When it comes to decorating – with cats, I believe “shag” is misunderstood and therefore underrated and underutilized.
No, sorry, not “shag” in the British sense of the word, but happily not in the 70s bad hairstyle way either. But shag as in the rug.
Let me continue to clarify. You see, not all shag is created equal.
Not shag in the 70s Brady Bunch way, but in a less revolting, aesthetically pleasing shag. Think West Elm and CB2, but not at those prices (stay tuned!).
When I first adopted Kip, I learned he was a scratcher (the only one of my three that scratches where he shouldn’t, and yes, they all have their claws*). Kip is the single reason I’ll never have good furniture (though I continue to try my darndest!).
I had a lovely wool shag rug at the time in an off white. The shag held up brilliantly to all his scratching. Who could tell if he’d pulled up a 3 inch area of rug? Not I. However, I do NOT recommend shag in a light color or in wool as it’s amazingly difficult to stains out of (think kitty stomach acid thanks to hair ball or gacked** up food).
When the white rug was worn through – literally – by all the professional cleaning it had undergone, I didn’t give much thought to its replacement. I’d gathered quite a bit of Fab.com credit so ordered a rug I liked from there with a lower pile and tighter weave. Again in wool and this time in white and grey.
I loved the way it looked. But it did NOT hold up well to Kip’s claws (and stains continued to be an issue***). It literally needed daily vacuuming so as not to look a complete mess.
***Full disclosure: Many of the photos I posted featuring that rug (in photo above) had to be retouched so as not to look completely junky, thereby making look like a total fraud!
So THIS time around when it was time to replace the area rug, I knew exactly what I wanted in a rug. If I was going to end up with a partially shag rug anyway, may as well do it right off the bat!
- Shag (for hiding clawed pieces)
- Darker color (for stain hiding)
- Preferably a mixed color vs solid (to better hid stains and pulls)
- Synthetic (for easier cleaning)
- Under $200
There were a plethora of choices that met my needs both on Overstock.com and Amazon.com. I hope this post has been enlightening and will save you a bit of money and frustration (and potentially your cat’s paws!).
Any “decorating – with cats” tips are always welcome in the comments section, and I do hope you check out some of our previous posts in case you missed any!
* Even though Kip scratches and I’ve given him MANY scratching surfaces of all kinds, he continues to scratch my furniture and carpeting. However, I would NEVER DREAM OF DECLAWING and neither should you. PLEASE take 2 minutes to read this non-visually-graphic description of the process . You won’t ever declaw again, and you’ll tell others not to – promise. In a nutshell, declawing is not merely pulling out the claw as many – including myself at one point – think. DECLAWING IS AMPUTATION up to the first knuckle and can cause physical and behavioral issues for life.
**NOTE: Though I don’t believe “gack” is a word, I think any at parent will tell you it should be. Is it a word you’ve used? I’ve found myself using it in speaking with the vet and she knew exactly what I meant.