What do you look for in a litter box mat? It's got one main job: to keep litter from scattering all over the place. It would also be nice if it didn't clash with its surroundings, and it fit snugly in the space it needs to fill. Instead of buying a "litter box mat", which may or may not fulfill any of these criteria, consider using a yoga mat!
Color: Advantage Yoga Mat
Yoga mats, like the one pictured here from Sunny Health and Fitness, typically come in a variety of colors. Litter box mats often come in muted colors, which is fine, but isn't it fun to pick out something a little more interesting? You can pick the shade that will match your cat's litterbox, or your bathroom, your laundry room, or wherever you've got kitty's box.
Size: Advantage Yoga Mat
Another advantage of using a yoga mat instead of a purpose-built litter box mat is the typical size difference. This particular yoga mat measures 24" by 68", which is a lot longer than the typical litter box mat. When you purchase an affordable yoga mat, you won't have any problem cutting it into the perfect size and shape for your space.
Litter-Catching: Advantage Yoga Mat
The material used to make yoga mats is a comfortable, thick non-slip PVC foam. The key here is the phrase non-slip. Yoga mats are made to stay in place and help you stay in place while you practice various yoga poses. This gives them a grippy surface that is perfect for catching little pieces of litter at the bottom of your kitty's paws as he or she walks over it. The surface is solid and dry, though, so you can easily brush or sweep up the caught litter.
Cats love to find hiding places and their natural curiosity gives them a desire to explore. Large interactive toys like this fun tunnel fulfill these natural cat tendencies.
This Fun Tunnel from ABO Gear is a large tube that measures over 50 inches long when fully extended. The tunnel is open on both ends and there are two portholes for a quick escape or an unexpected mid-tunnel pounce. The tunnel is lined with a faux fur interior and has a stylish cat-themed leopard print on the outside. The tunnel has a crinkly lining that makes crunchy noises when touched, which is interesting and exciting to many cats.
We have a tunnel similar to this one and our two younger cats, Timmy and William, absolutely love it. They bring toys inside with them - their favorite combination is to bring a crinkly toy inside the crinkle tunnel and make a cacophony of crunchy noises. Our older kitty, Gumby, isn't a big fan of the crunch sound. Not all cats are. He likes to play with his mates though, and he's been in and out of the tunnel a few times while chasing the others. As a larger cat (13+ lbs), he fits in our similar tunnel just fine. This tunnel from ABO Gear is also appropriate for cats in this size range.
Long play tunnels like this are a fun toy for single cats to use as a hideaway or a spot for creative play. Play tunnels are also a hit in multi-cat families. The access holes midway through the tunnel are perfect for sneaky attacks and quick getaways when playmates are having fun together.
Save your back with an extremely long-handled litter box scooper like this unit from Sand Dipper. The handle is over 2 feet long!
This is a serious litter box scooper. The basket is made of stainless steel mesh and the pole is lightweight -- similar to a ski pole. A loop on the end makes it easy to hang up for storage. It even comes with a one year warranty!
The high-quailty materials aren't even the big draw with this litter box scoop. Look at that handle! The pole is over 24 inches long, with a total reach (pole end to basket end) of 27 inches. Save your back with this long scooper! You'll also be able to avoid inhaling litter dust when you use a longer scoop like this one.
The Sand Dipper Jr was actually initially designed for beachcombers -- the original idea for this product was to sift through a totally different kind of sand!
This is a small self-groomer / massager for cats that you install using adhesive pads. This particular unit is great because you can attach it to a flat wall or a corner -- whatever will work best for you and your cat.
I think a self-groomer like this is great for all cats, but it's really a must for long-haired cats. Our long-haired tuxedo cat Arby loved the corner unit we had set up for him. Any extra "brushing" a long-haired cat can take care of him- or herself is a bit of a time-saver for you and a big source of pleasure for your kitty.
These idea behind these wall-mounted brushes is that they have small plastic bristles that the cat can rub its face or body against. You can place this unit around a favorite corner or on a flat piece of wall. This brush from Catit has the extra benefit for you that the brush snaps out of the frame for easy clean-up and hair removal.
Now, all cats arent't the same, and the perfect product for one cat may go completely ignored by others. I would say that if your cat loves to have its cheeks, forehead, or chin rubbed when you are petting him or her, this product will be a big hit with your cat. This brush also comes with pockets and catnip -- add the nip to the pocket and your cat will come running to check it out!
Our tuxedo cat Gumby is FIV+. It may be due to his condition that he suffers from terrible allergies that used to leave his skin in pretty bad shape. When we first had him as our foster kitty, he had bumps on his skin at the base of his tail and at his haunches. We could see he was in misery from the itching -- it was awful. It was recommended we ask the vet for a steroid shot to help relieve the itching. This did wonders for his comfort, but we still had to get to the bottom of the skin issues.
Something else that helps with skin irritations and allergies is this topical hydrocortisone spray from Excel.
This is a safe and gentle formulation made for pets, including cats. If I had known about the availability of cortisone for cats when we were working with Gumby's skin condition, I would definitely have tried it. At less than $10 for a 4 ounce bottle, this is a lot more affordable than a steroid shot. The shot is supposed to be good for a month, but just a couple of weeks after the shot Gumby's skin flared up again. Having something on hand to use as needed would have been both convenient for us and a big help to Gumby.
Meanwhile we knew there had to be underlying issues causing Gumby's skin issues. In the first weeks we had him, he needed to visit the shelter's vet to be neutered. He also needed to visit the shelter's open days several times. Unfortunately, this exposed him to other cats, and to fleas. Was a flea allergy causing his skin condition?
We also suspected that he might suffer from an allergy to his food. We started to offer Gumby different foods to see if that would help. Meanwhile we were able to proclaim him flea-free. But he still had bumps and itching. We saw some real improvements when we tried grain-free foods -- that did the trick! Now Gumby is on a high-quality grain-free diet, and his skin and fur have never been better. In addition to the other problem areas, Gumby had a bad case of feline acne on his chin. We didn't expect this to clear up too, but today his little tuxedo chin is pure white!
It's pretty awful when your kitty is suffering. While you work to find the underlying cause of skin irritations, which can be caused by diet, flea or insect bites, or other factors, consider trying a hydrocortisone topical spray made for pets to give your pet relief. You should be able to pick this up for under $10 with free Amazon Prime shipping.
Here's a picture of Gumby making a funny face. Look at his pretty white chin and healthy, shiny fur!
Does your cat feel anxiety in certain stressful situations? The Thundershirt is designed to help keep cats calm by applying gentle and constant pressure around the cat's torso.
The Thundershirt works in much in the same way that swaddling a baby will make the baby feel more secure. Pressure is also used to help reduce anxiety in autistic people encountering a stressful situation.
Use the Thundershirt when your cat is showing signs of anxiety during travel, grooming, visiting the vet, noise, or other issues.
Our cats love this soft mouse toy from SmartyKat. Madcap Mouse is a soft toy with plush "fur" on its body and a soft face with a shorter pile. The mouse has a short tail, whiskers, and leopard-pattern ears.
Madcap Mouse comes with a small vial of certified organic catnip. The toy has a small velcro opening that you can use to refill the toy with more, fresh catnip. This mouse toy is about four inches long, not including the tail.
Madcap Mouse is a highly rated toy that's virtually irresistible to cats -- especially when its filled with catnip. Reviewers also like the quality and long-term durability of this awesome cat toy.
We have three cats that are fond of Madcap Mouse here in our home. This toy was the first one that our kitten Timmy went for when we first brought him home. We had picked up Timmy and his mother, sister, and brother from living wild at a local county park. Madcap Mouse was the first toy he went to, and it's still his favorite toy today. Timmy likes to grab the mouse in his front paws and kick at it with his back paws. He also carries the toy around the house, which is extremely cute to watch.
Here's a photo of Timmy the first day we had him, right after he found Madcap Mouse.
Cheristin is an effective topical solution for the treatment and prevention of fleas in cats and kittens at least 8 weeks of age. This external flea treatment is effective in killing 98-100% of all fleas on your pet within 12 hours. Use Cheristin every month to keep your pet healthy and free of fleas.
The non-prescription anti-flea treatment medication is highly rated by cat owners. Many have found it to be more effective than other national brands, including Advantage, Revolution, and Frontline.
This box of Cheristin has six doses for six months of flea-free living for your feline companion. The doses are individually measured into single-use, easy-to-use and gentle applicators.
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Some cats don't mind to be groomed, while others run when they first see the cat brush. And not all kitties are as polite and patient as they could be when having their claws trimmed. But these necessary grooming tasks have to be performed periodically, whether your feline pal likes it or not.
If grooming your pet is more scratchy nightmare than playful romp, consider getting a cat grooming bag like this one. The grooming bag acts like a cat straightjacket, safely and securely controlling your cat's sharp-claw-weilding legs until you are ready to clip or brush. The bag is made of heavy-duty nylon with rubber mesh, so it can even be used in case your kitty needs to have that most dreaded event in any cat's life: a BATH.
The bag secures over your cat with a zipper across the back and snug velcro at the neck for a good fit. Zippers at the front and rear of the bag allow targeted access to all four legs and paws individually, plus access to the tail / hindquarters if that area needs any grooming attention.
The bag is available in two different sizes. Be sure to check out the customer reviews to see how great this bag has worked for other cat owners!
This is a great alternative litterbox that was not primarily designed to be a litterbox. It's actually an industrial stainless steel steam table pan. Yep, this "litter box" was made to prepare and serve food!
Stainless steel seems like a no-brainer material for a cat toilet. I mean, it's stainless! Metal boxes are easy to clean and won't retain odors. This box is very close in dimensions to a large standard litter pan you'd find at any pet store. The box measures 20.9" by 12.9" by 6.1". The pan has a small outer lip that is curled under at the edge, so it's safe for your cat to enter and exit. The strong box is also surprisingly lightweight, making it easy to work with and clean.