Having a cat has many rewards, but one downside is dealing with litter tracking. If you already have a low-tracking litter and high-sided litter box, the next step to limiting tracking in your home is getting the right cat litter mat. In this article, we’ll explain what to look for in a litter mat and give you our picks for the best cat litter mats on the market today. Litter tracking doesn't stand a chance!
Here at tuft + paw, we are cat experts. Over the last couple years, we've spent countless hours determining which litter mat features are most important to cats and cat parents alike. To compile this list, we consulted a cat behaviorist, veterinarian, and hundreds of customer reviews to figure out which cat litter mats provide the best all-around experience.
Very soft texture, durable, large size, waterproof bottom, captures litter well, machine washable
Prone to odors
What Is a Litter Mat?
A cat litter mat is a textured surface that's placed near/under the litter box to catch stray litter particles your cat carries out on their paws, or litter they kick up when digging in the litter box (a.k.a litter scatter). They also make cleaning up easier by trapping litter in one place. Instead of vacuuming up litter across your whole living space, you can just vacuum the litter mat or give it a shake over the trash bin. Cat litter mats come in various sizes and materials, ranging from thin silicone to plush microfiber.
If you already use a low-tracking litter and a low-tracking litter box, a litter mat acts as the final barrier to tracking. These three tools are indispensable for any cat parent trying to put an end to litter mess.
Cove Modern Litter Box by tuft + paw - Shop Here - Credit: @morningbel
What to Look for in a Cat Litter Mat
There is a huge range of litter mat designs and materials out there, but here are the key features to look for when shopping.
The best litter mats catch litter! Rocket science, we know. Look for a mat with a textured surface that will trap small particles. It could be covered in small holes or ridges, and the bigger the better. It should be large enough to surround the litter box and cover at least a few inches of floor beyond the litter box.
The nastier problem that litter mats help with is cats who pee over the edge of the litter box. Look for a waterproof material and raised edges so that liquids won't spill onto the floor. It should also be easy to wash and not retain odors. Materials like silicone and PVC are best for this. If your cat does occasionally pee outside the box, avoid fabric litter mats that will absorb the urine.
The best litter mats should be able to withstand years of use and still perform their function. Look for simple designs without delicate components, and a material that will not shred under your cats claws or wear out from frequent cleaning. Keep in mind that more durable materials can sometimes have a less paw-friendly texture, so look for a mat that balances both.
Ease of Cleaning
A litter mat will get dirty with use, so look for one that can be easily cleaned (e.g. shaken out, vacuumed, or washed with water). More complex mat surfaces are usually harder to clean. Single layer mats with a relatively flat structure will be the easiest to clean, while some double-layer mats open up so you can clean both layers. Waterproofness is useful here, because it allows you to wash the mat with a hose or in the bathtub.
Most cats will use most litter mats, but you have to be extra careful if your cat has sensitive paws! Softer textures like EVA foam or microfiber will be more comfortable, but may be less durable than materials like silicone or PVC. Remember: for a litter mat to be effective, your cat must step on it. If it's uncomfortable they won't want to walk across it, and then your litter mat is totally useless!
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Cat Litter Mats
Build quality — A good litter mat should be durable and long-lasting.
Size — A good litter mat should be large enough to surround a litter box and basically create a moat for catching litter.
Litter & liquid capture — how well the litter mat contains litter and liquids.
Cat-friendly texture — a litter mat should be comfortable for your cat to step on.
Ease of cleaning — how easy it is vacuum, wash, and shake out trapped litter.
Style — Cats don't care much about aesthetics, but it sure is nice for cat parents! We love a litter mat that does its job well and is easy on the eyes.
Price: $47 on Amazon Rating: 4.7/5 with 4,200 Amazon reviews Size: 38" x 26" Material: Silicone
The PetFusion Tough Grip Cat Litter Mat is our favorite litter mat on the market. This silicone mat is durable, waterproof, and has a lipped edge which makes it the best on our list for containing liquid messes. The large surface area and ridged design captures litter well, though it's not quite on the level of some of our other picks. In our opinion, this tradeoff is totally worth it because of how easy this litter mat is to clean. The only real con is that it's a bit pricey for a litter mat, but you're paying for quality here. Overall, we think it's competitive in the tracking reduction department and by far the best for liquid messes and ease of cleaning.
Price: $30 on Amazon Rating: 4.6/5 with 5,100 Amazon reviews Size: 30" x 23" Material: EVA foam
Our runner-up is the iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper, which we consider to be the best honeycomb-style litter mat. It's composed of two layers: a top layer of honeycombed EVA foam, and a waterproof plastic bottom layer. The EVA foam is soft on the paws and the holes do an outstanding job of capturing any litter tracking or scatter. If your kitty occasionally pees outside the box, the waterproof bottom layer ensures any liquids won't leak onto the floor. Cleaning is relatively easy compared to similar mats because the layers are only bonded on one side. This allows the mat to be completely opened up for vacuuming, shaking, or the occasional hose-off, though the honeycomb can still be somewhat annoying to clean. Like our number one pick, this mat is usually priced around $50, but at the time of writing it's on sale for $30.
Price: $36.70 on Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 with 3,900 Amazon reviews Size: 30" x 23" Material: EVA foam
Coming in third is the Blackhole Moonshuttle Litter Mat. Like our number two selection, this two-layered litter mat is made of honeycombed EVA foam. The bumpy texture of this mat makes it the best on our list at capturing tracked and scattered litter particles. It's highly durable and ships flat, so you don't have to wrestle with any weird folds when it arrives. This mat could have been our number on pick if it wasn't for its inconsistent ability to deal with liquid messes. The manufacturing may have changed over time, because some reviewers experienced urine soaking through the bottom, while others found it to be totally waterproof. This mat is also difficult to clean due to the layers being bonded on two sides. In theory, it should open like a tube to let trapped litter slide out, but it doesn't work very well in practice.
Price: $18 on Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 with 3,800 Amazon reviews Size: 35.4" x 23.6" Material: PVC
If you need to stop tracking on a budget, the Yimobra PVC Litter Mat will get the job done. This mat is made from coiled PVC strands that do a fantastic job of capturing granular litters. It's quite large and durable, and it's pretty decent at managing liquid messes thanks to its waterproof material. We also like how many color options there are. However, it does have some limitations. The tightly coiled PVC really "captures" litter particles—like, good luck getting all of them out with a vacuum. The holes are also too small to effectively trap pellet litters, and the PVC surface isn't the softest option for cats with sensitive paws. While it does have some weaknesses, we think this litter mat provides good value for the money.
Price: $33 on Amazon Rating: 4.6/5 with 1,400 Amazon reviews Size: 36" x 28" Material: Synthetic microfiber
If your cat has sensitive paws and needs an extra soft surface, the CatGuru Microfiber Cat Litter Mat is a solid choice. Think of it like a bathmat for your cat. The plush microfiber is easily the softest material on this list, and it's very effective at trapping litter particles. We also like the large surface area, waterproof bottom layer, and the fact that it's machine washable. That last point is absolutely essential, because this mat definitely absorbs liquid messes and can get stinky pretty quickly. In general, this is why we prefer mats made of totally waterproof materials like silicone or EVA foam—they don't absorb odors as much. If your kitty misses the litter box sometimes, then you should probably pass on this litter mat. On the flip side, we think it's a great option if softness is your priority and your cat is unlikely to pee outside the litter box.
very soft texture
captures litter well
prone to odors
Conclusion: Your Cat Knows Best
And that concludes our list of the best cat litter mats on the market! We hope this list was useful for you and offered some relevant options for your needs. Overall, we like the PetFusion Tough Grip Litter Mat for its well-roundedness and ease of cleaning and the iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper for its outstanding tracking reduction. Of course, make sure to pay close attention to what kinds of surfaces your cat prefers before purchasing a litter mat—if your cat avoids stepping on the litter mat, then it's useless! We usually say this about litters, but it also applies to litter mats: "the best litter mat is the one your cat will use."
Okay, one last thing. Litter mats really are a game changer for tracking, but a low-tracking pellet litter is arguably the most impactful change you can make. That’s why developed our own clumping tofu litter called Really Great Cat Litter. It’s super low tracking, virtually zero dust, and even flushable! Check it out if that’s your thing, or you can take a look at some of our other educational resources below.