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How to Keep Cats Off Furniture Using Vinegar – 4 Expert Tips

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	Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are very persistent, and it can be extremely challenging to keep them from doing what they want. Many commercial products can use dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your pet’s health, and pheromone products are expensive and may not work. It’s also easy to stain most fabrics, so you will need to be careful about what you put on them.

We’ve compiled a step by step guide for keeping cats off your furniture with ordinary, inexpensive white vinegar. White vinegar is safe to use around cats, and it won’t affect their nervous system like many essential oils. It has no color and won’t stain most fabrics, but the best part is that most of us already have some around the house we can use right now.

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The 4 Steps to Keeping Cats off Furniture

1.  Gather the Ingredients

Our recipe will call for three ingredients, vinegar, water, and castile soap.

White Vinegar

white vinegar on the wooden table top
Image Credit: focal point, Shutterstock

White vinegar is our main ingredient, and the only one required to keep cats away from your furniture. It’s a non-toxic natural cat repellent that’s also safe for any other animals in the home.

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Castile Soap

pump green glass bottle with liquid castile soap
Image Credit: LuminoOne, Shutterstock

Most household soaps are also natural cat repellants, but many contain harmful chemicals and fragrances that you’re better off avoiding. Castile soap is a plant-based soap made from olive oil. It also has no animal products or synthetic ingredients. It’s biodegradable, and you can purchase it as a bar or as a liquid. We recommend liquid castile soap for this recipe.

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water bottles
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

Water allows you to turn down the strength of your formula by diluting it. If you feel the resulting formula is too strong, or your cats have too strong a reaction, adding water will weaken it. Only a small amount of water will reduce the range and strength of the odor significantly.

You may also want to weaken the formula if you are worried about staining the fabric. Remember that white vinegar and castile soap are powerful cleaners, and old furniture can hold a surprising amount of dirt that the formula can lift, resulting in a discoloration of the fabric. Try the recipe in an inconspicuous area first and dilute it with water as necessary.

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2. Mix the Ingredients

Here are the amounts of each ingredient.


  • 8 oz white vinegar
  • 8 oz castile soap
  • 8 oz water


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine white vinegar, castile soap, and water.
  • Pour the solution into a 32-ounce spray bottle and shake vigorously.
  • Add more water as needed
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3.  Spray the Solution

Spraying sofa at home
Image Credit: y_seki, Shutterstock

With the solution in the spray bottle, you can spray it wherever you don’t want your cats to go. You will most likely need to spray the area once a day until your cats find somewhere else to go. You do not need to refrigerate the solution, and it will stay good in the bottle for as long as you need it.

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4.  Tailor the Recipe

As we mentioned earlier, you should add more water if you notice the spray is discoloring your fabric. You can also reduce the amount of water you add if you feel it isn’t strong enough, or you intend to use it outside. The scent will affect cats much less outdoors, and you will need to re-apply it more often.

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Other Things You Can Try

Purchase a cat bed that they can use to rest on instead of your furniture. Many companies design beds with cat comfort in mind and providing them with a better choice and often convince them to abandon your furniture.

a cat lying on its bed
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

Make sure there are plenty of scratching posts your cats can use. If your cat likes to scratch your furniture, you should make sure there are plenty of scratching posts around the home. There are also different types of scratching posts, so try several for the best chance of success.

Make sure there are plenty of high places your pet can sit. Cats like to sit in high places to survey the room, and the back of the sofa and chairs are great places for that. Providing more high places around your home can reduce the time they spend on your furniture.

Try a commercial pheromone product like the ones from Feliway. Feliway, along with several other brands, produces synthetic pheromones that closely resemble those naturally produced by cats. These pheromones can help calm your cats, and some can even redirect your cats scratching to the scratching post. The downside to this product is that it’s expensive and doesn’t work on all cats.

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Vinegar is a fantastic way to keep cats off your furniture, and it can also help keep strays from coming on your property. It’s completely safe and non-toxic, so you do not need to worry about poisoning your cat. It also helps deodorize the area and is a great cleaner. The only downside is that it’s cleaning power can inadvertently stain old furniture by removing set-in dirt.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into keeping your cat off furniture and will try out our repellant formula. If you have learned something new and think it can help others, please share this guide to keeping your cats off the furniture with vinegar on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Wan Fahmy Redzuan, Shutterstock