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7 Quick & Easy Tips to Stop Cat Litter Tracking

cat litter tracking outside of litter box

Are you sick of stepping on your cat’s litter every time you turn around? It seems like no matter what, they bring pieces of their potty boxes with them wherever they go. You’re constantly sucking litter particles from your carpets, hard floors, and furniture.

To avoid litter tracking, there are several options we have found from owners to help you arrive at solutions. You can use a combination of these tactics to minimize the issue or stop it completely—anything to stop picking up litter on your fresh, clean socks, right?

1. Use Litter Mats

cat litter mat_Kokorina Mariia_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kokorina Mariia, Shutterstock

It’s always helpful to have a litter mat down when your cat exits their box. Without evening meaning to, even tidy kitties can have any leftover litter on their paws. Having a mat provides space between your cat and the carpet to flick off anything that might be stuck to their tootsies.

Types of Litter Mats

You can use all sorts of mat types to fit your needs. You can use old throw rugs, rubber rugs, or specifically designed rugs for cats. Ultimately, you can choose a design you think is easy to clean or fits nicely in your cat’s bathroom space.

Of course, you can get as fancy or basic as you want when buying a mat—but overall, they tend to be inexpensive. Mats also typically have rubber bases to prevent slipping or movement. You can buy mats of all shapes and sizes—and with slightly different functions and durability.

You will have to clean the mats regularly to keep them debris-free and sanitary. So be sure to buy a choice that is durable.

Tips

Placing your mat securely in the front of the litterbox helps to reduce tracking most. Keep in mind that you will regularly have to clean the boxes.

Pros
  • Catches litter and debris
  • Multiple styles
  • Multiple sizes
  • Various materials
  • Easy cleaning
Cons
  • Some mat materials may not work on all surfaces

2. Switch Litter

cat litter box_Nadya Buyanowa, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Nadya Buyanowa, Shutterstock

Some litters track more than others—that’s just a fact. But there are other things to consider—like is the litter odor absorbent and long-lasting? Companies make litter types that focus on specific areas.

Some non-tracking litters contain larger pellets, which is a positive factor for your cats. The pieces don’t stick to their fur or get lodged between their feet.

Types of Litter

You can shop around to find a composition you’re comfortable with. Commercial companies make lots of selections to choose from like wood, paper, corn, wheat, diatom, and tofu.

Typical qualities of a track-free litter:
  • Ultra-absorbent
  • All natural
  • Odor control
  • Contains large pellets

Tips

Because pebbles are larger in non-tracking litters, your cat might not take as naturally to the material—primarily if they’re used to smaller granules. Some cats might take their time getting used to it, while others may reject it altogether. Always let your cat acclimate to see if it works in your home.

Pros
  • Significantly reduces tracking
  • Offers a variety of litter types to select
Cons
  • Not every litter will work for your cat

3. Take Care of Paws

cat having nails trimmed_RJ22, Shutterstock
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

Some cats have longer hairs between their toes, so it’s no surprise litter can gather here. If you keep between their toes and nails trimmed regularly, you can reduce tracking quite a bit. Be very careful and only perform this at home if you’re comfortable.

You can always take your kitty to a professional if you feel apprehensive about the process. It can be a little nerve-racking, especially if you’re new to the process.

Of course, this method alone doesn’t stop tracking completely, but it can help—especially with long-haired kitties.

Tips

Paws are very sensitive, so you have to be careful with them. If your cat is squirmy or uncooperative, make sure you have a helper or trust an animal professional to assist you.

Pros
  • Reduces debris collection
  • Make bathroom trips more sanitary
Cons
  • May require assistance

4. Buy a Covered Litterbox

Ginger-cat-in-a-litter-boxLightspruch, Shutterstock_
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

If you have a litter flicker, you probably have to spend a lot of time sweeping up their area. It can get old after a while, especially if the litterbox is close to the carpet. To combat the continual wall splatters, look for a durable covered litterbox.

Many covered litterboxes also have an optional flap in the front entry to prevent tracking too. Depending on the size of your cat, the flap might not work—big boys might have trouble getting in and out.

Tips

Always be mindful when you pick the covered litterbox out. It should be big enough to fit your cat comfortably. Some covered boxes that have flaps might make it hard for some cats to use, too. As long as you size the product appropriately, your cat should have no problem figuring it out.

Pros
  • Prevents flicking
  • Reduces tracking
Cons
  • Can be expensive

5. Create Your Own Contraption

wood litter box_WilleeCole Photography_Shutterstock
Image Credit: WilleeCole Photography, Shutterstock

If you want to get creative, there are tons of easy DIY projects on the web. You can hash out a project in one evening if it’s simple enough. This option gives you the power to design what works best for your home. Maybe you have a bigger space to create an area bathroom/cleaning area for your cats.

Types of DIY Cat Boxes

There are so many projects to choose from—and you will see that many often use totes because they are cheap, easy to find, and many already have one on hand. If you make a top entry, your cat can jump out without bringing half the litter box with them. But consider any physical limitations your cat might have.

Other tote options have an actual litterbox inside of a much longer tote to simulate a hallway—which will make sure any poop particles and litter dust is gone by the time they reach the exit.

You can make a track-free litterbox design using:
  • Totes
  • Old pieces of furniture
  • Scrap wood
  • Crates

Really, you can choose virtually any design that works best for your cat. Trust us—there’s plenty to choose from. So, if you’re crafty or handy, it might be a fun task to take on if you like being thrifty or often repurpose existing stuff.

Tips

When choosing a DIY, make sure you have all the available materials before you start. Always make certain the setup is safe with no jagged edges or places your cat might get stuck. Sometimes, cats may not like the design you’ve come up with—so be prepared to have your creation feline tested.

Pros
  • Control over design
  • Generally inexpensive
Cons
  • Some may prefer a premade option instead

6. Opt for a Cat Litter System

cat litter box_Lightspruch_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

If you want to take a lot of the work out of litter box cleaning, you might want to look at cat litter systems. Not only do some prevent heavy tracking, they also typically have a self-cleaning mechanism for optimal sanitization.

Not all cat litter systems come with a platform or extension to reduce litter tracking, but many do. Plus, your cat can have a fresher litterbox, preventing them from seeking places out of their box to go. It might make cleanup easier for you in several ways.

Some systems also take specific types of litter that reduce tracking too. Always be sure to read reviews to make sure it suits all your desires.

Tips

You should always place a mat or cache under any litterbox to make sure you cover your bases.

Pros
  • Cleanup will be easier
  • Litter will stay fresh
Cons
  • Not all cat litter systems combat tracking on their own

7. Toilet Training, Anyone?

cat litter box top entry_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

You might have heard of this and thought it was just a rouse—but no. You can actually train your cat to use the toilet—as you do. Sure, it takes time, patience, and continual training, but it can happen for any feline.

If you have the dedication it takes to make it happen, the reality is actually quite simple. Follow these steps for easy training, though you can certainly research more info if you like.

  • Move your cat’s litterbox next to the toilet
  • Gradually lift the height of the litterbox
  • Replace litterbox with training pan
  • Place a litter pan over your toilet
  • Introduce your cat several times
  • Flush after every use

While this is a simplified version of what to expect, you can delve into the details to pick the training method that works best for you.

Tips

Any cat can learn to use the toilet, but they will pick it up at different paces. Always make sure to pay attention to body language and follow strict instructions for training success.

Pros
  • It saves you the hassle of litterboxes
  • A sanitary alternative to traditional methods
Cons
  • Takes time, patience, and consistency

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it—you can successfully stop litter tracking from disrupting your daily life. You might have to make a few adjustments in your home, but it’s well worth it. Soon, you will be able to watch your cat go toward its litterbox without dreading the cleanup process.

While toilet training may seem out of reach, it might even be the best option if you have the time. Of course, pick what makes your life the easiest.


Featured Image Credit: Tanya Plotnikova, Shutterstock

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