Is your kitty scratching your carpet or using it as a litter box? If so, keep your furry friend away from that area using items you probably already have in your home. These home remedies will keep your little one away from the carpet, without hurting him.
With their sensitive sense of smell, kitties don't like strong odors, even ones that we humans find pleasant. Essential oils are natural fragrance oils made from plants. Lavender, citronella, orange, lemon or peppermint oil can be used to repel your furry buddy from a carpet, while giving it a fresh scent. Mix 20 drops of an essential oil with a cup of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake it before use. Spray your carpets daily with the scented liquid to repel your kitty from it. If you don't have any essential oils, use fragrance oils or even cologne to deter your furry friend. Scented carpet fresheners work, too. Not only do these scent repellents repel your kitty, but they make your home smell good as well.
Kitties don't like the feel of certain surfaces on the bottoms of their paws. Place some double-sided tape on the carpet you don't want your furry buddy to walk on. The feel of the tape sticking to his feet will naturally repel him from the area. Aluminum foil makes a crackling noise under his feet when he walks on it. Place the foil over the carpeted area to keep him away. A carpet runner, placed nubby-side up, can also be used to discourage your furry friend from approaching an area of carpet you want to protect. Rocks feel unpleasant under your little one's paws and are another alternative to place over the carpeted area, making your feline friend think twice about approaching that spot.
Using the element of surprise is an important part of training your kitty. If you catch your kitty in the act of scratching at your carpet or using it as his own personal potty, squirt him quickly with a spray bottle filled with water. While this method requires constant vigilance, your furry buddy will soon associate his behavior with an unpleasant consequence -- the water. Try not to show your little one that you have the bottle so he associates the deterrent with the carpet, not you. If your kitty isn't fazed by the water, try rattling a can filled with coins or clapping your hands a few times instead.
Block your kitty from the area of the carpet if possible. Empty aluminum cans, strung together through the tabs, can be placed around the carpeted area. If your kitty tries to walk past the can barrier, it will rattle and make a noise to scare him away. The Humane Society of the United States also recommends placing a few mouse traps upside-down over the areas you don't want your cat to go. The traps will snap up when he walks on them, but they won't hurt him because they are upside-down. If you can close off the area with a baby gate or other physical barrier, that works the best, since your little one won't be able to access the carpet.
Cat repellents help keep your furry buddy away from your carpet, but for your kitty to avoid these areas long-term, you must provide him with some attractive alternatives. For kitties who scratch at the carpet, provide lots of scratching posts around your home, especially in carpeted areas. If your little one isn't using his litter box correctly, consult with your vet to determine if a medical issue is to blame. Clean his litter box daily and try a softer, natural litter, similar to carpeting, that he might prefer.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.