Reusing Cat Litter Buckets

May 24, 2005

Reusing Cat Litter BucketsThe Tidy-Cat 27 lb. plastic container with the handle, when empty, and washed out, makes a really sturdy catch all for small toys to store! I've got 3 of them for the grandkids and they love them! And they are not too heavy to carry around, either.


By Las Vegas Angel

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May 4, 2011

After a thorough cleaning with vinegar, Dawn, and baking soda, I had a perfectly good, stay-fresh container for my dogs' and cat's food and treats!

photo of cat litter containers


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August 31, 2010

Apply decorative finishes on bucket surface using Mod Podge or similar product. I made a toys carry-all bucket for my grandson.

Decorated Recycled Buckets



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 28, 2005

Is it safe to use the plastic kitty litter containers to store your pets food - loose. I buy 20lbs at a time and its very difficult to keep my two cats DewBugE and Little out of the bag. I've heard that the containers have chemicals that may be absorbed by the food that could make pets sick if used for this purpose. Anyone know about the safety concerns?

Thanks so much,
Denise from Huntington WV


November 13, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

We have five cats and oooooodles of 35 pound litter containers. The litter is nothing more than clay and i never buy the ones with all the perfume and extras in them. I wash them out thoroughly whether using for food or otherwise. They make great portapots (you can even carve out a seat from another litter container to cover with soft foam and fabric toput on top when you use it if you need to sit down) scrubbed and painted they're stackable storage that substitutes as TV tables next to the chair when needed.


Cat food storage and organizing a garage. (my spouse is a contractor who has a box truck that is a whole workshop in the back. He has work benches with shelves underneath lined with litter buckets with felt tip marker identifying what tool or supply is inside.

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June 7, 2007

Does anybody have any ideas on what to do with the 35 lb. buckets cat litter comes in besides the obvious storage containers. I have given a lot away but hate to throw them out.

Audrie12 from PA


June 7, 20072 found this helpful

Try drilling a few holes in the bottom paint them in jazzy colours and use them as plant containers in the garden

June 7, 20070 found this helpful

We keep one or two in the mudroom to store grocery bags of used litter until it's garbage day. The pails we get have lids to them, and that keeps the stink in pretty well.

June 8, 20070 found this helpful definately going to use both ideas..never have enough garden containers.

By AuntyC (Guest Post)
June 8, 20070 found this helpful

Always call your local Head Start program with things like that. You would be surprised at what they can do with things we call junk.


Also post on I would have KILLED to get free buckets when I was in the chicken business.

By Nancy from Florida (Guest Post)
June 8, 20071 found this helpful

1 -- carry one around with you when you weed or dead-head your garden plants. Makes it so much easier to do those jobs when you don't have to carry the weeds or clippings in your hands. I have a few that I use for the small stones which I unearth when planting. Then they are convenient for giving away to other gardeners to put around plants.

2 -- also good for storing other garden supplies that need to be in air-tight containers (like fertilizers, potting soil, etc) -- be sure to label the tops and the sides!

3 -- clean one out very well, then let it air dry and use it (with the lid on) for storing pet food, Label top and sides so you can find it again!


4 -- or store bird seed, after proper cleaning-out

5 -- keep 2 or 3 nested together in or near each shower to put under the sprayer or showerhead to catch the water that you have to run until the water gets hot. This can go right on your plants or in your pool, instead of down the drain.

6 -- if you buy large quantities of staples like sugar or flour, keep insects out by storing the unopened bags in a bucket with a tight lid

7 -- fill halfway with warm water and use to wash off your dog's muddy legs and feet before letting him back in the house

8 -- keep a few (nested) in the trunk of your car; put your groceries in (right in their flimsy bags) to
carry into the house

9 -- keep one in the trunk to store the kids' sandy toys between trips to the beach

10 -- stick them under the downspouts to catch rainwater to put on your plants

11 -- if you are soaking whites in the bleach/dishwasher powder/hot water mixture, this makes it easy to handle and saves on extra water


12 -- I have my gift wrap rolls stored in one near my holiday stuff.

13 -- add ice, use for cold drinks for a picnic; use one for each kind of soda or to separate soda from tea or beer.

14 -- one makes a good emergency wet-umbrella holder or boot holder until most of the water has dripped off

15 -- as someone else suggested, use with a new toilet plunger to make a 'washing machine' for clothes while camping (or to pre-wash oily or very dirty clothes before washing them with regular laundry)

16 -- for storage of anything that might get ruined by insects or rodents while being stored in the attic or cellar, such as out-of-season clothing, table linens, etc

Nancy from Florida

PS -- your grocery store's deli department or sushi bar probably uses plastic buckets for things like mayonnaise and pickle relish.


Ask if they will save the buckets, then be sure to pick them up on the day they are ready or they might get tossed out.

By Nancy in Florida (Guest Post)
June 8, 20070 found this helpful

17 -- use as spacers between shelves in the garage -- very sturdy and light-weight.

Nancy in Florida

June 8, 20071 found this helpful

We use ours to water our garden plants until they are well established. We fill with water and leave them set out to catch rain water also. We keep a large cup with a handle on it to water with.
We also store bird seen in them and carry them to our bird feeders.

By Barbie (Guest Post)
June 8, 20070 found this helpful

you could also paint the bases and cut foam to fit the lid and cover the lid and foam with matching water resistant fabric for extra outdoor and indoor seating that is easy to store.......if you'd like them a little taller you may even beable to use two, flip one and bolt the bottoms together and add a cushioned lid....not sure of the exact shape of the ones you have but it might work......and you can buy that nice paint now that sticks to plastic so the colors are endless....have fun...

June 8, 20071 found this helpful

If you ever have a summer "get together", turn them upside down in your back yard and put a little pretty cloth over it and some little flowers. Makes for a nice little chair table to put drinks on.

By LISA (Guest Post)
June 8, 20071 found this helpful


By Dahart in CO (Guest Post)
June 9, 20071 found this helpful

USe as a Compost bucket in the house to carry to the big compost bin in the yard...

June 10, 20071 found this helpful

Wow.....thanks for all the great ideas...
this websites the best...
Hugs to all

June 11, 20071 found this helpful

My husband is an Over-The-Road Truck Driver; he uses these buckets for his trash can in his big truck. They also make good "porta-potties" in an emergency situation! ;)

God Bless,
Sheila in Titusville, FL

January 19, 20101 found this helpful

I just made myself a holder for my knitting needles and yarn from one, just use fabric and sew in seams for the needles to be stored in. It's great!

February 15, 20131 found this helpful

I was always annoyed at having to throw away these sturdy pails, because yuck! they had had cat litter in them! I wisened up one day while I was shopping for very expensive Rubber Maid storage boxes. Ping! Now I use them for all sorts of storage and I use one if I have to carry things up from the basement. They are great in the garden shed. The one I buy is 35 lbs. Nearly the size of a 5 gallon pail.

WARNING! I was always so careful to keep my little children away from these while empty or full of the original product or reuse because of the danger of falling in drowning. My Dad was a painter and always had them around and warned me about the serious danger. His friend had a horrible tragedy involving these buckets.

I have a new little one year old granddaughter here with me now and I had forgotten how diligent you must be around little children. (I do wish I could put her in one and take her home with me.) aaarrrgh ( you know that I would poke holes in it for air!)

February 6, 20162 found this helpful

They had CLEAN cat litter in them.

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May 19, 2014

Does anyone have any ideas of what to do with emptied plastic kitty litter containers?

By Jerry S.


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May 21, 20140 found this helpful

I use the clumping kind of litter, and so I scoop the clumps, etc back into the empty containers, and, when full, deposit them in the trash. It was the only useful thing I could come up with, as I was overrun with them, and couldn't find anyone who needed so many buckets!

May 15, 20160 found this helpful

I wonder if Goodwill would take them to sale. I am sure there would be people who would like to have some.

June 26, 20161 found this helpful

I use mine to store plastic grocery sacks. I just fold them up nice and neat and it holds tons.

September 5, 20161 found this helpful

Check with local elementary schools or any child nurseries in the area; they seem to always need containers for storage of toys and supplies.

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October 19, 2017

By adding drainage holes to kitty litter tubs you can make several large, shallow planters inexpensively. This is a page about use kitty litter tubs as garden planters.

Blue Kitty Litter Tub

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