Costly Pets: How to Keep Your Furniture Safe from Cats

Cats!  To know them is to love them.  Right?  For some people, yes.  Yet, those died in the wool cat fans know there is a downside to cat ownership.  They love to scratch—sometimes, everything.  Anything seems to be fair play for some.  Sofas, bedposts, drapes—anything a cat can reach, and their reach can be pretty far, for they can jump and leap a great distance.  So, what can be done to protect your valuable furnishings?

Who cares about those cat scratching post reviews, right?

First of all, one must understand a cat’s way of thinking.  They may scratch for many reasons.  They are, basically, laying claim to what they feel belongs to them; or, they may be bored and looking for something to do.  It is a form of exercise for them.  So, what can one do to deter this in-born instinct and keep your couch safe?  Following are a few ideas which may help.

  1. Provide mechanical barriers to items your cats tend to favor.  Two sided sticky tape on table legs may deter scratching, since cats do not like things which stick to their fur.  Aluminum foil also works well since cats do not like the feel or sound of it.
  2. Cover it up! An inexpensive slip cover or throw may keep cats from scratching your favorite sofa.  It should be thick enough to keep the cats nails from going all the way through to damage the upholstery below.
  3. Move things. If your cat uses a chair as a launching pad to reach the drapes, move the chair.  A simple; but, effect means to stop behavior.
  4. Use noise as a deterrent. Blow up a few balloons and place them strategically on top of high places your cat favors, such as bookshelves or entertainment centers.  When a cat jumps to the top and inadvertently pops one of the balloons, the noise will scare them away.  Be sure to remove the remaining bits of rubber so your cat will not be tempted to chew on them later.  This could cause all sorts of digestive problems.
  5. Provide distractions. Provide your cat with a safe place of their own like a window ledge so they can see outside.  A birdfeeder outside a window offers this as the cat will sometimes sit for hours and watch the birds which visit the feeder during warm weather.
  6. Provide a sturdy scratching post. There are lots and lots of these made commercially, or after a bit of research, construct your own.
  7. Provide safe toy alternatives. Cats are motivated by the senses and by movement.  Find toys that attract their attention by moving or making a noise.  A toy they can chase about also provides much needed exercise.

Above are just a few suggestions to decrease the likelihood of your feline friend inflicting damage on household furniture.  Some may work for your cat, while others may not.  The key is to know your cat and find what works best for them.

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