Cats are wonderful creatures, but they can be frustrating when it comes to their litter habits. One of the most common problems is litter tracking, which is when a cat drags its paws through its litter and then walks around the house, leaving little piles of kitty litter all over the place. Tracking is not only unsightly, but it can also be dangerous if your cat tracks litter into your carpet or bedding.
You can help your cat stop tracking litter by doing a few things. This how-to guide will show you a few tips on how to keep your cat's litter box clean and your home free of kitty litter.
Why Does My Cat Track Litter?
Cat litter tracking is a common problem, but it's one that is often misunderstood. Many people think that their cats track because they are not cleaning their paws properly, but this is not usually the case. In most cases, cats track because they are naturally curious creatures and they want to explore their environment.
When a cat walks through its litter, it leaves behind scent markers that tell other cats where it has been. This is why you often see cats scratching around in their litter after they use the bathroom. They are trying to cover up their scent so that other cats cannot track them.
However, some cats prefer to dig in their litter and then kick litter out of the box because they enjoy the feeling of the grit on their paws. If this is the case with your cat, you may get lots of cat litter tracked all over your house.
There can be many other mysterious reasons why your cat tracks litter. It might be due to the type of litter you are using or how you have the litter box set up. Tracking might be a dominance issue if you have more than one cat. Litter tracking can occur when your cat is stressed or anxious, as stated in The Spruce Pets in Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Stressed.
According to the CDC; whatever the reason, you must do everything you can to stop litter tracking because cat litter can be dangerous to your health, obviously for pregnant women, young children, and old people.
How To Stop Your Cat From Tracking Litter Everywhere
Fortunately, you can do several things to prevent your cat from tracking litter.
Use Cat Litter Mats Or Carpets
Before trying anything else, this should be the first attempt to prevent cat litter tracking. As stated in Pubmed's study Cats at the Vet, cats are creatures of habit that do not like changes. Any changes in their environment can cause stress, which in turn can cause litter box avoidance (as stated above). This is why it's important to introduce changes slowly and carefully.
Since cat litter mats do not change much of their environment, it is less likely that your cat will be stressed by them. The litter mat will also help to collect any litter that gets tracked out of the box so that you can easily sweep it up.
If you do not already have a cat litter mat or carpet, try buying one and see if it makes a difference. There are many types of litter mats and carpets on the market, so take your time to find one your cat likes. You may need to experiment with a few different types before you find the one that is ideal for your cat.
Most cats like to feel soft and comfortable surfaces, so make sure the litter mat or carpet is made from a soft material. You should also look for a mat or carpet with non-slip backing to prevent your cat from sliding around.
If you cannot find a litter mat or carpet that you think your cat will like, you can always make your own. All you need is a piece of cloth, an old towel, and some non-slip backing. Cut the cloth or towel to the size you want, and then attach the non-slip backing to the bottom.
You can also make a litter box liner from an old shower curtain or tablecloth. Just cut the fabric to size and then sew or glue the non-slip backing to the bottom.
Change The Type Of Litter You Use
The type of litter you use can also be a factor in litter tracking. A study about the connection between cat litters and feline coronavirus published on PubMed used four types of cat litter for their research; Catrine (Kruuse), Ever Clean from Clorox International, Dr. Elsey Cat Attract, and Dr. Elsey's Ultra. During their study, they found some cat litters track more than others. Based on their study, Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Cat Litter product performed better than the other three.
This is why it is listed in our Top Rated Cat Litter Products list.
While it is not entirely clear why some litter track more than others, it might be due to the texture or size of the litter pebbles. If you are using a litter that tracks a lot, try switching to a different type and see if it makes a difference.
There are many types of cat litter available, so you will have to experiment to find the best one for your cat. Most cat owners vouch for dust-free clay litter, as clay litter has low tracking and good absorption properties.
Note: Your cat might not appreciate a sudden change in litter, so it is important to introduce any changes slowly. Try mixing the new cat litter with the old litter for a week or two before completely switching to the new litter.
Tip: Always choose a quick-clumping cat litter so that you can avoid wet litter clumps getting stuck to your cat's paws. If this happens, it will be difficult to remove and may cause skin irritation.
Change The Type Of Litter Box You Use
Another way to stop cats from tracking litter is to change the type of cat litter box you use. There are numerous types of litter boxes on the market, so you will need to experiment to find the best box for your cat.
Here are some of the most popular types of litter boxes:
- Top entry litter boxes - These are becoming increasingly popular as they help to reduce litter tracking. Since the cat has to jump out of the box, any litter that is stuck to its paws will fall back into the box.
- Covered litter boxes - These are also good at reducing litter tracking, but some cats do not like the enclosed space.
- Litter box with a lip - These are designed to help keep the litter inside the box, but some cats can still manage to track it out.
- Litter boxes with higher sides - These are effective at containing litter, but some cats may struggle to get in and out of them.
- Larger litter boxes - If your cat is tracking a lot of litter, it might be because the cat's box is too small. A larger box will allow them to move around more freely and will help to reduce the amount of litter tracked out.
Changing the type of box you use is just one way to stop cats from tracking litter. You might also have to experiment with different types of litter and litter box liners to find the perfect combination for your cat.
Change The Place Of The Litter Box
The litter box's location can also be a factor in litter tracking. If the box is in a high-traffic area, your cat might be tracking litter out of the box every time they use it because they are getting scared by people or other animals walking past.
Try to find a quiet place for the litter pan where your cat feels safe and secure. This will help reduce the amount of litter tracked out of the box.
Here are some places you can try:
- In a closet - This can be a good option if you have a small space. Just make sure the door is left open so your cat can get in and out easily.
- In a laundry room - This is another good option for small spaces. You can also put a litter box liner in the washing machine to make cleaning up easier.
- In a bathroom - This can be a good place for the litter pan if you have a large bathroom. Simply close the toilet lid to prevent your cat from using it as a litter box.
- Under a bed - This can be a good place to put the litter pan if you have a high bed. Just ensure there is sufficient space for your cat to easily enter and exit.
- In the basement - This can be a good place for the cat's box if you have a finished basement. Just make sure it is in a quiet area where your cat feels safe.
You might need to try a few different spots before you find the perfect spot for your cat to do its business. Just make sure it is in a place where your cat feels comfortable and safe.
Cut The Hair Between The Cats Toes
If you have long-haired cats, it can help to cut the hair between their toes. This will aid in minimizing the amount of litter that becomes stuck to the fur and is then tracked out of the box.
To do this, you will need a pair of scissors and some patience. Start by gently holding your cat's paw and then carefully trim the hair between the toes. Repeat this process until all of the furs between the toes have been trimmed.
These are The Best Rated Pet Grooming Clippers we recommend.
You should cut the hair on a regular basis, such as once a week or every other week. This will help to stop cat litter tracking out of the box and will also help to keep your cat's paws clean and free of debris.
Keep The Litter Box Clean
If your cat's litter pan is not clean, they will be less likely to use it. This can lead them to go to the bathroom elsewhere, which will only worsen the cat litter tracking problem.
To keep the litter box clean, you should scoop it at least once a day. This will make sure any poop particles and litter dust are removed so your cat has a clean place to use the bathroom. Once a week, empty and clean the litter box.
To clean the litter box, you can use mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can be harmful to your cat.
After you have cleaned the litter box, make sure to rinse it out well and dry it completely before adding new litter.
Keep an eye on the litter level as well. Your cat might start tracking litter out of the box if it gets too low.
You can avoid this by adding new litter to the box regularly. Just make sure to do it slowly so that your cat doesn't get scared, and start avoiding the box altogether.
You should also think about getting a self-cleaning litter box. These can be a bit more expensive, but they can be worth it if you have multiple cats or if you are just tired of scooping the litter box every day.
A self-cleaning litter box will automatically scoop the litter box for you and will also keep the litter level consistent. This can help reduce the amount of litter tracked out of the box and make your life a lot easier.
Cleanup Around The Litter Box Daily
Last but not least, you must clean up around the litter box daily to prevent cat litter tracking. This means picking up any clumps of litter that your cat has tracked out of the box.
If you tried everything and still couldn't stop cat litter tracking, then you might never be able to stop it. For example, senior cats or sick cats may start to track more because they can't control their bladder as well as they used to. In this case, the best thing you can do is just to make sure the area around the litter box is clean and try to keep your cat comfortable.
Did You Know? Cats are susceptible to several diseases, including Cancer, Diabetes, FIV, Leukemia, Rabies, and Upper Respiratory Infections. When they are sick, they sleep most of the time. To find out more, read 6 Reasons As To Why Do Cats Sleep So Much.
You can do this with a dustpan and brush, or you can use a handheld vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. A nonelectric roller vacuum will also be able to pick up tracked litter from around the house.
You might want to invest in a good-quality microfiber mop if you have hardwood floors. These can be used to quickly and easily pick up any tracked litter from your floors.
If you are having trouble with cat litter tracking, then try out some of these tips. You should be able to reduce the amount of litter tracked out of the box and keep your home clean with a bit of patience and effort.
If you enjoyed reading this guide, check out How To Stop Your Kitten From Biting, as we know from experience that cat biting is another issue every cat owner faces.
Where should I put my cat litter box?
The litter box should be in a quiet, out-of-the-way location. It should also be easily accessible to your cat, so they don't have to go too far to use it.
Is There A Cat Litter That Doesn't Track?
Several cat litter products on the market claim to be low-tracking or no-tracking. However, there is no guarantee that any of these products will completely stop your cat from tracking litter. When choosing a cat litter, search for a quick-clumping variety with larger pellets. These will help to reduce the amount of litter tracked out of the box.