As I mentioned yesterday, there is another door which is access to a little room built for cat litter. This basically came about because we were trying to figure out where to store the cat litter (right now it’s in the kitchen, which is terrible). The laundry room is an obvious choice, but it’s not really that big, so having cat litter would be a bit inconvenient there. My girlfriend also wants to be able to hang black clothes in there to dry without them getting white cat hair all over them (eg, shut the door).
I basically used the area inside the crawlspace to build a 2′ x 3′ room, and then provided access to it in the lower half of the wall joining the crawlspace. Here’s a couple pictures from earlier in construction to give you a better idea:
It’s hard to see, but it’s actually elevated a bit because there is a row of cinder blocks separating the main basement from the crawlspace, so I just built the floor of the cubby hole to the same height as the top of the blocks. The second cubby hole you see is for a bar fridge (there is a power outlet inside that one, which is not visible in this picture) – the fridge will basically just be flush with the wall. Again, this was just a way to get more out of the space I had – it adds a fridge into what would otherwise just be a plain wall.
I also installed a vent in the top to try and keep it not overly stinky and allow some air circulation (I may put a small fan in the vent, if necessary). There’s another vent in the fridge area to allow heat to escape out the top.
After cutting down the door to fit, I also installed an actual cat door (one of those flapping ones). I basically just took my jigsaw and cut out the trace of the door.
I had trouble finding a pet door actually, I had to go to a pet store and they only had this one and a really fancy one which used RFID tags to only allow in your pet (which is a great idea, if you are installing this on an exterior door). The problem with this is that it looks like it’s designed for either a solid core door, or a 1⁄4″ thick door. When you put the two pieces on, they do not connect – so with my hollow core doors, there would otherwise be a giant gap between them. I ended up using some 1 1⁄8″ pine to fill in around the hole, and then painted it to match the door.
The end result looks pretty good (considering what it is). Obviously I’d rather not have this at all, but the weird door with the cat door in it looks better (in my opinion) than a litter box sitting in the open. I’m not going to actually install the pet door yet though – I want to make sure my cat learns she has to go in there to do her business before also having to learn how the flap works. The consequences to the new carpet are just not worth risking it..