The 7 Must-Have Products to Protect Your Furniture, Floors, and More
This article is a contribution from our friends at ABODO.
So soft, so cuddly, so innocent-looking with bright, wide eyes… Cats, as we all know well, are sweet and precious, but can also wreak catastrophic damage on an unsuspecting home. There are some steps to take for the cat’s safety — such as auditing all of your houseplants for poisonous tendencies — and for your own mental health — such as carefully packing away the shelf of collectibles.
But some cat-proofing moves can benefit you both, while saving your home from damage. As apartment search specialists, we at ABODO know many renters are looking for pet-friendly rentals, which often means gambling a security deposit (and usually an additional pet deposit) on how well you can clean up after your pet. Cats are small, but their impact can be huge. Here are some of the best products on the market to protect your home from kitty’s claws.
- Nail Trimmer
The best way to protect your place from cat scratches? Go straight to the source: the nails. Declawing is not a great option and is typically discouraged. In fact, the Humane Society states that declawing can lead to biting or problems with litter box training. Instead of cutting off your cat’s toes at the last knuckle, opt for a nail trimmer to keep claws in check. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but since kitties have small claws, one of the inexpensive and lightweight trimmers, such as Four Paws’ Cat Claw Clipper, should do the trick.
- Scratching post
Trim as you might, cats still need to scratch. They have scent glands in their paws that they use to mark their territory, and scratching also helps them shed the dead outer layer of nail. Instead of trying to get them to stop this instinct altogether (which is a mission in futility), watch where they typically like to scratch and meet them halfway by placing a scratching post nearby to draw their urges to an acceptable target. They prefer coarse textures, such as cardboard, so you can make your own scratching post out of similar materials (and sprinkle on some catnip), or select something like the You and Me Three Post Cat Scratch Center that uses a variety of textures.
If you need a scratching post, check out our list of The Best Cat Scratching Posts.
- Couch Cover
Cats are easy to litterbox train, but if they’re not feeling well, they can make messes in the house, too. Ward off trouble before it happens by investing in a nice couch cover, which comes with the added benefit of keeping inches of fur from building up on your cushions. Liquids are your biggest danger, so try the Floppy Ears Design Waterproof Stay in Place Couch Cover, which is the highest-rated waterproof couch cushion on Amazon.
- Scratch Shields
Most cats can be trained to avoid scratching couches and door frames, but if you’re struggling, or just want to be absolutely sure that no harm befalls your belongings, get some easy-to-install plastic scratch shields. Some shields simply stick on — and can just as simply fall off if scratched. But Easyology Pets makes a set of couch protectors that attach with small pin screws for added security.
- Sticky Tape
Are you constantly finding new gnaw marks on your favorite plant? Or a cat-print in the soil of the pot? Cats don’t like sticky surfaces, and you can use that to your advantage to keep them off of certain surfaces, such as the sides of your potted plants, or even a delicately balanced side table. Rolls of sticky cat-repellant tape, like Sticky Paws Roll-On Scratch Control Strips, can keep scratches and unwanted visits at bay. If they lose their stick, put down another strip.
- Litter Box Mat
Litter, in a matter of moments, can infiltrate every crevice of your apartment if not properly contained. You can sweep daily, but unless you invest in a quality litter box mat, you’re still likely to have the little granules stuck to the bottom of your feet for the rest of your pet-owning life. The larger the better — you want it to catch the litter that jumps out when your cat does — and deep pockets hold onto litter better. Purrfect Paws Cat Litter Mat comes in a variety of sizes to fit any space while saving your carpet and wood floors – and if any messes get on the floor, check out our article on the best pet carpet cleaners.
- Cat Net
Balconies are the perfect spot for cats to perch and fulfill their stalkery instincts on the unsuspecting individuals walking below. And although cats have nine lives, it’s best to keep them saved up. A pet net will make sure your curious cat doesn’t sneak somewhere unsafe while enjoying the fresh air.
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, it’s still in your best interest to mitigate any potential pet damage. Before welcoming a new cat to your home, do your due diligence to protect your investments from tiny, fluffy, destructive flaws.