6 reasons why hard floors are better than carpeted floors for cat owners

Vinyl or laminate flooring is better than carpeted flooring if you live with a domestic cat. And it is even more desirable if you have underfloor heating. I believe that there are six reasons why hard flooring is better than carpeted flooring.

Gabs on the kitchen floor enjoying the underfloor heating
Gabs on the kitchen floor enjoying the underfloor heating. Picture: MikeB.
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Inappropriate elimination

You must have heard a lot about inappropriate elimination. The description is made by people for people. From the cat’s perspective to urinate outside the litterbox is appropriate under the circumstances in which the cat finds themselves otherwise they wouldn’t do it There is always a reason, a human reason normally, why domestic cats do things.

If a cat inappropriately eliminates on a hard surface, cleaning it up is straightforward. You use standard cleaning materials. If they do it on a carpet you have to use an enzyme cleaner. There is no other option. This is a specialist cleaner which you can buy online. But it’s troublesome and on a hard floor it is easy.

RELATED: Declawed cats are seven times more likely to pee in inappropriate places


If, with regret, your cat has fleas and if the infestation is troublesome, let’s put it that way, it is likely that you have fleas in your carpet. Fleas jump from carpets onto cats. Carpets provide a nice warm home for a flea to wait for a passing cat onto which they can jump to suck their blood.

A hard floor does not provide a home for a flea which is not on their host. It’s a hostile environment for a flea. They are much less likely to survive in my opinion because it is easier to profoundly clean a hard floor that a carpeted floor. How much debris and bits and pieces are resting at the bottom of a carpet?

RELATED: Cat fleas and treatments – comprehensive page


One of the downsides of looking after a cat is that you have to deal with their hair which is shed seasonally. We all know about it and it is one aspect of cat caregiving which puts some people off adopting a cat. Cat hair will attach itself to carpets. You have to Hoover the carpet to get it off. You are likely to leave some on the carpet and some vacuum cleaners are not that able to remove cat hairs efficiently.

If you have a hard floor, cat hairs turn into ‘tumbleweed hairballs’. They sort of join together and end up by the skirting board and in corners. I guess this is because of the air currents which are created when the human occupants of the home walk on the floor. You simply pick up these tumbleweed hairballs and put them in a bin. Of course, some hairs are still left lying around but you can keep the home tidier more easily in respect of cat hairs if you have a hard vinyl or laminate floor.

RELATED: Cat Shedding

Underfloor heating

I know that underfloor heating isn’t that commonplace but if you have it, your home should not be carpeted. If you carpet over underfloor heating you are going to suppress the release of heat from the warm floor which goes against the point of having underfloor heating in the first place. But with a laminate flooring over underfloor heating, you create a beautifully warm floor on which your cat will like to rest. It looks a bit peculiar because cats like to snuggle up into small cosy places but you’ll see your cat in the middle of the floor on a nice warm spot and they will be perfectly content (see picture above).


Sometimes domestic cats use carpets as horizontal cat scratching areas. This can damage the carpet slightly. This may upset some houseproud cat owners. Cats do not scratch vinyl or laminate hard floors. Provided you have a couple of really good alternatives such as the best cat scratching post on the market, currently, the Amazon heavy duty variety of which I have one, your cat will be satisfied.

Smart scratching post
Smart and large scratching post from Amazon, the best on the market bar none. Photo: MikeB.

Interactive feeding

Nowadays interactive feeding has become quite popular. You place dry cat food in a plastic ball with holes in it. Your cat pushes the plastic ball around and the dry cat food pellets fall out gradually. Your cat learns to do this quite quickly. It provides a challenge to your cat. It stimulates the brain. It replicates slightly the hunting experience. It is far better to place an interactive feeding device on a hard floor than on a carpet. This is because bits of dry cat food are left on the floor. On a carpet these bits will fall to the bottom of the carpet where they will remain permanently 😢! On a vinyl floor, you can see them and vacuum them up.

Picture of a tabby cat using an interactive cat feeder
Picture of a tabby cat using an interactive cat feeder. Photo: MikeB
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