Why Does My Cat… Always Throw Up on the Carpet?

Sometimes it seems as though cats seek carpeted surfaces to vomit upon

If you have a cat you probably know: in a house filled with easy-to-clean hard floors, cats often seek the only carpeted surface to vomit upon. Why do cats do this? While it may seem like your kitty is just trying to be irritating, there are a few likely reasons for this behavior.

Vomiting is not pleasant for your cat, so he or she may instinctively seek a more comfortable surface, one where your cat has better traction such as the carpet. Some experts theorize that this is an instinctive behavior; in the wild, a cat would look for a place where they could bury or cover their vomit. Your carpet simply resembles more closely a place your cat would vomit in the wild than does your tile floor.

In some homes, there are just more carpeted areas than hard-surface floors such as tile or hardwood. Therefore, the odds are greater that the vomit will end up on the carpet. Also, most people will recall more vividly time spent scrubbing a stubborn stain from the carpet than the moment or two it takes to wipe a mess from a hard floor; consequently, when you think about it, those times come more readily to mind.

The next time your cat chooses your expensive Persian rug as the best spot to vomit, remember that he or she is not trying to be difficult. Be sure to have a carpet stain remover on hand so you are prepared for those incidents.  Since cats don’t like being picked up and moved while they are vomiting, if you are quick enough, you can try placing a folded newspaper under your cat to catch the vomit before it gets on your carpet.  While vomiting in cats is fairly common, remember that if your cat seems to be vomiting excessively, a trip to the vet may be in order.

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There are 6 comments

  • Dino says:

    Use the Hydrogen Peroxide. It works wonderfully!

  • jammy says:

    But my cat goes out of the way to find a nice rug but doesn’t even necessarily use it for traction because she doesn’t always stand on it. She she goes there to place her vomit while still standing on the hardwood floor.

  • Kay says:

    My home is 90% hardwood floors and tile. Cat will still find the hardest to clean rug to puke on. She used to prefer under the queen-sized bed (right in the middle where it’s almost impossible to reach, especially with my messed-up joints) but she stopped when I finally snapped at 6 am one day and I heaved myself out of bed and shouted at her.
    Not an ideal solution but boy, did it work! Just damaged my great grandmother’s hand-woven rug in the wash. I have a feeling that there may be more shouting in our near future.

  • John Duff says:

    Our home had no carpets. My car borrowed my car keys and barfed on the passenger side rug after moving the floor mat aside.

  • Lila brie says:

    My cat rests on the hardwood floor, but pukes, lately 2x a day, as opposed to 2x a week since a kitten. Vet always said don’t worry about it. He even pukes up bike at 7am, 9 hours AFTER he has eaten. I don’t know what to make of it. The vomiting had worsened in the past week. I know recent stories in the news is stating that cat food is NOT good for cats. She I feed him human food?

  • AKhoriaty says:

    Hi Lila and thank you for your question. For any medical concerns, we always recommend you consult your veterinarian. However, for non-emergency questions, you can contact Dr. Dym directly using our Ask the Vet form. We hope your kitty is feeling better soon!
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

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