It can be difficult to see a pet lying on a throw-rug or door mat. Tripping over your dog or cat results in injury to both animal and human. The obvious answer is to have floor coverings in a contrasting color, but this is not always possible, especially with multiple pets. The vacuum tends to pull out the fibers of multi-colored mats and the high-quality entry mats are all very dark (to hide dirt), which makes it extremely difficult to see a dark pet at night. By painting a light-colored pattern onto a dark mat, it becomes easy to see if Fluffy is lying across the doorway.
Door mat, $20-$40 (but you need one anyway)
Light-colored paint, $0-$10 (if you don’t have any leftovers, the hardware store usually has a stack of discounted “oops” colors or most city recycling centers give away leftover house paint for free)
Brush or stamp, $1-$5
Yardstick or painters tape, $1 (optional)
I spent $2 for a foam brush & yardstick on this project, everything else was already on hand.
Step 1. Decide on a pattern. I went with a simple diamond. Stripes, polka dots, stamped fish, etc. will also work. You can lay it out carefully and mark the mat with tape or chalk, or just eyeball it using the yardstick as a guide.
Step 2. Paint the pattern on the mat. Be very stingy with the paint - too much will make the mat hard and crunchy. Let dry.
Step 3. Bring it back inside. Hooray! I can now tell at a glance whether or not a pet is flopped across the doorway. I cannot really see a pet – I see if a chunk of the pattern is missing.
Notes: The only drawback is that the paint is a little rough, but the texture is no spikier than a sisal mat. Bleach might give a softer result, but it had no effect on a test corner of this particular mat.