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Real hardwood floors and cats?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So we bought a house that has all real oak hardwoods in it. Are the cats nails going to destroy our beautiful floors? We keep their front nails trimmed on a bi-weekly basis. We close the end of Sept.

Thanks
Leslie
post #2 of 20
Growing up with cats in an old house with beautiful hardwood floors I can tell you this:
Unless they are out to destroy your floors on purpose, they won't do any more damage than normal wear and tear.
Hardwood does have to be stripped and refinished occasionaly , but the regular floor waxing/buffing should suffice between refinishes.

Trimming the rear nails won't hurt either.
post #3 of 20
My cats have not doe any damage to our hardwood floors but when they play chase they will slide across the floor.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Hardwood does have to be stripped and refinished occasionaly , but the regular floor waxing/buffing should suffice between refinishes.
You don't strip and wax certain finishes, only if it has been sealed with wax originally. Anything passed mid 60s will be polyurethane. In which case you sand and reapply - and yes, that does need to be redone every few years too depending on the type of polyurethane used. You cannot use wax or oil on a poly sealed floor, it will not penetrate and if it does you risk causing problems later when that floor needs to be refinished. (you'd have to sand more to remove those oils otherwise the polyurethane will not apply properly)

Generally with the wax and oil sealed floors, little nicks and scratches would be ok to wax/oil and buff.

Shellac and varnish are in their own category and fall a bit in between.

And to make this info actually make sense. If your floor is polyurethane sealed it will stand up to scratches a little better. The newer the type of polyurethane used the better it can hold up. Current ones can be very scratch resistant and probably a good idea to remember for the future when it needs to be redone.

Cat claws do nothing to my polyurethane treated floors. They're more likely to be scratched by dirt/litter on the floor and people walking (read: grinding) it into the surface. Personally I'm more concerned about shoes and do not allow them to be worn in the house.

To the OP: If you don't know how your floors are treated you can look up how to test it. If they're newer floors though it's almost certain they'll be polyurethane. This will affect what you can clean the floors with.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
My cats have not doe any damage to our hardwood floors but when they play chase they will slide across the floor.
No damage here either, and my cats play hard and run heaps. They also slide sometimes
post #6 of 20
cherry floors in the kitchen. No scratches. But I imagine a large dog would do a lot of damage over time. Beeba likes to run and slide in here and when he tries to get going, he just "spins his wheels". Funny
post #7 of 20
We have an old house with real oak floors. The cats don't do more than regular wear and tear. We refinished the floors when we moved in--there was carpet on the living room/dining room/ hall floors. It's so much better than carpet! We still have to finish the bedrooms to match the rest of the floors.

In regards to dogs, yes they will do more damage. My in-laws need to refinish their floors after years of wear and tear & several dogs lived on the floors during that time. But I think the last time they refinished was when my husband was little.

I just clean my floors with a vacuum and occasionally mop with Murphy's Oil Soap. We sealed ours with water based polyurethane. We had a time issue, which is why we picked that. It's pretty low maintenance.
post #8 of 20
Most, all now I think, newly installed hardwood floors have an aluminum oxide coating in the top layer of polyurethane. It's *very* tough. That's what my recently installed (about 1 1/2 years ago) floors have. I never clip claws and the kitties do no damage. Jeta can't seem to get the knack of running on the smooth floors. She frequently "spins her wheels" when she tries to start running when she is on the wood. No scratches though.

I think it will depend a lot on what kind of finish your floor has as to whether you'll see scratches or not. Also, if there are scratches they will show more on dark wood than on lighter wood.
post #9 of 20
In one of Dusty Rainbolt's books, she mentioned a friend who had her floors finished with whatever they use in bowling alleys (name escapes me now, and book is at home). Now that ought to be tough! I would think a local floor covering professional could also give you some advice re finishing, but i would bet keeping the nails short would definitely help.
post #10 of 20
I have real hardwood floors with cats and a dog and they dont scratch them.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
In one of Dusty Rainbolt's books, she mentioned a friend who had her floors finished with whatever they use in bowling alleys (name escapes me now, and book is at home). Now that ought to be tough! I would think a local floor covering professional could also give you some advice re finishing, but i would bet keeping the nails short would definitely help.
A very thick polyurethane. Probably overkill. It wouldn't only be the cats sliding about - imagine if you wore socks on that finish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Most, all now I think, newly installed hardwood floors have an aluminum oxide coating in the top layer of polyurethane. It's *very* tough. That's what my recently installed (about 1 1/2 years ago) floors have.
I think it may or may not be optional, and if you redo them yourself it's up to you, of course. But that's a good choice for future refinishing.

I use Murphy's oil soap, too. Per instructions it does tell you to rinse to remove the soap residue. With cats you have no choice as it would be mildly toxic to them.


Also, the degree you cats will slip around depends on their feet. The fluffier the feet the less likely they are to get any grip. My fluffy cat Sherman wouldn't have it any other way.


I suggest very good mats to trap the litter in front of the boxes. If you use clay it will definitely spread and track all over a wood floor (it seems to bounce when they shake their feet).
post #12 of 20
The wood floor in my apartment scratches like the dickens. Especially since I got Aya. Same goes for the trim on the doors.

But mine's all pine (softwood) and whatever they used to finish it with back in the 70's scarcthes with like a fingernail. I can duplicate the marks she makes with light pressure and my thumb!

There are cat claw marks wherever I don't have carpet. And her jumping up onto the door jams and slidding down with all her claws out is not looking hopeful for getting much of my deposit back.
post #13 of 20
I have older hardwood floors and the cats have made no discernable marks. They do stay mostly on the area rugs, but from time to time someone will slide into the room or do a skid maneuver while chasing da bird or the laser pointer.

We clip the front claws regularly, sometimes the back claws. They have also puked on my floors with no lasting effects. My floors are all somewhere between 100-40 years old depending on what room you're in.
post #14 of 20
I have all new floors on my upstair level. They have yet to peel out on it but down stairs and yes, the wood dining room table has cat toe scratches. But, they live in the house = we just visit.
post #15 of 20
Nope - cats nails are retracted when walking. As long as the nails are kept short you won't have a problem. Our lab was not allowed on the hardwood floors in our other house because she would have scratched them up.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Nope - cats nails are retracted when walking. As long as the nails are kept short you won't have a problem. Our lab was not allowed on the hardwood floors in our other house because she would have scratched them up.
Due to the quicks always being long in Sho's back claws I can't trim them as short as I like. So he click-taps across the floor like a dog would.
Sheman and Tomas's back claws come out when they're running across the floors, too.
post #17 of 20
The more often you trim them the further back the quick will receed. How often are you trimming ALL 4 paws?
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
The more often you trim them the further back the quick will receed. How often are you trimming ALL 4 paws?
Roughly every two weeks for 6 years and 8 months. (Sho kitty turns 7 soon ) It's the two middle claws on each back foot, they've always been incredibly thick with long quicks.
post #19 of 20
That's weird - none of my cats have that problem
post #20 of 20
Mine have not damaged the floors, but they have left claw marks all over the wooden windowsills! The younger cats like to chase each other along the sills and since the surface is narrow I guess they use their claws to keep balanced. Even though I keep their nails trimmed they have still left scratches.
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