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