I used to hear that just about every night when I would be sitting in my living room. That thump was the sound of my cat jumping on the kitchen countertop – the one place she knows she is not supposed to be.
But hey, cat owners know that having a cat means having a creature that lives by their own rules right? So, I begin digging and testing to find the best options for how to keep cats off furniture.
Below are the options I found to keep cats off furniture – along with what worked for us in keeping that “thump” from happening ever again.
For me it is a sanitary issue. I am a proud cat owner, but I just do not like the idea of a creature that poops and scratches in its litter box on my kitchen countertops! My cat is allowed on couches and other furniture since she does not scratch – but counters and tables are a no go in our house!
Another common reason to keep cats off furniture include scratching, which can be a common and frustrating problem. Cat claws are sharp – if you have been scratched, you know the pain well!
Those claws can cause serious damage to your furniture if they are determined enough.
So, test out some of these options below for keeping cats off furniture and see what works for your cat! All are humane options that will keep the stress for your cat to a minimum but can be effective options.
9 Ideas For How To Keep Cats Off Furniture
Below are a variety of options to try to get your cat to stay off couches, tables or other furniture in your home. If you try one and it does not work – do not give up, just move on to the next option! Chances are one of these strategies will work!
Most cats do not like the sound or feel of aluminum foil – some will actually be afraid of it if they jump on it. Taping some strips to countertops or placing it on your coach should do the trick to keeping them off. But, this may not work with all cats – as some cats are less fearful than others.
Plastic carpeting has little nubs that can make your cat experience an unpleasant one when they try to jump on any furniture. This can be used on couches, tables and counters and will not harm your cat, but just be an annoyance.
The Cat Scat Mat is a great option for indoor and outdoor use that is made just for this purpose. The plastic spikes are a little bigger than the nubs of a plastic mat and make the cat not want to be on it. This is a great affordable option to keeping cats away from where they do not belong.
Cat Tree or Scratching Post
Every cat should have some kind of cat scratching post or wooden cat furniture to allow them to climb and scratch safely. This can help deter their desire to climb on the furniture and counters and give them a healthy and safe place to do what they do naturally.
If you get a cat post that has levels or secret hideaways, these can offer additional help to keep cats off furniture. They may be more interested in the post than your furniture!
Squirt Bottle Of Water
Spraying your furry feline gently with light spray of water from a squirt bottle when they are where they should not be may be a way of getting them to understand where they should – or should not be.
A homemade spray is a great cat repellent that is safe and can help you to train your cat to stay off the furniture. Mix some water with either apple cider vinegar or a citrus oil or spray then put in a spray bottle. Then you can lightly spray any piece of furniture that your cat particularly loves to climb on and hopefully this will work to keep your cat off furniture!
Most cats hate the scent of the vinegar or citrus which should deter your cat from those locations. Using the spray should eventually train your cat to stay away from the areas you spray – and then you may not need to use it any more.
Be sure to test the spray bottle on a small section of any couches, coffee tables, fabric or leather furniture pieces before using to ensure items will not be damaged by the spray.
What worked for us? Peppermint spray! We began using a few drops of peppermint oil in our kitchen cleaner and our cat ran for the hills, never to be seen on the counter again. No more dusty paw prints or “thumps” – thank you peppermint.
Below are a few cat repellent options you can buy if you are not into making your own. They have a lot of positive reviews and seem to do the job of keeping cats of the furniture and counters well!
Bodhi Dog 3-in1 Cat Training Aid – over 3,200 3.5 star ratings
PetSafe Motion Activated Spray Deterrent – over 8,500 4 star ratings
Make Some Noise
If you can catch them in the action, then making some noise can make a big impact. Put some change in a jar, bang some pots or whatever noise you can make to “scare” them to get them off the furniture. But this needs to be a consistent strategy so that every time they are on a piece of furniture you do not want them on the noise happens – then eventually they will get the point and hopefully stay off.
Double Sided Tape
There might be nothing more annoying to a cat than the feeling of stickiness! Cats don’t like the sticky feeling making this a great option.
The double-sided tape option is affordable and easy to use but has a couple of downsides. The tape may need to be replaced frequently and a little extra cleaning may be required to get the leftover residue off the item you place it on.
This is a better option for hard surfaces and will not work as well on softer surfaces like couches.
Cat Scratch Deterrent Tape
Cat Scratch Deterrent Tape is a specialty product that is meant to help with this. It has over 1,000 4.5 star reviews and looks to be a great – and affordable option to traditional stick tape.
It comes in flat sheets and can be easily applied to couches, tables and counters. It is 100% clear so it blends in beautifully to just about everything.
If there is a specific piece of furniture that your cat is drawn too that you prefer they not be on, consider the location. Is it in a sunny spot in your house? Then trying moving it to a different area or put shades up to keep the sun from shining there. Then place a cat bed or other cat furniture piece into a sunny area of the home so they can bask in the sun they love so much.
Never feed them on the furniture – like ever! Then they will signal that food and furniture go to together – which is what you are trying to prevent. Also, never leave food on your counters or tables if those are areas you do not want them on.
Never Declaw Your Cat
Some pet owners may be inclined to declaw their cat since that may seem like the easiest solution, but please DO NOT take that route. Declawing is essentially the removal of a bone in the toe which in turn will remove the nail – so it is a pretty horrific procedure that no cat should have to endure. Also, if your cat were ever to get out – they would be defenseless outdoors which can lead to an outcome you may not want.
There are so many options for changing your cats behavior in regards to furniture scratching and climbing there is no need to put them through this experience.
A study was done back in 2017 that signified the issues that come from declawing which include the fact that cats who are declawed have a harder time walking and can also bring on other bad behaviors like biting and aggressiveness.
Cats are intelligent creatures that need plenty of play time, toys and engagement for them to stay healthy and happy. Supplying them with a scratching post can help remove the destructive scratching on your furniture. Providing toys and a warm bed can help them stay grounded!
With all of the options above – one is bound to work, so do not get frustrated – just keep trying! Every cat is different so no one strategy will work for all of them.
Have you found a way not listed here to keep your cat off the furniture? Please let me know in the comments!