How do I give a smallish, heavy platform the ability to be raised/lowered as needed?
March 23, 2011 4:00 PM   Subscribe

How do I give a smallish, heavy platform the ability to be raised/lowered as needed?

Background: We're moving to a very small home with limited options for cat litter box placement. Currently, the setup is pretty hideous: it's a giant storage container perched on a table, somewhat obscured by a screen. We'd like the new setup to be attractive and unobtrusive.

Our limitations: A large, armoire-type hutch is unlikely to fit into the living area, and certainly not without cutting significant, precious physical and visual space. There's no way around the box being huge; the two cats are very large, and as they grow older will be less able to contort themselves in a small space. Additionally, the box needs to be on a raised or raisable surface, so that the litter cleaner (me) can sit or stand - not crouch, kneel or lean forward - while cleaning.

I have a couple of spaces in mind, but they are low to the floor. It would be great if I could use the large bottom cupboard in the hallway, for example: install some rails and a platform, pull the cat box out, and then raise A low table or hutch would take up less visual space, but the same problem, er, pops up. These aren't our only options, but they're my favorites, and I'd like to know if it's possible.

Give me your crazy ideas!
posted by moira to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
What about some sort of Pneumatic Lift System? like the kind they have on office chairs?
posted by lannanh at 4:10 PM on March 23, 2011

Get an Omega Paw Litter Box, then to clean it, you just roll it over, and roll it back. The litter falls through a grate, the clumped waste doesn't, and falls into a pan. After returning the box to its upright position, which redistributes the litter, you remove the tray with the waste. No lifting, just rolling.

Works very nicely, and you don't have to touch the litter or waste at any point.

If you prefer traditional litter boxes, sifting liners make cleaning easier: you put in ten liners at a time, lift the topmost liner and shake it to allow the non-clumped litter to fall back into the box, while retaining the clumped waste in the removed liner, which you throw away. So you're lifting just the waste, not the entire litter box.

Both solutions require clumping litter.
posted by orthogonality at 5:20 PM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: Ah, I just reread and see that I wasn't very clear: we're looking to disguise the litter box in a table, cupboard, hutch or similar piece of furniture, but need it reachable for me. I'm not able to clean a litter box on the floor.

The storage bin is the perfect system for our huge, pee-flinging cats, but thanks for the alternate suggestions.

I'm imagining tens of MeFites scribbling furiously, coming up with mad-genius pneumatic/geared/whatever cat box plans. No?
posted by moira at 6:11 PM on March 23, 2011

A 'not cheap' but pre-made solution would be a lift table.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:09 PM on March 23, 2011

A few ideas, there are lots of mechanical options that will do similar things- maybe you could mix and match a few of these. Talk to a local woodworker or custom cabinet shop- they will have lots of ideas.

sewing machine lift

Appliance lift

posted by rockindata at 7:21 PM on March 23, 2011

I came in to suggest the Rockler appliance lift like rockindata mentioned, which is usually used for the heavy-duty kitchenaid mixers, and gets talked abou tin kitchen-design forums all over the web. I think it's rated to 50 lbs or more (but you should check that!), so should suit your purposes just fine. You're buying just the mechanism, and the shelf itself is made by you (out of scrap, lumber, cutting boards, cutting down whatever shelves came with the cabinet). So, any width cabinet, choose a strong piece of wood a few inches narrower, and just fasten the hinge/spring/lift hardware on the edges.
Advice - put a drawer-pull type handle on the front of the shelf to give you something to haul up on.
posted by aimedwander at 10:18 AM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: Followup: Thanks again for your help. The plan is to use a lift table or a motorcycle lift.
posted by moira at 11:30 AM on May 1, 2011

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