Linoleum 'rug' on hardwood floor in cat room?

alliekjMarch 27, 2008

Hi all,

I'd love to get input/advice on this from you all.

We have hardwood floors throughout the house, and we have four cats. (My husband had two and I had two when we met - there's no way I'd ever intentionally get four cats!)

Anyway, there's one sunny room the cats spend most of their time in, and I currently have a sisal area rug in there - to protect most of the floor and for looks. However, I have to vacuum the rug like crazy and and can never get it totally clean. I have been considering getting a large scrap of linoleum (real linoleum, not vinyl) and making a "floorcloth" out of it for that room. It could function as an area rug and protect the floor from the cats and look nice, but I'd be able to wipe off any hairballs and get all the hair off it too.

Does that sound feasible? I read something that vinyl will ruin hardwood. Will linoleum? What if I put cloth, felt or canvas on the bottom of the linoleum? Any way to make this work? Alternatives?

Thanks a lot!


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I don't know how helpful this is going to be, but: Our apartment has wall to wall carpet in every room except the kitchen, bathrooms and one of the bedrooms...that room has vinyl tile. I've had a total of 7 cats over the last 30 years...and none of them have liked to hang out on the kitchen tile floor or vinyl tile floor in the bedroom. When they hang out on a floor (as opposed to on furniture), it is where there is carpeting. In the bedroom they preferred the bed to the floor...although my current puss loves to chase her 'mice' across the vinyl floor when she plays. For relaxation, I don't think cats like slick textures.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:06PM
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I think your kitties would prefer sunning themselves on the rug instead of linoleum - I know my kitty will scrunch himself up on the tiniest corner of rug rather than the large patch of hardwood floor that gets the midday sun. Vacuuming is just a way of life when you have multiple pets. I have resigned my self to berber area rugs - the fur isn't as noticeable between vaccumings as long as no one rolls around on the floor in their black pantsuit!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:44PM
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I would consider some kind of cat bed, either a big one for all 4 or 2 medium ones for 2 each. It would give them the soft comfort they prefer and keep them off the areas they tend to mess up with their hairs. Put some catnip in the beds to attract them to them, in case they don't take to them at first. As I am sure you know, cats usually do not do what you want them to. They have to be coaxed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:26PM
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Thanks, guys! The kitties don't tend to hang out on the sisal rug a whole lot, (except when I'm doing my crunches in there and they want to be next to me and tickle my armpits with their claws - LOL.)

They have a huge cat tree that I built for them with numerous cozy perches and a couch that they like to lay on, so I don't think the addition of linoleum will cramp their kitty style too much, though I like the idea of adding some cat beds too.

I'm not averse to vacuuming, but the problem is that I can never get the rug totally clean unless I vacuum, then get on my hands and knees for 20 minutes with a damp sponge. Then the rug is hairy again two days later. I don't have that kind of time to invest - hence the linoleum idea. I could put down little machine washable braided rugs on the linoleum, too, but I am trying to get to the point where everything in that room is either machine washable (or has a machine washable cover) or is vacuumable/wipeable.

My main question was whether the linoleum would hurt the hardwood. I guess I should call the linoleum company, maybe. I just thought someone here might know.

Thanks again (and the cats thank you, too!)


    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:43AM
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One more idea for the cat hair...instead of a sponge, try one of those velvet-y textured lint brushes. We have a 9X6 black oriental area rug that really shows the fuzz and all it takes is a few swipes between vacuumings to get up the hair.

Another thought...although we're down to one cat, her shedding is barely noticeable (when I lint brush that rug, I pick up more of my blond hairs than grey cat hair). She is the first cat to whom I have fed a high quality canned diet, along with Derm-Caps. I think it really makes a difference AFA the shedding.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Have you looked at the synthetic sisal, or even one of the many styles of outdoor rugs that are now available?
To protect your hardwood floors, I'd put down some type of rug pad. Don't know how linoleum would do on a pad, but you want something that's not going to allow the rug to slide around and scratch the hardwood.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Not sure what part of the country you're in, but you definately want to be careful with rug pads and humidity. I would think that a felt backer on the linoleum would be a good idea (won't scratch the hardwoods and isn't rubberized so it won't stick), but I think talking to a flooring specialist would be a good idea. Try posting your question on the flooring message board.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flooring Message Board

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 2:53PM
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I did somewhat of the same thing when I fostered a dog who took a little while to adjust to living indoors. I pulled up my area rug and bought a couple of 5 x 8 pieces of vinyl that became the area rugs in my family room. They protected my hardwood floors and were easy to keep clean.

What I have actually done now to protect the family room floors from the beasts in my house (2 cats and a large dog) is to buy a couple of nice looking deck carpets. As soon as its warmer outside I'll lay them out on the deck and give them a good hosing down.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 5:55PM
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