By Jane Harrell
There are a lot of wonderful things about living with cats — but cat litter all over your floor is not one of them. After years of trial and error, I’ve found a few techniques that stop litter from hitching a ride on your cat’s paws from the litter box to your floor.
Four ways to reduce litter tracking:
Use a heavier or bulkier litter: Clay litters and litters with bigger pieces, such as newspaper pellets, tend not to get stuck in cats’ paws as frequently as lighter, corn- and wheat-based litters. Of course, not all cats are open to switching to a new type of litter — find out more about choosing a litter your cat will like.
Use a litter box with a built-in track pad: Some litter boxes, such as the Booda Clean Step, have built-in pads that trap litter as your cat exits. Just make sure to clean the track pad as you scoop the box daily, or the litter will pile up and eventually creep out onto your floor.
Add a mat outside the box: Placing a litter mat in front of your box makes cleanup easier — you just tip the mat over a trash can. There are many kinds of mats available, with varying degrees of effectiveness, but the most important thing is that your cat likes it too. Some cats have aversions to certain textures, so try out a new pad in front of one litter box first while leaving your other boxes mat-free to make sure your cat doesn’t stop using the box. (My cats love scratching their sisal litter mat on their way out of the litter box, which makes even more litter fall off.)
Trim the hair between your cat’s toes: For long-hair cats, trimming the hair between your cat’s toes can help stop litter granules from getting caught there and tracked around your house. The hair doesn’t need to be cut too short, just trimmed to be next to the paw pads.