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How To Keep Cats Off Furniture (5 Simple Steps)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

old calico cat

Cats are agile and curious animals, and they can usually get into any space with just a little determination. However, some areas in your house may be unsafe for cats, or you just might not prefer for your cats to go on certain furniture.

Cats may have a difficult time understanding why they shouldn’t go on certain furniture. However, there are some things that you can do to effectively keep your cats off.

How To Keep Cats Off Furniture in 5 Steps

1. Move Your Furniture To a Different Location

Sometimes, cats will go on top of certain furniture simply because of its location. So, take some time to consider where your furniture is currently situated. If it’s in direct sunlight, your cat may enjoy laying on it for warmth. If it’s by a window, your cat may enjoy using it as a perch to observe outside.

Cats may also use furniture as a stepping point to reach a higher location. If your cat likes to observe from a high vantage point, it may jump on various pieces of furniture to situate itself on a tall bookshelf or the highest platform in a room.

Simply relocating your furniture may deter a cat from using it because it no longer serves its original purpose.

soften pillow decor on the grey sofa
Image Credit: PhaiApirom, Shutterstock

2. Make Your Furniture Unappealing To Your Cat

If rearranging your furniture isn’t an option, or if your cat keeps going on your furniture, you can try using deterrents to keep your cats off.

Cats typically don’t like the feeling of stickiness on their paws. So, you can try placing double-sided tape on your furniture. They also don’t like stepping on tin foil, so you can line your furniture with it.

If you have an issue with cats scratching furniture, you can install plastic safety guards to discourage them from scratching. For couches or chairs that you don’t want your cats on, you can try covering them with vinyl furniture protectors. This material is much less comfortable than fabric, which can make your furniture less appealing to your cat.

There are also bitter sprays that you can use to make surfaces more distasteful to cats. You can use commercial sprays or a homemade mixture of water and apple cider vinegar or citrus oil. Cats also don’t like the smell of citrus, so they may not enjoy going on furniture that smells like it.


3. Install scratching posts and cat trees

Sometimes, you have to offer cats their own furniture to keep them off yours. Cats like to climb and leap, so they can benefit from tall cat trees with multiple platforms. They may also feel safer higher up, so a cat condo with a hammock or bed box can be a more preferable place to nap instead of your couch.

Cats that scratch furniture will benefit from scratching posts. There are different kinds of scratching posts, so you may have to install more than one kind to keep your cat interested.

Cat sitting in a cat tree
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

4. Develop a Play Schedule With Your Cat

Cats often scratch furniture if they’re feeling bored. So, along with having scratching posts, they should have plenty of toys that they like to play with daily. If you have a particularly energetic or agile cat that likes to jump on furniture, you can try using an automatic cat toy to encourage them to run around and chase after it.

Cats will also enjoy it when you play with them. Wand toys are a great way to interact with your cat while giving it plenty of exercise. You can also purchase a cat backpack or sling or try training your cat to use a harness. Then, you can bring it outside with you and provide an exciting and stimulating change of scenery.


5. Work With a Reputable Cat Behaviorist

Cat behaviorists can help you determine the reason why your cat is using your furniture in unfavorable ways. They can also help you design your home so that it’s more comfortable and entertaining for cats. Anxious and bored cats often exhibit more destructive and unwanted behaviors, so making some modifications to your home’s interior design can do wonders.

If you’re interested in working with a cat behaviorist, make sure to look for a reputable one. Try to find one that has generally positive reviews and proper credentials, such as a degree or certificate in animal sciences and behavioral study.

Common accreditations include certification from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the Animal Behavior Society (ABS).

Woman posing with cat
Image Credit: 3378216, Pixabay

Final Thoughts

Keeping your cats off furniture will require some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. When you’re able to understand the perspective and common behaviors of cats, you can respond with appropriate measures to deter your cats from going on your furniture.

Learning to keep your cats off your furniture can be a great way to learn new things about your cat. So, it can be a challenge, but it’ll be worthwhile when you’re able to create a happy and harmonious home for both you and your cat.

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Featured Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

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