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How to keep your cat from ruining your furniture

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2019

Cats can be wonderful companions. Any cat owner knows, though, that cats can create havoc on your couches, sofas, loveseats, chairs and anywhere else that they seem to think is totally theirs.

This destruction can take many forms, including scratching, shedding, urinating and more.

If you’re a cat owner, and are struggling with your cat destroying your furniture in one or more of these ways, keep reading.

My Cat Is Scratching

Cat scratching leather stool

Cats scratch for many different reasons. Some do it as a form of play, some do it while they stretch, some use scratching to help mark their territory, and some scratch to help sharped their nails.

Whatever the reason, having a cat use your upholstery for a scratching post is incredibly annoying. Especially when you've already spent good money on a scratching post.

So, when your cat is destroying your couch with its claws, how do you get it to stop?

First, it is important to note that we do not recommending declawing your cat. The name "declawing" is actually a bit misleading, because it actually involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. Declawing might seem like the obvious solution, but declawing cats has not shown to be an effective method for improving cat's behavior. It also causes severe pain for the cat while they recover and makes it more difficult for them to climb and maneuver.

If your cat is scratching the wrong things, it may be as simple as them not knowing where the appropriate place is for them to scratch. If you have a scratching post for them, it may just not be an attractive surface for them to scratch.

You have a favorite drink at Starbucks, a favorite pair of pajamas, and maybe even a favorite mug. Well, cats have their favorite surfaces to scratch, and just like people, each cat may have a different preference. You need to find out what your cat likes to scratch, so try providing them with different types of safe surfaces for them to scratch and see what they like.

Different types of scratching posts may include:

  • Sisal rope
  • Sisal fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Carpet

Once your cat has some options that are okay for them to scratch, the next step to try and teach them where it is not okay to scratch. This can be done by making your upholstery difficult or uncomfortable to scratch. You can accomplish this by placing a plastic covering over your upholstery, using double sided tape, or sandpaper to make scratching upholstery less attractive. These preventative measures will help discourage cats from scratching upholstery, forcing them to find the other alternatives that you have provided.

Once your cat learns to scratch the appropriate things, these preventative measures can be removed from your upholstery.

At the same time that you are discouraging your cat from scratching your upholstery, it is important to also encourage your cat to scratch the appropriate things. This can be done by giving the scratching posting an appeal smell (like catnip), placing toys by them, or placing them near your upholstery as a close alternative for scratching. Try placing the scratching post near your upholstery to give them a convenient alternative.

My Cats Sheds A Lot

cat that sheds a lot

Living with a cat means living with cat hair (unless you have one of those hairless cats, of course). Cat hair and more or less inevitable, but there are ways to mitigate it and easily clean it.

First, brush your cat often. This will prevent your cat from shedding as much. Brushing your cat is also important for your cat’s overall skin and fur health.

Next is to remove cat hair from your couch often and quickly. The easiest and probably most obvious way to do this is with a lint roller. These can be purchased for relatively cheap at almost any grocery or convenience store. However, if you don’t have a lint roller, there are plenty of other things that you could use instead, including:

  • Tape – roll the tape in an “O” shape around your hand with the sticky side out to use as a make-shift lint roller.
  • Rubber dish gloves – use rubber dish gloves on your hands and drag them across the surface of your couch. The friction will allow you to pick up the hair.
  • Kitchen sponge – use a clean, dry kitchen sponge to remove hair by dragging it across your couch, allowing the cat hair to stick to it.

If you have multiple cats or if your cat’s shedding is particularly bad, you may even consider covering your couch with couch covering or a sheet. This won’t necessarily keep cat hair from being where you sit but will keep the hair and dander from sticking to the couch itself.

My Cat Pees on My Upholstery

Cat on couch after peeing

Cat pee in especially pungent and difficult to remove and having a cat pee on your couch is definitely a real bummer. Cat urine stains can be especially difficult to clean on upholstery since upholstery cushions are often very thick and absorbent. However, there is still hope for your upholstery!

The best solution for pet urine removal is Chem-Dry's Pet Urine Removal Treatment (P.U.R.T.) which causes a chemical reaction to oxidize and destroy the urine, removing it for good. If you would like to learn more about Chem-Dry's Pet Urine Removal Treatment, you can do so here.

If you would like to give it a go yourself first, however, then start off by dabbing up the urine with an old rag or towel. Time is of the essence and the quick you react, the better your results will be.

Next, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Once you’ve done that, pour vinegar on the baking soda, let it fizz, and wipe it up.

Once you’ve done that, use water and a little bit of dish soap to clean the area and further remove the smell.

It is important to note that this process has the potential of discoloring fabric, so be sure to test it first on an inconspicuous spot before attempting in a prominent spot. Again, this is why we recommend using the professionals at Chem-Dry to take care of the pet urine stain for you.

In Summary

We love our cats but having them often comes at the expense of our upholstery. Luckily, regardless of what damages your feline friends cause, you can put measures in place to mitigate them.