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How to Clean a Cat Litter Mat: 3 Simple Steps & Quick Options

As cat owners, we tend to do all that we can to keep our feline family member’s bathroom area clean. If we don’t, we are bound to deal with terrible smells, unsightly spaces, and tracked kitty litter all around the house. Placing a cat litter mat under your cat’s litter box is a great way to help manage the litter mess. However, that mat must be cleaned at least occasionally to keep litter from getting everywhere and bad smells from developing. Here are a few simple steps that you can take to clean your cat’s litter mat.


How to Clean a Cat Litter Mat in 3 Simple Steps

1. Remove the Mat From the Litter Area

sphynx cat using purple cat litter box on a mat
Image Credit: Kokorina Mariia, Shutterstock

The first thing that you must do to clean your cat’s litter mat is remove it from the litter area completely. Carefully take the cat litter box off the mat, then pick the mat up and dump any debris that’s on it into the litter box. Then, take the cat litter mat outside.

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2. Wash the Mat by Hand

Once the cat litter mat is outside, pour dish soap into a bucket, then fill the bucket with warm water. You can add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the mix to help neutralize odors. Grab a clean cloth, dunk it into the cleaning solution, and use the cloth to lightly scrub the litter mat clean. Once you are satisfied with your result, rinse the mat off to finish the cleaning process.

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3. Let the Mat Dry

Drying laundry on a clothesline
Image Credit: DaModernDaVinci, Pixabay

It is important to let your cat’s litter mat completely dry before putting it back under the litter box. If any moisture is present, the litter will stick to the mat, which will require another cleaning sooner rather than later. Therefore, you should leave the mat out in the sun to dry all day long before placing it back under your cat’s litter box. If it’s a rainy day, use a clean and dry cloth to thoroughly dry the mat and then leave it to dry further somewhere in your home for a few hours.

After your cat’s litter mat is completely dry, it is safe to place it back under the litter box. This is a great time to completely clean out the litter box and make sure the entire space is completely clean.

If you're dealing with stubborn smells in your litter box or elsewhere in your house, a good cat litter deodorizer can work wonders.

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3 Options for Quick Cleaning

There is not always time to thoroughly clean a cat’s litter mat. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to quickly clean the litter mat so it does not cause a problem until you can get it outside and clean it with soap and water. Here are your options.

1. Shake Out the Mat

When you are super short on time, simply pull the litter mat from under the litter box, take it outside, and shake it out to get rid of dirty litter and debris. You can also shake it over a garbage can in your home, but do so only on linoleum, laminate, wood, or tile flooring so you can easily sweep up any litter that drops on the floor.

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2. Utilize a Vacuum Cleaner

cleaning couch with wireless vacuum cleaner
Image Credit: Viacheslav Lopatin, Shutterstock

One of the most efficient ways to get rid of loose litter on your cat’s litter mat is to vacuum it up. Vacuum the ground underneath and around your cat’s litter box. Don’t forget to pull the mat up and vacuum underneath, or you are bound to leave unwanted litter behind. This will spruce up the space until you can commit to a thorough cleaning.

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3. Throw It in the Washing Machine

curious Sphynx cat laundry washing machine hepper nest liner

Most cat litter mats can be put in a washing machine. This practice can be rough on most cat litter mats, so it should be used sparingly. However, when you’re low on time, this is an option that will help make life easier for you. Just don’t put your mat in the dryer. Let it dry in the sun or somewhere in your home instead.

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Cleaning your cat’s litter mat does not have to be a big deal. Try out the options outlined here, and you should enjoy a smell-free environment that will help keep your cat healthy and keep the humans in your household from dealing with the smell of the cat’s urine and feces.

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Featured Image: Jennifer McCallum, Shutterstock