If your pet cat or a neighborhood cat is continually peeing on your outdoor furniture, how can you stop such an occurrence? This process can be difficult, especially if a cat has already peed on your nice new patio set. So, how to keep cats from peeing on outdoor furniture?
You can spray your cushions down with a homemade scent that is unattractive to cats, or purchase a commercial grade cat repellent. You can also purchase ultrasonic devices, or simply train your cat not to go near your outdoor furniture.
But why are cats attracted to your yard? And what can you do to keep a neighbor’s cat away from your patio furniture and outdoor area? Let’s discuss how to keep cats away together.
Why Are Cats Attracted to My Yard?
Cats can be attracted to your yard for many different reasons. Perhaps your neighbors simply own a lot of cats and the proximity to their house makes your house appealing to them.
More likely, you have something outside of your home that appeals to them, such as comfortable outdoor furniture, hiding places or secluded areas, or even a particular smell about your yard that some cats might like.
Cats are also known sun-seekers, meaning they love to lay out in a patch of direct sunlight. If your yard, and especially your patio or patio furniture, get a lot of direct sunlight, cats may like your yard. The more comfortable it is, the more likely they will spend time there!
Another huge reason why cats or other wildlife might be attracted to your yard is if you currently feed another cat or animal outside. If your dog or cat gets their dinner on the back porch or patio, that’s a sign to stray cats or neighborhood cats that they might get food from your house too.
This also may include wild food, such as birds, rats, mice, or lizards. While most domesticated cats only hunt for fun rather than for food, having wildlife around your home may be one additional reason that cats like your yard.
It may sound pleasant at first, and certainly not harmful- what’s wrong with cats simply sleeping in sunny spots around your yard? Cats are very territorial creatures and this peaceful scene can quickly turn nasty if cats start peeing on your outdoor furniture!
Why Are They Peeing on My Outdoor Furniture?
If you notice a strange ammonia smell around your outdoor furniture, this is usually a sure sign that a cat has peed somewhere on your patio. But why might this have happened, and what can you do to prevent this act in the future?
As previously stated, cats are very territorial creatures. They may choose to mark or spray your outdoor furniture as a sign of dominance and control, especially if you own a cat yourself or have many cats in the neighborhood visiting your yard.
Cats may also pee on your furniture if your litter box isn’t what they want it to be- perhaps they don’t like the location of it, or maybe the litter is uncomfortable on their paws. You may try changing up your litter box situation if you know your own cat is peeing on your outdoor furniture!
Other issues may involve a cat’s overall health or stress levels- cats may pee where they shouldn’t if they are upset over big life changes, or are feeling unwell. If you know it is only your cat peeing on your outdoor furniture, you may consider a trip to the vet or simply give your cat time to adjust to any large changes.
7 Ways to Keep Cats Off My Outdoor Furniture
There are many ways to keep cats off of your outdoor furniture, and some ways are more creative than others. Here are some options for you to try, depending on your furniture and how many cats there are invading your yard!
1. Use a Cat Repellent Spray
One of the first things you can try when it comes time to keep cats off of your outdoor furniture is cat repellent spray. You can either make a spray yourself using affordable household items, or consider purchasing a spray from your local pet or hardware store.
These sprays are designed to be nontoxic and simply have an irritating smell to them. Cats use their nose for everything, including seeking out a fresh location to mark their territory. If you spray your outdoor furniture with a scent that they don’t like, the cat won’t enjoy spending time in your backyard anymore!
2. Get Some Tin Foil
While it may seem odd, cats don’t like the feel of tin foil on their paws. This is a quick way to discourage cats from getting on your outdoor furniture: simply lay down and attach some tin foil to your cushions! While this may not be the most comfortable when you want to sit on them, plan to make the foil easy to remove.
3. Remove the Cushions
Bringing your outdoor patio furniture inside every single day sounds like a chore. However, what if you just bring in the cushions and store them in a dry, safe place overnight? Many cats are drawn to the comfort of outdoor patio cushions and won’t come around if those aren’t available to them.
If you find that a cat still sprays your outdoor furniture whether the cushions are present or not, this idea won’t work for you. However, it’s a great first step to try, and will also help protect your outdoor cushions from rain!
4. Use Furniture Covers
You can always purchase outdoor furniture covers, which can consist of fabric that covers the entire chair or lounge, or you can simply get plastic covers for your outdoor cushions. Cats won’t usually like the feel of flexible plastic, so this may be all you need to do to keep them away!
5. Get Creative with Motion Activation
Many people who have had trouble with cats in their yard end up purchasing items that involve motion activation in an effort to scare the cats away. These gadgets can include noisy items, items that move upon an animal encroaching, or even motion-activated sprinklers.
While you’ll want to consider motion-activated items that won’t be triggered by humans, these items can be useful in scaring off any stray cats- especially if your furniture is located in a more enclosed area, like a porch or patio.
6. Use Spices
Cats don’t like many spices. You can spread these affordable spices in dirt or along the edges of your patio, and the scent may be enough to keep cats away. Some of these spices include cinnamon, pepper, cayenne, and citrus zests.
It’s important to keep in mind that some of these spices (primarily hot peppers) may burn a cat’s delicate paws. You will also need to replace the spices if you live in a location that experiences rain frequently. However, it may be worth a try!
7. Try Double Sided Tape
Cats are very particular about their paws. Laying down double-sided tape can be enough to discourage a cat from getting on your furniture. While putting tape on your couch cushions doesn’t sound ideal and can leave a residue, you may consider putting the tape on the ground in front of your outdoor furniture.
Even stepping on something sticky is enough to discourage a cat from jumping on your furniture or going where they are not welcome. While you will need to replace the tape every so often as it loses its stickiness, this could be another possible solution for you to try that won’t harm a cat!
What Are the Best Scents to Keep Cats Away?
There are a wide variety of scents that cats don’t like to smell. Some of these are more obvious than others, and some you may discover when you try various items on your outdoor furniture or patio. It is recommended to spray these scents around the entire area that you don’t want cats in.
You will have to update these scents as time passes, especially if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain. It will depend on what product you purchase or make at home, but if you notice cats returning to your outdoor area it is likely you need to spray the scent again.
Here are some of the best scents to keep cats away from your outdoor furniture:
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- All forms of citrus
- Many herbs, including thyme, mint, and rosemary
- Predator urine
It is important to keep in mind that when using essential oils, you will want to dilute them thoroughly in order to protect many animals. Dogs and cats can be harmed by inhaling certain essential oils, no matter how diluted they are. Make sure you are only using animal safe scents when you spray your outdoor furniture.
How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Cushions if a Cat Peed on Them?
One of the main ways to prevent cats from continuing to pee on your outdoor furniture is to eliminate the scent of them peeing there in the first place. This is easier said than done, as cat pee is very potent and can be difficult to eliminate.
While there are many home remedies to try, most commercial grade cleaners will do the trick better than vinegar and baking soda solutions. Check with your local pet store or hardware store for some of the best options.
When you decide to clean your outdoor furniture cushions, you should make sure that you are not simply spot treating them. Cat pee is likely to penetrate deep into the cushion itself, and that can make it even more difficult to clean.
If you are able to wash your outdoor furniture cushions in a washer, that may be one of your best options. Make sure that your cushions are indeed machine washable before attempting this, or consider paying to have your outdoor furniture cushions dry cleaned.
What Should I Do If My Neighbor’s Cat Ruined My Outdoor Furniture?
It can be incredibly frustrating if it is not your own cat that is ruining your outdoor furniture. There are often Strays or outdoor cats owned by neighbors that are the culprits of peeing or scratching up outdoor cushions. What should you do if you know your cat is not causing damage to your property?
While it can be a difficult conversation to have, your best option is to approach your neighbor and let them know what you believe their cat is doing. It is best to bring this information to them in a polite but firm way, as proving the damage is being done by someone else’s cat can be difficult to do.
Some homeowners are able to record a cat in the act of damaging their property and bring the video evidence to their neighbor. While not everyone has the financial capability to buy a home security camera, this could be one way of proving that a neighbor’s cat is damaging your property.
However, if you have a difficult neighbor that refuses to acknowledge that their cat is damaging someone else’s property, There is often very little that can be done. You can always set up some live traps on your porch and catch the neighbor cat, returning them to their owners.
But cats are often the victims of unfortunate situations. Some neighbors may not want their cat returned to them, or will claim that this is just normal cat behavior and that they don’t owe you anything in return for the damages. Remaining calm and reasonable is the best thing to do in this situation, and remember that the cat is not at fault!
The Verdict – What Should You Do?
If you know a cat is peeing or otherwise damaging your outdoor furniture, there are many solutions to try. Many homemade sprays can prove useful in deterring cats from your patio or porch. And you can always have a conversation with your neighbor if they are friendly and you know it is their cat causing the problems!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.