How to Get Cat Vomit Out of Hardwood: 4 Effective Steps

cat vomit on wooden floor
Image Credit: ANASTASIIAKU, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

It’s very distressing when any member of your family vomits, but it can be alarming when it’s your cat. Cats sometimes get into things they aren’t supposed to, and it could be a sign they ate something toxic when they vomit.

Vomit is acidic and can stain, not to mention any substances that are in the vomit. How exactly do you clean your floor when your cat vomits on it?  Let’s check out what you’ll need and exactly how to go about making your hardwood floor as clean as new.

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Before You Start

First, you should clean your hardwood floor as soon as possible when your cat vomits on it. The longer the vomit lingers, the more the acids soak into the wood and discolor it.

To clean the area, you’ll need some supplies, which you probably already have on hand. Gather these items and come back ASAP.

You Will Need:
  • Rags and/or paper towels
  • Scrap cardboard (paper plates are great for this)
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vacuum
  • Enzyme cleaner (optional)
  • Soft nylon brush (for tough stains)

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How to Get Cat Vomit Out of Hardwood in 4 Steps

1. Clean-Up & Dispose of Vomit

First, use your scrap cardboard or paper plate to scoop up as much of the solid matter within the vomit. Use an old rag that you can throw away after or consider heavy-duty paper towels. After, place rags or paper towels down to soak up as much of the liquid vomit and bile as possible.

2. Pretreat the Area

Even if you do nothing else on this list right after your cat vomits, perform this step. Baking soda will soak up as much of the liquid vomit and bile while deodorizing the area. Vomit has a distinctly unpleasant smell that tends to linger, so this is absolutely vital if you don’t want to smell vomit for weeks afterward.

Liberally sprinkle baking soda all over the area where your cat vomited. If you still see wet spots, sprinkle some more. Allow this baking soda to dry before you vacuum it up and move on. Empty your vacuum cleaner immediately to avoid vomit smells in the future.

woman with jar of baking soda
Image Credit: Dragon Images, Shutterstock

3. Clean the Area

Next, thoroughly wet a rag with hydrogen peroxide and press it to your floor. If the vomit has begun to stain the wood, the stain will transfer itself to your rag, and the peroxide will clean your floor. Don’t leave the rag pressed on the floor for too long, as it may discolor the wood. Only apply the rag long enough to lift the stain.

4. Sanitize & Dry the Area

Especially because this is a pet-related situation, you’ll want to follow up with a hefty application of pet enzyme cleaner. The cleaner will remove any animal odors or other scents that survived your peroxide cleaning

Typically, you simply spray the area and then wipe it dry. If you’re in doubt, search for enzyme cleaners specifically formulated for hardwood flooring. Cleaners not designed for hardwood might discolor the finish, so be careful if you opt for a different cleaner.

foor cleaning with sponge and spray bottle
Image Credit: Lucy Lulu, Shutterstock

Did you know there's an enzyme cleaner that does it all? The Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray permanently removes the very worst smells and stains (truly, everything you can imagine!), and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

hepper enzyme cleaner dog cat spray bioenzymatic

Click here to get yourself a bottle.

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

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Cat vomit on hardwood is by no means the end of the world, and with a bit of knowledge and elbow grease, you can easily remove the stains and odors. You can try the old homemade method or save a bit of time and go with an enzyme cleaner. Either way, we hope you’ve solved the problem!

Featured Image Credit: ANASTASIIAKU, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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