What Type of Carpeting Holds Up Best to Cat Scratches?

Cats have a need to scratch.
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It's a battle older than time: your cat vs. your household possessions. Cats aren't picky when choosing something on which to sharpen their nails, and felines don't distinguish your favorite belongings from junk. The same holds true for rugs, but some carpeting holds up better to a cat's persistent scratching.

Choosing Your Carpet

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There are a multitude of choices when it comes to replacing your home's flooring. Carpet may be more pet-friendly, as both dogs and cats have soft pads, and can slide and flounder on hardwood or linoleum surfaces. A wool carpet is desirable, as its durability can withstand a cat's nails, and fur tends to remain at the surface, as opposed to sinking deep into the pile. It's naturally fire-resistant, making it a safe alternative. Along with the pros of a good, durable wool may come a hefty price tag, so the more budget-minded consumer may prefer to seek an alternative.


Nylon fiber carpet is a good alternative to wool and is the most common fiber used in today's carpeting. It is hard-wearing and durable, and can withstand constant contact with a feline's nails. Nylon is treated to be stain resistant, which can create a pet-friendly environment. Nylon is a man-made fiber, while wool is a natural fiber, so the eco-friendly consumer may choose to shy away from nylon because of chemical additives.


Low piles may wear quickly, especially in high-traffic areas. Higher piles may have a longer life expectancy, but can trap hair deep within the fibers. A Berber style may be a less preferable choice, as the loops in Berber can be easily pulled by a cat's claws.

The Need to Scratch and Knead

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Regardless of the choice you make when considering a new carpet, your cat is likely to scratch. Cats have a need to scratch to groom their claws, and claws are normally extended when a cat stretches after a long, lazy nap. Provide an alternative for your cat, such as a scratching post, to satisfy your cat's need to dig. Cats also knead, which can give your carpet a workout. A cat identifies kneading with the comfort of nursing, and many cats knead throughout their entire lives.

The Ultimate Decision

Ultimately, the best carpet to resist a cat's scratching will be determined by budget, eco-friendly alternatives and preferred appearance. You may chose to go with a lesser-priced alternative, although the carpet may need to be replaced more frequently, or a higher-priced wool, that will give you and your feline companion years of comfort.

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