Originally Published on June 16, 2022. Last Updated on August 31, 2022.
Did you know that more than 25% of households in the United States alone have at least one cat as a pet? Both cuddly and cute, cats can be great to have around the house, but it can be problematic when they climb on your patio furniture.
Keeping cats off outdoor furniture can be a challenge at first, but there are plenty of tried-and-true ways to accomplish this. Remember that you should only use safe methods that will not harm your cat.
Continue reading to learn more about why cats like to jump on furniture in the first place—and what you can do to keep them from doing it in the future.
Why Do Cats Like to Jump on Furniture?
Cats may jump on top of your outside furniture for various reasons, including warmth and comfort. Have you ever noticed how cats are always finding sunshiny spots to lay in? Felines love to rest in warm spaces, and in that way, they are not much different from humans. If your patio furniture gets sun exposure throughout the day, it wouldn’t be surprising for your cat to want to jump up and bask in those rays too. The same applies to stray cats that may wander onto your porch.
This is especially true if your patio furniture has cushions. Besides liking warmth, cats also seek out soft spots for maximum comfort. (They don’t call them catnaps for nothing.) A soft, sun-kissed set of patio furniture is like a dream to your feline friends. But, of course, it’s not ideal for you or your furniture. Depending on your furniture’s material, it may be hard to get rid of cat hair once it takes hold. Additionally, little paws can track litter and transfer unpleasant scents to fabrics. And arguably the most important reason you want to keep cats off your outdoor furniture are those notoriously sharp claws. If your cat decides to scratch up the furniture, it could be slightly damaged at best and completely ruined at worst.
How to Keep Cats Off the Furniture
Fortunately, there are ways to preemptively prevent any of this from happening in the first place. Here’s what you need to know about discouraging cats from setting up shop on your investment pieces.
Train Your Cat
Many people believe that you can’t train cats, but this isn’t true. Training your cats early on makes it easier to keep them off from your outdoor furniture. But keep in mind that there are right and wrong ways to train your cat. Confidence and consistency are crucial here.
When you catch your cat sitting on top of your outdoor furniture, you’ll want to say “no” in a firm voice and then put your cat back down on the floor. The way you say “no” is significant because the cat will understand your tone more than the word itself. If your tone isn’t stern and confident, your cat will probably not take you seriously.
Do this consistently, and your cat will soon realize that you’re the boss—and that jumping on the furniture is a bad idea. If you tell your cat not to jump on the furniture one time but not the next, they will realize that there are no consequences to their actions. Cats generally like to push boundaries and see what they can get away with. But with consistent action, training may be enough to deter your cat from climbing on the furniture.
Use a Cat Repellant Spray
If training your cat doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, or if your cat is already too used to jumping on your outdoor furniture, you might have to use a repellent spray. You can decide whether to make your own cat repellent or buy some at your local pet store. Cats are known for their keen sense of smell, and they do, in fact, dislike certain ones. Naturally, if your cat doesn’t like a particular scent, they won’t go near it. They are typically deterred by lavender or cinnamon, even though these smells are pleasing to us humans.
Cats also hate the smell of vinegar, so spritzing a vinegar mixture on your furniture is an easy, low-cost way to keep them at bay. Just mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then add lavender or cinnamon essential oils to mask the acidic aroma.
Simply spray your concoction on any furniture that your cat gravitates towards. You don’t need to soak your furniture here, but you should make sure you’ve misted everything evenly. That way, your cat won’t nestle into the corner or snuggle up on the edge of a cushion that hasn’t been spritzed.
Try Double-Sided Tape
Interestingly enough, most cats don’t like the feeling of stickiness. If you put something sticky on their paws, they will try to get rid of it with all of their might. You can use this to your advantage in keeping your cat off of your furniture. Of course, always be mindful to not use any sticky substance that may harm your furry friend.
Double-sided tape is a great way to achieve this. This kind of tape will not damage your furniture (as long as it isn’t heavy-duty tape), but it is still strong enough to keep your cat at bay. Do not use industrial tape because it poses the risk of hurting your kitty!
You only need to use a little bit of tape to get the job done. When your cat is off roaming somewhere else, put some double-sided tape across the length of the couch cushion.
You don’t need to cover the whole couch, just a few strategically placed strips that ensures your cat will interact with it at one point or another. For ease, you may want to opt for standard double-sided tape. After a few times of encountering the tape, your cat will (hopefully) be deterred from jumping on that piece of furniture once and for all.
The Bottom (Fe)Line
Keeping cats off outdoor furniture can feel like an uphill battle, but it’s certainly not a lost cause! Start training your cats as early as possible, but you can always resort to repellent sprays or tacky tape if need be. To learn more about creating a pet-friendly outdoor space, browse our pet central.