How To Keep Cats Off Furniture

icon July 27, 2023

As one of the cat parents, it is believed that you have ever been irritated with your cats' consistently stretching furniture. That's why you are here to find some solution to the problem. So why not follow this article to find what you want?

Why Cats Show Great Interest In Furniture?

Cats show interest in furniture for several reasons, which are rooted in their natural instincts and behaviors:

  • Scratching Instinct: Cats have a natural instinct to scratch objects to maintain their claws, stretch their muscles, and mark their territory. Furniture provides a suitable surface for scratching due to its texture and stability.
  • Scent Marking: Cats have scent glands on their paws, face, and body. When they scratch furniture, they leave behind their scent, marking the area as part of their territory.
  • Comfort and Security: Furniture, especially soft and elevated surfaces like sofas and beds, offer comfort and security for cats. They like to rest in high places to observe their surroundings and feel safe from potential threats.
  • Warmth: Furniture made of materials like wood or upholstery can retain warmth, making it an attractive spot for cats to relax, especially in cooler environments.
  • Curiosity: Cats are naturally curious creatures. They explore their environment, including furniture, to investigate new scents, textures, and heights.
  • Proximity to Humans: Cats are social animals and often want to be close to their human companions. Furniture is where people spend a lot of time, so cats may gravitate toward these areas to be near their owners.
  • Fun and Play: Furniture can be an appealing playground for cats. They may jump, climb, and explore different surfaces for entertainment and mental stimulation.

How Keep Cats Off Furniture Naturally?

Keeping cats off furniture can be challenging, but there are several natural remedies you can try to deter them from certain areas:

1. Citrus Scents: Cats generally dislike the smell of citrus fruits. You can place citrus peels or use citrus-scented sprays on the furniture to keep them away.

2. Essential Oils: Certain essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus are known to repel cats. Mix a few drops with water and spray it on the furniture (be sure to use essential oils that are safe for cats).
  Here are some common allergic symptoms to essential oils in cats:

  • Skin Irritation: Cats may develop skin irritation or rashes when exposed to certain essential oils. This can manifest as redness, itching, or swelling on the areas where the oil was applied or came into contact.
  • Respiratory Issues: Cats can experience respiratory problems when they inhale essential oils. They may start coughing, wheezing, sneezing, or have difficulty breathing.
  • Drooling or Excessive Salivation: Some essential oils can irritate a cat's mouth or gastrointestinal system, leading to excessive drooling or salivation.
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  • Vomiting or Diarrhea: Ingesting certain essential oils can be toxic to cats and lead to gastrointestinal upset, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Lethargy or Weakness: Cats exposed to toxic essential oils may become lethargic, weak, or uncoordinated.
  • Behavior Changes: Cats may exhibit unusual behaviors, such as restlessness, excessive grooming, or hiding, when they come into contact with essential oils they find aversive.
  • Liver or Kidney Damage: Some essential oils can be toxic to a cat's liver or kidneys, potentially leading to serious health issues if ingested or absorbed through the skin.

3. Double-Sided Tape: Cats usually don't like the sticky feeling of double-sided tape on their paws. Apply the tape on the furniture surfaces where you don't want the cat to jump or scratch.

4. Aluminum Foil: The sound and texture of aluminum foil can discourage cats from jumping on furniture. Place the foil on the surfaces they frequent.
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5. Scented Cotton Balls: Soak cotton balls in a strong-smelling substance like vinegar or menthol, and place them strategically on the furniture.

6. Water Spray Bottle: Keep a water spray bottle nearby and whenever you catch your cat on the furniture, give them a gentle spritz of water. This method is more of a deterrent and can help with training.

7. Catnip: This might seem counterintuitive, but using catnip on a specific area or scratching post can attract the cat there instead of the furniture.
How to Grow Catnip Plants in Your Garden or Indoors – Bonnie Plants

What Smell Keeps Cats Off Furniture?

Cats have sensitive noses, and certain smells are known to deter them from areas where they are applied. Here are some smells that can help keep cats off furniture:

  • Citrus: Cats typically dislike the smell of citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. You can use citrus-scented sprays or place citrus peels on the furniture to deter them.
    Know These 12 Citrus Varieties And When They Are In Season
  • Lavender: While lavender is pleasant to many humans, cats tend to find the scent offensive. You can use lavender-scented sprays or essential oils (be sure to use pet-safe oils) on the furniture to discourage them from jumping up.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint is another scent that cats often avoid. Spraying peppermint oil mixed with water on furniture surfaces can be effective.
  • Eucalyptus: The strong aroma of eucalyptus can deter cats. You can use eucalyptus essential oil (pet-safe) mixed with water as a spray.
  • Rosemary: Cats generally dislike the smell of rosemary. You can use rosemary sprigs or essential oil (pet-safe) to keep them away.
    Rosemary: Health benefits, precautions, and drug interactions


Can Cats Be Trained To Stay Off Furniture?

Yes, cats can be trained to stay off furniture, but it requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here are some steps to help you train your cat:

  • Provide Alternatives: Cats need a designated space to scratch and climb. Provide them with a cat tree, scratching posts, and other interactive toys to keep them engaged and entertained.
    10 DIY cat scratching post ideas that are simply stylish | PetsRadar
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Whenever your cat avoids the furniture or uses their designated space, reward them with treats, praise, or affection. Positive reinforcement encourages them to repeat the desired behavior.
  • Redirect Their Behavior: If you catch your cat on the furniture, gently redirect them to their designated space. Encourage and reward them for using the appropriate area.
  • Make Furniture Unappealing: Use some of the natural remedies mentioned earlier, like double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or scents that cats dislike, to make the furniture less appealing. Over time, they will learn to associate the furniture with negative experiences and stay away.
  • Be Consistent: Consistency is vital in cat training. Everyone in the household should follow the same rules to avoid confusing the cat.
  • Avoid Punishment: Avoid punishing your cat for getting on the furniture. Punishment can create fear and anxiety, making the training process more challenging.
  • Create Safe Zones: Designate certain pieces of furniture as cat-friendly zones, where they are allowed to roam. Provide comfortable cat beds or blankets on these pieces to make them more inviting.
  • Use Deterrents: Motion-activated deterrents, such as air sprays or noise emitters, can startle cats when they jump on furniture, discouraging them from doing it again.

Remember that each cat is unique, and some may be more stubborn than others. Training takes time, and it's essential to remain patient and consistent throughout the process. With positive reinforcement and providing attractive alternatives, you can encourage your cat to stay off the furniture and use their designated spaces instead.

Related Questions:

Can You Teach Cats Not To Scratch Furniture?

Yes, you can teach cats not to scratch furniture by providing appropriate alternatives and using positive reinforcement. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and it serves various purposes, including marking territory, stretching, and maintaining their claws. To redirect their scratching behavior, follow these steps:

  • Scratching Posts and Pads: Provide your cat with several scratching posts or pads made of different materials (e.g., sisal, cardboard, carpet) placed strategically around the house. Cats have preferences for different textures, so offering a variety increases the chances they'll use them.
  • Placement: Position the scratching posts near the furniture they tend to scratch. Cats often scratch where they have marked their scent or where they feel territorial. Placing the posts in these areas helps redirect their behavior.
  • Catnip or Treats: Sprinkle catnip on the scratching posts or offer treats when you notice your cat using them. Positive reinforcement encourages them to use the designated areas instead of the furniture.
  • Trim Their Claws: Regularly trim your cat's claws or use soft nail caps to minimize the damage from scratching.
    How to Trim a Cat's Nails: The Step-by-Step Guide - Pumpkin®
  • Deterrents: Make the furniture less appealing by using the natural remedies mentioned earlier, such as double-sided tape or citrus scents. Cats prefer a scratching surface that they can sink their claws into comfortably.
  • Training and Praise: When you see your cat using the scratching post or pad, offer praise and positive reinforcement. This helps create a positive association with using the appropriate area.
  • Avoid Punishment: Never punish your cat for scratching furniture. Punishment can create fear and anxiety, making the problem worse.
  • Use Anti-Scratch Spray: There are commercial anti-scratch sprays available that contain scents cats dislike. Use these sprays on the furniture you want to protect.
  • Supervise and Correct: If you catch your cat scratching the furniture, gently interrupt the behavior and direct them to the appropriate scratching post. Praise and reward them when they use it.

How Do You Discipline A Cat Effectively?

  1. Positive Reinforcement
  2. Redirect Unwanted Behavior
  3. Provide Environmental Enrichment
  4. Use Deterrents
  5. Ignore Attention-Seeking Behavior
  6. Understand Cat Body Language
  7. Avoid Physical Punishment
  8. Be Consistent

Final Thoughts:
How to Keep Cats off Furniture

To redirect your cat's interest in furniture, provide appropriate alternatives such as scratching posts, cat trees, and comfortable resting spots. You can also make the furniture less appealing by using deterrents like double-sided tape or applying scents that cats dislike. Additionally, spending quality playtime with your cat and providing environmental enrichment can reduce their need to explore and scratch furniture out of boredom or excess energy.


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