If you are like most cat lovers you love your fur baby, but man do you hate that litter box! The litter gets everywhere and it seems like just when you think you have cleaned it all up, there it is sticking to your socks again. Kitties can’t help it though, the litter gets stuck in the pads of their paws thats why a cat litter mat is very handy.
Designed to trap litter and keep it contained in a small area, these mats can be lifesavers when it comes to keeping the rest of your home litter-free.
Read on as I explain what cat litter mats are, what they do, my top choices (including reviews) and why they could be the best invention ever (as far as cats and their owners are concerned).
Pro Tip: Cats hate citrus. They also don’t like strong floral scents. If you spray your rug with a citrus scent, then you have a win-win situation. Your cat stays away from the rug, and your room smells great!
- iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper Mat
- Gorilla Grip Premium Cat Litter Mat
- Pawkin Cat Litter Map
- Easyology Cat Litter Mat
- BlackHole Litter Mat
Much like the doormat for the front door of your home, a cat litter mat works much in the same way. It surrounds your cat’s litter box. When your cat starts digging through the litter to find the perfect spot, the litter mat will help contain whatever litter gets thrown around, leading to a much smaller area to sweep or vacuum near the box.
Also a litter mat will remove litter, usually via a special texture from cats’ paws as they exit the litter box. If kitty walks across the litter mat, that means less tracking of cat litter through the house.
Finally, if your cat has an accidental bathroom break outside of their litter box, the mat will absorb the liquid and allow you to scoop up any mess left laying around. Extra protection could especially come in handy if you have a geriatric cat or one who sometimes misses the mark.
The ideal cat mat will remove cat litter from a cat’s paw the way a lint roller removes kitty’s fur from your clothes.
Mats are made from different materials each one is designed with a slightly different focus. Does your cat make a huge mess of litter, or have issues making it to the litter box? Know what your cat needs are then pick the most effective mat that will provide a more stress-free experience for both you and your cat.
Different designs and materials mean that each mat gets cleaned differently. Do you need to be able to vacuum your mat clean, or are you willing to wash, rinse and dry it? If you choose one that needs to be rinsed, make sure you have an alternative for when it’s drying; you know what a mess wet litter can make. Evaluate the amount of work you’re willing to put in to maintain the mat before purchasing. Ultimately, however, any mat you choose should be an improvement over litter strewn all over.
Many kitty litter mats come with additional odor protection because everyone knows that tracked litter can make any room smell like the cat’s bathroom.
Some use pads that soak up and trap urine, keeping it from smelling. These extra absorbent mats need changing more often.
Others have deodorizing pads or consist of a material that is compatible with powdered deodorizers. Be aware that some deodorizers require vacuuming, which might not work with your mat of choice.
There are also scented lifters that can mask the smell. Those are sometimes heavily perfumed, however, so be sure that your cat (and you) can tolerate strong smells before purchasing those. Consider pairing a mat with odor controlling litter to make it virtually impossible to tell that you have a litter box hiding out in your house.
Pro Tip: They do make mats that open on one end, making it easy to dump excess kitty litter back into the box. Just dump the litter and replace the mat. It doesn’t have to be cleaned every time, just periodically.
Cats can be finicky. It is probably best to find materials similar to the mats that you are considering so you can be sure that your cat does not have an aversion to walking on it. The last thing you want is a cat that jumps out of the litter box and over the mat that you have so carefully placed.
You can also observe your cat at home. Does he stick to softer fabrics or more durable ones? Does your cat like to stretch out and nap on plush pillows or does he prefer the mattress? Finding a material your cat already enjoys can go a long way to helping your cat get used to something new as he exits the litter box.
Know exactly how much space you have for a mat. If your litter box is in a small area, a smaller mat may do the trick. If it is in a larger area you may want something that covers more space, giving more opportunity for the mat to pull the litter from paws as the cat walks across it.
Consider the shape of your litter box, as well as the size of the box itself. Litter can escape a variety of ways. If your cat can access the litter box from multiple directions, you will need to have a mat that covers all possible exits and entrances.
Paw-some Features: These mats come with a patented, proprietary urine-repelling plastic film to prevent the worst of leaks from hitting the floor. The mat comes in a wide range of sizes for any pet needs. I loved the XL version, which measures 30 by 23 inches. The mat features an easy open edge that slows for cleaning from any faucet in the house.
The holes are large enough not to trap cat claws as your feline friend walks across the mat. The large size also allows them to trap litter between layers, so nothing builds up on your floor. Unlike competitors, this mat opens from all three sides.
Consequences: Be careful with cleaning this mat. A lot of the urine will leak and pool. Accidents could turn into intentional uses if you don’t keep this mat from smelling too much like the box itself!
- Larger holes than the competition
- Urine repellent material
- Great for super messy cats – allows puppy pads between layers!
- Nylon edges will absorb excess urine
- Limited design options: Only comes in solid black or brown
- Traps urine smell
- Doesn’t last long
This mat is perfect for any sizing needs! I love the fact that it comes in a corner shape and half circle sizing because my small apartment doesn’t have the space for large mats. My cat’s box is tucked into a corner of my already too small bathroom.
Features: This mat is made with a mesh design to grip the kitty litter without trapping paws. The slip-resistant backing ensures that this won’t go flying away the second your cat decides to pounce. An absolute must for kitty owners, this mat is also phthalate-free, so your kids won’t hate the material.
Beautiful Colors: Not only does this mat come in a variety of shapes, but there are a lot of color options! Whether your home is pretty pastels or deep and woodsy, they have a mat that will match. Forget about that ugly mat that sticks out like a sore thumb and screams, “Kitties pee here!”
- Variety of shapes and sizes
- Phthalate free
- Soft on paws
- Extra durable
- Litter can get stuck in the mesh
- Sticks to wood floors
- Not waterproof
Pro Tip: Placing a puppy mat between the layers soaks up even more urine!
Pawkin is a family owned small business, so this is a great purchase for those of you who want to support small and local businesses They are obsessive about customer service. The best part? They regularly donate to animal shelters and local charities.
They put their money where their mouth is! This company has rescued and adopted a lot of stray cats. They use their products inside their home, so you know they aren’t making inferior products that they’d never use themselves.
The Pawkin company has a patented litter lock technology. They are independently lab certified and phthalate free. These mats have deeper mesh than others and are thicker, making them one of the softest options on the market for protecting kitty paws. They offer a slip-resistant backing and absorbent PVC that easily cleaned with dish soap.
- Phthalate free
- Soft on paws
- Small business
- A portion of proceeds go to charity
- The deep mesh can make cleaning more difficult
- Litter occasionally becomes trapped within the mesh
- No small sizes
The Easyology kitty litter mat has been voted the top cat litter mat. With that kind of positive feedback, I had to try it right away!
Features: These mats come with a rubber backing. Not only does that make it slip-resistant, but it also protects your floors! The Easyology mat is both BPA and Phthalate free, so it ensures that your feline friends keep their frisky fun attitudes and don’t get sick. The deep grooves of the mat capture more litter.
Pause and Think: This mat is much more difficult to clean than the others. It will take more time to keep it adequately sanitized. The only main complaint across all users is that this mat is impossible to clean. Sweeping the floor would be easier. I gave up after a while.
- Toxin-free – No BPAs or phthalates
- Variety of colors
- Extremely difficult to clean
- Not as budget friendly
This is a pretty average mat. There are better options available, but it will get the job done.
The BlackHole is another honeycomb shaped cat litter mat. The top layer captures the kitty litter on your pet’s paws and drops it into the bottom layer. It features an opening on one end to allow the litter to be dumped back into the litter box.
This mat is also incredibly soft on kitty paws. It is the only product on the list made of EVA foam rubber. It comes in several different colors.
Fun Fact: This mat uses rounded tops rather than flat tops, so litter slides off the surface!
Design Aesthetic: For those of you who live all things cute and cat, this mat features a kitty head shaped option!
- Rounded top
- Soft surface
- Easy to clean
- Multiple sizes and colors
- Some cats don’t like the design
- Less absorbent
I really like the BlackHole mat. It’s safe to use and has a great design that locks kitty litter where it belongs – the litter box! My cat enjoyed it, and I like that you can put in some puppy pads for sick kitties that may not quite make it to the box.
The runner up was the Pawkin Cat Litter Mat. I like supporting small businesses, and it impressed me that this family stands behind their products so much that they use it in their own home. They donate to charities and are active in the rescue community.
Cats are obsessed with cleanliness, so they will usually go straight to their litter box to pee. If your cat isn’t using the box, there are a few possible reasons.
If your cat likes to hang out in windows and there are nearby rugs, then your cat may urinate when they see a new cat. It is a cat’s way of marking their territory. The same thing applies to different parts of your home.
Your cat might need to see a vet. A lot of medical conditions can cause incontinence that makes it difficult for your cat to get to their litter box. Sometimes, they may not even realize they need to go.
Do you have a rubber rug? Cats associate some scents with their urine. For some reason, rubber is a scent that tells them they found a good place to relieve themselves. Consider trading your decor to rugs that don’t have a rubber backing.
The easiest way to do this is to create a physical barrier. Keep your rug behind doors. Use baby gates to bar access
If you can’t bar kitty from the rug, then put protective measures in place. Pick rugs with a texture that isn’t friendly to their paws and claws. There are also some motion sensing deterrents that will puff a blast of air at your cat any time they try to get near the rug.
Soak up as much of the urine as you can. Use an enzymatic cleaner. If you can, wash your rug with white vinegar, then wash it again with laundry detergent.
Let a carpet cleaner sink into your rug and stay for about an hour. Blot it and use more paper towels to soak up the scent. Use the enzymatic cleaner again to remove the odor.
Warning: Do not use ammonia. Cat urine contains this, so they will associate the smell with the correct place to use the bathroom.