Pets Be Gone: How to Keep Your New Sofa Scratch-Free

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It goes without saying that it is the artistic styles and furnishings that create our picturesque dream-home.But from a psychological perspective, its visual appeal is not the only factor that creates a ‘home’. Apart from our families that fill our homes with warmth and love, it is often perceived that what makes our house feel more like a home is the addition of a cuddly and lovable family pet.

Pets are charming creatures – and if you’re a pet-owner, you cannot deny that a little animal companion becomes an integral part of your life, almost like a furry family member. We live with pets because we admire their loyalty, company, and reactive nature, plus they are very adorable and soft to the touch.

But if you have sophisticated taste, and desire a home full of stylish comforts, then your pet has already interfered with your designs. Whether you have a luxuriously-coated Pomeranian puppy or a chubby-cheeked Persian cat, your little tail-wagging friend cannot be trusted amongst your brand new furniture, and the moment your sofa is under threat from scratching, so is your relationship with your pet.

Why Do Pets Scratch Furniture?

The habitual need to scratch is a natural instinct amongst pets, but namely dogs and cats in this context; it marks their territory for other animals with its visual marks and smells, grooms their claws by removing dead sheath, exercises their muscles and alleviates stress. As much as we love to witness our pets showcase their animal instincts in our environment, the undesirable yet normal behaviour of scratching can transform your sumptuous new furniture into a hideous shredded mess.

As daunting as a gouged sofa sounds, never let the instinctive behaviours of a pet put you off from purchasing the sofa of your dreams; you can train your pet and accommodate its habits to ensure they are well-behaved without needing to banish them from the living room. Once you’ve sorted your living space for your pet’s needs, you can bag yourself a classic Chesterfield sofa or a contemporary Modular sofa from our timeless sofa ranges, and never have to worry about it being ravaged with scratch marks; if it worked for the kids and drawing on the walls, it will work for your pet.

Here is how you can have beautiful furniture and the company of your family pet too...

White cat perched on brown throw

(Image: Pexels)

Spoil Your Pet with the Goodies

From feather-wrapped foam cushions to silky-smooth fabrics and warm materials – a few of many essentials when looking for a sofa that will provide the level of comfort you deserve! When it comes to our leisure time, we crave cosy furniture that cuddles us and promises relaxation after a stressful days work. Believe it or not, pets have the same natural tendencies as humans do when seeking physical comforts; when your pet claws its way up your sofa, it may seem like a senseless attack on your upholstery – but in fact, they are craving the same comfort you desire. So, does your pet have a cosy place to unwind after their animalistic adventures? Why not treat your pet to a well-insulated, snug bed to provide comfort, warmth and a new haven in your home to call their own. Pets are territorial creatures, and need a designated space to feel settled and secure in their environment. From orthopaedic beds to heated beds, pet beds come in various different and luxurious styles, sizes and materials to suit the breed, sleeping habits and preferences of your pet. It encourages your pet to sleep in one location that doesn’t involve tearing up your furniture. As pet beds also vary in colour and design, you can opt for one that complements your interior decor, to function as an additional feature in your room design.

Just like us, pets need regular exercise to build and maintain their strength and healthy lifestyle. If you have an indoor pet, the confinements of your home gives them a mostly sedentary lifestyle, so climbing on your furniture is likely the only opportunity that they get to stretch and loosen-up their muscles! Unless you treat your pet to an exercising apparatus, they will continue to de-stress on your furniture. For your furry feline companion, a cat condo is a much-appreciated addition to your home that features multiple platforms, various heights, and rough materials including a scratch post. Saving your sofa from your pet’s desperation to explore its feline abilities, a cat condo caters to your pet’s instinctual needs to sleep, climb, jump and scratch on a surface that feels most natural to them – and most importantly – is for that specific purpose.

If a condo isn’t on the agenda, at least a scratch post will benefit your cat’s health with vigorous activity by catering to its scratching habits. When handpicking a scratch post, consider your pet’s needs by analysing its scratching style, so they are more enticed to use the apparatus. From tall cylindrical scratch posts to flat horizontal ones, there are various styles and sizes on the market to suit your pet’s scratching preferences; if your pet enjoys scratching whilst standing on their hind legs, perhaps a vertical scratch post would be more tempting – especially one that matches your pet’s height and is sturdy when under forceful pressure. A scratch post should be crafted with at least sisal or carpet fibre to resemble their coarse, natural scratching surface; the more it resembles their natural ways, your furniture will appear less appealing. If you have multiple pets or intend to buy more than one sofa, perhaps you should have several scratch posts to plot strategically around your house that may appear inviting to your pet, to keep all your pets occupied and divert their scratching tendencies away from your precious furniture.

Although pet products may seem like niceties, they are in fact essential to the well-being and needs of your pet, and at the same time provide them with alternatives for their scratching habits, keeping your house safe from scratching abuse as much as possible.

Dog laying on pet bed with tennis ball by his mouth

(Image: Pexels)

Guard Your Furniture

As much as your pet needs their own essentials, using it as an alternative for your furniture will not work overnight. It will take some time to get your pet used to their newfound furnishings without troubling yours. Meanwhile, guarding your furniture by setting harmless deterrents can drive your pet a world away from your furniture.

Although throws are designed to embellish your sofa and provide extra comfort, it also serves as a protectant to preserve the life of your furniture. Throws are generally spread across a sofa, sometimes giving it minimum exposure, and this can shield your couch from your pet’s unpredictable behaviours.  From fleece to knit to cashmere woven throws, this soft, additional furnishing adds warmth to your home and accessorises your sofa; this is a discreet tactic that brings extra aesthetic to your interior space whilst protecting your furniture.

For those feeling apprehensive about even having their pet in close proximity to their sofa, they can take advantage of their pet’s innate fears and weaknesses. Luckily, cats and dogs have a natural aversion to specific scents that we – generally – find quite pleasant. With much greater odour sensitivity than humans, you can offend your pet’s nose by spraying your furniture with specific scents, such as Citrus, Lavender and Menthol-based products. As pets are repelled by these aromas, utilise these scents on or around your furniture, as this will remind them to stay at a distance and associate repulsive smells with the one thing they have their heart set on.

When you are away from home, you might get a little suspicious about what your pet is up to when you’re not around. Although keeping your pet in a well-secured cage or implementing a pet gate to barricade the room that holds your valuable furniture will do the trick, limiting your pet’s measure of freedom may not be the best option for their well-being. For pets that are a little more on the stubborn side, consider purchasing products that function as a repellent for your pet, particularly those with unpleasant textures. Our four-legged buddies have a high degree of sensory sensitivity and have instant discomforts to specific textures, responding to the lightest pressure as an instinct for survival. Repellent solutions, such as Sticky Paws – transparent adhesive strips for placing on furniture – can conquer your pet’s temptation and discourage destructive scratching, as pets find a sticky sensation uncomfortable. Other materials like plastic and aluminium foil leaves pets highly offended by its noisy response when touched, and their resistance to nail-digging. If you’d rather keep your sofa as it is, perhaps a motion-activated device, such as Tattle Tale, will startle your pet with its sensitive trigger that activates a loud ultrasonic alarm when it detects your pet crossing those boundaries towards your furniture.

Pet-Friendly Fabrics and Furniture

No matter what fabrics constitute your furniture, it will always be prone to damage from your pet’s scratching habits. Even though you dread your valuable sofa getting in the claws of your pet, it is top-end upholstery fabrics and materials that will lessen the chance of damage to your settee and provide durability.

The intrinsic strength of quality furniture, with thick fabrics and tightly woven materials, is much more resistant to tear and puncture than others crafted with flimsy materials. Our sofa range at SofaSofa promises high-quality furniture at affordable prices, and its robust craftsmanship means it can withstand some abuse if your pet decides it does not want to cooperate with your household rules. Perhaps what you need to consider when purchasing a sofa, is finding one with pet-friendly fabrics that can cope better with scratching, such as leather and microfibre. Microfibre furniture is highly recommended for pet-owners – it is hard to puncture and doesn’t pull when scratched, so it will resist the damaging effects of your pet scratching at the material.

Better yet – since your pet loves the comforts of furniture – why not re-use a piece of old furniture and get it reupholstered in a puncture-resistant fabric, or buy one specifically for your pet! That way, when your pet tries to join the clan on your couch, you can redirect them to their designated sofa – and you can all enjoy the lavish comfort that a sofa provides.

Blenheim Grand Sofa in Brecon Plain Stone

Blenheim Grand Sofa

So, with all these handy tips on keeping a scratch-free sofa you have absolutely nothing to fear about your pet, and now is the perfect time to handpick the best sofa that represents your unique style. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our well-crafted assortment of sofa covers, and armpads and armcaps; not only will these beauties keep your furniture looking fresh from scratching, but provide an easier and more affordable replacement.

Posted in Contemporary Sofas, Fabric, Interior Design, Lifestyle, Soft furnishings, Traditional Sofas on 31st Aug 2017

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