Cat litter mats can help reduce how much litter gets tracked through your home. There isn’t a mat on the market that will eliminate litter tracking, but along with the tips in this article, one can greatly reduce it.
This article shares the best cat litter mat, as well as the different types on the market.
What is the best cat litter mat?
The best cat litter mat overall is the GORILLA GRIP LITTER MAT.
We’ll take a closer look at this cat litter mat but it’s named best overall because of its affordable price, ability to catch a decent amount of litter (no mat will catch all the litter, which I’ll explain in this article), and the variety of sizes, shapes, and colors it’s offered in.
TYPES OF CAT LITTER MATS
Cat litter mats on the market are either textured mats or double layered mats:
TEXTURED LITTER MAT
Most of the textured cat litter mats on the market are made of a flexible plastic with lots of plastic “threads” that are looped and woven to create a texture that litter particles can fall into and get trapped.
The downside of these liter mats is that they’re harder to clean and often require you to take them outside and shake them really well to get all the litter particles out. They also take more effort to wash, and more time to dry when comparing to the double layer litter mats.
DOUBLE LAYER CAT LITTER MAT
Double layer cat litter mats have a solid layer on the bottom and a layer with larger holes on the top. The two layers are attached but one or more of the sides are unattached so you can open the mat and allow litter to slide out and into a garbage bag.
These litter mats are easy to clean and are the better option if you’re using a pellet litter, or other type of litter with larger particles.
BEST LARGE CAT LITTER MAT (& BEST OVERALL): GORILLA GRIP LITTER MAT
The Gorilla Grip Litter mat has deep grooves and superior mesh to catch litter kicked outside of the box and that’s stuck to your cat’s paws.
The material is super soft so it’s gentle on your cat’s paws. It’s also durable, slip-resistant, and phthalate-free (phthalate is a substance added to plastics to make them more flexible, transparent, and durable, but is known to be toxic to pets).
This litter mat is easy to clean and should be washed before first use.
- Thick coils and deep grooves to catch litter
- Different shapes and sizes (jumbo, extra-large, large, half circle, corner)
- Slip-resistant backing
- Thick and durable
- Gentle on paws
- Easy to clean
MOST LOVED FEATURES
- Traps litter – it doesn’t trap all litter, but it catches much more than if you don’t use a litter mat.
- Stays put – the mat doesn’t move around as you vacuum it or as your cat jumps in and out of the litter box.
- Durable & soft – made from a good quality material and cats don’t seem to mind walking on it.
MOST DISLIKED FEATURES
- Cleaning – although you can vacuum this mat, most cat owners found they had to take the mat outside and shake it really well to get most of the litter particles out.
- Sticks a little too well – some people found pieces of this mat came off and stuck to their floors, ruining the floor’s finish.
- Not leak proof – liquids tend to leak through this mat and end up on the floor underneath.
RUNNER UP: LITTLETIGER CAT LITTER MAT
The LittleTiger litter mat is a large litter mat, being 47” long and 35” wide. It also comes in three colors: black, grey, and brown.
The material is phthalate free, non-slip, durable, and waterproof with a leakproof backing (however many reviewers stated liquids did soak through this mat).
- Large litter mat: 47” X 36”
- Multiple colors: black, grey, & brown
- Easy to clean
- Phthalate free
- Money back guarantee & lifetime warranty
MOST LOVED FEATURES
- Traps litter – catches a good amount of litter before it gets tracked through the house.
- Large size – this litter mat is one of the biggest on the market (Gorilla Grip also offers the same size).
- Non-slip – this mat stays in place.
MOST DISLIKED FEATURES
- Sticks to floors – many customers found the backing of this mat peeled off and stuck to their floors.
- Not waterproof – although this mat is supposed to be waterproof, some customers reported urine did soak through the mat.
BEST CAT LITTER MAT FOR PELLET LITTERS (& CATS WHO URINATE NEXT TO THE LITTER BOX): IPRIMIO CAT LITTER MAT
The iPrimio Cat Litter Mat gets “best” in a couple of categories. Every litter mat I researched that claimed to be waterproof and leak proof had several customers complaining of the urine leaking right through.
Although the material of this mat is not much different, it is double layered and opens along 3 sides, so you can slip a doggy pee pad, such as these, between the layers if your cat has the tendency to urinate outside the litter box.
The holes of this litter box are also larger than most, making it the best option for litters with larger particles, such as pellet litters.
This mat also has a plastic film that is patent pending and won’t absorb odors; also great if your cat urinates outside the litter box.
- “Larger than competition” sized holes
- Smooth surface
- Large: 30” x 23”
- Also comes in “Jumbo”: 32″ x 30″
- Easy to open edge
MOST LOVED FEATURES
- Works for pellets – reviewers using Tidy Cat Breeze pellets, Yesterday’s News paper pellets, pine pellets, and CatGenie granules, said that this mat worked great to catch the majority of pellets that get outside the box.
- Nice to walk on – when you must step on the mat to scoop the litter, this is the mat of choice. Because of the double layer and the thick foam top layer, litter falls right to the bottom layer and you don’t step on it.
- Easy to clean – it’s easy to funnel the litter into a trash bag; no shaking required. The design also makes it easy to partially separate the two layers and clean between them.
MOST DISLIKED FEATURES
- Not urine proof on its own – the material of the mat is not waterproof and urine is able to soak through to the floor below. However, if you add a puppy pee pad between the layers, it is an effective mat at catching litter and urine.
- Materials – this mat does not state if it’s Phthalate free.
- Slips – this mat does not have a slip proof bottom, so if you’re placing the mat on a smooth surface, you may want to add a non-slip pad, such as this one, underneath. The bonus is, you won’t have the problem of the plastic ruining your floors, like some reviewers found with the Gorilla Grip and LittleTiger mats.
RUNNER UP IN DOUBLE LAYER CAT LITTER MAT: PIEVIEV CAT LITTER MAT
The Pieviev litter mat works in a similar way to the iPrimio mat, however, the holes are not as large, so it’s not as ideal for larger particle/pellet litters. It also only opens on one end, so it would be more difficult to clean between layers or slide a puppy pee pad in.
The mat is 30” x 24” and comes in grey or brown. Although it’s advertised as waterproof and urine proof, reviews state otherwise.
Unlike the iPrimio double layer mat, the Pieviev mat does state that it’s made of EVA, non-toxic and phthalate free material. EVA is considered a safe material, however, some EVA foam can contain formamide (which is considered carcinogenic and a developmental toxin). The description doesn’t state if the EVA is formamide free, but you can contact the company to inquire.
It is less expensive than the iPrimio litter mat, so if you don’t use pellet litter, and you don’t have a problem with your cat urinating outside the litter box, the Pieviev litter mat may be the better option for you.
EASIEST TO CLEAN CAT LITTER MAT: VIVAGLORY MACHINE WASHABLE LITTER MAT
The Vivaglory litter mat is very similar to a bathmat, however, this mat has a waterproof and anti-slip backing. It’s also larger and/or cheaper than most microfiber bath mats on the market.
It comes in four colours: beige, brown, grey, and navy blue, and two sizes: 31” x 20” and 35” x 25”.
The soft microfiber material makes this litter mat ideal for picky cats/cats with sensitive paws.
The easiest way to clean this mat is to shake it out or vacuum it and then throw it in the washing machine. Because most litters aren’t great for your pipes, it’s never a good idea to throw a mat full of litter into the washing machine.
- Deep microfiber strands
- Durable material
- Waterproof & anti-slip backing
- 2 sizes: 31” x 20”, 35” x 25”
- 4 colors: beige, brown, grey, navy blue
MOST LOVED FEATURES:
- Design – cat owners like that this mat doesn’t look like a cat litter mat.
- Non-slip – the mat stays in place, even when vacuuming it.
- Soft – no problem with cats walking on the mat.
- Preferred over other types of mats – several reviewers mentioned they’ve tried other litter mats and prefer this mat to double layered litter mats.
MOST DISLIKED FEATURES:
- Not effective enough – some reviewers didn’t find the mat to be effective enough at catching cat litter, however, they may be unfamiliar with litter mats and not realize there isn’t a mat on the market that will catch all litter.
*Currently no reviews confirming or denying that this mat is actually waterproof and urine won’t soak through it.
FEATURES TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A LITTER MAT
There are many options to choose from when buying a cat litter mat. These are some of the most important options to consider:
A cat litter mat is designed to be placed at the entrance of the litter box, so it should be wider than your litter box.
The purpose is for it to catch litter stuck to your cat’s paws as they’re leaving the litter box area. So you want the litter mat to be large enough that your cat must take several steps on it before walking on your flooring.
If your cat has a tendency to kick litter outside the litter box as they’re using it, you may want to purchase a large litter mat, better yet, two large litter mats so one can sit under the litter box and the other can sit in front of the litter box’s entrance.
A top entry litter box can also work, however, unless you place the litter box in a corner or against a wall, your cat can easily jump down on any side of the litter box to exit, and avoid stepping on the litter mat.
Measure the size of your litter box and choose a mat that is the appropriate size for it and its placement.
Traditional litter mats aren’t ideal for some of the newer natural litters with larger particles.
Your cat may not like the feeling of stepping on a new type of surface, so you want to look for “soft”, “smooth”, or “comfortable” in the mat’s description.
Some cats hit the ground running when they leave the litter box, which can lead to the mat being pushed around.
You want a mat with a good grip on the underside so that it stays in place as your cat jumps in and out of their litter box, and as you vacuum the litter mat.
I’ve mentioned in the reviews if a mat is known to stick to floors, so if you end up going with a litter mat not mentioned here, be sure to see if any reviews mention the mat sticking to the floor.
Some reviewers found the Gorilla Grip litter mat and the LittleTiger litter mat stuck to their floors and left a film behind. Manufacturers do recommend washing the mat before use, so that may help prevent too much sticking.
Or, you may consider placing a non-slip mat underneath to help protect your floors, such as this one.
If you’re cleaning your litter box properly (scooping litter frequently, changing the litter regularly, and washing the litter box; here’s a handy guide) you’re already putting in a lot of effort.
You don’t need cleaning the litter mat to be a time-consuming task too.
Look for mats that are easy to clean to lessen your litter cleaning workload.
Mats with two layers and large holes in the top are easy to clean because you simply have to pour litter into a garbage bag, rinse the mat when you’re washing the litter box, and wipe dry with a cloth.
Litter mats with the looped fabric can require a vacuum, shake (which should be done outside) and wash to thoroughly clean them; otherwise you’re left with little bits of litter trapped within the loops.
Although your cat likely won’t be spending too much time on the litter mat, you do want to check the materials to ensure there’s nothing toxic. Some cats do scratch cat litter mats and if the mat comes apart and pieces end up in their claws, they may ingest those pieces of plastic when grooming.
Look for “non-toxic” and “phthalate free” in the description. Phthalate is a substance added to plastics to make them more flexible, transparent, and durable, but is known to be toxic to pets.
If you have a cat that tends to go beside the litter box or over the sides of the litter box, you may want to look for a larger mat that won’t allow urine to soak through to the floors underneath.
Each mat that had claims of being leakproof also had reviews stating that urine did soak through the mat and onto their floors. The best option is to purchase a mat such as the iPrimio that allows you to place a puppy pad in between the layers, or to put a puppy pad underneath the mat you purchase for added protection.
COMMON CAT LITTER MAT QUESTIONS
The following are common questions relating to cat litter mats and their answers:
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A CAT LITTER MAT?
A cat litter mat is designed to be placed in front of the litter box entrance to catch litter that gets tracked outside the litter box.
If you purchase a large enough mat, you can also place it under the litter box to catch any litter that gets kicked over the sides of the litter box.
DO CAT LITTER MATS WORK?
Cat litter mats do work at trapping some of the litter your cat kicks or tracks out of the litter box; it won’t trap every particle of litter.
If you purchase a litter mat with the expectation that you’ll never find another piece of litter outside of the litter box area, you will be disappointed.
You can reduce how much litter ends up on the floor around the litter box, as well as how much gets tracked away from the litter box area, with the use of a litter mat.
But you’ll see even better results if you combine a cat litter mat with several other best litter-tracking-prevention practices, which can be found here.
HOW DO I CLEAN A CAT LITTER MAT?
To keep an odor-free home and prevent bacteria from growing, it’s important to wash your cat litter mats, just as often as you clean your litter box; which should be every time you change your litter. How often you change the cat litter depends on a few factors, including the type of litter you use and your cat’s bathroom habits. It ranges between 1 – 4 weeks; here’s a complete guide to help you determine how often to change your litter.
CAN YOU PUT A CAT LITTER MAT IN THE WASHING MACHINE?
Some cat litter mats, such as this one, are designed to be thrown in the washing machine, however, it’s important to note that clumping litters can cause clogs in your pipes. Even non-clumping litters that are heavy (like clay) or bulky can also cause clogs.
Mats should be vacuumed and shaken out to get as much of the litter off the mat as possible, before throwing it in the washing machine.
Most litter mats are made of plastic and aren’t ideal for the washing machine.
WHAT DO YOU PUT UNDER A LITTER BOX?
If your litter box is only slightly smaller than the litter mat, placing a litter mat under your litter box can defeat the purpose of your mat; you want it to be placed around the litter box to catch litter that goes over the side, but mainly, you want it to get that litter that’s stuck between your cat’s toes and trap litter in areas your cat walks (here’s how to get stuck litter out of your cat’s paws).
If you have a smaller litter box or don’t mind purchasing an extra litter mat to place one under the litter box and one at the entrance, a litter mat works just fine under a litter box.
However, most litter mats aren’t large enough to fully go under the litter box and provide enough coverage at the front of the litter box. The more space your cat has to walk on a litter mat, the better chance there is that litter will fall onto the mat.
As long as your cat is leaving the litter box through the front/entrance, the litter that sits beside the litter box is less likely to be disturbed. It’s the litter in front of the box you want to be trapped in a mat so your cat doesn’t continue to walk on it each time they use the litter box.
For that reason, you can get away with a textured rug under your litter box, which may be more economical.
Door mats or textured rugs (if you have an old one on hand) will help litter from scattering across the floor when it’s kicked out of the box. A cat litter mat will do a better job of keeping litter in the mat when your cat walks over it.
This door mat is made by the same brand that makes cat litter mats but their door mat is bigger and cheaper, making it a better option to place under the litter box where your cat won’t be walking.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO STOP CAT LITTER FROM TRACKING THROUGH MY HOUSE?
A cat litter mat on its own won’t stop litter from being tracked around your house. It will help catch a decent amount of litter but adding other measures will reduce rogue litter even more.
Such as a top-entry litter box that doesn’t allow litter to be kicked over the sides or out the front entrance, or using a litter with larger particles that are less likely to get stuck between your cat’s toes.
Find a list of several ways to keep litter from tracking here; the more tactics from the list you use, the less litter you’ll find outside the litter space.
I hope this article has helped you choose a cat litter mat 🙂
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