Cat parenting is a delight, except when your feline starts tearing up your furniture or jumping up on an expensive sofa. Luckily, with a little time and the right tools, you can teach your cat to modify unwanted behavior— trust me, I've personally had success! The best cat repellent sprays for furniture use sound, pheromones, or strong fragrances like citrus or lavender to safely deter kitties from using your furniture as their own personal scratching post. The should also not stain your upholstery and be nontoxic. Every cat is different, though, and since you can't ask them to tell you what they like (and they wouldn't tell you, anyway) you'll want to understand how the different types of repellents work to find the one best suited for your cat.
- Pheromones: Pheromone sprays mimic the natural, calming chemicals produced by cats, putting them at ease. Products with these chemicals are best for felines exhibiting poor behavior due to stress, like a recent move or if they are new to your home. Bonus, these sprays also come in handy on long trips and vet visits.
- Sound: The sprays that use sound work by startling your cat, with a light hissing noise released by the can. If you have a jumpy cat, there's a chance could be traumatic for them, but a boisterous kitty with nerves of steel might be the perfect candidate. Most of these types of products are handheld, but if you have a night owl who rips up upholstery while the rest of the house is asleep, a repellent with a motion-sensor that emits the hiss on its own is extra convenient.
- Smell: Cats' sense of smell is highly sensitive and there are certain scents that may be pleasing to humans but are a total turn off for your pet. My cat, for example, hates the smell of citrus. Other natural scents cats tend to dislike are lavender, rosemary, thyme and eucalyptus. Again, since your animal's taste can vary, not all scents will deter all kitties, so success is not guaranteed, but if you've noticed your cat grimace at your lavender oil diffuser, it's worth giving it a try.
No matter which of the options you go with, the best cat deterrent sprays will also be safe for other animals in your house, and should not leave any stains behind on your couch. However, keep in mind that some are not recommended for leather or suede, so read product recommendations and directions carefully before using.
One of the main reasons cats scratch or curl up on furniture is because they don't have any other options. Using a spray to deter current behavior, in conjunction with providing other alternatives like a scratching post or a comfy cat bed, increases your chances of success and just as importantly, will keep your cat happy. My cat's plush bed is set up next to the couch, so he can still feel like we're together but I don't have to take a lint roller to the couch cushions.
Read on to find the right tools from Amazon to make cat training a breeze!
1. The Best Cat Repellent Spray With Pheromones
Especially great for stress-induced bad behavior, the Feliway spray mimics natural pheromones, which helps to put fur babies at ease in a natural and safe way. Testing of this odorless and colorless spray has found a 90% reduction in scratching and spraying, working on nine out of 10 cats. The brand doesn't specify if the spray is safe for all types of furniture, so do a spot test to make sure it won't damage or discolor your fabric or suede armchair. The brand also recommends spraying down your furniture once a day, though reviewers have found it effective even when sprayed just once a week. Safe for cats and humans, the spray will also make travel easier and give your cats some chill during visits to the vet.
Rave review: "I use this on my furniture to keep my cat from scratching, it definitely helps. He’s generally more calm and doesn’t really even notice the furniture once I’ve sprayed it. I’ll definitely order more!"
2. The Best Cat-Repellent Spray With A Built-In Motion-Sensor
This clever PetSafe spray has a motion sensor that activates a spritz of compressed air anytime your kitty gets within 3 feet of the canister. The hissing sound that emits works as a great deterrent. The odorless spray is safe for all surfaces, animals, and humans and a great choice if you don't want to add any new fragrance to your home. You'll get about 80 to 100 sprays per can, though there are refills available, should you have a particularly determined feline. The infrared sensor works even in the dark and takes four AAA batteries (not included). Just note that some reviewers report to being startled by the spray themselves as the sensor isn't able to detect the difference between a cat and a human, so as a solution, consider only turning on the device when you're not around.
Rave review: "I bought this product because we moved to a new place and my cats decided they liked jumping up on the counters and on my brand new kitchen table. I only bought one can to start with and have considered buying extras but it hasn’t been necessary! One of my cats is very trainable and after just one spray he never jumped up again. The other one is a bit more determined and I had to position it strategically for several days to dissuade him. I move it to a new spot on the counter or table every day, so the cats never know where it might be safe to jump, and we no longer have any problems!"
3. The Best Spray With Pheromones And Sound
This SENTRY cat repellent spray offers double the action by combining pheromones and sound to deter pets from scratching up your sofa. The spray emits a hissing sound when used, as well as a cat-safe natural pheromone to calm and refocus cats and halt their negative behavior. The lavender-chamomile fragrance is pleasant for humans and may also act as a further repellent for your cat if they don't like the smell. To use, spray in the direction of your kitty, approximately 12-18 inches away in short bursts when you see them moving in for the couch.
Rave review: "I honestly wasn't expecting this to work as well as it does. I have two 3 month old kittens who were constantly climbing my couch, curtains, and window screens, and leaving little claw marks everywhere...After just a few times using SENTRY they have just about ceased climbing my furniture. Even with new behavior, like climbing on the kitchen counter tops, all I have to do is show them the bottle and they sprint away... Solid purchase, I would definitely recommend for any other exasperated cat parents."
4. The Best All-Natural Cat Repellent Spray
Developed by a cat owner determined to save their furniture, the Cat Guard Pro spray features a blend of nontoxic and vegan oils and comes in four scents: original (which one Amazon shopper described as "spicy, slightly citrus-y potpourri"), lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus. Keep in mind, that what repels one cat can be like catnip to another, so not every scent will work on every feline. Apart from having a pleasing fragrance to humans, this spray is furniture-safe and reviewers have found it doesn't leave stains, even on leather chairs.
Rave review: "My mom's cat is virtually untrainable, and he has destroyed furniture, window blinds, wires, books, you name it. I got her the eucalyptus scent version of this and we tried it on both the furniture where he likes to scratch, and on the blinds that he loves to chew. Now he won't touch either one! The furniture requires a light re-spritz on occasion but this has worked wonders where nothing else has made any difference whatsoever. Highly recommended."
Also Consider: A Scratching Post With Multiple Surfaces
This award-winning scratching post has vertical and horizontal scratching options for playful kitties and the great design makes it easier on the eyes than traditional, vertical posts. As with smells, cats are very individual with their scratching preferences. Some prefer to claw at vertical surfaces, others horizontally. Because this post has both options (and more!) you're likelier to see the behavioral changes you want. Made from recycled cardboard, the triangle's surfaces have less shred than many other scratch pads and the post comes with organic catnip leaf you can sprinkle on to attract felines and redirect their attention away from the furniture. The post measures 18 by 10 by 16 inches (width x length x height) and is available in a larger size, which is ideal for multiple cat homes.
Rave review: "Finally, we have a scratching product that our cat will use. We’ve tried many different products including the tall posts, cat condo versions, backs of rugs but she kept going to the couch to scratch. We put double sided tape and pillows to block her but she thought they were toys. She uses this post all the time. The angle of the sides is a big deal. Added cat nip and she’s by it all the time. She is rewarded when we see her scratch it so now our couches are safe again!!"
Also Consider: A Machine-Washable Cat Bed
If you're using a repellent to keep your pet off the furniture, provide them with a cozy alternative to catnap on, like this machine-washable cat bed. Filled with down alternative, this 20-inch round bed is covered in super-soft suede-like material and has a non-slip bottom with traction. The bed's available in six colors, including green, yellow, and gray.
Rave review: "My boys love this bed! I only purchased one bed at first because I wanted to be sure they'd both like it. My cats weigh 12-14 lbs. They have plenty of curl up room. For a newly purchased bed it might help to spray it with liquid catnip. This coaxes the cat to inspect/roll or lay in it."