Best Cat Litter Mat
When you bring a new cat to your home, you are adding them to your family, and a lot of supplies are on-demand for proper pet care. Some of the essentials, like food and water bowls, are obvious, but others are less well-known, especially if you haven’t owned a cat before. Litter mats are one item that many people either haven’t heard of or consider optional, but anyone who has used one for their cat understands what a game-changer it can be. Cats are generally thought of as being clean and self-sufficient, but you as a cat owner can keep your home even cleaner with the use of products like litter mats.
Why do people use cat litter mats?
Indoor cats and indoor-outdoor cats need litter boxes to go to the bathroom. No matter how high-quality your litter is or how clean your cat is, some litter gets tracked out of the box on the cat’s paws after they use it. By placing a cat litter mat underneath their box, you limit the amount of litter that gets on your floor, thereby protecting your floor from getting dirty and damaged. Take a look at our top ten list to find some effective and stylish cat litter mats.
What are cat litter mats?
Cat litter mats are mats that trap dirt and particulates, sort of like a doormat. They are placed under or outside of litter boxes to remove litter from your cat’s paws when they are finished using the box. Some people try to use scrap pieces of materials like plastic or carpet as DIY cat litter mats, but this is not as effective as a mat designed for the purpose of collecting cat litter. A DIY mat may protect the floor immediately under it, but it does not remove litter from your cat’s paws the way a proper cat litter mat does. Imagine putting a piece of a cardboard or plastic box outside of your front door instead of a real door mat! The same difference in effectiveness applies to litter mats.
Unlike the litter boxes themselves, cats do not always know how to use cat litter mats, so they can also be a bit of a project. Most cats and even kittens can simply be shown where a litter box is and then relied on to figure it out themselves; going to the bathroom in the litter box is instinctual. However, using a litter mat may not come as naturally to them. Litter mats come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, so it may seem overwhelming at first. Read on to learn our tips about choosing the best litter mat for your cat, and then check out our list of the best products to find something that works for you and your furry friend.
There are lots of possible combinations of cat litter mat designs, but a few designs are very popular, for a variety of reasons.
- Honeycomb mats - This texture can usually be found in silicone mats, and it claims to be one of the most effective at removing litter from cats’ paws. The honeycomb layer traps pieces of any type of litter in the holes, only releasing them when you bend the mat to expand and empty the holes in the honeycomb design.
- Ridged mats - These are also normally silicone, and they have soft ridges in straight or wavy lines to gently remove litter as your cat walks across them. They brush the litter off rather than trapping it, and the litter can be easily poured into the trash or back into the litter box.
- Doormat-style - Cat litter mats designed to look and function like doormats can fit in better with the interior design of your home than other styles, and they are just as effective. After all, this is the style of mat that we use to clean our own feet!
- Microfiber mats - Microfiber is famous for its ability to remove dust and dirt from surfaces, and they can do the same for your cat’s paws. This type of litter mat may be the best option for cats with sensitive paws that are bothered by ridges or bumps in silicone mats.
How to Choose
When choosing a cat litter mat, you want to be sure you are buying something effective. A mat that looks nice or covers a large surface area but doesn’t actually catch litter doesn’t really protect your floors! Start your search by getting a sense of the type of litter mat you think you might like, but then look at reviews and ratings to get a sense of how well the product works and how much people like it. A theoretically useful and attractive design can still be poorly executed, which is why the quality of the actual product is so important to consider. Every cat litter mat on our top ten list is a high-quality, effective litter mat, but you’ll probably also want to choose which of them would be best for your pet based on a couple of different factors:
- Cat’s paw sensitivity - Softer mats like microfibers or doormat-style litter mats may be best for cats who find more rigid designs uncomfortable. However, other cats may like the sort of self-massage they get on their paws with bumpy or textured silicone mats.
- Room design - Although the function may be the most important thing, the appearance of the mat is also something to consider. You can likely pick a color, pattern, and size based on what would look best in the room the litter box is in without needing to compromise on quality. .
What to Consider When Buying a Cat Litter Mat
After you know what kind of mat you want and which options would be best for your home, there are two major things to consider:
- Ease of cleaning - Just like the litter box, the cat litter mat will need to be cleaned somewhat regularly, so it should be pretty fast and easy to clean the mat you pick. This includes both emptying the collected litter out of the mat and washing the mat itself. Most silicone mats can be easily washed by hand, and most microfiber or other cloth mats can be put in the laundry. Check the cleaning instructions of a mat before buying it so you know what to expect.
- Cat’s preference and training - It will be easiest to get your cat to use the litter mat if they like it, or at least don’t dislike it, so try to find something that will be comfortable for them. Once you have the mat, you may need to train your cat to use it or set it up in a way that encourages them to use it. For example, a covered litter box can be placed with the opening facing a wall, so that the cat has no choice but to walk over the mat when leaving the box. If the opening is facing outward, or if the litter box is open, then your cat may try to jump over it if they feel unsure about it.
If you have any kind of indoor cat, then a cat litter mat is essential to keeping your pet’s paws and your floors clean. There are a variety of available designs that are stylish, comfortable, and effective at trapping litter. Once you get an easy-to-clean mat that your cat enjoys using, you will find that both of your lives are significantly improved.
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