If you have a cat, no doubt one of the problems you face it is having your pet track cat litter from his or her litter box throughout the rest of the house. This can be especially harmful to carpeting or flooring, since not only can soiled litter make a mess, but litters can scratch hardwood or tile flooring, increase carpet wear and tear, and in general cause disrepair for flooring materials. It can also be hard on furniture and make it necessary to professionally clean upholstery more often, since kitties can jump on furniture with soiled paws. Cat litter mats are one way to control this problem.
Just as you wipe your feet at the door when you come in your house after being outside, litter mats go directly in front of your cat's litter box, and serve as a way to keep tracked litter at a minimum and close to the box. They are generally textured rubber mats that "wipe" your cat's feet as he or she leaves the litter box, so that litter that normally would be tracked throughout the house is "wiped off" on the matting and stays in that area. This not only saves flooring, but also makes cleanup much easier, since litter is contained to one area. It also is generally healthier for cats to have this type of matting as well, since the cat will then not lick this soiled litter off its paws but will leave it on the mat so it is not ingested. Litter residue can be harmful. Of course, it also keeps other materials in your home much cleaner, such as clothing, bedding, or furniture.
If you can't afford or don't want to buy a commercial cat litter mat, you can buy a simple rubber bathmat that will do a lot of the work for you. You can cover the bathmat with old blankets or area rugs that have seen better days. Old "loop" rugs are especially useful for this, since their rough texture helps wipe cats' paws off. Old carpeting remnants are also a good substitute. Whatever you buy, these mats should be washable or at least frequently replaceable, since they will pick up smells from the litter boxes themselves and will become soiled over time.
Whether you buy a commercial cat litter mat or make your own by using old area rugs, blankets, bathmat, etc., using these can be a very good way to keep tracked litter contained near the litter box and keep it from being carried throughout your house. This, in turn, helps keep your entire home much fresher and cleaner. It will also help protect flooring and carpets, and make them last longer without the type of wear and tear tracked litter can cause. In addition, you'll find life much more pleasant if your kitty does not jump on your bed or furniture with soiled feet. This, in turn, keeps the rest of your family, as well as your pet, much healthier.