Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Q. My cats refuse to walk on wood floors and carpets every time I have them cleaned... Why is that?

Answered By

A. Cats are very sensitive to changes in their enviroment, including new odors and textures, and they have a much better sense of smell than people do. It is possible your cats do not like the smell of the cleaners that were used to clean the carpet and wood floor and are avoiding them. If so, once the odors have off-gassed, your cats should be more willing to walk on them again. Changes in texture could also be a factor. Has the nap of the carpet been lifted? Are the wood floors more smooth or slippery? Give your cats some more time to adjust following the cleaning. Normal activity and off-gassing should help. However, if the behavior gets worse, not better, or your cats experince hair loss, sores, excessive scratching or biting, contact your veteriarian. They could be reacting to chemicals in the cleaning products.

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.