Litter tracks

Our cat is now tracking litter all over the house. What do you suggest we do?













My Thoughts:

There are a number of solutions that are supposed to help with this problem. Of course, a certain amount of litter tracking is part of having a cat, but there are things that can help.

There are some litters that are better or worse about this, but clumping clay litter still seems to be the best overall solution. Some of the eco-friendly solutions (like pine) tend to track more.

I've used some litters that claim to be "multi-cat" and had larger grain. This was supposed to help tracking. That actually was worse (with 3 cats in the house) than the finer grain stuff.

I have used a number of brands of litter over the years. In my experience, I have had the best results with Tidy Cat, Arm & Hammer, and Fresh Step scoopable litters. They all seem to be fine grain and track the least.

The Cat Genie is an automatic litter box that uses a special washable litter, which I would have thought would track less, but I have heard that it tracks as well.

There are three main suggestions that might help:

1. Higher box -- a higher litter box can help with the amount of litter that winds up outside the box. Some people have simply used a plastic tub (like from Rubbermaid) with high sides. This can be a problem, however, if your cat is too young or too old to get into a high box.

A litter box cover can help too, but some cats don't like them either due to space issues, or the fact that they can keep the smells contained.

2. Litter mat -- there are various litter mats that can help. One caution here is that cats are often picky about the surfaces they walk on. If it doesn't feel good on the paws, they won't like it. If they don't like your choice of mat, they'll just jump past it, usually spreading litter everywhere. Typically, this happens with the mats that are made of hard plastic, or use the plastic grass blade approach.

Some people have simply used indoor/outdoor carpeting (similar to AstroTurf), but I don't think that works as well as some of the better mats.

Here are some of the litter mats that get high marks from cat owners:

Cats Rule Perfect Litter Mat -- Blue Provencal

Petmate Litter Catcher Mat -- Extra Large

LitterMaid Litter Box Carpet

There are a couple that use a plastic grate (which is supposed to be OK for the paws) with a tray underneath to catch the litter:

Sage King Soft Touch Track Mat

Paw Path Litter Mat

3. Litter box furniture -- you can buy litter box furniture which hides the box, and also requires that your cat go up and down a ramp. This would help to remove some of the litter from the paws.

I hope that helps,

-Kurt

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