We love our furry friends, but keeping an indoor cat means handling their bathroom waste. Litter tracking is part of most cat owners’ lives and is based on each cat’s behavior. If you’re a cat parent, you know litter tracking can be a nuisance. But some accessories help alleviate this, like litter mats.
After months of testing seven different litter mats, we preferred the CatGuru – Heavy Duty Cat Litter Mat because of its soft material, it’s fully machine washable, and it has a grippy underside that prevents shifting. Our runner-up was the Gorilla Grip – Litter Mat, and we liked this no-fuss coil design that helped trap kicked-out litter. It also comes in various sizes and shapes, colors, and prices based on your preferences.
It’s important to note that litter tracking (scattering throughout the house) is natural and completely dependent on each cat’s behavior. That also means there is no single one-size-fits-all litter mat to help remove litter tracking that applies to all cats. However, we’ve come up with some essential features to consider before purchasing your litter mat.
Texture / quality
Texture matters, and you may need to change out mats depending on what your cat prefers. Some cats prefer softer fabrics over rubbery textures, while others want the opposite. The more your cat likes the material of the mat, the more likely it will use it to scratch off the excess litter on its paws. Textures we’ve tested are rubber coils, double-layer honeycomb trap mats, microfiber fabric mats, and silicone mats.
Litter mats constantly get litter thrown and scraped onto them, so it’s important to be able to easily clean and sanitize them. Some litter mats are made of rubber, foam, or silicone so that they can be hosed down outside or in the bathtub. In comparison, other varieties are made of fabric and can be cleaned in the washing machine. If you typically use a vacuum to remove excess litter, you may want a litter mat that you can vacuum easily without the mat moving around too much.
Before buying any litter mat, measure your allocated space to know what fits. We recommend purchasing a size slightly wider than your litter box so it catches any litter your cat kicks–at least one foot wider. The size and texture depend on your cat’s behavior and how much space you want to allocate for the mat in your home. The bigger mats take up space in your house but may prevent more scatter because cats have more room to dislodge excess litter on their paws.
Mats come in all different sizes and variations, and they also vary in price. We’ve tested litter mats that range from as low as $15 to as high as $50. The larger mats are typically more expensive than smaller-sized mats, so keep this in mind.
How we selected & tested
We tested seven different litter mats for several weeks with our resident cats. The litter mats range in size from small to large, are made of various materials, are designed differently, and are all priced under $50. We reviewed each litter mat on its quality, durability, usefulness in reducing litter tracking, and washability.
CatGuru - Heavy Duty Cat Litter Mat
The CatGuru – Heavy Duty Cat Litter Mat is made of a soft microfiber fabric that looks more like a bath mat than a litter mat. It’s our top pick because the soft fabric encourages cats to use the litter mat after going to the bathroom and helps prevent litter tracking. The non-slip, heavy-duty material helps keep the litter mat in place if the cat needs to kick and paw to remove excess litter.
The waterproof and fully machine washable fabric is also helpful if there are any potential accidents on the litter mat. Clean-up is fast and consists of shaking the mat over a garbage can (or outdoors) to remove loose litter and then throwing it in your washing machine. The extra large size is also a great deal under $35.
Gorilla Grip - Thick Cat Litter Trapping Mat
The Gorilla Grip – Thick Cat Litter Trapping Mat is a traditional design made of coils and grooves that trap the litter and provide a cushioned surface for your kitty’s paws to scratch. We like that this litter mat comes in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and price points for any type of cat and owner.
Its grippy material keeps the mat from moving around and is also waterproof. If you ever need to clean it, we recommend shaking it over a garbage can and then hosing it down if necessary. The only issue we found was that it’s challenging to use a vacuum to remove excess litter because the litter gets stuck in the coils; however, a quick shake while holding the mat up does the trick.
Waretary - Cat Litter Mat
At 36 x 30 inches, the Waretary – Cat Litter Mat was our most oversized tester mat. This litter mat comes in a honeycomb style design with a double layer that traps excess litter through 10 mm holes, and they sit on a bottom layer. The wide holes catch larger litter like pine pellets too.
If you’re still training your cat to use the litter box and sometimes have accidents, you have the option of placing a puppy pad in between the layers to catch excess liquids. While Waretary states that the litter mat is waterproof, some reviewers say it is not entirely odor-proof.Read more…
We like the three-sided opening because you can lift the top layer and vacuum the bottom layer. One issue with this litter mat was that it came folded and had dents when opening. While there were instructions on flattening the litter mat, it still took about one week to flatten out the mat fully. If you need a larger-sized mat, this is a good option.
PetFusion - Tough Grip Litter Mat
The PetFusion – Tough Grip Litter Mat is made of premium grade silicone, which makes for a very soft texture on cat paws and is durable enough to be water resistant with a non-slip grip at the bottom. This mat never moved when our cat would kick off the mat to remove litter stuck on his paws.
There are grooves throughout the litter mat that are supposed to capture litter and a lip on the border to prevent accidental liquids from spilling out. Since it’s water-resistant, you can use a paper towel to wipe it up or hose it down outside. For everyday clean-up, it was a bit of a hassle to vacuum up the litter, and it was also heavy to pick up and shake off litter due to its material.Read more…
We found that this litter mat performed adequately compared to other mats. We couldn’t tell if the grooves did anything since we saw the same amount of litter on the outside of the mat as on other mats. The PetFusion litter mat comes in two sizes that can accommodate medium to large houses. Since it’s a higher price point, we would only recommend this for cats that kick very hard to remove litter.
Litter Robot - Litter Trap Mat
Coming in around $40 for a 30 x 23” litter mat, the Litter Robot is one of our most expensive mats. This honeycomb texture trap mat is like the Waretary and Pieviev litter mats. However, the material is slightly heavier and thicker. It has a three-side opening and is secured by a snap in the center. Like the other mats, we didn’t like how it doesn’t grip hardwood or ceramic floors because it moves around during kitty use or daily vacuum clean-up.
We like that it’s sized explicitly for the Litter Robot, which means it is wide enough to accommodate the techy litter box. Unless you love to match all your cat’s accessories and have a higher budget, we wouldn’t recommend this litter mat because it’s so expensive compared to similar products that perform the same, like the Waretary litter mat.
Pieviev - Cat Litter Mat (not recommended)
The Pieviev – Cat Litter Mat is another honeycomb mat design that comes in two layers, and the litter falls through the holes on the top layer and settles at the bottom. Unlike the Waretary little mat, the Pieviev only has one opening side.
While we could vacuum up excess litter that had fallen through the holes, some litter was still stuck between layers. We couldn’t easily put the vacuum in between the layers. It was best to shake out the mat over a garbage can. We also did not like that it was lightweight without proper grips on the underside. Our cat is a kicker after he uses the litter box, which caused the Pieviev to move around and results in more litter tracking around the litter box and the house. We wouldn’t recommend this litter mat because it did not help reduce excess litter and was more challenging to clean.
Petlinks - Purr-fect Paws Multipurpose Litter Mat (not recommended)
We were intrigued by the Petlinks – Purr-fect Paws Multipurpose Litter Mat because of its interesting design and affordable price. This litter mat is made of rubber and is designed in a single heavy-duty layer with several stamped circles throughout the mat. It works similarly to a honeycomb trap mat, except it’s only one layer.
Our biggest issue with the Petlinks litter mat is that it was difficult to clean because it would move every time we vacuumed the top. Shaking off excess litter in the garbage was also a mess because the litter would get stuck in the grooves of the circles.Read more…
The texture of the circles wasn’t comfortable for our cat, and he was less likely to kick or paw off the excess litter. This means we found more litter tracking around the house while using this litter mat. Even though this was an inexpensive litter mat, we wouldn’t recommend it.
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Bryan Vu, Editor
Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. When outside of the kitchen, he enjoys woodworking, photography, videography and figuring out how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.