Outdoor cats can be a welcome addition to any outdoor space. They protect your house from mice and other vermin and reduce stress and anxiety. But that benefit quickly evaporates if your furry buddies have a habit of scratching your precious patio furniture. Rather than getting angry, consider employing some simple strategies to eliminate the problem completely. Not sure how? No worries — keep reading and learn how to keep cats from scratching your outdoor furniture.
First things first: you don’t want to absolutely prevent your cat from scratching. Cats have a biological need to express their scratching instinct. It’s bad for their body and mind to declaw, or otherwise prevent them from fulfilling this desire. In fact, preventing a cat from scratching may actually introduce additional behavioral problems, including urinating and biting.
The last thing you want is to turn one problem into three problems!
With declawing off the table, we only have a few more options available. One of these is called the “Yes” technique, detailed below.
Keep Cats From Scratching Your Patio Furniture
The “Yes” technique is perfect to keep cats from scratching your patio furniture. As I said above, you don’t want to discourage your cat from scratching completely. With that in mind, it’s important to encourage them to scratch in the appropriate places.
Unsure exactly how to do that? It’s actually pretty simple — build or purchase one or more scratching posts and place them near where the cats are already scratching.
The idea is given the choice between your boring, old patio furniture and a brand new scratching post, the feline will choose the latter. At this point, you may be wondering what scratching post is best to keep your cat in control. I’d recommend you start with the SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post. Not only is durable, but it’s superior to carpeted posts in almost every way (carpeted posts have a tendency to snag your furry friend’s claws).
If you have a problem with cats scratching multiple pieces of patio furniture, you may need to install scratching posts around each affected area.
If this approach doesn’t work, don’t fret! There are things you can try. Although we’ve explored the “Yes” approach, there’s also a (wait for it) “No” technique. This is especially useful for patio doors, but can also be used on your patio furniture.
Not sure what the “No” technique is? No worries, I’ll explain below.
Keep Cats From Scratching At The Door
The “No” technique is perfect for keeping cats from scratching at the door. Unlike the “Yes” technique, the “No” technique is designed to making your surfaces undesirable for scratching. There are many ways to accomplish this, but it’s centered around removing the pleasurable component for the target kitty.
If you’re having trouble thinking of ways yourself, here are some common solutions.
- Taping or wrapping the surface in aluminum foil
- Feline training tape (I use this from Jxselect)
- Anti-scratch deterrent spray (This is hit or miss, but definitely the easiest to set up. Here’s my recommendation if you’re interested)
- Household vinegar can completely keep cats off your furniture, but it requires consistent reapplications
One thing to note: the “No” technique only works when cats are provided an equally desirable alternative. It’s unlikely that you’ll solve the problem with deterrents alone.
Without an attractive alternative, your cats will likely find another undesirable object to scratch.
Types of Furniture
Some types of patio furniture are better than others when it comes to withstanding your cat’s claw onslaught. Which types of outdoor furniture are most resilient to cats and other pets?
Best Patio Furniture For Cats
The best patio furniture for cats all have a few common characteristics.
- The furniture has a metal, preferably non-textured frame. This type of surface is unappealing for cats to claw and durable enough to withstand any attempt.
- There are no cushions. Cats cannot resist clawing at soft, plush cushions and you’d be fighting a constant battle to keep yours off.
- Glass, stone, tile, or other strong, non-porous table surfaces are key. Cats won’t be able to scratch them, and the non-porous surface will help repel smells.
- No dangling strings or cloth! This is self-explanatory if you’ve ever seen a cat play.
Cats will be cats, and you’ll never be able to completely stop them from being mischievous with your outdoor space. However, I’ve detailed quite a few helpful ideas to alleviate a bit of the pain. Did I miss something? If you have a tip you’d like to share, feel free to leave it in the comments.