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How to Cat Proof Furniture: 5 Tips and Tricks

grey tabby laying on couch

Cats don’t know that your furniture isn’t theirs to mark up and destroy. Any piece of furniture in their environment is fair game. If you want to protect your furniture from getting shredded by your cat’s nails, you’ll need to be proactive.

Keep reading to find our tips and tricks for making your furniture less enticing to your cats.

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The 5 Top Ways to Cat Proof Furniture

1. Provide Scratching Alternatives

Perhaps the best way to prevent your cats from using your couch as a scratching post is to set up decoys. The more cat-friendly opportunities for scratching, the fewer pieces of furniture you’ll need to sacrifice.

You should have several different types of scratching posts and at least one in every room your cat spends a significant amount of time in. If your cat isn’t fond of one particular type of scratching post, you may need to experiment to find one that works best for him. Try different textures like carpet, sisal, and corrugated cardboard to see which he prefers.

Try placing the scratching pad or post near the furniture your cat is destroying. Having one nearby will give you a chance to redirect your cat’s scratching behavior when he begins doing it on your furniture.

british shorthair cat scratching the post
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

2. Rethink Your Upholstery Fabrics

If you’re in the market for a new sofa, you should think about investing in one that’s made with scratch-proof fabric.

Velvet, for example, has many looped threads, which make it difficult for your cat to get his paws into. Woven fabrics like chenille have dimensionality, which can help disguise scratches. While outdoor fabrics might not top your list for your new sofa, don’t be so quick to discount them. Sunbrella fabrics are a great pick for indoor furniture as they are made to withstand the elements so they hold up great against claws.


3. Make Your Furniture Unappealing

Your cat will be less likely to scratch at your furniture if it has things on it that he doesn’t like. Things like double-sided tape on the arms and back of the furniture in question might be enough to deter him.

Sticky Paws is another great product you can try adding to your furniture. It’s a transparent medical tape that’s simple to apply and remove from any furniture. It works by deterring your cats from jumping on and scratching at the fabrics.

You can also try putting a spray onto the fabric as a deterrent. Cats hate citrus scents, like oranges, lemons, and limes, so try creating a spray with those scents. You can create a simple spray by squeezing the juice of citrus fruit into a spray bottle with water and spraying it onto the surface of your furniture.

You can also try making a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to work as a deterrent as well. Spray it onto the areas of the furniture your kitty often scratches.

You might want to test your homemade sprays on an inconspicuous part of your furniture just in case it doesn’t agree with the fabric.

hand spraying the gray couch
Image Credit: y_seki, Shutterstock

4. Trim Their Nails

Another great way to stop your kitty from destroying your furniture is to keep his nails trimmed. Since cats often scratch at things to sharpen their claws, shortening them with regular clippings will make them less damaging and less likely to scratch in the first place.

Nail clipping is a really simple task. Check out our tutorial on how to do it or ask your vet to give you a lesson.


5. Try Nail Caps

Nail caps are another viable option to protect your couch. Some brands of nail caps are created by veterinarians and are designed to be soft and non-toxic. When they are applied correctly, they will not cause discomfort to your cat and your cat’s paws and nails will still be able to make the same movements that they would without the caps.

Find a cap size that fits the size and shape of your cat’s nails. Use just enough glue to keep the caps on, but not too much that it overflows as you’re trying to apply them. Make sure to never let the glue touch your cat’s hair or skin around his claws.

cropped cat with blue nail caps siting by the window
Image Credit: Ekaterina Karetkina, Shutterstock

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What About Declawing?

Declawing is never the answer. While it might be tempting, resist the urge. When your cat is declawed, the last bone in his toes gets amputated. This is an inhumane and extremely painful process. Plus, it might end up being counterproductive to your couch-saving efforts as declawed cats are less likely to use the litter box and may turn to your fabrics to use as a toilet.

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Final Thoughts

It’s frustrating to spend your hard-earned money on a nice piece of furniture only to have your cat destroy it the day you bring it home. With our tried-and-true methods above, you and your cat should be able to live in harmony with your beautiful, scratch-free furniture.


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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