There’s no doubt that we all love our feline friends, but where is the red line?
For most owners, the moments we regret having a cat are fleeting. Even when we’re mad because of something they did, it all goes away as soon as they curl up on our stomach and start purring.
But let’s get back to that red line – can it be the scratches on the legs of an antique mahogany cabinet your grandmother left you in her will?
What about the pulled strings on that new sofa that you just spend thousands on?
It’s hard to define it, especially because things like this might be their doing, but it’s not their fault.
That’s what we’re going to explore today – protecting your furniture from the sharp claws of your cat or choosing one that won’t be a problem to begin with.
First things first – the material
Before we move on to things you can do for the furniture you own, let us take a moment to explore the options you have if you want to choose a piece that will be cat-proof to begin with.
It might sound counterintuitive, but cat-proofing your couch is not so much about the durability of the material as you might expect. In fact, the material that feline experts will recommend is not as durable as, say, synthetics canvas fabric would be.
We’re talking about velvet.
To explain why velvet sofa or couch can be called cat-proof, we have to take a step back and look at the reasons behind the scratching.
PRO TIP: Check out the best litter boxes for your apartment and keep your home cat odor free.
As we said, the scratch marks are their doing, but not their fault. We can’t stress that enough.
Here’s why – a cat will scratch a surface not because they want to ruin your precious piece of furniture but because of their instincts. They would also do it if they were in the wild, only it would be a three and not your precious couch.
Being a predator by nature, they need to keep their claws sharp and trimmed, so the use any surface that can help them with that.
Why is velvet a superior choice for a cat-proof couch?
The more rugged material, the more effective it will be for claw-trimming. If you think about cat posts, they usually feature a sturdy, rope-like surfaces and that’s not by chance.
It’s because that kind of material is ideal for your cat to scratch on and sharpen its claws.
The smooth, tightly woven velveteen surface will do very little. Once they realize that your couch is not very effective for the job, they will lose interest.
So, choosing a cat-resistant couch is more about understanding the nature of your pet than simply going with the most durable and resistant material – you can see some specific recommendations of cat-proof couches here.
Cat-proofing the furniture you already own
Now that we’ve covered the topic of choosing right to begin with, let’s address a more common scenario – cat-proofing the pieces already in your home.
Cat proof couch covers
If you already own a sofa or recliner that’s a magnet for your cat, your best chance of protecting is getting a good cat-proof couch cover.
The tip we can offer here is not to over complicate things but simply look for a cover that comes with a solid warranty. Most of these products are similar at first sight, and making the decision based on advertising claims is going to be hard.
The one thing that will set apart a high-quality cat-proof cover from sub-par products will be the warranty.
A good example of that is the Original Sofa Shield – it is the one cover we know off that’s backed up by a 10-year warranty.
Getting a good cover will allow you to protect even leather recliners and sofas.
Wood and other surfaces
With wood and similar surfaces (where you don’t really have a choice in terms of the material), the options you have at cat-proofing the furniture are limited.
You can be “aggressive” and try to control their behavior by using pheromone-based cat-calming aids, but there are a few ways this can go wrong.
It can do a good job at calming your pet, but it can also make them lethargic. You’ll agree that’s not something we want – it’s their vivacious nature that most of us love.
On the other hand, it can be counterproductive and even make them aggressive.
There is a better solution
When it comes to protecting wooden surfaces, the wisest choice is using citrus smells.
Nobody knows exactly why and we won’t even get into that here, but for some reason, cats can’t stand citrus.
Just head over to YouTube and type in “cat reacting to orange” and you’ll see hundreds of videos that should be proof enough.
Don’t overdo it
What’s important here is the control the way you use the smell so that you don’t create an uncomfortable environment for the pet.
Localize it to critical areas, like the legs of your furniture, and experiment with the amounts you use.
If you start using this technique and your cat suddenly won’t stay indoors, you’re probably using too much and should take it down a notch.
Within a week, you’ll be able to find the sweet spot.