Stop your cat from litter tracking with a top entry litter box.

May 17, 2021 6 min read

Cat standing on a top entry Modkat litter box

@boristhemagnificentcat

Ever walked out of the bathroom with toilet paper attached to the bottom of your shoe? Probably not more than once or twice. Then you learned to start checking your feet before leaving a public restroom.

Cats, however, haven't learned that lesson. They seem to drag litter all over the house every time they do business. Some cats particularly love digging through the pebbles in their boxes like they're on a search for buried treasure. If using an uncovered box, these feline gold miners will fling an avalanche of litter over the side of the box.

Why do cats track litter? And is there a surefire way to stop them?

Let's get the scoop on litter tracking:

 

Is There a Cat Litter That Doesn't Track?

Some kinds of cat litter make tracking easy. Others claim to be nearly non-trackable. Before we (ahem) dig deeper into this topic, we want to review a few of the basics about how to choose the right kitty litter:

  • The best litter is the litter your cat will use. Any other kind of pellets is a waste of money. And although he's a genius, your cat doesn't understand the finer points of ecology, economics, or hygiene. So a low-cost, environmentally sensitive, track-free litter may or may not prove appealing to your pet. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope.
  • Never buy scented litter. A cat's nose contains 45-200 million olfactory sensors. For reference, your nose and mine hold about five million of these sensors each. One whiff of that "lovely lilac breeze" scent that you hardly notice can turn off a cat for all time.
  • Resist the temptation to toilet train your cat. It's cool and clever, but not very cat friendly. What happens if your seat is down, the door is closed, or your cat develops balance issues? Bad things. That's what happens. Besides, flushing  cat waste into the sewage system is terrible for the environment. 

With that behind us, let's delve into three of the best non-tracking litter options on the market — walnut, wood pellets, and paper pellets.

Walnut Pellets made from ground up walnut shells absorb and hold moisture better than nearly any other litter product you can buy. "But," you may ask, "how nicely does walnut clump? Can I scoop it easily?" In response, the research says, "Yes, walnut litter clumps, and you can scoop it." Walnut also does a great job at minimizing that awful ammonia smell intrinsic to cat urine.

Wood Pellets By itself or when mixed with another product such as corn, wood makes an excellent litter choice. This option doesn't control ammonia odors as well as nut shells do, but wood pellets form rock-hard clumps, which make cleaning a breeze.

Paper Pellets Compressed, recycled newspaper forms a biodegradable litter solution that's as good for Mother Earth as it is for your living room floors. Better yet, paper absorbs three times as much liquid as clay does, and the pellets are almost 100% non trackable. Win/Win/Win

Because of our commitment to minimizing our carbon pawprint, we at Modkat don't recommend clay or crystal litters unless your cat is so finicky they won't use another type. 

 

How Else Do I Stop My Cat from Tracking Litter Everywhere?

Once you've found the right litter, it needs to go in the right litter box. If you've spent much time online looking at your options, you've probably discovered that litter box options range from a grungy old laundry basket to a veritable cat palace. Before you invest in a litter box, consider the following tips:

  • Make sure your litter box is the right size. The rule of thumb says the box should be 1.5 times the length of your cat and as wide as your cat is long. When in doubt, go bigger for better results. 
  • Buy all the boxes you need. That's one per cat plus one extra. Make sure there's at least one box on every floor of your home and that all boxes can be accessed by all cats at all times.
  • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of both hooded and uncovered options. According to the only scientific study on the subject, 70% of cats will use either a covered or uncovered box with equal enthusiasm. And another 15% prefer covered boxes. Only 15% prefer uncovered ones. So if your cat is like 85% of her feline family members, she'll like a covered box. And so will your floors.
  • Think about the relative merits of top-entry boxes versus front-entry ones. A top-entry cat litter box is simply a litter box with a hole in the top. These boxes offer some real plusses. Namely, the high walls of a top-entry litter box help keep litter inside no matter how industriously your cat digs. However, a cat with mobility impairments, a small cat, or a senior cat may not be able to use a top-entry box. 
  • Choose a litter box with a litter-capture design. Our Modkat community consistently names the top-entry design one of the reasons they love our litter boxes. Cats enjoy diving into the box, and humans love to keep the sights and scents of cat business under cover. Add a litter mat to the box, and you've got a win.

Many cat caregivers have discovered that the secret to clean floors lies in a combination of the right litter, a good litter mat, and a top-entry box.

 

What Are the Benefits of a Top-entry Litter Box?

A top-opening cat litter box offers several great benefits to cats and their humans alike.

It's a lot less messy for one. Without all that stray litter getting kicked, dragged, or sprayed around your house, you can spend more hours cuddling your cat and less time sweeping up after her.

For another thing, a covered, top-entry box is less smelly than a traditional one. Some people object to covered boxes because they trap odors inside where the cat is. That's a fair point, and it's a good reminder to scoop the box after every deposit, replenish litter regularly, and clean and refresh the box weekly. 

Our Modkat customers tell us they love how easy it is to clean the box. Just lift out the reusable liner, dump it out, clean the liner with soap and warm water, wipe down the box, and you're good to go.

You shouldn't have to spend much on litter, either, since the high walls and covered top help keep litter off your floors and inside the box where it belongs.

 

Will My Cat Use a Top-entry Box?

Most cats don't care whether they use a top-entry or front-entry box. Many shy cats automatically love the privacy of a covered box. But a few animals need extra patience as they transition to their upgraded bathroom.

 

How Do You Introduce a Cat to a Top-entry Litter Box?

Introducing a cat to a top-entry litter box doesn't have to be difficult or frustrating. Most of the time, cats can figure out what to do. If they do need a little help, follow these steps:

  • Put your new Modkat litter box in the same place you had your cat's old box.
  • Add 3-4 inches of litter, including at least one scoop of litter out of the former box.
  • Once your kitty catches a whiff of that familiar odor, their instincts will kick in.

If your cat still struggles with their new litter box, try these techniques:

  • Pick up your cat and gently place them on top of the litter box. They might jump off or out of the box right away. It's okay. Your pet is still growing familiar with the new product. 
  • Pull out the old litter box and put it right next to the new Modkat box. Leave the lid off. 
  • Wait three days, and then replace the Modkat lid.
  • After another day, remove the old litter box.

While no one can guarantee that your cat will love a top-entry box, about 85% of cats do happily use this style. If your cat is an outlier on this issue, you can try our open-top litter tray. The Modkat Tray features an extra-deep base and a 16-inch high splash guard.

Litter tracking is one of the few annoyances about living with a cat. Fortunately, choosing the right litter, adding a litter mat, and investing in a top-entry box can help your floors stay clean and your cat stay healthy and happy. 🖤🐈

 

Shop the Modkat litter boxes and accessories to freshen up your cat litter area today!



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