D.I.Y. Litter Mat

08 Aug

Ah, the eternal struggle to find a good kitty litter mat! I’ve tried a lot of different litter mats over the years, and I think I may have finally found one that works for us.

We used to have one of the Petmate litter mats and actually, I would highly recommend it… if your cat doesn’t like to barf on it. It does a great job of keeping the litter down, and pretty much everything else that ends up on it too… including previously mentioned kitty barf. Ewww.

I really do appreciate that Yoyo thinks the place to make a mess is by the kitty litter box, but it meant that the Petmate litter mat got really gross and there was no easy way for me to clean it.

A couple weeks ago, I was surfing around, looking for DIY ideas to post here and I came across a blog post about a DIY kitty litter mat using garage tiles from a company called Swisstrax. The tiles are open profile so things fall through to the ground underneath and then the floor can be hosed down. Or in the case of kitty messes, the tiles can be lifted up and rinsed off, and the kitty litter can be vacuumed up.

It sounded perfect for what I needed, so I did some looking at their many options, and decided to go with the Swisstrax Ribtrax tile. I purchased their sample mat for $35 + shipping (which ended up being about $15 for me in California).

The sample mat includes 6 tiles of your color choice and border/corner pieces which we decided not to use.

Yoyo supervising the assembly process.

We then tried to put the mat into the shower stall where our litter box is (and yes, our cats have their own bathroom) and found that the mat was about 2 inches too wide.

So it was off to Home Depot where we purchased a cheapo hacksaw for $10.

We used a sharpie to draw a line for where the cut needed to go and went at it with the hacksaw. The tiles are made of a softer plastic so it didn’t take too long to saw through. I’m glad that we only had to do 3 tiles though! I then used some really coarse sandpaper to clean up the edges.

Sawed and sanded off edge.

And then the mat went into the bathroom.

It looks quite nice actually!

And the kitties approved.

Yoyo and Bobo checking out the new mat.

As a side note: In case you haven’t noticed, we use a giant tupperware bin for a litter box. We used to have one of those litter boxes with the lid on top, but Yoyo is a total “dig to china” kind of cat. Having a lid on the box meant that when he started kicking up litter, it would slam into the sides/roof and land on top of him and he would track it all out of the box.

We got the idea to use the tupperware bin from a cat behavioralist and it’s worked great for us. Plastic bins are cheap and come in many sizes and do just as good a job as the boxes you get at the petstore, so if you’re looking for a cheap alternative, check out your local Target or Walmart.

So we’re on week 2 of using the Ribtrax mat and it seems like it’s doing an even better job of keeping down the kitty litter than the old mat. I’ve already had to lift out one tile to rinse off and it was very easy to do.  I’m really happy with it so far!


Posted by on August 8, 2012 in DIY, Informational


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4 responses to “D.I.Y. Litter Mat

  1. shadedlinescreations

    August 8, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Great advice! I will have to try something like that. My cats don’t like the litter mats and often just try to lunge out of the box so they hop right over the mat! Yours looked long enough to where they wouldn’t make it 🙂

    • AJ

      August 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

      The great thing is that if you find the sample mat isn’t big enough, you can always buy a couple extra tiles to add on to the end. Kitty can only hop so far. =)

  2. anna maria camillo (@musicmacii)

    December 4, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Doesn’t the litter fall thru the tiles onto the floor?

    • AJ

      December 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Yeah, that’s kind of the point. =) It drops below so it’s easy to pick up the tile and rinse it off and vacuum the litter up. I find the mats that are designed to keep the litter on them are impossible to clean if a cat barfs on it because we use clumping litter and rinsing it with water just makes the litter clump up into a big mess.


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