It is especially bad at night when I am heading to the bathroom
September 3, 2012 3:20 PM   Subscribe

I switched to a wheat-based litter and now it is tracking everywhere despite my best efforts. Any suggestions for combating this?

Melon, Anton, and I moved to an all-hardwoods apartment recently, and in the change I decided to try to move to a wheat-based litter to cut down on dust, because it is healthier, and because the environmental impact is less. The box is in a walk-in utility closet with an indoor-outdoor rug on the floor. The litter is tracking everywhere. I vacuum and sweep every day, but it is really, really everywhere.

I have been a cat-owner for a very long time, so I am not new at this, but I would like your suggestions for keeping the litter to a minimum. I know no method or combination of methods is trackless. Here are my constraints:

1. I have to have a clumping litter. I cannot use pellets, newsprint, or pine shreds, sand or anything else. Melon has crystal problems and either a combination of not-good-for-him or he-won't-use-the-box makes the scooping litter a must.

2. I cannot use any other box but the one I have (I have tried, I would estimate, 5 different styles of boxes). I have this box. Mr. Anton is a looong, taaall kitty who tends to pee directly in any seam on a covered box, reject a top loader outright, hang his bum outside any box he does not deem worthy or which he thinks is too small, and I did try the Booda. He did not think it was a litter box at all.

3. The box has to stay in this closet. There is no other conceivable place to put it, and sad as it is, I chose this apartment in part because I knew this closet would house the box comfortably and the boys would have a relative palace for their business. I do not put chemical cleaners or place the vacuum when not in use in that closet.

I don't think they dislike the closet or the litter. I think it just tracks a lot.

So cat subjects of Ask, let me in on your anti-tracking tips or litters. I thank you in advance.
posted by oflinkey to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I use a wheat-based litter too, and the only thing that has worked for me is to switch to a litter box made by taking a large container and cutting a hole in the top. I know you say top-loaders won't work, but maybe it's a function of the size of the hole? All three of my cats adapted to this very quickly, and the tracking is virtually nonexistent anymore.
posted by Runes at 3:29 PM on September 3, 2012

Best answer: What about a longer pile rug, or one that is more open (like a mesh door mat), allowing the bits and pieces to fall through, instead of being tracked around?
posted by thylacinthine at 4:38 PM on September 3, 2012

Best answer: To release the litter, the kitties' paws need to be flexed / spread open. If you can create an entry and exist that involves jumping up on a step, then over to the other side, the kitties will naturally do that for you. That's why the top load box works.

If the closet door is removed, place a three foot high panel in its place and a step on each side. If there's not enough room for steps, lower the panel height to twenty inches or so. (Unless your older kitty has trouble jumping. )
posted by mightshould at 5:44 PM on September 3, 2012

Best answer: Give World's Best Cat Litter a try. It's made from corn kernels instead of wheat, and due to its weight it doesn't really track. However, as time goes on and the litter gets more "used" it gets more dusty and will track more. I just take that as a sign that the litter needs to be changed out.
posted by zsazsa at 5:44 PM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

We switched to World's Best from Shweat Scoop about 3 months ago and it does seem to track less than the wheat based one. Maybe give it a shot?
posted by arcticseal at 6:56 PM on September 3, 2012

I'm also a switcher from Swheat to World's Best. As zsazsa says, it breaks down as it ages, but it's still easier to sweep up - even in the powdery stages - than Swheat was. Plus, the multi-cat World's Best (red bag) clumps hard especially when the litter is fresh.
posted by catlet at 7:11 PM on September 3, 2012

Pet stores have mats designed to trap the tracked litter. However your (picky) cat may not take to it so don't remove the label until it has been tested and given a pass!
posted by CuriousJohn at 2:04 PM on September 4, 2012

We had one of those mats, but we figured out we'd have to buy several since the cat used to hop over it on his way out of the box so questionable efficiency.
posted by arcticseal at 3:11 PM on September 4, 2012

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