While a stray grain of litter here or there might not be a problem, you don't want to have to dig out the vacuum every time your pet goes potty. Fortunately, you don't have to.
Litter box mats trap cat litter right off your pet's paws, protecting your floors and your furniture. If you've checked online, you already know there are almost as many kinds of mats as there are cat boxes. Which mat would suit your pet?
Let's brush up on the best litter mats money can buy.
The best cat litter mats.
You'll want to consider four key factors when deciding on the perfect litter box mat. First, does your cat like it? Second, does the mat trap litter? Third, is the litter box mat easy to clean? Finally, does the mat stay in one place?
Does your cat like their mat?
We want our cats — and your cats — to stay healthy and happy. Part of a healthy feline lifestyle is making sure your cats enjoy their furnishings.
What kind of litter mat does a cat like? First, it has to feel good to sensitive paws, meaning you want a super soft material. Some cat litter mat manufacturers go with artificial grass because buyers like the aesthetic. Typically, though, these mats feel unpleasant to a cat's feet. You don't have to settle. You can find a litter mat that looks spiffy in your home while making your cat happy too.
For many cats, the issue isn't just how the mat feels. Cats generally don't like unexpected sounds or strong smells. And remember that cats have super sensitive ears and noses. A faint chemical smell can turn them off completely.
So choose a quiet, soft, and plain mat.
At Modkat, we created our Katch Litter Mat out of the same cushy material used in the soles of your favorite sneakers. For our original litter mat, we went with super soft material that is phthalate free, making it gentle on paws and safe for kitty. Our mats are so comfortable that many cats love to take a nap on them.
The key takeaway here is that if your cat walks around the litter mat to get into the litter box area, you need a different mat.
Does your large litter mat trap litter?
Once you know your cat will approve, you need to ask if the litter mat can do its job. Most mats rely on a combination of materials and design to create a paw-perfect experience.
In general, mat manufacturers make three kinds of mats.
Silicone litter mats—Silicone mats are usually easy to clean. You can just wipe them off. They're also waterproof and antimicrobial. Depending on how they're designed, silicone litter mats can be soft on a cat's paws, too. Sometimes, however, these mats don't do a great job of trapping litter.
Mesh litter mats —Coiled or woven mesh creates a breathable surface that traps litter on cat's paws. You can buy mesh litter mats made from one of several different materials. Our original Modkat litter mat uses a modern mesh design to keep litter off your floors but also that looks great in any environment. You can vacuum or soap-and-rinse our mats for an easy clean up job.
Dual-layer litter mats —A dual-layer design uses a top layer with holes to collect the litter and a waterproof bottom layer to store the litter . These mats often do a great job keeping the floor clean, but they can trap a sticky mess in the holes between the layers.
Is your litter box mat easy to clean?
Some mats wipe off. Others, you can vacuum clean. Still others you wash with mild dish soap and hot water.
The point is, the right litter mat will help your house stay cleaner and fresher. If your mat can be sprayed or washed, be sure to use a mild enzymatic cleaner that won't transfer an artificial smell to the mat.
Does the mat stay in one place?
Your mat needs a slip-resistant back to help prevent movement and keep the mat in place on hard floors. A slip-resistant back can also form a waterproof barrier between the litter box opening and the floor. Most slip-resistant backings are made from PVC, latex, or natural rubber.
PVC tends to sell for cheaper prices than other options. The trouble with this material is that it often contains volatile organic compounds, which emit chemicals that can be harmful to pets or humans. PVC can also discolor or damage indoor floors.
Latex backings stand up well to water, making them a good choice for the bathroom if that's where you keep your cat's litter box. Often cheaper than natural rubber, latex contains additives such as clay, which can leave a residue on hard floor coverings.
Natural rubber backings are made from rubber tree sap. They are an eco-friendly alternative to PVC and latex, and they work well on either wet or dry floors. Natural rubber doesn't damage hardwood floors, and provides a strong grip.
Whatever backing you choose for your cat's litter mat, make sure it does its job of keeping the mat in place.
What makes a great cat litter mat?
Six elements go into making a great cat litter mat — material, cleanability, layers, stability, size, and weight. Let's consider each one in turn.
What material is your litter mat made from?
Cat litter mats can be made from either hard or soft materials. Hard materials include silicone, plastic, and rubber. Soft material options include cloth and foam.
Hard materials offer a big benefit by being waterproof. These hard materials may be covered in a honeycomb mesh or have a textured surface designed to trap litter. Soft materials feel gentler on cat's feet, and that makes them great for kittens.
Some cats are pickier than others about the material they tread on. Figure out what suits your cat and take it into consideration when buying a litter mat.
Is your cat's litter mat easy to clean?
Litter mats made from hard materials are often easy to wipe off, vacuum, or scrub clean. If your hard mat features a mesh top, you can usually use a vacuum cleaner or a blowdryer to dislodge any particularly stubborn piece of litter.
Soft materials are not usually as easy to clean. Yes, you can usually toss them in the washer and run them through the dryer. However, you need to wash them separately from your clothes, towels, and sheets since the mats will contain bits of litter and cat feces.
How many layers are in your cat's mat?
Cat's mats generally have either one layer or two.
A two-layer mat, such as the original Modkat mat, usually features a hard underside with a slip-resistant back and a waterproof material. The top layer typically forms a mesh that captures the pebbles hanging on cat's paws or hair.
One-layer mats, such as Modkat's Katch Litter Mat, often rely on grooves or designs stamped into the material to capture stray litter pebbles. The right design can determine if this mat is a good litter catcher. A single-layer mat's main attraction is that it's easy to wipe off.
Is your cat's mat stable?
If your cat comes bounding out of the litter box, you don't want to see the litter mat take off like a flying carpet. Make sure your cat's mat has a slip-resistant back that can keep mat and cat safe and secure.
What size mat does your cat need?
Cat litter mats come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Our Modkat Katch mat measures 16.25 x 16.25 x .7", our large original is24" x 34.5", and our extra-large original runs 34.5" x 46.5". Other pet product manufacturers make mats as large as 47" x 35".
As with most things, bigger isn't always better when it comes to cat mats. The right mat should match your cat's litter box type. Small box, small mat. Big box, big mat.
Is your cat's litter mat the right weight?
If your mat is too light, a heavy cat might be able to kick it away from the litter box door. A mat that's too heavy, on the other hand, can be hard to pick up and shake out.
You want a mat large enough to protect your home, heavy enough to stay in one place, and flexible enough to pick up and pour out easily.
Here are the best cat litter mats you can buy.
The best cat litter mat is the one your cat will use and that will protect your floors from pebble scatter. Some of the best litter mats on the market include:
Modkat Litter Mat The Modkat Litter Mat features a superior mesh with deep grooves that capture litter before it gets on your floors. Our extra large (34.5" x 46.5") and large (24" x 34.5”) sizes mean less sweeping around the cat box.
Our modern pattern keeps litter off your floors but also looks great in any environment. Plus, our mats are made from super soft material that is phthalate free, making it gentle on paws safe for kitties. Modkat mats are so comfortable that many cats love to take a nap on them.
The slip-resistant backing keeps your Modkat litter mat securely in place as the kitty is entering or exiting the litter box. The mess will stay in the mat and not get on your floors!
Simply vacuum or shake off trapped litter. To wash, use soap, rinse, and your mat will be as good as new.
Katch Litter Mat Modkat’s Katch Litter Mat features a soft grip, textured surface and border wall to trap litter, keeping it off your floors. Lifting Katch by the handles gathers loose litter kernels, guiding them back into the litter box. Katch washes up like new using mild soap and water.
We crafted our Katch mat out of soft and spongy material, forming the perfect landing pad for your cat's precious paws. Katch stays put no matter how brusquely your kitty dashes from her litter box.
Katch is ideally suited for your limited space. It’s just 16 inches deep, 16.75 inches wide and 0.5 inches high.
Microfiber Cat Litter Mat Microfiber mats are soft on cat's paws, usually waterproof, come with an anti-slip backing, and are machine washable. The thousands of strands that compose microfiber can form a natural litter trap. These mats may even double as a cat's bed.
They can be machine washed though not with your family's clothes or linens. Often, these mats need to air dry as the heat in a dryer can destroy the fabric. Microfiber mats come in several colors so they can match your decor.
Colorful Cat Litter Mats Our Modkat litter mats come in an elegant, neutral gray — one of the colors most favored by modern interior designers. We like to keep our litter boxes in the background.
If you prefer a brighter approach to your litter box system, however, several pet product manufacturers offer colorful cat litter mats. Vibrant colors and floral patterns can brighten up your cat's corner.
Foam Litter Mats Some cat owners choose lightweight, ribbed foam for their cat box mats. These products can also go under bird cages or beneath the hamster's den. They are easy to pick up, roll up, and dump out. Often, however, they come in garish designs, and they may not always offer a slip-resistant backing that's good for your cat and your hard surface floors.
The best cat litter mats are easy to clean.
Your cat wants a mat that's easy on his paws, but you need a mat that's easy to care for. Wipe it down, wash it off, or turn the Roomba loose on it — and you're good to go.
How to clean a silicone cat mat.
For daily cleaning, you can wipe down a silicone mat with a wet rag. Don't use bleach or another harsh chemical since these can make your cat sick. Plain water, a spritz of enzyme cleaner, or a dab of mild dish detergent is plenty to get the job done.
When you want to really clean your cat's mat, use a combination of baking soda and hot, soapy water. Sprinkle the baking soda on top of the mat, spread it around, drop it into the hot water, and leave it for ten minutes. You can rinse it off, dry it, and be done.
How to clean a mesh litter mat.
Just shake out your mat and/or vacuum it for regular cleanings. A high-quality mesh mat won't come apart, get sucked into your vacuum, or damage your appliance.
When it's time to do some heavier cleaning, just wash the items in hot, soapy water. Here again, you want to avoid any soaps with heavy chemical scents.
How to clean a dual-layer cat mat.
Check the instructions that come with a dual-layer mat. Typically, you can just shake out the mat for everyday cleaning. When you're ready to wash it, you can either vacuum the product or souse it down in hot, soapy water.
How to clean a Modkat litter mat.
If you have our original Modkat litter mat, simply vacuum or shake off trapped litter. To wash the mat, use soap, rinse, and your product will be as good as new.
For our Katch Litter Mat, you can curl up the mat and pour the litter back in the box. Wipe down the mat with a wet towel if needed.
Other things you should know about cleaning and cats.
Cats and dogs have many more olfactory sensors than we humans have — 50-80 million in cats, 200-300 million in dogs, and about 400 sensors total in humans. Our pets are sniffing things we don't even know exist. Thus, you want to avoid using any cleanser that smells even faintly harsh.
Enzymatic cleaners, plain baking soda, dish detergent, white vinegar, lemon juice, and activated charcoal can all keep your house sparkling fresh without aggravating your pets' sensitive smellers.
Handy tips for keeping the litter box area clean.
Keep one litter box for each cat plus one extra in your home. If you have multiple floors, make sure to put at least one box on each floor.
Deep litter causes deep trouble. Two inches should be sufficient, less than that for long-haired cats.
Scoop the box daily. Refill it as needed. Change it once a week. Wash it when you change it.
Use a scent-free, eco-friendly litter.
If your cat seems to have a litter box problem such as peeing on the floor outside the box, contact your veterinarian. Litter box avoidance can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other illness.
Using the appropriate litter box mat can help keep your floors clean, your house fresh, and your cat feeling healthy and happy. Check out our Modkat litter mat options and our stain + odor remover.
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