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What to Do With Empty Cat Litter Jugs: 11 Uses You Can Try Today

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat in litter box

If you are a proud cat owner, then you know how many kitty litter jugs one can go through, which may leave you wondering how you can repurpose these plastic containers. After all, as we become more environmentally conscious, it’s important to reflect on how we can further cut down our waste.

So what exactly can you do with an empty plastic kitty litter jug? Turns out, there are a ton of ideas! From planters to various types of storage, the list can truly go on and on. Below, we’ve listed our favorite ways to upcycle these jugs. It’s less plastic going into the landfill and good karma on your side.

The 11 Uses for Empty Cat Litter Jugs

1. Painted Planters for Gardening

Image Credit: cassiestephens.blogspot

There’s nothing like a calming art project to help bring some greenery to your home. With just some paint and creative inspiration, you can transform your cat litter jug into an artistic planter for any flowers or plants that you want to display. The lid can be placed under the empty kitty litter jug, and then once you have it painted, cut out some holes on the bottom to aerate the soil. 

2. First Aid Kit

Emergency Preparedness and First Aid Kit Buckets
Image Credit: foodstoragemoms

In the event of an emergency, it’s good to have a fully stocked first-aid kit nearby. Although you may have the remnants of a makeshift first-aid kit strewn about or tucked away, with this idea, you can have everything you need in one convenient spot. This could also double a handy mobile emergency kit that is ready to go where ever you are. Whether it be road trips or garage work, you’ll have a bucket of helpful things on standby.

3. Toy Boxes With Labels

Kitty Litter Box Turned Quickie Toy Box
Image Credit: upcycledstuff.blogspot

If you have kids, then you understand the chaos of mess they can leave in their wake. Let your children decorate the outside of the jugs before prepping them for toy storage. Each child can have their own jug to store their individual toys, or many can be combined and labeled to provide organization to an entire playroom. 

4. Pack a Picnic

Clever Ideas For Recycling Kitty Litter Containers
Image Credit: petslady

You can turn your empty kitty litter jug into a picnic basket. All you have to do is wrap it in rope or a lovely blanket in whichever pattern suits you best. Then, add a ribbon or some inside fabric and you have a makeshift picnic basket. Now, you have a big enough bucket to carry food for two on a romantic date.

5. Bicycle Baskets

Best Cat Litter Bike Buckets
Image Credit: instructables

Consider attaching two of the empty jugs to the sides of your bicycle to create some convenient storage space for you to travel with. With some quick research and simple tutorials, you can have two saddlebags. A trip to the grocery store can finally be feasible with this life-hack invention.

6. Makeshift Cooler

Clever Ideas For Recycling Kitty Litter Containers
Image Credit: petslady

Kind of along the lines of a picnic basket, by insulating the inside of the jug or simply using ice, you have a makeshift cooler. Maybe you’re going to a small hangout at the beach or in your backyard and you want to have your cooler. Now, you can enjoy your favorite drinks ice cold wherever you go.

7. Recycling Bins

Rag Bin
Image Credit: hometalk

Another way to further your help for the planet is to paint these babies and slap some labels on them. You can make recycle bins for cans, plastics, paper, and mixed items. Tuck them away somewhere with easy access and you have an effective way to divvy up your recyclable waste.

8. Mini Trash Bins

Kitchen Remodel to Reduce Food Waste and Organize Recycling
Image Credit: thinkofitasanadventure

If you need a garbage can for your bedroom, or home office, repurposing these empty cat litters as trash cans is super easy. Just paint them over (or simply leave as is!) and add plastic grocery bags and you’ve got a mini trash bin. It’s small, so it can be placed anywhere, with just enough room to store some trash for a good minute before being thrown out and replaced.

9. Arts and Craft Storage

Portable Art Studio
Image Credit: 1orangegiraffe.blogspot

If you’re a crafty person, you might need more storage for your art supplies. These empty bins can be repurposed to hold all types of art, craft, and drawing supplies that you may have. You can paint over the jug and place it wherever your main art station resides. No more painting or drawing or artsy clutter in general, just a tidy space with designated areas for all your supplies.

10. Magazine and Newspaper Racks

clever Ideas For Recycling Kitty Litter Containers1
Image Credit: petslady

Redesign them or not, but these empty bins can still make nice, upright storage for your magazines and newspapers. You can keep them tucked under a table where they’re just enough on display. Sometimes, loose paper like magazines can be hard to place and ultimately add up your clutter. It’s good to have a designated place to dump them once you’re done reading them.

11. DIY into Fabric-Covered Storage for the Nursery

Cat Litter Bucket into Nautical Storage Tote (Tutorial)
Image Credit: thekimsixfix

You can even turn this empty jug into a diaper caddy. Just do a bit of research beforehand and line the plastic jug with fabric. Once you get a little creative with it, you can make your cutesy diaper bag for your nursery.


There are lots of ways you can repurpose these empty cat litter jugs. Not only are these options fun to create, but they are also incredibly useful.

Some may think that environmental measures are beyond our control and there is no point in reducing your carbon footprint. However, we believe that every effort counts! 

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Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock, Andrey_Kuzmin

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