Top tips and alternatives for cleaning messy cat litter mats

We, the ever-dedicated cat parents, have all had this occasional problem with our adorable cats at one time or another- they sometimes urinate outside their litter boxes, directly onto the cat litter mats. We then spend time cleaning the mats daily or several times a week, starting with washing them down and then drying them. We dutifully wash, rinse and repeat this process as long as necessary- because we love them.

Unfortunately, most of the times, the urine smell remains ingrained into the litter mats and the mats are never entirely clean. We recommend using an enzymatic cleaner to break down the urine components.

Then there is the amount of time and energy we spend cleaning them. So, what is the best way to clean the cat litter mats? What are our best options to make our lives easier? What are some useful alternatives to cleaner mats and saving time cleaning them?

Cleaning cat litter mats

Below we have some important factors to consider when cleaning cat litter mats.

  • Design and materials of the litter mat

The design and materials of the cat litter mat are two main factors to consider when purchasing cat litter mats.  The ideal kitty litter mat should be durable, easy to clean and retain as few odors as possible.
For example, rubber mats are not recommended because the rubber smell is toxic. For synthetic rubber, there are fewer toxic fumes.
Some cat litter mats are made of dense foam. And some are made of silicone. Although they have their good qualities, they are still a challenge to clean and are not eco-friendly.

Most cat litter mats are not machine washable, and cat owners achieve decent results by cleaning them by hand, running them under the tap or with a hose. Some mats are waterproof, but the urine smell persists. In this case, an enzymatic cleaner is used to remove the urine.

  • Understanding why cats urinate onto their litter mats and outside their litter boxes:

Note extra considerations such as the type of litter and litter box you are using, the age of your cats and the intended location of the mat. For example, older cats may have mobility issues and you need litter boxes and mats located closer to them.  
The formula for the number of litter boxes is number of cats + one- which means one extra cat litter box for the total number of cats. And a litter mat for each location.

You also need to find out if the problem is that your cat rejects the litter box because how deep the litter level is, how much litter is put in the box and whether you should add more or less.  
Sometimes it is the type of litter, so trying different types of litter is ideal in this situation.

Some kitties are sick, and they urinate outside the box.
In other cases, the litter is not replaced frequently.
The old cat litter and the odor are hazardous to both people and cats.
With careful observation, most cat parents can identify the reasons and this leads to the proper solution.

Litter tracking

In addition to cat urine, there is the litter tracking challenge. When a cat leaves its litter box, its paws collect dirt and several pieces of tiny waste on the litter mat.  

Some mats have textured surfaces that pick up litter and dirt when your cat steps out of the litter tray. Usually, more than one mat is needed to cover the area where your cat tends to throw litter.

As much as we want to ignore the filthy cat litter mats and focus on our little furry friends’ delightful antics, it is important that we commit to cleaning the cat mats up on a regular basis.

Alternatives to cleaning kitty litter mats- the Eco Cat Litter Mat


In addition to the methods above, you can also use the Eco Cat Litter Mat by Thumbs Pets.  It requires no cleaning because it is disposable, and it helps with reducing litter tracking. It is bio-degradable, safe to use (no toxic elements). It can be used by itself to protect floors, or you can place it on top of the rubber and foam mats- and you do not have to clean the rubber and foam mats as often, saving you time, energy and money. For more information and special rewards, please visit this page to sign up for the upcoming Eco Cat Litter Mat Insiders’ Club.     

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