Best Cat Litter Mats

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

16 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
129 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cat litter mats

Last Updated November 2019

If you’re owned by a cat, you already know that the details surrounding her litter box – the brand of litter, the type of box, the placement of the box – are a big deal. Everything needs to be just right in order to keep your kitty happy and your home clean.

A cat litter mat can do wonders for the cleanliness of your cat’s litter area as well as the rest of your home. Strategically placed to catch flying debris, tracked litter, and other messes, these textured mats are affordable and unobtrusive. However, some cat litter mats get the job done far better than others, and some are easier to clean than others.

Your criteria in selecting a cat litter mat for your home should be twofold: you want a quality mat, and you want one that your cat will accept. After all, if she were to deem the mat against her liking, she could end up avoiding the litter box entirely.

Read on for our guide to cat litter mats. We break down the need-to-know information so you can make the best choice, and we share our top selections for your consideration.

In addition to a fibrous texture or ridges that contain debris, some cat litter mats have an outer rim or raised lip to help hold in messes.

Key considerations

To evaluate the potential success of a cat litter mat, it’s helpful to know the answers to the following questions.

Does the mat stay in place?

The best cat litter mats have traction on the bottom as well as the top. They can’t easily be kicked out of place by a human, cat, or dog. Mats that don’t stay in place are tripping hazards, and they don’t fulfill their purpose of catching litter and debris as your pet steps out of the litter box.

Is the mat easy to clean?

Your main reason for purchasing a mat may be to minimize your litter-related cleaning tasks. However, you’ll still need to clean the cat litter mat occasionally. There will be litter trapped inside the crevices and perhaps cat excrement, too. While you can vacuum any cat litter mat, some are harder to spot clean than others. If you have a cat that tends to track gunk or leave liquid messes outside of the box, keep this in mind when shopping. The manufacturer will specify the best methods for cleaning any given mat.

Would your cat find the mat comfortable?

You can’t ask what type of mat your kitty prefers, of course, but you can purchase a litter mat with the type of texture you think it would enjoy. Generally speaking, cats like soft textures. However, some cats gravitate toward hard surfaces. If your cat is finicky, it may not like the feel of ribbing or ridges underfoot. Take your feline’s personality and preferences into account as you shop.

EXPERT TIP

Some cat litter mats have a non-waterproof edge made of fabric or mesh. If you have a particularly exuberant litter box user, you may wish to avoid mats that include non-waterproof materials.


Staff  | BestReviews

Anatomy of a cat litter mat: material and texture

The material that makes up a cat litter mat, along with its texture, go a long way toward determining whether your cat will accept it or not. Here’s an in-depth look at both of these important factors.

Material

Cat litter mats can be made of soft plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), silicone, or rubber. Because traction is needed to keep these mats from skidding across the floor, many have a rubberized underside in addition to a textured top. Some manufacturers use recycled materials to improve the sustainability of their products.

A lot of cat litter mats on the market today are made without phthalates, which are substances sometimes added to plastic to make it soft and flexible. In fact, many manufacturers use the absence of phthalates in their products as a selling point. The reason: phthalates may be harmful to humans and pets. They’re currently being studied by several U.S. governmental agencies as a potential carcinogen. If you want to avoid the introduction of new phthalates into your home, check the manufacturer’s literature about the product.

Texture

Mesh: A mesh cat litter mat may be coiled or woven to create a breathable surface that traps debris. The mesh is comfortable for cats to walk on, yet it easily releases debris when a vacuum cleaner passes over it. Notably, some mesh mats are coiled or woven more tightly than others. If you choose a mat made of tighter mesh, it’s possible that larger pieces of debris or litter won’t get trapped by it. For example, some types of crystal cat litter are too large to fit in the crevices of a mesh mat.

Honeycomb: Honeycomb mats consist of two layers: a waterproof lower layer and a honeycomb-like upper layer through which debris falls. Cleaning this type of mat is fairly straightforward: you simply separate the two layers and wipe up the mess. However, some dual-layer cat litter mats are easier to separate than others. Before you make a purchase, check to see whether the mat opens like a book or peels apart at one end. The latter may be a bit more awkward.

It’s worth pointing out that though honeycomb openings may be larger and more amenable to trapping large pieces, they can feel somewhat harsh on sensitive paws. If you know your cat is picky about what it walks on, take this into account when entertaining the idea of a honeycomb mat.

Smooth or ridged: Some cat litter mats resemble the mat you see below a dish rack; they are mostly smooth with a few ridges to catch drips or debris. This type of mat is easily cleaned with hot water and soap. You can also tip it to release debris into a trash can. Cleaning up messes that are wet or chunky will require some extra elbow grease, however.

Try to coordinate the size of your cat’s litter granules to the mat type. For example, a tightly coiled PVC mat may not be able to trap large litter pellets, whereas a honeycomb-style mat with big holes could easily trap this debris.

Tips

  • Try various ways to clean the cat litter mat. Try shaking it outdoors, running a vacuum over it, spot cleaning it with detergent and a rag, dousing it under a faucet, or soaking it with a hose.
  • Think about buying a pet vacuum. A vacuum cleaner with poor suction may not be able to reach debris that’s trapped deep within the fibers of a mesh cat litter mat. If you have pets, it’s well worth your time to consider a pet vacuum, which has suction specifically designed to slurp up pet dander and other deeply buried debris.
  • Suit the mat to the location. If your cat’s litter box sits in a high-traffic area, keep aesthetics in mind. Some cat litter mats are available in a choice of pleasant yet neutral colors such as beige, blue, brown, and gray. Size is another consideration. Before making a purchase, check the dimensions of your cat’s litter area against the dimensions of the mat.
EXPERT TIP

If you’re worried that your cat litter mat isn’t large enough – or waterproof enough – to adequately handle a urine runoff, place a few puppy pads beneath the mat for extra protection.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

One of the better products we found in our research is also highly popular with consumers: the Gorilla Grip Original Premium Durable Cat Litter Mat. It’s reasonably priced, free of phthalates, and available in several sizes and shapes, including a half circle and a triangular wedge that can nestle in a corner. It comes in eight great colors (including pink), and it’s so soft that some kitties have been known to curl up and snooze on it. With the Pet Champion Two-Layer Sifting Mat, cleaning up after your cat is as easy as picking up the rug and pouring out the mess. Litter and other bits fall through the waffle-like grid in this mat; the two-layer system allows you to easily evacuate the debris. In fact, some people like to pour the collected litter right back into the litter box, which helps cut down on litter expenses. What’s more, the mat itself is a bargain.

Some cat litter mats arrive with a chemical smell. The odor should dissipate over time, but if it’s off-putting to your cat, try washing the mat with soap and water to remove some of the smell.

FAQ

Q. Can I wash my cat litter mat in the washing machine?
A.
If you want to clean and sanitize your cat litter mat – and we certainly understand that desire – the washing machine seems like the natural solution. And in fact, there are some cat litter mats on the market that are advertised as machine washable. We do not advise throwing a cat litter mat in the washing machine unless the manufacturer expressly states that it’s safe to do so, however. Certain mat materials could possibly degrade in your washing machine, or worse yet, the mat could do damage to your machine. Better safe than sorry.

Q. Should I place my cat litter mat under the litter box as well as around it? A. For maximum coverage, you should place your cat litter mat at least partially beneath the litter box. Otherwise, there may be gaps in your coverage, and, unfortunately, you might not notice an accident until your flooring has been contaminated or even damaged. Most manufacturers offer a number of mat sizes, so you can choose one large enough to satisfy your needs.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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