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What to Do With Empty Cat Litter Jugs?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

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.

24 Uses for Empty Cat Litter Jugs

1. Dry Food Storage

Regardless of the pet, finding a safe and air-tight spot for their food is going to be the key to keeping it fresh. It’s also better to keep their dry food in a solid container rather than a bag to prevent late-night or unplanned meals! If you repurpose one of your cat litter jugs then you can ensure fresh, sealed dry food for your furry friend every time.

You can even build a makeshift automatic feeder. By cutting a small hole at the bottom that spills into a small bowl, the bowl will refill after every feeding. Sure, the freshness aspect might be compromised, but now you don’t have to worry about your pet ever getting hungry!

2. Painted Planters for Gardening

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. Then you’re all set!

3. Gardening Seat 

The good thing about cat litter jugs is their sturdiness. If you do backyard work or any work outside, you can use the jugs to sit and to lug the gardening supplies back and forth to the garage. No more tending to the garden, putting stress on your hands and knees. Now, you’ll have a close-to-the-ground seat to rest upon.

4. First Aid Kit

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.

5. Holiday Decoration Storage

Every year, many people find the need to go out and buy stackable storage units for their yearly holiday decorations without considering that missed opportunity that is upcycled kitty litter jug storage. With this idea, you’ll save money and keep your decorations safely stored. Be it outdoor or indoor decorations or even costumes, you’ll be able to easily stack them away in your garage.

Just remember, that if you put away fabric costumes and clothing in the jugs, make sure they’re kept in the garage or attic. Be sure to throw in a few silica packs to keep everything free of mildew with utmost freshness.

6. Toy Boxes with Labels

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. 

8. Water Bucket for your Dogs

If you own pets, dogs specifically, they’re likely going to spend a lot of time outside, and having access to water is important. Keep a fresh jug of water for them in the bucket, so you can be assured that they’ll have a place to drink while outside. You can choose to transform the lid into a bowl holder and use the jug to store additional water. Remember to clean it with vinegar in the first place for safety purposes.

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9. Pack a Picnic

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.

10. Bicycle Baskets

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.

11. Makeshift Cooler

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.

12. Storage for the Miscellaneous

Even if you don’t have a specific group of things to store away, everybody needs a junk drawer or in this case a junk bucket. Accumulating stuff and lots of it seems inevitable for the average human. Just because you’re not sure where to put it doesn’t mean it has to stay in your house. Use one of the buckets to store all those mysterious and miscellaneous items away.

13. Recycling Bins

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.

14. Composting Bins

If it’s all in the name of mother nature there’s not much to argue against. Composting is a great way to dispose of your compostable trash. You’ll be able to create a rich, nutrient soil by disposing of your organic wastes. The less waste you have on this planet, the better, and composting can be a really neat way to do your part for nature.

15. Sewing Storage Bins

Even though cookie tins seem to be the popular choice to hold sewing kits and things, an empty kitty litter jug could also do the trick. You can refashion them if you like, painting them with whatever art comes to mind. The best part is the size is succinct and easy to tuck away somewhere. At least people won’t be fooled to find sewing materials when they were expecting a sugar cookie.

16. Mini Trash Bins

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.

17. Winter Storage for Clothes

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that experiences all four seasons, then these bins can help be storage for the items that won’t be used for the winter season. We’re talking about winter boots and burly jackets. As well as winter gear for other cold activities, you can have storage for them during the warmer months of the year. It can help clear up your closet and enjoy the room and storage for the next half of the year.

18. Arts and Craft Storage

If you’re a crafty person and we don’t mean deceitfully, 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.

19. Magazine and Newspaper Racks

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 your done reading them.

20. Mail and Important Document Storage

You’ll probably want to keep your more sensitive documents under lock and key somewhere, but if you’re just starting on your own, these jugs can help keep your important paperwork in one place. We’re talking bills, invoices, pay stubs, and more. 

21. Turn it into a Beach Tote

By applying the same crafty techniques to the makeshift picnic basket, you can also make it into a beach tote. When you live close to the beach or go there religiously to relax, it’s nice to have a simple and sturdy bag to hold all your things. Plus, since it’s plastic, it’ll be sturdy than any actual tote bag you own.

22. Garage Shelving Units

DIY projects can truly be fun and bring about helpful inventions to live life easier. One of those fun projects you can do is create a stacked shelving unit in your garage. You can paint over the buckets if you’d like, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just glue them on top of each other with them all facing outward and now you have concise storage for everything!

23. Potato and Root Storage

For my cooks and root lovers out there, you can finally have under-the-sink storage for those potatoes and roots. This type of vegetables need to be stored somewhere cool and dark, but what to put them in? Well, buckets like these are great for this purpose and give you more items with designated space.

24. DIY into Fabric-Covered Storage for the Nursery

You can even turn this empty jug into a diaper caddy. Just do a bit beforehand research 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.

25. Cord Spool Holder

Another helpful tip is to turn your empty kitty litter jugs into a spool or holder for electrical cords. Whether it be Christmas lights or a hefty electric cord, you will be able to easily store them away while doing the future you a favor.

Cords can be so tricky to wrap up in an organized way. That’s why people like to spool them before storing them. This allows for the cords to be easily accessed by saving time and combating the clutter that garages tend to collect.


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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