At first this might seem like a bit of an odd thing to post about, however, I was recently asked on social media if we had any tips and tricks with regards to how to keep cats off outdoor furniture cushions and what do you do if they’re scratching them? This blog has been running for a number of years but I know this is a subject we’ve not covered before…
Now let me start by saying I’m more of a dog person, I have a little Cavapoo, and she’s trained to not jump up on furniture. That said, I love cats too. You have to admire their independence and do-as-you-please attitude, so training them not to jump on outdoor furniture is a little more tricky but not an impossible task.
If you’ve got cushions on your outdoor chairs, then you’ll want to keep them clean. Of course you may not be bothered if it’s your own cat. However, what if you find a neighbours cat like the lady who recently messaged us looking for tips? And if they’re clawing and scratching your cushions and soft furnishings, then that is a whole other issue.
One thing I will stress is never declaw them unless you are advised to for medical reasons. It is barbaric and inhumane.
Many people falsely assume that declawing is just like trimming your nails or getting a manicure. In reality, it is a painful and permanently crippling procedure.Peta
Maybe you don’t want to upset your neighbour by chasing their cat?
I suppose the same could be applied to cars. Cats seem to love cars and garden furniture! And rightly so, our garden furniture is very comfortable to sit on, especially when paired with a seat cushion.
So how do you keep cats off outdoor furniture cushions?
First things first, if they’re aren’t damaging the furniture or making a mess of it, then why not just let them sunbathe on top or your Lazy Susan outdoor table or chairs?
If they are clawing it, or you simply want to keep your outdoor cushions clean, then try and establish why they’re destroying your furniture?
Now, I’m not a cat expert or trainer but Hills have some great advice on how to better understand your pet, and would be my starting point.
One way to protect you Lazy Susan cushions is to try placing something they won’t want to lie on, such as a sheet of plastic, over the top. Alternatively, you can unzip the cover and pop a sheet of tinfoil or baking paper inside the cushion. They tend to hate anything crunchy.
Of course the best thing to do is simply take away the temptation. Remove your outdoor cushions from your furniture when it’s not in use. That said, many like to leave them on when the weather permits. There are various sprays you can use too, but I have never used them so can’t comment too much.
They claim to keep cats off without damaging the cushion fabric itself. My advice would be to by all means give them a go, however, always test on a discreet part of the cushion before you spray them all.
A friend has had success with Scratch No More. The manufacturer claims that it is a highly effective spray with a scent that is undetectable to humans but disliked by cats. 1 spray on a cushion will give you up to 2 weeks of protection from them scratching your cushions, and it can be safely used on any type of material.
I suppose a spray is definitely worth a try if you’ve exhausted other routes? However, for me though, manual training is probably the best solution. Training cats to stay off outdoor furniture will help protect furniture inside the home too, keep them off kitchen countertops etc. Most of the cat training websites suggest using a clicker to train them to get down on command.
The Clicker Training website gives a very comprehensive overview of how to approach this method of cat training. They advise that “scratching is more of a management issue than a training issue” and the site has plenty of links to some great articles etc.
Quite often you find that cats (and dogs for that matter) will play on outdoor furniture cushions because they’re bored. If they’re just using it to bask in the sun and not doing any damage, then just let them. That or get them there own comfy spot, but them their own personal cushion maybe? If they are bored and clawing your cushions then make sure that have plenty of their own toys to keep them busy.
If you’ve got any tips and tricks of your own on how to keep cats off outdoor furniture cushions, then please feel free to drop them in the comments section and we’ll add them to this post!