9 Effective Ways to Keep Cats Off Furniture

How to keep cats off furnitureCats are adorable pets that form part of our families and keeping them happy is something we all strive to do. However, cats can wreak havoc on surfaces including walls, countertops, window sills, and even furniture.

Every cat owner faces countless challenges trying to keep their pet friends happy without them damaging items in and around the house.

Below we highlight actionable tips on how to keep cats off furniture that will save you money and countless headaches.

How to keep cats off furniture

Since you cannot always keep an eye on your cat to ensure they do no scratch furniture in the house, use the following tips to minimize the damage from their sharp claws.

1. Cover the furniture with aluminum foil

Apart from being slippery and unappealing to the eyes, aluminum foil produces crinkly sound cats do not like. The noise along with its appearance being unfriendly to the eyes will act as a deterrent to cats. You can use aluminum foil on seats, tables, countertops, and wooden chairs

2. Cover the furniture with double-sided tape

Many pet owners are using double-sided tape to keep cats off furniture. Place the tape on the arms and back of the chairs or edges of tables and countertops. When your cat scratches they will be deterred by the sticky feeling. However, it’s not advisable to use double-sided tape on leather furniture.

3. Use apple cider vinegar spray

Another effective way to keep cats off furniture is to use apple cider vinegar spray. The spray has a smell that’s unpleasant to pets, including cats. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and spray it on furniture including tables and chairs. Apart from warding off cats from scratching the furniture, the spray can act as a deodorizer to combat pet odor.

4. Cover the furniture with plastic mats

You can also cover the furniture with plastic mats when leaving the house to prevent cats from scratching. Cats will be deterred from scratching your furniture because the mats have an uncomfortable plastic feel most pets do not enjoy.

5. Use a citrus spray on furniture

Another effective way to keep cats off furniture is to use citrus spray. Cats do not like the smell of citrus, which will act as an excellent cat deterrent to keep your furniture scratch-free. You can test lemon or orange citrus spray on linens to identify the one that works best without damaging the fabric of your furniture. An alternative to citrus spray is a commercial spray repellent that discourages cats from scratching your furniture.

6. Train your cat to keep off furniture

Training your cat to stay away from the furniture is a tough but highly effective strategy. As you spend time with your cat around the house, train it to avoid scratching the furniture. You can use a clicker or a squirt bottle filled with water to correct any undesired behavior, including when it scratches your furniture. As I said, it is not an easy task but the outcome will be worth it.

7. Provide an alternative for them to scratch

If you notice your cat is scratching around door frames or hardwood furniture, providing a wooden, softer alternative could be the most effective way to prevent them from ruining your precious furniture. Softer surfaces are more appealing and the cat will spend more time scratching them. 

You can buy a carpeted cat tree or post and add catnip to help reinforce the scratching habits. Do this while using repellent spray on the furniture surfaces and your cat will have only the tree to scratch and play around with, which will keep your furniture safe.

8. Consider clipping their claws

You can also clip your cat’s claws if they are too long. This will prevent them from scratching your furniture without interfering with their normal life. You can read these cat grooming tips to better understand how to safely trim your cat’s claws. Caution though, do not declaw your cat because doing so can result in severe complications including pain in the paws, infections, lameness, back pains, and tissue necrosis.

9. Use distracting techniques

Another strategy you can use to keep cats off furniture is to make the furniture less appealing. Your cat likes to scratch on the furniture maybe because it feels good or they are conveniently placed. To distract them from your precious furniture, cover them with a different material that’s unappealing or hard to scratch.

If the furniture is near the window, you should close the blinds to ward off cats because they love to sit near open windows to enjoy the views outside. You should also avoid leaving extra pillows or blankets on your sofa because they are quite inviting. Finally, ensure your coffee table or kitchen tables are free of food crumbs that attract cats.


You can use one or a combination of all these strategies to keep cats off furniture. Some are more effective than others and others can damage your furniture if you’re not careful. The key is to identify the most effective, affordable, and risk-free ways to keep cats off furniture.

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