Cat friendly carpeting – Carpets that work well with Cats.


Carpet that is good for catskittens - what types of carpets good for catsCats 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.

Selecting a carpet when you have cats – important items to consider

1.  Cut carpets will hold up better than looped carpets with cats.

carpet that is not good for catsCats 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).


2.  Avoid carpets that are too light as they will show dirt and fur.

Carpet that is best for catsOften, 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.


3.  Vacuum carpets frequently

Types of carpets that are best for catsThis 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.


4.  Consider selecting a carpet that has multiple colors in it.

multicolored carpet that is best for cats 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.


5.  Select a carpet with great stain protection and consider a polyester and/or solution dyed products.

carpet that is good for catsPolyester 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.


6.  Consider Beaulieu’s Bliss with Magic Fresh if you have cats.

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.


7.  Clean stains quickly

carpet that is good for kids and petsI think this one is obvious, but yes, it helps to get stains out quickly before they settle and penetrate further into the carpet fiber.


8.  Consider upgrading your carpet pad to one with a moisture barrier.

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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What types of carpet are best for cats? Cat friendly carpeting for Westchester County.

27 Response Comments

  • Rich Cederberg  January 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Great, tips for those people who love cats Debbie. Cats and carpets coexist nicely in many households. In others, not so much.

    • TheFlooringGirl  January 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Rich – Thank you so much. I hope it comes in handy for people with cats when they are selecting new carpet.

  • Lori Cain  January 15, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Debbie, this is great information to pass along to my clients with cats. Good Heavens, you know EVERYTHING about flooring!

  • Barbara  January 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I practice that in our home with our two cats! Good information for those who are considering those fluffy loop carpets!

    • TheFlooringGirl  January 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Barbara – I’m so glad to hear that, and thank you.

  • Corinne Guest  February 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

    As a cat lover with a main floor needing a change we have decided to go all hardwood. However the bedrooms and second level need doing and our 3 cats like to go up there to vomit, not sure why. So good to know, especially as we can change the barrier at the same time. Now 3 blacks = black carpets. No I think not, but we are going to go darker than the original builders cream carpet. Thanks for this I really needed it.

    • TheFlooringGirl  February 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Corinne – So glad to hear this info is so timely. Yes, hardwood is a great option for 1st floor. And, yes, getting a color similar to your cat’s/cats’ fur really helps. (or right…and black shows everything…so going a bit lighter than black will be better.

  • Ryan  April 2, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I think it’s good to advice against looped carpets, not only because they look used very quickly if you own a cat, but also because they can be potentially dangerous. We once had a small bird and let it fly around the appartment. One day we came back to find the poor little guy dead on the floor! What happened? He got stuck in one of these loose loop and apparantly had a hard attack or something trying to free himself 🙁

    Now we have a cat, and we’re very glad that she is very clean. The one we had before used to vomit a lot. This is normal behaviour for cats to clean their guts out – but not very carpet friendly!!

    Thanks for your expert opinion on this, you certainly have to put a lot of thought into choosing the right flooring!!

    • TheFlooringGirl  April 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Ryan – OMG, so sorry about your bird. And, yes I have seen pets (esp cats) get “caught” in carpets and they don’t look very happy. Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate that.

  • Shirley (Carlsbad Realtor)  April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Debbie, this is an excellent post for me as a property manager. I can certainly direct all my owners this way for tips. Thanks

    • TheFlooringGirl  April 6, 2013 at 6:58 am

      Shirley – Thank you so much for your compliment, and I’m so glad this will come in handy. Thanks.

  • Rug Repair  April 28, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for sharing this tips. I think this will help a lot of cat owners with carpets at home on how to deal with it. Cheers!

  • Chris  June 18, 2013 at 12:29 am

    This is a great resource. Good article on carpeting and what makes the most sense for cats. Thank you.

  • barry  July 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I have a concrete floor covered with carpet that my cat peed on-how do you get rid of the smell after the carpet is removed? I’m getting new carpet in a couple of weeks. I tried natures miracle advanced formula just for cats, but it still smells.

    • TheFlooringGirl  July 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Oh gosh, that is too bad, Barry. It is extremely difficult to remove that from concrete. I have heard that Nature’s Miracle is one of the best products out there. You could try Kilz and see if that works. I would make sure you have sufficient time before carpet goes in to see if you can solve and /or if odor comes back. I would delay carpet install until you know for sure. Otherwise, you may be stuck with it.

  • Laurie  April 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Ground coffee. That’s my miracle. Buy the cheap fine grind vacuum-packed brands, cover the spots, and let it sit there. My cat peed on my couch. I immediately applied the coffee grounds, let it sit there for a week, and after I removed it, I asked my friend to lean right into it and sniff. I said “Do you smell anything?” She said “No, should I?” I suspect it would do just as well on concrete.

    • TheFlooringGirl  April 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Laurie – That’s an interesting solution. That probably just masks the smell. I believe they use that to mask many smells (remember Beverly Hills Cop?).

  • Jean Turner  July 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for the article . It was very helpful.

    • TheFlooringGirl  July 28, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Thank you so much, Jean. I’m glad it was helpful.

  • Heather  July 22, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I am considering the luxury vinyl plank, is this okay for cats?


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