Do you hate it when your cat tracks litter from the box across the room to make your house a mess? Do you feel like you constantly clean up messes caused by your cat?
Litter tracking is one of the most annoying aspects of owning a cat.
For many cat lovers, a home without a feline companion is not complete. Cat litter tracking, however, is a common problem associated with pet ownership.
Cats are wonderful pets. They’re soft and cuddly, and they love their owners. But not everything about owning a cat is so wonderful.
Walking across the house wearing white socks is a great way to let your cat know that you feel like snuggle time — but it’s also a great way to track cat litter from one corner of the house to the other.
This can be an absolute nightmare if you have hardwood floors or even just an expensive rug.
It’s not that your cat is doing it on purpose, though — he’s just trying to get it off his paws!
As much as we love clean paws and clean floors, we also don’t want to break every appliance in the house trying to get the litter off of him.
So how do we keep cat litter off the floor?
There are several things that you can try to stop this problem from happening again.
This detailed guide will take you through the process of protecting your floors from cat litter so that you and your pet have a happy home together.
Our guide is based on a proven step-by-step method and you never have to worry about those unwanted sand and litter messes anymore.
What exactly is litter tracking?
It’s the act of a cat carrying litter out of the litter box. This creates a mess of cat litter everywhere on your floors.
Some cats are more prone to litter tracking than others due to the litter sticking to their paws. Kittens just learning how to use the litter box tend to paw around in it more than older cats.
Litter tracking is one of the most common litter box complaints. It seems like no matter how hard you try, there is always litter scattered throughout your house.
The good news is that tracking is an easy problem to fix and it simply requires a little knowledge and effort.
Why is my cat suddenly tracking litter everywhere? Causes of Litter Tracking
First, let’s explore some of the reasons why it happens.
1. The type of cat litter:
The size, shape, material, and texture of the litter can cause excessive tracking.
Cat litter comes in many different forms, but not all of them are created equal when it comes to tracking. The biggest culprits are clay litters because they tend to be dusty and clump easily around your cat’s paws.
However, clumping litters can also become quite sticky if they get wet from urine. This can lead to larger chunks that are more likely to stick to your cat’s paws and be dragged out of the box.
2. Change in cat litter type:
Cats can be picky about the type of litter you use in their pan. Some prefer finer sand-like granules, while others like coarser material. If you just changed the type of litter you use and notice an increase in tracking, consider going back to your old brand or trying another one until you find one that fits your cat’s preferences without tracking.
3. The litter box might be too small:
If your cat tracks litter out of their box, check if they can comfortably turn around in the box without knocking the litter out with their tail or hind legs. If your cat is huge and you have a small litter box, he may be compelled to step over the edges, carrying an excess litter with him as he goes.
If they’re too large for the box, they will spill litter around.
4. Your cat may be aging fast:
Your cat may be getting older, or is arthritic and not able to jump in and out of the litter box easily. As a result, she drags litter out of the box and onto your floor.
5. Too much litter addition:
Lastly, it could be that you are adding litter to your box at an inappropriate level. To find out what your cats prefer, add an inch of litter first and see how much they use.
If they consistently use all of the litter, add more until they stop using every bit of it. Once you find the perfect amount, add only enough each time to replace what they’ve used up.
Many cats however are comfortable using 2-3 inches of cat litter without tracking.
Pro tip: Do not fill the box to the top with litter because your cat needs room to dig and scratch when he uses it.
How Do I Keep My Cat From Tracking Litter Everywhere?
You can keep your cat from tracking litter everywhere by ensuring that:
1. Use a high-sided or hooded litter box:
Hooded and high-sided boxes hinder the cat from flinging out litter from the box. The larger surface area will allow your cat to move around without kicking litter everywhere.
2. Place a litter mat in front of the box:
This stops most of the litter from making it outside of the box onto the carpet or floor.
There are many different kinds of litter mats available, but we tend to like the ones that are made from fabric because it allows for more traction.
Litter boxes can be slippery for cats and having some texture will help them feel more comfortable when they use them due to the stability they offer.
3. Get a larger box:
To prevent this from happening, consider upgrading to a jumbo-sized litter pan. This will give your cat plenty of room to move around while doing his business. This will keep more of the litter inside the box and off your floor.
4. Trim the hairs on the cat’s paws:
Maintain good grooming habits. Regular brushing will help distribute natural oils through your cat’s coat and reduce carrying litter on the floor.
5. Use non-tracking cat litter:
Choose a fine-grained litter with sharp edges. The finer the grains of litter, the less likely it is that cats will be able to pick up a lot of litter in their paws. Sharp-edged litters (like those made from crushed walnut shells) cut through the sticky residue left on paws when cats knead, so they don’t get brought out of the box as often.
Use non-tracking cat litter with dense pellets or large granules like clumping wood litter and dust-free paper non-clumping litter.
6. Don’t overfill the litter box with cat litter:
Add only enough litter to the cat box. Two to three inches of litter will do just fine.
Is There a Cat Litter That Doesn’t Track?
Yes, there are some non-tracking cat litters in the market.
These kinds of litter will save you the tedious cleaning process each day since they are not messy.
Always opt for a hard-clumping cat litter with crystals that are closely packed together.
Litter that is composed of large particles will not stick on the paws.
Below are some of the best litter for non-tracking cat litter:
- Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra-Premium Litter
- Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat Clump & Seal
- Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter
- All-Natural Clay Clumping Litter
- Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat Litter
How Do You Keep Cat Litter from Getting Dusty?
Dusty cat litter is quite uncomfortable and irritating. It will make you sneeze and cough when a cat digs in or as you dispose of the litter.
Switching to a less dusty litter is the only solution.
Below are a few alternatives you can use:
- Natural clumping litter- it is non-dusty, has a pleasant fragrance, and is environmentally friendly
- Pine litter- These are small pine pellets that contain no dust, and contain a strong pine odor
- Old newspapers- contain no dust but have their pros and cons
- Silica litter- Contains a little dust but cannot be compared to clumping clay
How to Clean Kitty Litter from the Floor
It should not be tough to clean kitty litter scattered on the floor, especially when using the clay type litter, which can be cleaned using a mop.
To keep your floor litter-free, you can use:
- A vacuum cleaner
- A broom and a dustpan
If the litter stains your floor, you can use vinegar diluted with water or hydrogen with some soap to clean it off.
When some litter types come into contact with moisture can stain the floor.
To clean the stains off, you can buy some off-the-shelf stain removers from your local store.
How to Clean Cat Litter Dust from Floor
Cleaning cat litter dust from the floor should be an easy affair.
However, different floors will require different cleaning procedures.
- For tiled floors, vacuum or sweep first, then mop it using warm water
- For hardwood floors- add two teabags into boiling water and gently mop the floor
- For Vinyl floors- In a bucket of warm water, add borax and mop the floor
- For laminated floors, use a mild solution of vinegar and water to mop the floor
Ultimately, your best bet for keeping litter inside your cat’s litter box is to use the right kind of litter.
The only way to completely address this issue is indeed through consistency and diligence.
Hopefully, this list of six methods will help you to stop your cats from tracking cat litter around your house. There’s no doubt that it can be a bit messy and annoying, but by implementing these solutions, you can help keep your carpets and floors clean.
By implementing the above cat litter tracking hacks, you will be able to prevent litter scatter from your home within a week and say bye-bye to cleaning up cat litter all the time.