Whether you’re a pets-on-the-sofa person or not, you’ve probably already experienced some of the havoc your furry friends can wreak on your favorite furniture. While we want our pets to make themselves at home, shredding the couch shouldn’t be part of the deal! Especially when you’ve just purchased an expensive suede sectional or braided hemp ottoman that can be easily ruined.
Luckily, owning a dog or cat doesn’t have to mean submitting to shabby decor. There are plenty of ways to get your favorite four-legged creature back on track, and off the furniture! Here’s how your pets and your living room can coexist in peace.
Stop Cat Scratch Fever
Cats often scratch when they’re stressed, or when they want to assert their dominance in a multi-cat household. Therefore, your first duty as a pet owner is to assess your feline’s anxiety levels. If your pet’s had a lot of accidents lately or has been obsessively grooming, there may be something deeper going on. Sometimes addressing the psychological issues with a vet is the best way to stop the behavior.
If the issue seems innocuous however, try this tip to keep kitty off the furniture: first, ensure that they have a scratching post or box nearby where they can really dig their claws in. Also make sure to trim your kitty’s nails regularly—or, if that sounds too scary, have a professional do it for you. Next, try mixing up a batch of all-natural DIY cat-deterrent: fill a spray bottle with water, then add a few drops of both lemon and eucalyptus essential oils. Give a few spritzes to your cat’s favorite scratching spot, and voilà! Instant cat-be-gone!
Keep Your Sofa From Becoming a Doggy Chew Toy
Not so fast, dog people. When it comes to our furniture, pups definitely have their problems, too. Chewing, in particular, can turn a beautiful wood piece into a masticated mess in no time. Since dogs are easier to train, however, it helps to understand what your pup is trying to tell you. Is your dog bored? Anxious? In need of some quality time with his owner? All of these can be explanations for why your dog chews. A nice, long walk with you may be all Fido needs to cut back on the gnawing.
However, younger dogs especially often need to be trained to resolve their behavioral issues. One idea is to get them interested in chew toys (rather than your table legs!) by feeding them meals in a specialized toy that slowly distributes their chow. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of mental and physical stimulation—if you work long hours away from home, hire a walker to help. And, to make your armchair less attractive, use a homemade bitter mixture. Spray lemon juice or vinegar on the offending piece. Or try a hot substance, like cayenne pepper, which will also keep your dog’s teeth off the couch.
End Wetting Forever
This one is a little bit trickier. There are tons of reasons why animals wet in the house. A weak bladder, territorial instincts, stress, and even sickness can all be the source of your pet’s urination.
To stop the problem, make sure you clean any soiled areas thoroughly with an unscented cleaner. If you use a perfumed spray on the spot, your pet may return to mark it again. The good news, however, is that the same sprays that keep dogs and cats from chewing and scratching may keep them from wetting, too. Also, if your pet’s not spayed or neutered, it’s not helping the problem. If you have a canine friend, make sure to reward your dog when he or she does it right—rather than punishing him.
With a little attention, love, and TLC, you can help correct your pet’s behavioral issues—without sacrificing your home’s aesthetic.