Best Carpet for Cats

Published: May 16, 2024

If you’re anything like the overwhelming majority of Americans, your pets aren’t just random animals sharing your home. They’re also a part of your family. This means that every choice you make for your home should also consider what’s best for them—including the floors. Choosing pet-friendly flooring can be especially important for cat owners, whose furry friends have a tendency to get a little scratch-happy with many surfaces in the home. Though you’ll never be able to totally eliminate their scratching or the occasional litter box accident, maintaining the carpet in a feline-friendly doesn’t have to be a never-ending chore. The right carpet will make life easier for both you and your cats. Here are a few things to consider when trying to choose the best carpet for cats. 

best carpet for cats

Cut Pile Carpet for Cats

Pile type is one of the most important factors to consider when trying to choose the best carpet for cats. Every cat owner has, at some point, had to deal with their scratching at anything they can get their paws on. While they’ll commonly go for couch arms, table legs, and other pieces of furniture, it’s likely that your floors will also end up a victim. Opting for a cat-friendly carpet is integral to both your pets health and the survivability of your floors, and that starts with choosing a cut pile carpet.

Carpet fibers are finished in one of two ways: loop pile and cut pile construction. As their names suggest, loop pile fibers form a loop at the carpet surface, while cut pile carpets are trimmed so the ends are loose. When a cat scratches at a loop pile carpet, its claws are likely to snag on the looped fibers, often pulling the fibers from the carpet base, causing the surface to look uneven and leading to premature wearing. 

One way to prevent this is to opt for a carpet that has cut fibers. With no loops to grab onto, it’s less likely that your pet will be able to rip the fibers from a cut pile carpet, which will help to extend its longevity. Think of the difference between combing hair that’s full of knots compared to a smooth, well-groomed mane. Your comb will get hung up on every knot, pulling at the hair, instead of gliding smoothly through it.

And a cut pile carpet isn’t one of the best carpets for cats just because it’s more likely to endure their playing—it’s also safer for the pets themselves. In addition to being a good way to damage the carpet, clawing at looped fibers can can also hurt your pets’ paws. It’s not uncommon for a cat’s claws to get stuck in the carpet loops, which can cause them anything from minor discomfort to serious injury. So instead of a Berber or pattern carpet, try a plush or frieze style for a comfortable, cat-friendly carpet. 

High-Density Carpets

The density of a carpet greatly affects its level of comfort, with denser carpets typically offering a springier, more cushioned feel underfoot. It can also play a significant factor on the stain-resistance of the carpet by helping limit how deep a typical spill will seep into its fibers. As a pet owner, you may not catch every spill or accident your cat has on the carpet. And the longer that accident goes unnoticed, the deeper it will penetrate into the carpet backing and even the padding below.

But the denser a carpet is, the less quickly liquids tend to soak in, helping give you more time to address the mess. The extra time can help you clean up more of the accidents before they fully soak in and cause permanent stains or long-term damage. Aim for a high-density carpet to lower the risk of accidents ruining your flooring. 

Polyester Fibers

An extremely popular choice for homes with pets, polyester fibers are used in many of the best carpets for cats. Polyester fibers are non-porous, which means they won’t absorb liquids. That makes them more stain-resistant than other carpet materials, and also less likely to absorb the odors that tend to linger from a cat’s accident long after you’ve cleaned up the liquid. If you’re looking for a stain-resistant carpet for cats that is easy to maintain, polyester fibers are the way to go. 

Carpet with Darker Colors 

Of course, even with all of the best materials and technologies in place, there’s no way to completely pet-proof any carpet. Stains, whether from missing the litter box or those tiny paws tracking mud in from the yard, are an inevitability in any pet-friendly household. One simple way to mitigae their impact is to skip the white or light carpeting and instead opt for a dark-toned carpet. Dark carpets, or even multicolor carpets with a mix of dark and medium tones, can help conceal minor stains.  

Pet-Protected Carpet

In addition to seeking out each of these specific technical specifications, one easy way to ensure your floors can better stand up to life in a pet-friendly household is to choose a carpet that is specifically crafted to deal with pets and their accidents. Empire Today® offers a range of pet-protected carpet, which is specially designed to help protect against pet urine.

Carpets with PUP® (Pet Urine Protection) are built specifically to resist the penetration of pet urine. These carpets will usually also have additional protective features, like SureBlok™ Stain Protection for overall resistance against soiling; or Microban®, which inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and other odor-causing bacteria. These carpet features will all help ease your worries when your cat misses the litter box, and go a long way to letting your carpet and cats peacefully coexist. 

The Bottom Line on Carpet for Cat Households 

So many pet owners think that just because they have a cat, they can’t also enjoy the comfort of carpetted floors. But you can have both, with minimal headaches, simply by choosing a cat-friendly carpet for your home. Choose a carpet style that will accommodate their habits and mitigate their occasional bad behavior, and both you and your cat will be happier in the long run. The Empire® selection of cat-friendly carpets runs the gamut of styles, so you don’t have to compromise on your design goals either. Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate today to see a selection of carpet that would be ideal for your kitty.

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