How to Keep Cats Off Furniture

Training cats to stay off furniture helps protect sofas, beds, tables, and other prized furnishings from claw marks, scratches, and cat hair. Keep cats off the furniture using aluminum foil and other deterrents found in your household.


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    Cover furniture with aluminum foil. Cats dislike walking on aluminum foil due to its poor traction, loud noise, and inability to resist claws.[1]
    • Wrap aluminum foil around the legs of couches, tables, and chairs if your cat tends to scratch these areas.
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    Place double-sided tape across the surface of furniture. Cats dislike the sticky feeling of double-sided tape, which is available as cat deterrent at most pet stores.[2]
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    Spray white vinegar on furniture favored by your cat. Cats dislike the smell of white vinegar, and will stay away after detecting the scent. White vinegar is also a natural deodorizer and disinfectant that helps keep furniture clean.
    • Consult your furniture’s manufacturer to confirm your furniture won’t be stained or damaged when sprayed with vinegar.
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    Cover furniture with plastic. Tarps, covers, and other materials made from plastic are often difficult for cats to navigate, and helps keep them off furniture.
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    Place a carpet runner made with rubber or plastic upside down on your furniture. When upside down, carpet runners feature pointed nubs that feel uncomfortable for cats.
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    Treat furniture with commercial pet repellent spray. Pet repellent sprays are available at pet retail stores, and often contain natural herbs, citrus, and oils safe for your furniture and cat.
    • Use the pet repellent as directed, and confirm the product is safe for use on furniture.
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    Encourage your cat to use a scratching post. This helps prevent your cat from clawing furniture, especially when it has access to a tall, stable scratching post. Purchase a scratching post at a pet retail store, or make your own scratching post at home.[3]
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    Keep your cat’s claws trimmed. Cats tend to scratch furniture when they need their claws filed down. Take your cat to the vet regularly as needed to have its claws trimmed.


  • Try using catnip to lure your cat away from furniture. Place catnip inside a scratching post, or in places you want your cat to spend its time.


  • Avoid spraying cats directly with water or other solutions to keep them off furniture. This can make cats fear you, and teaches them to avoid furniture only when in your presence.
  • Avoid leaving traces of food on furniture. Cats are more likely to jump on furniture when crumbs and food are left behind.

Things You’ll Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Double-sided tape
  • White vinegar
  • Plastic tarp or covering
  • Scratching post
  • Pet repellent spray

Article Info

Categories: Cat Training