Pets are the loves of our lives, but they can also be the biggest hassle in the house. Cats are well known for clawing our favourite pieces, while dogs and rodents will chew anything within reach. If you have pets, how can we stop them for attacking the furniture? We’ve collated a few solutions for you that are non-toxic, humane, and largely affordable.
1. Tackle the root of the behaviour
Some animals will act out if they are bored, anxious, or uncomfortable. Try to figure out what your pet is feeling and whether they need more stimulation through toys and social interaction, or if they might need to see the vet – pets don’t have a voice to tell you when they’re in pain, so they will often act out in the hopes of drawing your attention to it.
2. Redirect the behaviour
For cats in particular, scratching is an instinct that is used to maintain their claws and exercise. It’s healthy for them to scratch, so you should be encouraging them to scratch in peace...just not on the couch. You should own at least one scratching post, but the more the merrier, especially considering your pet’s individual taste. The best posts are made of rough material, can be adjusted to make a horizontal surface, and are sturdy enough that your cat won’t push it over.
3. The Big Snip
Chances are if you have a dog or cat, you may have already had it neutered. It provides multiple benefits – it stops animals going into heat, prevents them from getting pregnant (especially important for outdoor pets) and reduces the risk of various diseases and tumours. It also calms some aggressive and destructive behaviour – however, if you’ve been reinforcing/ignoring bad behaviour before getting your pet neutered, those behaviours are likely to continue once your pet has healed. A pet still needs proper training in addition to this solution, but it may calm more extreme behaviours. This includes smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and rats.
4. Sonic deterrents
Humans cannot hear sounds over 20kHz, but our pets can. Sonic deterrents, usually in the form of mats, emit high pitched sounds when triggered that is undetectable by the humans in the home but will deter the pet from sitting on furniture. Be careful though! The loud noise may cause anxiety if it is too often and too loud, particularly in small rodents – great for pest control, bad for your pet bunny!
5. Mylar couch covers
Have you seen those viral videos where people put tin foil on their kitchen benches to deter their cats? This couch cover works in a similar way. The crinkly, alien feel of the mylar should be unpleasant for your pet, keeping them from sitting down. However, many complain that this is only a short-term solution, and it won’t deter the most curious of pets from exploring. If you can’t find or afford a full cover...the tin foil is still an option, or even some leftover silver tinsel.
6. Sticky Paws
These are transparent strips designed to stop cats scratching your home surfaces. Like the mylar ad tin foil solutions, the sticky coating feels unpleasant for cats so they will avoid scratching in that area. The Sticky Paws are safe for pets and furniture but will collect lint and dust like any other sticky surface.
7. Bitter apple spray
A great way to deter pets from chewing is to go directly for the taste buds. Bitter apple or spicy sprays are commonly used to stop pets licking and chewing on any surfaces. While you can buy this at the supermarket, for a more cost-effective solution that guarantees no added chemicals and can be tailored to your pet, you can make this at home! Oh My Dog blog has a great recipe for homemade bitter apple spray here.
8. Corner guards
Corners are particularly delectable for our furniture chewing family members. Luckily there are a multitude of corner guards available on the market, ranging from clear adhesive vinyl to scratching posts that hook around armrests. Think of it like baby proofing – except your baby has four legs and sharp teeth!
We love our pets, but they’re a lot easier to love when they’re not destroying our latest Artiss pieces! We hope these tips help keep your furniture, and your furry family members, safe and sound!