My cat is normally a very active pet, however for the past few days she will avoid carpet at all costs. For example, she will sit at our two kitchen stools and if we try to move her, she will quickly run back there. In fact, she only gets on the carpet to eat/drink and go to the litter box. If you move her off of those stools, she will go on another hard platform such as a counter-top.

Coincidentally(?) we've also had a flea problem in the past few days. We've been trying to get rid of them and also giving her flea baths (which she loves), a collar, etc. I don't know if cats are smart enough to connect the dots, but I hate seeing her like this. Is there something else wrong with her? How do I help her out?

  • In your attempt to address the fleas, did you put anything on the carpet? Jul 3 '14 at 14:55
  • I think John Cavan's answer could well be right, but I thought it might be good to know my cat does this as well, though I do not have carpets. (I have wooden and stone floors.) For example, when she is on the table, she always prefers sitting on a paper or something else that is lying on the table, when on the floor she generally looks for bags or other semi-flat things lying around. This might well be a flea problem, but I think it could also be normal cat behaviour. (Though I do not know how extreme the anti-carpet reaction of your cat is.)
    – 11684
    Jul 3 '14 at 16:26
  • I have had cats of three types: If you scattered books or papers on a bed, some would A) Sit entirely on the books B) Sit entirely off books or C) Front feet on books, back feet off books.
    – Oldcat
    Dec 22 '14 at 23:56

I don't think that's coincidence... Carpets can harbor fleas quite readily and make the area unattractive to any furry pet, so I don't find it far-fetched that your cat is reacting to that.

There are a number of carpet cleaners that can be effective in flea control, so you'll want to be doing something with that in conjunction with any flea treatment applied to your cat. As it is, they could be abandoning your cat for the carpet and you don't want that to continue if it's the case. Her preference for hard surfaces is a sign that this has happened, I think.

At any rate, one option is the Raid flea killer for carpets and upholstery and you should consider treating carpets and furniture. Google will help you find others if you want something else. Once eliminated, your cat should be more likely to go back on the carpet.

  • This here - this would be my first option. Get rid of the fleas, treat the carpet and furniture (make sure it's something safe for pets). After you've gotten rid of the current flea problem, you may want to think about paying someone to come monthly and spray around the base of your house, with something to block fleas from going inside with either you or your pet.
    – user2505
    Jul 3 '14 at 15:52

From what you have described - eating, drinking, and elimination habits have not been disrupted by the carpeting. If there were a significant problem, we typically notice it through changes in these behaviors. My advice is to carry on as though there is no problem. If you have a playful cat, it’s possible that the interaction with you around the stools is play. When you handle your cat, check her paws… she may need a nail trimming. if she is snagging on the carpet, that might cause her to avoid the carpet, but she sounds otherwise normal from what is written, here.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.