How do you help your cat stop throwing up hairballs on your carpet?

How do you help your cat control throwing up hairballs all over your carpet? He absolutely will not throw up a hairball on a wood or ceramic tile floor. He is a long-haired cat.


Dear Sharon,

Great question! Every cat owner surely wants the answer to this question, so here goes.

For cats, the carpet is preferred to a hard-surfaced floor. Throwing up is so unpleasant because it violently engages a lot of different muscle groups. It’s bad enough getting sick; we would not choose a slick, slippery surface to do it on, either. So cats dig their claws into the carpet to have some control over what is happening.

It’s hard enough merely walking on an ice rink, to give the idea of how cats (with claws out) react on a tile or linoleum floor.

It’s possible that they could hurt themselves if they lost their footing during such a physical reaction. In nature, cats would be prompted away from smooth, open spaces, such as the top of a boulder, and onto sandy or grassy ground where their paws can grip.

This is why cats will leave the kitchen… and throw up in the living room.

We are naturally exasperated, but we are only thinking of the “cleaning up” part. They are only thinking of the “throwing up” part. It’s nothing personal.


Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Lifestyle Expert

September 08, 2011

Located on the white label above, usually on the back of the machine.

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