How to Keep Cats Away From Furniture

Pets taking over your couch? Take it back!

Pets taking over your couch? Take it back!

You love your feline friend, but you don't love the way he uses your furniture as a scratching post. If your sofa looks more like a torn and fur-covered mess than a cozy place to relax, it's time to teach Fluffy to keep off the furniture.

Cover the furniture you want your feline friend to avoid with double-sided tape, usually found in pet or even office supply stores. Your kitty won't like the sticky texture on his paws and will avoid the furniture after a while, at which point you can remove it.

Drape plastic carpet runners, nubby side up, on chairs, tables, sofas and other furniture you don't want your kitty to jump up onto. He won't like walking on the textured plastic surface and will quickly learn not to jump onto these pieces in the future. Aluminum foil may also work.

Keep your kitty confined to a room of his own when you aren't around to supervise him around your furniture. Make it kitty-friendly with plenty of scratching posts, cat beds and toys for him to play with. When you are home, he may even choose to spend time in his kitty room because it's so much fun.

Soak cotton balls in citrus-based essential oils like orange, grapefruit or lemon. Tuck the balls into the cushions of chairs and sofas or just leave them on top of tables to repel your curious cat. Our feline friends don't like the smell of citrus and it acts as a safe, natural repellent to them—plus, it leaves behind an aroma that's pleasant for us humans.

Place motion-sensor-activated cat repellents on your furniture pieces. One such device is an electronic mat that startles the cat away with a mild electrostatic shock if he jumps on it. Another sprays a harmless burst of compressed air at your little one if he gets within range. These repellents are available in pet supply stores.

Items you will need

  • Double-sided tape
  • Plastic carpet runners
  • Scratching posts
  • Cat beds
  • Cat toys
  • Cotton balls
  • Citrus-based essential oil
  • Motion-activated cat repellent device


  • Don't forget to cover sofa or chair arms and legs with the sticky tape to prevent your little one from using these desirable locations as a scratching post.
  • Provide your kitty with a comfy bed all his own. With something desirable to sit and lounge on, he won't want to go near your furniture. Sprinkle some dried catnip over it to attract his attention. Give him a treat each time he uses the bed to further positively reinforce this behavior.
  • Cover furniture with plastic covers when it's not in use to further discourage your feline friend from damaging or sitting on it.


  • Never yell at or otherwise punish your cat for sitting on or damaging your furniture. This won't fix the behavior and will only serve to make your furry friend fear you.
  • If you want to repel your kitty from furniture because he's been urinating on it, visit the vet to rule out a medical cause for his behavior, recommends the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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About the Author

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.

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