Our cat is free to go in/out through the cat flap. Being quite wet here, he often gets muddy paws, so we get prints in the kitchen, carpeted rooms, window sills, today even on a wall!

On the inside of the cat flap, there's a mat, although that doesn't help much (and searching the web, everyone says so). On the outside decking, then grass / raised beds.

What we do currently

Currently we deal with it by trying to catch the cat (not that hard, if we're around) as soon as he enters, then wiping the paws (he's annoyed by that, but it's possible). This gets rather annoying near meal times when the cat is going in/out all the time.

Another thing we do is to close the cat flap when it's particularly wet, or just when he can't decide where he wants to be.

Any other suggestions? On one forum I saw a post mentioning in passing they have their cat trained to wait to get wiped after coming in. Not sure if that's even a real option.

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    did you try a mat or something other on the ground? Maybe it would clean the paws while the cat walks over it? Jan 28, 2021 at 13:45
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    There is a mat, it doesn't help much, and that seems to be the experience that people on the web share. We sometimes get paw prints on window sills a floor above - the cat has to walk over the mat, 5+ meters of hard floor and 10+ meters of carpet to get there.
    – domen
    Jan 28, 2021 at 15:34
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    I assume the success depends a lots of the material of the mat. Has it long or short "fiber", would it soak water or not... I would try something towel-alike or micro-fiber-cleaning-cloth, maybe this rugs, one uses in the bathroom, to soak up the drops after shower? I saw microfiber rugs for dogs at amazon, but I assume there would be less expensive solutions, but maybe not this good looking ;) Which material did you tried? Jan 29, 2021 at 6:31
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    I read about dogs paws, that there are guesses to let the hairs between the toes not grow too long, because the dirt would not have enough grip there then. But I do not know, if this would be a possible option for a cat... Jan 29, 2021 at 6:35
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    I've used a coir mat, a thin fabric mat, and a thick mat with "long hair" (if that makes sense). There are "pet mats" to be found on the web, but users report they don't not really any better. I guess it's no different than a human. If you don't intentionally wipe your shoes on a mat, you'll make a mess :)
    – domen
    Jan 29, 2021 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


Usually adding a pet mat at the inside of a cat-flap and the outside of a cat-flap is a reasonable idea. The cats may run into the cat-flap so the efficiency levels may fall with the mats, but the more mat space, the more steps they take on it.

Many people wipe their cat’s feet when extremely grubby, which is reasonable if it isn’t too often. Cats may get agitated unless you give them their favourite treat when they come in.


Cats don't wipe their paws on a mat so try to just get the paws dry as quickly as possible. I live in the northwest US where it rains more often than not. My cat flap enters onto a hardwood floor and I usually have no issues with paw prints beyond a couple feet from the flap.

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