Are there things cats hate to walk on, Thomasina? I recently replaced my carpeting with hardwood, and my cats refuse to walk on it!
— Perplexed Cat Mom
Yikes! I’m sorry your cats hate walking on your new floor. I’m pretty sure they’ll get used to it.
Cats are creatures of habit, and it takes us a while to accept anything new. And new floors would be a major adjustment. I don’t think I’d want to walk on them either! For one thing, they’d smell strange and not at all like my familiar territory. And hardwood floors would probably feel slippery when I was used to walking on the carpet.
Things Cats Hate Walking On
We’re pretty careful about where we put our feet. After all, instinct tells us we need them to move fast if something chases us. That instinct kicks in even when cats live totally indoors, and there’s nothing to chase them except the vacuum cleaner and maybe a young child.
I imagine most cats hate walking on slippery hardwood floors because they could be a real problem if we were trying to make a fast get-away. We could slip when we started running.
I feel a bit guilty about telling you how to repel cats, but here are some other things cats hate walking on.
Bumpy surfaces, like gravel and litter that’s made out of pellets. Do you like walking on gravel in your bare feet? Neither do we!
Prickly surfaces that hurt. Putting thorny branches in your flowerbeds is a great way to keep cats away. And carpet runner, placed bumpy side up, will keep cats off your counters and furniture.
Wet surfaces. Keeping the soil in your flowerbeds slightly damp is another great way to keep cats away because we don’t like getting our feet wet.
We hate walking on sticky surfaces because they’re uncomfortable and mess up the scent in our paw pads. Inside, putting Sticky Paws or double-stick tape on your counters will keep the cats away.
Bubble wrap. Ohhh… cats really hate walking on bubble wrap because that popping sound when claws meet bubbles is very scary!
Making Them Happy With Hardwood
You could help your cats get used to the new floor by sprinkling catnip on it. Catnip is a “friendly” scent and should disguise that scary unfamiliar smell. Something else you could try is putting pieces of your old carpeting or some unwashed towels on the floor for a few days. They, too, will disguise that unfamiliar smell and will give them some little islands that don’t feel slippery underfoot.
Oh… yikes… I have to go now. I hear the vacuum cleaner coming out. Really, I’d rather slip across a new hardwood floor than listen to that horrid machine. Have you ever wondered why cats hate vacuum cleaners?