Floor Mats for Senile Cats
January 8, 2017 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Our eldest kitty has become a bit untrustworthy with regards to where he chooses to relieve himself. Nothing left on the floor can be considered safe. (Farewell, my beloved LL Bean Wicked Good slippers, you served me well). Most stuff, we can be careful to pick up. But not our front and back floor mats. We need new ones that can handle our senile feline needs.

The culprit is 17, and this kind of thing is just gonna happen at this point, we accept and can deal with that. We are being careful to leave nothing on the floor, or draped even a little bit on the floor (farewell, roommates perfectly good long coat). But we are in New England, and the one thing we really have to have on the floor are good floor mats at the front and back door. This weekend is a good example of us trekking in with snow, slush, rock salt, and all sorts of grime that should not be on the wood floors.

We previously had the typical kind of floor mat you can find at Costco or Overstock, sort of like this one, only black. The main problem with it is that it is not machine washable, and it traps any urine that leaks around the edges under the rubber mat, and stains the wood floor underneath.

We are looking for something reasonably attractive, if possible, but by far the most important requirement is something that we can toss in the washing machine, rather than something we have to take outside, or wash off manually.

Do you know of this magical, perfect floor mat, and where to buy it?
posted by instead of three wishes to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Quick piece of additional information - this is not a medical problem. Cat has been seen by a vet, he is otherwise ridiculously healthy for his age. He's just old and crotchety and slightly forgetful and doesn't see why this is his problem anyway.
posted by instead of three wishes at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I have two of Target area rugs (their mobile website is giving me all sorts of problems, this should be it except mine have a different pattern) at our front and back doors that are machine washable. My spiteful cat has peed (and puked) on them both a few times. With a liberal dousing of Nature's Miracle and a wash, he isn't drawn back to the same spot. I did realize that drying them is not a good idea because the rubber backing was coming off but they air dry overnight really well.

Sometimes the pee does soak through, though it hasn't always when my cat has done it. For that reason I'm thinking it might be best to double these up with a rubber mat underneath for the sake of the floors?

Much love to your beautiful kitty!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is there a reason you don't cover the existing mat with a large puppy pad? They're much more effective at containing urine.
posted by thetortoise at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Obviously this is a more drastic solution (and impossible if you rent rather than own your house), but if you can't find a suitable mat, it might be an idea to put in a slate or tile rectangle inlay at the entryway to your front and back doors. My parents put this into their house (as a slate hearth for a wood stove) and I think it was several hundred dollars installed, plus the cost of the stone (maybe $500 altogether?). For a less permanent solution in the same vein, you could also look into buying a portable slate or tile hearth pad and attempting to use them at the front and back doors (depending on the space you have between your wood floor and the bottom of your door, etc.).
posted by ClaireBear at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2017

Would a hard plastic tray for your boots work? We have a cheapo hard plastic version of this that sits off to the side of the entryway and it's good for containing the wet salty boots that we leave by the door to dry. Maybe couple that with a smaller washable throw rug for standing on while you take your boots off...
posted by beandip at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

(Don't forget that LL Bean has an AMAZING return policy. Exchange those slippers; you deserve it!)
posted by deadcrow at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

This isn't pretty but you can duct tape a broken down cardboard box to the floor and replace it as needed. This was our solution when I lived in a snowy state with six roommates and it worked well.
posted by pintapicasso at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2017

As noted above, the Threshold small rugs from Target wash up quite well. You should also be able to find the classic oval braided natural fiber rugs in lots of places, including Home Depot. Buy a roll of non-slip shelf liner, the kind that is like a grid of grippy foam, and just cut a new piece when you need it to keep the rug in place.

You might also be perfectly content with using bathmat sized towels, which are inherently washable and then they will become your designated pet towels (when your current pet towels are unusable, because I assume you have some already.) Keep a couple by the door in a washable bag on a hook and use them to quickly wipe down your boots when you come in. This will have the bonus of keeping your boots cleaner and extending their lifespan.

I have to chime in by the way and suggest that LL Bean will absolutely replace your slippers for you.
posted by Mizu at 5:47 PM on January 8, 2017

My senior kitty is happy using a large baking sheet lined with newsprint folded in half. We get the 10 lb boxes or 25 lb stacks of movers' packing newsprint.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:07 PM on January 8, 2017

Rather than using something that is machine washable, what about something that is just super easy to clean up? I use this litter mat in front of my kitty's litter box. It's so easy to clean up and it's made of a plastic-y material that makes it super easy to clean, if the need arises. It's not the cheapest thing out there, but it sounds like it would work well enough for your situation.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:29 PM on January 8, 2017

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