How To Clean Up Cat Vomit On Carpets In 6 Simple Steps

As a cat owner, you know cat vomiting on your carpet is unpleasant. Seeing your furry friend’s mess on your expensive carpet can be frustrating. Still, cleaning it up promptly and effectively is important to avoid stains and odors in the carpet and possibly going deeper than that.

Learning how to clean up cat vomit on carpets is essential knowledge for any family with a cat.

In this article, we’ll show you how to remove cat vomit stains from your carpet with our easy guide and expert tips.

Importance Of Cleaning Up Cat Vomit On Carpet Promptly

Cleaning cat vomit on the carpet promptly is important because leaving it unattended can intensify the staining and prevalence of unpleasant odors. Allowing the stain to sit on your carpet longer than necessary gives it time to set into the carpet fibers, ruining your carpet and posing a greater challenge during removal.

The vomit can also permeate and reach the carpet padding or subfloor layers, subjecting you to extra work. If this happens, you may have to rip your carpet apart to remove the odor from the pad.

It’s also essential to clear the vomit expeditiously to negate the risk of harmful pathogens spreading throughout your carpet. Stomach worms such as Physaloptera species and Ollanulus tricuspid are known to inhabit the feline stomach and spread through vomit.

Importance Of Cleaning Up Cat Vomit On Carpet Promptly

Leaving the vomit lingering for a while increases the exposure risk to pathogens for you and your family.

If your cat has ingested something toxic and pukes, cleaning the vomit promptly can help expose an underlying health condition before matters get worse. While cat vomit does not definitively answer what is ailing your cat, it can point in the right direction in diagnosing your cat.

For example, if the vomit has a strong odor or the cat has other symptoms like diarrhea or lethargy, it’s vital to take your cat to the vet immediately.

On the other hand, vomit that contains undigested food indicates that the cat food never went beyond the stomach. This can point towards allergies, food intolerance, or, in some severe cases, motility disorder or gastrointestinal tract obstruction.

Regardless of why the cat has vomited, wear protective gloves when cleaning the mess to safeguard yourself from bacteria, parasites, pathogens, and risky microorganisms in the vomit.

Cat on carpets

Vomiting in cats is common. There are several typical causes of cat vomiting. Some of the most common include:

  • Hairballs (This is especially common among long-haired cats)
  • Eating too much too quickly
  • Dietary changes
  • Foreign objects or obstructions
  • Food intolerances or allergies
  • Ingesting toxins or foreign objects
  • Intestinal worms
  • Infections or diseases: Gastric and intestinal ailments such as inflammation, ulcers, constipation, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease, among others.
  • Organ dysfunction (such as kidney disease, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, and pancreatitis)
  • Neurologic ailments
  • Endocrine ailments
  • Anxiety and stress

You can read more about what causes cat vomit here.

If your cat is vomiting frequently or showing other symptoms like lethargy, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, it’s important to consult your vet.

Learn How Clean Cat Litter Out Of Your Carpet

Materials Needed To Clean Up Cat Puke On Carpet

Cleaning Supplies

Luckily, cat vomit can be washed from your carpet, provided you have a few supplies, tools and equipment, and patience. Before you start cleaning up cat vomit on the carpet, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels or clean rags
  • A plastic scraper or spoon
  • Trash bag or dustpan
  • A cleaning solution (white vinegar and warm water or store-bought cleaners For stronger cat vomit stains)
  • A spray bottle or basin
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Dishwashing soap (optional)
  • Baking soda or Other Deodorizers (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide For Getting Cat Vomit Out Of Carpet

Extract The Excess Debris

Step #1. Removing The Solid Debris

Remove solid debris from the vomit using a plastic scraper, spatula, cardboard, or spoon. A sliding and flat tool ensures you do not rub or press the vomit into the carpet fibers. Place the solid debris in a plastic bag and dispose of it properly.

The goal is to remove as much vomit as possible, mainly the solid bits.

Step #2. Blotting The Area

Blotting The Spot

Using paper towels or buff microfiber cleaning cloths, clean rags, blot, and dab the affected area to remove as much vomit as possible. Be sure to avoid pressing or rubbing the stain, which can spread and make removing it more difficult.

Are you cleaning a dried stain? Use a scraper, an old knife, and a dustpan to scrape off and remove the stains that have hardened on your carpet. Use a dustpan or trash bag to discard the solid matter properly. If possible, vacuum up the residue before you proceed.

Step #3. Applying A Cleaning Solution

Disinfect The Stain Spot

In this step, you can apply a store-bought cleaning solution or prepare your cleaning solution using white vinegar, water, and dishwashing soap (optional).

Applying A Homemade Cleaning Solution

Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1/4 cup of warm water in a spray bottle, i.e., one part water and one part vinegar. You can also add ¼ tablespoon of dishwashing soap to the solution. Close the bottle and shake it well to mix the solution well.

Spray the cleaning solution onto the affected area, saturating it thoroughly. Allow the solution to sit for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar, thanks to its acetic acid component, can help to neutralize any remaining odor on the dirty patch.

Mix the solutions in a bowl and apply them to the carpet using a sponge or clean cloth. Allow it to sit on the stain for about thirty minutes.

If the stain is stubborn, consider using a sponge or a soft-bristled scrub brush to rub the DIY cleaning agent into the carpet.

On the other hand, you can wash off the stain with a store-bought cleaning product before rinsing the carpet area, allowing it to dry, and applying a suitable deodorizer.

Using A Store-Bought Carpet Cleaner For Cat Vomit

Use Store Bought Cleaners

Instead of a DIY solution, use a commercially available cleaner such as Shout Stain Remover Gel or the trusty Bissell Professional Pet Stain and Odor Remover.

If you use Bissell carpet stain remover, apply it until it foams around it, allow it to sit for about ten minutes, and then wipe it with a clean, dry towel.

Please note: Always apply the cleaning product on the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

An enzymatic cleaning product can help to loosen the stain from your carpet, even if it has already dried in. They contain biological enzymes that break down odor-producing organic compounds in cat vomit.

You can buy an enzyme cleaner such as Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray, OUT! PetCare Advanced Stain and Odor Remover and Natures Miracle, which are among the best cat vomit stain removers available.

Step #4. Removing The Cleaning Solution

Blot the area to remove the cleaning solution using paper towels or clean rags. Rinse the cloth or towel often to avoid spreading the stain. Repeat the process until the area is no longer wet and the cleaning solution has completely been removed.

Step #5. Drying The Area

Vacuum The Carpet

Use a fan or open window to promote air circulation and speed up drying. Avoid using a hairdryer, as the heat can set the stain in the carpet fibers. Once the area is dry, vacuum the carpet to remove any remaining debris.

Step #6. Using Baking Soda (optional)

If the odor persists, sprinkle baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The baking soda will help to get rid of the smell and dry the carpet further. Finally, vacuum up the baking soda to remove any remaining odor.

You can also prepare a 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide solution and ¼ tablespoon of dishwashing soap and apply it to the previously stained spot to deodorize and neutralize the vomit odor completely. Upon application, allow the solution to sit for about thirty minutes.

Alternatively, you can use commercial deodorizers such as Febreze or Renuzit. You can also try Vital Oxide, which kills germs and neutralizes foul-smelling pet stains.

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Dealing With Cat Vomit Stain On Carpet? Here Are Some Quick Tips!

Cleaning Tips & Warnings

Tips and Precautions

  • Always try to act as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting in.
  • Use gloves and a mask if sensitive to smells or allergies.
  • Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based cleaning products, as they can damage the carpet fibers and discolor the area.
  • When wiping off the stain from the carpet, do not squash or press on the stain; instead, blot or dab the wetness away using a clean, dry cloth or towel.
  • Test any new cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous carpet area first. Read the care instructions on your carpet to avoid damaging your carpet. Therefore, ensure the products you use are safe for your carpet, or call in a professional carpet cleaner if the carpet has special care requirements.
  • Avoid using hot water or steam cleaners, as they can also set the stain.
  • Consider using a carpet protector spray to prevent future stains.
  • For store-bought products, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product.
  • Do not hesitate to talk to a pet expert to establish what is causing your cat to vomit.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, the best solution for cleaning up cat vomit on carpets is to call in professionals. If the stain has affected an extensive area and has set in the carpet, reaching the carpet padding, you might need to hire a professional. A professional carpet cleaning company has the necessary equipment to eliminate the stain effectively.

Additionally, if you have tried all the methods in this article and the ones you can think of, but the stain will not come off, it may be time to contact a professional carpet cleaner.

If you are washing a large stain on a carpet material that takes too long to dry, you should call in professional carpet cleaners with the right equipment and techniques, such as dry-cleaning or high-temperature steaming, to dry the carpet.

Finally, if your carpet requires special care and cleaning procedures, consider hiring a professional to avoid damaging it.

Why Do Cats Throw Up On Carpets

Why Do Cats Throw Up On Carpets?

So, why do cats always throw up on carpets? Cats experts do not agree on one specific reason why cats prefer vomiting on carpets. We rely on theories developed by observing the nature of cats.

Reason #1: Carpets Resemble Where A Cat Would Vomit While In The Wild – One theory is that cats seek to vomit on carpets because they offer a surface that resembles where cats would vomit in the wild. If you’ve observed some outdoor cats, you’ll notice many tend to throw up on grass, other luscious plants, or even soil.

In the wild, an animal’s vomit is a sign of weak and easy prey, hence the urge to hide the vomit. This is an instinctive behavior that cats have not abandoned, despite being domesticated.

In the same light, some cats in the wild seek to vomit somewhere they can immediately bury their vomit.

Your carpeted surfaces are the only surfaces that closely resemble the grass or soil. The hard surfaces of a tiled, concrete, or wood floor do not offer an ideal surface to vomit for cats.

Reason #2: Comfort During Times Of Distress – Other cat experts theorize that cats seek the most comfortable surface, which in many homes are the carpeted surfaces, to vomit. The fabric on the carpet provides better grip and traction to hold onto when gagging and retching as they vomit.

Reason #3: For Cats, Vomiting On Carpet Is Sanitary – Again, drawing from their nature and insistence on being sanitary, some cat experts believe that cats prefer vomiting on carpets as they believe it is more sanitary. Our furry friends instinctively feel that vomiting on a surface that soaks up the vomit is much more sanitary than vomiting on a hard, non-porous surface.

While vomiting on a carpet is a chore for us humans, for cats, it might be the most natural and intuitive way to vomit.

Keep in mind; vomiting is typically a spontaneous event. While your cat might feel nauseous before vomiting, vomiting is generally an involuntary reflex that can occur without warning.

As such, if you have plenty of carpet in your house, odds are your cat will vomit on such a surface when vomiting comes about.

Finally, cleaning vomit from a carpet is more tedious than cleaning a hard surface. You might only remember cleaning the carpet more than the hard surfaces you can easily clean.

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Best Carpet For Cat Vomit

Best Carpet For Cat Vomit

Vomiting in cats is fairly common. If your cat spends its days exclusively indoors, chances are you will wind up cleaning cat puke from your carpets and rugs. With that in mind, you might as well preempt the difficult cleaning tasks by investing in a carpet that is inherently easy to clean from the ground up.

Some of the features and qualities you should look for in the best carpet for cat vomit:

#1: Thick Carpet – A thicker carpet provides a larger barrier between the surface yarn, backing, and pad. In this regard, a high-cut pile carpet has a lower risk of the vomit permeating and reaching the foundation of the carpet, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to get rid of the vomit stain and/or odor.

#2: Difficult-To-Stain Carpet Style and Design – The design of the carpet and its color tone will influence how easy it is to stain. If you deal with a lot of cat puke (in other words, your cat is prone to vomiting a lot), go for a neutral-colored carpet. Light-colored carpets are easy to stain. You can even go a step further and purchase a multi-colored carpet.

While a carpet with multiple colors is not for everyone, they are more effective at hiding stains, including those pesky vomit stains that can’t seem to fade even after treating the spot repeatedly. Alternatively, you can purchase a patterned carpet (although they’re more expensive) for a better cat vomit stain disguise.

#3: Choose A Carpet Made With The Right Material – Carpets made of solution-dyed yarns and polyester, like the Lahome Boho Tribal Area Rug, tend to be more resistant to staining, whether from cat vomit or other substances. As such, they are resistant to staining and easier to clean when accidents happen.

Related to the above, you should look for carpets made of stain-protected fibers. When the stain protection fiber is applied before tufting, it provides enhanced stain protection from the top to the backing.

However, you should note that some carpet cleaning methods, such as steam cleaning, extract the stain protector.

While the ideal situation is to have the stain protector applied to the yarn before tufting, you can still reduce the chore of dealing with vomit stains by applying topical stain protectors such as 3M’s Scotchgard Carpet and Rug Protector at least once a year.

You can read more about the best carpet for cat vomit here ().

Conclusion: How To Clean Up Cat Vomit On Carpet

Cleaning cat throw-up off the carpet may not be pleasant, but it’s necessary for cat owners. Following our step-by-step guide and expert tips, you can effectively remove cat vomit stains from your carpet and prevent odors from lingering.

Remember to act quickly when cleaning up cat vomit on your carpet, as prompt attention can prevent further damage to your carpet and your cat’s health. Using the right materials and techniques, you can keep your carpet clean and fresh and your cat healthy and happy.

If you’re having trouble removing a stubborn stain or lingering odor, it’s always best to consult a professional carpet cleaner. They can offer expert advice and use specialized equipment to remove even the toughest stains.

This guide has helped show you how to remove cat vomit stains from your carpet effectively. With these tips and techniques, you can keep your home clean and comfortable for you and your furry friend.


Q: How can I prevent my cat from vomiting on the carpet?

A: Make sure your cat is fed regularly and doesn’t eat too quickly. Also, ensure your cat can access clean water without consuming toxic substances.

Q: Can I use bleach to clean cat vomit stains on my carpet?

A: It’s not recommended to use bleach on your carpet as it can damage the fibers and cause discoloration. Instead, use a carpet cleaning solution specifically designed for pet stains.

Q: How long do cat vomit stains take to set in?

A: Cat vomit stains can set in as quickly as 24 hours. It’s important to act quickly when cleaning up a stain to prevent it from setting in and becoming more difficult to remove.

Q: Can I use a steam cleaner to remove cat vomit stains from my carpet?

A: A steam cleaner can effectively remove cat vomit stains from your carpet. However, use a carpet cleaning solution specifically designed for pet stains and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your carpet.

Q: Is hiring a professional carpet cleaner for cat vomit stains necessary?

A: It’s only sometimes necessary to hire a professional carpet cleaner, but it can be helpful if you need help removing a stubborn stain or lingering odor. A professional cleaner can offer expert advice and use specialized equipment to remove even the toughest stains.

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