Fun, Lifestyle, and Behavior

How to Keep Cats Off Furniture

If you have ever had a cat, you know that they are not only very intelligent animals but seem to also have a mind of their own.  They can be taught things but are not as easily trainable as a dog or other pets. With this in mind, you’ll need a unique approach to learn how to keep cats off furniture.  

One important thing that you must have is patience. It will be easier to accomplish this with a younger cat than with an older one or one that you acquired that was allowed to be on the furniture.  You must also find humane ways that are not painful to keep your cat off the furniture. The reason is that if you harm your cat, you are going to lose its trust, which is something you do not want to do.  This can cause other behavioral problems.

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How to keep cats off furniture

  • One of the first things that you need to do is convince your cat that the furniture, whether it is the couch, chair, bed, or counter, is an unpleasant place to be.  It seems that once your cat finds something unpleasant they will lose interest in it for ever. Here are some simple ways you can do this.
  • You can get a product called Sticky Paws double sided tape and keep the area that the cat uses for a landing area covered with them for a few days.  It can work on counter edges, or even sofa edges. A cat is not happy with the way it feels on their paws. Although you can take it off after a few days, it is advisable to leave it on for a few weeks.  Once you remove it, they should avoid the area.
  • You can also give your cat alternative high points they can jump on in the house.  They do not jump on furniture just to annoy their owner as they are anti-gravity climbers by nature.
  • Get an indoor cat tree.
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Make sure when they do stay off the furniture that you praise them for doing so.  You can try to give them a treat, but many cats couldn’t care less about a treat. Most cats like to snuggle down on some furniture or use the furniture pieces (couches, especially) as if they were scratching posts, and some will leave offensive odors behind.  Trick your cat into avoiding the furniture by making the area less inviting, which you can do with the double-sided tape. You can also use aluminum foil, sandpaper, or a sheet of plastic. Cats do not like citrusy smells, so use some lemon or orange scented linen spray on the furniture where they like to get onto.

How to keep cats from scratching furniture

It is no secret.  Cats love to use furniture, and table legs for scratching posts. Some even like to scratch your carpet. They do this to clean the exterior sheath of their nails, sharpen their claws, and remove cuticles.

One of the best investments is a scratching post, which you can get in various sizes, shapes, and materials.  If your cat seems to ignore the scratching post and heads for something they are not supposed to scratch, calmly pick up the cat and take them to the scratching post.  

On2 Pets Cat Tree with Leaves Made in USA, Large Square Cat Condo & Cat Activity Tree in EverGreen You may have to do this many times until they get the message that the scratching post is what they are supposed to use. If possible, pick a scratching post that is similar to the type of material that your cat likes to scratch.

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Most cats have a preference for scratching posts that are made of rough material so they can shred it.  You can find scratching posts made from cedar, rope, hemp, or cardboard. It will take trial and error to find the one that your cat will prefer.   

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If your cat loves to scratch the corner of your couch or chair legs, you should consider a vertical scratching post.  If they like to scratch rugs and carpets, you should go for a horizontal one. If you are using a vertical one, make sure that it is tall enough that your cat will have to stretch to scratch it.  Make sure that the scratching posts are stable, so they don’t fall over or move and scare your cat. If that happens, your cat may not come back to use them.

Many cats will scratch things in areas they have passed through to leave their scent to mark their territory, especially in room entrances and sleeping areas.  If you have more than one cat you should have both vertical and horizontal scratching posts. To ensure that your cat uses the cat scratching post, you can make it more inviting by rubbing catnip on the post.  

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How to keep cats from peeing on furniture

One of the main reasons that cats pee on furniture is to mark their territory.  It is also referred to as cat spraying. Some cats will pee on the furniture while others just spray a little on it to mark their territory.  There are several ways in which you can keep cats from peeing on furniture, which can include:

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Use mouthwash to lightly spray your furniture as it gives off a strong smell that most cats do not like.  They will stay away from it, but you will have to repeat it because in time the smell will dissipate and the cat may resume their bad habit.

Catikat XL Furniture Protectors from Cats 10 Pack - Safe Couch Protector from Cats - Larger 17" x 12" Cat Scratch Deterrent Training Tape Sheets - Transparent Cat Anti Scratching Protection Guards Move their litter tray to an area that is less noisy, less visible to others, or in a place that is not hard to reach.  It should be in an area that is well lit, quiet and easily accessible.

Make sure that you are keeping the litter box clean.

You may also have to change the brand of litter you use as the litter is not something they like.  For example, clay litter could get between their toes and cause pain.

In conclusion

In order to keep your cat off furniture, prevent them from scratching furniture or peeing on it, you will have to be equipped with patience as all of this will take time. What will work for one cat may not work for another.

This post contains affiliate links on some of the images. You can support this blog by trying out the products recommended in this article. 

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Cristina is a licensed veterinarian who has been a cat owner since she was 12. She is passionate about giving useful advice to pet owners across the world. Her favorite topics range from pathology and novel therapies to infectious diseases and animal welfare. Her work has been featured in many online publications from The Pet Friendly House to Alpha Paw, Animal Wellness Magazine, and

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