How to keep your cat from ruining your furniture

Cats can be wonderful companions. Any cat owner knows, though, that cats can create havoc on your couches, sofas, loveseats, chairs and anywhere else that they seem to think is totally theirs.

This havoc can take many forms, including scratching, urinating, shedding, and much more.

If you’re a cat owner and are struggling with your cat destroying your furniture in one or more of these ways, keep reading.

My Cat Is Scratching

Cats scratch for many different reasons. Some do it as a form of play, some do it while they stretch, some use scratching to help mark their territory, and some scratch to help sharped their nails.

Whatever the reason, having a cat use your upholstery as a type of scratching post is incredibly annoying.

So, how do you get your cat to stop?

First, don’t get your cat declawed. That might seem like the obvious solution, but declawing cats has not shown to be an effective method for improving a cat’s behavior. It also causes severe pain for the cat while they recover and makes it more difficult for them to climb and maneuver.

If your cat is scratching the wrong things, it may be as simple as them not knowing where the appropriate place is for them to scratch. If you have a scratching post for them, it may just not be an attractive surface for them to scratch.

Cats have preferences just like people do. You have a favorite drink at Starbucks, a favorite pair of pajamas, and maybe even a favorite mug. Well, cats have their favorite surfaces to scratch, and just like people, each cat may have a different preference. So try providing them with different types of safe surfaces for them to scratch and see what they like.

Different types of “scratching posts” may include:

  • Sisal rope
  • Sisal fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Carpet

Once your cat has some options that are okay for them to scratch, the next step to try and teach them where it is not okay to scratch. This can be done by making your upholstery difficult or uncomfortable to scratch.

You can accomplish this by placing a plastic covering over your upholstery, using double-sided tape, or sandpaper to make scratching upholstery less attractive. Once these measures are in place, it will discourage cats from scratching upholstery, forcing them to find the other alternatives that you have provided.

Once your cat learns to scratch the appropriate things, these preventative measures can be removed from your upholstery.

At the same time that you are discouraging your cat from scratching your upholstery, it is important to also encourage your cat to scratch the appropriate things. This can be done by giving the scratching posting an appealing smell (like catnip), placing toys by them, or placing them near your upholstery as a close alternative for scratching.

My Cat Pees on My Upholstery

Cat pee in especially pungent and difficult to remove and having a cat pee on your couch is definitely a real bummer. Cat urine stains can be especially difficult to clean on upholstery since the padding is often very thick. But that doesn’t mean your completely hopeless.

The best solution for pet urine removal is Chem-Dry’s Pet Urine Removal Treatment (P.U.R.T.) which causes a chemical reaction to oxidize and destroy the urine, removing it for good. If you would like to learn more about Chem-Dry’s Pet Urine Removal Treatment, you can do so here.

If you would like to give it a go yourself first, however, then start off by dabbing up the urine with an old rag or towel. Time is of the essence and the quicker you react, the better your results will be.

Next, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Once you’ve done that, pour vinegar on the baking soda, let it fizz, and wipe it up.

Once you’ve done that, use water and a little bit of dish soap to clean the area and further remove the smell.

It is important to note that this process has the potential of discoloring fabric, so be sure to test it first on an inconspicuous spot before attempting in a prominent spot. Again, this is why we recommend using the professionals at Chem-Dry to take care of the pet urine stain for you.

My Cat Sheds A Lot

Most cats shed a lot. Living with a cat means living with cat hair (unless you have one of those hairless cats, of course). Cat hair and more or less inevitable, but there are ways to mitigate it.

First, brush your cat often. This not only will prevent your cat from shedding as much but is also important for your cat’s overall skin health.

Next is to remove cat hair from your couch often and quickly. The easiest and probably most obvious way to do this is with a lint roller. However, if you don’t have a lint roller, there are plenty of other things that you could use instead, including:

  • Tape – roll the tape in an “O” shape around your hand to use as a make-shift lint roller.
  • Rubber dish gloves – use rubber dish gloves on your hands and drag them across the surface of your couch. The friction will allow you to pick up the hair.
  • Kitchen sponge – use a clean, dry kitchen sponge to remove hair by dragging it across your couch, allowing the cat hair to stick to it.

If you have multiple cats or if your cat’s shedding is particularly bad, you may even consider covering your couch with couch covering or a bedsheet. This won’t necessarily keep cat hair from being where you sit but will keep the hair and dander from sticking to the couch itself.

In Summary

We love our cats but having them often comes at the expense of our upholstery. Luckily, regardless of what damages your feline friends cause, you can put measures in place to mitigate them.