’s take a look at the most recommended cat boxes for RVs from satisfied users.
The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box is a top pick of RVers who have a large cat or who travel with multiple felines. While this litter box has tons of great features, a swinging front door entry, and is quite affordable, it requires a hiding spot that has an ample open area above for cleaning.
The PetSafe Automatic Self-Cleaning Hooded Cat Litter Box has fans in the recreational vehicle community for its size, low-mess crystal litter, and super easy front cat entry and tray removal. Do invest in the plastic tray to reduce RV waste, and consider the no hood version if you’re placing the box in an enclosed cabinet.
The IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box is ideal for RVs because you don’t need to worry litter contents or urine spray will get on the floor, and the smaller size makes it simple to hide the box inside compartments or behind furniture.
The Nature’s Miracle Hooded Litter Box has a high back, which helps keep urine spray inside if you choose to remove the hood when placing it inside your RV. The wide access door makes scooping a breeze, and the handle on top makes moving the box in and out of your RV effortless.
The Breeze System by Tidy Cats is probably one of the best cat litter boxes around to keep odors under control inside even a small RV. The combination of moisture-repelling pellets, super-absorbent pads, high sides, and front slide-out tray reduces mess, work, and smells to a minimum.
Here are the features to look for when selecting an RV litter box:
- High sides
- Easy access for cleaning
- Durability and stability
- Odor-controlling filters or pads
- Cat privacy
A great RV litter box will have high sides to keep the granules from getting all over the floor from travel bumps and vibrations and entry and exit by the cat.
Accessibility of the box contents is also important for both cleaning and entry of the cat. You don’t want to always remove the box from the hiding spot or the RV to clean it, so ensure you think about how easy it is to reach inside and remove waste without creating a big mess.
Privacy is another aspect cat owners need to consider, as most felines prefer to do their business with no one watching. You can achieve privacy by where you place the box in the RV or enclosing it behind a small door or opening.
Most cat litter boxes are about 12 inches wide, 18 inches tall, and 26 inches deep, but you can find other dimensions to fit your RV space perfectly.
The inside of RV cabinets door openings is often only 11 inches wide, so keep this in mind or take good measurements if you plan to convert a lower cabinet to a litter box hideout.
7 Great Cat Litter Box Customizations for RVs
1. Under the RV Bathroom Sink
Using the space underneath the bathroom sink is an excellent spot for creating a custom litter box hideout for your cat.
The area is typically large enough to fit a compact box, and most RV bathrooms have additional storage in an upper cabinet for toiletries (or is easy to add yourself), so you won’t miss it.
Keeping the litter box away from the main living space is the best reason to use the sink cabinet as housing, especially if odors are a concern. Most RV bathrooms come with a Fantastic fan to keep smells to a minimum until you can clean the litter box.
The best way to customize the cabinet space for your cat’s business is to measure the area and find a box that fits with or without a hood.
You’ll want to be able to remove the litter box base without tipping it so much that the litter will fall out if you need to take the whole thing outside for deep cleaning.
Since you want your cat to have free access to the litter box at any time, you’ll need to cut a hole either on the door or side of the cabinet.
I prefer the look of an opening on a side hidden from general view, so your RV looks nice if you leave the bathroom door open. You can add a cat flap door to enclose the area if you wish.
Another option is removing the door entirely and replacing it with an inexpensive plywood version you use to install the cat flap, or leave it off and add a curtain to give your cat privacy.
A curtain is a very cost-effective idea, but it won’t stop the box from sliding out during travel unless you take the time to secure the base firmly in place.
If you’re lucky and have an RV bathroom cabinet with a door and drawers, you can opt to remove the bottom drawer to give your cat access to the litter box.
2. Inside an RV Closet
Most RV closets in large motorhomes, travel trailers or fifth wheels have plenty of space to add a cat box inside.
You can choose to add a cat flap to the door to give your pet the most privacy or leave the door open a few inches at all times.
If you have concerns about kitty litter, cat spray, or fur getting onto your shoes and clothing, you can use a hooded litter box or build some walls around the pan to keep everything contained.
The nice part about converting a portion of the closet to a kitty litter box hideout is that most RV closets have a lifted floor, so you aren’t bending or hunching down as much to clean out waste.
Many RVs have a secondary closet made for washer and dryer hookups, which is another excellent spot to house the litter box.
If you add a shelf just above the top of the litter box hood, you can utilize the upper space for personal items and keep the lower portion for the cat’s box.
What’s great about the laundry closet is the floor space. There is often ample room to place even an oversize litter box, along with supplies like the scoop, waste bags, and extra litter, so you keep everything tidy.
You can opt for a cat door or slide the door open enough for access.
3. Under a Dinette Booth Seat
The space under the dinette booth seats is another prominent spot RVers convert to a cat box station.
Often, the only way to access the under-seat storage area is by lifting the cushions and lid. However, since dealing with the cover is a hassle, most RVers find it much more practical to utilize this space for their cat instead.
If your dinette booth has a low access door or drawer, you can easily remove it to allow your cat entry to the interior space.
If not, you can cut a hole (adding a cat flap or curtain if you like) into the exterior base large enough for your cat to enter. I suggest cutting this access hole underneath the table close to the wall, so it’s hard to see if you choose to patch it up later.
To set up the interior for top-opening booths:
- Remove the cushions and lift the lid
- Place the litter box inside, as far from the entry hole as possible, and secure
- Add a cat litter-trapping mat just outside the box to clean off the paws
- Close the lid to enclose the station and open for cleanings
Since you’ll need to open the top of the dinette booth lid a lot to clean waste from a standard litter box, do consider upgrading to a self-cleaning box to lower the chore to once every couple of weeks or so.
After you have your litter box in place, install two eye hooks on either side and use a bungee cord to secure it from sliding during travel. Now you can put the lid and cushions back in place and enjoy not having to look at or step over the litter box every day!
Some dinette booths have bench seating that is open beneath. In this instance, you can easily add a curtain using a tension rod to close off the front and secure the litter box as far to the back of the area as possible.
You don’t want people to sit in the booth, tuck their feet underneath the bench, and kick the box, which could send the contents flying.
If you think this problem will be an issue, you can add wood bracing strips along the floor and underside of the bench and cut a wood panel five or six inches shorter than the width. Then, add magnetic latches to the top and bottom edges so you can quickly pop off the front for cleaning or rearranging the interior.
4. Inside an RV Storage Bay
More and more RVers find that a smaller storage bay is ideal for a custom litter box station.
Using a storage bay gives you more flexibility when dealing with dirty litter as you can access the box from the exterior of your RV, so there isn’t any mess inside.
The only problem with using a storage bay to hold a cat box is the location.
First, you’ll need to have a way for your cat to reach the compartment from the RV interior, which means cutting a hole through the camper floor or sidewall, which is a big commitment.
Not all compartments will have a convenient point to cut an access hole into your camper, so always check for wiring, plumbing, or appliances that may be in the way before bringing out the saw.
If you find you can use a storage compartment for your cat box, think about how your pet will reach the litter box safely. For example, if there’s wiring or exposed RV components between the compartment and the interior entry point, think about using an inexpensive cardboard concrete tube form to breach the gap.
These tubes come in several diameter sizes to fit any size cat and work wonderfully to create a safe passage. The material is dense enough to attach using duct tape or small screws to the holes in the camper on either end, so your cat stays on track.
Please consider the weather when placing your cat’s litter box in an uninsulated RV exterior compartment, as the space can get very hot or cold. If the spot isn’t insulated or heated, do line the floor, walls, and back of the door with foam board insulation to help regulate the temperature.
On the interior of your camper, you’ll want to add a tight-sealing cat door to reduce drafts and any chance of odors, insects, or pests from crawling in.
5. Under a Bed
The main bed in most RVs has open storage underneath, either by lifting the wood platform and mattress or through access doors around the bed frame base.
To add in a custom litter box hideout, you’ll need to decide how to separate space for the cat’s needs, so you can still use the other area for your personal belongings.
My cat-owning RV friends have a lifting bed and added two walls attached to the front corner on the inside to create a box. This nook is easy to reach from the outside when the bed lifts.
They cut a hole in the exterior bed framing and trimmed it out for the cat to enter. When the bed is made, the blanket partially hides the opening making it hard to notice.
Inside the bed, the box has room for the cat to enter before entering the litter box and space for a bag of litter and other supplies.
Since the box placement is at the foot of the bed, there’s plenty of headroom when you lift the mattress to open the hood of the litter box for cleaning.
6. Inside a Side Table
Many recreational vehicles have a side table with a cabinet beneath ideal for turning into a custom RV cat litter box.
You can cut a hole in the side or door of the table or remove the door and add a curtain to give your cat privacy.
Even if your camper is small or without an end or side table, you’re still in luck as there are a wide variety of premade cat litter box furniture styles available from pet stores like Chewy or online retail stores like Wayfair.
I prefer the look of premade litter box enclosures and the ability to find the size, color, finish, and shape that works best in your RV space. Some of the chambers are tables, while others are benches, and many offer extra storage to hold spare litter.
You can always remove a non-functional side table from your camper and replace it with a convenient and attractive litter box enclosure to make the most of your available floor space.
7. Lower RV Drawers
If your camper has a chest or set of drawers in a bedroom or kitchen, you can remove the lower one or two (depending on your cat’s size) and use the interior floor space to hold a litter box.
The openings into the space will probably only be 8-10 inches high, which means you may have to go with only using a litter box base with no hood to fit inside. But, getting such bulky cat gear out from underfoot is worth the hassle of cleaning up bits of litter that may track or bounce out of the box.
You can choose to finish the front of the drawer(s) with a curtain if you want to hide the box from guests and give your cat some private time.
Just about any recreational vehicle has an area perfect for transforming into a cat litter box hideout, so you can avoid having it out in the open where it looks terrible, and you always need to take care not to bump into it.
When you use any of the great ideas above to hide a cat litter box in an RV, you’ll appreciate having your walkways clear, and your cat will love having a cozy place to go when nature calls.
RVing is such a fantastic way to travel with your cat. When you make your camper more cat-friendly by installing a custom cat-litter box, it’s incredible how much happier you both will be!
Join 500+ Passionate RVers and Get Our Best Stuff Before Anyone Else!
Where To Hide Cat Litter Box In Your RV or Camper (Video)
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide