As much as we love them, sometimes cats can make for lousy housemates. Sure, it’s heartwarming to come home and find your cuddly companion perched by the door in anticipation. And nothing beats when your little buddy joins you in bed for a snooze after a long day. But jumping out of the cat box and scattering litter across your hardwoods? Not so great.
Clearly, not all aspects of cat ownership are cute and cuddly. While they can make your heart melt, they can also make a heck of a mess. More often than not, cat litter is involved. It’s no coincidence, then, that the biggest messes are usually concentrated around the cat box.
The best form of damage control against annoying cat litter mishaps is to invest in a good cat litter mat to occupy the floor space around it. When all the errant litter and pesky debris is contained to a floor mat, the inevitable clean up job is made way easier.
So what goes into the perfect litter mat? Let us walk you through the basic need-to-knows, so you can choose the mat that is ideal for your cat and their unique personality.
Quick Look : Best Litter Mats in 2019
The Facts on Mats
Think litter mats are repurposed, plain-old door mats? Think again. These days, some pretty sophisticated technology goes into making a well-designed cat litter mat. And for good reason. After all, who wants a mat that traps dirty litter in its bristles? Talk about counterproductive.
Today, cat litter mats are infused with super-durable PVC plastics which makes them easier than ever to dust off, clean, and scrub contents off of. Plus, the durable PVC textile is virtually impervious to even the sharpest pair of claws. Best of all, it’s cheap. This means you can get the best bang for your buck if you know what to look for.
Be aware, though, that you should be on the lookout for BPA or phthalate-infused litter mats. These nasty little chemicals are sometimes found in plastic products such as PVC textiles. According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, consumers should always avoid exposure to this chemical as it may be toxic or contribute toward other ailments. And don’t forget, your little pets are especially sensitive to these kinds of pathogens.
While often an under-looked aspect, the aesthetic appearance of the mat should be a major factor in your choice. Face it, you’re the one who is going to have to look at it every single day. So you might as well find something that won’t turn your cat’s corner into an eye sore.
This means you should account for the color, plushness, surface pattern, and shape when making your decision. Also, the thicker the bristles the more your mat tends to ‘pop’ when laid out on the floor. Generally, then, you will want to go for short bristles if subtlety is important to you.
This factor will, of course, be determined by the kind of textile used to make it and the overall size of the mat itself. Generally, heavier mats are sturdier and are more likely to remain in place. This should be a key factor for any cat owner, because maintaining coverage where you want it is crucial to keeping your cat’s living space tidy.
On the other hand, bear in mind that you will have to regularly clean your mat. We know it’s a pain, but it’s simply a must for any responsible cat owner. And if you have to lug around a heavy 20-pound behemoth of a mat, you are that much less likely to take the time to do it. So we recommend finding a mat that is of a manageable weight and size for you.
This is especially true for the elderly, or those with mobility issues. If hunching over and lifting your mat may be a challenge for you, you should absolutely opt for a lighter, thinner mat. Sure, they tend not to last as long, but your health and safety is always paramount.
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This is an essential factor for anyone shopping for a cat litter mat. This comes down to taking an honest look at your cat’s living space—measuring it if you have to—to decide just how much space you need to cover. However, we recommend erring on the side of caution and finding a mat slightly larger than needed. This way, if you ever need to add an additional litter box you can do so freely.
Also, you should always look for labels indicating a “non-slip surface”. This is critical to ensure your own personal safety when stepping on the map, but also to make sure the mat stays in place.
We get it—not everyone can afford premium, high-tech mats. We understand that you need budget options too. Plus, you should save your hard-earned money for things your cat actually appreciates, like tasty treats and veterinary bills.
Now, finding the perfect balance here is tricky. On one hand, you don’t want to go overboard and splurge on something that you will inevitably have to replace (I mean, come on, think about what that mat comes in contact with). But on the other, you definitely do not want to cheap out and pick up a flimsy placemat that needs replacing before its due.
For this reason, we suggest skipping on the dollar store and finding a well-reviewed model in the $10 to $25 price range from trusted retailers like Chewy. For your shopping convenience, we’ve put together a set of recommendations at the bottom of the page. We’re confident you’ll find maximum value with these selections, as both cost and longevity have been taken into account.
This is definitely not an aspect to be overlooked. Odor control, for many cat owners, is the number one consideration when looking for a cat litter mat.
Question—what’s the number one source of dirt and grime that, over time, dirties even the most well maintained litter mats? That’s right, tracking! When your cat hops out of the litter box after doing her business, chances are she’ll have traces of sticky litter clumps attached to her fur or paws.
One of the best solutions to prevent tracking is to look for a mat that comes bundled with a natural litter tracking remedy. Usually, this involves small grooves etched in the mat that catch the nasty stuff before it finds its way on the floor or furniture. Just remember, be sure to vacuum it out on a regular basis.
If you still find an excessive amount of waste is tracking onto the floor, consider switching to another variety of cat litter.
Reviewed: The Best Cat Litter Mats
Now that you’re an expert on all things having to do with litter mats, let’s take a look at the top four maximum-value cat litter mats. However, you should note that each product comes with its share of benefits and drawbacks, so we recommend taking this into account before checking out your shopping cart. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the heavy lifting and mapped out the pros and cons of each mat for your convenience.
Petlinks Purrfect Paws Gray Cat Litter Mat Check Price
Every so often a cat litter mat comes along so well designed that it manages to change industry standards. That’s exactly what Petlinks accomplished with the Purrfect Paws Cat Litter Mat, whose patented technology stretches your cat’s paws to clean out excess litter.
Purrfect Paws comes fully loaded with deep interspersed holes that spread the pads of your cat’s paws. This allows for the litter to easily fall off onto the mat. The grooves are specially designed to rub against your little guy’s paws so that not a single grain is tracked onto the floor.
Providing extra convenience is its all-rubber build, which adds flexibility and durability to the product. Making it exceptionally lightweight, the mat easily peels off of the floor for a quick cleaning. Plus, its large size makes it the perfect choice for larger cats or those will extra floor space.
- Unique design traps clingy litter
- Neutral color tones
- Flexible and lightweight
- Durable all-rubber design
- Resistant material may not roll flat at first
iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper EZ Clean Mat Check Price
This thing can only be described as a powerhouse. Built with two layers of durable rubber and nylon, the iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper works like a charm to contain messes. The upper layer is perforated honeycomb-shaped holes to allow cat litter to fall to the bottom, where it is conveniently kept out of sight until disposed. And cleaning is a breeze since the top layer easily peels off from the bottom, making waste disposal quick and painless.
Aesthetically, the jet black pad provides a nice neutral look to any room that, while large in size, is subtle to the eyes.
Where this mat really shines is its massive floor coverage. At 30 inches by 23 inches, this makes for the best cat litter mat for those in a multi-cat household. Plus, the mat is coated in waterproof film to ensure that no urine or wetness sticks to the material. This makes for a great natural odor repellent that you will appreciate as much as your cat will.
- Unique, dual-layer design traps gunk
- XL size covers large surface area
- Easy cleanup process
- Soft on paws
- Slightly pricier than other plastic builds
Van Ness Track-Less Litter Mat Check Price
This is the ideal choice for those with a small cat who likes to drag their dirty litter around with them. While only 16 by 13 inches, it covers only enough space to accommodate a tiny single-cat litter box. And though it is small, it is mighty. The mat is littered with hundreds of BPA-free plastic bristles to contain all the unwanted gunk from your cat’s paws.
And to boot, the Van Ness Track-Less is no doubt one of the more stylish options on the market. Boasting a fun blue kitty design and chic ovular shape, it is a sure stand-out among the usual choices of black and grey rectangles. Plus, its compact size and flexible, lightweight build make it the ideal choice for those sick and tired of lugging around rug-like mats that are as solid as a brick.
- Built-in litter tracking remedy traps waste
- BPA-free and allergen safe
- Compact design for small spaces
- Too small for larger cats
ScoopFree Anti-Tracking Carpet Check Price
Offer your cat’s special space a little extra flair with the ScoopFree Anti-Tracking Carpet. This isn’t any old litter mat, it’s a carpet. The plush, pillowy surface material makes it a comfortable choice for any cat that will have them coming back repeatedly.
One interesting component is its compatibility with ScoopFree litter boxes. These custom cat boxes are specially designed to allow the Anti-Tracking Carpet to feed into it. This ensures a seamless, mess-free transition from the carpet to the box. Kind of like a red (or purple!) carpet for your cat’s big moment. When paired with its proprietary privacy hood, you can almost guarantee no litter spillage onto your floor.
Aside from aesthetics, this carpet really shines in its unique functionality. Equipped with anti-tracking loops built into the surface, all unwanted clumps are caught before they have a chance to make it off the mat. This makes the Anti-Tracking Carpet an excellent choice for cat owners who value cleanliness while also having an eye for flair and style.
- Easy to clean
- Creative, eye-catching design
- Built-in ‘loops’ trap clumpy litter
- Comfortable spongy material
- Thickness may provide obstacle for cat
- Difficult to vacuum