How To Stop Cat Litter Tracking – 10 Quick & Easy Tips

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tracking litter outside of the box

Every new cat owner wants to learn how to stop cat litter tracking. Of course, cleaning up tracked litter is one of those cat-parent jobs that doesn’t seem to end, especially if you don’t deal with it right in the roots.

So, our goal here is to teach you how to keep cat litter off the floor in the first place, eventually saving your time and effort in cleaning up the whole house.

As cat owners ourselves, we’ve also juggled between various cat litter tracking solutions and found which ones are the most effective. It’s about time to share them with you.

Top 10 Tips to Keep Litter From Tracking Across the Floor

1. Use Litter Mats

cat litter mat
Image Credit: ArtCranberry, Shutterstock

Is the area surrounding your cat’s litter box as full of litter granules as the litter box itself? That could mean tons of sweat spent on vacuuming that part of the house alone. In this case, you’d probably have more rest if you used a litter mat just in front of your beloved feline’s litter box.

Rate of Effectiveness – 4/5

Here is a quick list of everything you need for this anti-litter-tracking trick (you can try just one or a combination of the following):

  • Rubber mats with grooves
  • Sisal rugs
  • Regular throw rugs
  • A remnant piece of an old carpet
  • Shaggy bath mats
  • Specially-designed litter mats (we’ve listed a few suggested brands below)

Where to put it?

The best place to put a litter mat is in front of the litter box, right at the entrance/exit. This way, the mat can easily catch any litter and prevent it from getting scattered any further. Thus, this placement makes it easier for you to clean up the floor area surrounding your kitty’s litter box.

If you’re someone who loves to go the extra mile for purposes of preventing any further problems, then you may want to use a huge litter mat and place the litter box right on top of it. This way, any particle getting kicked from the sides of the litter box can stay on the surrounding mat and not track on any part of your floor.
Price range (Cost range of this method)
An effective litter mat can cost you as low as $17 for small ones and up to $40 for extra large mats. If you choose to use your old rugs or recycle an old carpet, it can cost you nothing but just the effort of cutting the right size.

How does cat litter mat work?

A litter mat works quite simply, it just captures the tiny bits of litter that your feline happens to kick outside of his litter box, as well as those particles that stick to his paws. As long as the mat has deep grooves, it can trap the litter granules.

Some litter mats even have holes that can quickly catch the litter bits into the interior part of the mat, making it easy for you to collect these displaced litter particles and put them back into the litter box.

TIPS:

Take note that the mat needs to be larger than the size of the cat’s litter box, else, this method becomes useless. The larger the mat, the more efficiently it works in catching any litter granule that your cat kicks or that happens to stick.

Some cats can be sensitive to certain litter mat textures. So, it helps for you to experiment and put a new mat in front of only one litter box, leaving the extra litter boxes mat-free. If your kitty is fine using the box with the mat in front, then your problem with litter tracking is already half-solved.

If you use the best litter mat, then we’d say this strategy could be the most effective trick on preventing litter tracking. You can even combine the use of litter mats with the other tools I’ve included in this article, just to maximize the benefits.

Pros
  • Effective at capturing litter
  • Effecient clean up
  • Convenient and simple to use
Cons
  • Can be expensive

2. Trim the hair between your cat’s toes

cat paw
Image Credit: Jack B on Unsplash

If you’ve already tried all the mats and scratchers we’ve discussed and still your cat gets litter everywhere, then we suspect you own a feline with long hair. It’s even possible that while you’re regularly grooming your kitty, you’re still missing an essential part — the hair between her toes.

Take note that some litters, especially those clumping and clay ones can easily stick to the cat’s paws. Hence, they track a lot around the house. Trimming helps reduce the litter sticking to the cat’s paws.

Rate of Effectiveness – 2.5/5

Here is a quick list of everything you need for this trick:
  • A pair of scissors, or
  • An electric cat hair trimmer

Tips for trimming your cat’s nails

cat having nails trimmed
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

Trimming the hair between your kitty’s toes can either be straightforward or tricky, depending on how he behaves. If your cat is nice, gentle, and generally in a relaxed state, it’s quite easy to use a pair of scissors for trimming his paw hair.

If he is not, you can find an alternative position where he can feel more at ease. Try having him lie down, and give him a treat when he does. Also, every time he allows you to hold and lift his paws, reward him with a treat. Hold your kitty’s leg gently and clip only the long fur, just to the level of the paw pads. You just don’t want any excess of hair attracting a litter granule.

Take note that if your cat is being unreasonable while you’re trying to trim, that could be because he feels rather ticklish. In that case, you need to be more considerate of your cat.

If you’re using an electric hair trimmer, turn it on away from your cat. This way, your cat hears the trimmer’s sound faintly at first, making him feel better prepared for the trimming session.

For best results, trim regularly.

Pros
  • Effective for long hair cats
Cons
  • Trimming your cat’s paw hair can be difficult
  • Needs to be done frequently in order to be effective

3. Use A Top Entry Litter Box

So, you’ve tried everything in your power to try the above hacks, but you still ask the question: how to stop a cat from kicking litter everywhere? What if your feline simply loves to kick and kick? If that’s the case, it’s probably high time to change the litter box he’s using into either a top entry box or a covered one.

Rate of Effectiveness – 4.5/5

Crafting a DIY non-tracking cat litter box cover is possible, but if you’re willing to pay for the easy solution, just buy an entirely new litter box.

How do top entry litter boxes work?

With a top entry litter box, your cat would have to enter and exit through the top opening, forcing him to jump through this “roof” just to get out after doing his business. By exiting this way, your cat would be able to shake off any litter that has initially stuck to his paws and legs. Plus, it would keep the litter from slipping through the sides of the box.

The best anti-tracking top entry litter box would include a trackpad on the top. With this kind of design, it would definitely help remove any litter off your cat before he gets out of the box.

Pros
  • Very effective
Cons
  • Not all cats will be keen on using a confined or top entry box

4. Use A Covered Litter Box

cat using covered litter box
Image Credit: rustycanuck, Shutterstock

It’s natural for your kitty to accidentally scatter litter all over the surrounding areas of his box as he tries to bury his poop and pee. Once he steps out onto the floor, he would most likely track the litter all over. With a litter box that’s fully enclosed, it becomes so much easier to contain the kicked litter.

If you ever choose a covered litter box, we recommend purchasing one with a swinging door. Having such a door will give an additional barrier that prevents the litter from sneaking out. You can also use a litter robot with a hood, which will minimize the amount of tracking litter.

Rate of Effectiveness – 4.5/5

Pros
  • Contains excess litter your cat picks up while digging
  • With a swinging door, contains litter picked up while your cat exits the litter box
Cons
  • Not all cats will be keen on using a covered litter box

5. Try Using A Storage Bench Litter Box

Suppose you don’t have so much space in your home and you wish to confine any mess of litter inside a small space, you can make that possible by choosing to use a storage bench litter box. You will find them on Amazon, Chewy or Petsmart in many sizes, check the size to make sure they fit your cat.

Rate of Effectiveness – 4/5

Here is a quick list of everything you need for this trick:

  • A built-in storage bench litter box you can purchase in most pet stores
  • Your kitty’s trusty litter box

How to setup Storage Bench Litter Box

  • A storage bench litter box literally hides your cat’s litter box along with its messes. The most effective ones can fit any type of litter box, even those extra-large automatic ones.
  • Once you have purchased the storage bench, you can position it in your house as a mini-table. Then, just place your cat’s current litter tray inside, or you can use a new litter box to place inside the litter box furniture just for the sake of transition.
  • Some storage benches have compartments where you can place extra litter bags for a more convenient refilling process.

To make a litter box furniture even more effective in terms of minimizing litter tracks, you can place it on top of a litter mat.

​You can even step up the game of combining several tracking solutions and use a covered litter box, placing it inside the storage bench. This makes it easier for you to clean up the insides of the furniture.

Pros
  • Prevents litter from tracking on the floor
  • Hidden from guests
  • Easy confined cleanup
Cons
  • Litter will still land outside of the litter box
  • Cleaning out bench can be just as difficult as cleaning the floor

6. DIY Litter Box

If purchasing a storage bench litter box furniture sounds costly, you could opt for a DIY version instead. It can be as simple as placing your cat’s current litter box inside of another — but the bigger litter box.

Rate of Effectiveness – 3.5/5

Here is a quick list of everything you need for this trick:
  • Your cat’s current litter box
  • A bigger litter box with high sides — something that could contain your kitty’s current litter box
  • Ensure the outer box is at least 5 cm larger than the inner box for convenience.
  • If your external box happens to be a DIY, let it have a front-entry with a swinging door. If it does not have a swinging door, then cut an entry/exit door for your cat.
  • ​Also, ensure the litter box sits at the extreme of the litter box away and facing the exit/entry door. This will help to remove any tracking litter from the cat’s paw.
Pros
  • Effective in most cases
Cons
  • More areas to clean
  • Time consuming to create
  • Not an ideal setup for all cats
  • Takes up a lot of space

7. Switch to a different type of litter

cat beside litter box
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Instead of just blaming your cat’s behavior for litter tracking, try to reconsider the type of litter he’s using, too. It could be that the main culprit for heavy tracking around your home is — you guessed it right — the litter itself. The solution? Choose the least messy cat litter.

Rate of Effectiveness – 2.5/5

Here is a quick list of everything you need for this trick:

  • A new non-tracking litter (or at least a low tracking litter)
  • A second litter box to help with transitioning your cat to the new litter

How does it work?

Non-tracking cat litters solve tracking problems by virtue of their inherent characteristics. In other words, the best litter to prevent tracking will have the ideal weight, granule size, and ma

Weight

Lightweight litters track more easily than heavier ones. So, if your kitty is quite a digger and kicker, he’ll find it harder to displace heavier litter particles out of his box, and this is exactly why heavier litter pellets are usually non-tracking. Keeping this in mind, you should choose heavier litter types to prevent litter tracking.

Material | Type of kitten litter safest

Also, both corn-based litter and newspaper or any recycled paper litter don’t track as much as clay litters do. And why is that? It’s because they’re both less dusty and don’t stick to the cat’s paw. So, go ahead and transition your feline to these no mess cat litter types.

Granules size

Choose the best cat litter that doesn’t stick to paws. Litters that don’t stick also don’t track and these are usually littered with larger pellets or particles. Use these types of large-particle litters so that even a deep digger won’t bring with his legs any particle after getting out of the box.

Pros
  • Simpler than other methods
Cons
  • Can be expensive finding a brand and material that works for your cat
  • Not always a practical solution if the litter is not the issue

8. Change or customize your cat litter box

maine coon cat in litter box
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

What you need to do is to figure out the problem why your cat refused the litter box or why the litter box tends to track more, you also should know how deep should cat litter is and how much litter to put in the litter box so you can add more or less. Once you discover the problem, then fix it.

Rate of Effectiveness – 2/5

Make sure you customize the litter box to be able to handle the problem.

Pros
  • Long term solution once you find the right box
Cons
  • Can be expensive testing out different boxes

9. Consider toilet training your cat

cat flushing toilet
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

Our final anti-tracking hack here is quite a funny choice. If you would only toilet-train your cat, i.e., let him use your toilet like a human would, there won’t be any litter to track in the first place. So, these tips sound like it can put the question on how to stop litter tracking to a full stop — that is if you turn out to be successful in toilet training your furry friend.

But I think you shouldn’t train your cat to use and flush the toilet. She can feel something uncomfortable and something she won’t be able to continue doing once old age and diseases catch up with her.

Rate of Effectiveness – 3.5/5

Pros
  • Virtually no cleanup
  • Eliminates a litter box
Cons
  • Difficult for kitten, overweight and senior cats
  • Gradual training and patience required
  • Cat must have access to an open lid toilet at all times

Our Verdict

So, these are currently the best and efficient ways on how to stop cat litter tracking. They are very easy and straightforward to implement. We’d recommend you try out the method you think could work best for your cat as every cat has their preference.

But if we must recommend the best method, then our most effective tip is to go with the Storage Bench litter box due to its effectiveness, convenience, and simplicity.

This method allows you to use the combination of three hacks together to prevent cat litter tracking. That is, you will have to combine the use of a litter max, a high walled storage bench, and a cat litter box inside a hidden distance in the box.

So, the question “how to stop litter tracking” has been solved. All these add up to ensure your house is free from litter tracking.


Feature Image Credit: Tanya Plotnikova, Shutterstock


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