If you have a cat and you have carpet, you may have already discovered that the two sometimes don't mix. Purchasing the correct kind of carpet can leave both of you happier.
By nature, cats scratch, vomit, poop and spray urine around the house. Your carpet can become dirty, torn, stained and stinky. Some types of carpet actually encourage this bad behaviour in cats because they are fun to scratch and smells linger, tempting kitty to continue to make messes.
Cats spray urine to communicate with other cats. They scratch to stretch their muscles, mark their territory and enjoy themselves. They vomit when their stomachs are upset, and they may poop outside the litter box when it is full or they are sick. Unfortunately, all of these behaviours sometimes take place on your carpet.
Good carpet for cat owners, according to Carpets by Otto, should not have loops, should be of a colour that does not show stains (preferably at least as dark as any potential stains), should be soil resistant and durable, and should be placed atop carpet padding with a spill barrier (to prevent messes from seeping underneath the carpet and make cleanup easier).
Alan J. Fletcher, a flooring specialist who wrote a guidebook on buying carpet, recommends a short-napped, dense plush or textured plush style.
To cut down on spraying behaviour, neuter or spay your cat as soon as possible. Keep claws trimmed and offer a scratching post so the cat doesn't use your carpet instead. Apply Scotchgard or Stainmaster to make cleanup easier.