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How to Stop Cat Litter Tracking at Home: 9 Proven Methods

cat litter_Tanya Plotnikova_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Tanya Plotnikova, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

If you’re forever finding pieces of cat litter scattered around your house, it’s time for a solution. Cat litter being tracked around your home is a common complaint of cat owners. So, we rounded up nine proven methods for stopping your cat from tracking litter around the house.

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Why Is My Cat Tracking Litter?

 Shorthair cat_Robyn Randell, Pixabay
Image Credit: Robyn Randell, Pixabay

Litter sticks to your cat’s paws and fur when they use the litter box. As they walk around the house, this litter falls off your cat’s paws. The litter can then end up anywhere that your cat has been: on the couch, in your carpet, or all over your freshly laundered bed.

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How to Stop Litter Tracking

These are our favorite (and proven!) methods for stopping cat litter from being tracked all over your house. You might find that one method works for your home and your cat on its own, or you may need to use a combination of methods for the best results.

1. Don’t overfill the litter box

cat litter box_ borzywoj, Shutterstock
Image Credit: borzywoj, Shutterstock

If your litter box is too full, it’s much easier for your cat to end up pawing litter outside the box. This can then get tracked around the house by your cat. Follow the instructions for your individual brand of cat litter, but as a general rule, the litter box only needs to be filled 2-3 inches deep.

2. Choose litter with a larger granule size

cat litter box_Lightspruch_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

Cat litter with a small granule size can often track more easily than litter of a larger size. Clumping wood litter is a good option if you’re thinking about switching to new litter to reduce tracking. Make sure to transition to the new litter gradually, though, so your cat has time to get used to it. Clay litter is one of the worst types for tracking because it can be quite dusty, which means your cat can end up with many small particles on their paws.

3. Use a high-sided or top-entry litter box

cat litter box top entry_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Some cats love to scrape litter around in the box, and this can result in litter flying out of the box. It’s then much easier for this to get tracked around the house. Switching to a high-sided litter box can solve this problem and keep as much of the litter as possible within the box rather than on your floors.

If that’s not enough for your cat, then a top-entry litter box might be the answer. Even if your cat ends up kicking litter high into the air, this will contain 9% of it, making cleaning up much easier.

4. Use an anti-tracking mat

Placing an anti-tracking mat in front of your cat’s litter box helps reduce the amount of litter that’s tracked throughout your house. As your cat walks over the mat, the litter is caught and contained. You’ll still need to clean the mat regularly, but that’s much easier and quicker than finding litter in the whole house!

5. Clean up litter daily

Keep a cordless vacuum next to your cat’s litter box, and get into the habit of vacuuming around the litter box at least once a day. This will help keep loose litter under control and make it much less likely that it’s going to get tracked all around your house.

6. Use a dust-free cat litter

Litters made using clay are quite dusty. This dust, along with small particles of litter, gets stuck to your cat’s paws easily. Try switching to a dust-free litter to reduce the amount of litter that gets tracked out of the box.

 7. Trim your cat’s paw fluff

Longhaired cats are much more likely to track litter because it can get stuck on the longer fur around their paw pads. You can solve this issue by trimming the fur on their paws. It may take time to get your cat used to this procedure, but once they are, you’ll find that it makes a big difference to the amount of litter that they track around the house. You can either use a small pair of electric clippers or a pair of blunt-tip safety scissors. Alternatively, a cat groomer will be happy to complete this procedure for you.

8. Use a quick-clumping cat litter

If you use a non-clumping cat litter, that could be part of the problem. Cats can step in the wet litter, which then sticks to their fur. As it dries, the litter then falls off around the house, and wherever your cat goes, you’ll find little pieces of litter! Instead, choose a quick-clumping litter, which reduces tracking and makes cleaning up your cat’s litter box an easier job.

9. Keep the litter box on a hard floor

Placing your cat’s litter box on a hard floor, made up of wood, laminate, or tiles, will greatly reduce tracking. If your litter box is placed on carpet, the fibers around the box can get filled with small particles of litter, which are difficult to clean up.

Featured Image Credit: Tanya Plotnikova_Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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