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SamIAm's avatar

I am looking for a solution to reduce the tracking of cat litter all over my apartment, any suggestions?

Asked by SamIAm (8695points) February 25th, 2010

I know they make mats to put under the litter box so that the litter falls off the cats paws into it, as opposed to tracking the litter everywhere. This is my problem with that though (well, 2 problems): my male cat tries to pee in the box but his stream is too arched and he ends up peeing behind the litter box – so I put newspaper under the box and change it when need be. I am worried that if I put a litter trapping mat under or near that area, it will become soaked with urine. The second potential issue is that my girl hops out of the litter box so quickly, she would probably jump right over any mat I put there.

I recently started using Fresh Step (which I have found disguises all odors and that is quite amazing!! These guys can be stinky!) but it is very fine, so I am finding that walking around (or even getting into bed… they track the litter onto my duvet and sometimes my sheets :( ) can be quite annoying on my feet. I vacuum at LEAST twice a day, sometimes 3 times! But my vacuum also doesn’t always pick it up so well.

Basically, I need a solution to reduce this tracking of litter everywhere. Help?

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35 Answers

stump's avatar

I use a litter box that is covered with a door at one end. It keeps anything from going outside the box except the litter on their paws. In front of the door is a plastic grass welcome mat. That catches most of the litter from their paws.

Just_Justine's avatar

I had a similar problem with my cat. I found that the usual litter boxes did not work for him. Instead I went to a supermarket and bought him a massive plastic container that is usually used for storage. (To give you an idea). It had very high sides. So a lot more fell off his paws when he finished as he was very much “in the box”. I changed litters too, to a fine grained clumping litter, which tended to stick less to his paws. You might find their quick exit of the box currently is due to either they don’t like the fancy smell, they might not enjoy the litter type, or they are realizing their pee is shooting in the “wrong” direction. I just found on that score bicarb was better. Hope this helps.

SamIAm's avatar

@ stump: how is that helpful AT ALL?

fireinthepriory's avatar

I was going to suggest getting a covered litter box so you could use a mat without getting it all pee-covered. @Just_Justine‘s solution would likely work, too, until your cats get old and don’t want to jump that high to get into their litter box. I have my litter box in a carpeted hallway (the rest of the house is hardwood and tile) so while the litter box does have a special mat under it, any litter that doesn’t get caught in the special mat usually stays in that one hallway.

stump's avatar

@Samantha_Rae I answered the question without reading all the details. I needed to buy time, and there is no way to delete an answer (that I know about).

SamIAm's avatar

@Just_Justine : thanks! I used to have a litter box with high sides and a cover on it, maybe i’ll invest in one of those again… that’s a great idea. My girl cat has never really used the litter box and just started (at age 11) to use it regularly, so I think that is why she jumps out so quickly… my boy doesn’t mind it!

Just_Justine's avatar

@Samantha_Rae stump has a point, on exit their paws hit the mat and it is shaken loose to a degree. Like when we walk into our homes and pass the mat.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Samantha_Rae yep my cat definitely did better in his massive one !!! I hope it gives you some relief. I remember when I had the smaller one, and the sharper granule type litter, it was so ouch! walking to the toilet at night. I hated it.

Dr_C's avatar

I haven’t owned a cat for a while, but a trick my ex uses is to have a spray bottle handy and spray a bit of water over the kitty liltter in the finest mist setting so that it doesn’t soak, but helps trap a little moisture and avoid the litter “powdering” or “dusting” (her words).

Once she started doing this she would only have to vacuum once a week as opposed to twice a day.

Hope this helps.

Val123's avatar

Train the cat to go outside?

Jennifries's avatar

I don’t know where your litter box is, so I don’t know if this would work, but Petsmart (and I’m sure other pet stores) sell super-sized litter mats. That would probably help with your girl who likes to jump out of the box (mine does the same thing)... You could then put the newspaper over top of it in the back.
I think your best best is something along the lines of this along with a regular litter mat. the litter mats really do help.

@Val123 They actually make toilet training kits for cats, so I suppose it’s possible to train them to go outside, but really, litter boxes are so much easier than walks in 20 degree weather.

Val123's avatar

@Jennifries I just don’t do litterboxes! All my cats are trained to go outside. When they’re babies I have a litter box for them, which, as they get older, I move to the door, and eventually move it outside the door, and eventually dump it in a discreet place in the yard. After that, it’s just a matter of a couple of reinforcements…..rub their nose in it and toss them in the spot I dumped their box in…and it’s a done deal. I don’t have to go outside with them, so it doesn’t matter what the weather is.

Jennifries's avatar

@Val123 I hadn’t really considered not going outside with them. My kitties are indoor-only, and probably wouldn’t know what to do if they got put outside. I imagine they’d be too freaked out to even realize they had to pee in the first place.
But for indoor/outdoor cats, I can totally see that working quite well, as long as you had a cat door.

SamIAm's avatar

my cats are indoor only also… i think the larger “house” like litter box may work & i think i’ll try it.

@Jennifries : the newspaper over the super sized mat may not work because the newspaper tends to get quite drenched from him peeing. he’s a big boy and has always pissed a river! but maybe i can align a regular sized mat to just go under the very front of the box and then around it. if it’s a good texture, my girl may be more inclined to wipe her paws on it. thanks for the advice :)

Val123's avatar

@Jennifries Do you live in the city? I could understand not letting them out, or wanting to keep an eye on them if you lived in an apartment, or in the city. We live in town (not a city, a small town,) and our cats wander where they will. And always come home. My Smokers is 13 years old.
No cat door. They just run to the door when they want out.

kyraugh's avatar

I have used everything from a bamboo mat, to a car mat, to carpet pieces, to cardboard, to garbage bags. My boy cat used to have the same problem – peeing outside the box (bad aim) so the carpet pieces weren’t the best idea. I found that either the bamboo mat – soft on their paws and picked up excess litter, and a car mat worked best. I’ve also had the giant box before, but it still didn’t help with litter being tracked all over the place. Same goes with covered boxes. You also have to be careful with covered boxes – a lot of the time kitties start to dislike them and will pee elsewhere!

neverawake's avatar

Wal-mart has these new ‘cat boots’ that just came out. why don’t you try it next time you go.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

No one suggested getting a dog?

phil196662's avatar

Covered litter box with the wood pellet litter, doesn’t smell and if it stays in a paw you can see it. sift the powder daily and it’s a real clean way to go!

we have Giant plastic bins with low sides where the cats go as well as the litter box trained dogs too .

SamIAm's avatar

@neverawake : i never go to wal-mart… what are cat boots exactly?

@phil196662 : i tried to get paper pellet litter but the store was out of it. where can one find wood pellet litter?

phil196662's avatar

pets mart, petco… It’s called _Exquisicat pine litter ; http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3399931

neverawake's avatar

@Samantha_Rae it’s supposed to go on the cats feet when he steps into the litter box, that’s all i know

Val123's avatar

(I just read that you live in an apartment….so a litterbox is really the only way to go….O brother! No pun was intended, but I’ll let it stand!)

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

The problem with covered litter boxes is that they tend to smell more because they can’t “air out” as much. The small, covered space is also unnerving to some cats (would you want to use the bathroom in a tiny, dark room?) making them avoid it altogether. Thirdly they tend to be a bit harder to clean since you have to deal with the lid.

Of course, clearly covered boxes work for some people, so it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

I don’t have any other suggestions besides what have already been mentioned. Good luck!

SamIAm's avatar

@phil196662 : wow, that’s pretty inexpensive too! i’m going to look into that, thank you!

andrew's avatar

They make some litterboxes with top-entrances that are good for stopping litter tracking. I’d disagree with @ParaParaYukiko: My covered litterboxes have always smelled less.

In terms of pawprints on your duvet—there’s not a whole lot you can do. There’s not a lot of really low dust litter.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@andrew Interesting! I have never used a covered litter box myself, I was just saying what I have heard from others.

By “smelling less” do you mean that the litterbox smell didn’t penetrate through the rooms containing and surrounding the box, or there was simply less odor within the box itself?

andrew's avatar

@ParaParaYukiko Oh, there’s definitely stank going on, but it’s MUCH more contained to the area around the litterbox.

augustlan's avatar

I agree with the covered litter box and a rug of some sort.

phil196662's avatar

@Samantha_Rae ; remember to convert them slow, it’s chunky and the sensation to them could be weird. Give them lots of praise when they don’t make a mess!

citygrlincountry's avatar

The other kind of wood litter is feline pine – sometimes I even see it in the supermarkets. It’s bigger pieces, so they don’t track it as much. The clay types of litter can create dust that isn’t great for them to breathe or lick off of their coats. The wood type is great for odor reduction too. I think there is still something out there called “yesterday’s news” which is pellet type litter made out of recycled newspaper. Also good for less tracking because of the bigger / heavier pellets that don’t stick to their feet.

SamIAm's avatar

@citygrlincountry : yessss, i tried to get yesterday’s news and it was sold out… i’ve been meaning to try it since!!

citygrlincountry's avatar

Maybe you could order it on line @Samantha_Rae but then you might have to pay for the shipping.

SamIAm's avatar

@citygrlincountry : i try to order litter when i have groceries delivered, that’s when it was sold out. i also have my cat food delivered so maybe i can find it on that site. thank you!

thriftymaid's avatar

Just put a rug down at the door to the litter box; that always worked for me. My litter box had a tall top with a door.

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