Having your outdoor furniture soiled with cat urine can be a mood killer, whether you’re a cat lover or not. But don’t panic; it’s not the end of the world. While this behavior might appear strange given how fastidious cats can be, it can be prevented with the right knowledge and a bit of effort. So, like most homeowners, you might be wondering how to keep cats from peeing on outdoor furniture.
There are many ways to keep cats from urinating on your furniture sets. You can spray the furniture with repellent scents (whether homemade or commercial), or you can install ultrasonic repellents in the outdoor area. If the cat is yours, you can train it not to go near the place or get a new litter system. Other methods that seem to work really well include using mothballs, aluminum foil, or sticky tapes.
In this article, we will learn about the different ways to keep cats away from outdoor furniture. We will also answer important questions such as why cats are attracted to your furniture and what is making them pee on the spot. Without wasting time, let’s get rolling!
Why are cats attracted to my outdoor furniture?
To effectively deter cats from your yard, you must determine what is bringing them in the first place. There are many things that can draw a cat to your property, the most common being food.
If a cat has the slightest feeling it can get food from your house; then it’s likely to come around every now and then. This might happen if the cat sees your dog or cat feeding in your backyard or patio. Also, if smaller animals like rodents or birds traffic the area, the cat might come around to hunt either for fun or food.
You can also have indoor cats strolling to your property if they live very close. In other words, you have a neighbor who owns many cats. If the cats fancy your home or something in your garden or porch, they will likely invite themselves. Sometimes, this can be a piece of furniture in your yard, a secluded spot, or a particular smell.
Lastly, cats can be drawn to the sun. If your outdoor furniture is exposed to direct sunlight, it can become a resting place for cats. These little felines are naturally sun-seekers, so they tend to layout anywhere there are patches of sunlight. And if they find the place very comfortable, then it’s only normal they would spend more time there.
Why are cats peeing on my outdoor furniture?
There are four major reasons why cats pee on outdoor furniture. First, it may be in a bid to mark the territory. Secondly, it may be connected to issues with the litter box. Thirdly, it could be that the cat is sick; in this case, a visit to the bet can fix things. Lastly, the behavior might be triggered by a sudden scare or anxiety. Let’s go over each one in more detail.
Cats are highly territorial, so it’s in their nature to exert dominance over an area. Sometimes, they can do this by marking or spraying that area with urine. It could be your cat or those from the neighborhood that visit every now and then.
A sick feline, especially one with a kidney or urinary tract infection, can pee where they’re not supposed to. This can also happen with old cats if they are far away from the litter box. In this case, they might feel too lazy to leave their spot to go to their litter box. If your cat is the only one messing up the place, then consider visiting the vet to find out what’s wrong. If it’s not a urinary problem, then it can be as a result of stress or something else. The idea is not to rule out the wellness of the cat.
Litter box problems
A cat might not use a litter if it doesn’t like the location or finds it uncomfortable on its paws. In this case, you can try changing the box’s location or simply get one that is more comfortable. Also, if a litter box is smelly or dirty, the cat might prefer to pee somewhere else.
Cats will also avoid a litter that makes them feel unsafe or set up in a way that makes it easy for them to be trapped by other animals. In addition to getting a good litter box, try to give your cats choices. If you have two cats, get at least three boxes, so they have one to fall back to if the one they are using doesn’t feel right. Place the boxes in open places and avoid closets, cabinets, and other covered areas where the cat can be ambushed.
Kitties are easily drawn to elevated surfaces, and that is because it makes it easier for them to identify and evade potential threats and stressors. This is why they would climb on sofas and chairs just to stay above the ground. So when a cat pees on your chair, it’s simply trying to tell you that the chair is safer than the ground or its litter box.
How to Keep Cats From Peeing on my outdoor furniture?
Here are some of the best ways to keep cats from peeing on your outdoor furniture. Some methods work better than others, depending on the furniture you’re trying to protect. So, you might need to try more a few of them till you find what works for you.
Use Natural Repellents
Cats have a strong sense of smell and can even perceive mild scents that might go undetected by humans. There are many scents from natural sources that cats find unpleasant, either because they find it irritating or unbearable. Some examples are lavender, citrus, lemon, orange, lime, banana and grapefruit.
It’s pretty obvious; these are fruits and ingredients readily available in our gardens or kitchens. All you need to do is to extract the juice inside them, add some water and put it in a spray bottle. Then, you have your repellent spray. To use it, simply spray around the furniture piece you want to protect, and that should deter cats from coming to the place.
Note: Some of these products can be harmful to cushions and upholstery. A good example is citrus, which can fade out cushion covers or leave a serious stain. So, before you proceed, make sure you’re certain the product won’t ruin your furniture. Or better still, you can avoid spraying them directly on the furnishings.
If you don’t have time to prepare your own repellent, then consider purchasing commercial cat repellent from a local pet store. These also have pungent scents that scare pets away by making them believe a predator is close by. The product can either come in spray form or pellets.
If you’re not able to drive the cats with a liquid repellent, then consider using an ultrasonic repellent, which is a lot stronger. It’s basically an electronic device that emits disturbing pitches of sounds only perceptible to cats and dogs. Cats hate such sounds!
Thus, it can serve as an electronic outdoor fence used to deter cats and other pets from your furniture, even if they are your own pets. It’s usually equipped with a motion sensor that triggers whenever a cat or dog passes by.
Interestingly, most ultrasonic motion sensor repellents are solar-powered and fairly waterproof. Thus, they often require little to no maintenance. You can just install them and act as if they are not there and enjoy a cat-free zone.
However, they aren’t the most affordable home gadgets. If you want a cheaper alternative, consider installing wind chines or sensitive bells. These also produce disturbing sounds that will put off felines from your furniture.
A better alternative to using sticky tape is to use a pet couch protector. These are protective pads that are self-adhesive in nature and can be attached to different surfaces, including upholstery, car seat, mattresses and even walls. They usually have a transparent color which allows them hard to notice on the surface.
To use the pad, start by peeling it off, then stick it on the area you want to protect. Depending on the particular pads you’re using, it might require twist pins to further secure it. The pads can also be cut to suit the size of the furniture or whatever size you want.
The major advantage of using these pads over double-sided tape is that the pads don’t leave behind any sticky residue while sticky tape does.
Double-Sided Sticky Tape
Cats dislike anything sticky, especially when their paws are involved. So, creating a patch of double-sided tape around your outdoor furniture might be enough to deter them.
There are two ways you can do this. First, you can attach the tape to your cushions. But this can leave a residue that may prove difficult to get rid of. One simple trick is to apply it to the bottom of the cushion and simply turn it over when it’s not in use. Alternatively, you can put the tape at the base of the furniture or on the ground in front of them. Either way, this should be enough to keep the felines away.
There are many tutorials and videos online that show you exactly how to do this without ruining your furniture. The only downside with this method is that the tape tends to lose its stickiness with time, so you will need to replace it very often.
For the best results, you can combine the double-sided tape cats solution with aluminum foil.
Get a new litter system
Cats can urinate on outdoor furniture if they do not like using the ones given to them. This commonly happens when you change brands or if their current box is always dirty. Some litter brands can be heavily scented, which may be disturbing to the cat. Cats dislike strong odors, so make sure you use litter that is clean and unscented.
Also, make sure the litter fits the size of your cat. If you have a large cat, then get a bigger box. You don’t want it to feel cramped in its litter. Also, pay attention to where the box is kept. Avoid keeping it in hidden areas or anywhere the cat is at risk of litter aversion or trapping by a stronger animal or wild animals.
Mothballs are commonly used as a pesticide to destroy moths together with their larvae. They can also be used as a repellent to deter cats from your furniture.
However, you need to be very careful about using them, especially if you have other pets around, like dogs. This is because the balls are highly toxic when ingested. The same can be said of naphthalene flakes which is a similar product you can also use to keep cats away.
You don’t want your dog’s eating the mothballs, which will likely happen if you through them around carelessly. To prevent any mishaps, it’s best to enclose the mothballs or naphthalene flakes in a small box with openings that will release the scent without exposing the material.
Most cats detest the sound or feel of aluminum foil. So, they would normally try to avoid it. This is something you can use to your advantage to deter cats from coming near your outdoor furniture. Simply wrap a few sheets of the foil around the base legs of the furniture or cushions. And that should keep the felines away.
To use this method, make sure your outdoor furniture is located under a shade, or some other are where it’s not exposed to the wind or rain. Also, don’t dispose of used sheets immediately. Instead, store them in a box and reuse them later when needed.
While this method is very effective, it won’t work will every cat. Some cats might act the opposite (whether it’s your own cat or a neighborhood cat) – instead of staying away from the foil, they might actually come close to play or rest on it. But you will never know till you try it out!
Store the Cushions Away
Most outdoor furniture get ruined from prolonged exposure to extreme weather conditions like excessive rainfall and sunlight. Thus, to keep them protected, it’s often recommended to bring them indoors for storage, especially when the season is over. While this may seem like a chore, it will help extend the lifespan of your patio furniture.
However, for the cushions, you don’t have to wait that long to bring them in. You can remove and store them overnight every day or when you’re not out there lounging. Most cats are easily drawn to outdoor furniture cushions due to how comfortable they are. If the cushions are not there, they will likely not come around. Whether you’re storing your cushions or furniture, make sure it’s in a safe, dry place such as a shed.
While removing your outdoor furniture cushions every time may not seem like an elegant solution, it can do the trick! This doesn’t mean this method will work for everyone, but it’s something you can try out first.
This method is great if you’re dealing with other cats such as your neighbor cat or pets.
What to do if a neighbors Cat Pees on your outdoor furniture
Sometimes, your own cat is not the one messing up your outdoor furniture. It can be stray cats or your neighbor’s cat. So, what should you do if your neighborhood cats are the ones peeing on your outdoor furniture?
The most logical thing to do is to approach your neighbor and let them know what their cat has been up to. Of course, you have to be polite but resolute in your claims, especially when you don’t have any evidence to show.
If you have a home security camera, then it should be easy to record the cat in the act. In this case, you will have something to show as proof. But then, not everyone can afford to install such cameras in their home.
If, after telling your neighbor, they refuse to admit that their cats are peeing on your furniture, there isn’t much you can do. You are simply faced with keeping the outdoor cats off, which is something you can do by applying any of the methods above. You can also set traps and catch the cat; then, you can return it to its owner.
For stray cats, you can report to relevant animal authorities, like your local animal control, who can capture the stray cats and transfer them to a rescue facility to be trained before being united with new families again.
What are the next steps if a cat pees on my outdoor furniture?
Cat pee is not the easiest to remove, but allowing it to sit will only make the stench worse. Also, if the urine is allowed to dry, it’ll be more difficult to locate the spot for cleaning, and the cat could mark that area again. So, it’s very important you clean the urine as soon as you notice it. But again, it is easier said than done.
Get your cleaner ready
There are numerous products you can use to neutralize urine odor from cat, and this includes both home and commercial-grade cleaners. Let’s see some of the most effective solutions.
Vinegar: Vinegar is one of the best home remedies for removing felines urine smell. Though, it’s a little smelly itself, it’s very acidic. When applied to cat dried urine, it will neutralize the alkaline salt formed in it, which helps to offset the smell. Before using vinegar, make sure you dilute it with the same amount of water (i.e., one part vinegar to one part water). Again, the smell of vinegar itself can be a bit unpleasant, but it goes away with time, together with the urine smell.
Hydrogen peroxide: If you have wooden furniture, especially those made from hardwood, then you can pour hydrogen peroxide directly on it to get rid of the ammonia smell in cat urine. You can also apply it on couches. In some cases, you can use it right after using vinegar solution if you can still smell the odor. For the best results, allow the chemical to sit for at least 5 minutes after pouring it on the surface, then blot the area. It’s worth that hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration, so it’s a good idea to test a small portion of the furniture first.
Baking soda: Baking soda is another effective home essential that can be used to eliminate cat pee smell. It’s made from sodium bicarbonate, which is good at absorbing bad odors. The best time to apply it is after you’ve cleaned the cat’s urine. Allow the area to dry completely before sprinkling baking soda, then leave it for 20-30 minutes, then vacuum up the spot.
Enzyme-based cleaners: Enzyme-based cleaners are also effective in odor elimination and can be applied to cushions, linens and even carpets. When they come in contact with cat urine, they break down the acid while removing the bad smell. Clean the affected area thoroughly until you can’t smell any trace of urine. Ideally, you want to follow the instruction on the bottle.
NOTE: Avoid using any product or cleaner that contains ammonia. Just like human urine, cat pee contains ammonia. So pouring an ammonia product on the urine will make it smell worse and might even set the stain. And cats are more likely to return to a previous urine spot if they perceive it.
Once you have your cleaner and towel ready, you can start cleaning.
- Begin by soaking the affected area in the furniture or cushion with water. Then dab as much urine as you can using a paper towel or hand towel.
- Next, apply your enzyme cleaner on the spot to soak it again. Pour it slowly on and around the area.
- Give it some time to settle (say, 15 minutes). Try squishing out as much cleaner as you can. Then, blot with towels.
- Finally, allow the cushion to dry outside. This will probably take days. During this time, you can place aluminum or tin foil on the couch and cushion to keep the cats away.
Using a washing machine
For cushions that are deeply stained with dried cat urine, you might consider cleaning them in a dry washer. While this is a great idea, make sure the cushions are machine washable before you proceed. If not, you need to wash it by hand, and you can pay someone to do it if you’re not up for it.
Cushions washed in a machine should be air-dried completely before you use them again.
There you have it – how to keep cats from peeing on outdoor furniture.
We hope you found the article useful. Feel free to try out the different methods until you find one that works for you. Once you do, you can continue plopping down your outdoor furniture cushions in pure bliss without any fear of it getting sprayed. And your furniture will last much longer.
Let us know if you have any more questions about keeping cats away from your patio furniture. Till then, get cranking!