Our Paw Rating 4 ½
It’s a good idea, in theory, but most litter mats are not especially well designed. Some have just a little bit of a rough surface, much like a piece of artificial turf. This may brush some litter off the bottom of the cat’s paws, but it doesn’t really spread the pads enough to get all the litter off her feet. Some are so spiky and uncomfortable that the cat is discouraged from walking on them. It’s never a good idea to make it uncomfortable for your cat to enter her litter box, because one day she’s going to decide to use your bed or rug or dirty laundry for a litter box instead.
And the problem with almost all mats is that once the litter drops off, it’s sitting on top of the mat and is easily either knocked off onto the floor or picked up on kitty’s feet the next time she uses the box. So the litter gets tracked around the house anyway.
The Soft Touch Track Mat addresses all of these problems. The plastic slats that run across it are well designed to gently spread the pads on a cat’s paws as she walks over it. “Gentle” is the operative word here, because the slats are rounded on top, making them smooth and soft and easy to walk on. The plastic slats form a molded grid that fits into a tray about an inch deep. As the litter drops off kitty’s paws, it falls into the tray below, so it cannot be spread around the house. As a bonus, if your cat urinates with her haunches sticking out of the box, the tray will catch that too. When you’re ready to clean, you lift the grid out of the tray, empty the litter (and anything else), wash the grid and tray, and you’re done.
The only thing I don’t like about it is that one side is curved to fit the curved side of the SageKing Corner Combo Litter Box. The curve does not sit flush against typical rectangular litter boxes, and having a gap between box and mat defeats the purpose of a litter mat. The side opposite the curve is flat, though, so you can just turn the mat around. But the curved design does cut down on the amount of floor space the mat covers.
That said, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives here. Simply put, nothing beats the tray underneath, plus the soft, smooth, effective grid. The tray does come in several colors, although most stores seem to carry only a single color.
As a word of caution, a litter mat of any kind is not a good idea with a cat who is unsteady on her feet for any reason or has any kind of pain or injury to her hindquarters or feet. It’s also not good for kittens who are learning litter box etiquette or seniors who may have a tough time getting in and out of the box, because it adds a degree of difficulty to using the box.
It retails for $13-15. Buy it at one of AdoptAShelter.com’s fine retailers to benefit your favorite animal charity.
Category: Featured Product
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