Even though all cat parents would admit that their feline friend is worth all of the hassle, they would also readily wish it could be a little easier to keep the house clean. With all of the self-cleaning litter boxes, clumping litter, and bells and whistles out there, litter still gets tracked around the house. A great way to keep litter off your floors is to place a good cat litter mat under your cat’s litter box.
1. Best Overall Option: Gorilla Grip Thick Cat Litter Trapping Mat
Constructed of high quality, durable materials - mats are incredibly strong, resisting scratching and kicking from most frisky cats.
Traps both the litter that has been kicked out and litter that is stuck to furry paws.
There is a lot to this cat litter mat. First of all, the top is a padded surface with deep coils that allows cat litter to sink down and stay trapped. Secondly, those coils are arranged in repeating diamond shapes with deep grooves in between to hold that litter in place. While the description “deep coils” doesn’t sound that great for cat feet, they provide a bit of cushioning that coax some cats into napping on their litter mat as well.
The texture of this mat holds onto a lot of litter, but that doesn’t mean that it’s hard to clean. The Gorilla Grip Litter Mat can be cleaned with a vacuum or simply shaken back into the litter box as a way to reuse that litter, saving you money and a mess. You can also hand wash it with soap and water or a hose. It comes in four different sizes and three different shapes. There is also a variety of colors available to blend in or stand out, whichever you prefer.
However, this litter mat may stick to your flooring, depending on what type you get. This is an issue if the mat gets wet underneath with water or urine. To help prevent this, always make sure the mat is completely dry before replacing it and clean up wet messes as soon as possible.
- Deep coils catch and hold most litter sizes
- Easily washed or vacuumed
- Variety of shapes, sizes, and colors
- May stick to the floor
- Not ideal for larger or pelleted litters
2. Best Mesh Texture Option: Pawkin Cat Litter Mat
Comfortable for your cat to walk on.
Easy to clean: Just shake it out or vacuum.
Pawkin Cat Litter mats have Litter Lock technology that is specially made to hold onto stray litter pieces. The PVC material is durable enough to withstand repeated use and abuse but soft enough to not harm sensitive paws. This mat is heavy enough to stay where you put it, even when vacuuming, but not so heavy that you can’t lift it to hose it off or scrub it. The trapped litter can be shaken back into the litter box for reuse.
Pawkin stands behind their product by providing a no-questions-asked 100% refund of any product that you don’t deem suitable for your needs. The design and function of this litter mat is very similar to the Gorilla Grip mat listed above, but it doesn’t have the options for size, shape, and color.
One drawback is that this mat does hold on to litter well, but it also holds onto messes. Fecal accidents outside of the litter box may be hard to clean out of these PVC coils. It also holds on to urine smells more than people would like.
- Heavy-duty and durable
- Stays put even when vacuuming
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Hard to clean messes
- Holds onto urine smell
3. Best Two-Layer Mat: Pieviev Cat Litter Mat
Double-layer honeycomb design helps gather the litter. You just pick up the mat and all the litter falls through ready to be poured back into your litter box.
Soft EVA material is gentle for sensitive cat paws.
This mat has a two-layer system that separates to allow litter to fall through the holes onto the lower mat. The litter can then be discarded or reused. This cat litter mat is like an envelope that hangs onto litter until you’re ready to dump it. This mat is hand washable with a hose or by scrubbing with soap and water for easy clean-up.
The Pieviev Cat Litter Mat is water and urine-proof, making it a safe barrier for hardwood floors or carpets. It is made from EVA material which is durable enough to stand up to cat claws yet soft enough to accommodate sensitive paws. With the double layer design, the litter disappears into the honeycomb holes so that your cat will no longer come in contact with it.
The larger holes of this cat litter mat can catch even large pieces of litter, making it more uncomfortable for some cats to walk on. Even though the material is soft, the bigger holes can create pressure spots that some cats won’t tolerate.
- Two-layer system allows for easy cleanup
- Larger holes catch litter of nearly every size
- Waterproof to protect floors
- Not as comfortable
- Not as big as other mats
4. Best Cat Litter Mat with Ridges: PetFusion Tough Grip Waterproof Cat Litter Mat
Durable yet comfortable for your cat to walk on.
Super Easy To Clean: Use a broom, vacuum, sponge - litter remains on surface recesses but unlike other mats, no longer trapped from view or reach.
Elevated inner ridges & outer lip to effectively contain pesky cat litter.
If your cat isn’t into walking on mesh or honeycomb-style mats, they may prefer one with ridges, like the PetFusion Tough Grip Cat Litter Mat. This mat is made from durable silicone that is not only comfortable for your cat to walk on, it’s also waterproof to protect your flooring underneath.
The secret to this cat litter mat’s success lies in the elevated ridges. These ridges work like little barriers to remove stuck-on litter from your cat’s feet and contain it within the walls that the ridges create. This cat litter mat also has a lip around the edge to better hold it all together.
Once you’re ready to clean up, you can simply pick the mat up and shake it back into the litter box or sweep or vacuum it out. This mat can also be washed with a hose or scrub brush.
This cat litter mat with ridges from PetFusion may be softer on cat paws, but it doesn’t do quite the job at collecting cat litter that the other designs do. While it is waterproof, it does have one design flaw. The V-shaped notch on one side is probably meant to be a pour spout to return cat litter to the box, but it also allows urine to leak out. So, if you have a cat that likes to spray or has bad aim, this may not work the best for you.
- Soft and comfortable to walk on
- Doesn’t collect cat litter quite as effectively
- Urine accidents may leak out
5. Best Budget Option: Petmate Flex Rubber Cat Litter Mat
Flexible mat is soft on cats' paws and remains securely in place as cats enter and exit litter box.
Rubber material is easy to shake off or wipe down for quick cleaning.
These little accents can get expensive, so if you’re looking for a more affordable cat litter mat, check out the Petmate Flex Rubber option. It’s made of rubber, so it’s flexible, easy to clean, and durable. It also stays where you want it to without being overly heavy or awkward to maneuver. It is easy to clean by shaking, sweeping, vacuuming, hosing, or scrubbing.
This cat litter mat has a little different design than the others on this list. The holes that catch the cat litter are made by elevated nubs with crevices in between. This makes the litter catching capabilities greater but may decrease the comfort level for some cats. It has a cute paw print design and comes in a few different colors to add some style.
This cat litter mat from Petmate is smaller than most. This makes it best for tight spaces or for those predictable cats that get out of the litter box the same way every time and don’t get wild with their digging. As stated above, it isn’t as comfortable on little feet as other options.
- Very affordable
- Easy to clean
- Not as comfortable to walk on
Best Cat Litter Mats Buying Guide
A cat litter mat may seem like a luxury or frivolous purchase. After all, you’ve already spent enough money decking out your home with scratching posts, cat toys, beds, and of course, litter boxes. The truth is, a litter mat is an excellent addition to your home.
A strategically placed litter mat is there to catch any flying litter that’s put into orbit by those overzealous diggers or to hold onto any errant pieces that may venture out of the litter box on a wayward cat paw. A litter mat can even catch any errant accidents that didn’t quite make it in the box. This means less cleaning up around the house.
While any old rug thrown under the litter box will keep some cat litter from tracking, getting a mat specifically designed for this will be much more efficient.
So what makes a good cat litter mat? Here are a few things to look for:
The texture is a cat litter mat’s bread and butter. It’s what determines how successfully a mat will grab and hold onto litter or if it will let loose around your house. The texture is also important from your cat’s perspective, as some kitties won’t want to step on mats that are not comfortable. With this in mind, it’s important to find a balance of enough texture to capture litter but not so much that it offends sensitive cat feet.
Cat litter mats can come as one piece or have a couple of layers.
The single-layer versions usually have a mesh covering that has small holes to trap litter pieces. While mesh may be more comfortable on cat paws, it might not catch the larger litter chunks. This is an important consideration if you use pelleted cat litter since it tends to be larger and probably won’t fit in the smaller holes.
Two-layer versions will have a removable upper layer with larger holes that allow the litter to fall through and easily be cleaned out by separating the two layers. These usually do a more thorough job of trapping litter of all sizes but might not be as pleasing for your cat to walk on.
Still, others will have small ridges that will work to scrape litter off of cat feet. These can usually be vacuumed or dumped into a garbage can for easy cleaning. There are even cat litter mats that are smooth. This type of mat probably won’t be as effective at trapping tracked litter but will be the softest on your cat’s feet.
Don’t accept a super plush or fuzzy option for cat litter mats. Instead, the best cat litter mats will be made of rubber, silicone, or soft plastic. These materials give the mat the ability to catch litter and stay where you put them. They also make cleaning easier, more resistant to cat claw abuse, and will hold on to odors less.
This feature goes hand-in-hand with the materials used. Rubber and silicone are going to be more durable than fabric-type cat litter mats. Plastic will have a variable range of durability since some plastics can become brittle and break, or some cats can sink their claws into it and shred it.
A good cat litter mat will be easy to wash. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning a litter mat. Some are machine washable; others will do better being hosed off or vacuumed. Whichever the case, litter should come off of them using just a shake, and wetter messes should come out with some simple scrubbing.
Cats may be creatures of habit in many ways, but there’s no guarantee that they will exit the litter box the same way every time. In light of this, getting a litter mat with lots of space around the sides will help ensure that litter will be trapped no matter where your cat decides to fling it. You may also want a mat that’s big enough for your cat’s food and water bowls to sit on beside the litter box.
Once you’ve found a cat litter mat that meets the above criteria, you can customize your choices. Find one that your kitty likes that they will comfortably use. After that, colors, shapes, and costs are all up to you.
Adding a cat litter mat to your litter box system can boost the cleanliness of your home. These mats are specially designed to catch and hold onto flung or tracked litter to prevent it from being scattered around your home. Not only that, but these mats can also play a role in concealing those errant, almost-to-the-litter-box accidents that some cats are prone to doing.
Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.