We love our pets; nothing can be better than a cuddle with your pet cat, particularly after a long, stressful day but there are some places we just don’t want them to go!
Whether it’s because you have a brand new leather furniture they’re using as their own personal scratching post, their shedding is getting you down, or there’s a new baby in the house, there are times when all pet owners would rather keep their cat off the furniture or kitchen counters altogether.
As we all know, achieving that is easier said than done.
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for how to keep cats off furniture, you’re in the right place. We’ve got loads of tips and tricks that can help you deter or even train your cat from jumping up onto furniture you’ve declared off limits.
p.s. have grubby paws left your couch in need of a clean? Check out our ultimate couch cleaning guide.
Seven Tips For Keeping Cats Off Furniture
1. Start Training Your Cat To Stay Off Furniture When It’s Young
Training a new behavior is much more effective when introduced as early as possible. A younger cat is more likely to take training on board, but whatever the age of your cat you should introduce your new rules and stick with it.
If you have a new kitten you don’t want on the bed or couch, then don’t bring them up onto the bed or couch! If they’ve never known any different, then your kitty is less likely to be too bothered by the lure of this piece of furniture.
Training your cat with treats and a command in a firm voice is a great way to start enforcing a behavior. Every time the cat jumps on to your furniture, place them back on the floor. Resist the urge to give in, no matter how long it takes.
Now, this approach alone has a good success rate with dogs, but cats are a breed unto themselves. Their independence and defiance are what we love about them, but it means they don’t respond all that well to training in the form of a reward or command. Pet owners often need to use one or more of the other tips listed below in addition to this one to get the training to stick.
2. How To Keep Cats Off Your Furniture By Giving Them Their Own Space
Indulgent? Perhaps. Effective? Yes.
If a pet has their own designated space, they’re much more likely to treat that as their own place of comfort, rather than coming to pester you for a little room on the couch. When a cat has their own areas, covered in their own scents and littered with their own cat toys, they’ll always choose to go there as a preference.
A cat scratching post base with a perching area on top is often all your feline friend will need (apart from a cat bed). Cats like their own space so cat parents should encourage this. To lure them to their new home, place catnip on their furniture, or other scents they like (try lavender and thyme) and they’ll soon be drawn to it.
Have scratch posts and toys ready when you first bring your kitten home, so they grow up knowing these items are theirs, and will be used to using them.
3. Stop Cats Scratching up Your Furniture By Getting a Scratching Post
Scratching posts are important products because not only do they keep your cat entertained but they’ll help file down those sharp claws that have a habit of putting holes in your clothes, too.
Scratching is an instinctual part of a cat’s routine. A cat scratches to relieve boredom and to file their claws. It’s a way for your pet to flex their muscles, to leave their scent, and to relieve stress. When it’s mating time, scratching is a way for a cat to release pheromones on surfaces, because there are scent glands in their paws.
So, instead of scratching furniture, cats will do much better with their own scratching post. Get a good quality one and if it helps, add strips of fabric, upholstery, cardboard, and other scratching surfaces to keep them entertained. Personally, we’re suckers for this fun Catcus Cat Scratching Post Tree by Luckitty (amazon), which comes with a play ball and bed.
Of course, you don’t need to buy a scratching post (although some of them look awesome), some pet owners have success with carpet cut-offs. Carpets are a favorite scratching item so by placing carpet runners in strategic areas you can stop your cat from scratching more precious items.
4. Find Your Cat’s Weakness And Exploit it To Keep Them Off Furniture
Cats are smart, so knowing how to keep cats off furniture can be as much a mind game as anything else. Find out what they hate.
For example, some pet owners swear by a spray bottle filled with water. Working on the premise that cats don’t like water, a squirt from a spray bottle could be enough for them to jump down from the furniture or kitchen counter top. Some cats don’t even need the spray any more: simply seeing their cat parents reaching for the squirt bottle is enough.
If your cat waits for you to leave work before they hit the furniture, try a motion sensor that emits sprays when it catches the offender jumping up. It sounds like overkill, but it’s either that or deal with claw marks on your new sofa! Check out high-tech this PetSave Pawz Away Pet Barrier (amazon) – it works by emitting warning noises and then a static correction when your pet approaches the device.
5. How to Keep Cats Off Furniture with Scents
If they simply roll their eyes at you in disgust at the spray method, then its’s time to up your tactics. Pet stores stock commercial cat repellent spray, which cats hate but that doesn’t offend human noses. We recommend the SEGMINISMART Cat Scratch Spray (amazon), it’s safe (made from plant extracts), smells of citrus (which cats hate, but most pet owners like), and is suitable for furniture, drapes, counter tops, and other places you don’t want your cat to go. A couple of squirts of that on the furniture could help.
There are also some other scents that cats hate. Most cats are not fans of citrus aromas, or spicy scents like curry or cinnamon, so you can make up your own cat repellent spray with essential oils dripped into water and then sprayed onto the furniture you’re trying to deter them from.
It’s important that you don’t get any of these citrus or cinnamon oils anywhere near the places the cat needs to be. Don’t spray near the litter box, their scratch posts or on their toys.
If one particular smell doesn’t deter your cat, then try another. Your own cat might love the smell of lemon but hate orange. They might not be put off by citrus at all, but detest mint. There’s no need to invest in expensive products, because you’ll probably find ingredients in your own cupboards that you can use. Keep experimenting to find something that works.
6. Use Sensation to Deter Your Cat From Jumping on Furniture
Cats are primal hunters, and so they’re in tune with their environment around them. Cats are very fussy not just about smells, but about the things they can feel with their sensitive paws.
They often hates smooth and shiny surfaces, for example, because they can’t get purchase with their claws so they feel unsafe. Sheets of aluminum foil stretched across your kitchen counters will keep cats from jumping up more than once.
As much as they detest the feeling of aluminum foil, cats also hate anything sticky. Try double-sided tape in the areas you don’t want them to jump up onto. Clear double sided tape won’t even be noticed by guests and they’ll simply wonder where on earth you found such an obedient cat who doesn’t jump up onto the furniture.
As much as your cat likes carpets, they hate the underlay underneath. So turn carpet runners upside down and place near items you want your cat to stay away from. Other sensations cats dislike are sandpaper and sheets of plastic, all of which can be found at your local home improvement store (along with the previously mentioned double sided tape). There are also purpose-made plastic floor mats that are made to deter cats, such as this Homarden Cat Repellant mat (amazon) – it’s designed for outdoor use, but you could use it indoors in a pinch.
7. How to Keep Cats Off Furniture With Noisy Traps
Stealth is a cat’s best friend; cat owners can stay one step ahead in their quest to keep cats off furniture by making a trap that will scare them. Something as simple as a small plastic bag filled with pennies and hidden under a cushion can stop your cat from wanting to get onto the furniture.
When training your kittens to stay away from furniture, a sharp blast on a whistle may also help. Associating the unpleasant noise with the item of furniture can be enough to keep cats away as they grow older, too.
Again, a motion sensor that beeps might do the trick. Sudden noises go against a cat’s instinct to be as quiet..
Two Things You Should Not Do When Trying to Keep Cats Off Furniture
Frustrated cat owners will do anything to know how to keep cats off furniture, but that doesn’t mean every method they try is a good one. You want your cat to know to stay away from the furniture but also to be happy in its home.
Don’t Get Mad
You should never scare your cat off the furniture by hitting them, kicking them, or yelling at them. If one of the earlier suggested methods doesn’t keep cats off furniture, try another, without resorting to violent behavior. It can be frustrating, but owning a cat means providing cat care for life, even when it’s hard work.
Don’t Remove Your Cat’s Nails
If your cat continues to scratch and cause damage, get them a scratch post and their nails will naturally file down. Cats scratch, and you can’t change that, but you can find ways to train your cat to channel the scratching into a less destructive area. De-clawing cats is an agonizing and permanent procedure that maims a cat, and not just physically.
You can invest in some covers for their nails, so they don’t damage surfaces or furniture. There are ways to get cats to stop destructive scratching without resorting to surgery.
Often, a cat scratches because it’s bored. If it’s safe, let them out in the garden to explore. It’s much better for them to scratch up a tree than up your couch.
Stick with the Plan!
Knowing how to keep cats off furniture is something cat owners have struggled with for many years but eventually your cat will get the message!
Whether it’s knobbly floor mats, repellant sprays, noisy tricks, double-sided tape or simply investing in some nice wooden cat furniture such as a cat tree, you’ll find the best way for you to keep the cats of your house away from the furniture – all it takes is a little bit of experimentation.
When you’ve cracked the code of how to keep cats off furniture, be sure to spread the word so other cat lovers can benefit from the tricks, too!