How to Keep Cat Litter Contained

Keep Fluffy's litter in his box, not on your floors.

Keep Fluffy's litter in his box, not on your floors.

Hearing the crunch of litter beneath your feet when you walk around your home? If so, you'll need to better contain your feline friend's litter to his box and its general vicinity. Kitties can be quite exuberant when they bury their waste, leading to a floor full of litter.

Burying the Evidence

In the wild, felines big and small bury the evidence of their bowel movements to hide their presence from potential predators. When your kitty goes potty in his litter box, he buries his waste in his litter as part of this innate behavior. If your box is small or has short sides, he'll likely kick some of that litter over the sides and onto the floor during this burying process.

Choosing the Right Box

To prevent your feline friend from kicking up a storm of litter all over your floor, choose a litter box for him that has sides high enough that he can't kick litter over them. Purchase a box large enough that he can comfortably turn around in it. An extra-large box gives your furry buddy a lot of room to kick his litter around in without it necessarily winding up outside the box. Even better, a covered litter box eliminates litter scatter from three sides.

Putting a Lid on It

If your kitty has demonstrated a fondness for his current litter box, rather than replace it with a covered one, just purchase a litter cover you can place over the existing box. These types of covers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, many of which look like household furnishings. Not only do such pieces contain your kitty's litter, they hide the litter box. An alternative is to place the litter box in a confined space, such as a bathtub or closet that you furry friend has regular access to through a cat door or other type of access.

Catching the Litter

No matter what type of litter box you have, covered or uncovered, you may still end up with some litter particles being tracked out of the box when your kitty exits the box through its opening. Catch those excess particles in a litter mat placed right outside or under the box. These specialty mats, found in pet supply stores, are made from a variety of materials, from carpeting to rubber, and usually have a slightly nubby texture to catch those stray litter pieces before they wind up all over your home.

Preventing Problems

While you may be happy with the solution you've come up with to solve your messy litter problem, your finicky feline may not and could revolt by eliminating outside his box. Prevent issues by easing your kitty into his new covered, contained or larger box by placing it next to his existing one, then letting the old one stay dirty while keeping the new one clean. Eventually your cat will take the hint and use the new box regularly. If he seems to have issues with a covered box, use a large litter mat under a large open litter box instead to catch the jettisoned litter.

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images