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How To Clean A Litter Mat

Litter mats are awesome additions to a cat owner’s arsenal of supplies. They can prevent so much tracking throughout the house which is amazing. These mats act as a preventive measure that catches the litter as your cat is exiting the litter box. But, litter mats can get very dirty in a matter of weeks from the large amount of litter that they are collecting. Due to this fact, they need to be cleaned often. Cleaning litter mats is essential for maintaining a sanitary atmosphere, avoiding a build up of smell, and so that they can keep doing their job of catching litter and preventing tracking.

cat on litter mat

How To Clean A Litter Mat (Step By Step)

1. Get Your Supplies Together

Before beginning to clean the mat, you will want to get everything that is necessary to give it a proper wash. Get together a brush to scrub it, some soap to disinfect it, and also a vacuum if you have one. 

2. Get Rid Of The Majority Of The Debris

The purpose of this step is to get rid of the majority of the litter particles on the mat. Some mats have a inner layer of the mat which holds all of the litter that is trapped. For these kind of mats, you can easily dump the litter into a trash can. If the mat only has a top layer that collects the litter, then you will need to get the litter off of this. In order to do so you can start by vacuuming the mat. Once the majority of the litter is removed, you can stop vacuuming it. From here, you should take the litter mat outside and give it a good shake to deal with the rest.

3. Scrub The Mat

Now, the time has come to give the mat a good cleaning. The reason for this is that the mat is touching litter all of the time and sometimes your cat will urinate it. All of this is extremely unsanitary. You can either do this step in a bathtub or outside depending on what you prefer and what is available to you. Pour the soap on the litter mat and add a little bit of water. Start scrubbing the soap all around the mat and clean off anything that is still stuck to it. You can also apply a disinfectant to the mat to make it even cleaner. A very common disinfectant that most homes have is vinegar. Bleach is not a good option as most rubber litter mats will get damaged when this chemical is applied. Once you have given it a thorough clean, you can rinse off all of the soap. While you are doing this, you might as well give the litter scoop a clean as well.

4. Dry The Mat

To dry the mat, you can either use a towel or leave it somewhere to air dry. Give the mat time to completely dry as you don’t want the mat to be wet while it is in use. A wet mat does not mix well with the potential of being exposed to dry litter.

Tips For Litter Mats

Keep A Vacuum Near The Litter Mat

Periodically, vacuuming the litter mat is a good idea to prevent a terrible mess down the road. Also, super thorough cleans will be needed less often if you spend a few minutes per day vacuuming. 

Purchase A Litter Mat With A Layer For Collecting Litter

These kind of litter mats are easier to clean and do not need to be cleaned as often because all of the litter is not at the top. The litter falls through the holes of the top layer into the collection area so that all you need to do is empty the trapped litter into the trash.

Don't Be Afraid To Replace A Overly Used Mat

Litter mats get a lot of use. Sometimes, a litter mat will have gotten so much use that they are still smelly even right after a good cleaning. At this point, it is best to get a new litter mat.

Don't Dry In A Dryer

Most litter mats are not capable of handling the heat and intensity of a drying machine. The drying machine can warp and damage the materials of the litter mat. It is best to take the slower option of letting the mat air dry or using a towel if you need to dry it faster.

Can You Put A Litter Mat In The Washing Machine?

Most litter mats can not be put in the washing machine. Most manufacturers of litter mats will specifically state that litter mats can not go in either the washer or dryer. Even if the litter mat can be machine washed, it is not a good idea when the mat has a bunch of cat litter inside. This could potentially cause the washing machine to get clogged up due to the amount of litter coming off of the mat. Most litter mats are made from a material not suitable for going in the washing machine. For litter mats that can be put in the washing machine, it is best to remove as much litter from the mat before throwing it in the wash.


Maintaining order around your cat’s litter area is crucial, not only for the health of your pet but also for the cleanliness your household. The right litter mat can play a significant role in ensuring this. Remember to choose a litter mat with a layer for collecting litter for ease of cleaning, don’t hesitate to replace a mat, and avoid using a dryer or washing machine for cleaning your litter mat. Adhering to these guidelines will help keep your pet’s environment clean and fresh, enhancing your pet’s comfort and your peace of mind.

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