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Home > Cats > How to Keep Cats Off Your Furniture With Vinegar: 4 Easy Steps

How to Keep Cats Off Your Furniture With Vinegar: 4 Easy Steps

cat scratching furniture

Cats scratching your furniture is a natural consequence of owning cats that most cat owners would like to avoid. Cats are stubborn and persistent and don’t honestly care about what you want, especially when what you want conflicts with what they want.

Vinegar is an excellent natural cat repellent that can be used to teach your cats where they should and shouldn’t be spending their time. You can use vinegar, soap, and water to make a homemade cat repellent spray. Here’s how!


The 4 Steps to Keep Your Cat Off Furniture With Vinegar

1. Gather Your Ingredients

  • Vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • Hand soap
  • Water

You can use either white or apple cider vinegar for this cat repellent. You might want to try both and see which one works better for you and your cats. The smell of the vinegar will deter the cats from scratching, chewing, and even marking surfaces. The soap will make it friendly and gentle on the surfaces you spray it on and keep them from smelling vinegar-y to the humans in the house.

Any water will work. Purified, distilled, or even plain old tap water won’t change the effectiveness of the spray.

It would help if you used gentle hand soap not to be abrasive to any fabric surfaces you might spray the mixture on. You’ll want to use a clear soap formula. Otherwise, the coloring might bleed onto fabrics or surfaces.

You might wonder if the soap neutralizes the smell for the cats, and it does not. Cats have 200 million scent receptors in their noses. Humans only have 5 million; you can’t smell all the things your cat can. Not by a long shot.

Image By: NatureFriend, Pixabay

2. Mix Your Ingredients

You’ll want to start by pouring one part vinegar and one part water into your spray bottle and swirling them thoroughly. Once they’re well-combined, it’s time to add the soap! The whole mixture is equal parts of all three ingredients.

Shake the bottle hard for a while to make sure that the soap combines into the water and vinegar well; otherwise, you might be able to smell the vinegar after you spray the surfaces.

3. Treat Your Areas

You can either spray the areas down with a spray bottle or pour the mixture onto a cloth and wipe it onto a surface. You’ll want to spray and reapply the repellant roughly once a week to maintain the effectiveness of the spray.

This mixture can be used on both indoor and outdoor areas but may see diminishing returns outdoors as the smell is not as strong as commercial cat repellents for outdoor use. If you’re trying to keep cats off your property, this mixture may not be strong enough to keep them away.

4. Tweak Your Mixture

You can change the strength of the mixture by lowering the amount of water in it. A little bit of water will strengthen the power of the mix and make it easier to spray, but too much will dilute it. If you find that the mixture is too potent for you or your cats, you can increase the amount of water in the mix to bring down the strength while retaining the repellant effect.


Other Options for Keeping Cats Off Furniture

There are other options for keeping cats off counters and furniture, depending on where they’re going, that you’d like to correct. Here are a few alternatives you can use to help your cats find a more suitable place to nap and preen their claws.

Buy Your Kitty Some Cat Furniture

funny cats playing on tree
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

From beds to trees and scratching posts, there’s no shortage of attractive furniture pieces made with cats in mind! These furniture pieces are made with cat comfort in mind and might be just the thing to convince your cat that there are other places to sleep besides your favorite chair.

Scratching posts are made to feel good and satisfying for cats to scratch and finding a good one will often attract your cats to the post rather than the couch. If you’re having trouble with cats scratching your furniture, make sure there are enough appropriate places for them to scratch.

Another thing to remember is that cats enjoy sitting in high places to survey their kingdoms. The back of your sofa or your chair may seem like a perfect perch for them to take up in their patrol. If you’re having trouble with your cats getting up on the backs of your furniture, providing them with appropriate high places to sit might reduce their time on the backs of your furniture.



While vinegar is a fantastic natural cat repellant, it’s essential to give your cats alternatives to your furniture so that they’ll have a comfortable and appropriate place to rest and scratch. If you provide options, you may be able to stop treating your furniture with vinegar altogether! Regardless of how you achieve harmony with your cats, we hope you can find the perfect solution for you and your cats!

Featured Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

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