How To Win The War On Litter Scatter

cat in a tank playhouse

cat tank

(Cat tank from Amazon)

There’s no getting around it: kitty cohabitation comes with the inevitable tracking of kitty crumbs. But alas—all hope is not lost.

Gauge the severity of your litter-infiltration below, and fight back with me!


…The night is darkest just before the dawn!!





Symptoms of a mild infestation

toy soldier(lucky you)


There’s a smattering of stray grains sprinkled around your cat’s litter box.

You have a sneaking suspicion that the situation may deteriorate if left undefended for much longer.





Deploy a cat litter mat. Line the area in front of and around your cat’s litter box with a rug (squares of extra carpet are awesome), an old yoga mat cut to size, or just a shallow box filled with newspaper shavings. I’ve found that these DIY mats work just as well as a lot of the expensive, “specialty” litter mats out there *ahem* *aHEm.*

catit jumbo hooded pan

Get it on Amazon

The assorted squishy and textured surfaces will cause your cat’s claws to release any litter stowaways before they can find their way into your pillowcase (it’s happened).

If you don’t have one already, consider using a covered litter box. I’m currently packing two of these (the Catit hooded pan).





Symptoms of a moderate infestation



Your floors somehow always feel like Hansel & Gretel have just been through, leaving crumb trails in their wake.

Except in this case, Hansel & Gretel are covered in fuzz and like to sit on your head in the morning.





Experiment with something a little more unconventional to defend the area around your cat box.


New star foodservice mat

Get it on Amazon

After what felt like eons of searching, I’ve had incredible success using bar service mats. These mats are covered in soft rubber nodes that both immobilizes litter and massages out any strays from between your cat’s toes.

They’re not particularly large, so you may need two side-by-side unless you’re able to funnel your cat through a narrow area after they leave the box. (Caveat: dainty kitties who are particular about what they step on might find the mat’s bumpy surface off-putting. Proceed with caution.)

Alternatively, you could try upgrading to something heavy-duty (yet smoother in texture) like the “Litter Trapper” mat. Personally, I can’t quite justify paying so much for what’s essentially a fancy foam pad, but maybe in this case throwing money at the problem really will make it go away!





Symptoms of a severe infestation

toy soldier war


There’s cat litter in your bed. It’s in your hair when you wake up. Clumps of it dissolve down your drain when you take a shower.

In fact, you’re not entirely sure if that’s really oatmeal you’re eating every morning.




Perhaps you should consider having less cats… No? No, ok. Moving on.

clevercat litter box

Get it on Amazon

I’ve read that people have had great success eliminating litter scatter by switching to top-entry boxes, like the Clevercat (or this cheaper model by Petmate). The logic behind a top-entry box is that the cat has to jump in and out of the box, dislodging any litter before it can invade your floors.

If you’re reasonably crafty, there are tons of DIY tutorials out there detailing how to make your own from a $4.50 rubbermaid bin.





cat in plane

(Cat war plane from Amazon)

GODDAMNIT I’VE TRIED ALL OF THIS, you cry, gnashing your teeth and pulling your hair. There is one last thing to consider: the type of litter you use.

Fine, lightweight, or clay-based litters tend to track more, as they’re easily lodged in the crevices of kitty feet and can become tacky when damp. Try switching to coarser, large-kernel litters like Feline Pine or Yesterday’s News (I’ve used both—they’re very absorbent and rarely track out of the box).



feline pine cat litter

Feline Pine

yesterdays news cat litter

Yesterday’s News

swheat scoop cat litter

Swheat Scoop









Update!  Check out my latest and greatest litter scatter-eliminating maze. Don’t worry, it’s not quite as labyrinthine as it sounds, and the entire setup (with box and all litter-trapping implements) costs less than 40 bucks! The best part? Litter tracking in my house is down 90%.


One final note to remember—don’t despair, and don’t get mad at your kitties. They can’t help tracking their litter any more than we can help farting in bed or leaving our socks all over the damn house.

And that’s no reason to throw away a beautiful relationship. :]


pippin shower

Pippin has no idea what you’re talking about. He’s certainly never tracked litter into anyone’s tub before.

What kind of litter do your kitties use? Any tips for cutting down on the dreaded litter tracking?


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There’s no getting around it: cat cohabitation comes with the inevitable tracking of kitty crumbs. But alas—all hope is not lost. Here are a few simple, effective ways to beat scatter, without breaking the bank! #cats #catlitter #whycatwhy


8 comments on “How To Win The War On Litter Scatter”

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks for the recommendations for substitutes for the clay kitty litter! Think on this a moment: My cat fell in the water at the cottage, and to comfort himself climbed into his clay litter-box for a snooze. In his diary I noted he called it “the worst day of his life”. (I know, I know – I shouldn’t read his diary but I’m trying to keep him out of trouble).

    1. Why Cat Why says:

      haha!! Oh dear..I don’t even want to picture it. It musn’t have been fun for you to clean off, either. :]

  2. Kayelen Sullivan says:

    I’ve found the bulk litter at Petco that you scoop into refillable jugs tracks a lot less than all the others I tried.

    1. Why Cat Why says:

      Nice! Thanks for the tip!

  3. Joanna says:

    The top entry boxes are bad for cats tendons for jumping out of it on the regular. Esp older cats. has some great info on litter boxes.

    1. Why Cat Why says:

      Great point. Senior cats definitely need specialized boxes they can easily access. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Kelli says:

    Great ideas! I just have one concern about advocating for flushable litters. Cat feces, unlike human waste, contains T. gondii (the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis). It does not hurt the cat and very little risk for humans, but waste treatment plants are not designed to handle it. Also, whatever you flush can end up in places various bodies of water and affect other living creatures. For example, California’s sea otter population is being negatively affected by people flushing cat waste. Lastly, even products marketed as flushable should not necessarily be flushed. They still strain waste treatment plants and are likely to cause plumbing issues.

    1. Why Cat Why says:

      Wow, thanks for this insight! I had no idea. I’ll definitely look into this further. Environmental responsibility is incredibly important to me.

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