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Best Flooring for Cats: That Have Claws, Pee, Urine, Vomit, Stains


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Luxury Vinyl Flooring

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 Cat Friendly Floor Ideas

Cats and floors sometimes don’t go together well, much like any domesticated and housebound pet. While you’ve perhaps had experience maintaining your floor with a housebound dog, you may have a household full of cats now.

  • Whether you have just one beloved family cat, or many, your floor is guaranteed to face the wrath of cat claws and urine as just starters. Cats arguably create more destruction on floors than any other pet walking on four legs.
  • If you’re planning to buy a new floor, what should you consider to help protect from overly playful or older felines?
  • Take a look at these fifteen recommendations, features, and brands for the smartest buying decision.

Cat sitting on wood floor

  1. The Perfect Floor That Protects From Cat Claws

Some cat owners declaw their cats regularly to prevent damage to furniture and carpets. Maybe you don’t believe in this because you want your cat to live as naturally as possible.

Avoiding declawing is only going to bring more risk to your floor. On a hard floor, cat claws can wreak havoc, leaving scratches that become more than noticeable. A real hardwood floor, for instance, could look embarrassingly bad due to your cat treading the surface on a daily basis.

Your cat may even regularly scratch their claws on the wood if you haven’t trained them to use a scratching post.

So what kind of floor works best to prevent cat claw scratches? Vinyl plank and vinyl tile are two good choices thanks to specialized materials that prevent scratches, stains, and scuffing.

armstrong pryzm waterproof wood plank flooring

Many of the materials used depend on the flooring brand you choose. Armstrong is very popular with vinyl plank and tile. Although so is Forbo.

All Forbo floors are produced in Europe with ultra modern production designs to help bring the ultimate in durability. This toughness easily withstands the sharpest claws from your cat.

Now you can let your cat prove to the neighborhood he or she can claw their way to the top of the feline pack. They can do this without you wondering what it does to your floor when letting your cat in.

business cat sitting in office chair drinking coffee in front of laptop

  1. The Perfect Floor That Protects From Cat Urine

Whether you’ve just adopted a kitten or have an older cat, the chance of them peeing on your floor is always there. Teaching a kitten how to acclimate to a litter box sometimes takes time. And with an older cat with incontinence problems, cat urine could become a major problem if you have a natural material floor.

The great thing about many vinyl floors today is they give you the look of real hardwood or stone without worry of maintaining the real thing.

If you want a rustic look to your floor, vinyl plank and vinyl tile (known as LVT) will work well and protect from cat urine stains.

dawn flexstep residential sheet vinyl by armstrong flooring

To expand the natural material aesthetic, try residential vinyl sheet. This type of floor holds up well for the most active households. You’ll also find it very easy to clean if cat pee continues being a problem in your home.

Vinyl sheet provides the additional look of limestone, sandstone, slate, and many other natural materials without the extra maintenance.

Always remember, though, that when your cat pees on your hard floor, it’s important to wipe it up as soon as possible. Otherwise, the stain could set in and create problems on your warranty.

Armstrong is the best brand to consider if vinyl sheet works best based on how playful (or destructive) your cat is.

cat tea time drinking coffee on wood background

  1. The Perfect Floor That Protects From Cat Hair and Other Feline Stains

What kind of floor works best if your shedding cat lives indoors most of the time? Also, what about protecting from other stains you didn’t initially think about, like vomit or poop?

You can’t go wrong with any type of vinyl floor to safeguard against these stains. Some cat owners think laminate is great, though tile also gets a strong vote of confidence.

Another popular flooring product with cat owners is sheet vinyl. Latter is a good variation if you’re not looking for vinyl flooring in plank or tile form.

black and white cusionstep sheet vinyl by armstrong flooring

One major advantage of using sheet vinyl is its extreme moisture resistance. Since you’ll be able to install sheet vinyl in usually one or two unbroken pieces, it leaves no seams for cat urine to seep into.

Always take floor seams seriously if your cats pee on the floor too often. That urine could end up going through the seam and ruin your subfloor. When this happens, it could create dry rot under your floor, leading to a major repair job.

Some of the best brand names in sheet vinyl include Armstrong, Forbo, and Johnsonite.  You may only know Johnsonite for wall base, but they also put out quality floors.

Remember that when you install sheet vinyl, you’ll want to seal and bond any overlapping pieces to make sure cat urine still doesn’t leak through. Most floor brands provide their own patented adhesive products to make sure it’s done right.

kitty helping at work laying on desk with laptop

  1. The Longest Lasting Floor for Cat Owners

Did you know linoleum is the longest lasting floor above any other? It’s known to last up to 40 years with careful cleaning and maintenance.

For someone like you who may plan to have cats in your household for the rest of your life, linoleum would become a good bet in providing equal durableness.

Linoleum sheet flooring has become a popular option in this case thanks to linoleum being one of the most durable floors in the world. Even Bob Vila has sung the praises of this floor and notes how long it’s been around.

A lot of top flooring brands add a protective coating on the surface to further protect from dirt or scuffs brought on from your family of felines. Linoleum also has a basic water resistance, though vinyl is more thorough if you’re prone to flooding.

Basic moisture from cat pee, though, will easily be impervious with linoleum. Cleaning is fairly easy as well with basic vacuuming or sweeping.

Those of you with large rooms will particularly appreciate linoleum sheet rolling since it comes in large rolls. This makes it capable of covering large spaces in one application.

The cost of linoleum also can’t be beat. However, it does matter where you buy if you’re going to find the best deals.

  1. The Thickness Level of Your Floor for Comfort and Cat Paw Traffic

If your cat spends most of their time indoors, they’ll want a comfortable floor to walk on when visiting the litter box, playing, or satiating their curiosity around the house.

While you may already have carpet in your living room and bedrooms, your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room may have a hard floor you need to replace. The choices mentioned above are perfect for your cat, especially since they have varying amounts of thickness for protection and comfort.

We should all think about giving a comfortable floor to our pets, because they need to navigate well when walking or running. As your cat becomes older, they may also develop arthritis or joint problems and want a softer floor to walk on.

Thickness level of vinyl plank is usually between 4mm and 6.5mm. Armstrong uses a standard 4mm, which still provides amazing comfort and protection from wear and tear.

Forbo is another good choice in vinyl plank. They offer a 2.5mm thickness. This is still good, though includes a wear layer at 27.56 mils (0.03” or 0.7mm). Keep in mind your wear layer adds further durability and helps your vinyl plank feel soft. You wouldn’t get a similar feel if you used real and expensive hardwood.

Vinyl sheet also has substantial thickness. Armstrong’s version of this uses branded technologies like CushionCore for superior underfoot (or paw) comfort, plus ToughGuard to take on any rips, tears, or gouges. Not that your cat will likely rip and tear your floor. Nevertheless, we all know some cats play roughhouse on floors.

Linoleum sheet has a good thickness level as well. Johnsonite’s linoleum sheet comes in 0.100” (2.5mm), giving you good quality to withstand the rowdiest cats.

Having a comfortable thickness matters just as much if your cats sleep on your hard floors for long hours. During the summers, especially, they may sleep on a cooler hard floor if you don’t have air-conditioning in your home.

They’ll find all the above choices comfy to sleep on while you still enjoy the convincing look of wood or stone.

  1. Underlayment for Sound Control

Using underlayment will be able to provide even more durability from cat traffic. Most importantly, it also helps with sound control/absorption.

If you’re new to what underlayment does, it helps better control sounds in your home if you experience loud noises. A household full of cats could become loud if they meow excessively.

Even if cat meows aren’t as loud as barking dogs, incessant group meowing can certainly become an annoyance if you’re in a room with an echo.

Places like bathrooms and kitchens are often like this because they typically use hard floors and unique designs. A quality underlayment on your floor will control those sounds for yourself and for guests if you often entertain at home.

Your cats will also appreciate the sound absorption. We all know cats have very sensitive hearing and don’t like loud sounds. When using loud kitchen appliances while preparing food, the underlayment will better control these jarring noises for your cat.

Vinyl plank, tile, vinyl sheet, and linoleum sheet may require underlayment anyway if your subfloor has any imperfections. Most top flooring brands provide their own patented underlayment products to ensure you get the best possible quality.

Before you install your underlayment, remember you’ll have to clean the subfloor. This may require placing your cats in another location for at least half a day until everything’s completed.

  1. Proper Installation of Your Floor Without Disturbing Your Cats

Installing underlayment is only just the beginning. To properly install your floor, you’ll also need a clean environment and no cats around to possibly delay things.

Playful kittens could start playing with materials and tools lying around, potentially placing hazards for them and your flooring project. It’s best to send them outdoors for a while (if they’re outdoor cats), in the garage, in other rooms, or to another home temporarily.

You can’t have debris on your subfloor before installing your floor, because it could mean creating an uneven surface. The last thing you want is having to move your cats again because you didn’t take care in cleaning the subfloor and making sure the area is free of obstacles.

Once you have a clean environment available, you’ll be able to install your floor in one day.

Most installation methods with the above floors are fairly simple, yet do require basic knowledge of flooring tools. With vinyl plank, you’ll be able to enjoy a very simple locking mechanism where you link the planks together before putting them in place.

Armstrong provides this interlock feature, like in their PRYZM collection. Others (like Metroflor) provide a similar locking system.

With vinyl and linoleum sheet, you only have to install in long sheets, requiring adhesives. It’s important to not have your cats in the room when working with these for obvious reasons. You definitely don’t want them breathing adhesive fumes or somehow getting the adhesive on themselves while playing around the area.

While these installation methods work for most people, don’t be too proud to hire a professional installer if you need one. Once again, don’t have your cats around, because they could interfere with the work of the professionals.

Insisting your cats stay in the work area could potentially mean a major mistake being made, forcing you to pay extra for repairs.

  1. Warranties in the Event of Cat Damage

Always check the warranty of your floor product to see what it covers and what it doesn’t.

Many buyers assume excessive floor damage from pets will be quickly covered on warranties. In truth, this isn’t the case. Most of the top floor manufacturers only offer repairs if there’s a product defect at a certain time after your purchase.

A lot of warranties help with other repairs that occur after a certain number of years. Damage from your cats, though, generally isn’t covered. This is why it’s so essential to clean up any messes your cat makes on the floor as soon as possible. If not, stains could set in and make it impossible to clean without paying for professional assistance.

Those of you buying vinyl plank flooring should know you’ll enjoy a lifetime residential warranty for certain products. Armstrong’s Luxe Plank with Lynx Technology Best and their Vivero Best collections are good examples.

Sheet vinyl flooring and linoleum vinyl usually have the same warranties, though also vary depending on which collection you buy. Warranties from the top brands last for at least 30 years, and sometimes 15 to 10. Only commercial-based flooring offers less in how many years they cover, with some being only five years.

Considering businesses get more foot traffic, this makes sense. Just keep in mind your cats may provide more paw traffic in your home than human feet. In this scenario, your floor could become almost as busy as a commercial floor.

Always make an effort to clean up after your cat when using vinyl plank, tile, linoleum, or sheet vinyl floors. Fortunately, today’s flooring manufacturers offer detailed instructions on how to properly clean.

  1. Properly Maintaining Your Floors From Your Cat’s Wrath

Cleaning the above floors needs to become a recurring habit if you want to maintain them properly. Regardless, it doesn’t mean the extensive maintenance you’d otherwise have to put in with real hardwood or stone floors.

Maintaining your floors is relatively easy, as long as you’re physically able to do basic cleaning.

Vinyl plank floors (and all vinyl floors) are very easy to clean by merely sweeping or vacuuming. Armstrong has a good tutorial available you can refer to on cleaning their vinyl floors.

Despite the easy cleaning techniques, you still need to take care to not cause damage on your own. Using the beater bar on your vacuum needs to be avoided so you don’t cause gouges.

Plus, don’t use floor cleaners with potentially toxic chemicals. These could not only damage your floor, but also cause harm to your cat from breathing the fumes.

Companies like Armstrong offer their own cleaning products you can use to deal with tougher stains. Some of these help give a better shine to low gloss floors or restores shine to high-gloss vinyl floors.

As with your installation, make sure you stow your cats away so they don’t make a further mess or freak out from the vacuum noise.

Linoleum flooring can often get clean using more green principles. You’ll find a lot of people who use vinegar to clean their linoleum floors to avoid harsh and abrasive cleaning products.

Add a bit of lemon juice to this concoction and you’ll create a bit of a citrus scent your cat may love. Since cats are sensitive to specific scents, think about the cleaning solution you’ll use before your felines go back to enjoying the floor.

If you’re not planning to be home often, you could always use an automated Roomba to keep these floors clean. Don’t be surprised to see your cat riding one of these if you’ve ever seen similar videos on YouTube. It’s the new indoor, self-driving transport for cats.

  1. Considering a Floor for Your Business if You Have Cats

One thing you’ll notice with the above flooring products is that some are designated Residential and others Commercial. Too many customers take these labels literally.

It’s really just a check on whether your floor receives more traffic than others. Businesses normally receive the most floor traffic, though your home floor may get more when adding your cats to the mix.

Like some casual businesses, you may have cats wandering around the premises during work hours. You can sometimes find businesses like this in small towns where the sight of cats brings a little fun to a normally staid environment. Used bookstores or tourist shops are some places where real cats add to the décor.

Your own family cats may spend more time in your commercial business than they do at home. In this scenario, don’t feel like you can’t use a residential floor in your business.

Vinyl plank works very well in businesses going for a rustic theme. The same goes with linoleum, especially if you have hundreds of customers walking through your store every day.

Letting your cats roam free around the business could bring the same problems highlighted above without having a durable floor. The risk just isn’t worth it if you insist on using real natural materials.

The good news is vinyl floors look so much like wood and stone, experts can’t tell the difference. Now you can bring a natural look to your business’s floor without worry of it being destroyed in mere months from cat and customer traffic.

Using linoleum vinyl rolls will allow you to cover wider spaces in a shorter amount of time. These rolls come in large sizes so you can get the job done quickly without irking customers by closing your business down for a day.

As with your home, make sure your cats are at home or isolated away when doing your business floor install.

  1. Use These Floors in Other Rooms if Cats Reside There

Those of you who’ve seen vinyl plank, tile, sheet vinyl, or linoleum sheet undoubtedly know how great their aesthetic qualities are. When you go through the top brands like Armstrong, Forbo, and Johnsonite, you’ll get beautiful colors, patterns, and textures.

Nobody says you have to use these floors only in kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms. Your cats may hang out mainly in your bedrooms, or even in guest rooms.

Why not use these floors there to help protect the surface while providing a unique look to each room?

We guarantee you’ll appreciate the look and comfort level of these floors, even if you use them in every room of your house. Carpet continues being a big problem for many who live with more than one pet at home. While carpet tile has become a good option for easier maintenance, you’ll be able to scope out cat stains better with the hard floor choices.

Using proper underlayment and using patented features, you won’t have to call these “hard” floors any more.

Your cat won’t find them hard either. In addition, they won’t feel scared navigating on them while running or playing.

  1. Environmental Safety for Your Cats

Most floors today are loaded with materials that your cat will be in contact with on a daily basis. For your cat’s health, you obviously want a floor that adheres to green principles so you know they’re not breathing VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).

The best floors make VOC emissions as low as possible so you don’t take risks with your pets’ health, or your own.

You’ll also be happy to know the best flooring brands mentioned above all adhere strongly to environmental principles.

Armstrong is highly renowned for their attention using all-natural materials, bringing safety to their workers, and having an extensive recycling program. Take some time to read their sustainability page to see all the processes they use.

Forbo also has a sustainability page that proves their attention to eco-friendliness on an international scale. Part of this comes in their forward-looking vision in acquiring new technologies and investments.

Check out other flooring brands, because they almost all have similar pages outlining their environmental approaches.

These floors are obviously important surfaces your cats will be interacting on for years to come. Knowing they aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals or materials hurting them or our planet should you give you purchasing peace of mind.

  1. Avoid Buying Your Floor in a Big Box Store

Undoubtedly the first thing you think about when buying a new floor is to visit a home products store. The store where you buy your floor is going to make a big difference in the quality mentioned above for you and your cats.

You’re really better off avoiding big box stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. These places usually hire sales staff to sell you a product and nothing more. Maybe you’ll be lucky to find a knowledgeable employee who can give you the information you need. However, it’s not overly common.

The best place to go is online, especially a store devoted exclusively to flooring. At these places, you’ll find real experts. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find the best discounts at all of them.

Here at Floor City, we guarantee you’ll find not only real flooring experts, but also the best prices of any other online flooring company.

We do this by adding something very important to buying floors for your pets: Quality customer service.

  1. Top-Tier Customer Service to Find the Perfect Floor for Your Cat

You’ll never be able to find the right floor for your cat without a good sense of customer service.

The problem with so many big box stores is they don’t always give you the customer service you deserve. A real flooring expert has complete knowledge about how floors affect the lives of pets as well as humans.

Our staff is there to help you find exactly what you need. We accomplish this through a live chat portal on our site, or through email. We’ll also take phone calls to help you get a quick and educated answer to your question.

Many of our own staff have cats in their household and know which brands and styles work for your own situation. They’ll even help you find the perfect floor based on the personality of your cat and breed.

  1. Obtaining Your Order Quickly

If you’ve made arrangements to move your cats on a specific day to get your floor installed, you expect to receive your floor on the day you specified. This may involve working with a contractor who’s on a tight schedule.

Ordering your floor through Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Walmart may mean having to wait for your floor if it’s not in stock. Backordering is always a possibility in these stores, and it could mean waiting up to two weeks before the floor comes in.

You’ll never have to worry about that with us at Floor City. All floors are in stock and sent out to you the same day as your order.

Simply call our order number at (800)-898-9540 and we’ll arrange for you to pick up your floor at one of our national pickup centers.

We’ll even send out free samples so you can see whether the floor would work well with your cat. It’s time to think more seriously about the relationship between your cat and the floor you choose. They’ll appreciate you took the time to make their life more comfortable as they live a quality life in peace within your humble abode.

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