Ah, cat barf. You make life interesting. Specifically, you make walking across the living room floor at two in the morning interesting.
Cats barf for a variety of reasons. We think. No human really knows. Could be the humidity, could be the pollen count, fluctuations in stock markets, worries about the Israel situation, revenge, a critique on their food. It could even be fun, for all we know. Maybe barfing feels good to cats, like how taking a dump feels good to us. (am I right? Can I get a shout-out for taking a dump? BM in da house!)
Barf is made up of semidigested cat food and various juices and slimes that the cat tummy generates. It smells and apparently tastes enough like the food it used to be to entice kitties to scarf it down thirty minutes after laying it. This can save you a lot of cleanup. But not all barf is so easily cleaned. That's what I'm here for.
If your cat looks up from her nap, starts to drool, lick her lips and starts to stand in what looks like a back-arching maneuver, you may have a barf on the way. Confirmation comes when she starts pumping her body in peristaltic movements and retching. These early moments are your best bet. You can bound out of your chair, upending your tv tray and sending your Lucky Charms flying (creating a bigger but less nasty mess), grab something like a paper towel, junk mail, newspaper, or something similar, and try to stick it under her mouth at the moment of truth in hopes of catching the barf before it hits the carpet or your upholstery. Or you can sit back and watch the beauty of nature's way.
Your cat is often freaked out by its own barf and will attempt to crawl away backwards from its own barf as it's barfing,leaving a barf trail along the floor. This can actually be a blessing in disguise of the barf is from dry food and is still relatively undigested (just kinda chewed up), as the barf sausage laying on your floor has a slimmer footprint and is thus applying less pressure to the carpet per square centimeter, leading to less barf juice being pressed into your carpet fibers by the weight of the barf solids.
Another pitfall is when your cat barfs while sitting on top of a piece of furniture near a wall, which allows it to barf both on the furniture and on the wall too, where it drips all the way down. This can happen behind couches and dressers without you even being aware of it until you move.
Cats can also barf on the high spots they climb to--the tops of refrigerators, cabinets, etc., where you can't see the barf without a periscope.
Different foods, different digestive times, different cats, different barf types. Knowing which type of barf you are dealing with gives you important clues as to the best way to clean it up.
CHUNKY BARF:From dry food, not long digested, the easiest to clean. Recommend waiting for it to congeal before removal, so's you don't press barf juices into the fabric.
GOOPY BARF:From wet food, not long digested. Usually held together by cat furs, can be very runny if digested longer. Use paper towels, baking soda, baby powder, sawdust, SOMETHING asap to soak up moisture, then remove. Leaves barf rings.
EGG WHITE BARF:So-called because it resembles egg whites, with some food mixed in. This is prime, aged, ripened barf. Barf to put in a gift basket (if barf ever became a delicacy) with wine and crackers. I strongly suggest you not look at it as you're cleaning it up, or it will make you barf.
1. Try to buy cat food that's the same color as your carpet.
2. Never get a cat if the owner won't tell you why they're getting rid of it.
3. Cats like to eat bugs. This makes them barf. This won't stop them from eating bugs.
4. Hairballs aren't the same thing. They look like turds. Do not be alarmed.
5. Wear slippers.