Is Your Cat Or Dog Ruining Your Furniture? Here’s How to Fix It

All cat and dog parents know how painful it can be to watch your favorite sofa being shredded to pieces by your kitty or to discover a large chunk of your new coffee table missing because your dog decided that it was bought for him to have something significant to chew on. While it is half-expected from a kitten or a puppy who are still learning good manners and how to tell right from wrong, when your adult furry family members destroy your furniture, shoes, and fittings, it can be really expensive and upsetting. Therefore, below, we put together some tips for you for the two most common issues: cat scratching and dog chewing.

However, please bear in mind that, very often, pets damage your items to draw your attention to an underlying issue that they are unable to communicate to you otherwise. For instance, your cat may be eating your house plants because she needs vitamin supplements, and your dog may be chewing your favorite shoes while you are away because he suffers from separation anxiety. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor when these ‘accidents’ happen to see if there is a pattern and mention the issue to your vet next time you see him/her.

Until then, consider using calming collars, hemp oil, and room diffusers to help your pet relax. And if everything else fails, hire a cat or dog behavior coach – you will need only a couple of sessions for them to meet your furry baby, analyze why they are destroying your home, and come up with effective strategies to help you and your pet. Their services are more affordable than most people think, and definitely more affordable than buying new furniture!

Cat Scratching

It is no secret that cats just love finding the most expensive piece of furniture in the house and using it to sharpen their claws. They often do it to get your attention because you will immediately focus on them once they get their claws into it, and often do it when they are bored or feel that you should be spending more time showing them your love. There are several tricks that can help:

  • Spray that piece of furniture with lemon juice mixed with water – cats hate citrus smells and will avoid coming anywhere near that item for as long as they can smell the lemon;
  • Buy some scratchboards, cat condos, cat trees, and scratch posts, place them around the house, and spray them with catnip or Feliway FeliScratch to encourage your kitty to use them;
  • Buy anti-scratch furniture covers, or cover your furniture with tin foil – your cat will learn that it is pointless to scratch them very quickly, and you will be able to remove the covers after a couple of weeks;
  • Make sure that there are many items in the room that have your cat’s scent on them because cats often scratch furniture to leave their scent on it, to assert their ownership of the room – putting out their toys and blankets can help enormously;
  • Clip your cat’s claws regularly to make sure they are not destroying your furniture because their claws are too long and they are trying to “file them down” or trying to peel off the outer layer of their claw to keep them healthy;
  • Play with your cat every day so that they feel loved and don’t feel like they have to seek your attention; this will also help you build a great bond between you and your kitty;
  • If you catch your kitty scratching your furniture, hiss at them. They will know immediately that this is not acceptable and that this is not the way to get your positive attention and love;
  • Get cat scratch deterrent tape like Sticky Paws and cover the furniture item in it for a couple of weeks – cats hate it when their paws get stuck on the tape and learn quickly not to touch that item after getting their paws sticky a couple of times.

Please don’t buy silicone anti-scratch cat boots or cat nail caps, and don’t consider declawing your cat – this is animal cruelty. If you don’t love your furry baby enough to accept them unconditionally, claws and all, you should find a loving new home for them. Also, many people try spraying their cats with water when they start sharpening their claws in unsuitable places, and we recommend that you never do this, please, because it destroys your kitty’s trust and will damage your relationship with your cat.

Dog Chewing

While cats pick the most expensive piece of furniture to sharpen their claws, your dog will probably find the most expensive pair of shoes or an exclusive antique wood statue in the house to chew on it. The good news is that it is usually much easier to stop your dog from chewing your valuables than your cat from scratching your furniture, as dogs are happy to learn and follow your lead. Here is what to do if your dog loves chewing everything he can find:

  • Buy a variety of different chewables for your dog to try out so that you can find their favorite and restock it for them: Bones, pig and buffalo ears, antlers, kongs, twists, pressed rawhide sticks and chews, and chew toys; they will keep your dog happy and entertained, clean their teeth, and reduce their urge to ruin your furniture and shoes;
  • Spray your furniture and shoe cabinet with a chewing deterrent; you can even make your own chewing deterrent at home using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar; please don’t use hot sauces, perfume, deodorants, or other stupid popular life hacks that can put your dog at risk and even kill him;
  • Play with your dog actively every day and show them your love – many dogs chew on things to get your undivided attention even though you might be scolding them when you discover the damage;
  • Dogs also chew because they are bored and have nothing to do, so getting a variety of different new toys for your dog gives them one less reason to ruin your house;
  • Take your dog for a long walk on a daily basis, and play fetch outside with them with a stick to help them divert their energy into running, playing, and getting fit rather than sitting around indoors and chewing furniture;
  • Chew-proof your house for the training period – put away any items that your dog loves to chew, and lock up any rooms with furniture that they tend to chew on when you are away;
  • Start training your dog by saying “no” very firmly (but without raising your voice!) whenever you see him start chewing forbidden items; please don’t punish or chase your dog when the chewing starts – instead, offer him treats, pats, or praises when he stops.

Another way of getting your dog out of their bad habit is to install a pet monitor camera and watch what they are doing on your mobile app while you are away. Once you see your dog getting his teeth into something inappropriate, you can use the vocal command function to tell them off. This will teach your dog that you know what he is doing, even when you are not at home, and make him much less likely to chew your shoes and furniture while you are away. Please also bear in mind that it is crucial to stay consistent at all times – if you allow your dog to chew your old shoes but don’t want him to touch your new Adidas trainers, he will not understand the difference and will continue to consider your shoes to be his chew toys.

%d bloggers like this: