In a recent post we talked about great ways to deodorize and clean up pet messes in your home, so now we’re moving along to one of the other pet issues that pops up frequently when you own a home. Pets add so much joy to our lives, but sometimes their behavior around our furniture can be more than a little annoying. Instead of raising your voice or chasing them with a rolled up newspaper, try training them to behave properly with some of our handy hints.
If one of the biggest problems you have is keeping your pets off certain pieces of furniture, the key to success with this issue is consistency. If you don’t want your dog or cat on the couch, make sure you never invite him or her up on it, regardless of how much you may want a little company. If you normally chase Rex off the couch, but invite him up to cuddle next to you on a cold winter day to watch the big game, you’re sure to confuse him. If your reaction to his being on the couch changes from day to day, he won’t be able to tell if he’s being a good dog or a bad dog.
If you’ve decided you want to keep your animals off the furniture, here’s a few ways to discourage them from making themselves at home in your seats.
Pepper – Cats and dogs have a very keen sense of smell, and most of them are not fond of the scent of black pepper. Sprinkle a few shakes of black pepper on dark-colored or patterned furniture to discourage them jumping on up. Pepper won’t stain or damage furniture, and it’s 100% natural.
Aluminum Foil – When you’re training a new pet, one of the most effective ways to teach them that a certain piece of furniture is off limits is with some foil. Most pets hate the texture and sound of foil, and will avoid touching it. Place a few sheets of foil on the off-limits surface. After a few attempts, most pets will give up on making a perch there. Plastic trash bags may also work for training purposes; many pets dislike the feel of plastic as well.
Outdoor Fresh Bounce – Cats in particular aren’t fond of the scent of this famous fabric softener. If you rub a sheet over the upholstery, cats will give furniture a wide berth. Your feline friends will also go out of their way to avoid lemon scents. You can make a solution of half a teaspoon of Country Time Lemonade and two cups of rubbing alcohol in your favorite spray bottle. Spritz your furniture with the solution to keep the cats away. You can also saturate a cotton ball with pure lemon extract or RealLemon juice and rub a bit on your upholstery to repel your cat. The cotton ball trick will also work with Old Spice Aftershave; cats aren’t fond of that scent either. Be sure to test your upholstery for color fastness in an inconspicuous area first before using these methods, just in case.
Hot Sauce – If your cats and dogs tend to want to scratch or chew your furniture legs, a little hot sauce can be a lifesaver! You can protect dark woodwork by rubbing the area lightly with Tabasco Pepper Sauce or Heinz Chili Sauce and buffing the surface carefully. Animals don’t care for the smell left behind, and will avoid your table and chair legs.
Water Bottles – An old favorite; tried and true. Whenever your cat or dog jumps up on your furniture, aim a brief stream of discipline at your pet. After a few good squirts, even the most oblivious or stubborn pet will get the message.
If you do decide to allow your pets on the furniture, you may end up fighting a never-ending battle with their hair. To remove pet hair from your furniture, vacuum the area with a stiff bristle brush attachment. The brush helps to dislodge the hair, making the suction more effective. You can also use snagged panty hose to remove pet hair, giving them a useful new life. Simply ball up the clean hose and stroke your furniture firmly with the nylon. The resulting static cling lifts the hair from your furniture. A used sheet of Bounce or a fresh Huggies Baby Wipe will have the same effect. You can also spray a fine mist of aerosol hairspray on a clean, damp rag or towel, and lightly wipe your upholstery. The offending hair lifts right off! Or wrap your hand with some clear packing tape and press it to the “hairy area” to catch the offending residue.
Whether they’re allowed on the furniture or must stay off, your pets (and their fur!) can live in complete harmony with your family when you put forth a little effort and a lot of love!