BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

How to Keep Cats Off Furniture: Quick Fixes and Preventive Tips to Keep Your Furniture Spotless

orange cat sleeping on chair
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Bringing a new pet into your home is an amazing and life-changing experience. However, if your cat sheds or likes to use your furniture as a nail file, there’s going to be some tension. Of course, you love your cat, but you don’t want him to destroy your house and make it into his own personal playpen. If that sounds like the kind of problem you’re facing right now, you’ll want to learn how to keep cats off furniture.

You don’t have to chase your cat off then keep watch over your furniture like a soldier on guard duty to make sure that your cat won’t get on, now or ever. There are quick, easy, and non-confrontational ways to achieve better results.

cat tearing up sofa

By following our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make your cat abide by the house rules without hurting his feelings. If keeping your cats(s) off of your furniture is what you want, then that is precisely what you’ll get—whether you lean more towards quick, one-time fixes, or permanent solutions.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to keep your cats off if your furniture in the most effective ways. We’ve divided this article into two parts: the first one deals in tricks that will show results very quickly but may not be long-lasting, whereas the second part will require some dedication, but the effects are long-term. Let’s not waste any more time and just get started.

Why Do Cats Go On Furniture?

orange cat lying on sofa

Their need to go on furniture isn’t something that cats do maliciously. Cats like to follow where their owners go. Plus, they’re also looking for a comfy and cozy spot to relax in. So, your cat’s need to lounge on your couch isn’t a form of revenge against you. Your cat simply loves comfort as well.

Now, a cat’s need to claw your furniture is different. It can be one of two reasons. Firstly, cats can do this because they need to manicure their claws and have no other area to do so. If you don’t have a cat-scratch, well, getting one and training your cat to use it can solve a lot of your problems right there.

Secondly, your cat may be doing this as a way to get attention or show that he’s upset with you. Try to see when your cat does this. Is it when you’re gone for long hours? Or when you’re not petting him? In this case, provide him with toys to play with and give him an ample amount of attention.

See Also: How to Show Your Cat You Love Them

Home Remedies to Keep Cats Off of Your Furniture Quick

training cat to keep off furniture

Now that you know why your cat just can’t leave your furniture alone, it’s time to discuss how to counteract this habit. Of course, to prevent cats from sitting on your furniture for the foreseeable future, you’re going to need to train them. But you can also take some extra immediate steps to protect your furniture while training is in progress.

Chances are, your cat is going to try to sit on your couch an endless amount of times before the training actually starts to stick. Thus, you need to make sure your furniture stays intact during the training process. You don’t have to invest in expensive commercial cat repellents to achieve this. Some simple home remedies will do.

Here are a few quick and effective answers to the question: “how to keep cats off furniture home remedy”:

Trick #1: Place a Cover on Top of Your Furniture

It doesn’t have to be anything special like a fancy couch cover; anything will do. You can use a bed sheet, a blanket, or a plastic cover. Anything’s fine as long as it does the job of preventing your cat from having direct contact with your furniture.

Trick #2: Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is another great home remedy to deter cats from sitting on your furniture. Place a few strips on the arms and backs of your furniture as those are popular places for cats to rest on.

When they jump onto the tape, they’ll dislike the stickiness. Plus, they won’t want to scratch the area. You can use double-sided tape even on the bottom of your couch in scratch-prone areas. However, do not use double-sided tape on leather furniture as it can cause damage to it.

Trick #3: Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is highly uncomfortable for cats to walk and sit on. In addition, it removes the warm, cozy sensation that they’re looking for on your furniture. The sound is also a huge deterrent as cats dislike crinkly noises.

You don’t need a lot of aluminum foil; simply use a couple of pieces on areas where your cats typically sit on. Over time, they’ll associate the crinkly sound with negativity and refrain from sitting there.

Trick #4: Vinegar Spray

This is one of the easiest remedies to use. Place some vinegar in a spray bottle. You can dilute the vinegar with a little bit of water and then spray the areas you don’t want to see your cat on.

Most cats highly dislike the smell of vinegar. Thus, they’ll find another place to sit. In addition, the vinegar will also act as a natural deodorant, so you kill two birds with one stone.

See Also: DIY Cat Repellent

Trick #5: Orange Peels

orange peels on table

If you’re looking for another home remedy, the smell of orange peels is also a huge deterrent for cats. Place orange peels in a shallow dish and put them in areas where you don’t want your cat to sit.

How to Train Your Cat to Stay Off of Your Furniture

cat lying on sofa

Though you’ll be able to deter your cat from going on the furniture by spraying it with vinegar or using double-sided tape, you probably don’t want to be doing this forever. Therefore, the best way to stop your cat from going on your furniture is through training.

Below you’ll find some basic training techniques that are highly effective for when you want to keep cats off of your furniture. So, in combination with the remedies above, you should implement these training steps as well.

Step #1: Start from the Beginning

If this is a new cat to your home, this will be easy to implement. However, if you’ve already had your cat for a couple of months, it’s going to be more difficult to train him as he’s already made it his territory. Thus, he’s probably used to sitting on whatever he wants.

You need to start the training from the very beginning and treat your cat as if he’s just come home for the first time. The moment your cat tries to get up on the furniture, stop him and be consistent.

It may take a couple of days, weeks, or months, but you need to stay committed to preventing him from going on your furniture. Eventually, your cat will stop and learn that it’s not an allowed behavior.

Step #2: Make Sure He Gets What He Needs from Other Things in the Environment

cat sleeping in his bed

Think about the reason why your cat gets on your furniture in the first place. He could be trying to look for a cozy spot to sleep and hang out in. Make sure you provide your cat with a cozy and warm cat bed as this could be the problem.

See Also: Best Cat Bed

Make sure he’s comfortable in his bed. Put his pillow on it or nearby and scatter his toys around that area. This will let him know that this is his personal space. Sprinkle some dried catnip on top of the cat’s warm and cozy bed to attract him to it. In addition, when he is sitting on his own bed, give him treats and positive reinforcement.

Also, if your cat is using your furniture as a nail file, then you need to direct his nail filing to a scratch post. If you don’t have one, then you should get one as soon as possible as this is the easiest way to solve the problem.

See Also: DIY Cat Scratcher

Step #3: Deter Your Cat from Getting On

The idea is simple enough. You have to make your cat jump off if you see him lounging on your furniture where he doesn’t belong. Repeat this consistently, and sooner or later he’ll get the idea. However, there are a few things you should do and other things you absolutely mustn’t do.

Do’s:

angry cat becausу his nose flicked

Cats hate water; well, at least most cats. Thus, you want to keep a spray bottle of water nearby. Whenever you see your cat sitting on furniture or trying to jump on it, take the spray bottle and spray him in the face.

It’s just water, so it won’t cause any pain to him, but it’ll frighten him. If you do it enough, it’ll annoy him to the point where he’ll avoid that piece of furniture entirely.

Here’s another trick: every time your cat tries to get up on the furniture, lightly flick his nose and say a firm “no” while doing it. However, this technique may take a little longer for him to respond to as cats are not as responsive to commands as dogs are.

Don’ts:

Many people think that using loud noises will deter cats. However, you never want to use loud bells or whistles to get a cat off of your furniture. It’s highly ineffective and will frighten your cat to the point where he’ll associate all loud noises with trauma. For example, if he hears fireworks or the doorbell, it may scare him.

Finally, never raise your hand against your cat. There will be moments when you may become frustrated and feel as though you’re losing your mind. It’s understandable as training is very difficult and time-consuming.

However, as frustrated as you might become, at no point should you become violent towards your cat. It won’t help the situation. It will instead tarnish the relationship that you’ve worked so hard to form.

Use the above training techniques and tips instead. If nothing is working, call a pet trainer who can come in and assess the situation as it may be a very small thing that needs to be adjusted.

Wrap Up

grey kitten scratching red sofa

Having a cat as a companion in your home is a wonderful and life-changing experience. Cats will provide you with love and affection that’s unconditional. However, when adopting an animal into the family, many people make the mistake of adjusting their lives to their new cat.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Rather, if there are rules you’d like to keep in the house even with a new animal, you should be able to do just that. Keeping your cat off of your furniture may be one of them.

If you, in general, would like your cat off of the furniture, it’s important that you implement some of the training strategies we’ve discussed above into your daily routine. Though it may be somewhat time-consuming in the beginning, it’s important you do it as early as possible to get your cat acquainted with the rules.

As we’ve talked about earlier, it’s also important to make sure that your cat isn’t scratching or playing around with your furniture out of boredom or stress. If this is the case, spending more time with him and giving him toys to play with should solve the problem.

Do you have a cat that used to tear up or sit on your furniture? How did you prevent him from going on your furniture? Let us know in the comment section below as we’d love to hear your tips and tricks on how to keep cats off the furniture! If it’s your couch that your cat likes to frequent, then you might want to read this article on how to choose a couch that’s cat-proof. That could be just the solution you need.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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