Kittens are adorable and cats make wonderful pets, but these beautiful and elegant animals will happily destroy couch legs, shed all over your couches and chairs, and may enjoy parking on your kitchen countertop.
To avoid such damage and mess, try out the suggestions below on how to keep cats away from furniture that you care about.
1. Make The Couch Inhospitable
Measure your couch length and head out to your favorite home improvement store. Get a clear rubberized carpet runner cut to the length of your couch cushions.
You can lay the runner upside down on the couch cushions to provide a bumpy, uncomfortable walking surface. Hopefully this will keep your cat off the arms and back as well.
2. Verbal Commands
Cats are generally highly sensitive to loud noises. If possible, train your kitten in a very quiet environment so they can become accustomed to your inside voice.
As they explore their new home with you, monitor where they go and what they do; if you notice your kitten approaching a piece of furniture you want to make off limits or engage in a behavior you don't like, such as scratching or climbing on the couch, say, "No!" in a firm, clear voice.
Immediately move your kitten to a place they can scratch and climb, such as commercial scratching post with plenty of perches.
Experts at A to Z Pet Care recommend a post that encourages your kitten to cling to and climb on. Spend some time with your kitten as they use this toy, and make this space an enjoyable one for them.
3. Make The Couch Sticky
If you're really struggling to keep kitty off the arms and backs of your furniture, pick up some inexpensive shower curtains from a dollar store and get some double stick tape.
Use the tape to create a grid of discomfort across the shower curtain. This will create a flexible barrier you can use to drape over armchairs and across countertops and tables while you're training your cat; they don't like anything that clings to their feet.
It should be noted that this flexible barrier will be difficult to store. However, they're easy to recreate and are a great training tool for keeping cats off furniture, tables and cabinets.
4. Training Sprays
Is there a spray to keep cats off furniture? Adding cat repellent to your furniture may result in discoloration or odors you don't want on your furniture; shop around and find scents you don't mind. Always test for colorfastness when applying a spray.
Training your cat with sprays is a workable option if you're home a lot as your kitten acclimates to their new housing arrangement. A squirt gun filled with water, well aimed and used sparingly, can make your furniture scary.
5. Scratching Posts, Perches And Cat Gymnasiums
Scratching posts and perches are an excellent way for cats to scratch, climb and explore their new home. Make an investment in a sturdy scratching post.
Take the time to stabilize it as needed; consider adding a bracket to secure it to the wall.
It may or may not be true that cats always land on their feet, but if your cat leaps onto their scratching post or perch only to feel it rock beneath them or tip over completely, you will have a very hard time getting them to use it again.
Cats scratch to mark their territory and let the world know that this piece of furniture is theirs. They also scratch for exercise and pleasure.
Here is where sprays can really help. Cats have scent glands between their toes. There are products that will trick your cat into thinking they've already scratched a particular piece of furniture.
This marking process is fairly detailed for humans, so be sure to start it when you're going to be home and can fully follow the program.
A temporary fix is to cover the afflicted chair leg or couch arm with aluminum foil. You'll want to keep an eye on this barrier to make sure your cat doesn't see this as an added scratching bonus.
Be careful that you're not inadvertently training your cat to enjoy the couch. If you sit on the couch and hold your cat, they'll connect "couch" to "comfort" and you'll never keep them off it.
Instead, get on the floor with your cat. If you want to hold the cat, consider placing them on a cushion in your lap. Make this cushion their special spot.
Treat your cat with a nibble of something special when they get on the cushion, and keep the cushion on the floor in places where your family gathers.
When You Really Need A Barrier
If a portion of your home must remain cat free such as in the case of severe allergies or if you have a new member of the household who cannot tolerate cats, consider adding a screen door to their space.
Leaving solid doors constantly closed can limit air flow and create cold and hot spaces inside your house. It may feel odd to have a screen door inside your house, but it will keep cats out of that portion of the home and prevent isolation.
Most cat owners will tolerate a bit of cat hair on furniture and clothing; it's part of the joy of owning pets.
However, cats can go from comfortable to destructive pretty quickly, so training them to keep off certain furniture will save you cleaning and repair expenses over time. Give your cat a great place to play and climb while protecting your favorite chair!