Another day, another interesting topic! Today’s article is all about cat litter tracking hacks.
I’m guessing every cat parent is familiar with litter tracking. You could be keeping your cat’s litter box in your bathroom and still somehow find the litter in your kitchen.
“How is that even possible?” you may ask. But, it is! Litter tracking is our reality whether we like it or not. It is not nice. It is messy. It is irritating. But, it’s what we have to deal with almost every day as long as we have our cats in our lives (hopefully forever!).
However, there’s no need to lose your wits about it. There are some ways to prevent litter from tracking or at least reduce it to a minimum. Your house does not have to be a litter fest, and you do not have to worry if your friends will step on the litter the next time they come to visit you.
So buckle up! Let’s go together on an adventure to find out what causes litter tracking and how to prevent it.
What causes litter to track?
Believe me, as frustrating as it can be, our cats certainly don’t mean to leave litter bits all over the house. We might sometimes find them vicious and mischievous, but they are far from being intentionally evil (at least when it comes to litter tracking).
Depending on the circumstances of the litter they are using and the place where their litter box is set up, it can be challenging for them to track litter outside the box.
Tracking litter can happen when cats are digging and the litter comes out of the box, or when they are exiting the box and the litter goes right after them. If left unattended, the litter can then spread across the entire house either by us, our cats, or other animals.
Digging cannot be avoided since cats simply have to do it. It is in their core nature to dig a hole to “do the doo” in order to hide from predators. It is their instinctual behavior that remained from the time before they were domesticated.
So, it’s actually funny and sweet how your indoor fluff holds on to the characteristic of her wild relatives.
There’s actually no way for you to completely stop litter tracking. Your house will always have at least a small amount of litter bits here and there. But, you can always reduce it if it surpasses the level of normality.
And trying to stop tracking litter at its source can help you maintain a litter-free and clean house. Therefore, go to your cat’s litter box area – the place where it all starts!
How to stop it? Here are 16 cat litter tracking hacks
Having cat litter all over the house can be very annoying. Believe me, I know. I used to deal with this problem on a daily basis.
It became my everyday routine to sweep around the house and vacuum, sometimes even several times per day. Until I had enough and decided to put an end to it. I did my research thoroughly and even talked to many experts and some other cat parents who had the same issue.
I managed to collect 16 amazing cat litter tracking hacks that are both efficient and easy to carry out. So, let’s see what those hacks are.
1. Switch the litter you are using
The first one among cat litter tracking hacks that should be mentioned is choosing the right kind of litter.
The type of litter you are using is probably the single most important factor in controlling tracking. You need to be aware of what features to look out for in cat litter as well as the type of litter you should generally avoid.
Generally speaking, low-tracking types of cat litter include those made out of paper, corn, walnuts, soybeans, or tofu. And a good rule to follow is to always make sure you are choosing the clumping cat litter since it is easiest to clean and also helps prevents dust.
Cat litters you should avoid if you are trying to prevent tracking are those made out of clay or silica.
Also, you should check if the litter you are getting is more in a shape of small particles or a pellet shape. Because the larger the shape of it is, the less likely it is to track throughout your home.
The smaller particles of cat litter are a lot lighter and, therefore, way easier to fling around. Also, they tend to stick in between those crevices of your cat’s toe beans which makes it literally impossible for her not to spread the litter all around.
There are also many other alternatives to cat litter you could also consider, and depending on your preferences, opt for them in the end.
2. Switch the litter box your cat is using
Another one among the useful cat litter tracking hacks is switching the litter box your cat uses. You would be surprised how litter tracking can reduce when you opt for the right litter box.
A high-sided litter box is purrfect for you since it prevents your cat from throwing the litter over the edges of the box as she is digging. You can also opt for reusable sides since they are easy to remove and therefore makes the cleaning procedure easier as well.
Many cat parents usually opt for those litter boxes that are entirely closed. They do it because they believe their cat will appreciate the privacy but also because they don’t want to have their cat’s litter right in their face. Which is fair enough, I have to say.
However, cat experts and behaviorists strongly advise against those enclosed litter boxes since they are actually not good for cats.
Firstly, they trap in the odor, and we all know that cats’ sense of smell is way more sensitive than ours. And secondly, there’s not much ventilation in enclosed boxes, and they make cats feel trapped and cornered.
So, a litter box with high sides or even those with a top entry is the best option because they make it harder for your cat to make a mess. Not just with litter tracking but with other mishaps like peeing over the edge of the litter box.
3. The size and the material of the litter box also matter
Another important thing to talk about is the litter box size. Experts advise getting a litter boy that’s the length of your cat’s body and tail. Any cat should be comfortable in her litter box and have the space to move around. Cheers to all Maine Coon pet parents out there!
It’s also good to consider swapping plastic litter boxes with stainless steel ones. Plastic litter boxes are magnets to bacteria and have to be replaced regularly. But, stainless steel ones are a one-time purchase and generally better for your cat.
At the end of the day, it is really important to go with the litter box that makes your cat feel comfortable. You surely want a litter box that leaves her feeling pawsitive!
4. Put the litter box somewhere quiet
We all know that cats prefer privacy, especially when they are doing something so vulnerable like using the litter box. You don’t want to put her litter box where there’s too much noise and traffic. This can only distress your cat, resulting in excessive digging and litter tracking.
With that being said, you shouldn’t hide her litter box somewhere you’re not regularly going to. You know how they say: “Out of sight, out of mind!”? That should not be your mantra when it comes to your cat’s litter box. Hiding it will result in you unintentionally neglecting and not regularly cleaning it.
Therefore, you should put your cat’s litter box somewhere you regularly go, but where you don’t spend the majority of your time. Your bathroom can be a perfect option.
5. Get an extra litter box
You don’t have to have two cats to own two litter boxes. This interesting cat litter tracking hack can help you prevent the unnecessary mess your cat might make when you’re not around.
Having an extra litter box offers your cat the possibility to choose the cleanliest option during those times of the day when you’re not home.
No cat should use a dirty litter box and step on dried pee and poop if she doesn’t have to.
6. Put the litter box inside another box
This is another useful hack that will prevent the litter from escaping too far.
This is good if you don’t have a high-sided litter box, but you happen to have a big cardboard box lying around your house. By putting the litter box inside, you’re making sure your cat is not making a mess around the house, she has her privacy, and she’s not trapped anywhere.
Also, we all know cats adore cardboard boxes, so you’ll be doing her a small favor. Wow, a lot of things to check off the list with one simple litter-tracking hack.
7. Get your cat a litter box enclosure
However, if you are boujee and you want your cat to feel like the queen she is and your house to look amazing, you can also invest in cat litter box enclosures.
Cat litter box enclosures are great for concealing both your cat’s bathroom area and the inevitable mess she makes. Depending on the one you opt for, litter box enclosures can come with many features like a place for an extra litter bag and so on.
And if you happen to have an old cupboard and are generally good with renovations, you can even DIY a cat litter box enclosure yourself and that way, make it extra special and personal.
8. Have a frequent cleaning routine
This one comes as no surprise. If there’s a mess like litter tracking – there will be a lot of cleaning!
Therefore, you must create a regular cleaning routine that works for you. As we said, it’s impossible to completely avoid litter tracking, but you can minimize it. With frequent cleaning, you can ensure the litter stays at least around the litter box.
You should clean around the litter box on a daily basis, by keeping a small dust brush and pan next to it. And you can have a deeper cleaning routine on a weekly basis where you would thoroughly vacuum your house and around the litter box.
But, make sure you’re not using the evil vacuum when your cat’s around.
9. Scoop the litter twice per day at least
An ideal situation would be to scoop the litter box every time your cat uses it. But, since that’s usually impossible to achieve, you can scoop it twice per day, at minimum.
It can be a morning and a night routine or really anything that works for you. The important thing is that you do it! By scooping the litter daily, you will not only prevent litter tracking but also many health and behavior issues. Which is a big plus for sure!
10. Clean the litter box weekly
Not only should you thoroughly clean around the litter box once per week, but you should also make sure you clean the actual litter box.
You should wash your cat’s litter box with hot water and scentless soaps. You can even use some natural ingredients you already have at home, like baking soda, green tea leaves, or lemon juice, to make sure your cat’s litter box is fresh but not overly scented.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the lemon juice since cats are not the biggest fan of that smell.
11. Put litter trap mats next to your cat’s litter box
We all probably have door mats in front of our doors, so we can easily clean our shoes before entering. Well, litter trap mats are as equally important!
Placing a litter trap mat at the edge of the litter box is a game changer, believe me! When your kitty is about to leave her litter box, the mat will catch all the litter bits that are stuck to her precious toe beans.
There are a lot of fancy options for a litter mat, but you don’t have to fret about it! A simple carpet remnant, an old bath mat, or even a bath towel. Just make sure you regularly clean whatever option you decide to go for.
12. Use a metal scoop
If you have a plastic scoop, then you probably know how frustrating it can be when the litter gets stuck to it. It’s nerve-wracking and annoying, and it makes the scooping process ten times harder.
Swapping the plastic scoop for a metal one will result in a stress-free cleaning experience. Metal scoops are more durable, the litter won’t stick to them, and they will last you longer.
13. Get a litter genie
Getting a litter genie can be a great investment. It’s a convenient and effective solution for getting rid of soiled cat litter. It can be a great addition and help your fight against litter tracking.
But, this is another thing you can DIY. You can use glass jugs or stainless steel bins and regular plastic bags. Paper bags won’t do the trick, since there’s a possibility the litter is still wet when you scoop it.
However, if you have an idea to be more environment-friendly, you’re more than welcome to try it. And do let me know about it, please!
14. Don’t fill the litter box all the way
There’s no need to use an entire litter bag for one litter box. Cats don’t like the feeling of the litter sand on their paws, anyway. So you can keep it simple and put a bit in the middle, you enough for them to dig a little hole.
Experts recommend putting 3 to 4 inches of litter in a pyramid shape and leaving the front and the back of the litter box empty. This will be enough for your cat, and it will ensure there’s less of that unwanted litter tracking.
15. Trim your cat’s paws
Some litter can easily stick to your cat’s paws which results in litter tracking all around the house. By implementing trimming into your cat’s grooming sessions, you are making sure her paws are not a magnet to litter.
You can do it with a pair of scissors and an electric cat hair trimmer. But be careful and try not to stress out your kitty.
16. Get an automatic litter box
And the last among cat litter tracking hacks is to get an automatic litter box.
This one might be too pretentious and something you definitely don’t have to do. But, if your lifestyle requires you to be away for too long, an automatic litter box can do all the basic cleaning for you.
As we mentioned, cats love don’t prefer to pee or poop on dirty surfaces. If their litter box is too dirty, they will dig and dig and dig in hopes of finding a clean piece of litter. An automatic litter box will provide them with clean litter every time and therefore minimize excess digging and litter tracking.
But as I said, you don’t have to do it. As long as you are regularly cleaning your cat’s litter box or having someone to clean it for you when you’re away for too long, you will be good to go.