Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

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BarbBrooklyn
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Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

Does anyone have any experience with clawing cats and Sunbrella sofas?

I have 3 cats, all of whom are clawers and have torn up my older velvet couch.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
atikovi
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by atikovi »

Scratching post.
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BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

We have scratching posts all over. They still scratch the couch
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
atikovi
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by atikovi »

Don't they make something you can spray on the couch that they would avoid? Like wolf urine or something?
BIGal
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by BIGal »

Sounds like you have already made your choice. New furniture every few years.
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BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

I bought a couch in 2002 when I bought this apartment. Lost it to bedbugs in 2015. Did without for a few months and then bough a neighbor's used Conran couch for $200. The cats apparently find the velvet attractive. They don't touch the microsuede recliner next to it.

Just wondering if anyone has experience with Sunbrella, which some folks tour as "cat proof". Still trying to decide between having the Conran piece reupholstered (the springs are shot) in Sunbrella or buying new from someplace like Joybird which offers Sunbrella.
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hicabob
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by hicabob »

I found microsuede to be the optimal cat resistant furniture covering. It's a weird fabric to cats, they like to lounge on it but don't attack it.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by ResearchMed »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:59 am I bought a couch in 2002 when I bought this apartment. Lost it to bedbugs in 2015. Did without for a few months and then bough a neighbor's used Conran couch for $200. The cats apparently find the velvet attractive. They don't touch the microsuede recliner next to it.

Just wondering if anyone has experience with Sunbrella, which some folks tour as "cat proof". Still trying to decide between having the Conran piece reupholstered (the springs are shot) in Sunbrella or buying new from someplace like Joybird which offers Sunbrella.
Sounds like whatever couch you decide upon, upholstering it in microsuede is just the thing for you and your cats (well, your current cats, anyway!). :happy

If the velvet couch is the only thing they claw, or almost the only thing, then I would strongly suggest keeping some of that velvet and use it on a scratching post. Or if there is a small piece of the current sofa that is a favored scratching place, perhaps you could keep that in some out of the way place.*. Maybe the outside part of the sofa end or the back cornerpost? And maybe ask for some big swatches of velvet back, including parts where/near the cats were scratching, so you could cover a different scratching post/item with it.

* You might start by placing it right near the new sofa, and slowly move it away, inches at a time, over a relatively long time, so they learn to "follow" it. If there were any pillows on that couch, perhaps keep one as another "allowed target" for them.
You might also, at the same time, or before any new sofa arrives, *also* get a new scratching post... and if they like catnip, douse it liberally. But don't put the catnip in the area near where the new couch would be.

As for Sunbrella fabric, is there a pillow covered with it that you could buy asap, toss in on the floor near the couch and see if they ignore it? If they go for the pillow when they have their favored scratching choice, that would be a really bad sign, I would think.

RM
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Mudpuppy
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by Mudpuppy »

It may be hard to train older cats out of scratching habits, but you can train cats to not scratch the couch. None of my cats scratch the couch and the only undesired scratching is one that occasionally thinks my treadmill track is a great scratching pad.

There are several steps to training a cat: deterrence, immediate consequences to undesired behavior, and rewarding desired behavior. For deterrence, they make a double-sided tape specifically to put on the corners of couches in order to deter cats from scratching the furniture. For immediate consequences, use something safe but startling, like a loud noise (my preference, I have a specific sound I make when the cats are doing something "bad") or a squirt from a water bottle (some cats love water so this does nothing for them). For rewarding desired behavior, give them something they like (treats, catnip, attention, etc.) when they use the scratching post.

Here's my basic training setup with kittens. The corners of the couch (or any other furniture that needs protection) get coated in the double-sided tape and then I put a scratching post on each corner. If the kitten scratches the couch when I'm there, they get the loud sound and get chased away from the couch, then I ignore them for about 10 minutes, no matter how cute they're being. Kittens hate being ignored.

If they redirect over to the scratching post within that 10 minutes, I stop ignoring them and tell them how good they're being and play with them for as long as they want. Likewise, any time they use the scratching post, I reward them with attention and play time (after they've finished scratching of course). And I introduce them to this reward by placing them on the base of the post and rewarding them for staying there a bit.

Eventually, it settles in to their kitty brains that they get in trouble and get ignored if they scratch the couch, but they don't get in trouble for scratching the scratching posts and pads. As they get older, you can slowly start decreasing the reward time, but never decrease the "in trouble" time, and they'll start to develop the habit of using the scratching posts instead of the furniture.

You'll need many scratching posts of different sizes (short, medium, tall), orientations (upright, laid flat, at an angle), and materials (carpet, rope, cardboard) located strategically through the house. Every cat has their preference, and once you know your cat's preferences, you can narrow down the options provided to what your cat prefers. But always have a lot of scratching posts and pads in every room. I have close to two dozen scratching posts and pads throughout my house.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

To keep both dogs and cats off sofas and away from other objects, I have used "scat mats" which work well:

https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-scatmat-e ... t/dp/48626

I agree with getting the scratching posts as well.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by ResearchMed »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:22 pm To keep both dogs and cats off sofas and away from other objects, I have used "scat mats" which work well:

https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-scatmat-e ... t/dp/48626

I agree with getting the scratching posts as well.
Those may be fine to keep a pet OFF a surface, but I'm not sure how helpful it would be to keep a cat from clawing the *side* of some furniture, which is often where it's done.

BTW, there are also "scat mats" that give off a sudden and LOUD sound.
But please do your human guests a favor, and warn them in advance about that nice comfy sofa...
:shock:

RM
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Cats and Sunbrella-covered sofas

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

hicabob wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:19 am I found microsuede to be the optimal cat resistant furniture covering. It's a weird fabric to cats, they like to lounge on it but don't attack it.
A furniture saleswoman assured me of the same thing a while ago. However, it wasn't true in my case. One of my cats still scratched the back of a microfiber sectional. :shock: YMMV.
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