January 16, 2018

11 million households in the UK own a pet. We are a nation of cat lovers with 7.5 million cats across the UK. In every one of these cat-owning homes, the question must have been asked.

Is there such a thing as cat-proof furniture?

Although they are lovable in many ways cats can wreak havoc with furniture. Stretching, marking territory and keeping their nails in tip-top condition is natural behaviour for your cat.

There are many things you can do to encourage your cat to be more considerate about your furniture.

Read on to learn some tips to cat-proof your furniture.

Provide Alternatives

Why would your cat want to scratch your prize couch or table if there was a better alternative? This is the simple psychology behind providing more exciting alternative scratching options.

Scratching posts are great for your cat. There are lots of available models. Have fun shopping for one that suits both your home and your cat.

Your cat needs a post that is big enough to provide a good, satisfying stretch so don't go for one that is too small. If you do, your cat may prefer a taller chair leg.

Place the scratch post near your cat's usual scratching locations. Also placing a scratching post near your cat's bed means there is a handy wake up stretch facility.

Your cat is marking territory when they scratch so don't think you can hide the stretching post away in a little visited and discrete location. It needs to be in a place where your cat can make a big statement.

Positive Reinforcement

When your cat scratches the scratch post encourage this behaviour by offering a tasty treat. If your cat does scratch somewhere you don't approve, gently discourage this behaviour by moving your cat to the scratch post.

If you need to be more discouraging use a small spray bottle with water in it. Try to create an association between the car scratching the furniture and receiving an unpleasant squirt of cold water.

Don't let the cat know that you are the origin of the spray or the cat will wait for you to be out of the room before it attacks the furniture.

Ring the Changes

Try some different materials and textures. Your cat might like to scratch carpet but avoid looped weaves as these may catch your cat's claws. Try corrugated cardboard, sisal rope or cotton cloth.

Experiment with the position, shape or angle of the scratching post. There's a scratching post solution that's right for your cat. Don't think of it as a problem but instead, it's a way of playing with your cat.

Furniture Options

There are some items of furniture that are less attractive to cats. Your cat does not like catching its claws in loops of thread, so materials with looped threads are more immune to cat destruction. Consider velvet as a cat resistant option for curtains and furniture covering.

Discouraging Smells

There are some smells which are more unpleasant to cats than they are to humans. You could make your furniture more unattractive to your cat by protecting them with these scents.

Citrus is unpleasant to cats and this is often an ingredient in air fresheners. If you like lemony aromas, try applying a citrus scent to any areas regularly attacked by your cat. You could use real lemon juice mixed with water or orange oil.

Take care that you do not save your furniture from pet inflicted damage to damaging the furniture with too much citric acid. As they say in all the best cleaning instructions, test a small area first.

Cat-Proof Furniture

Perhaps there is no such thing as cat-proof furniture. The strategy of creating more attractive alternative scratching options for your cat is the way to go.

Don't consider declawing. This involves amputation of the last bone in the cat's toes and is very painful. Trimming your cat's nails is an option but start young so they can get used to the procedure.

Because scratching and stretching are natural behaviours, you should work with the grain of this natural behaviour to help both you and your cat feel happy and maintain a beautiful home.

For more ideas for a beautiful home click here.


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