I'm tired of hoovering every day.
May 11, 2019 8:22 AM   Subscribe

We have two cats with two litter boxes and non-carpeted floors. Our cats constantly track litter everywhere. Would some kind of mat in front of the boxes help? Carpet? Some fancy silicone thing? How to keep the mat from becoming super-grody?
posted by Zarkonnen to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This mat is the best one I have found.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:28 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I use the Ikea Toftbo bathroom mats for this purpose - it sounds like your situation is identical to mine. It's good at trapping the litter and can easily be washed if it gets too gross. It has significantly cut down on litter tracking beyond the entry of the litter box.
posted by galimatias at 8:45 AM on May 11, 2019

mats are generally good and if you get a plastic one it won't get too grody. I also found having a little hand vac next to it helps keep down on tracking.
posted by evilmonk at 9:08 AM on May 11, 2019

another thought, have you considered a roomba?
posted by evilmonk at 9:13 AM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have a variation on the one that Stewriffic linked that I got on Amazon.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:15 AM on May 11, 2019

Also - make sure your cats have to step on the mat. Some cats will just go over a weird mat, which affects its effectiveness :)

If you can - I'd recommend a large rug. It will visually isolate the litter box area, which might make the whole thing less of an intrusion into the house.

Also - Cats love rugs. They're more fun and safe to run and play on. If you don't have a biggish one already in the largest room -- large enough that it won't slide if the largest cat jumps from it -- you might find it's really nice for them. It will also hold some of the dust.

If I were in your situation, and I could justify the expense, I might consider a small cleaning robot to pick up the litter.
posted by amtho at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

This solution is expensive, but it's what we've got and it keeps 99.9% of our little man's litter in place...we've got a piece of 3M Nomad 6250 in front of and underneath his litter box. The litter stuck to his feet when he gets out of the box just falls through the mat, and we lift the mat and vacuum it up periodically. (We have hard surface floors underneath.)

When it gets a little grungy, we scrub it down with soap and water, let it dry, and put it back. It's a super heavy duty commercial product so this might be a shotgun solution for a slingshot problem, but it works absolutely perfectly for us!
posted by rossferguson at 9:42 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have kind of a constellation of solutions.

First, comparing the two litterboxes my cats use, the top-entry one leads to less tracking. (There is kind of a built-in tray but they ignore that, obviously.) Maybe because they have to carefully climb out of it, instead of the front-entry one which just encourages post-poop zoomies and the resultant litter scatter.
The top-entry rests on a litter-trapping mat similar to the ones already linked, which catches another round of litter. I switched to a silica-based litter, which also seems to stick to their paws less than a clay-based litter. (I don't love it, because it feels really environmentally unfriendly, but it does work and I dunno, I try to cut down on my other waste to make up for it?)
Finally, I keep a small dustpan and brush near the boxes, just for quick clearing-away, and I do a general clean with a Eufy (basically a cheaper, dumber Roomba) a couple times a week. There's still some litter tracking, but as I added each part of the routine, it got better and better, and is now limited basically to the area right around where their litterboxes are.
posted by kalimac at 10:01 AM on May 11, 2019

Pellet litter instead of sand? Dont know if your cats would like it but my roommate uses pellets, no need to lug 25 pounds of litter from the grocery store and breath it in every time you scoop.
posted by cricketcello at 11:11 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've used the mat linked in the first answer. It worked well until she tore it up too much with her claws. I've also tried rugs, but my cat decided that they were better to pee on than the litter box, so that didn't work at all. Now, I just have the litter box on tile and keep a broom and dustpan right next to it and sweep up the litter whenever I flip the litter box (I have the Omega Paw litter box that you roll and then pull out the little drawer to empty. Highly recommend, btw).
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:43 AM on May 11, 2019

My experience is similar to Weeping_angel. I used to have litter-catching mats, but one of my cats decided she liked to peeing on the mats better than she liked peeing in the boxes. It was an expensive problem - not only did I waste money trying to replace or find less attractive mats, since the mats don't have sides, her pee would dribble onto the floor. I lost part of a security deposit that way.

Now the litterbox is in the bathroom on tile and I use a small dust vac to clean around the box whenever I scoop it, which is once daily. They do track some litter, but most doesn't make it out of the bathroom. To catch what does make it out, we have a roomba. I can walk around barefoot anywhere but the bathroom unless I've been lax.

I find that World's Best Cat Litter tracks a lot less than the clay litters I've tried, since the pieces are bigger. If pellets don't work for you, maybe you can try that.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:26 PM on May 11, 2019

I have this litter mat from petco. I actually have 2. One that is under the litter box and one it front of it. I find it does a really good of catching litter. My cat doesn't have a problem stepping on it, but some pickier cats might.

I've tried other litter mats, but what I like about this one is it's very easy to clean. Once a day, I tip the front litter mat up so that all the trapped litter goes to one side, and then sweep it into a dust pan. Whenever I empty out the litter box and clean it, I also take the litter mats outside and hose them off. They are made of rubber, so hosing them off works well.
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:45 PM on May 11, 2019

I like this litter mat. It traps litter pretty well, but the primary reason I chose it is it's really easy to clean. If you're worried about grodiness, consider this one.
posted by bananana at 3:27 PM on May 11, 2019

I switched to a pine pellet litter and this litter box and voila - almost zero cat litter anywhere.

Cat urine turns the pine pellet to sawdust, which goes down into the bottom part of the tray. Poops gets scooped and flushed. The pellets don't get tracked, though sometimes the cat kicks a few out.

Throw out or flush the sawdust in the bottom half once a week and you will not have a smelly house.
posted by brookeb at 6:21 PM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nthing top entry cat boxes, and I wanted to pass along a hot tip a coworker gave me years ago. You can DIY a large top entry litter box using one of those big Rubbermaid bins with a lid. You want to cup a hole just big enough for a cat the hop in. It's way cheaper than the commercial kind.
posted by klugarsh at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2019

« Older On the Interchangeability of Beans Vs. Almonds As...   |   Book about the founding of the Met? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.