Despite what naysayers claim, it IS possible to keep a clean home with a cat. The most important hygiene point is the actual box.
Everything else will follow once you keep messy, stinky granules confided to the box. But how do you keep litter from getting everywhere?
That’s what I’m about to show you! In this post, I’ll cover how to keep your home fresh by switching your litter box’s configuration, changing litter brands, adding new accessories, working in some behavior modifications, and learning some grooming tricks.
- 1. Try a Different Type of Litter Box to Make Your Cat Neater
- 2. Enclose or Hide the Litter Box
- 3. Stop Tracking Litter in Its Tracks
- 4. Don’t Overfill Your Litter Box
- 5. Use a Litter Mat to Encourage Neatness
- 6. Stop Placing the Litter Box on Your Carpet
- 7. Clean Around the Box as Often as Necessary
- 8. Keep Your Long-Haired Cat’s Fur the Proper Length
- How To Stop Cat Litter Tracking – In Closing
1. Try a Different Type of Litter Box to Make Your Cat Neater
Yes, a messy cat situation is sometimes as simple as having the wrong litter box. Most of us simply bring home a basic basin-like box after getting our first cat.
My suggestions below might provide better results if your standard litter box has turned sloppy.
Totally Covered Litter Boxes
Messy cat? She might need a covered or hooded litter box. These are covered litter boxes with cat-sized entry/exit points. They come in domed, square, and rectangular shapes.
The beauty of these boxes, like the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan, is that it doesn’t matter how aggressively your cat kicks up litter when covering her tracks because the litter will simply hit the walls without leaving the box.
Shy cats can actually prefer these to open boxes because they provide privacy. In fact, you may find that your cat stops frenzied litter-box behavior altogether after you bring home one of these boxes because she’s no longer stressed.
Covered litter boxes generally aren’t any more complicated to clean than standard litter boxes. Look for one with a removable top for ultra-easy cleaning that’s really no different than what you’re already doing with an open pan litter box.
Top Entry Litter Boxes
A top entry litter box works a lot like a totally covered box. The difference is that cats actually enter through the roof. Again, they are a great way to contain scattering.
I would recommend something like the Modkat Litter Box for an ultra-messy cat who can’t be trusted not to scatter litter out of the side-entry opening in a covered litter box. These boxes also contain spraying much better than fully covered litter boxes.
Besides those points, another huge advantage of this style is that it’s not completely covered. Kitty’s head is still poking out while doing his thing, and it can be easier to train a cat to use a top entry box.
My caveat with this option is that your cat has to have good mobility to be able to get in and out. I like this choice for both kittens and spry cats.
Larger Litter Box
You’re not out of luck if your cat doesn’t jive with enclosed spaces. The solution might be to simply upgrade to a larger open-top litter box. A larger box, like the Petmate Giant Litter Box, creates a buffer for spraying and scattering.
In fact, your existing tight litter box may be increasing your cat’s urge to scatter because confinement is stressing her out.
2. Enclose or Hide the Litter Box
The solution may be to keep the litter box you already have. However, a little bit of handiwork can turn an ordinary litter box into a hideaway box. Take a look at my top picks for enclosing or hiding litter boxes.
Build or Buy a Litter Box Enclosure
You can either build or buy a litter box enclosure to hide your cat’s litter box. I really like the New Age Pet ecoFLEX Litter Loo! If you’re not handy, just buy a prebuilt one.
One of the reasons why I like the idea of your litter box being separate from the enclosure is that you can simply toss your litter box every time it starts looking old without worrying about it affecting your enclosure system.
Hide Your Box Inside Litter Box Furniture
There’s some neat litter box furniture out there that actually turns your cat’s “go area” into a multipurpose unit. Litter box furniture can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and more. I’m love how the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box really fits into a room.
The top portion can be purposed as a bench, planter, book shelf, or anything else you can imagine. The best part is that guests will have no idea that a stylish piece of furniture that’s on display in your house is actually housing a litter box.
3. Stop Tracking Litter in Its Tracks
It’s not always the litter box that’s the problem. Your litter might just be messy due to its composition or consistency. Cats track litter when it gets stuck to their fur and paws.
If you’re using traditional clay litter, consider switching to something with a heavier grain. You can find all-natural non clumping litters made from wood, paper, corn, wheat, and more. In addition to reducing scattering, these litters can also cut down on litter dust.
However, you don’t have to ditch traditional clumping litters to reduce scattering. Granule size matters. Any type of litter that uses larger granules can also help to reduce scattering by making it harder for granules to hitchhike on your cat. Check out ökocat Wood Paper Pellet Cat Litter.
What’s more, it’s generally easier to clean up larger granules than it is to try to track down ultra-fine, powder-like litter.
4. Don’t Overfill Your Litter Box
I kicked myself when I realized part of the reason why my Maine Coon’s litter box was always a mess was that I was filling it too high.
Your cat doesn’t need to be swimming in sand dunes to get down to business. A 2-in to 3-in layer is enough. Your cat is probably going to be happier once you stop overfilling the box.
It’s common to make the mistake of assuming that adding more litter will reduce the amount of cleaning necessary. Excessive litter just means that you’re wasting money while also sifting through a deeper layer of litter material.
5. Use a Litter Mat to Encourage Neatness
It’s very hard for a cat to exit a litter box without some scattering. To understand why a litter mat is helpful, just picture the way humans use shower mats.
These mats keep the spillage contained to an area directly surrounding the mat to prevent your cat from getting a mess on the actual floor.
6. Stop Placing the Litter Box on Your Carpet
Carpeting and litter boxes form a deadly duo. Even the most powerful vacuum has a hard time sucking granules from carpets.
If your entire house is carpeted, consider moving your litter box to a bathroom, basement, kitchen, or foyer with some tiling. You can even consider cutting away some carpet to build a DIY tiled area just for the box.
7. Clean Around the Box as Often as Necessary
I truly consider daily cleaning necessary when you’re aiming to keep a tidy, hygienic home with a cat. This looks as simple as using a broom or stick vacuum to quickly clean up the area surrounding the box.
In fact, I consider investing in a high-power stick vacuum for litter, like the BISSELL PowerGlide Slim essential for cat homes. If you’re out of the house most of the day, consider getting one of those timed “robot vacuums” to clean up a room for you at the same time daily.
8. Keep Your Long-Haired Cat’s Fur the Proper Length
As the owner of a Maine Coon cat with an elegant coat, I’ve accepted that my house is a default part-time cat salon. Routine grooming is the only way I’m able to keep my cat fresh.
My tip is to regularly groom the belly fur, hind legs, and “behind area” to ensure that there isn’t a magic carpet of fur for litter granules to ride out on after every box visit.
How To Stop Cat Litter Tracking – In Closing
I hope these tips have left you feeling more confident about your ability to enjoy a clean home while owning a cat.
I promise that none of these tips will require a big time commitment once you get into the groove. Making minor adjustments has created a world of difference at my own home.
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.