If you own a cat, you know that one of the most frustrating things is how they track litter all over the house. Sometimes you will see large chunks of litter in the next room, or you’ll feel like you are in a spy movie as you observe paw prints leading away from the litterbox across your clean floor. If this sounds like your situation, keep reading while we look at several steps you can take to eliminate these problems so you can enjoy your time with your cat and have a clean house.
Ways to Keep Litter From Tracking All Over the Floor
1. Change the Litter
Probably the biggest thing contributing to the tacking of litter in your home is the type of litter you are using. Most people use clay litter because it’s inexpensive and works well, but this litter is extremely dusty, and it will not only coat your surfaces and lungs with dust. It will also make your cat’s paws dirty, and the cat will leave prints as it leaves the box. The cat will also ingest this dust when it grooms.
We recommend looking for a litter that clearly states that it is low dust on the package. Some clay litters are low dust, but others like paper, silica, and diatomaceous earth, don’t create much dust, and you are less likely to see paw prints leading away from the litterbox.
Another problem with clay litter is that its small particles tend to get stuck between your cat’s toes, where they can stay for quite some distance away from the litterbox until your cat knocks them free, and you can often find them in the next room or further. The best way to eliminate this problem is once again to change the litter. Some litters have a shape that sticks to your cat, and all you need to do is get a brand with a different coarseness. Some brands use larger kibble to keep it from getting lodged in the paws, but some cats won’t use these litters because they can have difficulty digging through it. Many of these litters, like Skoon, don’t clump sou you need to spend time stirring the litter to distribute the urine evenly. However, they work very well and create no dust or tracking, and we rarely find pieces outside the box.
2. Change the Litter Box
The next biggest thing contributing to the litter tracking in your home is the litterbox. Many modern litterboxes are not designed well and allow too much litter to leave the box. Lower sides will enable the cat to kick out more litter, making it look like the litter is tracking, so we recommend a high sides brand. Many litter boxes have built-in platforms designed to knock the litter from between the cat’s toes as it leaves, and they can be extremely effective at reducing the number of small litter particles you will see around the home.
3. Use Litter Mats
Litter mats are similar to any other kind of mat but use a special design to knock out the small litter particles from between your cat’s toes as it exits. They can also be effective at wiping away dust from the paws eliminating the annoying paw prints. It often has a rough surface to catch the litter and is available in various sizes and colors so you can find something suitable for your home. Unless your box has a cover with a single entrance and exit, we recommend placing a litter mat on each side of the box for maximum coverage.
4. Use More Litter
Many owners try to use as little litter as possible in the box to prevent their cats from kicking it out. However, this also has the unfortunate side effect of making it more likely that the cat will create mud when it urinates, which will result in paw prints leading away from the litterbox. Using more litter in the box will help make sure your cat’s urine is absorbed completely, without creating mud that will track.
Related Read: 10 Best High-Sided Litter Box for High-Spraying Cats
5. Train Your Pet to Use the Toilet
It may seem far-fetched, but many people have successfully trained their cat to use the toilet, eliminating tracking and lowering your monthly cat expenses. Of course, they won’t flush the toilet, but they will learn how to use it and will often choose it over the litterbox if given a choice. It’s a slow but rewarding process to train your pet cat to use the toilet, but it’s also worth doing, and the earlier you start, the better. We recommend using a toilet training kit to make the process as fast and painless as possible.
While training your cat to use the toilet is the hands-down best way to keep litter from tracking all over your floor, it’s not something that will be easy for everyone, even with a training kit. For these people, it will be best to start at the top of our list and slowly work your way down. Try a few different litters and then a few different litterboxes to see what works best for you and your pet. Always make sure you have at least two inches in the bottom to absorb the urine and place a few litter mats around the outside to keep litter tracking in your home to a minimum.
Featured Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, Shutterstock
Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.