Are Hardwood Floors Bad For Cats: [Revealed]

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Many homeowners and families do not get hardwood floors installed in their houses or won’t move to an apartment with hardwood flooring as they think it won’t be safe for the cat.

Hardwood floors aren’t really bad for cats, but picking the right type helps. Go for hardwoods like white oak, red oak, or hickory. They’re good because they can hide scratches and dents better, especially if they have a matte finish.

Hardwood floors are good for cats
Hardwood floors are good for cats

They support their joints and body structure and provide a sturdy structure underneath.

If you are still concerned about the effectiveness of hardwood floors for cats, read along, and you will find out.

What Danger Does Hardwood Pose To Cats?

Hardwood Floors For Cats

Hardwood floors do not have any dangerous factors that might affect your cats in any way.

However, there can be problems for you that you might not be aware of initially, but they can become major problems later on.

Are Hardwood Floors Bad For Cats?

Hardwood floors are not bad for your cats as they balance beauty, craftsmanship, and a natural element inside the house.

However, having a cat with hardwood floors in your house or apartment can be a major problem.

If you can’t understand the problems, here are some common issues cat owners who live in houses/apartments with hardwood floors face.

Cat Scratching Hardwood Floors

One of the most common problems related to cats and hardwood floors is scratching.

Even though cats do not have visible and cutting paws, they can still scratch the floors on various occasions.

You can expect scratching when your cat runs on the floors or jumps around.

Cat Scratching hardwood floors
Cat Scratching hardwood floors

Besides, as we know, cats are moody creatures, and if they are sad or angry, they might scratch the edges or corners of your hardwood floors.

This can be a serious problem if your floors are unfinished as the bare wood can get scratched, and it won’t be easy to get it to look better again, let alone new. Follow this blog on fixing hardwood floor scratches.

However, this problem can be countered if you have a strong wax or polyurethane finish on the surface which will put a protective coating on the surface to prevent the scratches from damaging the wood.

Also Read: Removing Scratches From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Cat Urine Smell On Hardwood Floors

Hardwood is a porous material (1); even if you finish it with any type of varnish, this quality won’t be taken away as it is necessary for the floors.

However, this can result in a major problem for you as your cat might urinate on the floors.

Being a porous surface, making the urine smell disappear can be extremely difficult. Even if you have a litter box for the cat, there can be spillages outside the box.

These might be easy to clean, but removing the smell can be challenging.

Cat urine Smell on hardwood floors
Cat urine Smell on hardwood floors

However, if you want to remove the urine smell from your hardwood floors, you can use ammonia-based cleaners, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get cat pee smell out of hardwood floors.

All these are suitable and effective remedies.

But the best way is to take your cats to the litter box when it is time and ensure that there are no spillages.

Even if there are, you can clean it up immediately to prevent any stains on the surface or smells that might be hard to remove afterward.

Cats Grit On Hardwood Floors

Cats can induce a massive amount of grit on your hardwood floors, making them look weary and worn out before time.

They can exert great pressure on the hardwood floors despite their small size.

Besides, their extensive activity during aggressive sessions or playtime might be taxing for the health and condition of your hardwood floors.

This can make your floors look worn from a certain area, which might result in a stained look on your hardwood floors.

A suitable solution for this problem is to use area rugs. These can take the additional grit and absorb the effect of the traffic to protect your hardwood floors.

However, make sure to use a rug pad underneath to ensure proper gripping and to prevent any scratching from underneath.

An area rug can be placed on your cat’s favorite spot on the surface so they can play without any restriction, and you don’t have to worry about your hardwood floors getting damaged in any way.

Are Hardwood Floors Bad For Cats Joints?

Usually, hardwood floors are not damaging to cat joints; however, if your cat has arthritis, it might be a problem for your cat as hardwood floors have a stiff surface.

If the cat falls or slips on the floor’s surface, the experience can be quite painful.

A suitable solution here would be to install carpets and rugs all over the house to give the cats a cushioning surface.

However, their maintenance is a big question that you might want to ask yourself.

What Kind of Floor Is Best For Cats?

Hardwood floors are considered the best for your cats as they can provide a feeling close to nature and give the right balance of comfort and strength.

Hickory, Hard Maple, and White Oak are this category’s most popular wood types. I have written a detailed guide on best flooring for cats that have claw, scratch, urine, or vomit. Do check it out.

However, if you want a softer experience for your cats, try getting an underlayment and installing area rugs and carpets on the surface to cushion your cats and increase their comfort level.

What Hardwood Floors Are Safe For Cats?

Harder wood types like Hickory, Hard Maple, or White Oak are the best and safest for cats.

These hard and rigid surfaces can withstand the rough treatment your cats might give without complaining.

However, you might need to rethink your decision if your cat has health issues.

Moving towards softwoods such as Ee, Cherry, or Black Walnut might seem appropriate, but these types can’t effectively withstand the rough treatment your cat would give the floors.

Are Hardwood Floors Bad For Pets?

Hardwood floors are certainly not bad for pets and all such information is probably bogus or has a context that is not mentioned in the original statement.

If your pets are healthy and are not facing any medical condition, disease, or problem, hardwood floors are the best option for them, and won’t hurt them in any way.

However, if your pets are suffering from any type of illness, chances are that you might need to consult a vet before it.

The most common disease which makes hardwood floors non-suitable for pets is arthritis.

If your pets are not suffering from that, you need not worry about anything else as you can easily make them inhibit the hardwood floors.


Hardwood floors are one of the best choices one can make when it comes to choosing the right flooring for their house.

If you have cats and you’re worried if the hardwood will suit them or not, rest assured as your cats are going to love the floors.

If you are too conscious about this matter, a suitable solution is to take your cats to the store and let them choose the flooring they like.

The more they walk around something you should know they like it.

However, if there are still doubts in your mind, read the passage above as we have mentioned all the possible problems along with their solutions so you can help your cats build a healthy relationship with your hardwood floors.

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