Asked on Feb 10, 2017

Cat Litter containers

Hi! we have three rescue cats and I am always buying those large plastic litter containers - seems a waste to throw them out and they just hold clean litter but can't think of any clever way to repurpose them? Thanks :)
  37 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 10, 2017

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 10, 2017

    If you're a gardener, these would be great for watering. You can donate them to a community garden so other can use them to water their plots, too. Be sure to rinse them well before using

  • Mary Boger Mary Boger on Feb 11, 2017

    I have given a few to a neighbor who fills them and uses then as

    weights for tying things down related to his boat.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 11, 2017

      Thanks! We had a boat years ago and sold it :( but using them as weights is a good idea -maybe for tarps covering patio furniture etc

  • Lorraine Okeson Lorraine Okeson on Feb 11, 2017

    You could buy the liter in bags which is less expensive. I you wish, you could transfer it to your empty plastic containers for convenience.

    My neighbor puts her used liter back into the containers to put out for trash collection.

  • Thi11614965 Thi11614965 on Feb 12, 2017

    If you can't come up with a great idea, please recycle them. That's what I do.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 12, 2017

      Thanks! We don't have recycling pick up in our area but I could find some place I just hate to throw them out

  • Har12230720 Har12230720 on Feb 12, 2017

    If you buy the buckets with lids, they make great storage containers. I use some of mine to store Christmas lights, gardening tools, extension cords, etc. Also to hold a trash bag to scoop the waste from the litter pan into.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 12, 2017

      Thanks! I think I will start

      buying those - I can always use more storage and those containers can be pricey!

  • Carol Carol on Feb 12, 2017

    Put is salt/sand combo for traction during icy weather. Great to keep in trunk of car as extra safety precaution. Or put bird seed in them if you feed birds!

  • Pun10014796 Pun10014796 on Feb 13, 2017

    If you buy large bags of food, which I'm thinking you might do, you could use these containers for your cat food. Pourable now and will keep pests out unlike storage in the bags.

  • CecileH CecileH on Feb 13, 2017

    If you tilt them over onto the opposite side of the opening where the handle is, you can cut the side off and make them into large scoops for soil, road salt, legos, flour etc ...if you use them for food for human or animal use, run them through the dishwasher after they are cut. You can also use them in the garden for vegetable and fruit picking. If you cut a smaller section off the side large enough to get your hand in and out freely, they are great for clothes pegs (drill a few holes in the bottom of the container to let rain water out if by chance you leave them outside and forget about them! Cut the whole top off just above where they get narrower by the label and use Washi tape to soften the edge or pretty duct tape and make sorting bins for toys, for sewing patterns, balls of yarn, tupperware lids, oatmeal packets, baking products etc. Many preschools or Day Care facilities always need storage, you could make a few up and donate them. You could also use them as planters with the tops cut off, putting them anywhere around the yard or punch a whole on each side leaving about an inch of plastic from the top edge and use nylon or poly rope and make them into hanging baskets. So many ideas!

  • Holly Holly on Feb 13, 2017

    These would make great plant containers, but top off, sand down rough edge, paint it and you have a great plant holder.

  • Ste10300839 Ste10300839 on Feb 13, 2017

    These make the best Christmas containers available! They are study, stackable, and square for perfect storage! We collect them through the year for this purpose for use in the attic to replace those old cardboard boxes that deteriorate over time. Also saves on space!

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 13, 2017

      Thanks! I've been working on organizing the basement and need lots of Christmas storage! (I don't know where it all comes from lol) Some of those rubbermaid bins are really pricey to buy so this is a great idea!

  • Ste10300839 Ste10300839 on Feb 13, 2017

    Forgot to say we use the yellow ones with the red lids.

  • AbaGail Q Norwood AbaGail Q Norwood on Feb 13, 2017

    I use them like this,

  • Ste10300839 Ste10300839 on Feb 13, 2017

    Christina and all, we use the yellow ones with the red lids for better storage. Can't beat something for free!

  • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 13, 2017

    Thanks I'll look for that in my store- usually I buy what's on sale lol!

  • Ortho Cat Ortho Cat on Feb 13, 2017

    I also buy the big bucket pails of litter. I find the best price for them is on shipping $35 or more (so I buy a few at a time). And I don't have to lug heavy pails of cat litter from the car-gets delivered right to your door. The buckets with lids are great for storage. Gardening supplies to carry around the yard, holiday decorations, and they stack nicely. :)

  • Holly Holly on Feb 13, 2017

    I use the clear smaller ones for my herbs a d the tall yellow ones for tomato's and cucumbers. Their also great for berries.

  • Julie Treumuth Julie Treumuth on Feb 14, 2017

    My father used them to store things in his trunk, tools,rags ect. Keeps every thing dry.

  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Feb 14, 2017

    You can use them to automatically water plants in your garden. Poke holes in them and let the water drip slowly by your plants. You can put a hole in it, put a cloth in it and bury it in the ground & let the water drain by the roots of your plants in your vegetable garden.

    Other people use these containers to store potting soil, etc.

  • Linda @ Mixed Kreations Linda @ Mixed Kreations on Feb 14, 2017

    I cut open the top from the spout down about 4-5 inches, leaving the handle to carry it by. And now store my large paint brushes in it. I have another that I storage out sprinkler system parts. Like sprinkler replacement heads. They fit neatly on the shelf in the garage.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 15, 2017

      Great idea! - those sprinkler parts always get misplaced! I'm going to try that- and label the containers- Thanks!

  • Wor16896949 Wor16896949 on Feb 14, 2017

    For the smaller version of the clear plastic litter containers. I have also cut the tops off and for the appropriate sized ones, snuggle them down into my floppy fabric purses. It helps my purse to not tip over, and protects my purse from exploding pens, or protects the contents, if the purse is placed on a damp floor. I have even found that they help those purse organizers that have a ton of pockets, but that also tend to collapse or tip over without some type of structure to hold them upright. I have also used a hole punch to put a hole in the container to either hang in a place that I could use a small yet sturdy container, or to tie several together (like under a sink for wet brushes, sponges etc.) if I want to put them in a larger container, but wanting a cheap way to separate items within the larger container. The large yellow ones with the red lids have become favorites of people that are moving. I provides a waterproof container that you don't have to bend to the floor to pick up. Lots of great ideas here. Thanks to all.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 15, 2017

      Love all these ideas- a purse container is so clever! I spilled makeup in mine (the lid wasn't on) and it was the biggest mess!

  • Donna Verville Donna Verville on Feb 15, 2017

    The yellow ones with the red lid-I use to store bird seed-keeps the seed clean and dry. I also use them to store dried corn on the cob for the squirrels for the winter. I also remove the red top on a couple to use as weed buckets in the garden-they are easy to fill, carry around and empty.


  • D roach D roach on Feb 15, 2017

    I make my own liquid soap (look on pinterest) these would be ideal to store that in.

  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Feb 15, 2017

    Enjoy. This is a great way to water plants like tomatoes, where you don't want to get the leaves wet.

    • Christina Pennywise Christina Pennywise on Feb 15, 2017

      Thanks! I admit I didn't know you couldn't get the leaves wet lol- that explains my lackluster tomatoes!

  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Feb 15, 2017

    Squash & cucumbers get funky when you water their leaves, too. (At least they do here in the Pacific Northwest!

  • Tammie glover Tammie glover on Feb 24, 2017

    plant some cantelopes around outside of garden they bloom beautiful vines an looks really cool.they grow very fast just water them twice a week

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 25, 2017

    I don't throw out good strong containers with handles!! I wash them out and use them for watering plants. I have 32 plants inside my house, so I keep 6 full gallons of water set aside for watering.....from week to week. It sure saves a lot of time. I hide some behind my plants in the kitchen and the other ones in the dining room......behind the plants.

    • See 3 previous
    • Trish Alexander Trish Alexander on Aug 21, 2018

      I too have a jungle!!! 1 was given to my mom the day I was born. I'm 48. LOVE my plants!

  • Kpa9424467 Kpa9424467 on Feb 26, 2017

    I had that same problem. I cut the top half off and store my flip flops in it. I also drilled holes in the lid and made a watering can out of it.


  • CecileH CecileH on Feb 27, 2017

    Well you wouldn't be storing the food in them, just using the to collect berries and stuff from the garden; if anything leaches from the plastic in the time you have the food items in them, you are taking too long to pick them!

  • Tressie Riner Ellis Tressie Riner Ellis on Mar 01, 2017

    A friend of ours saves his cigar ashes for us to mix into our compose pile. Also coffee grounds are good for the compost pile or garden.

  • Trish Sweeton Trish Sweeton on Mar 15, 2017

    I have several cats, most are in=out cats. I use kiddie pools. Put what ever litter you want. I use clay non clumping. In order to clean it up; I have a piece of fencing 1/2 in squares. I use a shovel to scoop poop.

  • Charlotte Parsons Charlotte Parsons on Jul 15, 2017

    Put one in the car trunk in case you run out of gas.

  • Russbow Russbow on Aug 21, 2018

    I put new cat food in one, I put dog food in one. I cut up down tree limbs to use to start fires in my wood stove, and stack different sizes in different containers, I have pine trees, and pick up the pine cones, store them in one, and when dried out they make GREAT fire starters. I pick and store apples from my trees in them, 2 or 3 in the cooler celler will keep them several months. Any animal feed, like for horses, rabbits etc, best stored in these containers rather than left in paper bags. SO many uses.

  • Troy Schmidt Troy Schmidt on Oct 01, 2018

    I use them to collect used motor oil or engine coolant. The wide mouth makes them easy to pour into. I then take the full jugs to the auto parts store to recycle. They can also be used to bring water for camping, or for short-term water storage in case of an emergency.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Dec 20, 2020

    I keep an empty one in my car so when I buy more litter and it's in a heavy jug, when I get to the car I pour half of the litter into the other container so each weighs less for carrying into the house - divide and conquer.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 05, 2023

    They make great water jugs. Also wonderful for storing opened bags of cat food in since they are air tight so the food stays fresh.