Use an Old Yoga Mat as a Cat Mat

Scarface cat
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I adopted two cats back in May. They look cute in these pictures, but they’re really assholes.

A Mat is a Mat

I am using the term yoga mat here because that is what I am guessing a lot of people have at home but any mat of that material will work. Most camping mat/pads are made of that material and might possibly be cheaper.

After trying to find a cheap kitty litter mat and cheap cat scratchers, I realized that I could use an old yoga mat for both! An old yoga mat has several advantages over standard mats and scratchers.

Scratch It Up

You probably already have a yoga/pilates mat at home and you have probably already yelled at your cats for scratching it. Let them! Sacrifice the mat and let your cats scratch it up! They should like the material for scratching. This might leave a little mess of fabric pieces around but certainly is a much better alternative than the cardboard scratch boxes that turn into a complete mess.

Litter Collector

The yoga mat material is designed to have a little grip, that is the entire reason we use it for yoga/pilates. This is particularly useful to your cat in helping to keep litter at bay. Put your mat down in front of the litter box or even put the whole litter box on top of the mat to track the litter as your cat steps out of the litter box and walks along the mat.

Into Pieces

From a minimalist and frugal stand-point, one yoga mat solves both these problems because the material can be easily cut into pieces. Using normal scissors, you can cut pieces from the mat so it is custom-fit to your home. Place pieces on either side of the couch, another piece in front of the litter box, and you’ll still have material left over. It is also light and easy to nail on a wall if you want to use a rectangle piece vertically like a scratching post.

Readers, cats aren’t difficult to please. What are your diy pet tips?

3 Comments

  1. jesse.anne.o says:

    I like the idea of this tip but I always stall a little around whether I would use things that haven’t been designed for cats/tested by cats with cats in case there are any toxins/choking hazards/etc (and even some things that *are* designed for cats since a lot of pet companies are a little shoddy with safety).

    I think this would work really well as a litter matt – I actually use an old yoga matt as an exam surface if I have to have a house call for one of my cats.

    But I’m not sure about the scratcher? Cats usually need to get their nails in their scratcher pretty well and I just don’t know if matts are deep enough (the ones I have anyway). This might be specific to my cats – but I would worry about them ingesting the pieces of synthetics they scratched off in a way that I’m not with tiny pieces of cardboard. (I just buy the refill packs for horizontal scratching pads because they’re 2 for $12 for the double-wide ones.)

    I think they’re good ideas but I just wonder what a vet/behaviorist would recommend?

    • leslie beslie says:

      Good call on the toxins. I got the idea because you can purchase litter mats of the same material and many of the reviews complain that their kitties would scratch up the mats. However, I’m not sure it’s the exact same material, I just know it’s something similar.

      I will keep this in mind but it seems to have been doing well so far. One of my cats prefers the mat, the other prefers cardboard – so I keep both around. Neither chew on the mat, they stick to cardboard for that. I have been using it for a month as a scratching pad and don’t see any issues but I will look into this more because even though my cats are jerks, I still love them a whole bunch.

  2. jesse.anne.o says:

    Also, your cats are so cute and congrats on the adoption!

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