Minimize your cat's litter tracking with a litter box mat.
We love our cats! How could anyone turn up their nose at those sweet faces, soft purrs, and tiny paws?
But we don't love cat litter. We especially dislike it when those little pebbles burrow into the carpet, stick to our feet, or carry bits of kitty business to the far reaches of the family room.
Yes, cat litter gets around.
Stray litter pebbles can turn up in your bed, stuck to your carpet threads, or sprinkled up and down your stairs. Maybe you don't mind the odd piece of litter here or there, but litter tracking gets downright embarrassing when you're welcoming guests or entertaining family and friends.
Besides vacuuming and hoping for the best, how do you stop your cat from tracking litter?
Five helpful ways to control cat litter tracking.
Fill the box appropriately. You don't have to create a litter swimming pool for your cat to potty in. Two inches of litter — maybe three if your cat likes things deep — provides plenty of mass to soak up the goods. If you scoop in more pebbles than that, your cat will inevitably redistribute the wealth from her box to your bed.
Groom your cat. Long-haired cats are especially beautiful, but litter has a tendency to cling to their fur. Brush them often to help keep the hair from inadvertently dragging litter around the house.
Give your cat a covered litter box. Cats can feel safe, hidden, and protected while they're in a vulnerable posture. A covered box also helps minimize litter scatter and tracking. Cats that like to kick up their heels while doing business especially benefit from covered boxes.
Opt for a heavier litter.When you're deciding what kind of litter to use, select one with heavy pebbles. Litter producers have specifically designed jumbo-size granules and extra-dense pellets to help curtail litter tracking. Wood, walnut or paper pellets may prove a particularly good choice for long-haired cats to whom they don't stick as easily as clay does. Ultimately the best cat litter is the one your kitty will use.
Invest in a litter mat.These wonderful cat litter box accessories actually trap petite pebbles, pulling them from cat's paws before they can track them around the house. If you value both your cat and clean floors, a litter box mat may be the best investment you ever made.
How to keep cat litter off the floor. Keeping cat litter off the floor starts with choosing the right litter. Clumping clay litter is probably the most popular variety, but it's an environmental hazard. Green options such as wood, corn, wheat, grass, paper, walnut shell, and wood all make effective — and affordable — litter choices. But some track more easily than others. In general, wood, walnut, and paper make the best low-tracking litter options from the green litter lineup.
Besides selecting the right litter, you also want to choose a box with high walls and a mat. We designed our original Modkat with walls 15 inches high to keep litter inside the box where it belongs. You'll also want a cat litter mat. Litter box mats aren't an optional accessory for most cat-loving families. Our best cat litter mat model uses the same cushy material you find in the soles of your favorite sneakers. This mat is also easy to clean and handle.
Finally, consider setting up your litter box in an uncarpeted area if you have one. Litter sticks to carpet much more tightly than it does to hard floors. Also, keep a hand-held vacuum nearby. Plug one in close to your cat's main litter box so it's handy when you notice stray pebbles around.
Is there a no-mess litter box? No single litter box can guarantee that you will never find a stray litter pellet hiding somewhere in your home. But you can keep an eye out for certain litter box features that minimize litter tracking.
First, look for a box with high walls, which gives your cat plenty of room to dig while helping keep litter scatter where it belongs — inside the box. A large litter box is almost always a good choice anyway.
A box with a top will help contain both odors and litter scatter. Legend has it that cats don't like enclosed boxes, but science shows this simply isn't true. In the only scientific study done on the topic, researchers gave cats a choice between an open-top box and a close-top one. 85% of cats went back and forth, and 15% preferred a covered box.
The most effective investment you can make against litter scatter, though, is amat. The best cat litter mats catch litter spray, urinary misfires, and even the odd hairball. We designed our Modkat litter mats with a slip-resistant landing pad for your cat that can wrangle those stray pebbles that cling to their paws.
Perhaps most important, though, is our regular advice: Keep it clean. Scoop your litter box daily. Refresh the litter as needed. Wash the box weekly. Replace your litter box filter kit every three months. Use your handy vacuum to suck up any bits of stray litter left around the box. That's it. Regular cleaning is the easiest way to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Finally, think twice before investing in complex cat litter products. Robotic solutions or boxes designed to look like furniture rarely pan out (pardon the pun). As with most things, the simple solutions are the best solutions when it comes to your cat's litter box needs.
How to clean a cat litter mat. Even the best litter mat gets messy over time, and the only way to deal with it is to clean it. The best way to keep a matte clean is to simply vacuum the pebbles off. If things get a little funkier you can spot clean using a mild dish detergent on the mat if you like, but we don't suggest bleaching it or using any other harsh cleanser. Animals can be allergic to these products.
No matter how you wash your mat, be sure to dry it out completely before you replace it in front of the litter box. Air drying your mat, while keeping it out of direct sunlight, is probably the best approach. This helps prevent mold or mildew from accumulating.
Dealing with litter is part of loving a cat. But you don't have to cope with pebbles scattered all over your home. A box with high walls, a regular cleaning schedule, trimmed toe fur, and — most importantly — a suitable mat will help keep litter off your floors and in the box where it belongs.
With all the time you save not having to sweep your house, you can enjoy more games, cuddles, and catnaps.
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