Cats are a very important part of the household, and my customers know I love cats (as well as dogs). I “own” 2 cats…or maybe I should say, they own me and allow me to pay the mortgage. Cats are wonderful, but sometimes they can do number on carpets, so it’s ideal to select a carpet that will co-exist well with your cat. What types of carpets are best for cats?
The most common issue with cats are that the carpet pulls (especially if they have claws). But,, there can also be issues with hair balls, vomit, spraying and urine. Once you have spraying and/or urine in the carpet, it’s nearly impossible to solve short of removing the carpet. That’s because of 2 things. First, cats can smell much better than we can. Second, usually, these items penetrate beneath the carpet into the carpet pad and the backing, so even the best carpet cleaning will never fully solve the issue. You need to remove all evidence of the smell and start fresh.
Cats love to play with things. They scratch and stretch and their claws can get into everything – whether intentional or by accident. With looped carpets, cat’s paws will often pull the loops out and cause the carpet to unravel in sections. And, once there is a small issue, it almost becomes a game for the cat to pull out the carpet more. This is especially true for looped wool carpet. Their backing is often latex and less secure, so by all means avoid looped wool carpets. Don’t let the price fool you. These carpets are great, but they will be a disaster with your cat. So, if you have cats, I would avoid looped carpets (like the one on the right, and instead opt for a cut pile carpet (like the one above).
Often, getting a mid toned neutral carpet will do the trick, and even better if you can find a carpet color that is similar to your cat. Also, if you have kitty litter in the area, and if this tends to get caught in their claws, you may want to consider a gray carpet.
This is actually good advice for all carpet owners regardless of whether they have cats or pets. Frequent vacuuming will get rid of dirt (which can wear down the carpet fibers), smells and also help with cats. It will really help make your carpet last longer and make your home nicer and neater. Also, getting your carpet cleaned professionally on an annual basis will also help. But, be sure to inquire about stain protection when you do this. Some of the steam cleaners extract the stain protection (same goes if you do this yourself), so be sure to reapply a topical stain protection afterwards and perform this annually.
This is really a style choice, but having multiple colors will help hide the dirt as well as any messes. Sometimes, this can be achieved by selecting a carpet that has some “flakes” of color in there. But, I know that many customers in Westchester are not crazy about this look. Sometimes, the same effect can be achieved by a solid color carpet from the way the carpet is twisted. You can also select a carpet with a pattern, but these often will cost more.
Polyester and solution dyed products hold color better. Most carpets these days come with stain protection. When the stain protection is applied before the carpet is tufted (as most are), that is ideal is it is part of the fiber and protects you from root to tip. As mention above, be careful when you get your carpet cleaned or clean it yourself. Many of these methods extract some of the stain protection.
Beaulieu has recently launched a line called Magic Fresh. It absorbs many of the odors in the air, including pet odors, so might want to give this a try.
I think this one is obvious, but yes, it helps to get stains out quickly before they settle and penetrate further into the carpet fiber.
Shaw makes a wonderful carpet pad called Triple Touch. It has a moisture barrier on both sides, so it’s great if you carpet is going in a basement where you might have some moisture and it will give you some added protection if you cat has an accident. In addition, it will provide more cushion and support, doubling the warranty of your carpet. It does cost more than a regular carpet pads, but it’s often worth it.
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If you live in Westchester County NY and you are interested in cat friendly carpets, give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.