Welcoming a cat into your home is an exciting and wonderful experience, but it can also spell disaster for furniture and furnishings! Today we’re taking a look at how you can keep your home safe from the kind of damage they can inflict, from the stains from cat vomiting and diarrhea to clawed furniture to chewed cables.
Cats are mostly very hygienic and tidy creatures and it’s not difficult to train them to use a litter tray. After that initial housetraining phase, accidents outside the litter tray are mostly just that – accidents: times when illness, desperation or a closed door prevent your cat making it to the litter tray (or outdoors) in time.
For those rare occasions, it’s important to clean up quickly and effectively: lingering stains and odours are unpleasant for you to live with, could permanently damage furniture and carpets and perhaps most importantly, could signal to your cat that that’s an acceptable place to return to for future emergency toilet breaks!
Using an enzymatic cleaner breaks down the chains of molecules that build those stains and odours, making for a more thorough clean so it’s well worth keeping a bottle in your cupboard.
It’s also worth looking into cat vomiting and diarrhea causes. If you can find out why it’s happening, you might be able to stop it, and of course stop your cat from suffering!
One of the main ways your cats can cause damage in your home is with their claws. It’s a deep seated instinct: cats scratch to relieve stress, to express emotion, to remove dead parts of their claws, to stretch and to spread scent – cats have scent glands in their paws, like their cheeks.
Rather than trying to stop your cat scratching altogether – a hopeless task – you can achieve success with a two pronged approach: protect the things you don’t want scratched and provide your cat with an alternative that’s more acceptable to both parties.
Scratching posts and pads are designed to appeal to your cat: to let them get a good purchase with their claws and sturdy enough to withstand a good scratching without wobbling or toppling over. Place them near places your cat likes to scratch and try to redirect their attention to them. Using scents like catnip spray may help!
In the meantime cover your sofas with throws. Your carpets may even need plastic covers, at least for long enough for your cat to transfer its attention to its new scratching toys.
While cats aren’t as notorious as dogs for chewing, some cats can still cause serious damage to your home, your devices and themselves by chewing exposed cables.
There are lots of reasons why your cat might chew on cables – sometimes it’s due to anxiety, sometimes simply because wires resemble ribbon toys or the tails of prey.
It’s worth trying to work out why your cat is chewing on cables – if it’s while you’re out of the house, for example, it could be that they’re experiencing some separation anxiety you need to address.
In general, you can try to disguise your cables or prevent your cat accessing them with cable tubing, cable ties and brackets. You can also use taste deterrents like menthol products to put your cats off and make them a less tempting target!