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Q. During a recent health scare, my cat Toby caused some damage to my red oak hardwood floors - how do I fix this?
Karen, St. Louis Park
cant spot-sand jpgA. It’s a good thing we love our pets, because they can wreak havov on our beautiful hardwood floors. But don’t
despair, we have an entire page about pet damage. If only small areas of the floor were affected, and you caught them early enough, you should at least attempt to sand them out before you decide to simply replace the wood.

But sanding a small section of a wood floor is tricky; even if the damage sands out, you might still see your sanding lines (see photo at right). So be sure to tape off the affected area along taped off sectionthe edges of the affected boards as shown in the photo left. This way, you can even sand down to complete bare wood inside your tape lines, apply a few layers of finish, remove your tape, and hardly notice where you did the work.

For all pet-related hardwood floor issues, we're just a phone call away (but sorry, we only fix flooring issues, not pet behavioral issues. For that one, you'll have to talk to the pet specialists.)