I’m consistently floored by the amount of fur that our little Sandy sheds. How could such a small little creature create so much dust? It honestly doesn’t seem scientifically possible! It is, though… And one of the strongest magnets for cat fur is our sofa.
The fur epidemic in our house combined with numerous scratch marks on our furniture has resulted in my wife and I instituting a new policy: NO KITTIES ON THE SOFA
Preventing your little buddy from hanging out on the furniture will naturally limit the amount of fur that needs to be removed later on. It will also help preserve the life of your furniture. Here’s what we did:
Provide pleasant alternatives for your cat to rest on
Your cat sits on the sofa primarily for the same reason you do – It’s comfortable! If you can offer your kitty something equally as comfortable, there’s a good chance she’ll opt to sit there instead of the couch. We found that putting a cat perch right next to the sofa was helpful. This allows your cat to be a part of the family while everyone’s watching TV without hairying up the “people” furniture. Try placing a cat condo or perch close to your cats favourite piece of furniture and see if her behaviour changes.
At the same time you provide this wonderfully comfortable alternative for your kitty, make the sofa less desirable. You can do this a number of different ways. If your cat is anything like Sandy, she has one or two spots on the sofa that she seems to prefer. Placing some tinfoil lined with orange peels on Sandy’s preferred hangout spots did the trick. When she was presented with the two different options we provided – a nice soft perch or a foil full of citrus – the decision was easy!
No means no – Not sometimes
Cats (and animals in general) don’t do grey areas when it comes to rules. They need things to be as black and white as possible. When you and your family decide your pet isn’t allowed on the furniture anymore, you have to go all in! If some folks are allowing (or even encouraging) the cat to get up on the sofa, don’t expect a change in behaviour. Draw a hard line in the sand – and stick with it!
Use a washable throw or blanket
Some folks actually enjoy having their pet sit on the sofa with them. Others just can’t deter the cat from jumping up there by any means! If one of these situations describes yours, consider getting a throw or blanket for your cat. Simply place it on the couch in a place she prefers and encourage her to sit there. This will keep your sofa free of fur and mitigate the potential for damage. The blanket can be removed and ran through the wash once a week to keep it fresh.
Hope this helps! Do you have any other suggestions?
Photo by ninahale, available under a Creative Commons license