How To Protect Your Furniture from Pets

Feb 2, 2023

Whether you’re a dad who fell in love with the family dog you said “you’d have no part in” or a couple who treats their cat better than themselves, we all love our animal companions to death. However, our love for them can sometimes be put into question when they start scratching up the edges of the couch or chewing the legs of your heirloom dining suite. As such, this blog post will cover how you can prevent your furry friends from causing havoc on your furniture and also help you attempt to understand their reasoning as to why they may have a vendetta against your priceless furniture.

Why does my pet damage my furniture?

Cat sitting on table - Mainland Furniture

If you’ve got a pet that seems to make a point of ruining the resale value of your furniture we’ve got some bad news: it’s generally because they’re unhappy. Oftentimes, when pets are stressed or bored, they’ll look for the first way to release their feelings, which if you’re reading this article is most likely your furniture.

Animals can also act out as an attempt to tell you that something is wrong. If your cat is deciding that the couch is their new litter box, or if your dog has made a vengeance with any tables within biting distance, it may pay to take them to the vet to see if anything’s wrong.

Other times, it might just be your pet being a loveable goofball (among other words…) and you just need to teach them better. Whether its your new puppy being unable to control their bladder, or your perfectly *regular* cat being caught in a case of the zoomies, it’s up to you to teach your pets to know better. We can understand this is often easier said than done, but this is also part of the process of owning an animal. As such, we are also going to provide some options that should hopefully have your furry friend treating with the respect that you do.

1. Offer Them Outlets

Cat scratching pole - Mainland Furniture NZ

The easiest way to stop your furry friend from destroying your furniture is to give them something else to put their energy into. Scratching poles are available for cheap from any general store and this singular purchase should hopefully give your feline friend a place to give a big stretch to their claws that isn’t the side of your couch.

If your canine friend is causing chaos, they’re most likely bored and need to let off some steam. So whether it’s taking them out for a walk, throwing a ball around your yard or giving them a couple rounds of tug-of-war, give them a chance to burn through whatever energy they’ve had built up throughout the day so that they’re tired when you are.

It’s now easier than ever to get quality pet toys for cheap, so be prepared to spoil your pet with anything you think they might fancy. If you got a pet thinking it’d make a nice accessory for your home, unfortunately these living beings have feelings, and if you don’t give them attention they will get bored. So spend some time playing with your pets and give them all the attention they need, even if you don’t have the energy. While you’ve spent the whole day slaving at work, they’ve most likely been sitting at the door waiting for you to come home, so don’t get mad when you brush them off after you’ve been the only person they’ve been waiting for all day.

2. Offer the Alternatives

Dog laying on bed - Mainland Furniture NZ

A lot of the time, when animals jump up on tables and couches, they're just curious as to what you're doing and want to join in (or in the case of most cats, draw attention to them) as such, offering a nearby alternative can mean that both you and your furry friend are both happy and accomodated for.

If you've got a canine who likes to jump up on the couch to watch TV with you, an option is to provide them with their own "couch" such as a dog bed close to the couch so they can watch TV and still be close enough for any additional pets during the ad breaks.

If you cat likes to sleep on your lowboy near the window, consider placing a cat tree in the same area to give them an area to let off steam while also being able to chatter at the birds outside.

3. Throw Them Off the Scent

As you should know, Cats use scent to know who owns an area and in your home, they try their best to make sure it only smells like them. Thus, when your cat decides to make your furniture their scratching pole, they’re actually trying to “top up” their scent so that other cats know that they own your bar stools. As such, an easy way to quell this is by using an anti-scratch spray on areas they like to mark their territory. These work by throwing off their scent and instead replacing it with a smell that they hate, and as a result your cat should avoid the area like the plague.

Please note however that this product doesn’t work for all cats, as either they weren’t scratching to mark territory or just aren’t too fussed on the smell itself. As such, we must again direct to the above point and ask that you ensure your pet has other outlets for them to stretch their claws. We also feel it’s worth mentioning that sometimes cats just like to do things their way, and you just have to accept that your cat has decided that your prized buffet is their scratching board.

4. Use Protection

It’s always nice when your dog cuddles up next to you on the couch, what’s not nice however is the state they can sometimes leave the couch in afterward, covering the cushions with dirt and hair that after a while can leave them distressed and giving a smell that’s less than pleasant. Thus, our best way to prevent this from happening is to protect your furniture to keep your upholstery nice and fresh.

Now the term “protected furniture” may give you violent flash-backs to grandma’s house with her floral-pattern couch wrapped in plastic bags that you could never sit on and that you swear you’ve seen for sale for $20 at the local charity shop. But in the 21st century, protecting your couch is not only easy, but also not unbearably ugly.

The simplest way to protect your couch is to get a cheap blanket and lay that over the couch and call it a day. If the blanket gets mucky, no worries! Either toss it in the wash for a freshen up, or if its gotten too ratty, toss it out and get a new one. However, there are more eloquent options that are more “form-fitting” for the rest of the couch that can be had if you’re happy to put down the money. But in general, its easy to protect your sofa from your pets without having to resort to the traumatic cling-wrap couch of eras passed.

5. Mats matter!

If you thought that this blog post would only be worried about the damage done by our mammal companions, then surprise, here’s some advice for those with birds, fish and reptiles! 

While your docile little critters themselves aren’t doing too much damage to your furniture, their enclosures will definitely be making a large mark. Whether its a fish tank acting as a giant cup without a coaster, or your cockatoo deciding that white is a better colour for your dark stained buffet, they will make a mess one way or another. Thus, our best recommendation would be to get a place mat to put underneath their enclosure, whether it’s an old towel or something a little more upmarket, anything to protect your furniture from them.

This advice can also apply to your mammal friends also for feeding time, as a mat underneath their food bowls can make clean up as easy as a short trip outside and a quick shake to get off any loose biscuits or spilled water.


If you’ve made it this far, hopefully one of these tricks has helped in protecting your furniture from your furry friends. However, it’s also worth once again referring to the first point, if your pet started acting out all of a sudden, maybe it’s worth researching into why. While it may be nice to protect your couch, you may be looking at a pricey vet bill soon if your pet is trying to signal they’re not feeling too good. So in all, the main advice we’d give is to always put your pet first, because while you may be able to easily buy new furniture, it’s a lot harder to to keep your companion if you put off their problems for too long.


My Pet Destroyed All My Furniture, Where Can I Buy Some More?

If your canine companion caused a catastrophe on your prized dining suite and the damage makes buying a new suite the easiest option, then great news! We offer a variety of oak and pine furniture for great prices!

If you’re reading this outside of New Zealand however, our best recommendation is to use our business as a baseline for what a “good” furniture store is. Some furniture store green flags include use of *true* wood for their furniture, not MDF, alongside quality customer service that won’t leave you high and dry when time comes for you to call in a favour.

How do I Stop My Pet Shedding Everywhere?

The short answer for this is: you can’t. However, what you can do are find ways to minimize the amount your pet sheds. 

If you’re in the market for a furry friend, research into breeds that have been bred to not shed. Gone are the days where you were stuck with hairless breeds if you wanted to avoid having a hairy couch, plenty of cats and dogs, big and small, are becoming more popular due to their lack of shedding so there’s a healthy market of future companions who won’t leave their fuzzy trace everywhere while also not looking like an uncooked roast chicken.

When it comes to pets that do shed, our best advice is to take care of their coat like it’s your own hair. Make sure to give them a brush regularly, and a trip to the groomers once it starts getting a bit long. Do note as well that animals begin shedding heading into summer, so use those clearer days to really let your friend blow off some steam, and in the process, some hair also.

How Do I Stop My Pet From Destroying My Stuff?

If you’ve got a canine causing more damage than a natural disaster, or a feline deciding that the couch smells better drenched in cat pee, then our best advice, with a giant, neon-lit sign, is to look at the first point.

If you’ve got a giant German Shepherd that you’ve kept inside all day, of course he’s gonna let his energy out on your decorative pillows. Make sure you pay attention to your furry friends and give them all the love and care that they need.

It’s also worth mentioning that if your cat is making your living room their bathroom, consider why they might do so. Cats have an innate knowledge to use the litterbox as their toilet, so placing one in a quiet room away from most noses (and hopefully close to the door) should easily remove any of these issues immediately.

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