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How to Stop Cats From Going Under the Couch (7 Effective Methods)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

fluffy cat crawling under a couch in living room

Cats have unusual behaviors, many of which us humans will never truly understand. They have mannerisms and quirks that we may find strange, but are completely normal in the feline world. Cats also have strong personalities—meaning they do what they want to do.

Cat owners may often notice their cats going under the couch. While cats are territorial and love their personal space, which they can easily find under the couch, they may be at risk for getting stuck under furniture and possibly getting hurt—a nightmare for cat parents!

Here are some ways cat parents can prevent their cat from going underneath the couch!

Why Do Cats Go Under the Couch So Much in the First Place?

Before thinking of ways to keep your cat from going underneath the couch, it is important to figure out why they go underneath in the first place.

There are various reasons why your cat may be going under the couch so much. Cats are hunters who may go under the couch because it provides a cozy and secure hiding spot that appeals to their natural predatory instincts. Cats are also curious creatures. They enjoy exploring and investigating tight spaces, and going under the couch provides an opportunity for them to do so.

Additionally, cats also may seek out hidden spots when they feel anxious or stressed, or as a way to escape from other pets or people in the household.

The 7 Effective Ways to Stop Cats From Going Under the Couch:

1. Block Off The Space

Don’t like your cat going somewhere? Block it off!

This is probably the easiest and least complicated method of keeping your cat away from the space under the couch. You can limit access to the space by blocking entrances and openings with different objects and furniture, like baskets, tables, drawers, and even storage containers. Although it may ruin the look of the couch, another way of doing this can be by blocking off the entrance with wood or tape.

You can also always find a replacement couch that lays flat on the ground with no underneath space at all to save you all the trouble.

cat hiding under couch
Image Credit: chrishumphreys, Shutterstock

2. Use a Scent-based Deterrent

Another effective way of keeping your cat from going underneath the couch is by using deterrents. Deterrents take advantage of a cat’s sensitive sense of smell. Cats tend to avoid strong smells, such as vinegar, citrus, or commercially available deterrents. Soaking cotton balls or towels with the scents and placing them under the couch can help discourage your cat from even thinking of going under there!

The goal is to keep your cat safe and away from the space, you don’t want to hurt them. When finding an unpleasant smell to place under the couch, it is important to ensure that these substances are not harmful or poisonous to your cat!

3. Make the Experience Unpleasant

When thinking of ways to keep your cat from going under the couch, you can also take advantage of their sensitive paws. Cats typically do not enjoy walking on surfaces that make them uncomfortable, so placing double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the surface underneath the couch can make great deterrents.

Cats do not like the sticky sensation created by the double-sided tape, and the uneven surface of the aluminum foil can make walking uncomfortable on cats’ paws. In addition, the crinkling sound of the aluminum foul can also be unpleasant to cats.

ragdoll cat under the couch
Image Credit: jsphotography289, Shutterstock

4. Provide Access to a Better Alternative

A cat’s natural inclination toward hiding spots can never be taken away from them. Sometimes, the reason why your cat is going under the couch is because this is the easiest hiding spot accessible to them.

Providing a better alternative space is a great way to stop your cat from going under the couch. Options include providing a cat bed or a cozy space that is easily accessible to them—a space they can claim as their own. Cats are territorial animals, so it is important for them to have their own place where they can rest, relax, and hide without the risk of getting trapped under furniture.

5. Training

It is no secret that cats are intelligent pets. Because of their personality, some believe cats cannot be trained. But this is far from the truth, as cats are known to respond to training with positive reinforcement!

With positive reinforcement, your cat can learn basic commands like “stop by giving them a treat, a toy, or verbal praise and affection. This concept and idea of training can help with teaching your cat to stop entering the space underneath the couch.

Of course, like all forms of training, this takes a lot of patience and highly depends on your cat’s temperament and response towards your training.

an orange cat lying under a sofa
Image Credit: esp2k, Shutterstock

6. Address Stress and Anxiety

Cats are creatures of habit and don’t exactly do well around change. You may find your cat scampering and hiding under the couch simply because they are scared and overwhelmed. If your cat is hiding under the couch as a behavioral response, a good way to stop them from doing this is to address the stress and anxiety they are experiencing.

Spending more time and showing affection can help ease and reassure your cat. Massaging and grooming them can also help them relax. In addition, providing a more appropriate and comfortable space for them to rest is also a great way to help them with their anxiety.

Remember, every cat is different and your cat may respond to stress in their own unique way. Finding the best way to calm your cat down is important, as not every method will work for every cat.

7. Consult With a Veterinarian

If you find your cat exhibiting a variety of unusual behaviors including lethargy, weakness, and loss of appetite, then your cat may be experiencing an underlying medical issue and may be resorting to hiding underneath the couch. If you suspect this, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for proper medical advice and recommendations.

vet checking bengal cat
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock


Cats have a natural inclination for entering small, tight spaces. While under the couch can be easily accessible, they might get stuck underneath. As cat parents, we want to make sure our homes are safe for our cats while also giving them the space they need to rest and relax. To keep your cat from going underneath the couch, it’s best to figure out why they want to go under there in the first place.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: theshots.co, Shutterstock

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