While dogs have no trouble emptying their bladders and bowels on busy streets in broad daylight, proudly locking eyes with you as they let rip right there on the pavement, members of the feline world are much more reserved when it comes to answering the call of nature. Even in the comfort of their own homes, kitties need their own space to do their business; no self-respecting cat would want the eyes of their human on them while they’re trying to go.

So it’s no wonder this clever new idea is getting a lot of attention in Japan. It’s the cat onsen, which houses your pet’s kitty litter box and comes complete with a cute spa-style noren curtain to provide some much needed privacy. Once your cat finishes using the kitty litter “sand bath” inside, they’ll emerge looking as fresh as a daisy!

Shota Enomoto and Daichi Goto, the designers of the cat onsen, plan to revolutionise the atmosphere of the feline toilet, by making kittens appear as though they’re stepping in and out of a revitalising onsen hot spring. Currently appearing on Japanese crowd-funding site Makuake, as of this writing their design project has reached 317,000 yen (US$2,640.88) of its 500,000 yen ($4,165.55) goal.


Backers can purchase a cat onsen by contributing to the project through a number of different ‘courses’, starting from 13,000 yen ($108.31). The simple-looking product is well-built and features a number of interesting design details.


▼ The wooden box is designed to cover existing kitty litter boxes.


▼ The noren curtain attaches without screws, using a small, extendible rod. Naturally, it is adorned with the hiragana character ゆ (yu), which appears on many human hot springs’ curtains.


▼ The use of wood makes for a much more pleasant space, recreating the interiors of a traditional onsen hot spring with open-air slit windows.


▼ The easy, five-step assembly process beats the complicated, pages-long instruction sheets you usually find with regular flat-pack products.


▼ Once you’re all set up, how far you choose to recreate the onsen experience is entirely up to you!

▼ “Rubber ducks? Are you kidding me, human?”

▼ After using the facilities, extra special cats are free to supervise as their obedient helpers clean up with a traditional water ladle and bucket.

▼ While cats will love their new privacy box, owners will love them even more. Not only will they help keep the house clean, they provide hours of entertainment as kitty will look like he’s enjoying a cleansing soak in a hot spring!


▼ Ahhhhh—refreshed! Now it must be time for my cat nap.


▼ Life is tough, even for pampered cats with luxurious onsen-style kitty litters!


To find out more about the project, be sure to visit the crowd-funding site Makuake or the official product website, One Step.

Source and images: Makuake, One Step