For many years, I thought of cat litter mats as just another piece of cat paraphernalia that me and my cat, in our pretty minimalist existence, didn’t really need. I always buy low-dust, low-tracking cat litter, but had also just accepted that a little bit of cat litter finding its way into other parts of the home was just a normal part of having a cat.
Then one Christmas a friend gave me a cat litter mat, so I went ahead and used it. Very quickly I saw that this simple piece of equipment actually made our lives much easier.
Cat litter mats help keep litter off your cat’s paws and out of the house by pulling litter off your cat’s feet as they exit the litter tray. This helps keep your home clean and also helps keep your cat healthy.
Most cat litters are pretty bad for your cat to eat. Clay is not food, and the sand that goes into clumping cat litter can have detrimental health effects. This sand expands 10 to 18 times its size when it comes into contact with moisture.
This is great for clumping around urine but can do the same thing in your cat’s stomach, causing major problems. While most cats do not actively eat their litter, if pieces of litter or dust get stuck in their hair, they can accidentally eat it while cleaning themselves.
But a cat litter mat is only worth the investment if it does what it is meant to do and does it well. Let’s have a look at the main things to look for when choosing a cat litter mat, and the five best mats currently on the market.
If You Are In A Rush…
When it comes to highly effective gripping mats, the Easyology is the best option currently on the market. It is on the expensive side as far as mats go, but it also comes in a huge range of designs, so you should be able to find the ideal mat for your home. If you are looking for an easier-to-clean trapping mat, then the iPrimio is the current market leader for a reason. It is effective and seems more consistently appealing to cats than many alternative trapping designs.
Our Top 5 Picks:
- Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat
- iPrimio Cat Litter Trapper
- Blackhole Cat Litter Mat
- Smiling Paws Premium Cat Litter Mat
- Pawkins Cat Litter Mat
5 Best Cat Litter Mats
Taking these considerations into account, here are my five best cat litter mats currently on the market.
Easyology currently has the best grabbing cat litter mat on the market thanks to its patent-pending loop design that pulls litter off cats’ paws without causing discomfort.
- Effective grabbing with patented loop design
- Easy to clean
- Non-slip backing
- Range of sizes and colors
- Your cat may enjoy clawing this mat
This mat is made from heavy, durable PVC; it is waterproof and easy to clean both in terms of vacuuming up litter and wiping down more serious stains. The biggest downside with this mat is that the interlocking fibers that allow it to grab litter may also appeal to your cat as something to claw. This can reduce the lifespan of the mat and also just be pretty annoying.
This mat is effective, and it should be easy to find a design that works for your home. It comes in a huge range of colors (including grey, black, brown, beige and blue), sizes, and even shapes (such as their corner mat).
This makes a pretty decent doormat as well, pulling grime off the bottom of shoes just like the bottom of paws.
Overall: Best Grabbing Mat
The iPrimio is the most popular trapping mat on the market for good reason. It uses a two-layer design to trap litter that falls from your cat’s feet as they pass over the mat.
- Good at trapping larger pieces of litter
- Easy cleaning
- Specifically designed for sensitive cat paws
- Comes in a variety of sizes so that you can get the right one for your home
Any litter that gets drawn off your cat’s feet gets caught and held between the two layers of the mat. It is then easy to pick up the firm mat and pour the litter into the trash or back into the tray. The bottom layer of the mat is waterproof, which prevents many problems when it comes to urine or cleaning.
The main downside of this mat is that it is a bit more expensive than some others on this list, but considering the quality and the wide range of colors and styles available, it is generally well worth the price tag.
Overall: Best Trapping Mat
The Blackhole cat litter mat is another trapping mat that uses a two-layer design, catching litter between two layers so that it can then be poured out.
- Effective trapping
- Does not encourage scratching
- Easy to clean
- Variety of shapes and colors
- Some cats do not like the texture
- Not completely waterproof
Made from a durable non-EVA, flexible plastic, it is also easy to clean this mat down with water. It is also possible to insert a pad between the two layers to protect the nylon underlayer if you have a cat that tends to pee outside the tray. However, this does mean that the mat is not completely waterproof on its own.
While the material has been designed to be soft and kind on cat’s paws, quite a few cat owners have said that their cat does not like the mat. Unfortunately, the only way to find out whether your cat will like this mat is to try it.
This is another mat that comes in a variety of sizes and colors (including lime green) which hopefully means that you can find something the right size for your tray and the right style for your home.
Overall: Quality Trapping Mat
The Smiling Paws cat mat is yet another mat using the two-layer system to trap litter in a way that makes it easy to pour out later.
- Honeycomb design to capture and retain litter
- Leather edging that will not absorb odors
- Large size
- Bottom covered in laminate material to ensure against leaking
- Limited sizes and colors available
The unique honeycomb design of the holes in this mat makes it effective and adds to its aesthetic. It also has leather edging, which is both attractive and designed not to absorb odors from the litter tray. It has a non-slip backing to ensure it doesn’t get pushed around the room by you or your cat.
The main reason why this mat may not be as good as some of the other trapping mats on the list is that it comes in a more limited range of colors and sizes, and the size is pretty large so it may not be appropriate for all homes.
Overall: Effective and Attractive Trapping Mat
Another grabbing mat, the Pawkins is a good all-round mat that is not quite as effective as the Easyology but is more affordable.
- Built-in non-slip backing
- Variety of sizes and colors
- Large size to cover appropriate litter box area
- Variety of colors available including grey, black, beige, and brown
- Could pull litter more effectively
- Not as easy to clean as some mats
The mat has been designed to be soft and gentle on your cat’s paws so it’s great for kittens, if used with an appropriate type of litter.
and to be cleaned easily both with the vacuum cleaner and with water, though some smaller sized litter is more difficult to remove than others as the mat’s fibers grip them very strongly.
The mat comes in a variety of sizes and colors including grey, black, beige, and brown. It comes in an extra-large 35-inch size for those looking to cover a large area.
Overall: Super Gripping Mat
What to Look for in a Cat Litter Mat
The main purpose of a cat litter mat is to trap litter, pulling it off your cat as they exit the litter tray so that they do not track it throughout the house. For it to be effective, it needs to be able to trap both large and small litter. Litter trapping is generally achieved in two ways, grabbing or trapping.
Grabbing mats are generally designed with lots of interweaving and interlocking fibers that essentially grip onto litter like Velcro as your cat passes over the mat. These mats are generally more effective at pulling litter, but more difficult to clean.
Rather than pulling litter, trapping mats are designed to let the litter fall off your cat’s feet and then trap it between two mat layers. This makes it less effective, but it is generally easier to clean.
While how well a mat pulls litter off your cat’s feet is the main concern when finding a cat litter mat, there are a few other considerations.
The litter mat is at the center of all the action. As well as picking up litter, if your cat accidentally brings anything with it from the tray, for example, a little bit of poo that it might have picked up on its paws when covering its business, it will find its way onto this mat. This means the mat needs to be easy to clean, both when it comes to picking up the litter that it has accumulated and when wiping up more serious stains. The mat can be useful in reducing the amount of cat feces that finds its way into the home, which can be dangerous to human health.
A good mat should also be waterproof, both for cleaning purposes, and if urine makes its way into the mat for some reason.
We all know that cats are picky beasts, and if they don’t like something, they just won’t use it. This means that the cat mat needs to be comfortable under their paws, or you may find them avoiding their litter tray and doing their business elsewhere in protest. While the only way to know for sure whether your cat will like it is to test it out with them; if it doesn’t feel good under your fingers, it probably won’t feel good under your cat’s paws.
With your cat jumping in and out of their litter tray, they can cause some mats to skid across the ground. Mats that skid can cause more mess than they prevent. Mats should have traction with the ground to prevent them from going flying.
Just like carpet, a cat mat will wear out with constant use, and you don’t want to be replacing it too often. Also, cats have a tendency to claw their mat, like they do everything, which can significantly cut down the mat’s life span. Naturally, you want a mat that is going to last for a reasonable amount of time before it needs replacing and won’t look grubby and old too quickly.
To be effective, any cat litter mat needs to be an appropriate size to cover the area to surround the litter tray, otherwise, your cat may bypass the mat, limiting its effectiveness.
Ideally, you want to find a mat that fits in well with your home décor and doesn’t draw the eye to the litter tray in a negative way.
Well, I suppose this one almost goes without saying, but while a litter mat is an important tool, it is not something that should cost the earth.
No matter what your litter box is, be it covered or uncovered, from basic trays to the ones with the bells and whistles, a litter mat will help keep the surrounding area clean.
Ultimately, whether you prefer a gripping or a trapping mat is down to you. Gripping mats are more effective while trapping mats are easier to clean. Cats seem to have a greater tendency to claw at gripping mats, while they are more likely to decide that they do not like the texture of a trapping mat and refuse to use it.
If you are looking for a gripping mat, the Easyology is the best option currently on the market both in terms of effectiveness and the range of colors and styles available so that you can find something that is right for your home. The Pawkins mat is a slightly less effective but more affordable gripping mat alternative.
When it comes to trapping mats, the iPrimio is the market leader, with its patented design being the most effective, and there is a huge range of colors, sizes, and shapes available. Again, the iPrimio is a more expensive mat, but the Blackhole and the Smiling Paws mats are also reasonable alternatives.