How to Keep Cats off Outdoor Furniture

Last updated on June 21st, 2022

The idea of having stray cats around your favorite hangout spot on the patio can be repugnant. Even your own feline friends can become very revolting to have on your outdoor furniture when they begin to urinate or claw at the cushions. Read along to discover how to keep cats off outdoor furniture and afford some peace of mind around your backyard. 

To keep cats off your outdoor furniture, consider using aluminum foil, vinegar, naphthalene flakes and mothballs, lemon and orange peels, liquid cat repellent, ultrasonic repellent, and double-sided sticky tape. You can use one or a combination of these methods to keep your cat or neighborhood cats from damaging your patio furniture.  

What damages can cats cause to your outdoor furniture?

Cats like to play by scratching and prying on objects. This is an entirely normal instinct for them. It is their way of staying healthy and having a good time. However, this is terrible news for you as the claws will not spare your outdoor furniture and cushions.

A scratched patio couch can mean a substantial loss, especially for expensive outdoor furniture. The furry fellows do not know about these costs and can keep spreading the damage as long as they are free to roam your yard.

A cat destroying furniture which shows exactly why you need to learn how to keep off cats from outdoor furnitureCats Scratching or clawing at wicker or any outdoor furniture can damage the outer protective layer – leaving the items vulnerable to weather elements. Water and dirt can also accumulate in the damaged areas, creating a great petri dish for mold and mildew. 

Ideally, the scratching and clawing will accelerate the deterioration of your patio furniture. 

Feral cats can also bring fleas, bacteria, or ticks to your porch furniture and outdoor cushions when lying on them. This scenario would mean you have a whole new headache to deal with: fighting these disease-causing parasites.  

Then there is hair – lots of it to deal with. Cats are furry, and more cats mean lots of cat hair littering your furniture. You and your friends’ clothes could end up with cat hair hanging on them. Such a thing can be off-putting, particularly if you or your friend is not a cat lover.

How to keep cats off outdoor furniture

It can be frustrating to see cats mess up your outdoor space. The good news is that you won’t have to resort to radical solutions such as hitting the animals to get them off your furniture. There are many effective ways you can use to keep cats off furniture. Let’s have a look. 

  • Cover your furniture with aluminum foil 

You may be tempted to shield your outdoor furniture with a fabric cover when not in use. While this will protect the seats from weather elements, it will not do much to keep the cats away. Instead, it may just serve as an added plaything for the feline friends. 

Cats do not appreciate the metallic sound and feel of aluminum foil under their paws. Covering the surfaces of your couch with aluminum foil will therefore deter them – keeping them off your furniture. 

This is an excellent thing to do when your furniture is not in use. You could take a few sheets of aluminum foil and wrap them around the cushions to put cats off. Alternatively, you could place the foils directly on the surfaces where the animals frequently lie down. 

Be sure to secure the foils with something; otherwise, the wind could lift and carry them away, leaving your furniture exposed. Aluminum foil is generally lightweight, so you’ll want to put a heavy object on top of it or wrap it around the furniture joints to secure it in place.  

You could also buy specialized pet repellent furniture pads available on Amazon or at the local stores. These are special inexpensive furniture pads lined with aluminum-foil-like material that cats and dogs find uninviting. 

Like aluminum foil, the pet repellent pad has a shiny appearance and metal-like texture that will be sure to send the animals away. 

Now, most cats will avoid a surface covered in aluminum foil. However, don’t be surprised to find some cats lying right on top of the aluminum-covered surface. The trick will work on a majority of cats, but not all of them. There are a few exceptions – cats that actually enjoy lying down directly on the cold, glistening aluminum surface.  

In the off chance that you find such exceptions, don’t be discouraged. Just proceed and try out a different trick. 

  • Drop a few orange and lemon peels on the furniture 

Cats have a strong sense of smell and can pick the mildest scents. While this should be an advantage, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to warding off the animals from your furniture. 

Cats find plenty of scents unpleasant or too strong to endure. These include cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, and citrus. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money purchasing lavender or spices like cinnamon. Simply create some peels out of the lemon or orange in your kitchen. Place them directly on or underneath the furniture. The scent these peels will emit should get the cat to turn around and find a different place to sit. 

If you have more of these natural repellants in your kitchen, then you may consider creating a potpourri with them. The mixture of dried fruit peels and scented flowers or plants will be pleasing to your senses, but the felines won’t find it nearly as alluring. 

Your mixture can comprise things you already have in the kitchen, such as tangerine, lime, orange, and lemon peels, together with cinnamon and lemongrass.

You can organize the potpourri in small portions, place them around your yard, or put them in small bags, which you can then place inside the cushion covers.  

To make things even more effective, consider combining these with a homemade citrus-infused spray. A mixture of citronella oil, lemon juice, and water will work wonders in bringing out the smell of your dried peels. 

Natural cat repellent scents work even better as juice sprays. Extract the juice from your lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and limes – mix with some water in a spray bottle, then apply the solution around the affected furniture.

Ensure you spray this mixture sparingly on your furniture, taking care not to soak it. Too much of the citrus solutions on your couch may encourage the growth of molds and mildew.

The other method of keeping cats away is to incorporate these scented flowers and plants in your garden. Cats will avoid places with scaredy-cat plants, lavender, and pennyroyal. It will be a good idea to decorate your patio or garden with these plants and kill two birds with one stone. They will control the presence of felines while keeping your yard verdant and filled with life. 

  • Train your cat to avoid your patio furniture 

Cats are pets, and pets can be trained to respond to specific voice commands, including steering clear of your cushions. 

Unlike dogs, cats are more naturally independent. So they may require an adjusted approach to get them to follow your commands. 

Limiting your training to one thing at a time should get the results you want. Ideally, you want your cat to know that the patio cushions are off-limits. With sufficient practice, you should get the cats to learn something. 

One thing you could do is to provide them with their own cushion. The pets may be unlikely to bother you in the backyard when they have their own bed to rest in. 

As a rule of thumb, rewarding positive behavior rather than punishing negative conduct is more effective. You can use verbal cues to command your cat to climb down each time they get to your outdoor furniture and reward them whenever they use their cushion. 

Another simple option is to keep some water with you in a spray bottle outdoors. Use this to target cats that are approaching or lying on the off-limits furniture. Repeat this a few times, and cats will get the message and start avoiding the area. 

Notice, however, that this solution is only applicable to your cat(s) and not stray cats or those from the adjacent homes. 

How do I keep stray cats off my patio furniture?

Now, conditioning methods such as training your cat to stay off the patio furniture are only limited to your cats. How about cats from outside your home? These feline fellows have a mind of their own and will show up in your backyard and misuse your outdoor space at will. 

To keep them off, you’ll need to make the furniture unfavorable for them. Here are some options to choose from. 

  • Use ultrasonic repellent

An ultrasonic device emits an unpleasant sound that only animals can hear, deterring them from staying within the area. For the patio alone, one device should be enough to keep the animals away. However, if you want to keep cats off a wider outdoor area, you may need more than one device. 

These devices will not harm the animals in any way. Ultrasonic pest repellents only irritate the animals, forcing them out of the general area. The device has a built-in motion-sensing mechanism that is activated when the animals show up in the vicinity. 

Usually, the ultrasonic cat repellent is fully solar-powered and water-resistant. Once installed, you won’t need to do anything more; the device will do its work autonomously.  

  • Use vinegar – a natural repellent

Like citrus peels, vinegar is another product that cats find very unpleasant. Vinegar is edible and therefore harmless to pets and wildlife – only the neighborhood cats won’t stick around to find out. Spray some vinegar on your furniture, and you can forget about seeing cats on them again. 

Vinegar makes an essential ingredient for a homemade repellent because cats dislike the way it smells. Consider mixing one part of white vinegar and one part of liquid hand soap with one part water to create your homemade repellent. 

  • Add PDB mothballs to your backyard

Mothballs are a form of pesticide designed to kill moths and their larvae. While mothballs are insecticides and likely to be poisonous to animals, mothballs containing paradichlorobenzene (PDB) are safer to use in your home to repel cats. 

If you want added safety, consider keeping the mothballs inside cushion covers, so the animals do not come in direct contact with the pesticide. In any case, PDB mothballs are less toxic, so they will not kill the animal. They can, however, cause health complications when ingested. This is why it is recommended that you keep them inside the cover. 

FAQs: How to keep cats off outdoor furniture.

Does vinegar keep cats off furniture?

Yes. Vinegar is one of the best ways to keep cats off furniture. The animals find the smell of vinegar unpleasant and will stay away from anything that has vinegar on it. Spray a diluted solution of vinegar, soap, and water on the outdoor furniture to keep the felines away. 

What can I spray to keep cats off outdoor furniture?

There are many scents that cats don’t like, including peppermint, vinegar, lavender, and cinnamon. So, you can either choose to make a natural homemade cat repellent spray from these plants or buy a commercial cat spray repellant like the Inscape Data Pets Detterent spray.

How to keep stray cats off my porch.

You can buy a commercial cat repellant spray, or make a simple homemade pet deterrent spray and sprinkle it around your porch to keep stray cats away.

Besides spraying pets deterrents for stray cats, follow these steps to help you:

  • Block their entry points.
  • Tightly cover your trash cans.
  • Put human traps.
  • Work with neighbors.
  • Contact animal control.

What smells keep cats away?

Cats hate the smells of citrus, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, pipe tobacco, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, citronella oil, mustard oil, and lavender oil ingredients.


The outdoor space is a place where you mostly go to relax and have a good time. While you can be a cat lover and keep one in your home, these feline friends can damage your outdoor furniture if not controlled. If you are a pet lover who would like to know how to keep cats off outdoor furniture, then this guide is for you. 

Use any one or a combination of the methods we have discussed here to keep cats off furniture and enjoy some peace of mind. 

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