Best Carpet For Cats—Durable and Scratch-Proof Options · The Wildest

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Best Carpet For Cats—Durable and Scratch-Proof Options

Options that won’t become a hiding place for those big, yucky wads of fur.

by Rebecca Caplan
May 20, 2024
Woman lies on carpet with orange cat.
buritora / Adobe Stock

Let’s be real — as much as we love them, cats can be kind of a non-stop horror show when it comes to carpets. Many cat parents might choose to forgo the comfort of carpets for the utility of hardwood or tile floors, rather than risk ruined floors as a result of scratching, vomiting, litter-tracking and more.

However, before resigning themselves to a life of freezing morning toesies (official medical term) cat parents should consider the array of manufacturers who have designed carpet lines with pets in mind. These options are designed with pet-friendly features like low pile textures, odor-fighting cores, stain resistant fibers and more. When it comes to cats, homeowners will find that putting in the extra research will go a long way when finding and maintaining new carpets. 

How to choose the right carpet with cats

Now, more than ever before, cat parents have a variety of options for cat-friendly carpets to cozy up any space. In recent years, leading carpet brands have put together entire carpet collections designed specifically to withstand the wear and tear of pets — with optimized stain, odor and fur resistance. For cat parents, it’s important to consider additional factors, like weave and material, so your flooring choice can withstand issues unique to homes with cats, such as litter-tracking and scratching.  

To help, we’ve assembled this guide with the aim of demystifying your choices when it comes to cat-friendly carpet.

Easy cleaning ability

With carpet-swatch names like “Pawnache” and “Purrsaison, you can feel assured that Anderson Tuftex’s line of pet-friendly carpets isn’t just plucked from their regular offerings. Instead, the company created 12 original designs using a unique durable fiber blend that keeps carpets clean, especially where cats are involved.

This nylon blend, available in two-dozen colors, is stain and pet hair resistant meaning neither spills nor hairballs will become inextricably linked to the fibers of the carpets. And for messier moments, the carpets are fade and bleach resistant, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning products damaging or discoloring the fibers. All in all, we deem this collection the best carpets for cat urine and other heavy-duty messes. 

Odor resistance

A fun part of being a cat parent is that sometimes you get to smell the mess before you see it. It’s fun, because it’s like you’re constantly playing an olfactory version of “I Spy.” However, if you’re looking to play fewer games with your cat’s bodily fluids, we recommend opting for a carpet from Phenix Flooring’s Pet Plus collection.

These carpets are designed with a stain-resistant nylon fiber blend that comes with a warranty that specifically covers pet urine, vomit and feces. However, the Pet Plus collection’s crowning glory has to be their Microban® protection, which tackles smells at their bacterial source. Built into the back of the floor, this Microban® protection is guaranteed to last for the life of the carpet and is also mildew and mold resistant. However, perhaps the wildest about this cat-friendly carpet line is that it’s available in 400 styles and colors.

Low-pile height

For a minimalist, low maintenance look and feel — cat parents can’t go wrong with a low-pile carpet. Low-pile carpet features a short, smooth fiber that is naturally resistant to fur collection, easily making it the best carpet for cat hair. The tighter weave is also easier to clean in terms of spills and litter tracking. We like the low-pile carpets offered in the Shaw Floors Pet Perfect collection because of their LifeGuard technology.

According to their website “LifeGuard® Spill-proof Technology™ provides complete, clean-up protection by keeping spills and odor‑causing pet accidents from soaking through to the pad and subfloor.” This collection also features 54 styles, each available in anywhere from 12 to 28 colors. 

Popular carpet styles

With a whopping 862 combinations to choose from, the STAINMASTER PetProtect line of carpets has something for every home and style. Designed with a durable nylon fiber, these carpets are soil and stain resistant- and backed by a lifetime warranty. Certain options also feature LeakDefense, which protects your subfloor from any bodily fluids your cat chooses to throw at it. 

Choosing the right material, color, and style can be key to the longevity of carpet in homes with cats. A durable fabric and weave can help protect against stain and odor absorption, and make fur, liquid, and litter clean up a far less messy task. Choosing the right color and style can also minimize the presence of cat hair and tougher stains.

With the right combination of these factors, cats and cat parents can enjoy their cushy carpets for years to come. For more, we’ve compiled a rundown of these factors to help you choose the right carpet for your home. 


We recommend selecting a carpet made from nylon or wool, both of which are known for their durability and stain resistance. Each material has their pros and cons — with wool being a natural fiber with a higher price tag and nylon being a synthetic fiber at a lower price point. Both of these fibers also hold up well to scratching and odor control.


Carpets come in many different lengths and textures which come together to form a weave. As a general rule of thumb, cat parents should opt for a tighter, shorter weave to combat stains, odors and fur collection. Low-pile and berber carpets both feature a tight loop and a short length that can withstand liquids and resist holding onto odor and fur. These tight-looped carpets are also great for cats, because their fibers are less likely to get stuck in your cat’s nails via scratching or everyday use.


Something many cat parents might not think about when choosing their carpet is color and pattern. Sure, the obvious assumption is that a darker color or more complex pattern might mask tough stains or the ever-present layer of cat fur. However, if your cat has a lighter colored coat, a dark carpet might actually highlight the amount of fur — even while concealing stains.

Therefore, if you’re a cat parent of a darker-colored cat, opting for a darker carpet might be the way to go. If your cat has lighter coloring, but you still want to prioritize concealing stains (yours or your cat’s) consider opting for a mixed color carpet that includes your cat’s lighter fur color. 

The importance of maintenance and room functionality

Choosing the right, cat-friendly carpet is the first step to ensuring your home’s floors longevity. However, the second step, proper maintenance, will be crucial to keeping your carpets in good condition. Twice-weekly vacuuming can help keep on top of fur, dander, and litter, which will also keep odors at bay.

Cat parents should also consider engaging a carpet cleaning professional at least once a year for a proper deep clean. A deep clean will not only keep your carpets fresh and functional but it can also decrease sensitivities or allergies for anyone living or coming through your home. For accidents and messes, a go-to pet safe cleaning product can be a lifesaver for your carpets and your own mental wellbeing.

FAQs (People also ask):

What is the best carpet for cats with claws?

If your cat has long claws — and isn’t afraid to use them — a low-pile, tight-looped carpet will keep your floors safe from your cat and your cat’s nails safe from your carpet. And, if your cat just can’t resist scratching through to your subfloor, consider redirecting their attention to a toy that mimics the texture of your carpet.

Is there such a thing as cat-proof carpet? 

No carpet is cat-proof, but advancements in fiber technology have made it so carpet brands can offer specific styles designed to resist the wear and tear of cats and their messes.  

What is the best carpet for cat hair?

Low-pile carpet is the ideal choice for cat parents of particularly floofy individuals. The short, tightly weaved fibers won’t hold onto cat fur like longer, shaggier styles. 

rebecca caplan

Rebecca Caplan

Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.

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