How To Stop Cat Litter Tracking

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How to Stop Cat Litter Tracking?

Every new cat owner wants to learn how to stop cat litter tracking. There are several ways to prevent your cat from tracking litter. One option is to use a litter box with higher walls. This can prevent your cat from climbing over the sides, which can lead to tracking litter. Another option is to use a litter mat. A litter mat can be made of a shaggy bathmat or fluffy towel.

Another method to reduce tracking is to cut the hair on your cat’s paws. This will prevent the litter from getting stuck between their toes. However, you should remember to do this daily. The hair on your cat’s paws should be cut back to the level of its foot pads. Alternatively, you can use a handheld vacuum or a nonelectric roller vacuum to sweep the area around the litter box.

Another option is to switch to a new litter. This type of litter is more absorbent than traditional clay litter. Hence, it will be easier for you to clean. Make sure to change the litter gradually and not too quickly.

How to Stop Cat Litter Tracking?

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



Litter Mat

Litter Mat

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.

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):

  1. Rubber mats with grooves
  2. Sisal rugs
  3. Regular throw rugs
  4. A remnant piece of an old carpet
  5. Shaggy bathmats
  6. Specially-designed litter mats (we’ve listed a few suggested brands below)

Where to put it?

How does litter mat work

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

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 it 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.

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!

The effectiveness of litter mats depends on the kind of mat itself. Those with special grooves and holes — like the ones we mentioned above — are more effective, efficient, and convenient to use compared to our common household rugs or carpets

If you use the best litter mat, then we’d say this strategy could be the most effective trick for 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!

Drawback
  • If you really want the best litter mat, it can cost you quite a bit, although I would say it’s just a rewarding investment.
  • If, on the other hand, you would stick to recycling your old rugs, you could save a lot of money. The problem is that your kitties might play silly and surprisingly urinate on that carpet-turned-litter-mat! Needless to say, this can be gross, as that improvised mat doesn’t have any anti-urine-odor properties, plus it’s definitely not waterproof, and washing it can be another tedious job.


Trim the hair between your cat’s toes

Trimming the hair cat prevent tracking

If you’ve already tried all the mats and scratchers we’ve previously discussed here and still your cat gets litter everywhere, then we suspect you own a feline with quite a 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!

So, if this looks like your case, then you need to implement the trimming hack in order to effectively prevent litter tracking.

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

  1. A pair of scissors, or
  2. An electric cat hair trimmer

Price range

A trusty electric kitty hair trimmer or clipper (or a complete set of them) can cost at least $25 to $150 — depending on the extra features, such as being cordless, low-noise, or high-powered.

As for manual pair of scissors, you can opt for professional pet grooming scissors, which could cost you around $13.
If you already have a pair of scissors at home, then cat hair trimming should cost virtually nothing.

How does it work?

Trim The Hair

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. Soon, he would allow you to trim his paws.

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 hair attracting a litter granule.

This trick works best for long-haired cats, whereas short-haired cats may not suffer from this issue to the degree that long-haired cats do. 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 with 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.

For long-haired cats prone to tracking problems, we would say this strategy is quite effective. Still, we can’t argue against the fact that some of the litter particles can still stick to your cat’s furry body — especially if he is all fluffy and playful!

Drawback
  • There’s virtually no harm in trimming your long-haired cat’s toe hair. You just have to be careful and also do it on a regular basis. So, the effort is on you.
  • This trick only applies to long-haired cats.
  • If your kitty is playful enough, she might still catch on some litter particles on her fur — and you can’t just cut all that beautiful hair!


Top Entry Litter Box & Covered Litter Box

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.

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

  1. Either a top entry litter box or a
  2. Covered litter box

Price range (Cost range of this method)

The best top entry litter boxes can cost around $28 to $185. Meanwhile, the best-covered litter boxes would be priced at around $24 to $47. For a DIY-covered box, you can just use some recycled materials, so the cost would be as low as zero to just a few bucks.

Top entry litter box

Top Entry Litter Box

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.

Covered litter box

Covered Litter Box

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!

This method would be suitable for a kitty that is quite playful and who kicks a lot while inside his litter box. If your kitty is fine with using the covered or top-entry litter box, then you have just decoded a worthy solution to preventing litter tracking! In other words, it’s quite effective.

Drawback
  • If your kitty doesn’t seem to like a confined litter box even after a proper introduction, this method won’t do as much help as the other tricks.


Storage bench litter box

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 — well, you can make that possible by choosing to use a storage bench litter box.

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

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

Price range (Cost range of this method)

The best litter box furniture options around would cost you at least $66 up to $150.

How does it work?

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 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.

For a cooperative feline, a litter box enclosure can keep litter off your floor to at least about 25% of what it used to be. So, this isn’t the most effective trick — unless you combine it with other hacks as I’ve just mentioned above — but it still helps especially if you live in a small house.

Drawback
  • If your kitty is playing badass, a significant amount of litter and urine can still end up being in the enclosure. So, you may reduce the litter tracks at home, but you’d also end up exerting some effort in cleaning the storage bench itself aside from just the litter box.


Place your cat’s litter box inside of another litter box

DIY cat 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 bigger — litter box.

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

  1. Your cat’s current litter box
  2. A bigger litter box — something that could contain your kitty’s current litter box

Price range (Cost range of this method)

If you already have huge trays that you could recycle, then this trick should cost you no dollar. If you need to purchase a new huge litter tray, the ones I’ve mentioned above could cost as low as $7 to as much as $50.

How does it work?

Simply put your kitty’s current litter box on top of the larger tray that you have prepared.

Any litter particle that gets kicked off from the main box could go into the larger tray before it has any chance of jumping into the floor. Thus, it reduces the amount of litter that your kitty could scatter around.

Just as in a built-in or ready-made storage litter box furniture, it’s best to back up this hack with a litter mat placed beneath the larger tray.

This method’s effectiveness is quite similar to that of the storage bench litter box trick, although it’s slightly less effective if your cat is a total kicker and heavy digger.

Drawback
  • After getting out of the smaller litter box, the surface of the larger tray may not suffice to absorb any remaining litter particles in your cat’s paws. In other words, a larger tray could be a good catcher, but won’t completely solve a tracking problem unless combined with a litter-absorbing mat. Also, it could take so much of the precious space in many small homes.


Switch to a different type of litter

Type of cat litter

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!

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

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

Price range (Cost range of this method)

A 20-lb pack of non-tracking litter can cost as low as $15, but if you want to buy longer-lasting packs, it would be reasonable for you to prepare 4x as much as that amount.

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 material.

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.

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 could clump strongly. So, go ahead and transition your feline to these no mess cat litter types. To know more about how to introduce a new type of litter to your kitty, check out this article [add link].

Choose a 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.

After fully verifying that the litter itself is the culprit of excessive tracking, then there’s no other reasonable way to go. Changing your cat’s current litter to a no-mess cat litter is definitely the solution.

This trick works best by gradually transitioning your cat from his current litter to the new non-tracking type. We’ve briefly discussed litter transitions in our article on the best cat litter (see its FAQ section) and how you can easily change your cat’s litter, by and by, without him noticing.

Alternatively, you can also skip transitioning and immediately introduce several types of non-tracking litter samples and put them into secondary litter boxes. This way, it’s like you’re experimenting on your cat’s litter preferences — hoping he would like one of those non-tracking litter options you’ve been considering.

Drawback
  • Changing from one litter type to another may not always be an easy job to accomplish, especially if your kitty is quite picky. Again, for most felines, a gradual introduction is the key to any successful change.


Consider toilet training your cat

Consider toilet training your cat

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, this trick sounds like it can put the question of how to stop litter tracking to a full stop — that is if you turn out to be successful in toilet training your furry friend!

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

  1. A toilet training kit
  2. A flushable litter

Price range (Cost range of this method)

If you choose this strategy, it can take a significant portion of your cat care budget. For instance, a toilet training kit designed mainly for cats can cost around $30 to $50.

On the other hand, a separate 6-lb pack of flushable litter could cost around $15 to $18.

How does it work?

There are many videos over the internet showing how to toilet train kitties. For instance, if you use the CitiKitty As Seen on Shark Tank Cat Toilet Training Kit, it makes use of the “disappearing” litter box technique — the very trick responsible for toilet training cats for decades now. The rationale behind this technique is to let your kitty eliminate in an oval litter tray fitted on top of your toilet bowl, and then gradually remove its litter tray rings until the cat only poops directly on the toilet.

Here’s a video tutorial on toilet training your kitty successfully in 6 weeks:


This approach works best if you have kittens under 6 months old since they are still willing to be trained. Older cats tend to stick to their old ways of elimination, and hence, it could be harder to teach them to use the toilet. Still, if you believe that the saying “you can teach an old dog new tricks” also applies to cats, you can test your patience and perseverance by toilet training your older felines. Just do it gradually.

Drawback
  • While toilet training kittens can be very rewarding and can get rid of litter tracking problems forever, the process can be tedious and very time-consuming. As we’ve also just mentioned, this trick doesn’t work that well with most adult cats.


Conclusion

So, did you enjoy our tutorial on the easiest and most efficient cat litter tracking hacks? We do hope that we’ve been able to expound on what you already know about how to avoid cat litter tracking. It’s really our goal — as cat owners ourselves — to maintain a track-free home! We know that that’s what you want to achieve, too, so we’d like to hear your own anti-tracking strategies in the comments below.

Also, if you like this article, feel free to share it with our fellow cat lovers! And, don’t forget to check out the most useful anti-tracking tools that we’ve mentioned above!

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