The last thing you want after buying new patio furniture is to find that your cat has been scratching all over it. This article covers everything you need to know to keep your cat from scratching in the wrong places. Whether you’ve had cat scratching problems in the past or not, you’re about to learn why it happens and how to prevent it.
Why do cats scratch furniture?
Your cat may be ruining your furniture with their pesky habits. What’s up with that? Cats scratch for more reasons than just to annoy their owners. Believe it or not, there’s a biological explanation for this pesky habit that your cat has.
Cats are born with the instinct to scratch because they have scent glands in their paws. When a cat scratches an object, their scent is left behind to mark their territory for other animals. Even the sight of the scratch marks gives other animals the signal that the area is already taken.
Additionally, scratching helps cats keep their nails groomed, their bodies stretched and relaxed, and it even makes them feel good. When cats scratch objects, their bodies release a feel-good hormone that contributes to their overall health.
What can we do to stop it?
Now that we know why cats scratch, we can see why they do it. Instead of shaming your cat for scratching, it’s best to buy them a scratching post or some other designated object to scratch on.
The bottom line is, we don’t want them scratching up nice furniture. Let’s talk about the materials that cats like to scratch so that you can provide them with a designated scratching object and keep them from scratching your furniture.
One attractive feature for cat scratching is height. If your patio furniture is tall enough that your cat has to stretch to reach it, that might be why their attracted to it. Part of the cat scratching process is to stretch out their bodies, which benefits their muscles and bones.
When buying a scratching post to keep them off of your furniture, make sure it’s tall enough for them to stretch all the way out. Otherwise, they may end up back on your tall furniture.
What are the main objects cats love to scratch?
In terms of specific materials, cats like to scratch things that shred under their claws. If you have woven patio furniture, that might be what makes them want to scratch it.
Sisal is a very attractive material for cats because it feels good to cats and it shreds when they scratch it. Hopefully you don’t have a sisal rug on your patio, because this is an ideal scratching material for cats.
Cats like to scratch things that are tall and will shred apart when they put their nails in it. Hopefully, your patio furniture doesn’t match this description, but if it does, don’t worry. There are several measures that can be taken to distract them from your patio furniture to make sure that it stays clean and unbothered by cats.
Why do cats get on patio furniture and how can you prevent it? Look 7 Tips!
If you’re having problems with cats scratching your patio furniture, that’s going to end here. We’re going to talk about all of the ways that you can keep them from coming back, from spraying scents to buying distracting objects.
As we discussed a bit before, cats scratch things because it’s part of their nature as animals and because it has multiple benefits for their health and well-being. Because of this, it would be difficult and cruel to try to eliminate cat scratching altogether.
Instead, you can make sure that your cat scratches where you want it to, which is definitely not on patio furniture. The following steps explain how to keep cats from scratching your patio furniture by supplying them with the right tools to scratch elsewhere, as well as making your patio furniture an unattractive candidate for soothing your cat’s scratching desires.
1. Apply double-sided tape to the area of the furniture where the cat puts their paws.
Any time that a cat gets its paws into something that doesn’t feel good to the touch, they’re going to dislike that scratching spot. Applying double-sided tape to a trouble spot on your patio furniture will ensure that your cat doesn’t enjoy coming in contact with it, and they’ll likely stop trying to scratch there.
While you probably don’t want to cover your furniture in double-sided tape to the point where you can’t sit down on it, you can still put a strip of it in the area where you usually find your cat. For example, if your cat is reaching up on your couch because it’s tall and has thick fabric, just run a line of tape along the height where your cat reaches.
Double-sided tape keeps cats away from patio furniture without having to cover the whole thing. This is a cheap and easy solution that won’t be too distracting for you and your guests who want to enjoy your patio furniture.
2. Buy your cat a scratching post.
Like we mentioned earlier, scratching is a natural habit of cats. In fact, trying to prevent them from scratching creates more harm than good. Cats need to be able to scratch to keep their health in check and keep them in a good mood.
Buying a scratching post for your cat is the perfect solution. This means that they won’t need to scratch your patio furniture, but they’ll still be able to do it. Scratching posts are widely available for purchase, both in pet stores and online.
Look for a scratching post that’s long enough for your cat to stretch out on it, and that has the right materials on it. We recommend a sisal post, as this material is ideal for cat scratching.
You can even buy a sisal scratching post that has a place for your cat to jump up and hang out on top. This scratching post could become your cat’s new favorite spot. And this is great news because it means that they’ll probably stop hanging out on your patio furniture.
3. Eliminate incentives that jumping on the furniture may have
Your cat may be getting on the patio furniture for reasons other than scratching. If you can eliminate any reasons why the cat may want to get on the furniture, they’ll be less likely to do it.
Make sure that the furniture is not positioned in a spot that helps the cat jump onto a windowsill or other comfy spot. If your patio furniture is located in a place that helps the cat reach another spot, try to rearrange it to remove this opportunity.
The cat may also be getting on the furniture because it’s comfortable, so try to remove the cushions when it’s not in use. Patio furniture is often used every once in a while, rather than every day. This means that you can store the cushions in your garage until you want to use the furniture.
By storing the cushions when they’re not in use, you’ll stop the cat from wanting to hang out there, and you’ll keep the patio furniture clean by keeping it safe from daily weather and bugs. These are all simple things that can be done to make your cat not want to get on the furniture.
4. Spray solutions on the furniture to make it unattractive to cats.
Spray solutions make the perfect animal repellent for patio cushions. They are easy to get, and they don’t disrupt your furniture, like double-sided tape might. Spraying a bit of solution whenever you see your cat going near the furniture is a simple way to make sure they don’t start scratching. And multiple things can be used as a spray solution.
Apple cider vinegar is a multi-purpose ingredient that can be helpful in deterring more animals than one. This means that you could spray a bit of apple cider vinegar mixed with water on your patio furniture and keep out the bugs, spiders, and cats all at once.
Vinegar is an inexpensive solution that you probably already have in your kitchen. Just put some in a spray bottle with water and apply it to the concerning areas every few days.
Another natural element that repels cats as well as other animals are essential oils. You may even already have some in your home. To keep cats off your patio furniture with essential oils, try citronella, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and orange. These scents naturally detract cats.
Many pet owners decide to use essential oils to keep cats from scratching, not only because they are natural but also because they use the essential oils to stop cats from spraying. Spraying is another way that cats make territorial marks, and essential oils are the perfect way to keep your cat from scratching and spraying, with just one remedy.
If you don’t want to use natural solutions for cat repellent sprays, you can easily buy a premade spray that should work well. Commercial sprays are available for purchase at many stores. This is a great way to keep cats off of your furniture because you can simply pick up a bottle at the store and spray it on the necessary areas as directed.
5. Practice a verbal command.
By repeatedly saying a phrase to tell your cat to get down when they’re on the furniture, you can teach them to respond to your command. Pick a short phrase like, “get off” or “get down” to train the cat to respond to your voice.
Each time you find the cat on the furniture, repeat the chosen phrase and point to the floor to make sure they understand what you’re asking. Eventually, the cat will respond to your verbal command and they will stop getting on the furniture without you having to purchase or install other prevention methods.
6. Give your cat the attention it needs frequently.
If you’ve tried the above methods and nothing seems to work, your cat may be scratching your furniture just to get your attention. Even though it’s frustrating for you, there’s an easy fix. Just play with your cat and make it feel loved so it doesn’t feel the need to act out.
By giving your cat the daily attention that it should be getting, you can avoid annoying situations like ruined patio furniture. Playing with your cat more frequently is an easy and fun way to keep them out of trouble.
7. Don’t punish the cat for scratching.
Since cats are born to scratch, it’s not a good idea to punish them for doing it. Although they may be scratching in the wrong place, you will do more harm than good by hurting them when they do something wrong.
Instead of yelling at them or swatting them when you find them on the furniture, try rewarding them with a treat when they get off of it. Praising good behavior is much more effective than punishing bad behavior.
This is because your cat won’t handle negative feedback well. If you yell at or swat your cat, it might give them more frustration and cause them to get into more trouble around the house. Try using our tips above to change behavior rather than punishing the cat for doing something wrong.
If you’ve been wondering how to keep cats off patio furniture, you’re not alone. Almost every cat owner will go through this dilemma and need to look for alternative solutions. Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know exactly why they do it and how to keep them from doing it in the wrong places.
We know how precious your patio furniture (rocking chair, ottoman) is, and that’s why we don’t want you to be exhausted by cat problems on your patio. With all of this new information, you should have enough understanding and tips to never worry about cat scratching again.
For other patio furniture tips, explore our OkPatio website. We have tips on all things patio related, like how to keep bugs and spiders off of your patio.