Cats are one of the most groomed creatures in the animal kingdom. They spend most of their time licking their paws and fur, in order to keep themselves clean. Cats are meticulous when it comes to keeping themselves clean.
That’s why if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, a cat is your best option!
Cats require little training, especially in terms of their litter! All you have to do to potty-train them is pick them up and put them in their litter boxes the first few times after bringing them home.
Cats will quickly learn that this is the place they must use whenever they need to go and will start heading to the litter box themselves!
However, since cats are inherently secretive, they like to do much of the cleaning activities in privacy. Given all these hygienic efforts, these feline creatures can sometimes avoid litter boxes and, at other times, create a mess while using them.
So, if your cat is avoiding the litter box, it may be time to consider getting a litter mat!
Why Do Cats Scatter Litter Or Avoid Litter Boxes?
Cats avoid litter boxes for many reasons. The primary reason is that either the litter box is unclean or placed somewhere in the house that is too exposed.
Sometimes when cats avoid their litter boxes, it may indicate some internal disease or illness. If you suspect that this may be the case, rush to the vet immediately!
Cat owners also need to make sure they do their part to ensure that cats don’t scatter litter around the floors.
The most important factor in trying to train your cat to use the litter is to keep the litter in a secluded space, where no one will interrupt your cat.
How To Stop Cats From Littering
Apart from keeping the litter boxes in a secluded space, you can also try litter mats. If you have a litter box, it’s crucial to have a litter mat too.
Litter mats are specifically designed to prevent cats from spreading litter. They’re designed to fit a cat’s needs and ensure they are comforted. These mats are also made to look attractive to cats and encourage them to use their litter boxes.
How Do Litter Mats Work?
After cats have completed their littering ritual, they usually jump out of the litter box. Due to some of the granules inside the litter spur out while some cling to the cat’s furry paws.
As the cat roams around or clean themselves, the granules fall on the floor, and some cling to the furniture. It can be tiring and frustrating to clean up all these scattered litter.
Here’s where the cat litter mats come in. You can place cat litter mats under litter boxes. They’re made in multiples sizes so they can cover a significant amount of area around the litter box.
The mat traps all the granules that are scattered by a cat leaving the litter box. The gritty top layer of the mat also captures the granules that are stuck in the cat’s paws.
What To Look For In Cat Litter Mats
All litter mats are cat-friendly, but it’s important to ensure that a mat has the right features and is made of the right ingredients before buying it. Don’t just grab any cheap mat. Chances are it may not be eco-friendly. Cheap mats turn out to be not only short-lived, but also harmful to your cat’s health. Here are some things to look for in a cat litter mat:
1. Phthalate free: Phthalate is a salt-derivative of phthalic acid which is used in plastic, vinyl, or PVC products to increase the flexibility and soften the material. Health authorities have declared it dangerous to consume, even negligible amounts. Experiments have also shown that phthalate’s rapid and penetrative absorption property can result in decreased fertility levels, amongst other illnesses. Make sure that the litter mats you buy have a ‘phthalate-free’ sign or mark in their descriptions.
2. Silicone material: Look for silicone-based fabric in litter mats. Silicone increases the durability of the mats, eliminates odour, and is breathable. The hyper-elastic character of silicone makes the mat flexible. You can fold the mat easily and store it in a small area or stash it in a corner. Silicone mats, therefore, will occupy less space in the house.
3. Water-proof/Urine-proof: Some breeds of cats just hate water. Although in warmer regions they may use water to cool off the heat, most cats in colder or moderate climates, abhor it. In order for the cat to actually use the mat, make sure the litter mat is either double-layered or water-repellent to avoid any moisture build. Moisture build-up can also produce an odour that drives cats away.
Best Cat Litter Mats
Gorilla Grip’s Premium Cat Litter Mat comes in an extra-large jumbo size of 47”x35”, which is big enough to fit two litter boxes. It’s perfectly feasible for large and messy cats and can even accommodate more than one cat! It’s available in four other sizes too. The adhesive bottom layer makes the mat stay in place. It’s phthalate-free and water repellent, which makes it consumer-hygienic and also easy to clean. With just a vacuum wipe, you’re good to go!
2. Easylogy Tidy Cat Litter Mat
Product link: Premium Large Cat Litter Mat 35″ x 23″
The Easylogy Tidy Cat Littler Mat, in dimensions 35”x23”, is available in almost six colors and two designs. Not only does it look attractive, but it’s also of high practical value. Its gritty texture ensures maximum entrapment of litter granules from a cat’s paws. Its upper layer is soft to avoid getting tangled with the cat’s fur and provides comfort to the paws. It’s also phthalate-free.
3. Pawkin Cat Litter Mat
Product Link: Pawkin Cat Litter Mat
Pawkin’s litter mat comes in a more longitudinal shape, which helps keep the floor clean of litter. It has a litter-lock mesh that makes sure that all granules are contained within the mat. The cats can also scrub away their paws on the textured mesh. It’s available in two sizes: X-large and XX-large.
4. Pieviev Cat Litter Mat
The Pieviev Cat Litter Mat comes in size 30”x25”. Its double-layered design is also quite unique. It has a honey-comb layer with large holes on the top, and the bottom layer is made of waterproof fabric. The whole structure is silicone-based, which ensures that it remains odourless and makes the texture of the mat abrasive so the cat can clean its paws too. The mat can easily be cleaned and folded for storage.
The large holes at the top make it easy to collect the litter. Here’s how they work: as the cat scatters the litter, the granules easily slip through the holes and fall into the bottom layer. You can just tip the bottom layer and pour away the collected litter or reuse it in the future. Often cats can avoid the litter mat. In this case, the holes also come in handy. Sprinkling some catnip on the top layer will attract your cat towards the mat. This mat is also phthalate-free and eco-friendly.
5. PetFusion ToughGrip Cat Litter Mat
Product link: PetFusion ToughGrip X Large Waterproof Litter Mat
PetFusion’s litter mat doesn’t have any meshwork or holes on its top layer. What it does have is a smooth FDA grade silicone surface on the top. The silicone surface is not only soft but also has accident protection. It is durable and reliable. It’s specifically designed keeping optimal hygiene conditions in mind. The mat is breathable and water repellent, which eliminates odor and keeps the surface fresh and squeaky clean.
You can easily clean the litter from the mat because it stays on the surface. So, simply sweeping the mat with a brush is enough to clean it. There’s a spout design on the edges of the mat, in which you can sweep the litter. Its double-layered design is thick, ensuring that your floor doesn’t get harmed. The bottom layer has an anti-slip design and keeps the mat from moving or slipping from underneath the litter. It is available in two sizes
6. Smiling Paws Pets’ Original Cat Litter Mat
Product Link: Smiling Paws Pets Cat Litter Mat
Smiling Paws Pets’ Original Cat Litter Mat is BPA free and available in 4 colors. It is scratch and tear-proof, which makes it more durable. It’ll be an investment that lasts you a long time! The bottom layer of the mat is urine-proof as well. It is also skid-free, ensuring that it stays in place below the litter box.
7. MyfatBOSS Cat Litter Mat
Product Link: MyfatBOSS Cat Litter Mat Litter Trapping Mat
The MyfatBOSS Cat Litter Mat is a double-layered mat with a honeycomb design. The bottom layer is urine-proof and can easily be separated to clean. The bottom layer also prevents the smell of urine from spreading around in the room. You can also clean out litter from the mat using the tip and pour method.
How To Keep The Litter Mats Clean
It’s important to keep litter mats clean; otherwise, cats won’t use them. Dirty and smelly litter mats also invite insects and bacteria to shelter in the meshwork designs. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your cat’s litter mat is clean:
1. Vacuum the mat thoroughly and leave nothing inside. You can wash the mat if it gets too dirty, but don’t wash it too much as it can alter the texture of the mat.
2. Keep the area around the mat clean as well.
3. Detangle any residual fur from the mat.
4. Spray anti-bacterial and non-toxic liquid to avoid the growth of microbes, mildews, or molds. You can also keep the mat under the sunlight for a few hours to drive away those pesky little insects.
Keeping a cat is very low maintenance. As we said, they care for themselves! All you need to do is give them the resources they need to keep themselves happy and healthy, which is why a cat litter mat is essential.