Why do I need a cat litter mat?
The process of your cat using their litter tray can be a messy one. From them scooting their litter everywhere when trying to cover everything up, to bits of dust and litter sticking to their little paws.
This can mean that the area around the tray can become dirty and unsightly. Having a mat down can not only keep mess and damage to flooring/carpets at bay, but it also makes it easier to keep the area sanitised and clean for your cat.
Many mats also trap the litter, so it doesn’t end up spreading all over the floor and is removed from paws as soon as possible. Mats can also capture if your cat has any accidents outside of the box.
Hooded or lidded cat litter trays go a long way to keeping mess reduced, but the only way to fully prevent any tracking or mess is with a mat.
Do cat litter mats work?
No mat will be absolutely perfect, so don’t be disappointed if you still find bits of litter tracked through the house. But for the most part, they catch the majority of litter caught on paws or scooted out of the tray. Vitally, they can catch mess which lands outside of the tray too, protecting flooring.
Which cat litter tray mat is best for me?
There are a few options for you. You may want a mat which just sits in a problem area, such as the entrance to your hooded litter tray where those tiny pawprints appear, or you may want one which the tray can sit on and surrounds the area if scooting or accidents are the problem.
There is also a choice of materials as mentioned above and designs too if you’re fussy about it all looking a certain way, such as a fun twist or wanting everything plain and black.
Where do I place a cat litter mat?
The main objective is that the mat is used to capture bits of litter stuck to paws, so place it outside of the tray as your cat would walk away from the tray and ensure all four paws will touch the mat. This will involve a lot of trial and error at first.
You may also wish to put the tray on top of the mat to capture any scooting, although using a lidded tray will be best to reduce this.
How do I clean a cat litter mat?
A huge factor you should consider before buying is how they are cleaned. Cats love clean areas, so it is important to keep their tray and the surrounding area free of dirt.
Many can simply be vacuumed directly, or you can shake the bits off onto the floor and vacuum as normal. We’d always say to use the hose and nozzle on your vacuum cleaner to prevent any breakages or issues.
Some rubber materials can be wiped clean, which is good if you want them to be sterilised and bacteria-free. There are a few soft fibre mats which can be popped into the washing machine or hand-washed, but check before you buy as some could be too fragile for excess moisture.
We like dual-layer mats, where you have to open the mat up like an envelope and you can then pour the litter into a refuse bin. This is one of the best options for anyone who doesn’t like the sound of their vacuum combining with litter.
Why are there holes in some cat litter mats?
This is so the excess litter is held safely in place in the mat as opposed to being free to be knocked back onto the floor.
There are several sizes of holes available. Smaller ones are best at trapping dust or smaller particles from clay litters for example, while larger ones can hold other varieties such as crystal or wood pellet.
Large holes also offer a second purpose – they encourage your cat to spread their paw pads out, freeing any bits of litter trapped in between toes or the pads. This makes it less likely you will find small bits of litter miles away from the tray, or that they will ingest it when grooming.
Can I just use a towel as a cat litter mat?
A dedicated cat litter mat is much better than a towel for catching stray litter. Towels aren’t absorbant or rough enough, so any litter can still be pushed off the towel and onto the floor. There is a chance that the carper could be more appealing to the cat than the litter, too, especially if they’re just training to use the litter tray.